By Noble Smith
The most common question I am asked at the sporting goods store is, “What are the fish biting on?” Since we are located near the upper Kern River, this question is in reference to Rainbow Trout.
I question all the successful fishermen I can. I have come up with a list of the most popular baits. I tell anglers salmon eggs, worms, Powerbait and crickets are the top baits. Of course, there are several types of salmon eggs and Powerbait. There are also a few different types of worms.
Most of the time, fishermen appreciate the information and pick out a few of these baits to buy. Now and then, a customer will tell me trout will hit on worms and nothing else, and I have tried everything.
One time, I had a wife of a fisherman come in for salmon eggs. I sent her back to camp with Pautzke Red Label Premium salmon eggs. She came back with the salmon eggs. She told me her husband demanded Pautzke Green Label salmon eggs. He said the Green Label is all the fish will hit.
I have had fishermen call for crickets. If they are not available, they would reply, “Guess I am not going fishing today.” They then ask when they will be in because crickets are the only bait that will catch fish.
I think confidence in what you are using helps make you a successful fisherman. So many times, I have gone fishing with a rig that another fisherman told me about. After time, I go back to my familiar way of fishing. I know I will fish a bait or work a lure a lot better if I feel like I will get a strike on any cast.
It looks as if we are finally going to get fish for our hatchery. I have heard thousands of small fish are to be delivered, possibly by the middle of this month. This is great news for our fishery. This means more fish and trophy trout in the water for next season.
Fishing has been good on the river. It’s been a couple of weeks since the last stocking. Fishermen are doing well on holdovers from all of the stocking this past season. Talked to one of our local fly fishermen doing well on dry flies. This means fish are still actively feeding on the surface. Good quality fish from 12 to 16 inches being caught.
Catfishing has been good on the lake and the lower river. Talked to one angler doing well on the lower river using red worms. Red worms are not a very common bait used for catfish. This fisherman is catching fish from 2 to 3 pounds with an occasional 8-pounder. Of course, red worms are the only bait they will hit on.
Talked with one of my fellow bass fishermen, fishing baits for bass in about 20 feet of water and catching nice sized crappie. There are still a lot of quality crappie in our waters. Hopefully they will show up this coming spring with a great spawn bite.
Fished our final tournament of the season for the Lake Isabella Bass Club. The tournament was on Nov. 4. It had been several months since I have fished a tournament. I was pretty fired up for this one.
Mother Nature was also fired up for this one.
The wind blew hard and cold all day long. No excuses – it is the same for all the fishermen in the tournament.
Only four teams showed up for this one. My hat’s off to these guys; it was tough out there. Thanks to my teammate Roy King, catching a lunker 12-inch .78 pound bass, we came home with a third place finish. Roy carried the team again.
The winners, Bill Hines and Brad Ayers, have been tough to beat all year long. They also took home the plaque for Fisherman of the Year.
Our next tournament is April 21, 2018. This gives Roy and myself plenty of time to practice so we can go after these guys next year. This also gives anybody interested in club fishing plenty of time to prepare for next season.
Join the fun, and see you on the water.