Several days ago I was sent a link to a video that showed two professional bass fishermen catching what seemed to be the new World Record Spotted Bass. The video was done very well, they were actually filming a fishing show at the time. Not wanting to harm the fish, they weighed it with three different scales, found witnesses, and documented the whole process. After they felt as if they had covered all the necessary steps required in order to validate their catch, they released the fish. To everyone’s surprise their world record submission was rejected because they failed to bring the fish onto dry land. The International Game Fish Organization (IGFA) requires that “a fish be weighed for records on dry land.” Surely I didn’t know that, I doubt many anglers do either. I do remember hearing somewhere many years ago that it’s nearly impossible to release a world record fish without it dying during the process. I now understand what they were talking about. I guess for records sake, it makes sense. I find it unfortunate though, that in most cases the species that we’re trying to protect the most has to pay the ultimate price in the process. To view the video you can go to: http://www.westernbass.com/video/california-state-record-spotted-bass-by-tactical-bassin
The largemouth bass bite is wide open right now with numbers and size being caught. Senko’s and jigs are the top baits right now. Large groups of fish are making their way into the shallows in anticipation of the next full moon. Once the tide bottoms out try fishing the outside weed line as bass will often move to the edge once the tide drops and return shallow once the tide rises.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for trout is fair right now as anglers are reporting catching them while both trolling and while fishing off the bank. Those fishing around the Highway 49 Bridge are having the most consistent bites while fishing with Power Bait. Bass fishing is great right now as there are a lot of fish up shallow looking for an easy meal. Anglers fishing for bass are doing well while fishing with shaky head worms down to 20 feet deep. The launch ramp is still out of water causing boaters to launch off of a gravel ramp. Vehicles equipped with 4x4 are recommended while launching off of Glory Hole Point.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing has remained very tough for anglers. There are currently very few reports of trout being caught currently on the lake. Typically this time of year is one of the best times of the year to catch trout. Bass fishing has been improving slightly as the spawn is right around the corner. Anglers are catching fish while working both shallow and deep with various soft plastics and shad imitating reaction baits. Fleming Meadows still has one of the only launch ramps that are under water.
Trout fishing has been fair to good for many anglers. Most anglers are migrating towards the south shore launch area as several nice trout have been caught in the recent weeks. Hat Island is another hot spot for anglers fishing with shad imitating Rapala lures. Bass fishing is beginning to pick up as anglers are catching an occasional fish up shallow. The more successful anglers are staying deep with drop shotted worms or jigs worked along the bottom.
Not much attention has been given to this lake, it’s one my personal favorite springtime destinations. How can anyone argue paying a four dollar launch fee to fish gin clear water during spawning season. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, this is the place to be right now during the week.
Trout fishing is excellent on the lake right now; Power Bait is hard to beat this time of the year right now on the lake. For those trolling try fishing a small shad imitating lures down to 15 feet deep. Bass fishing continues to be slow for a lot of anglers but should be picking up soon. The lake is very close to being completely full.
The long awaited wait for the lake to reopen is just about over. The lake is currently scheduled to reopen on the 11th of this month. As much as I’ve been waiting for the lake to reopen and have that day off, I probably won’t visit the lake for another month.
Tip of the Week:
As much as some anglers seem to think, fishing line does get weaker as it ages. Especially monofilament, like a noodle, it expands when in the water and contracts when outside of the water. The process weakens line over time making it brittle. I don’t recommend changing your line every time out but definitely wouldn’t rely on line that’s been sitting more than one fishing season.