Memorial Day weekend is one of those weekends I plan on celebrating at home. There's sure to be a "Band of Brothers" marathon to keep me entertained and the weather forecast looks great for hanging around the pool.
I used to try and fish through all the boat traffic and deal with the crowds at the launch ramp, but have since given up. It's just not worth it to me anymore; plus, I have the rest of the summer to fish any day that I'd like.
For a lot of people, Memorial Day is the first weekend of the year that they finally get to take their boat out. Unfortunately, that means for some that they hope their boat runs as good as the last time they touched it back in September. There's sure to be a lot of frustrated boat owners at most local launches as well as a few boats looking for a tow while out on the water.
If you do plan on going out, I suggest leaving early before all the crowds arrive and be prepared to be checked by the local sherriff. Make sure you have life jackets for all of your passengers and your boat is equipped with the proper safety equipment. One of the most under looked pieces of equipment is a fire extinguisher. Make sure yours is fully charged. Also, your throw cushion must be readily available, not stored in a compartment somewhere.
Plenty of post spawn fish are being caught on reaction baits right now. Franks Tract continues to be a hot spot for Bass. The swimbait bite was wide open this past weekend while throwing a white 6 inch mission fish 3:16 swimbait. Unfortunately, a lot of the fish caught were between two and three pounds. Vegetation throughout the Delta is starting to take over and grass lines are forming nicely. Most of the Bass I caught were holding on the deeper grass lines visible at low tide and attacked the swim bait right before or after passing over one.
New Melones Lake:
The Trout bite has all but died for many but the Kokanee bite has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers. Kokanee are being caught for those trolling anywhere from 25 to 45 feet deep. Red, chartreuse, pink or a silver Apex has been the top producing lure, with Uncle Larry's Spinners, Hootchies, Killer B's, and Glitter Bugs in the same colors all catching fish, as well. Bass fishing has been good lately as the water temperatures have risen to the mid sixties. Crankbaits, Rip Baits, Rattle Traps, and plastic worms are just a few of the baits that are catching Bass right now. Night-fishing for catfish is also starting to pick up, any major cove or creek arm is a good place to try. Anchovies, sardines, or a ball of nightcrawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish. The crappie and bluegill bite has really started to pick up; some anglers are even reporting catching limits of crappie when fishing tight to structure using live minnows.
Lake Don Pedro:
King Salmon are starting to bite lately. The best spots still seem to be around the Jenkins Hill area while fishing for them anywhere from 10 to 80 feet deep. Anglers having the most success are trolling with frozen Shad and Anchovies injected with Pro Cure's bait gels. The Kokanee are also on a good bite but are still scattered around the lake at depths of 25 to 50 feet deep. The best set-ups are Sep's watermelon dodger, silver prism or copper dodgers, while trailing lures such as Uncle Larry's Mad Irishman, Copper Pop spinners or Kokanee bugs, all tipped with white shoe peg corn soaked in Pro-Cure's carp spit, Kokanee special, and shrimp and prawn oils.
Lake New Hogan:
Rolling shad or Anchovies in the main lake area has been very productive, for Stripers 5 to 6 pounds. Most fish have been holding between 15 and 25 feet deep. Bass fishing remains good as many fish can still be found shallow. The topwater bite has really started to take off during the morning hours. Some bed fish are still being found in the backs of coves.
Tip of the Week:
Memorial Day weekend is a weekend that a lot of people have been looking forward to for some time now. Waterways are surely going to be stirred up by recreational boaters and safety on the water cannot be stressed enough. Personally, I prefer to get on the water super early and get off the water before noon. In case you choose to join the crowds of people, be extra careful and if you see a sheriff's boat that has its blue lights on, by law you must slow down to steering speed only for jet boats and idle speed for prop boats.