I was asked the other day about using live bait.
I, like most anglers, started out using live bait. A worm threaded on a hook underneath a bobber was all I ever used as a kid. As I got older, I started experimenting with the different live baits and still occasionally will use them.
I was introduced to using artificial baits one day while fishing off the back of my father’s boat and watched in amazement as he was casting a rattle trap to catch striped bass.
I was immediately interested in this different technique which would allow me to actively seek out fish instead of sitting and waiting. I took to this new technique immediately and haven’t looked back since.
There’s something about watching a bass violently attack a top-water lure, or the thump felt when a fish hits a jig, or the ever so soft tap felt right before a fish swims off with a Senko.
I still enjoy all sorts of fishing and use a variety of different baits, but my favorite technique by far, is catching them on lures.
Summer patterns prevail as anglers are catching bass while fishing with reaction baits such as Zoom Horney Toads and spinner baits. Both inside and outside weed lines are producing fish but the bigger fish are being caught by those fishing large wake baits, top water frogs, or flipping plastics.
Catfishing remains good for anglers fishing the Whiskey Slough area while using clams and anchovies. Bluegills are spawning, so there are a lot of bigger bluegills up shallow.
New Melones Lake
Kokanee fishing continues to be red hot early in the day while trolling apex lures 70 to 80 feet deep in green, red, or pink. Bass fishing remains good for numbers of smaller fish with the bigger ones being few and far between.
Anglers are doing well while dragging Carolina Rigs along the bottom. There is a good top-water bite right now early and late in the day. Catfishing has been really good for those fishing at night with traditional catfish baits.
Bluegill and crappie fishing is picking up for those fishing with either a minnow or worm under a bobber in the backs of coves. Night fishing continues to be the best time to catch crappie.
Fishing during the day has been good for those fishing for bluegill in the shallows. Bass fishing has really slowed during the day. Fishing during the night is great right now with lots of quality fish being caught.
Berkeley Power Worms in any of the darker colors are working well. As the sun comes up look for the schools of bass to also come up for the first couple hours of the day.
The bite on the lake has been really good while fishing the morning and evening hours with top water baits. During the day go deeper for bass with small plastics and deep diving crankbaits.
Boat traffic has been really heavy lately so getting there early or fishing the evening is highly recommended. Night fishing has also been good to those fishing spinnerbaits in Copper Cove.
The bite is really good for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught right now just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots.
Lures that are being used are spinnerbaits and crankbaits, while the bigger fish are being caught by those dragging plastics along the bottom. Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of bays.
On July 15, the 15th Annual Conroy Oakley Pro-Teen Tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours.
They are in need of more boaters for the event. Boaters fish for free. For more information call (925) 684-9775.
Tip of the Week
Most kids are home on summer break; unfortunately, many of them don’t leave their houses. Now is the perfect time to get them outside and take them fishing.
They might complain a little bit about leaving their PlayStations and Nintendo’s but in the end they will surely be thankful.
To contact Jarod Ballardo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.