Thursday morning on my way to work I was surprised to see rain clouds in the distance and a little mist in the air. Working with children, rainy days can be quite the challenge as they all want to play in the rain. Fish on the other hand aren’t going to get anymore wet, but they do become more active when it rains. The rain has several effects on them. As the water rises, it not only provides them more area, but it washes bugs and debris into the water. The smaller fish are attracted to the food being washed into the water and the bigger fish follow. The rain also breaks up the surface making fish less spooky. As an angler this allows you to be a little less stealthy. Hopefully, this is the beginning of many rainy days to follow.
There are a lot of smaller largemouth bass being caught on reaction baits right now. The best time is an hour before and an hour after the drops from high to low. Flipping is spotty right now and the frog bite is fair to good. Schools of smaller striped bass are actively working their way through the system. There’s a lot of surface action right now in the Whites/Disappointment Slough areas. The current water temperature is right around 68 degrees, as it drops even more the bigger fish should be easier to find.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing is tough right now on the lake but not quite as tough as launching a boat. Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended and quite honestly unless I was fishing out of a small boat I would avoid launching all together. The good news is that soon they are going to quit releasing water allowing the lake to stabilize through the fall and winter months. Bass fishing has slowed a bit as anglers are still catching smaller fish with small plastics off the bottom. Reaction baits such as rattle traps, spinnerbaits, and Zara Spooks are working as well when there’s a little breeze on the lake or in the early morning hours. Catfishing is still good for anglers fishing at night with traditional catfish baits.
As the water starts to cool trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal. Anglers are trolling between 30 and 40 feet deep right now with Excel lures for trout up to four pounds. Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.
Lake Don Pedro:
Fleming Meadows launch ramp is currently limited to one lane. There are very few anglers fishing for trout and salmon right now. Traditionally the bite starts to pick up the closer we get to October. But because there are very few people willing to fish the lake there are very few reports coming in. Bass fishing is fair for anglers fishing drop shotted worms throughout the lake right now. The numbers are good but there is very little size to report.
Lake Pardee is one of the few lakes that they’re releasing water from. The lake remains high and the fishing is hit or miss. There are reports of small limits of kokanee still being caught around Deer Island at depths to 110 feet deep. Bass fishing is fair with anglers doing well while fishing jigs and plastic worms down to 30 feet deep.
If you ask a seasoned bass angler what he or she misses about the lures of the past they are eventually going to mention the use of wood in the construction. One of the drawbacks to the older wood baits has been getting them to run straight once out of the box. Lately I was able to get my hands on a product by Bomber called the Bomber Balsa Model B; it’s a shallow running crankbait which is made out of balsa wood. What makes this bait unique is that it’s constructed with Bomber’s exclusive Tru-Trak system, ensuring that every Balsa Model B runs true right out of the package. It’s been a while since I’ve fished a balsa made crankbait so I was excited to give it a try. I was immediately impressed with the overall look and feel of the bait. Once tied on and casted the bait ran perfectly straight with a one of a kind wobble. Its square bill effectively made its way through shoreline cover without hanging up and its buoyancy immediately came into use when the bait was paused during the retrieve. If you’re like me and like to fish through and around heavy cover the Bomber Balsa Model B is great bait to add to your collection.