Fishing with Noble / Noble Smith
Years ago, I read an article in Sports Afield Magazine. The article was written by Homer Circle, a famous outdoor writer that wrote about fishing. The article was about the two best bass fishing lakes in California. The lakes were Lower Otay in San Diego and Isabella Lake.
Homer wrote about the best bait to use, which was a purple plastic worm. He also wrote about the best times to fish Isabella. He wrote, ‘sleep in, talk fishing with your buddies and get out and fish in the afternoon.’ That article was written sometime in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s. I believe it still holds true today.
I have had some great afternoon fishing action on Isabella Lake. Some of the largest fish of all species my family and I have caught between noon and sundown. My wife Pamela caught her monster 12 pound, 6 ounce bass, and I caught my not-so-monster 11 pound, 2 ounce bass in the afternoon.
I have a lot of theories as to why the afternoon bite is better. There is usually an afternoon wind on Isabella Lake. Along with the surface disturbance, I believe fish are more confident to feed near the surface and shoreline. Also, boat activity is less likely to scare fish off when the lake surface is disturbed.
The wind also churns things up a bit on the surface, naturally moving baitfish around and pushing them towards shoreline and other structures. A lot of times, catfishermen will fish facing the wind knowing food sources will be pushed their way.
Another great thing about afternoon fishing is you can spend your morning getting your chores done. This will clear the guilt feelings of fishing while there are important things to be done.
Fishing is also a great way to unwind after a hard day’s work. It’s a great way to get the family together after school. The kids can have some good, healthy fun in between homework and dinner.
A lot of boat fishermen will launch their boats at the crack of dawn. Most of the time, I am one of those boaters. We usually pursue the morning bite until mid-day or early afternoon. This is the time we usually get off the lake. If the wind is not too bad, this is a good time to go out fishing.
After a morning of fishing pressure, the majority of boats leave the water. This leaves a lot more access to fish certain areas that hold fish. I believe in the summertime, a lot of fish will move from deeper water to points and coves to feed.
Shore fishing seems to heat up as the sun goes down. I have caught some nice fish just as the sun starts to go down behind the mountains.
Went out the other day with my good friends John and Walt to chase some afternoon crappie. We hit the shore near Free Air Point and got into some small fish. The wind was pretty strong, so we moved over to the Tillie Creek area. We were still catching a lot of small fish, so we just released the fish. It was a blast catching the small crappie on ultra-light gear. John, along with another fisherman, caught a couple of nice trout using crappie jigs.
Afternoon fishing is also great on the upper Kern. A lot of fishermen like to hit the water first thing in the morning. It’s a great time to fish before all the summer water activities begin again. I like to go out late afternoon after all the water activities are over. When the water is quite in the late afternoon, it seems the insect activity increases. This brings the fish to the surface.
I think the time the bats are out chasing mosquitos and it’s almost too dark to tie on a hook – this is the time when the big fish come out of their hideouts and aggressively feed.
Fishing action is great all around the valley now. Bass, catfish, crappie and trout are all very active now. Hopefully the bluegill will join the action. The days are long, so get out mornings or afternoons and enjoy the action.
See you on the water.