I was reminded of the first time I was given an open-book test this past weekend while out fishing Clark Fork.
I remember thinking to myself that it would be easy. I didn’t study much because I figured the answers were right in the book, so why study? I ended up running out of time because I was spending too much time searching for the answers.
Well, as I stood on the bank watching fish after fish pass by my bait it just about drove me crazy, just like that first open-book test did. When I did finally get a fish to bite a lot of times it wouldn’t stay hooked for long.
Seeing the fish made things more difficult than not seeing them at all and also frustrated the heck out of me. When we don’t know where the fish are, a lot of times we wait to feel the fish bite, which I believe gives us a better hook up percentage.
I, on the other hand, was setting the hook as soon as I saw the fish bite my bait, but felt nothing.
On a positive note I did catch my limit of fish but lost more than I caught. It’s definitely nice to see what you’re fishing for, but sometimes I believe you’re better off not knowing what going on below the surface.
With the temperatures increasing this week the bass should be holding in the grass close to deeper water. Top-water baits are still working well during the morning hours and there’s a good Senko bite during the day fishing around deep grass beds.
Bluegills are being caught in large numbers right now for those fishing with small worms in the backs of sloughs. Catfish are being caught on chicken livers and clams.
New Melones Lake
Trout are being caught for those fishing under submersible lights during the night and the Kokanee bite remains wide open for those who choose to troll. The hot bait seems to be Apex Lures tipped with shoepeg corn fished trolled anywhere from 60-100 feet deep.
Bass fishing remains good for smaller fish during the day and bigger fish are being caught earlier in the day on top-water lures. Bluegill and Crappie continue to bite well for those fishing brush piles with worms and minnows.
Lake Don Pedro
Kokanee fishing remains very good for anglers trolling as deep as 100 feet. King Salmon are also being caught in and around the kokanee on rolled shad or anchovies. Bass fishing remains good in the morning and evening hours for those fishing with top water baits.
During the day anglers are using football jigs fished as deep as 30 feet deep. Bluegill fishing is good right now for anglers fishing small worms around shoreline cover such as large rocks or fallen trees.
Lake Amador has been good for those fishing at night. During the day the only fish reported caught are bluegill which are being caught up shallow on worms. At night Bass are being caught on large power worms and spinnerbaits.
Large catfish are also being caught with some weighing over ten pounds on chicken livers and clams. A few trout are also being lured to the surface at night by submersible lights which can be caught on minnows and power bait.
Bass fishing is good for anglers who are finding shade along the bank or fishing deep with plastics. Trout fishing has also been good for those trolling earlier in the day until about noon. Bluegill fishing is really good for those fishing the shallows with worms and crickets.
The bite is really good for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught right now just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots. Small plastic worms worked along the bottom are producing a lot of bites during the day. Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of coves.
Tip of the Week
Recently, while out on the water, I was asked by another boater if I had a screwdriver on board. He was having problems with his electronic trolling motor and had no tools with him. Another time I was called over by a boater who asked if I had a pair of wire cutters, he had a hook embedded in his thumb.
In both cases my basic supplies of tools have saved the days of those anglers. I highly encourage that anyone out there who has a boat pack a small tool box to leave on the boat; it could very well save the day.
To contact Jarod Ballardo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.