With the summer-like conditions we’ve been having lately, the inexperienced angler tends to believe that the fishing conditions are the same as the summer. After all, the days are just as hot, and the waterways are as busy as any other summer day.
What most anglers fail to notice is the evenings we’ve been having — our days are getting shorter and nights are cooler. This change has a huge effect on the fish as the extended hours of darkness combined with the cooler nighttime temperatures has significantly dropped the water temperatures.
Most fish species by now already believe it’s fall. So, if you’re doing the same thing you did throughout the summer to catch fish and it isn’t working, it may be time to try a more fall-like approach to catching them.
When I think of fall, I think of reaction. Most species of fish are actively feeding. I prefer moving baits that mimic a baitfish. Rattle Traps are one of my favorite reaction baits.
They’re easy to fish and catch a lot of numbers of fish. Fall is a great time of year to fish. Unfortunately, most anglers miss the best fishing while thinking it’s still summer.
With water temperatures dropping and the days becoming shorter, the fishing should be getting better. Bass are being caught on just about anything. Reaction baits such as rattle traps and spinnerbaits are producing lots of numbers.
Stripers are starting to make their way into some of the flooded islands such as Franks Tract, Big Break, and Mildred Island. Anglers are using cut bait and trolling for Stripers. The bite isn’t wide open yet but is improving steadily.
New Melones Lake
Fishing for bass and crappie is your best bet. There are very few reports of anyone catching kokanee or trout. For bass anglers are fishing from the surface down to 30 feet deep while using their favorite plastic baits.
For crappie, anglers are fishing around the many submerged trees with live minnows or crappie jigs. Catfishing continues to be good for anglers fishing off the bank at night while soaking anchovies or chicken livers.
Lake Don Pedro
Trout and king salmon fishing continue to be slow on the lake. Bass fishing has also slowed down a lot. There are a lot of smaller fish being caught but very few of any size. Anglers are currently catching bass while drop shotting and spooning anywhere between 25 and 35 feet deep.
Tip of the Week
Electric trolling motors have come a long way in the past 10 years. When purchasing a trolling motor I recommend that you purchase one that will provide you with more than enough thrust.
In the Delta, tide movement combined with wind can make it impossible to stay in one place unless you have ample thrust. I currently have a 101-pound thrust trolling motor for my 20-foot boat. For a mid-size bass boat I recommend a 74-pound thrust engine, and for anything smaller 40-50 pounds of thrust should be fine.