By JAROD BALLARDO
Sometimes I like to keep my catch. Depending on where I’m fishing and the species of fish that I’m catching, I might keep a few. Some anglers have become conditioned to letting the fish they catch go and have a hard time understanding why anyone would keep a fish. Most of those same anglers don’t like the taste of fish. Like hunters wanting to harvest a deer, the Department of Fish and Game puts a limit on the amount of game that can be harvested. Fishing is no different, almost every species of fish swimming in our lakes and rivers has a set limit that an angler can harvest. In some lakes it’s even encouraged to harvest certain species of fish so that the fish in the lake could grow bigger. There’s only a handful of places and certain times of the year when I keep fish. Most of the time I prefer to release the fish I catch, over having to spend time after a long day of fishing cleaning and cooking fish. If you do decide to keep your fish, I suggest you know the rules and regulations in regards to harvesting fish. One of the lesser known rules is that you’re not allowed to transport live gamefish.
Shade is the most important factor when fishing for bass on the Delta right now. Really pay attention to the banks and look for any shade pockets. This past weekend the bigger bass being caught were caught on Sweet Beavers on the shady side of isolated islands. The top water frog bite has remained excellent for those willing to toss it all day. Anglers are catching frogfish in both open water and above matted vegetation.
New Melones Lake:
The kokanee bite is excellent for those fishing the right depths. Anglers are reporting that the kokanee are being caught between 30 and 50 feet deep. The most popular area right now for anglers trolling is between the spillway and the dam. Bass fishing has been good for smaller fish on small plastics during the day and top water lures early morning and right before sunset. There are a few islands becoming visible due to dropping water levels, try fishing on the deep side of the islands for schools of bass. Catfishing has been really good for night fishermen fishing just about anywhere on the lake right now.
Fishing for kokanee has been slow this summer but is improving. Anglers trolling are starting to catch kokanee while trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep with hootchies and wedding rings. Bass fishing continues to be great right now for anglers fishing for numbers. Pretty much everything is working for smaller fish, those fishing deeper with jigs or tossing large swim baits are catching the bigger fish. The bluegill bite has been very good around brushy areas with an occasional crappie being caught. Fishing at night for catfish has been fair to good for anglers who are patient.
Lake Amador is a night fishing lake this time of year. Not many anglers are braving the heat right now as the fish have become very sluggish during the day. Bluegills are about all that is being caught right now. At night there are some big catfish being caught and even an occasional trout for those fishing the dam area. There are also reports of crappie being caught on minnows at night by those fishing around the dock area. If you do plan on fishing Amador at night make sure to get there before 9 p.m. as the gates are locked after 9 p.m.
Two bass over 10 pounds were recently caught and released by anglers fishing the lake. During the day pleasure boaters are plentiful making it difficult for anglers looking to fish during the day. Trout and bass anglers are arriving to the lake early and getting off the water before noon. For trout, anglers are still doing well while trolling speedy shiners. For bass, anglers are doing well while fishing with topwater baits and small swim baits around main lake points and islands.