Lake Berryessa 05-16-2020
I was fortunate enough to get out on Berry with my buddy Joey on Saturday. We had high expectations since the lake had been closed to boats for over 2 months now. We thought the big ones would forget what a lure looked like "lol". I wish I could say the bite was on fire for us but it just wasn't. Don't get me wrong we caught a lot of fish, which is fun and all but me and him are the type of fisherman that choose quality over quantity most days so we were a little disappointed. This is the process though. Let me repeat that "THIS IS THE PROCESS" you're not going to smash them every day you hit the water. you need to spend time on the water and allow yourself to pick up on the clues and the environmental factors that contribute to the behavior of the big fish of that ecosystem for that particular period of time. Put in the work and you will catch more and bigger bass. If you just want to catch bigger fish then that's when you hire a guide like me. Anyways lets get to it, After waiting in line for about an hour at Markley cove. We finally got the boat launched around 7 am. The water temp started in the 69-70 degree range. throughout the day it rose to the 72-73 degree mark. The water was its beautiful emerald green color with around 10 ft visibility. perfect for our hopes of sight fishing.
We made a long run up north hoping to find the bigger largemouth spawning on some of the flats.. unfortunately we didn't find any bass on beds, actually I would say every fish we caught was post spawn. They were all very skinny and needed a meal big time. Our first couple of bites of the day came on a jig in 15 ft of water in the middle of a pocket full of flooded buck brush. We decided to run with that pattern, so we hit multiple pockets up north with the deeper buck brush. It worked! Just not for the size we were hoping for. we caught multiple 1-3 pound fish on lucky craft pointers and Stacy 90's. our small fish came on the popper and the drop shot up shallow in less than 10 ft. I feel like there is a good top water bite either happening now or soon especially at low light with the shad spawn. Anyways we tried to change things up around 1200 pm to see if we could find some bigger fish in some different areas working with our same buck brush pattern we ran to the back of Pope creek and into multiple other bass boats, it was frustrating but we did catch a few fish in the limited area were able to fish, still nothing of size though. we moved back out to main lake and the vineyards where the water was a little dirtier than the previous spots we had fished. There we caught a few more fish in that 1-2 pound range on a drop shot and a fluke. back in the flooded brush.
We spent the rest of the day hitting the same spots we hit that morning, trying to get a bigger bite at a different time of day. If you don't go back to spots and hit them again, I highly recommend it, a lot of times it produces a couple extra good quality fish throughout the day. in conclusion we ended the day with a very small 10.89 five fish limit. Our biggest fish came on a Stacey 90 Jerkbait weighing in at a whopping 3.21 pounds. Fish are still spawning around the lake but we didn't find any on beds, like I said before we were catching mostly post spawn fish. Any kind of shad imitation bait will get you bit right now we got bit on Jerkbaits, Poppers, Flukes, Drop Shots, Spooks and a Jig. the cranking bite should be taking off with the shad spawn in the very near future. I will be heading out tomorrow to see if I can figure a few more things out. until next time keep on living fast and catching bass.