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Anglers are adjusting to fall turnover
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For those of us who have been fishing a while, I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “turnover” used.

Turnover can happen several times during the year but is most commonly discussed during the fall. Turnover is basically a time of mixing in the water.

During the summer months the water on the surface becomes warm, rich in oxygen, but low in nutrients while the water down below becomes cooler, void of oxygen, and rich in nutrients. In the fall the upper layer eventually becomes cooler than the lower level at which time it sinks.

The mixing of the two water levels is ideal for algae bloom creating the greenish tint that we’re all familiar with. For the fish this creates a water column that is uniform from top to bottom, causing a lot of fish to scatter while putting them into a neutral state.

A lot of the lakes are currently either experiencing this turnover or are on the edge of turning over. Fishing typically is tougher during the turnover period, so my suggestion is to try and find a part of the lake or body of water that has been least affected.

Not all parts of the lake experience turnover at the same time. Sometimes a boat ride to the other end of the lake can be enough towards making a bad day into a good one.    

Delta Report

The tough bite continues for a lot of bass anglers. Very few big fish are being caught. Numbers of smaller largemouth bass seem to be holding on the outside edges of weed lines and are biting on Senkos and crankbaits. With the forecasted cold front the bite should start to pick up. Striped bass are starting to show up for those trolling the main channel with broken back rebels. Bank fishermen are also doing well while fishing for bluegill and catfish while using live worms and clams.

New Melones Lake

Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported trout fishing has improved with the fish moving into the shallows.

“Once the lake turns over and the surface temperature cools, the trout bite should be wide open” she said.

Trollers are finding rainbows at depths from 25-35 feet with shad-patterned spoons such as Needlefish, Excel’s, Kastmasters, or Speedy Shiners. Bass fishing remains good for those who are able to locate deep schools of bass as far down as 45 feet deep. Anglers are drop shotting and dragging jigs once finding a school of fish that is feeding on the numerous schools of bait found right now off the main lake points.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing is good on the lake for anglers trolling heavy spoons at between 35-45 feet deep.

“The fish were fat and healthy, and we had several in the 18- to 21-inch range” said guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing. The swim bait bite is starting to pick up; anglers are finding big fish while fishing near or around main lake points. Brown or green pumpkin jigs are working well for fish up to 3 pounds while fished around points. There is also a decent top-water bite early in the morning. Drop shotting is also productive right now as there are many schools of bass to be found between 30-50 feet deep. 

Lake Amador

The trout plants have begun on the lake and they haven’t disappointed anglers. Anglers are catching their limits while fishing a variety of baits and techniques. One of the most popular and still the most effective is using Powerbait either fished off the bottom or just below the surface. One of my favorite colors has been the standard yellow Powerbait.

Tip of the Week

Sometimes changing line diameter can be the difference between catching fish and not catching fish. When fishing clear, clean water it’s recommended that a smaller more invisible line is used in place of a large diameter line. If fishing around heavy cover such as wood, rock, or thick vegetation you’re going to want to use a thicker stronger line. Thinner line sinks faster and easier than thicker line making it a good choice when fishing sinking or diving baits. Next time the fishing gets tough and the water is cleaner than normal try going to a thinner diameter line.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email