The end of football season marks both a happy and sad time for me. Although I fish year round, football helps fill the void when I’m stuck at home unable to fish. The nice thing about the end of football season is the beginning of spring and with the weather we’ve been getting lately, we just may have an early spring.
Already, there have been unconfirmed reports of giant bass being caught; this is usually the first indicator to me that the fish are beginning to move up into transitional areas adjacent to spawning flats. Anglers forever have said that the first migrations of fish towards the shallows are the biggest fish. Personally, I struggle to stay consistent during the spring and don’t really know if that statement is true or not. I do know however that all the fish don’t spawn at the same time and that a full moon triggers the start of a new spawn cycle.
In short, a full moon corresponds with a rise in water level which allows fish access to spawning areas that were once out of water. Fish instinctually know this and naturally seek areas to lay their eggs. Even if there isn’t a rise in water level, fish still react the same to a full moon during the spawning months as those who live in tidal waters.
The bite is really starting to turn on for a lot of anglers. Stripers are actively feeding on schools of bait that are being seen busting on the surface. Bass fishing still remains tough for the impatient angler. Typical of early spring anglers are reporting days of catching a lot of fish and days where they struggle to get bit. The bites are far and few for those fishing jigs but the fish being caught are worth the effort. Don’t forget to work your baits deeper than normal as fish are being found stacking up in transitional areas before making their way to the shallows.
New Melones Lake:
The Trout fishing continues to red hot at this lake with anglers catching trout between three and five pounds. Anglers are also catching a lot of planter sized trout that have been released into the lake by the Department of Fish and Game. Both anglers on and off the bank are catching fish. A variety of baits are working well, anglers trolling are fishing between 15 and 20 feet deep. Bass fishing is picking up on the lake as anglers are starting to see some fish moving shallow.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing has picked up lately for anglers trolling anywhere from ten to fifteen feet deep. Bass fishing is also starting to pick up for a lot of anglers. A majority of anglers are throwing large swimbaits with mixed results. Anglers fishing points and schools of fish down to thirty five feet are catching small limits and an occasional good fish.
The lake is being stocked weekly making for easy limits for those fishing for them. Most anglers are fishing with Power Bait while others are trolling just below the surface for them with shad imitating lures. Really, just about anything will work right now.
Both ponds are good right now for trout. Anglers fishing for trout and in the lake are using Power Bait and Kastmasters. Bass fishing is fair, anglers are doing well while fishing deeper right now as the bass haven’t moved shallow yet. Most anglers are fishing with jigs or small worms as deep as 35 feet.
Lake Pardee is taking reservations for camping on the opening weekend with the business office opening last week. Pardee will open for the season for camping on Thursday and fishing at midnight on Friday. The Department of Fish and Game continues to plant trout into the lake, and the concessionaires will also be planting more trout this week. The opener at Pardee is always something to be experienced.
Tip of The Week:
For those boat owners it’s a good idea to check your lower unit for any oil leaks before heading out on the water. Usually if the boats been sitting a while all you need to check is the area below where the engine has been parked for any oil. A leak in the lower unit not only lets oil escape but water enter. Water in the lower unit can cause serious damage resulting in a costly repair.