When I think about fishing during the months of August/September I’m reminded about my family’s annual camping trip while growing up. We used to camp once a year, right before we headed back to school. Most of the time we would camp at lake Camanche, Amador or Lake Pardee. The weather was always hot, and the fishing was always good. Most importantly, the camping trip was something I looked forward to all year long. Like Christmas, I would often count the days until we would go camping. Once there, I would often fish all day long and late into the night.
August and September are some of the busiest times on our local lakes. Fortunately, we have some fishing only lakes that enable us to get away from the crowds. No matter where you decide to go, one thing is for sure — there will be a lot of smaller fish up shallow. Growing up, this was the time of year when I used to walk the bank all day and catch bluegill. I would often dig up worms in my backyard the night before and often never had enough. Backs of coves with brush piles remain high percentage areas. For bass, the morning bite is worth getting up early for. In the morning the bass are looking to feed on the surface. Some of the best topwater fishing often happens in the morning hours. Some of my favorites are small poppers and Whopper Ploppers. As the day starts to warm up, I usually begin searching for the bait with my boat’s electronics. Usually the bait can be found around main lake points. Once finding the bait I’ll fish a variety of baits until I find out what they’re biting on. Some of those baits are ned rigs, swing head jigs, neko rigged Senko’s, or possibly a jigging spoon. For trout and kokanee every year is different. Some years the kokanee are still biting and some years the kokanee aren’t biting, but the trout are. This year has been difficult to figure out so far. Some of our best kokanee lakes aren’t doing so well while others are. The best advice that I can give you is to get there early and find the bait. Once finding the bait, troll a lure such as a small chrome Triple Teaser. The Triple Teaser is one of my favorite baits to troll for locating fish.
Fishing on the Delta this time of year can be very exciting. Many people wait for the weather to cool down before they start targeting striped bass. What they don’t know is that they’re possibly missing out on some great action. It’s important to keep a close eye on water temperature and sea lion activity. With the longer nights, the water will begin to slightly cool, causing schools of bait, sea lions and striped bass to migrate through the Delta. Some of the best areas to target striped bass are around Franks Tract, Sherman Island and Liberty Island while using live bait, trolling deep diving Rapalas, Top Water Walking Baits, Glide Baits or Swim Baits. Fishing for largemouth bass is all about finding the grass and current. The biggest bass will still be around the thickest grass next to current. The smaller bass will be feeding heavily on just about anything. This time of year is a great time to get lots of bits on reaction baits as the bass will be feeding in preparation for the winter. For catfish, the nights are still warm enough to fish. catfish on the Delta like to position themselves in slack water, either behind a big rock or on the inside of a bend in the levee. One of my favorite baits for catfish is raw prawn meat found at the local grocery store. It’s just as effective as any other bait and it stays on the hook.