Watch out for the duck hunters, duck hunting season has begun. What’s different than years past is that there are very few places locally to safely launch a boat anymore, making the Delta the only option for a lot of boaters and duck hunters. This of course has caused an increase in boat traffic and if you were to ask a duck hunter what they hate the most about hunting the Delta, they would surely say the boat traffic. During my last outing as I was navigating through a foggy stretch of water, I heard four gun shots. I wasn’t sure if they were warning shots or shots towards ducks. I was passing through the main channel, so I didn’t think too much about it. For someone else, they may have taken those shots a little differently and there could have possibly been a confrontation. Like anglers, duck hunters are just out there enjoying what they love to do. The difference is that they require more room, and are sometimes hard to spot. I’ve been fishing the Delta long enough to know where the duck blinds are usually set up, but every year there seems to be new ones popping up where I least expect them.
The bite on the Delta continues to be tough for a lot of anglers. Floating hyacinth mats along with grass that’s floating just below the surface is making it hard on anglers trolling or even bait fishing. In most places the water temperature is less than 70 degrees. As the water temperature drops even lower the bite for striped bass should improve. Largemouth bass are still being caught by those fishing with reaction baits or fishing heavy vegetation with creature baits. Duck hunting season is open so be on the look out for duck blinds.
New Melones Lake:
Launching a boat on the lake requires a four wheel drive vehicle. The only good news coming from the lake right now is that the lake has actually risen a few inches. It’s still very low resulting in very little to no fishing pressure. As the weather cools regardless of the water level there are sure to be anglers out fishing for trout. For now there aren’t any reports by anglers other than a good catfish bite in the evening on cut bait.
Lake Pardee is currently scheduled to close on November 2nd and will reopen Presidents Day Weekend. Recently trout fishing has been slow for trollers; those catching fish are catching them while trolling down to 50 feet in the early morning hours. Bass fishing is hit or miss right now as the weather has yet to stabilize. Anglers having luck are fishing small worms and jigs from the bank down to 30 feet deep.
Lake Don Pedro:
Not too many anglers are fishing the lake right now. Currently there is only one launch ramp open and that is Fleming Meadows. The ramp is limited to one lane which has been keeping a lot of boats away. Traditionally this time of year is a good time to target king salmon and trout as the water temperature is beginning to drop and the shad are starting to school up.
Recently the lake has begun its stocking program with trout over four pounds. Trout are being stocked weekly and anglers are doing well while fishing with power bait or while trolling the top 10 feet with traditional trout lures. The lake has also lowered their rates which make it very comparable to the rates found locally. The lake currently is 50 feet from full and has a cement boat launch without a dock currently.
Tip of the Week:
As our weather has begun to change, this is the time of year when anglers are the least prepared for the worst. Our days are a lot shorter and temperature swings can happen without much warning. If you’re planning on being out on a boat all day you should have an extra set of clothing and something to snack on just in case you have engine failure or come across someone stranded on the water. Having a good map is also a must as I have been stopped by more than one boater who was lost on the Delta.