This week I was with my family camping since the Delta was off limits for all anglers fishing Saturday’s Wild West Bass Team Tournament. Off limits, is a time period where you’re not allowed to fish or be on the body of water that the upcoming tournament is going to be held on for a set period. Interesting, the off-limits rule was implemented many years ago, after a winning angler bragged about how much time he was able to fish leading up to the event. Nonlocals and those who worked during the week didn’t think that was fair, so the off-limits rule was created. I guess I could have visited some of the lakes that I’ve wanted to fish, but the off-limits period has given me time to spend with my family out camping. Admittingly, this summer I’ve been fishing more than I have in a long time. Like anything that you do repeatedly, it’s good to be able to take a break. This off-limits period could not have come at a better time.
There’s a good reaction bite right now for those tossing crank baits, buzz baits, and top water frogs. Once the sun is up, look for any grass that is located near or around deeper tulle points and try flipping jigs or any other creature baits in or around the grass. Current is also important this time of year as moving water is a little cooler, moves the bait around, and contains more oxygen.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee fishing continues to be good early in the day while trolling apex lures 70 to 90 feet deep. Most anglers report pink lures working best in the morning, and green or fire tiger lures working better in the afternoon. Bass fishing remains good for numbers of smaller fish with the bigger ones being few and far between. Anglers are doing well while tossing Zoom Flukes and jigs to the edge of visible mud lines. Anglers drop shotting are also doing well while fishing between 25 and 40 feet deep. Catfishing has been good for those fishing at night with traditional catfish baits. Bluegill and crappie continue to bite for those fishing with either a minnow or worm under a bobber in the backs of coves.
Later in the day and early in the morning schooling fish can be spotted throughout the lake feeding on shad. This type of feeding activity can lead to some of the most exciting top water action an angler can find. Just make sure to wait for the school to become active before tossing your lure into the frenzy. If you don’t wait for the fish to begin feeding you may scare the school off. Night fishing remains good for those fishing large power worms and spinnerbaits.
Lake Don Pedro:
Kokanee are beginning to show up for a lot of anglers trolling at 75 feet deep. A lot of anglers have been keeping it quiet, but the word is finally getting out as many anglers looking for kokanee have moved on to other lakes. As far as baits and rigs for them they continue to stay tight lipped about what they’re using. I’m assuming your basic go to kokanee rig should work just fine. Bass fishing continues to be great. There are a lot of fish feeding on shad that can be seen all over the lake being brought to the surface. Topwater lures during the morning are a sure bet, and shad imitating baits during the day are working well once the sun is up.
The hotter it gets the better Pardee becomes for smallmouth bass. Crickets are a must for sheer numbers of smallmouth bass. Rig and fish crickets just as you would a split shot rig with a smaller hook of course and get ready for some action. Bigger smallmouths are usually caught by those who anchor and drop a line over the side and wait them out. The nice thing about using crickets is that you have a chance at catching just about anything that swims in the lake.
Youth Club in Need of Boaters:
The San Joaquin Jr. Bassmasters need boaters to help take out some of their anglers for an upcoming event on the Delta. The event is scheduled for Sunday, July 19 from 8am to 2pm out of Ladd’s Marina. If you’re interested in helping out or joining the club you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.