It’s that time of year again when a lot of us are thinking about Christmas gifts for the fisherman in our families.
Over the years, I’ve received many fishing-related gifts — some I’ve used, while others I probably still have somewhere buried behind a bunch of stuff in my garage.
I’d like to share some of the best gifts/most-useful fishing-related gifts that I’ve ever received. A gift card for the amount to purchase my yearly fishing license is always on the top of my list. A gift card to a favorite tackle shop would be a close second.
For those who want to spend more, a yearly launch pass to a favorite launch site would be well received. There are also a couple less-expensive gifts that I use all the time.
Even though I have a boat, a tackle bag is something that lasts a long time and comes in handy when fishing on someone else’s boat. I prefer the backpack style that can be purchased at Bass Pro Shops.
Other gift ideas:
A fish-cleaning kit — I’ve been keeping one in my truck’s toolbox for over 20 years now that I still use from time to time.
Clear tackle boxes — I don’t know of an angler who has more boxes than tackle. They always come in handy and are relatively inexpensive.
Lastly, a Boomerang Tool Company line snipper. For less than $20, these line snippers are great and will surely be a favorite of the angler in your family.
Stripers continue to bite well for anglers fishing reaction baits as well as live bait in and around schools. Stripers rarely hold up in one spot for long — they may like to frequent certain area, but they are prone to be moving constantly. Waiting them out sometimes is the best method.
Largemouth bass fishing is slow, as most fish are being caught on jigs and rip baits. Anglers are targeting areas out of current. Crappie are said to be biting well around the docks at union point, small crappie jigs and minnows seem to be doing the trick.
Lake Don Pedro
Anglers are trolling heavy spoons near the shorelines and the backs of dead-end coves as the surface temperature is a bit warmer attracting the baitfish. Anglers trolling are using lead core line as opposed to downriggers to allow access to the shallower water in the coves without worrying about hanging up a downrigger weight. The areas near the Dam and into Middle Bay are likely spots for the fish to congregate.
Bank fishing for trout has improved, with Power Bait, night crawlers, or Kastmasters around Fleming Meadows or Blue Oaks.
New Melones Lake
Glory Hole Sports reports, “The Trout bite has been slow but the ones that have come into GHS are really nice holdovers, ranging 4.5-5.5 lbs.”
Marvin Wells from Twain Harte brought in two nice rainbows trolling the dam at 45 ft. deep with a yellow excel lure w. anise scent. Bass fishing is fair for anglers fishing around schools of bait with jigs or drop-shotted worms.
Weekly trout plants continue to take place. Many trout are being caught while fishing as shallow as 3 feet deep. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing off the bottom with trout bait as well as under a bobber.
Crappie are being caught right now on mini jigs and small minnows around the docks at night.
Trout fishing has been good. Many anglers are catching limits of trout. The North Shore area has been good lately for anglers fishing off the bank with Power Bait.
Anglers trolling for trout are trolling Rapala (J-7) Brook Trout-patterned lures from the surface down to ten feet deep. Most trollers are staying around South Shore area.
Bass fishing is fair for anglers willing to slow down and fish small plastics, Robo Worms, and one-ton jigs. It’s important to look for schools of bait as the bass are surely near.
Tip of the Week
I learned a long time ago that there is no wrong way to fish and that fish don’t care about brand names or how much money was spent on tackle. Lately, I’ve been reading up on a technique where it requires an angler to rig his worm weight upside down. It’s a technique that was performed accidentally but has since been proven effective. An upside-down rigged weight creates more disturbance than a traditionally rigged weight and is easier to keep in one place.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email firstname.lastname@example.org.