In just a weeks’ time, a lot of our local fishing spots have reopened. Some are still only open for their own county residents, but they will hopefully soon be open for everyone. Many of the launch sites on the delta have also reopened. The reopening on the lakes and the delta launch sites has made it easier to socially distance yourself from one another. Before opening the other launch sites, everyone was forced to launch out of one or two locations, making it impossible to stay 6 feet away from someone standing on a dock that is only 6 feet wide. Earlier this month when the temperatures were in the 90’s, everyone was just hanging out on the dock, as there was a continuous flow of boats entering and leaving. Since the reopening, I’ve noticed a big difference. For the first time since the shelter in place there I didn’t have to wait in line to launch or retrieve my boat. There are still a lot of boats on the water but nothing like there were a few weeks ago. I can only hope that those that do decide to take their boats out are responsible and that they don’t ruin it for all of us.
Plenty of post spawn fish are being caught on reaction baits right now. Franks Tract continues to be a hot spot for bass. Vegetation throughout the delta is starting to take over a lot of dead end sloughs and grass lines are forming. Most of the bass I caught were holding on the deeper grass lines visible at low tide and attacked the swim bait right before or after passing over one. There is also a good topwater bite. Anglers are catching bass while fishing a Snagproof Frog and walking spook type baits. There are still plenty of bass to be found on beds but I’d much rather blind cast for them. Bluegills are up shallow spawning and can be caught shallow just about anywhere on the delta now. Anglers are using wax worms and mini night crawlers fished off the bottom or under a bobber.
New Melones Lake:
New Melones has recently reopened with no residency restrictions. Fishing for kokanee has been red hot lately. Kokanee are being caught for those trolling anywhere from 25 to 45 feet deep. Red, chartreuse, pink or silver Apex have been the top producing lure, with Uncle Larry’s Spinners, Hootchies, Killer B’s, and Glitter Bugs in the same colors all catching fish, too. Bass fishing has also been good lately, the last full moon brought up a lot of nicer sized fish. For those not bed fishing a variety of different baits are doing well right now. Crankbaits, Rip Baits, Rattle Traps, and plastic worms are just a few of the baits that are catching bass right now. Night-fishing for catfish is also starting to pick up, any major cove or creek arm is a good place to try. Anchovies, Sardines, or a ball of Night Crawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish. The crappie and bluegill bite is also starting to turn on, some anglers are even reporting catching limits of crappie when fishing tight to structure while using live minnows.
Lake Don Pedro:
The lake finally opened with no residency restrictions. There have been long lines to launch as expected. Bass fishing is good to great for anglers fishing topwater baits and bed fishing. There are still a lot of fish up shallow spawning or looking for an easy meal. Trout fishing has been great for anglers trolling down to 60 feet deep with speedy shiners. The key right now to finding the trout is finding the schools of shad that have just completed spawning. The schools can be found at different depths with 60 feet being the average.
Tip of the Week:
With the increase of traffic on the water, it’s more important now than ever, to know the laws of operating a boat. Recently, there was a Sheriff who had someone pulled over on the water. Very few boaters know that when you see the blue lights from a Sheriff’s boat on, that you must slow down to a no wake speed. Not knowing this law ended up in someone receiving an expensive ticket.