Someday I hope to tell stories of how bad the water hyacinth used to be on the Delta. As much as I love the protection and security that it provides our fish, I’m beginning to despise it as it’s made it nearly impossible to launch and navigate certain areas on the Delta. Several years ago there was an effort to control the water hyacinth by spraying it but it’s since made a resurgence. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen the water hyacinth as bad as it’s been this year and am really starting to wonder what steps if any are going to be taken towards controlling this problem. Water hyacinth is a non-native plant that grows the most during the warmer months of the year. Our current drought combined with the elimination of any type of management has allowed the hyacinth to thrive. Water hyacinth begins to die as temperatures drop below 35 degrees. Fortunately there’s already signs of it dying off. Hopefully it’s not too little too late though as I’m not sure how much more before all our major launches are closed.
The Striped Bass bite is still good for anglers fishing with bait and for anglers trolling. It’s been difficult though for anglers to find a place to launch their boats while staying avoiding the hyacinth. Bass fishing is fair for anglers that are willing to slow down their presentations. Jigs and rip baits are the go to lures for many veterans. When fishing a rip bait it’s important to let it sit awhile before each twitch. Bluegills are still being caught in large numbers by anglers fishing around boat docks with worms.
New Melones Lake:
The lake is rising slowly and the launching conditions are improving but not by much. Anglers targeting Trout are yet to find them. Typically this time of year the bite is really good for Trout which has a lot of locals scratching their heads. Bass fishing remains good for Spotted Bass as they are being found in large numbers feeding around large schools of shad. The only launch ramp open is off of Glory Hole Point which is gravel. If you’re planning on launching your boat having a vehicle equipped with 4x4 is highly recommended.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing is still very slow as there are very few reports of anything being caught. Like neighboring New Melones the bite is usually good this time of year. 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 swim baits for mixed results. The only paved launch ramp still in the water is located in Fleming Meadows.
Trout fishing has taken over lately on the lake. Weekly plants of 1200 pounds of Mt. Lassen Trout continue to keep the lake stocked. The bait of choice right now seems to be Power Bait that is tipped with a piece of Night Crawler and fished beneath a bobber. Anglers fishing off the bank are focusing on the Dam, Spillway, and Boat House dock areas.
Trout fishing is good right now on the lake. Currently both the lake and the ponds are being stocked with 600 pounds of Trout weekly. Anglers trolling are trolling from the surface down to 20 feet deep with shad imitators. 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 deep.
Tip of the Week:
As much as I enjoy being out on the water by myself, this time of year is one of the most dangerous to be on the water alone. There are numerous stories of anglers over the years falling and not being able to get out. There are also places in the Delta that are marked with crosses where someone lost their life due to a fall overboard in the winter. If you do insist on going out by yourself be careful.