Not a lot of the Central Valley lakes have a ton of water this time of year, Kaweah is no different. It does seem to have launch ramps that go to the bottom of the lake.
I have taken a couple trips to this lake recently and have been able to catch a number of fish. No real size, just lots of tugs on the line. The largest has been a two and a half pound fish. Now, Kaweah is known for having some giant fish in it, my personal best is an 11 pounder. I have seen 13 pound fish taken and have seen pictures of 16+ pound monsters coming from the lake. Most of the big fish have all been in the spring, I have never heard of any real big fish being caught in the fall. You can’t catch a big fish if you don’t try so I tried.
The water temperature was 64 degrees and the air temp was 84. Water levels had still been dropping and it had just been a full moon. It’s always tough this time of year to figure out what the bite will be. There are plenty of bait fish balling up, the trout are starting to move back towards the surface and the crawdads are still active. I decided to start with top-water baits and then gradually work my way down. I started by throwing a Lunker Punker on the main lake points and around any structure I could find. When that proved fruitless I changed to a Huddleston swimbait (ROF 5). My partner started throwing the S-waver and a Skinny Dipper swimbait, we worked the same areas. After an hour of fishing those baits, I switched to the tried and true bait that seems to work every time the drop-shot. I took the Pro Worm Rainbow Shad out and made a cast into the area that I had just gone through with the HUD. First cast hooked a bass; this was the start of a 25 fish day. Now, there were no giants caught but sometimes just catching fish can be fun. I was catching most of the fish in 12 feet of water, as I drifted out over deeper water (30-40 feet) I would mark a few fish. I tried to catch these fish but it was tough they just seemed more lock jawed. Finally I took out a 3 inch Pro Leech in Purple Shad; third cast into the deeper water rewarded me with the biggest fish of the day. Having this new knowledge lead me to fish for the deeper fish, thinking “this is where the bigger fish might be lying,” I picked up the HUD again. After another half hour of no bites, back to the drop-shot, this time sticking with the deeper water and the smaller bait. Caught only one fish and it wasn’t a big fish.
So, if you’re headed out to Lake Kaweah in the next few weeks I would still tell you to bring the big baits and keep them handy. You just want to make sure and have that drop-shot rod ready. Focus on the areas of the lake that have some bottom structure and depth changes. Keep your eyes on your graph, when you find bait balls drop down your bait. First thing in the morning seemed to be the better bite, action wise.
Good Luck out there,