A lot of anglers will tell you that their favorite time of the year to fish is in the spring.
Not I. The months of July and August are my favorite months to fish, especially during the last two hours of the day.
The hours between 8:30-9 are special out on most bodies of water, especially the Delta. I don’t know what it is, but the surface just seems to come alive most nights.
During the hottest part of the year I usually either plan on fishing extremely early, making sure to be off the water before noon, or I show up just for the evening bite. This way, I avoid most of the traffic and get to fish the most productive times of the day.
I used to just fish through all the boat traffic and intense heat — not anymore.
It’s so much more enjoyable not having to deal with all the boat traffic. I also am not so beat up from the sun beaming down on me all day.
Most of my good bites were coming earlier or later in the day anyways. If I had to decide which was better during the summer, morning or evening, I’d take the evening every time.
Shade is the most important factor when fishing for bass on the Delta.
Really pay attention to the banks and look for any shade pockets. This past weekend, the bigger bass snared were caught on Sweet Beavers on the shady side of isolated islands.
The top-water frog bite has remained excellent for those willing to toss it all day. Anglers are catching frog fish in both open water and above matted vegetation.
Catfishing has been very good recently along Whiskey Slough for anglers fishing with clams and anchovies.
New Melones Lake
Anglers are starting to catch trout but have to go deeper in order to catch them 50-60 feet deep. The kokanee bite has remained good for those fishing the right depths. Anglers are reporting that the kokanee are being caught between 45-80 feet deep during the mid-day.
Most of the action is taking place around the Dam and Rose Island. Bass fishing has been great for smaller fish on just about anything during the day and top-water lures early morning and late.
Catfishing has been really good for night fishermen fishing just about anywhere on the lake right now. Bluegill and Crappie are also cooperating as many anglers are doing well fishing the backs of coves with minnows or worms under a bobber.
Rainbows can be found at a variety of different depths while fishing around the Dam. Most anglers are having luck while fast trolling Chucker T spoons.
Bass are feeding on shad schools throughout the lake. Senkos, drop-shotting or split-shotting plastics in or around the schools of bait is producing numbers. A favorite bait of mine this time of year is a white Zoom Fluke worked around the shady side of large rocks or any brush found along the shoreline.
The hotter it gets the better Pardee becomes for smallmouth bass. Crickets are a must for sheer numbers of smallmouth. Rig and fish crickets just as you would a split shot rig with a smaller hook of course and get ready for some action.
Bigger smallmouths are usually caught by those who anchor and drop a line over the side and wait them out. The nice thing about using crickets is that you have a chance at catching just about anything that swims in the lake.
I’ve been surprised more than once by a big catfish or two.
Rainbow trout to 4 pounds are being caught by those fishing Black Creek and Green Springs. Anglers are trolling Humdingers down to 30 feet during the day for their bites.
Bass fishing is best early in the morning or later on in the evening. Anglers are doing well while fishing top-water poppers.
Tip of the Week
Fishing in the heat can put a lot of strain on your body, even if you’re in excellent shape.
It’s very important not only to have plenty of water but more important that at least 24 hours leading up to your fishing trip, that you hydrated properly.
The water that’s already in your system the day before is what’s going to help protect you from dehydration. Drinking water definitely helps during the day but it’s the water that has already been absorbed in the body that is often dismissed.
To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.