Expect the waterways to be crowded if you’re planning on heading out, now that the ‘summer’ season has started. Last year I fished on Sunday and Monday during Memorial Day weekend and surprisingly didn’t have to deal with a lot of boat traffic. My secret was to fish very early on both days, while making sure to be off the water around noon. One of the lakes I visited was Lake Pardee. Lake Pardee doesn’t allow body contact with the water so there were only fisherman on the lake which made it a nice getaway from the holiday crowds. With some planning, it’s possible to get away on a busy weekend without having to travel too far from home.
Right now the bite remains good for a variety of species. Bass have been hitting top water lures as well as a variety of different reaction baits. You can’t go wrong with buzz baits early and late in the day. Once the sun gets nice and high snag proof frogs are catching some of the bigger bass while those cranking are catching nice limits. Franks Tract continues to produce nice numbers as well as Whites and Disappointment Slough. Striper fishing has been good for those trolling rebels near Cache Slough and Miner Slough. Anglers are also doing well while fishing for stripers off the bank along the San Joaquin River near Mossdale and around Whiskey Slough.
New Melones Lake:
The trout fishing is slow right now. Anglers trolling for kokanee are finding kokanee and anywhere from 23 to 45 feet deep. Bank fishing in the lake for trout seems to have come to an end. Bank anglers should head to the local creeks, such as Angels Creek, where Fish and Game is making regular trout plants. Use crawlers, salmon eggs, Kastmasters, Roostertails, or Mepps in the rivers or streams for best results. Bass fishing continues to be great right now as there are plenty of post spawn bass willing to bite. The top water bite has really opened up as anglers are doing well while using Zara Spooks and Poppers. Fishing for catfish is really picking up for anglers fishing through the night with cut bait.
Lake Don Pedro:
The kokanee are big and fat right now on the lake. Anglers are catching them while trolling between 60 and 100 feet deep. Bass fishing like New Melones is good for anglers fishing top water baits early and late in the day.
Fishing for trout has been excellent for anglers trolling near the dam. Anglers trolling are finding them between 20 and 50 feet deep. Bass fishing is good right now for anglers fishing the river arm with top water baits and Senkos.
Fishing for kokanee is good for anglers that are willing to target them early in the day. Anglers are catching limits of kokanee while trolling between 20 and 40 feet deep. Areas that anglers are targeting are from the Dam to Mistletoe, near Twin Coves, and south of the buoy line. Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers using a variety of different baits once the sun is high. During the low light hours anglers are having luck while fishing with top water lures.
This lake continues to be overlooked, especially because of the boat traffic it draws from wake boarders. The key to fishing the lake is to get there as early as possible and to get off the water around noon. Right now the striped bass are being caught early in the day by anglers trolling rolled shad at around 15 feet deep. Bass fishermen are also doing well while fishing top water lures and small plastics throughout the lake. The bluegills are starting to spawn making them prime targets for anglers fishing with traditional bluegill baits.
Tip of the Week:
I’m as guilty as anyone for throwing away used plastic baits. Over time, I’ve learned to start saving them in order to melt them down for further use. There are many tackle making websites online where one can learn how to reproduce his or her favorite plastic baits or even invent their own. Melting down used plastics is a great money saving tip. A favorite tackle making website of mine is www.tackleunderground.com.