I’m sure we all have heard the saying “Change is a good thing.” Well, recently I got away from the Delta and spent a couple of days fishing New Hogan Lake. The weather was perfect, and the fish were biting. New Hogan Lake is run by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is one of the cleanest lakes that I’ve been to in a long time. To my surprise, I saw only two other boats the entire day. New Hogan Lake is one of the few lakes that have on the water restrooms called the S.S. Relief; they are kept squeaky clean and are named appropriately. It only costs four dollars to launch a boat for the day, which is nothing compared to the fees we pay at other local lakes, which aren’t half as nice. The lake once had trout, but the trout never did well, so they introduced striped bass which have done well. What’s nice is that the limit for striped bass on the lake is 10 and there is no size limit. Currently the lake record striped bass is 31 pounds, caught a few years ago. During my last trip out there, something amazing happened while I was reeling in a small bass. Out from behind a rock, a huge bass between eight and 11 pounds swam over and swallowed the fish that I was reeling in. I let the bigger fish take the smaller fish deep hoping to catch it but it eventually spit the smaller fish out. If you have some time and are looking for a change, try giving Lake New Hogan a try, it has four species of bass and is one of my favorite lakes to fish this time of year.
Striped bass catches are increasing as the cooler temperatures are bringing more fish through the system. For striped bass try sticking to the main channels or right outside the flooded islands. The largemouth bass are biting very well right now on reaction baits. Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits are bringing in limits of smaller fish while the bigger fish are being caught on topwater lures and jigs. Anglers are targeting outside weed lines with jigs and crankbaits.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for trout has improved lately as more limits are being caught. Anglers catching trout are trolling from 25 to 60 feet deep around the dam, spillway, and Glory Hole Point areas. This past week a five-pound trout was caught by a local angler while trolling. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as anglers are fishing as deep as 40 feet while dragging small worms through the schools of actively feeding fish. The crappie bite is also starting to improve as anglers are starting to have luck while fishing around submerged trees with minnows and jigs.
New Hogan Lake:
Recently the bite has been good for large numbers of bass. Spider grubs in watermelon red are working well if thrown up to the bank and worked down to at least 20 feet. Reaction baits such as Lucky Craft Staysees are also working but not as well as the jig. Six-inch shaky head worms such as Robo Worms margarita mutilator II is another go to bait right now. For the deep-water angler, the larger fish are coming from anglers fishing the schools of bass down to 60 feet while using a drop shot or a jig.
Trout plants have begun on the lake and anglers are reporting catching trout while fishing near the dam. Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake right now as anglers are scoring good limits while fishing reaction baits and plastics in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Trout plants have also resumed on the lake and anglers haven’t been disappointed while fishing around the dam and boat launch cove with worms and Power Bait. Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing with crankbaits in crawdad colors and creature baits.
Tip of the Week:
Batteries are an important part of a boat; most anglers come home from a day of fishing, hook up the chargers and forget about the batteries until the next fishing trip. There are some chargers that will allow for this, but most chargers will continue to heat the batteries, shortening the life of the battery. The best way to insure your batteries last long is to charge them right away, and remove the charger immediately after the batteries are charged.