Bass fishing is a very dynamic sport one thing will work great one day and you will get skunked (catch nothing) the next and as winter inches closer fishing gets more difficult. Even though here in California we have fairly mild winters across the state the fish still make dramatic changes in the way they act and react to baits. Just like us in the winter the fish tend to be more lethargic and like to stay warm so it limits the fishing you can do. Around October the water temperatures begin to drop dramatically Large Mouth Bass will begin to retreat to deep waters where the water temperature will stay warmer and more constant. In the winter Bass are similar to bears, bears hibernate and bass try to use as little energy and wait till the spring to go on the hunt for food. Because of this fishing for them becomes almost impossible especially if you do not have a boat and fish finder. The best way to catch fish in the winter is to use a football head jig and move it super slowly gently bouncing it off the bottom in deep waters. The fish at this time of the year do not want to come out and attack lures like they do in the spring and summer so you are going to need to drag the bait right in front of them to coax them to sucking it up. If you are fishing from a bank or even on a boat it is going to be hard to get lucky to have a real chance of catching winter fish consistently. Your best bet is if you have a fish finder because it will show you where the fish are hiding deep and where underwater cover like downed trees and rocks where the fish will hangout. No matter what winter fishing will be vary slow compared to the other seasons so stick in there and try not to get discouraged!
The drop shot is a crucial set up to know how to properly execute to be a successful and dynamic fishing especially in California. The drop shot is a lure set up associated with “West Coast Anglers” and are used by professionals and novices alike in states on the west of the United States especially California and Arizona, used for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and even Spotted Bass. Chris Zaldain a San Jose, Ca local and Professional fisherman in the Bassmaster Classic series on of the biggest bass fishing tournament series in the United States placed 6th in the Ca Delta tournament using it almost exclusively. The set of of a drop shot is much different than other fishing lure set ups, you connect a weight designed for it at the bottom then 4″ to 12″ above you connect a 2 o/t hook, most all lure set ups have the weight above. Then on your hook you want to connect a soft plastic (rubber) either a trick worm or small shad (bait fish) imitation. Choosing being the shad or the worm will depend on what bait is in the body of the water you are fishing but when it doubt a worm is always a safe bet. The best part of the drop shot is you can essentially anywhere, rocky to weedy, 3 feet of water to 50 feet of water, etc. To fish it you want to cast it at a point that you think will be holding a fish like a point off a cove or downed tree and let it sink to the bottom. Then you want to reel up almost all the slack, then you move the rod tip up and down which will in turn make the worm “dance” underwater attracting the fish. Then you will feel a tug or two when a fishing bites it at which point yank up on the rod to set the hook and reel you fish in. When reeling in your fish keep the rod tip down and the line taught to insure the fish cannot spit the hook up. If you do not get a bite in about a minute of jerking your lure reel it up cast in a new position and try again until you have success. I suggest using the drop shot to find fish or on a slow day when you are not having success on other lures. Tight lines and good luck!
Coyote Lake is a small lake owned and managed by the Santa Clara County Parks located in Gilroy, Ca about 30 minutes east of US 101. This lake contains all the fish that are common to the area and the other local lakes including Common Carp, Catfish, Large Mouth Bass, and Black Crappie. This lake is known to local South Bay fisherman for being a solid producer of the biggest bass in the Santa Clara County Park lakes with bass being pulled out of here at over 10lbs. For people new to bass fishing most recreational bass fisherman will be lucky to catch even one double digit large mouth bass in their lifetime. This lake is fairly dynamic in ways to fish it because of its diverse geography. On the far wall of the lake from the boat ramp it is a very steep and rocky wall which I have always found produces solid numbers no matter the water level when pitching a jig and bouncing it along the bottom on the retrieve to the boat. I would suggest hitting this spot in the beginning of the day because it is in the middle section of the lake and has little protection so in the middle of the day boat traffic scares the fish and the wakes make it hard to keep your boat off the edge of the lake. Another great spot to fish is the left side of the lake (facing the boat launch) where the shrubs grow into the water. This spot is pretty good all day because it stays out of the way of wake-boarders and other boat traffic, unfortunately the water level has to be high enough to be up to the shrubs to produce fish. If you are fishing the spot I suggest to use to throw a texas rigged creature bait (I prefer a Havoc Pit Boss) and pitch it into the brush as far as possible and drag it back about five feet and then try again. The last spot I would suggest is the slough where the river feeds into the lake if you want to catch massive bass but be warned fishing here is going for broke. There are eight plus pounders hidden back here but coaxing even one to bite is very difficult and there is no consistent bait that will get them to bite. Overall it is one of my favorite lakes to fish and if you live in the South Bay I suggest going out and trying my tips and have a blast on the water. Remember a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work! Here is a link of a catch I made at Coyote https://youtu.be/uIBW6P4QMAM
Hi my name is Scott Wilford and I grew up in Sunnyvale, Ca and have been fishing for as long as I can remember. Once I got to high school my passion ignited and I spent all my free time on local lakes and the older I have gotten to go fish dozens of bodies of water and hone my skills. In this blog my goal is to give my readers everything from advice, reviews, tackle tips, and some stories from my days on the water. I hope that me giving you this information is for both newbie fishers and veterans that just want other perspectives alike. I have chosen to create a whole blog about bass fishing specifically in California for a few reasons, one it is my biggest passion and bass fishing in California is drastically different than bass fishing in other parts of the United States. I really want to give this blog a wide spread when talking about California bass fishing because it is such a different place and I want to give advice on what lures and baits to use to what lakes are really impacted and which lakes I have had some of the best fishing of my life in. For people who are reading this blog who are looking to get into fishing I want them to be able to go out and succeed and not have to learn it all on their own. Fishing in the past has been very secretive with old timers not want to give up their tips and spots cause they want all the fish for themselves but I want to be part of the new movement to help other anglers fish to the best of their abilities and have the best time while fishing not getting all bummed out cause they did not catch a fish all day trying to teach themselves. Stay tuned for future updates and hope you enjoy.