If the lakes are not treating you well maybe give the Delta a shot. The males are starting there move toward the banks looking for areas to build beds and the females are not far behind. Pitching soft plastics along the edges of the weed line and tules can be a lot of fun this time of year. Chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and shallow running crankbaits at High tide can also be good.
So give the Delta a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.
It’s that time of year to gear up and start to look for prespawn patterns to emerge on our lower level lakes. The only problem is we always get these Cold Fronts that come along and throw a wrench into the mix. The bite on our local lakes like Folsom and Berryessa have been on and off due to these changes. If you are planning a trip keep an eye on the barometric pressure as these Fronts move through. The bite can get crazy just before and drop like a rock as it moves in. The day after, blue bird day, is some times even worse until the weather is stable for a couple of days. Keep the faith as fishing will only get better.
I talked a bit about this great weather we are having is crazy. Water temps are up to 60 on the surface by mid day and the fish are trying to figure out what to do. I have been catching fish at all depths right now but this will soon start to change if the weather stays this way. We are seeing fish that want to move up but most are just not ready. Don’t let this fool you into thinking they are all moving to the bank. You will find more fish staging so just keep an eye out for more to come.
Went out to check on the striper bite and had unbelievable fog to contend with could not see more than 100 feet until 12:30. This made for some interesting boat driving. One hand on the horn and all navigation lights on we made our way around. Ended the day with only one keeper a little over 20 inches and many undersized all on spoons worked in 13 to 20 feet of water. Tides were not good but needed to confirm the bite. With clients waiting to go out for these fun fish I only hope they show up soon.
The lake bite is improving for both Folsom lake and Berryessa. Drop shot bite at Folsom has been good with most of the Bass(spotted) feeding on pond smelt. Any small 3 to 4 inch worm in a shad type pattern will get you the bites. Berryessa has a lot of shad so some times a little bigger profile bait will work better. Look for Berryessa to go into prespawn in the next 2 weeks and Folsom about March. We still need a massive amount of rain to make this a great year so keep your fingers crossed.
Strippers are starting to show in bigger numbers finally but some of the areas have been to muddy while others have cleared. Fog has been a factor lately so be very careful when going out and make sure all your running lights are working properly.
Most of our lakes are still low due to drought. This can be the best time to check out your favorite lake so when the water is back up to normal you will know where all those productive rock piles are. Use the GPS on your electronics so they will be there for the spring time fun.
When fishing lakes in the winter follow creek channels into coves as most of the bait will be balled up over these areas and the bass will be looking for them. Bass in cold water will be moving a little slower so make your presentations say in the strike zone longer, especially when you are using jigs or drop shot rigs. Using scents on your baits can pay off this time of year.
If you have any questions feel free to send me an email or a text and I will be glad to get back to you.
The Fall bite is the most looked for part of the year for all fisherman and fisher women. It brings promise of some of the best fishing of the year. Striped Bass start to show in the lower Delta to spend the winter. Salmon start there runs up river to spawn.
Lakes start to cool off from long hot days of summer bring up all species of fish to feed for what may be a long winter. This is what we are all waiting for, the bite to end all bites. Bass start to key in on large schools of bait along with Trout and Land Locked Salmon. When you find these feeding schools you will think you hit the pot of gold. Electronics are going to pay for themselves so put them to work and spend the time to find those key areas. Some things to look for are deep water close to sharp drops from shallow areas. Bass like to push bait into areas of no escape, jigging spoons can often be the best tool in your tackle box for these situations. My spoon of choice is the Blade Runner 2 oz. in Shad, Morning Dawn, and Chrome Green or Black. As you lower these down try to stay in touch with the spoon and don’t let it fall to fast. I stop mine as it is going down for a moment by putting my thumb down on the spool and then I jig it to see if i get a hit. If I don’t I let it down a few more feet and repeat the process. This can be very rewarding when you get the hang of it. We catch all species of fish with this method so give it a shot and if you have any questions feel free to send them to me.
Most of our lakes are now in that time of the season where you catch a lot of smaller bass. Most of these are Males that have been guarding beds and fry. The feeding is starting all over again as these fish are hungry so they will be fun to catch. Top water baits early and late in the day along with small swim baits, rip baits and spinner baits are great when you find them chasing shad along the banks. You can also find schools of bass chasing bait off shore sometimes in the middle of the day so have some rods ready for anything. As the day gets warmer move off shore with drop shot rigs, Carolina rigs and jigs.
I am always asked when it a good time to catch Bass, now is that time most of our lakes are in full swing when it comes to Bass fishing. Lake Berryessa and Clearlake both have Bass up on beds all around the lake. Foothill lakes like Folsom even though it is low Bass are moving up to spawn along with Camanche, Hogan, and Pardee lake. With this info there is no excuse not to go out and try your luck, for maybe the biggest Bass of a lifetime now is that time.
Folsom Lake is slowly coming up now at 393 feet. When we get to 400 the 5 MPH should come off and the lake will hopefully start to fill for spring. Fishing now is starting to pick up with Spotted and Smallmouth bass getting into prespawn mode. Spotted bass will start to group up and it is not hard to get into a bite that can be crazy this time of year. Rip baits and small swim baits along with single tail grubs are great tools to find these fish. Work on the new EID pipe replacement in the south fork is what I heard is holding back on raising the lake level, lets hope they finish fast.
Lake Berryessa is always a great place to fish all year long. Bass are now feeding on the large shad population along with Trout and Salmon. The bite has been from fair to good with fish ranging from 25 to 60 feet deep. This is a great time to search out this fishery and unlock the wintertime bite. Working spoons and drop shot rigs has proven to be the best techniques. Schedule a trip and come out and learn how to get these fish this time of year.
Clearlake is one of the best Bass lakes this side of the Mississippi and now is a great time to find out. These fish are feeding on the shad getting ready to soon make there move to shallow water to spawn. The best way to find these fish is with Jumbo minnows fished under a slip bobber or just dragged along the bottom. We have had some great days with 50 plus fish caught in a day up to 6 pounds with the bigger ones thrown in. When the water starts to warm up into the mid to high 50’s the lure bite will get better and some big fish can be found in the 10′ range. Come out on a trip and you will be hooked on this great lake.