I’ve always tried to keep things simple when it came to my fishing tackle.
I have convinced myself that the fish aren’t biting when my favorite colors and baits aren’t working. Over these past few years I’ve really begun to question my decision to stick to a handful of colors and techniques. Yes, they have done well for me over the years, but there are still those days when I struggle to catch anything.
Sorry for mentioning the fish tank in my house again, but I’ve learned more than I expected I would about fish through observing them over the past six years. What’s been so obvious to me was their reaction to the slightest change in temperature and light. Especially when I add fresh water, almost instantly they change colors and dart around the fish tank in a playful manner.
All of these changes that are a result of the slightest environmental change has made me really start to believe that subtle changes in lure colors or techniques can make a difference.
If you have fished long enough, you have surely been fishing with someone who was using the same bait or lure but catching more fish. No longer do I let myself believe it’s just luck; I look for what they’re doing differently.
Through observing the fish in my aquarium, I truly have been convinced that little changes do make a difference.
Fishing is really starting to pick up. Bass are being caught on swimbaits as well as flipping jigs and creature baits.
Striped bass are hitting almost anything and can be found throughout the system. Tie on a large chrome and blue rattle trap and find any area where there is a little current and cast away. I’ve been using a stop-and-go retrieve, which really seems to draw more strikes.
Anglers are also doing well around Mildred Island while drifting live bluegill.
New Melones Lake
The Department of Fish and Game has begun its weekly planting of trout, which should improve the trout bite on the lake shortly. The lake is in transition, as the cooler water has yet to make its way to the surface.
Bass fishing is good, as the bass are feeding heavily in preparation for winter. Anglers are doing well while fishing with jigs and grubs along the bottom once finding schools of bait. There are also a few reports of anglers having luck while fishing with swim baits.
New Hogan Lake
Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing a variety of baits. A favorite right now is pretty much any crawdad imitator that can be worked along the bottom or even a weighted Senko.
Trout plants continue, and anglers are reporting catches near the dam.
Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake, as anglers are scoring good limits while fishing reaction baits and plastics in 10-15 feet of water.
From now until early spring is probably the best time of year to fish for trout on the lake. The lake is being heavily planted weekly with trout making them easy targets for the patient angler.
Power Bait, or trout lures such as Kastmasters and Spinners continue to be the most popular baits.
Fishing has slowed down on the lake, but there are still schools of shad being chased to the surface by trout and bass.
Finding those actively-feeding schools in the middle of their ambush is the key to catching them.
Some anglers are driving around looking for birds following the schools of baitfish. Others are trolling or holding in place on a spot where they believe the schools will pass.
Tip of the Week
With the cooler nights and mornings it’s very important to be careful when around boat ramps.
A lot of ramps and docks ice up, making them very dangerous to walk on. There’s nothing fun about falling while walking down an icy boat ramp.
So, as much as you may be excited to catch that first fish of the day, make sure to take it slow and if theirs railing available, use it.