To mix things up, Ransom and I headed to Lake Berryessa Friday, where the bait was thick and the species diversity was..well…diverse! We only had a few hours in the afternoon, but got into creek channel that was filthy with shad balls and predatory fish. Check this ball o’ bait out!
Of course, where you find bait schools, there are usually big fish around as well. In this case, a school of bass:
The bite wasn’t as good as you’d expect…maybe there was simply too much of the real stuff around for the fish to smack our jigs…or perhaps it was the deteriorating weather. In any case, it wasn’t an outright slaughter, but spoonin’ did account for some nice fish like this spott Ransom nailed (be sure to ask him about his trophy squawfish, too!)…
And this healthy smallie of mine:
We were treated to a brilliant sunset just before the bait really moved in.
The shad were so thick right before dark that we ended up snagging a bunch of ’em on our spoons…which of course, got rigged up on mini mooching rig and sent back over the side. The real stuff got eaten pretty much every time I put it down. Here’s a sweet 2-pound ‘bow that gobbled a live 4-inch shad (check out those ugly worms that most Berryessa trout have, though):
Unfortunately, the bite seemed to peak right as we were running out of daylight — which seems to be the case on way too many fishing trips. We stuck it out as long as we could and then made a cold, GPS-aided 30-minute run back to the ramp in total darkness.