School is finally out and this is the time of year when night fishing can be the best choice for anglers looking to beat the crowds and the heat.
Some, like me, enjoy night fishing while others choose to fish during the daylight hours. One of the biggest complaints I hear from anglers is that they can’t see anything. It’s true that some nights are darker than others depending on the cycle of the moon, but most anglers never let their eyes get conditioned to the night and struggle to see throughout the night.
When fishing during the night it’s important to use as little white light as possible. After about 10 minutes of darkness your eyes will become conditioned to the low light and picking up shadows will be easier.
Anglers who struggle the most fail to realize this and constantly have to leave a light on or complain throughout the night that they can’t see. Bait selection is another major consideration when night fishing. Believe it or not, darker colors are easier for the fish to see.
When I first started night fishing I had a hard time believing this until a friend told me of a little experiment. He told me to hold up a white lure to the moon at night then hold up a black lure. To my amazement the black lure was the easiest to see and the obvious choice. If you plan on giving night fishing a try, make sure to bring warm clothes as summer nights can get cold and check with the body of water you plan on fishing as some places don’t allow night fishing.
For bass Senko’s, Spinner baits, and Sweet Beavers are all catching fish right now. With the weather we’ve been having lately look for shady spots along the bank, or spots closest to deeper water. Fish will either be looking for shade or proximity to deep moving water. If you can find shade next to a deep drop your chance of catching a big fish will be increased. Catfishing is always good during the warmer months, focus on river bends or areas where slack water is created as the catfish will usually sit in those areas awaiting an easy meal.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee catches continue to keep anglers busy as Trout fishing has slowed down for the summer. Anglers catching Kokanee are fishing the dam area and can be found between 40-50 feet deep. Trout have been biting for those willing to fish through the night. Night fishermen are reporting catches while soaking Power Bait below a submersible light along the main lake channels. Bass fishing is still good for angler fishing Carolina rigged baby brush hogs. Most Bass are of the smaller version with a bigger fish mixed in occasionally. Morning and evening top water fish are being caught right now on poppers and spook type lures.
Night fishing for bass is a favorite summertime escape for me. Lake Amador in particular is a small safe lake which with any cast can produce a personal best. An hour before the sun starts to go down Bass habitually will bring schools of shad to the surface which can create some explosive top water action. The key to catching feeding fish on the surface is patience. With a top water lure in hand, wait for the fish to start exploding on the surface and then make your cast right into the middle of the attacking fish. This technique will surely produce some of the most explosive top water action. Once the sun goes down I either toss a half ounce black spinner bait or drag 10 inch Berkeley Power worms. Then, if fishing through the night as the morning sun starts to break once again fish will be feeding on the surface, get that top water lure out and repeat the previous pattern.
Smallmouth bass have been providing excellent action for anglers fishing late and early with top water lures. Once the sun is high try switching to small plastic baits fished deep, shaky head worms, darter heads, and drop shotted Robo Worms in either a craw or shad pattern should produce good results.
On July 18 the 12th annual Conroy Oakley Pro Teen tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours. Currently they are in need of more boaters for the event, boaters fish for free, for more information call (925) 684-9775.