The weather finally seems like it’s going to be more like the month of May that I’m used to. I know better to get too excited though, since everyone else is most likely going to be just as excited as I am to be able to get out on the water. My main concern this time of year going forward while out on the water is other operators. There are still some boaters that believe they cannot be stopped for drinking and driving while boating. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may in fact revoke or suspend your driver’s license if convicted of operating a vessel while intoxicated. Those on skis or wakeboards can also be cited if found to be over the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC or greater. There are sure to be more officers patrolling the waterways with the increase in traffic, but not nearly as many boaters that will most likely be operating while under the influence.
Bass fishing continues to tough. During a recent bass tournament, there were very few limits that topped the 20-pound mark. The wind has been a problem for some during the day but early in the mornings when the water is calm it’s hard to beat a top water bait right now for bass. Once the sun gets high Senko’s and Sweet Beavers are go to baits for a lot of anglers. Bluegills have begun to make their way onto spawning flats, many post spawn bass can be found around the spawning flats looking for an easy meal. Striped bass fishing is beginning to slow down as all of the reports lately have been about the shad fishing being wide open between Freeport and Clarksburg. Personally, I’ve never fished for shad.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing continues to be tough right now for anglers trolling between 40 and 50 feet deep. Fishing for kokanee has started to pick up for anglers trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep with their favorite dodger and hootchie combo’s. Bass fishing has been great; Senko’s and Zoom Trick worms have been fooling a lot of post spawn fish. In the early morning hours Zara Spooks have been hard to beat. Night fishing for catfish is also starting to pick up, any major cove or creek arm is a good place to try. Anchovies, sardines, or a ball of nightcrawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish.
Lake Don Pedro:
The kokanee bite is improving on the lake right now. Anglers are doing well while trolling either kokanee lures of rolling shad between 40 and 70 feet deep near Jenkins Hill. Bass fishing continues to be good as there are plenty of fish to be caught up shallow on a variety of different baits.
Lake New Hogan:
Rolling shad or anchovies in the main lake area has been very productive, for stripers 5 to 6 lbs. Most fish have been holding between 15 and 25 feet deep. Bass fishing remains good as many fish can still be found shallow. The topwater bite has really started to take off during the morning hours. Some bed fish are still being found in the backs of coves.
Fishing for kokanee is fair right now as anglers are doing well while trolling the river arm between 30 and 45 feet deep with micro hootchies. Anglers are finding it very difficult to pattern them since the water levels are unusually high. Bass fishing is also good as there are still a lot of fish up shallow on beds. Typically, there’s a great top water bite early and late in the day during this time of year.
There are still a lot of trout being planted into both the lake and ponds. Anglers trolling are finding the best action in the early mornings near Big Hat and Little Hat Islands with Kastmasters, Needlefish, or Speedy Shiners. Try trolling between 20 and 35 feet deep. Bass fishing is good as there are many bass up shallow. Bass fisherman are doing well while fishing crawdad colored crankbaits or small worms.
Tip of the Week:
One of the best things you can do for a bleeding fish that you plan on releasing, is to put it back into the water. Unlike us, a fish has blood that coagulates/clots when in the water. Often, the best thing to do for a bleeding fish is to leave the hook in and place it in the water until it stops bleeding.