Fishing with Noble: Better to be lucky than good

By Noble Smith

My fishing partner Roy and myself were going out to pre-fish for our up coming Bass tournament. We met at the Main Dam at about 4 p.m. The lake was a little choppy, so we decided to head to the south end of the lake to find some warm water fish. By the time we arrived at Brown’s Cove, the wind had picked up.

We were bouncing around like a bobber, so we decided to make a move. We did what a lot of fishermen do. When the wind picked up we ducked into the French Gulch area without much confidence. Roy sticks a nice fish.

Tournament day turned out to be a nice day. We took off and went to our tried and true spots after a few hours and several different spots, we decided to go back to French Gulch. We landed three nice Bass for a total of 10.48 pounds. Just enough to win the tournament. If the wind did not move into French Gulch on practice day, we would not have fished that area. Lucky. It also helps to have a skilled fisherman like Roy on the backseat. I guess we made our own luck.

Good news for Crappie fishermen: I talked to a few fishermen who actually were catching numbers of fish. One angler had a fifteen count day in the North Fork. He was using Crappie jigs from shore. The action in the west shore of Isabella can heat up in a hurry. Being exposed to more sunlight, the west shore can be a great spawning area for Crappie.

Some anglers are taking advantage of hold over Rainbows from our derby. I saw a nice Rainbow over 5 pounds caught at Camp 9. I also heard of some nice fish being taken in the Stine Cove area. Shore fishing has been the way to go. Springtime winds have been tough on boaters lately. Hopefully we will get back to our calm mornings and early afternoon winds.

It looks like it may be a while before stocking of the upper and lower Kern resumes. River flows approaching 5000 cfs make it difficult to stock. The fish are being raised in tubs and not dealing with current. These fish are then put into swift moving water making survival difficult. Catfish are still a good bet this time of year. It is just difficult to fish the shoreline when your chairs are flying down the shoreline and the flame in your campfire is sideways. Catfish are still there in the face of the wind waiting for it to push food towards them. Hang tough.

When I talk to successful anglers, I like to ask a lot of questions. If asked on exact location where fish are caught, I will probably get the wrong answer. Just what a fisherman wants is for me to beat him to his spot the next day.

I’m concerned with water depths, temperatures, baits, or line size that are catching fish. I’m more likely to get an honest answer to these questions. I then can go out and establish my own pattern and make my own luck.

See you on the water.