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Not leaving Alabama Rig without bite
Doug Hannon, widely regarded as the Bass Professor, recently died at the age of 66. He was known for catching more than 800 bass over 10 pounds, and much more. - photo by Photo Contributed

It’s been over a year now and I’m still trying to catch my first fish on an Alabama Rig. I’m sure a lot of you know by now that the Alabama Rig has become one of the hottest new baits on the market. If you don’t, an Internet search will surely clue you in to its potential.

This past week I was able to get out several times and must have thrown the Alabama Rig at least 500 times. It’s now become a goal of mine to catch a fish on an Alabama Rig. From researching various websites and watching YouTube videos, it seems like there are certain conditions that the Alabama Rig fishes better in. I also discovered that many anglers refer to it as swim bait.

Personally, I’ve never done that great while tossing swim bait. Either way, I’m still determined to catch a fish on the Alabama Rig. It’s going to take some time but knowing that first fish is swimming around waiting for me to make that cast is driving me crazy.

Delta Report

The clear bright skies have caused a lot of anglers to struggle finding reaction bites lately. In the early morning hours spinnerbaits, rattle traps, and swimbaits are working well. Once the sun is high jigs have been the dominant bait lately in black and blue or black and red. Bass have started to move into the shallows along the south corner of Franks Tract but are very spooky. In the weeks to come the bite should turn wide open as the water temperatures have reached the mid 50s in most areas. Striper fishing continues to be tough for a lot of anglers although an occasional keeper can be caught around the Big Break area.

New Melones Lake

There have been a couple real nice brown trout caught recently by anglers trolling rolled shad. Trout and kokanee are being caught by anglers trolling from the surface down to 40-feet deep. There’s been more kokanee caught recently leading me to believe that the kokanee bite must be pretty good. Anglers fishing for kokanee are using traditional kokanee baits trolled around the dam areas and in the main lake. Bass fishing is booming right now as anglers are catching limits of bass fairly easy. Just about every week now a 10 pound or bigger bass has been caught. Most anglers catching the big ones are tossing large swim baits.

Lake Pardee

Lake Pardee is hit or miss this time of year. The trout and kokanee seem to be extremely unpredictable right now making it tough to provide an accurate report. Most reports are of fish being caught from the surface down to 20-feet deep. Like the other lakes, the kokanee are being found up shallow. Bass fishing is improving daily as the water temperatures are increasing.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing has remained fair regardless of the weather. Most anglers catching trout have been catching there fish while trolling the top 20 feet of water. Bass fishing has been improving slightly as the spawn is right around the corner. Anglers are catching fish while working both shallow and deep with various soft plastics and shad imitating reaction baits.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing has been fair to good for many anglers. Most anglers are migrating towards the south shore launch area as several nice trout up to 9 pounds have been caught in recent weeks. Hat Island is another hot spot for anglers fishing with shad imitating Rapala lures. Bass fishing is beginning to pick up as anglers are catching an occasional fish up shallow. The more successful anglers are staying deep with drop shotted worms or jigs worked along the bottom.

Lake Amador

Trout fishing is excellent on the lake right now; power bait is hard to beat this time of the year. For those trolling, try fishing a small shad imitating lure such as an Apex Lure in chrome and blue no deeper than five feet. Bass fishing continues to be slow for a lot of anglers but should pick up soon. The lake is on the rise right now. Hopefully it will be close to full by this summer.

Bass Fishing Legend Passes

Doug Hannon, known as the “Bass Professor,” died last week at his home in Keystone, a North Tampa suburb. He was 66. Hannon was recovering from recent neck surgery. I idolized Doug Hannon while growing up. His instruction videos and articles in Bassmaster Magazine captivated me. He was known for catching more than 800 bass over 10 pounds, creating the weed-less propeller, designing fishing reels, improving weed-less baits, and much more. For me, the image of him all alone in his little aluminum boat while fishing the swampy backwaters in Florida somewhere, will forever be remembered.