With the stripers beginning to make their way through the Delta, I’m reminded of my first time ever fishing for them.
I’m not sure how old I was but I was a little guy. Mom had packed our lunches and off we went with boat in tow to Coyote Point Launch Ramp.
It was a foggy morning in the bay. I remember listening closely to what my dad was telling me. This was my first chance to get on the boat. I didn’t want to mess it up. Once the boat was launched, off we headed into open water.
I remember my dad telling me that this was one of his better spots and began fan casting a Bill Lewis Rattle Trap — still to this day one of his favorite lures. I just stood there in amazement while listening to the rattles of the lure approaching the boat with each retrieve.
This went on for hours. Unlike kids nowadays, I waited patiently, focusing all my attention on every cast. Finally, it happened — my dad hooked and landed the first keeper striper for the day. It took a while, but I was more excited than he was to witness something so amazing.
On the way back to the boat ramp, I remember like it was yesterday, my dad sitting me on his lap while letting me steer the boat. We must have done at least five donuts out in the middle of the bay before heading back to the launch ramp that day. I was completely hooked on fishing from that experience.
My patience on the trip enabled me to become a regular on the boat, and the rest is history.
The water temperature has dropped down into the 60s, which usually indicates that the fish should be actively feeding. Lots of smaller fish are being caught on reaction baits, especially when there is a little wind and cloud cover.
The bigger bass have been tougher than usual to find for a lot of anglers. Anglers looking to just get bit are downsizing their baits and line. Small schools of striped bass are being found throughout the Delta working bait on the surface. It won’t be long before the striped bass bite turns wide open.
New Melones Lake
Fishing for trout is great for anglers trolling the main lake with speedy shiners covered in Pro-Cure between 40 and 65 feet deep. The key is to troll between 3 and 4 mph. The trout are being found around the schools of baitfish.
Anglers trolling are reporting of catching an occasional spotted bass while trolling as well. Bass fishing remains steady for anglers fishing drop shotted plastics or while dragging small plastics along the bottom. Jig fishing is also starting to become popular, as anglers are catching some of the better-quality bass while working depths down to 30 feet with brown jigs.
As the water starts to cool, trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal. Anglers are trolling between 30 and 40 feet deep for trout. There aren’t a lot of fish being caught, but it’s just a matter of time before the bite turns on.
Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms. As with most lakes this time of year, there are sure to be a lot of fish following schools of baitfish.
Lake Don Pedro
Like New Melones, fishing for trout is good for anglers trolling Speedy Shiners between 70 and 95 feet deep. The quality hasn’t been as good as New Melones, but the numbers have which is drawing a lot of trout fisherman to the lake.
Bass fishing has been fair for those fishing top water lures early and shad imitator lures during the day around schools of shad.
The lake is scheduled to close Nov. 3, so there’s still some time to get out there and fish. Lake management has started stocking the like with trout early this year. Some anglers are having success while fishing off the bank with Power Bait in the morning and evening hours.
Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing around the islands and main lake points down to 30 feet deep with a variety of lures. Jigs, Senko’s and Shaky Head Worms are the go-to baits for a lot of anglers.
Tip of The Week
Operating a boat this time of year can be difficult in the morning and evening hours. Not only does it get dark really fast, but you may also have a bunch of fog roll in making it tough to see. For years, I would struggle with having the right eyewear when driving in low-light conditions.
I now have a pair of glasses with clear lenses which have made a big difference. You can purchase them just about anywhere. I’ve even worn glasses used for working in shops and they’ve worked just fine.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email email@example.com.