Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass:
The lake is still five feet from full pool and the release of water into and out of the main lake is over for now. The water clarity is close to maximum with most areas having 20-plus feet of visibility. Water temps continue to slowly climb this week with surface readings in the mid-70’s. The bass bite seems to change on a weekly basis with the only consistent factor being the smaller largemouth accounting for the majority of the bites. The bass are in all three stages of spawn and spread out thru much of the water column. We have been focusing our attention in the Fish Arm in the 5′ to 20′ depth zone. Main lake points and long secondary points have been the best areas to target. Fishing the morning shade along the bluffs adjacent to spawning flats has been productive also. Smallmouth bass remain elusive at about one per angler each day. The 5″ Yamamoto – Daiwa Neko Fat worms rigged wacky style & weightless have been putting numbers in the boat along with dropshots armed with 4-1/2″ RoboWorms in Castaic Weenie or Aaron’s Magic patterns. Carolina rigged C3 Baits Ice Picks and Shimmies in Neptune Shad and Red Smoke continue to upgrade the bites for our clients willing to fish deeper, slower, and with a little more patience.
Stripping Producer flies on our “fly-coring” rigs remains our main weapon for trolling up the Stripers. We continue to experiment with the usual array of umbrella rigs and Kastmasters to no avail. Stripers that have been cleaned by our clients reveal the fish are eating the freswater shrimp that bloom by the thousands in deep water. The best action has been early and late in the day. The Stripers are up in the water column with most fish being caught between 25′ and 35′ deep in the Ski Arm. The stretch from Kong Island to the forebay buoy line has been our main trolling pattern. The inevitable arrival of shad will totally change this bite and should be happening sooner than later.
The recent stockings of huge amounts of Calaveras Rainbow Trout is an unusual sight for this time of the year, but anglers are showing up in droves to catch these quality 1-3 pound colorful fish. With the water temp well above their threshold of 65 degrees the fish aren’t haanging around very long. Most of them are heading out to the deeper, cooler water after a few hours of stocking. They have been caught all over the lake as a result and the big Stripers seem to have left them alone, at least during business hours. They are biting the usual trout offerings as well as incidentally by bass fisherman on the dropshot and wacky rigged worms. Those who are focused on them are using small silver Kastmasters, Mini Jigs and the usual dough baits like green or yellow Power bait.
The lagoon is fishing well as more and more fish continue to move shallow. The weedbeds are growing fast as the water temps escalate to normal levels. There has been a decent number of quality bass being caught by those with local knowledge of this small fishery. Early mornings and windy afternoons have been the best windows of opportunity and crowds remain light. The dropshot rigged with C3 Baits Ice Picks and Shimmies in Neptune Shad is still the go-to technique. Senkos are getting bit as well and there is a good sight-fishing opportunity for those willing to look around during the calm periods.
Jim – 661 Fishing