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rangerboy

When To Start Looking For Bass

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tournoment season starts in march, had all week off and spent three days on the lake hoping to get an early start on locating some quality bass for the spring.  water temp in northern cal is about 50- 54 deg. air temp in the 40s , water is slightly stained.   took all day to catch limits, found most fish off points in 20- 25ft of water, using drop shot. best fish all week was a 3lb spot that came off a crank bait in 15ft of water. any help. found bait fish in backs of coves in 10ft plus water, but no fish.

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March is 2 months away and more important 2 seasonal periods away in northern CA. Your fish now are in 25' of water and in winter transition to pre spawn. I do not know what lake you are fishing, spots are not normally a Clear lake bass!

By March the bass should be transitioning to full spawn depending on the weather, so look for spawning areas, then back off or out and find secondary points nearby, the bass should be staged there in March.

Now the bass are more than likely located in the main lake basin area feeding on baitfish, locate the bait, the bass will be close. The next stopping place for the transitioning bass should be major main lake points, then they move into the creek arms or large bays and stop on secondary points. The staging secondary points are the points that divide the bay or creek arm into branches, flats or protected coves, that have deep water leading to them, like a creek channel.

Study your topo maps, shouldn't take too long to identify those secondary staging points near traditional spawning areas.

Tom

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fishing on lake berryessa, thanks for the response. just trying to get an early jump on the fish. cold weather got me itchy for bass. work six days a week and hard to find the time to prep fish. thank you . hope the weathers good in so cal

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Berryessa is a big lake and has a lot of coves along the main lake basin area. Right now, with all the rain I would focus on the lower 1/3rd and the main lake points in that area. This are will also be the late spawn area, the north end starting eariler, so from a tournament point of view you will need to check the north end for spawning sites also. You have big LMB in Berryessa, both swimbait and jig fish.

Right now get yourself some Rapala ice jigs and 3/4 oz Megabait structure spoons and work over the deep bait bass. As I recall the main basin has some farmhouse foundations and it get like the north sea in the wind.

It's cold in SoCal the next few days and fishing will be tough, then it should be a good pre spawn bite for a month or so!

Tom

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I don't know about California Lakes but over here the lakes are down, I spend alot of time this time of year riding, looking at structure that is out of the water right now but will soon be under water, getting a feel for the bottom structure, taking photos, and putting in marks and ways points. I also li,e to bring my paper maps and make little notes on them. I started doing in winter of 2008. 2009 was drastically better than any year I have ever had. I continue to do that alot in the winter once our lakes are much lower and the fishing slower.

Just my .02

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waters up higher than normal. great idea about marking maps. use the electronics so much it would be good to have some thing to take and study for later. any thoughts on a log book? stuff changes every year might be useful for noticing a patern

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The man that taught me and still teaches me bass fishing, keeps a small note pad in his boat. He makes notes daily. If you look in his shop near his fishing stuff, there are probably 50-70 of those little pocket sized note books that have been written in and filled up. I'll take a pad with with me this time of year, but I'm not as disciplined as he is, I don't log every trip, or even half. If I find something new or an off the wall pattern, I then write it down.

It's a good idea tho. Or you,can get really modern since everybody is doing it, use a go pro cam and talk your self through a trip.

The new navionics is cool but I like old maps, old school I guess. The point of my .02 is to go exploring and practicing and use whatever method that suits you to record the info.

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Where you live there are world class bass fishing oportunities; the delta, Clear lake and Several deep structured lakes in the foothill areas, Berryessa being one of those. The delta is a river or several rivers coming together that have tidal influence and very heavy cover that bass relate to. Clear lake is the largest natural lake in the state, also with large areas of weed beds and some deep structure areas. The foothill lakes are deep structure reservoirs and are the most common type of bass lakes in Califirnia.

It can a life time to learn to fish these very different types of bass water but they all have one thing in common; basic bass behavior based on seasonal periods. Take some time and determine what prey the bass prefer where you fish and the locations they feed at.

Each body of water will have a lure color and depth preference during each seasonal period and making notes can help but no specific lure is a panacea to catching bass consistantly.

The reason I can tell you that bass in Berryessa at this time of year are located down in the lower 1/3rd of the lake feeding on shad schools and spoons are a good lure choice is Berryessa is a deep structure highland bass reservoirs and that pattern is happening on all those types of lakes with shad populations when the water temps are in the low 50's.

Tom

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being ten minutes from this lake the lower 3rd is closest to me. sounds like a good place to start, this lake is big and a long cold boat ride doesnt seem too fun unless i know the fish are stacked up in the creeks. i have some spoons but have never used one. will give it a shot. thanks for all the help

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Rangerboy I sent you a private message.

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