Lake Berryessa 3/18/17
Lake Berryessa 3/18/17
Air temp low55 high68
Water clarity 6 feet
Wind 4 to 6 mph north west
Water temp 65
Angels Camp California lake new Melones. As I pre-finished for the Bass nation opener at new Melones I realized that pre-spawn pattern was going to be the ticket, I found three places that had large numbers of largemouth. Two long pockets up river, a spot in the North and also a big school mid-lake towards the south. On day one of the tournament I ran to Brushy Cove and started my day on the main lake point. I quickly picked up a limit on a River2Sea S Waver in the color called party crasher on the new Phenix rods maxim series. M0y plan was to run up river mid day as the water started to warm up. Sun direction is key in these pre-spawn conditions you want to find the coves and pockets protected from the north wind and facing west, so with around 12 pounds Clip N Culled in the box I ran up river throwing a Swim Jig with the Bass Assassin Lures die dapper in albino shad color as my trailer. I only culled one fish and quickly realized that the river bite was gone and it was all about being south. I ran back to Brushy cove where I started to catch a lot more fish but only helping my limit to just under 15 pounds. In my opinion with the overcast conditions and cool breeze I just felt that the bigger females did not move up but I had a solid bag for the day to put me in six place, still just a few pounds out of the lead. Pondering what I should do for day two I figured I would start at brushy Cove and see with the overcast conditions going away if those bigger females would move up. I started on the long point just as I did the day before. This did not pan out so I moved through into the pocket. I started to get a few bites right away. That’s when I realized the fish had pushed farther back into the pocket. My new plan was to just rotate three small areas no bigger than 30 yards and just wait for the fish to come to me. As I rotated through my spots I quickly picked up a limit and then BOOM a good one just as the day before I started off with the S waiver but quickly moved to the Bass Assassin Lures’s fat job stick bait, I was rotating three Baits almost exclusively and would add the swim jig here or there, the third bait was a Bass Assassin Lures Rail worm. The fat job stick bait was the most successful. I would just fancast going around with a small nail weight 1/4 oz rigged wacky style and leaving it dead stick. This was the key and as I rotated my three areas fish just kept coming to me and although a lot of boats were rotating through that area everyone would move in and make a few casts not get bit and leave. The key was knowing that those fish were coming at you targeting several laydowns and Buckbrush and just waiting. All of my fish for two days were coming off of a 30 yard stretch. After day one I weighed in a pretty solid bag of three pounders but all the people ahead of me had that one big bite, which I never got on day one , but on day two about mid way through the day I finally got my big bite to go along with my solid limit weighing in at just under 18 pounds witch was good enough for third place to start the Bass Nation season off in a good position. I would like to thank all my sponsors Cal Coast fishing, River2sea, Bass Assassin Lures, Bass Angler Magazine, Phenix rods RBBassfishing.net and Evolution Baits
Jim Graddy won the California B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier with the help of this 8.93-pounder.
The 74-year-old also caught the biggest bass, almost a 9-pounder
ANGELS CAMP, Calif. — Jim Graddy of Shafter, Calif., won the 2017 California B.A.S.S. Nation State Team Qualifier 1 on New Melones Reservoir, March 18-19, and no one was more surprised than he was. “I am shocked that I won,” said the 74-year-old real estate broker. “The first time I had ever been to New Melones was on Thursday.” At his ripe age, Graddy said he’s not only proud to have won: “I’m proud to still be alive.” Graddy jokes about his age, adding that after this many years of fishing, he should really be better than he is. But based on his 24.64-pound bag on Day 2, most of his fellow competitors would argue that he’s doing just fine. Graddy finished with 35.35 pounds, eclipsing second place by almost 2 pounds. But he won another honor as well — biggest bass overall. He caught an 8.93-pounder on Sunday, the biggest bass of the tournament by a nearly 2-pound margin. It was mid-morning when the big fish took his Senko and started swimming toward him. “I didn’t even know it was big at first,” Graddy said. His nonboater partner, Louie Marques, asked if he needed help with the net and Graddy declined, saying it didn’t feel like much. “But then I got a little pressure, and it got bigger,” said Graddy, laughing about his rapid change of mind. “I said to Louie, ‘Maybe I do need a little help.’” The fish was near the dam in 2 to 3 feet of water.
Graddy had used Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hogs in green pumpkin all day Saturday, when he brought in a limit of 10.71 pounds fishing laydowns. But on Sunday, he wasn’t having much success, and he took a cue from Marques to pick up a Senko instead. He settled on shad and green pumpkin colors and fished the rest of the day with Senkos, targeting shallow grass on the banks. Areas with heavier grass seemed more productive to Graddy than areas with less of it. He would start at a point, work into a cove, then work the other side as he made his way to the next one. “It’s fun to beat these young guys,” said Graddy. “It doesn’t happen often. They usually kick your butt.” Graddy is a member of the Valley Bass Club in Bakersfield. As the top boater at New Melones, he is the first angler to qualify for the 2018 California B.A.S.S. Nation State Team.
Jared Harris of Oakdale is the only other angler to qualify for the State Team alongside Graddy. Harris won the nonboater side on New Melones. Harris, 23, spent his pre-fishing time determining what lures would work best across the lake. As the nonboater, he wouldn’t have the final say in where he could fish each day, but he could at least pick the best tackle that would work anywhere. He settled on a swimbait made by Johnny C’s California Reservoir Lures in casper color, in 3 or 5 inches for the first day, when he weighed in three fish for 7.18 pounds. On the second day, he used Senkos in brown with black and purple flake to bring in 6.97 pounds. “I found that rocky areas with nice grass growing nearby were the most productive spots,” said Harris, who works for Local 1245 Electrical IBEW. “I don’t regret one cast I made,” Harris added. “I felt like I was on my game.” Harris ended with 14.15 pounds, edging second place by ounces.
On the boater side, Graddy was flanked by first-day leader Randy Pierson with 33.39 pounds and Michael Coleman in third place with 31.48 pounds. On the nonboater side, Jay Williams finished behind Harris with 14.01 pounds, followed by Louie Marques with 13.66 pounds.
The next qualifier takes place June 3-4 on Lake Oroville in Oroville, Calif.
Water temp: 47-60
Clarity: 1-3 ft
Conditions: partially cloudy
Lake level: rising daily
I had a blast last week on Folsom lake while fishing the Future Pro Tour Championship with Nick Lynch. We had been looking forward to this event the entire year! The decision to move it to Folsom lake after the Oroville dam issue had little to no effect on me. I know neither lake very well but was excited either way! Official practice opened the Monday prior to the event. I was not able to get out on the water until Tuesday. I started out a little late around 8am. I started throwing reaction main lake to shake out some of the excitement. 20 minutes in with no bite I had a gut feeling based on conditions to slow down. I picked up a darter head and went to work. 3rd cast in about 18ft of water I cracked the first fish of the day and it was a good one! So, I pressed on the rest of the day with the darter head. I never got a lot of bites or even two in one spot but the ones I did were big large mouth.
Day two of practice I figured I’d just expand on that pattern. It didn’t work out! After only getting two bites the entire day on main lake I knew I was missing something. So, on the last day of practice we had to be of the water by noon. We made the decision to run north, I’ve personally never even been to that part of the lake. Once we got up there we realized there was an abrupt water temp and clarity change. That change in clarity would prove to be where most of the top ten did it. It got really clear and the temp dropped. We picked a do nothing point and got to work. Immediately I hit 2 big largemouth back to back. Then Nick grabbed a 2 lb spot. We jumped around a bit a liked what we were seeing. It was the most bites in the shortest time span we’d seen. That’s where we would start on day one.
Day one of the championship went off without a hitch! Had 7 bites land 6 and ended the day with 16.02 putting us in the lead. Day two we were last boat out and a few of our spots were taken. We still did good considering but not enough to hold on to the lead. With only 11 lbs we fell short and to 3rd place on day two. All our fish were still coming on the dart head in 18-20 ft of water in the north fork.
Day three we knew we would have to hit everywhere we caught a fish and even some new spots. The fish had been beaten up and seen everything. We stuck to our guns and pulled out another 11lbs on day 3. It wasn’t enough to push us up but was enough to hold on to third. Anglers Press put on a great event and I look forward to next years’ championship!
Location: Lake Oroville
Water Temp: 49-56 degrees
Water clarity: Stained to 2ft
My buddy Brandyn and I launched out of Bidwell about 9 o’clock in the morning, we started out the day fishing main body with no luck on steep walls. About an hour later we decided to head up the middle fork and found that the drop shot and a small swimbait produced a better bite. All fish were caught anywhere between 15-25ft on flats and points..fish slow! Headed up north bout noon, a lot of debris in the water. Fished the coves with a small swimbait and found bait and started catching fish pretty good, overall a good day! Good luck!
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Water temp: 56-59Water Clarity: 6″-2′Air Temp: 56-74 degreesWind: Northwest 2-7 mphTide: OutgoingMoon: Full 🌕
My brother Justin Ross and I, launched my boat at 0645 hours out of the Tiki Lagun Marina & Resort, located at 12988 W. Mcdonald Road, Stockton, California, 95206.
After launching we made our way out to the North side of Mildred Island. We started off throwing reaction baits such as the River2sea Ish Monroe Square Bill in delta craw color, and the River2sea Ish Monroe Bling Spinnerbait in the cold blooded color. We had zero bites on these baits in the first thirty minutes of fishing. I knew there were fish in the area because it’s a well known spot by almost everyone who fishes the delta. With the water warming the way it has, the full moon, stable weather, and high tide, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around why they wouldn’t eat a moving bait.
Without hesitation I knew exactly what needed to be done. The warm weather had me so excited for the pre spawn I forgot about winter transition. The bass needed to transition from their wintering holes up into the secondary breaks. From the secondary breaks they needed to feed on a forage that provides high calories, minerals, magnesium, and calcium which will sustain them through the spawning process. They needed to feed on crawfish which were becoming more active with the warm weather. I looked at my brother Justin and quickly put away all my rods but one. The only rod I left on the deck was my Dobyns 735 matched with my Abu Garcia Revo Rocket. This combination compliments my 1/2 ounce TNT Baits Dragon Fly Wada Jig extremely well. This particular color is my go to when the bass are in their winter transitioning stages.
We pulled up to a break on the north side of Mildred where the water was ripping out of the island. The rocks on the break were barely exposed and several scattered tules were present. I pitched my jig into a hole between the tules and rock about the size of a basketball. I felt a small tick so I leaned in and set, boat flipping a three pounder onto the deck of the boat. I looked over at my brother Justin and I told him we’re throwing jigs the rest of the day. He agreed and we continued down the bank catching several three to three and a half pounders. The tide was over half way out so we decided to run to Mandeville. We pulled up on the south side of Mandeville and it just looked perfect for a big girl to be present. It had a hard rock break scattered tules and a hard well defined grass line five feet off the bank. This area is what is referred to as a trough. I pitched my jig into the trough popped it twice and my line shot under the boat. I cranked on my Revo Rocket twice and leaned back with a cracking hook set. My rod doubled over and a nice chunk largemouth jumped right next to the boat. I flipping her up onto the deck of the boat and was greeted by a fist bump from my brother. That’s a seven he stated and I obliged him as I slipped her carefully into the livewell. As we made our way down the bank we caught several more three pounders along with several fish in the two pound class. As the tide fell out even further we noticed the fish were reacting towards a more aggressive swimming action on our jigs. This was beneficial because it allowed us to cover more water quicker rather then a traditional slow retrieve.
We came to an area where the trough was no deeper then two feet and there was lots of wood present. My brother flipped in between two limbs which were submerged and his line jumped approximately two feet. He leaned in and set the hook as he landed a nice largemouth which weighed five and a half pounds. We ran out of good looking water so we started up the motor and blasted back towards Mildred. We settled in an area we call three ponds which is located Northeast to Mildred. This area is basically tules with mixed in grass but the exterior has deep water around it which makes it ideal for winter transitioning bass. We fishing there for approximately twenty minutes when we doubled almost simultaneously on twin four pounders. With limited time before we had to leave, we took a quick photo and ended the day.
If I had only one tip to give it would be this. Just because the water is warming rapidly and there is a few fish getting ready to bed, doesn’t mean they all are. Keep an open mind while your out on the water and always stay optimistic. Hope this fishing report helps you catch more fish, and good luck out there next time your on the water.
RB Bass Pro Staff Angler
Christopher Anthony Evola
My buddy Jason Wing and I launch out of Granite Bay around 10 o’clock on a last-minute decision to go fishing.. We blasted off into the north end of the lake fishing rock piles with tubes, cranks, and Keitech swim baits .. We were really expecting a tough bite , but didn’t take long to get one with a Keitech on an offshore rock pile.. Water clarity was stained with visibility up to 3-5′ where we were.. We moved in shallow and the water was a little warmer in the 54°-58° range and we started getting some shallow bites on the tube , and we were finding bait in the same areas.. We made a decision to check water temps on the main body but we only had about 45 minutes left to fish, water temps were around the same but the clarity was a little bit more stained than up north..
Temp. 40 to 55 rain with hail showers.
Wind was 5 to about 25 during a downpour.
Water temp. 46 to 50,
stained 6 inch visibility.
Fished the local High School Tournament put on by Vista del Lago HS. Each boat has 2 anglers from a high school fishing team. The HS Anglers fish for their own 5 fish limit and the boater fishes for one fish in a big fish only option. I prefished Saturday, the water levels have been fluctuating greatly with all the recent rain. Between 2/10 and 3/5 the high water level was 450 and the low of 400. With all this and the lingering cold water temps, the fish were not very active. I committed to the main body of the lake. Found some nice groups of fish in the 20 foot range outside of some coves and off of some points. I threw a number of known fish catching baits at them with no takers! I threw spinnerbaits, A-Rig and my trusty pointers on some flats, nothing! Deciding that some smaller baits like tubes, baby brush hogs and 4″ fat worms would increase my odds of getting bit, everything else went in the rod locker.
Working a rocky flat with a few stumps I got my one and only prefish bite. Chunky spot that ate a 4″ green pumpkin Senko, covered in Smelly Jelly. Surprise to me, it was in about 2 feet of water. That was a pattern I was going to focus on in the tournament. I was paired with Daniel and Tony from Vista del Lago. They were ready and had similar results from their prefish. At 8:30 I got bit and landed a nice 4lb Spot on a green pumpkin tube dipped in chartreuse dye on an 1/8 darthead. Having a little confidence that we were doing the right thing, I put my rod down and let the kids go at it while I tried to keep them in good position. The grind was on, doubts creeping in my head as 2 hours passed without another bite. I grabbed a rod with a Zappu head and trick worm. Many more casts and finally a bite, but it was gone that fast! One of the team had a Smallie Beaver on a darthead rigged which he threw in immediately where I was just bit. Fish on! They landed a nice little 2 pounder. I put my rod down again for some time. I really wanted these guys to do well, but the fish weren’t cooperative! We kept moving around trying different baits. I picked my rod back up and instantly wished I hadn’t, I landed another 4 pounders!
Knowing we have decent fish around is great, but me catching them is not helping! I put the rod down again and kept my guys in good position, until the wind really started going. It was time to seek shelter behind a hill. There were several other boats with the same idea. There was also a huge school of fish down in 20′, but they would not bite! The water was also 46 degrees! We had an hour left and decided to try one other spot close to the ramp. The wind had really shifted and was blowing. On our way in we found some good size waves and the ride was rough, even in a 21′ Champion! We stopped outside the ramp area and discussed our options. They made a great decision to call it a day. We had a great pizza lunch, raffle while the wind laid down as the sun was coming out.
Simple and effective baits all found at outdoorproshop.com were the key. While there were some that did better, there were many that didn’t even get bit. Remember what’s important is the learning and to remain safe when you’re out there!
My buddy David and I launched the boat about 10 am.. Water temp was 57 at the dock. The water clarity was about 6 in. before you’re lure disappeared. Cold and muddy, not looking good. We fished all of my favorite spots and searched for new ones. We used brown Jigs with plastic trailers, spinner baits and both square bill and medium diving crank baits. All fished as slow as possible. Still nothing. The graph showed fish spread out and not schooling at all. No bait fish balls and diving birds were spread out searching. Caught my first fish on a jig on the edge of the drop in front of the spillway. Caught my last fish on the square bill in the Rock Creek arm in about 3ft. of water. Two fish total for the day. We did not get up into the Bear River arm so I don’t know what the water temp or clarity is up there. As always, thank you for checking in with RBBass and please visit our sponsors on our home page for great deals.