Often I overhear fishermen talking about the perfect boat; of course the brand of their boat is the best!
I can remember when I was happy just to have something that floated. Some of my greatest catches have come while fishing out of boats that I had to check for leaks every time out. I had one boat that had a weak transom that would crack every second or third trip, and I learned how to repair fiberglass that year.
I had another boat that was made out of aluminum and riveted together. The rivets became weak over time and the boat would leak constantly. My last boat didn't leak but was lacking in storage space.
My current boat is a little too big at times, but I like all the space and room it offers. As the boat shows are about to begin and the new models for 2013 are about to be unveiled I can't help to wonder what it would be like to have a new one. Then again, with new bass boats costing more than $50,000 I have no problem waiting several more years before I buy something new.
The tough bite continues for largemouth bass fishermen. Striped bass are really starting to bite on the outgoing tide. Anglers fishing for stripers are jigging 1-ounce Hopkins jigs, trolling broken back rebels, or drifting live bait.
Remember, the limit is two striped bass per person, per day, and they must be over 18 inches long. Largemouth bass are still being caught on reaction baits but the bigger fish continue to elude anglers. Fishing the outside edges of deep weed lines are good areas to try right now.
Bluegills continue to bite while fishing baby night crawlers off the bottom. A lot of nice-sized bluegill are being caught while fishing around the docks at Paradise Point.
New Melones Lake
The trout bite has begun to pick up; bank anglers are starting to report good catches while using power bait. Trolling for trout continues to be slow but should start picking up shortly as the water temperature continues to drop. Bass fishing is very good right now for smaller fish. The larger bass are likely to be following the trout up shallow, this time last year anglers were catching big fish while tossing swim baits around main lake points.
New Hogan Lake
Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing jigs and worms down to 40 feet. Fish are really starting to gorge themselves as they prepare for the winter ahead. Reaction baits are most effective while fishing windblown points.
Trout fishing is said to be excellent on the lake. Trout are actively feeding on the surface down to 20 feet, with the average trout weighing between two and four pounds. Anglers trolling are catching them with shad imitating lures, Ex-Cel lures seem to be a favorite among trollers.
Bass fishing is good, as anglers are doing well while fishing jigs and reaction baits. Tulloch is another clear lake with Trout, tossing a big swimbait may be a good idea, as many of the surrounding lakes are producing big swimbait fish.
Lake Don Pedro
Trout and Salmon fishing continues to be very slow on the lake. Bass fishing is also tough as the bass being caught are small in size. As the trout fishing improves look for the bass fishing to also improve as they both are competing for the same food source.
Trout are being planted heavily and anglers aren't leaving disappointed. Lake Amador raises and plants trout, which come from their own farm. They are a mix between a rainbow trout and a cutthroat trout, which are called cut bows.
Power bait is the bait of choice for anglers as limits are being caught throughout the lake. The dam area seems to be a favorite location of bank anglers as most plants occur there.
Tip of the Week
When I first started fishing I would never change my line until it started to break. Since then I learned that line changes are necessary, especially when faced with different water conditions.
When fishing stained dirty water you can get away with a heavier thicker line. When fishing a lake where you can see more than ten feet down, it's recommended that you switch to a smaller diameter line less visible line. Twenty-pound test may seem small to some but it's very visible in clearer water.
Thicker line also gives off more vibration, as water cannot pass through it. Lighter line cast further, is less visible, and more sensitive.