The Last Day Of January

Northern California is is on the verge of the biggest water deficit in it’s history.  There has been no rain in January and it looks bad for fishing next year.  With that in mind,  I met up with Dave Bearden and fished the Oneil Forebay today.   It was a beautiful fog free summer like day on the forebay.  The weather was spectacular and the water temp was 54 degrees.   The forebay was down two feet from last week and it was actually very warm- a balmy 70 degrees.   Unfortunately, the fishing in the fog and cold last week was much better than today.  We fished the flats that were so productive last week with nothing but a large fish scale on a the point of a clouser to show.   We actually nicked several large carp on that flat. . At the end of the day,  we only had caught three fish between the two  of us  with one about 19 inches.  On the flip side, The Delta seems to be getting more fishable.   I ran into Vaughn and Larry  on the Forebay, and  they also had only a couple fish.

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Using the Iphone App “Real Tides“,  I noticed that my best fish of last year in the Delta were caught on the bottom of the outgoing tides.  An interesting post made by Dan Blanton on his BBS

Posted by Dan Blanton on 2015-02-03 10:18:20 in reply to Delta tide preference posted by SJ on 2015-02-03 09:39:02

Well, I’ve spent a great deal of time fishing the delta since 1992 and I wish I had the tides/locations dialed that well. I don’t; and I don’t really think any one does to that degree. There are spots that fish better during a certain tide. For example, I know a few spots that fish well only the last hour of the incoming or falling tide – when the tidal flow is the slowest or weakest – being there at any other time is a waste of time because the current flow is just too fast.Overall, I tend to like a moon phase that results in a high tide starting to fall early morning, falling until around noon and them incoming the remainder of the fishing day. I choose a route that will fish best on falling water. There are spots I know are falling water spots; while some are best incoming; and some fish well both ways.

I don’t homestead a spot waiting for the fish to show up. I’m on the move looking for them. I’m not saying this is better than the waiting game but it works for me most of the time. By moving and hunting, following my tide route plan, I’ll find them sooner than they’ll find me; at least that has been my experience. Of course fish have to be in the area I choose to fish and I’ve chosen the wrong direction plenty of times. I’ve picked well plenty of times too. Luck plays a big role in the game.

I firmly believe that there are lots of “right” ways to approach the fishery but tides are important and I like the major tide to occur during daylight hours instead of in the middle of the night. Fish tend to feed most heavily on a major tide – preferably outgoing since the fall forces bait out of heavy shore cover making them more vulnerable to predators.

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