This year, while celebrating Thanksgiving, I mentioned to a family member that I was excited about my upcoming fishing trip. He responded by saying “most guys can’t handle waiting six or more hours without getting a bite.” I responded by saying “I’ve waited days for a bite in the past.” My trip was set, rain or shine, I was going to go Sturgeon fishing. I was particularly excited about this trip because I was going to be reuniting with friends that date back to Jr. High. We ended up having a great time but unfortunately the bite that we were waiting for never came. I did learn how to fish for Sturgeon. I’m as excited as ever now to get back out and catch a Sturgeon. I’m going to catch one, it’s just a matter of time. Waiting is one of my strengths, especially when I’m surrounded by great company.
Striped bass fishing continues to be good; a lot of anglers using live bait are using live bluegill caught around the many delta docks. I prefer using a number 2 bait hook when drifting bluegill and hook them through the bottom lip and out through the nose area. Make sure that once bit to let the striper run a bit as they have to swallow bluegill head first. Largemouth bass fishing has slowed lately with very few big fish being caught right now. Anglers using jigs right now are having the most consistent bites while flipping and pitching.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing is really good right now. Anglers fishing off the bank are catching a lot of planter sized trout with a few hold over fish mixed in. Anglers trolling are doing well while trolling from the surface down to 15 feet deep. One of the most productive areas has been around the Highway 49 Bridge. Bass fishing has slowed some for a lot of anglers as the water temperatures continue to drop. Schools of bass can be found right now as deep as forty feet. During select times of the day bass can be caught off main lake points while using rip baits. Launching is still an issue as all paved launch ramps remain out of water.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing is picking up, trout are not biting as well as at New Melones but they are still there to be found. Anglers trolling are scoring limits of trout while trolling from the surface down to 15 feet deep. Bass anglers are finding bass holding deep. Many are dragging drop shotted worms and other small plastics through groups of fish that they’re finding with their depth finders. For larger bass, anglers are tossing trout imitating swimbaits for mixed results. The only operable boat launch remains in Fleming Meadows. All of the other launch ramps are out of the water.
Trout fishing has taken over lately on the lake. Weekly plants continue to keep the lake stocked with nice sized Mt. Lassen trout. The bait of choice right now seems to be power bait, make sure when fishing with power bait that enough is put on enabling the bait to float off the bottom. The lake is still 50 percent full making it a hike down to the water’s edge.
Anglers are reportedly doing well right now while trolling for trout or using power bait off the bank. Anglers trolling are trolling the top 20 feet with shad imitators and anglers fishing off the bank are fishing the North Shore area. Bass fishing has slowed down but anglers are still able to catch them while working jigs down to 40 feet.
Tip of the Week:
Water temperature should be taken into consideration when selecting baits. As the water temperature drops fish become less and less active. Unlike us, the colder the temperature the less fish must eat in order to stay alive. Artificial baits must be worked slowly as the cooler the water the slower the baitfish actually moves. Next time you hook a fish in the middle of winter, take note of how much less that fish fights compared to a fish the same size caught during the warmer months of the year.