The biggest fish I ever caught was caught by a rod and reel combo that cost me no more than $80 at the time. The biggest fish that I ever lost was lost while fishing with one of my most expensive rod and reel combo’s. Several years ago while talking with a local bass fishing professional, he told me “buy the best equipment that you can afford.” What he meant was that if $50 was your budget, then buy something within your budget. With that said, of all places to save a penny, I don’t recommend opting for cheaper terminal tackle. Terminal tackle is pretty much everything other than your rod and reel. It’s what ultimately connects you to the fish. I’ve learned the hard way that when the fish of a lifetime is on the end of the line, knowing that I’ve got the sharpest hooks and the strongest line is worth every penny spent on higher quality terminal tackle.
Bass fishing is good right now on the Delta. Lately, the problem for a vast majority of anglers is finding fish over two pounds. For big fish anglers are capitalizing on top water reaction strikes. For numbers of fish anglers are catching them both flipping and tossing reaction baits. Bluegill fishing remains good right now in the backs of dead end sloughs and in and around boat docks. Catfishing also remains good for anglers using cut bait throughout the Delta right now.
New Melones Lake:
Night fishing under a submersible light has been the key to catching trout once the sun goes down. Anglers are dropping their lights down to 20 feet and then fishing between 30 and 50 feet below the light. Trout and kokanee fishing is fair right now for anglers trolling from 80 to 100 feet deep. Excels and Slim Fin lures have been working well for anglers trolling. A lot of smaller bass are being caught right now as the bigger fish are being caught deep off main lake points or during the early morning hours. Catfishing remains good at night for anglers fishing off the bank while using anchovies, mackerel, and sardines. Bluegills continue to provide constant action throughout the lake. There are some crappie being caught by anglers fishing around submerged trees in Bear Cove and Coyote Creek. Night fishing under a submerged light around the trees seems to be the most productive tactic right now.
Lake Don Pedro:
Several limits of fat rainbow trout are being reported by those fast trolling Chucker T heavy spoons from the Dam to Schoolhouse Point, the Big Creek Arm and from Big Oak Island to Middle Bay. Anglers are trolling between 25 and 45 feet deep. The key is to find the bait as many of the trout being caught are actively feeding on shad right now. Bass fishing is good for anglers that understand how to fish for schooling fish and know where to locate them. Currently there are large schools of bass working throughout the lake with an occasional school found pushing shad to the surface. Surface baits are working for the schools that are shallow and drop shotted baits are working for the deeper schools.
Smallmouth bass have been providing excellent action for anglers fishing late and early with topwater lures. Once the sun is high try switching to small plastic baits fished deep, shaky head worms, darter heads, and drop shotted Robo Worms in either a craw or shad pattern should produce good results.
Anglers are catching trout early in the morning with several limits being reported by trollers. The catfish have started to bite during the day on cut bait and clams. In order to catch catfish anglers are focusing on limited shade found along the shore from overhanging trees. Bass fishing remains good for anglers fishing top water baits during the morning hours and small plastic baits during the day.
Tip of the Week
Having a sharp hook is very important, never trust a lure’s hooks right out of the box. For a couple of dollars you can replace stock treble hooks with quality hooks increasing your hook up percentage. It’s important when finding replacements that you purchase the proper size as some lures will not run correctly with oversized or undersized hooks. A good measure of a hook’s sharpness is to run the hook point across a fingernail and if doesn’t catch, it’s not sharp enough.