Look back proves 2020 not so bad after all

John Liechty

As the final days of the year have come and gone, we find ourselves with mixed emotions about 2020. Well, actually, we can all agree this past year has been a struggle, with one road block after another. And each time we felt like we could stand on our own two feet, we got knocked down again.

But through it all we remained hopeful, stayed focused, and continued on with life the best we could. So, as I take a look back at 2020 and welcome a fresh new year, I’m going to take the perspective of the glass half-full and not half-empty and review the past year in a positive light.

The first of the year started beautifully. The weather was gorgeous and my family and I spent a gorgeous afternoon combing the shoreline of New Melones Reservoir, searching for lost relics and enjoying a picnic in the sun. As

February rolled in, the air temperatures dropped to extremely chilly, as the fishing action heated up. The winter bite was in full swing and some great catches were made.

March started well, as spring was just around the corner. But as we began to gain traction, we ran into the first wall of the pandemic. As we had very little information at the time, we decided that the shelter-in-place order was a good idea. We began gardening and spent some wonderful time at home with the family.

The lake was closed in April and I didn’t get to do any fishing … yeah right! I borrowed a personal float boat from a friend and scoured smaller bodies of water. It was a great experience and the closest feeling I’ve had in years to being a kid.

Look back proves 2020 not so bad after all

One of the many fish boated by John Liechty in 2020.

In May we received some great news: the lake was going to open. Lake Don Pedro opened first and we made a trip in the big boat. It felt amazing. You don’t understand a thing like freedom until it’s taken away. Then Melones opened and we were back to a somewhat normal routine. The big bass just kept coming and coming. My gallery for this month is full of smiles and giants.

In June, usually the fishing tapers off, but not this year. It remained good and the heat of summer seemed to hold off for a minute. 

Then July came and the heat I previously mentioned came scorching in and stayed for what felt like eternity. However, after a while, it became more tolerable. We had some incredible topwater fishing and began dipping out in the wee hours of the night. Over a three-day period, we landed 32.4 pounds for five fish. That is an incredible weight for the time of year.

August and September were just the same—hot. The boating traffic was about the most I have ever seen. Probably because everyone was itching to enjoy the outdoors for months and many other activities were still not permitted.

Fall came in late with most of October being unusually warm. November came and finally some cool weather and a little rain hit the Mother Lode. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife planted trout for the first time in six years, which resulted in trout fishing being a productive option and the giant bass get to have a little snack every now and then.

And to close everything out, we had Christmas, which is such a wonderful time of the year.

2020 was a good year, as they all are. We can only hope for a normal 2021 and the ability to travel, dine out, work, play sports and enjoy our freedoms once again. Happy new year!

John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at (209) 743-9932.

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