Like a lot of wives, my wife loves the ocean. So, we plan at least one trip to the ocean per year. These past few years I’ve tried to figure out how to fish the surf and I’m getting a little closer to figuring it each year. I even caught my first surf perch this trip! I’m not sure if it’s the wrong tackle, spot, or bait, but it’s been very difficult for me to have any real success. I have learned that some of the best bait to use is sand crabs. The little thumb sized crabs are more plentiful than I ever imagined. While fishing, this nice lady walking the shoreline showed me how to catch them with my foot. It took me a little while to get the technique down but I believe I’ve gotten pretty good at catching them. Today’s my last day, after finishing this column, and my morning coffee, I’ll be heading out there again. Hopefully, I’ll catch something a little bigger than the perch I caught previously. A few people fishing next to me have been catching striped bass, so that’s today’s goal.
Most anglers fishing for bass are having luck while tossing top water frogs throughout the day, Senko’s, Spinner baits, and Sweet Beavers are all catching bass right now. With the weather we have had lately look for shady spots along the bank, or spots closest to deeper water. Fish will either be looking for shade or proximity to deep moving water. If you can find shade next to a deep drop your chance of catching a big fish will be increased. Striped bass fishing is fair for anglers willing to wait it out while fishing with live bait. Anglers catching them are fishing around Rio Vista or Whisky Slough with live mud-suckers or bluegills.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee catches continue to keep anglers busy as trout fishing has slowed down for the summer. Anglers catching kokanee are fishing the dam area and can be found between 40 and 50 feet deep. Trout have been biting for those willing to fish through the night. Night fishermen are reporting catches while soaking Power Bait below a submersible light along the main lake channels. Bass fishing is still good for angler fishing Carolina rigged baby brush hogs. Most bass are of the smaller version with a bigger fish mixed in occasionally. Morning and evening top water fish are being caught right now on poppers and spook type lures.
Night fishing for bass is a favorite summertime escape for me. Lake Amador in particular is a small safe lake which with any cast can produce a personal best. An hour before the sun starts to go down bass habitually will bring schools of shad to the surface which can create some explosive top water action. The key to catching feeding fish on the surface is patience. With a top water lure in hand, wait for the fish to start exploding on the surface and then make your cast right into the middle of the attacking fish. This technique will surely produce some of the most explosive top water action. Once the sun goes down I either toss a half-ounce black spinner bait or drag 10-inch Berkeley Power worms. Then, if fishing through the night as the morning sun starts to break once again fish will be feeding on the surface, get that top water lure out and repeat the previous pattern.
Lake Don Pedro:
King Salmon are being caught by anglers while rolling shad between 80 and 110 feet deep. Anglers having the most success are trolling around Graveyard Bay. The kokanee are also on a good bite, but are still scattered around the lake and found between 40 and 60 feet deep. The best set-ups are Sep’s watermelon dodger, silver prism or copper dodgers, while trailing lures such as Uncle Larry’s Mad Irishman, Copper Pop spinners or Kokanee bugs, all tipped with white shoe peg corn soaked in Pro-Cure’s carp spit, Kokanee special, and shrimp and prawn oils.