As we wait for the weather to take a turn, there are a couple of things that I always do in January.
One is to change all the lines on my reels. I prefer smaller diameter lines and fluorocarbon over monofilament. The smaller diameter lines are easier to cast making it easier to cast farther, and fish deeper. The fluorocarbon line sinks faster, is more sensitive, and is pretty much invisible to the fish. I’m sure you can catch fish on other lines but fluorocarbon is my preference, especially once the water cools to its coldest of the year.
I also fish a lot slower in January than any other month of the year. January is a good time to fish suspending stick baits and jigs. Both of those I fish as slowly as I can. If I’m just looking to catch fish for my freezer, I head up to the lakes for trout. This time of year they are pretty much a sure thing making fishing in the cold a lot easier.
So, you can either fish slow while grinding it out, or go to where the fish are in January.
Fishing has been tough on the Delta. Anglers catching them are targeting deep holes that are void of current with jigs and other small plastics. Striper fishing continues to be tough. The water temperatures should start to climb as we get closer to spring. Once the temperature gets back into the 50s the bite should start picking up.
Lake New Melones
Trout fishing has slowed down a bit, but anglers are still bringing in limits. 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 for trout. Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are still being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow.
For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs. The bite for numbers of smaller bass is great for anglers targeting submerged wood and drop-offs.
Lake Don Pedro
The trout bite is good 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. Anglers fishing off the bank for trout are doing well while using Power Bait.
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake 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.
Fishing is good for trout, as anglers are catching trout both out of the pond and in the lake. For those fishing the lake, north and south shore day use areas are producing limits. Bass fishing remains tough as most anglers are going after trout. For those searching for bass I recommend either a drop shot or football head jig.
Favorite areas for me this time of year are island tops and main lake points.
Tip of the Week
Something that I like to keep in my boat is a small tube of clear silicone. Silicone is great for sealing up any unexpected water leaks and can even be used to waterproof plastic baits such as top-water frogs.
To contact Jarod Ballardo, email email@example.com.