I woke at 2 a.m. as a still blanket of silence came upon the house. The power was out and the constant hum of electricity and sound machines ceased. The chance of snow was predicted, but honestly, who can trust the weatherman anymore? There have been many threats made of a chance of snow and rain multiple times this season, but up until that point, nothing had come of it. Well, this time the predictions came true and the yard was covered in snow. Winter had finally arrived.
These days of storms were different than the last few storms that ended up fizzling out. This time, I knew we were going to get some cold weather and I received that tip from a very credible source. It’s a source that doesn’t make predictions based on patterns. It doesn’t use state-of-the-art technology and it’s a source that relies on making the proper adjustments as their lives depend on it. You guessed it; I got a tip from the little green fish that roam the waters of New Melones Reservoir.
I was out on the lake just a day before the frigid temperatures rolled in. The air was crisp and cooling and the cloud cover increasingly built throughout the afternoon. In the morning, the fish were feeding well up near the shoreline. As the day progressed, we lost track of the fish, as they moved locations entirely. We scoured different areas and depths with little success. Then, we looked in really deep water; the true winter holding depths and, lo and behold, we found a school of bass.
With the abnormally warm season we’ve been experiencing, we have not seen the fish pulling out to extreme depths. But they were in preparation for the severe cold. Another trick we discovered is, since the fish had a slower metabolism, we too had to slow down and drag our presentations painfully slow.
The winter has just begun and, with fingers crossed, we can expect much more. These deep-water bass can be a blast to catch and, once you’ve located them, there are usually plenty to keep entertained. It may sound funny, but if they are not shallow or near the bank where we are used to catching them, they are out deep. And for all the anglers and those curious about deep-water bass fishing, 70 to 90 feet is the targeted range.
So, with some sunny days ahead, we might see a change in fishing conditions. They might wish spring was near. However, I expect many more storms and some months of deep-water fishing.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at (209) 743-9932.