Today, more than anytime I can remember, technology is making its biggest impact on fishing. Anglers used to joke about someday being able to see the fish on a screen, just like if they were watching TV. We are very close to having that ability. So close, that there are fish finders currently on the market that show the fish moving on the screen, instead of just seeing an arch. The ability of even some of our older units is so far advanced, that it’s becoming tough to compete with younger, tech savvy anglers. On more than one occasion this year while out fishing, I witnessed anglers slow their boats down, not out of courtesy, but so that they can mark my boat’s location as a waypoint, so that they can return to that spot when I’m gone. Not so much on the Delta, but while fishing the lakes. It’s frustrating, and at the same time, a sign of the times. As a result, I believe that there are less secrets today than ever. Anglers are no longer sharing baits but waypoints. As I mentioned in a previous column, “fishing is like playing basketball without knowing where the basket is.” Technology has now put some anglers on the free throw line, but they still must make the basket.
Typical spring like conditions of off and on activity has been making it tough for anglers. When the wind is blowing try reaction baits such as spinnerbaits and swimbaits across points where there are sparse tulles. When calm try tossing green pumpkin Senko’s towards visible holes within the grass beds or fishing the outermost weed lines. Jigs fished deep from 6 to 8 feet is also a good technique for this time of year for targeting fish that are in transition.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing has slowed down for a lot of anglers fishing off the bank. Trollers are finding the biggest fish upriver, with planters and an occasional kokanee in the main lake between 20 and 50 feet deep with nightcrawler/Wedding Ring combos, U.V. Apexes or a Cop Car Needlefish or other shad-patterned lures trolled at 1-1.5 mph. Bass fishing continues to be very good for anglers fishing from the bank down to twenty feet. Bass are spawning throughout the lake right now making them easy targets for site fishermen. One of the most overlooked patterns right now is the morning topwater bite. This time of year is a good time to toss a Zara Spook type topwater bait first thing in the morning.
Lake Don Pedro:
Bass fishing has really turned on lately as many fish can be found spawning throughout the lake. Senko’s and small worms are working well once the sun comes up. In the morning target the backs of coves with top water lures as there are many schools of fish that have migrated to the backs of coves. Coves where there are underwater brush piles or trees are holding schools of fish right now.
Trout fishing at Lake Camanche continues to be very good for a lot of anglers. Both the lake and the pond are putting out nice limits of fish. Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake as many fish have moved shallow and can be caught with a variety of different baits. Because of the spawn try using baits that can be worked across obvious spawning flats or beds. In the morning try topwater baits and if the wind picks up try tossing swimbaits as the swimbait bite is always good when there are trout being caught on the lake.
Bass fishing is really starting to pick up as the water temperatures continue to rise. Look for the fish to be up shallow on beds. Because the lake is so clear the bass will be spawning a little deeper than most other lakes. A big mistake anglers make when searching for beds on clear lakes is that they look too shallow. Trout fishing remains good for anglers fishing with power bait around the launch area or trolling the main lake from the surface down to 25 feet deep.
Tip of the Week:
Most fishing rods nowadays are made with cork handles. After multiple times out combined with the handling of fish and bait, they can become dirty. Over the years I have tried several ways to clean the cork handles. One of the most effective ways that I have found was to use wet wipes. Surprisingly wet wipes do a great job and can also be used to wipe down all your rod’s components.