I can’t say I’ve ever been fishing on Christmas Day, although I went out on Christmas Eve once.
I remember it being extremely cold. I did end up catching my first 20-pound striped bass, but it still wasn’t enough to make me want to go out in freezing temperatures again. I guess over the years I’ve either gotten softer or smarter.
I used to take pride in being the only guy at the launch ramp during the worst weather conditions and shunned those who seemed to come out of their holes once the weather warmed up. Not anymore, now that I don’t fish tournaments.
I pick and choose my days wisely and would much rather stay warm and dry than to fish all day in miserable conditions. As some would say, “Been there, done that.”
This Christmas, like the previous 40, I’ll be home again watching sports and spending time with family. I do plan on making my annual trip to Arizona over the break, and maybe then I’ll climb out of my hole and see what I can catch.
Stripers continue to bite well for anglers fishing reaction and live baits in and around schools. Stripers rarely hold up in one spot for long and may like to frequent certain area, but they are prone to be moving constantly. Waiting them out sometimes is the best method this time of year.
Largemouth bass fishing is slow, as most fish are being caught on jigs and rip baits. Anglers are targeting areas out of current. Crappie are said to be biting well around the docks at Union Point, small crappie jigs and minnows seem to be doing the trick.
Lake Don Pedro
Trout fishing is good for those trolling heavy spoons near the shorelines and the backs of dead end coves as the surface temperature is a bit warmer. Anglers are using lead core line as opposed to downriggers to allow access to the shallower water in the coves without worrying about hanging up a downrigger weight.
The areas near the Dam and into Middle Bay are likely spots for the fish to congregate. Bank fishing for trout continues to be good with Power Bait, night crawlers, or Kastmasters around Fleming Meadows or Blue Oaks.
New Melones Lake
Fishing is good for trout, both from shore and from boat. Most anglers are catching easy limits and releasing a number of fish throughout the day. The Department of Fish and Game is planting every week now.
Trout are feeding heavily on schools of small shad. Most the fish are being caught in the top 10 feet of the water column. Bass fishing is fair for anglers fishing around schools of bait with jigs or drop-shotted worms.
Weekly trout plants continue to take place, and many trout are being caught while fishing as shallow as 3 feet deep. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing off the bottom with trout bait as well as under a bobber.
Crappie are being caught on mini jigs and small minnows around the docks at night.
Trout fishing has been good lately, as many anglers are catching limits of trout. The North Shore area has been really good lately for anglers fishing off the bank with Power Bait.
Anglers trolling for trout are trolling Rapala (J-7) Brook Trout patterned lures from the surface down to 10 feet deep. Most trollers are staying around South Shore area.
Bass fishing is fair for anglers willing to slow down and fish small plastics, Robo Worms, and one ton jigs. It’s important to look for schools of bait as the bass are surely near.
Tip of the Week
I learned a long time ago that there is no wrong way to fish and that fish don’t care about brand names or how much money was spent on tackle.
Lately, I’ve been reading up on a technique where it requires an angler to rig his worm weight upside down. It’s a technique that was performed accidentally, but has since been proven effective.
An upside-down rigged weight actually creates more disturbance than a traditionally rigged weight and is easier to keep in one place.
To contact Jarod Ballardo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.