I can't remember how many times over the past year that I've emphasized being prepared for the unexpected while out fishing.
The unexpected happened to me a few years ago while out on the delta. Fishing out of a relative's fairly new boat we were surprised to hear the dreaded "click, click" sound when attempting to start his boat at the end of the day. His batteries had died and we were officially stranded! This being a new boat as well as a new boat operator, his only useful device on board was his cell phone.
As the sun started going down, I knew that we better do a few things while we still had daylight. We stored all loose items and began searching the bank for something to paddle with. We were able to find some wood, and after making a call home we started our hour-long paddle towards the nearest marina. Fortunately the tide was going our direction.
Once at the marina, we were able to jump start the engine with the help of another boater and slowly made our way back to our launch site. On the way back, I had time to go through a checklist of items he should have had and realized that there were a few more items that I should add to my boat as well.
Striped bass fishing continues to pick up for anglers fishing a variety of techniques. The three techniques that are working right now are drifting live bait, trolling broken back rebels, and spooning jigs where schools of fish are present. Largemouth bass fishing has been hit-or-miss lately. For largemouth bass anglers are having luck while fishing jigs along tulle edges and points. The colder the water gets the slower you should fish.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for trout is slowly improving as the temperatures are cooling. Anglers catching trout are trolling between 5 and 30 feet deep around the dam, spillway, and Glory Hole Point areas. As more and more trout start to make their ascent towards the surface, anglers fishing off the bank are beginning to also have luck. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as anglers are fishing 20 to 40 deep while dragging small worms through the schools of actively feeding fish. Catfishing is still excellent on the lake right now as anglers are catching them on cut bait or chicken livers while fishing off the bank. Those targeting catfish are looking for areas where there are large rocks present.
Fishing for trout and bass is slow right now on the lake. Anglers catching trout are trolling through large schools of baitfish that are found right below the surface. The bass are also feeding on the schools of baitfish making them easy targets one you find them actively feeding. The lure of choice for angers trolling is either a Kastmaster or large spoon trolled in the main lake.
New Hogan Lake:
Recently the bite has been really good for large numbers of bass. Spider grubs in watermelon red are working well if thrown up to the bank and worked down to at least 20 feet. Reaction baits such as Lucky Craft Staysees are also working but not as well as the jig. Six-inch shaky head worms such as Robo Worms margarita mutilator II is another go-to bait right now. For the deep-water angler the larger fish are coming from anglers fishing the schools of bass down to 60 feet while using a drop shot or a jig.
Trout plans have begun on the lake and anglers are reporting catching trout while fishing near the dam. Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake right now and anglers are scoring good limits while fishing reaction baits and plastics in ten to fifteen feet of water.
Tip of the Week:
Batteries are an important part of a boat; most anglers come home from a day of fishing, hook up the chargers, and forget about the batteries until the next fishing trip. There are some chargers that will allow for this but most chargers will continue to heat the batteries, shortening the life of the battery. The best way to ensure your batteries last longer is to charge them right away, and remove the charger immediately after the batteries are charged.