If you would have asked me years ago what time of the year was my favorite time to fish, I would have said the spring.
As much as I enjoy the spring, this time of year is starting to become just as enjoyable. Like the spring, the weather is still nice enough to be outside all day and cool enough to keep the waterways clear of heavy boat traffic.
No matter what season you fish, there’s always something biting. The fall months are special, though. Every fall, large schools of fish follow schools of baitfish through the Delta causing a feeding frenzy amongst a variety of predator species. It’s not unheard of to be out fishing for bass and hook into a 30-pound salmon, or have a school of striped bass show up when you least expect it.
The opportunities are so great this time of year on the Delta that I seldom want to fish anywhere else in the fall.
The tough bite continues for largemouth bass fishermen. Striped bass are starting to bite on the outgoing tide. Anglers fishing for stripers are jigging 1-ounce Hopkins jigs, trolling broken back rebels, or drifting live bait. Remember the limit is two striped bass per person, per day, and they must be over 18 inches long.
Largemouth bass are still being caught on reaction baits but the bigger fish continue to elude anglers. Fishing the outside edges of deep weed lines are good areas to try.
Bluegills continue to bite while fishing baby night crawlers off the bottom. A lot of nice-sized bluegill are being caught right now while fishing around the docks at Paradise Point.
New Melones Lake
Trolling for trout continues to be slow but should start picking up shortly as the water temperature continues to drop. Bass fishing is very good for smaller fish. The larger bass are likely to be following the trout up shallow, this time last year anglers were catching big fish while tossing swim baits around main lake points.
Glory Hole Point has the only open launch ramp on the lake right now. The launch ramp is unpaved, making a vehicle equipped with four-wheel drive almost a must have.
New Hogan Lake
Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing jigs and worms down to 40 feet. Fish are starting to gorge themselves as they prepare for the winter ahead. Reaction baits are most effective while fishing wind blown points.
Lake Don Pedro
There are very few reports coming from the lake. Typically, this time of year the trout fishing starts to pick up. Bass fishing for smaller fish is always a given on the lake. The bigger fish are another story though as anglers are having a tough time catching anything of any size.
Both the ponds and the lake have been planted with trout. Many have flocked to the ponds to try their luck. The results have been mixed as the fish seemed to be scattered throughout the lake now.
For trout anglers are fishing with Power Bait or tossing their favorite trout lures. For bass anglers are fishing with Senkos and Crankbaits in a craw pattern.
Tip of the Week
Boat owners often assume that all their safety equipment is fine before the start of each season, especially if they have self-deploying life vests.
Self-deploying life vests need maintenance every year. The actuating device should be replaced annually. As a result of a lack of maintenance, there are more stories today about the vests not working than working when needed the most.