Many say that boat stands for “break out another thousand!” For a lot of boat owners, the new year means it’s time for an annual service and the beginning of a new insurance term. One of my favorite comedians once said, “You don’t want a boat, you want a friend that has a boat.” I think about those words around this time every year. My boat goes in for its annual service this week. I’m crossing my fingers, hoping that there aren’t any issues. Like newer car engines, newer outboards are almost impossible for the average mechanic to work on. I consider myself mechanically inclined and I wouldn’t touch a newer engine. As nice as they are when they’re running right, often I hear people say that they prefer the older outboard engines because of how much easier they are to work on. I agree with them, especially when I used to be able to service my old engine on the side of my yard for a fraction of the cost I’m going to be paying this week.
Bass fishing is fair for anglers that are slowing down while fishing with jigs and creature baits. Flipping and pitching towards tulle points and isolated islands is where anglers are having success. Keep a close eye on the water temperature and the moon phase as February is one of the best months for big fish on the delta. Striper fishing has yet to turn wide open; currently there is a rattle trap bite in and around the Big Break area.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing has slowed down a bit, but anglers are still bringing in limits. Currently the hot bait has been Power Bait. Trollers are catching fish up shallow but they have been a lot smaller than the ones caught off the bank. Because of this, a lot of boaters have chosen to drift live minnows under a bobber in the backs of coves in order to target the bigger trout. Angels Cove and Glory Hole Cove have been the hot areas recently for trout. Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are being caught by swimbaits as they are following the trout up shallow. For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs.
Lake Don Pedro:
The trout bite is good right now for anglers fishing from the surface down to 25 feet. Anglers are targeting the bigger fish that are combing the bank while using side planers and trolling a variety of shad imitating lures. The salmon bite is expected to improve as we get closer to February. Bass fishing has slowed right now as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish.
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake right now on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.
Lake Pardee is scheduled to reopen February 15th. Lake Pardee currently holds the smallmouth bass record of 9.83 pounds, which was caught by Harold Hardin of Stockton.
Anglers are doing well while fishing for trout in both the ponds and the main lake. For those fishing in the ponds they are having luck while fishing with power bait or tossing their favorite trout lures. Anglers trolling in the main lake are doing well while trolling near the dam. Bass fishing remains fair with anglers catching fish while working small plastic baits along the bottom pretty much anywhere on the lake.
Tip of the Week:
You can often tell what a fish has been feeding on by the sharpness of their teeth. A bass that has feeding on crawdads teeth are most likely to be worn down and easily held by the lower jaw. A bass that has been feeding on shad often has razor sharp teeth which can be felt immediately when trying to grab the fish by the lip.