By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Best time of the year
Placeholder Image

From now until mid-May, local fishing is at its best if you were to ask me.

After that there are still a lot of active fish to be caught. It just seems like this time of year is better than any other, especially for largemouth bass. The bass are in all three stages of the spawn, making them easy to catch.

Bluegills are also making their way onto spawning flats and usually spawn a little later than bass. The striped bass are also moving through the Delta to spawn. Large schools of are being found while trolling around the Rio Vista area.

In the lakes, the Kokanee, trout, and king salmon are all being found holding around the same depths by anglers trolling. There’s really no body of water around us without active fish willing to bite a passing lure or bait.

The most difficult decision is deciding what I want to fish for. Lately I’ve been having fun while catching striped bass in the Delta, but I’m also interested in catching my first landlocked king salmon.

I also would like to get out and do some bed fishing for bass before the spawn is over. I’ve got a couple of more days left until I have to make a decision. Wherever I decide to go, it’s nice to know that I’ll be fishing during one of the best times of the year.

Delta Report

Bass fishing has really turned on and are biting on a variety of baits.

The always-productive Senko is working just as good as ever, as anglers are finding fish both inside and outside of the weeds and tulles. There are still plenty of fish to be caught on reaction baits, but for the big ones anglers are having the best luck flipping or pitching baits around vegetation.

Don’t dismiss the top-water bite there are plenty of fish in post spawn making them very protective towards anything passing over their fry. Snag proof frogs and Zara Spooks are great baits this time of year. 

New Melones Lake

The Kokanee bite is red hot, as anglers are catching easy limits of fish while trolling between 36 and 60 feet deep throughout the lake. Anglers catching Kokanee are using hootchies with shoe peg corn for their limits. The hardest part about catching Kokanee is keeping them on the hook. Their mouths are very soft making them hard to land and they usually go crazy the closer they get to the boat making them even harder to keep on the hook.

Bass are being caught by reaction baits as well as jigs. The bigger ones have been caught while using jigs and dragging Carolina Rigs along the bottom.

There is no paved launching ramps open on the lake. Boaters launching their boats are having to launch off of Glory Hole point. A vehicle equipped with 4x4 is recommended but not necessary for those smaller boats.

Lake Don Pedro

Fishing for trout, King Salmon, and Kokanee has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers. For King Salmon try fishing thirty to sixty feet deep from Buzzard Point to Big Oak Island to Jenkins Hill. Small rolled anchovies, shad, Sockeye Slammers or small Ex-Cel’s are working well.

Trout are being found on the top 20 feet while trolling traditional shad patterned lures. Kokanee are being caught from 25 to 30 feet deep. Lately the hot bait for Kokanee has been an Uncle Larry’s red tiger tipped with Pautzke” pink fire corn. Fleming Meadows launch ramp is the only open paved launch ramp currently.

Lake Camanche

Anglers trolling for trout are trolling the top 20 feet of water for their limits. Fishing for bass continues to get better as the bigger females are starting to show up on the beds found throughout the lake. Make sure to practice catch and release when landing a fish that was taken off a bed. 

Lake Pardee

Fishing for trout and Kokanee is good for anglers trolling up river from 20 to 30 feet deep. Bass fishing is also improving as bass are being caught all over the lake. A lot of bass have made their way shallow to spawn. Anglers finding spawning bass are catching them while dragging worms and jigs through bedding areas.

Tip of the Week

Spring is the time of year when the bites can be hard to feel. A lot of times while dragging a bait across a spawning bed the fish will just pick up the bait and move it off the bed. Because of that, it’s very important to pay attention to your line. Know when your line has made contact with the bottom and keep a close eye on it for any unusual movement.