Wind has to be one of my least favorite conditions to fish in. It’s the one environmental factor that often eliminates over half of my tackle box before I even get on the water. Casting and boat positioning seem to be the two greatest challenges when trying to fish in the wind. With the wind to my back, casting is usually not a problem. Facing, or fishing into the wind is another story. The strength of the wind can often create major problems if approached head on with lighter baits. Adding a little weight to your bait, or selecting more streamline baits can help. Personally, I’d rather seek out areas protected from the wind, instead of fighting the wind. More times than not, the fish always seem to be feeding in areas where the wind is the strongest. When there’s no getting out of the wind, I choose to fish with reaction baits that are easy to cast such as rattle traps, heavy crank baits, or swim baits. Boat positioning can be tricky as well. I try to fish with the nose of my boat facing into the wind while trying to avoid getting too close to the bank. A nice wave combined with a gust of wind can do quite a bit of damage to a fiberglass hull. Fishing in the wind can be both physically and mentally challenging. Most importantly, if you’re on a large body of water, I’d think twice before going out during windy conditions. Lakes like Clear Lake, San Luis Reservoir, and certain parts of the Delta are extremely dangerous to cross once the wind has picked up. If you do decide on going out while it’s windy, stay close to your launch site and avoid crossing the wider sections of water you’re fishing.
Largemouth bass continue to provide action for those fishing a variety of different techniques, finding clearer water and banks protected from the wind and current seem to be what anglers are targeting. One of the most consistent baits this time of year is a shallow running crawdad colored crankbait or a lipless crankbait. Striped bass fishing is good right now for anglers trolling broken back rebels around Rio Vista. An occasional striper is also being caught by largemouth bass fisherman tossing reaction baits.
New Melones Lake:
The trout bite has been reported as being off and on lately. The better bites have been for those fishing the banks. Overall it has been a very disappointing season for trout. Kokanee fishing should start improving as we get closer to April. Bass fishing is great right now. Limits of bass are being caught on a variety of slow moving baits while fished around lake points. The bites haven’t been very aggressive; many fish are just picking the baits up and moving off with them. Glory Hole Point launch ramp is now under water thanks to the recent rain. The launch ramp is two lanes with one courtesy dock.
Lake Don Pedro:
The trout bite continues to be non-existent. There aren’t too many anglers fishing for trout right now. Bass fishing is fair. Anglers are catching smaller sized fish while fishing with small plastic baits. Many anglers are blaming the rising water levels for the slow fishing. The lake is now 50 percent full and rising.
The lake is finally open. Unfortunately the fishing has been tough lately. Unlike some of the neighboring lakes Lake Pardee wasn’t planted as heavily which is causing anglers to work hard for their catches. Bass fishing is fair right now as there are plenty of fish working the shallows.
Fishing is great right now for trout, anglers are doing well while fishing with Power Bait around the dam and marina areas. Over 1,000 lbs. of trout are being planted weekly. Bass fishing is also starting to pick up. Most anglers having any luck are fishing bottom baits such as worms or jigs down to 20 feet deep.
With the water temperatures near 60 degrees look for the bass to be moving shallow to spawn. Especially in the shallower parts of the lake where the water warms sooner, shaky head worms and Senko’s are usually very good baits to use this time of year for both size and numbers of fish.
Tip of the Week:
When changing the oil in your lower unit it’s important to know how your particular lower unit is filled. Some are filled from the top and others are filled from the bottom. As simple as it may look it can be quite the task if you were to assume it filled up the same way a previous motor did. I recently ran into this problem performing my last service and after referring to the service manual like I should have done in the first place I realized that I was doing it completely wrong.