There was a time when it didn’t matter what the weather was — if I had the time, I was going to go fishing.
Thinking back over the past few years, I’ve definitely scaled things back a bit, especially during the months of November and December. Those two months have sort have become my offseason.
January, on the other hand, has been when things really start to ramp up. This year is my second year back fishing tournaments. Most circuits kick off their seasons with a January tournament. Mine so happens to be at Lake Shasta. My team partner and I had a good finish last year, making it an event that I’ve been looking forward to fishing all year.
Lake Shasta is one of those magical places I rank up there with some of the best I’ve ever been able to fish. Last year, the fishing was so good that I was diagnosed with tendinitis in my shoulder when I returned. It was causing me discomfort leading up to the event.
Fishing with a spinning rod the entire time caused my tendons to flare up like never before. I’ve since been 90 percent pain free and am ready to take on Lake Shasta once again. The tournament is expected to have over 200 boats!
As long as my shoulder holds out, I like our chances.
Fishing has been tough on the Delta. Anglers catching them are targeting deep holes that are void of current with jigs and other small plastics. Striper fishing continues to be tough. The water temperatures should start to climb as we get closer to spring. Once the temperature gets back into the 50s the bite should start picking up.
Lake New Melones
Trout fishing has slowed down a bit, but anglers are still bringing in limits. The hot bait has been Power Bait. Trollers are catching fish up shallow but they have been a lot smaller than the ones caught off the bank. Because of this, a lot of boaters have chosen to drift live minnows under a bobber in the backs of coves in order to target the bigger trout. Angels Cove and Glory Hole Cove have been the hot areas for trout.
Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are still being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow.
For numbers, try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs. The bite for numbers of smaller bass is great for anglers targeting submerged wood and drop-offs.
Lake Don Pedro
The trout bite is good for anglers fishing from the surface down to 25 feet. Anglers are targeting the bigger fish that are combing the bank while using side planers and trolling a variety of shad-imitating lures. Those fishing off the bank for trout are doing well while using Power Bait.
Bass fishing has slowed as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish.
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake right now on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.
Fishing is good for trout as anglers are catching trout both out of the pond and in the lake. For those fishing the lake, north and south shore day use areas are producing limits.
Bass fishing remains tough as most anglers are going after trout. For those searching for bass I recommend either a drop shot or football head jig. Favorite areas for me this time of year are island tops and main lake points.
The lake is closed and is scheduled to re-open in February.
Tip of the Week
One of the greatest additions that I added to my fishing gear has been a headlamp. I’ve wanted one for several years now. I finally purchased one, it’s not a high end model but does what it’s supposed to do and has definitely made preparing my tackle during those late evening or early morning hours so much easier.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email firstname.lastname@example.org.