This is the time of year when the launch ramps are beginning to get crowded. There’s also sure to be one or two boats parked off to the side that are either not starting or not running right. Every year, like clockwork, I see a lot of boat owners that put their boat up for the winter and expect it to fire right up at the first sign of spring. It’s commonly known amongst boat owners that one of the worst things that you can do to a boat’s engine is to let it sit. So, it’s recommended that every once in a while that you should hook it up to a water source and let it run for a while. So, if you’re planning on taking your boat out for the first time this year I highly recommend running its engine at home first and making sure that your batteries are fully charged.
Bass fishing has been great lately with large numbers of fish being caught on reaction baits. The recent full moon has really woken up the fish as they’re found cruising around the shallows during high tide. Red seems to be the color they are most interested in lately as lures in that color produced best. Stripers are still active throughout the delta but not nearly as active as the last couple of months. The current water temperature is right around 54 degrees around the Stockton area and the water clarity is slightly stained.
New Melones Lake:
Shore fishermen are still doing fair right now while fishing with Power Bait for trout around the Highway 49 Bridge. Anglers fishing the bank are also starting to have luck while tossing lures such as Kastmasters and Rooster Tails. Anglers trolling are still struggling to put together a pattern as they’re reporting mixed results. Bass fishing has started to pick up as many fish are starting to make their migration towards the shallows. Swimbaits are still the lures of choice for those seeking a trophy bass. Anglers are also catching bass while fishing with jigs, worms, and brush hogs. Crappie fishing has started to pick up for those anglers fishing near the dam with crappie jigs. The lake continues to be very low. Currently it’s at 18 percent of capacity. All launching is taking place off of Glory Hole Point. Vehicles equipped with 4x4 are highly recommended as the paved launch ramp remains out of the water.
Lake Don Pedro:
The only consistent bite on the lake right now seems to be by anglers fishing for bass. Anglers targeting bass are catching them in a variety of different ways as they have begun their migration into the shallows to spawn. Lately there have been a lot of nice smallmouth bass being caught. Smallmouth bass have been known to spawn in a little cooler water than largemouth bass. Anglers that are looking to catch a big bass or more quality sized bass are tossing swimbaits. There is a real shallow launch ramp open at Moccasin Point but most anglers are still choosing to launch out of Fleming Meadows. Fleming Meadows still has paved launching access.
The lake is scheduled to open for fishing on the 11th of March at 5 a.m. There are sure to be a lot of boats lined up as the lake has been closed for the past eight months and the fish should be hungry.
Lake Amador is still receiving weekly plants of trout making it a favorite for anglers that are looking to fill their limits. The lake is nearly full with a two lane launch ramp and a courtesy dock. Anglers fishing for trout are doing well while fishing with Power Bait. Anglers trolling for trout are having luck while trolling down to 15 feet deep with their favorite trout lures. Bass fishing is beginning to pick up as anglers fishing for trout are catching an occasional bass on night crawlers.
Keep an eye on the moon phase as bass have become anxious to move up shallow and spawn. With each full moon there’s a rise in tide enabling fish to seek out premier spawning areas. Males are the first to seek out spawning areas, to clear out a space for the bigger female to lay her eggs.