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Central Coast Round-up: White bass crank up at Lake Nacimiento

BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff Writer Published: Jun 07, 2018

San Antonio largemouth picking up some, catfish still chewing Lopez largies, panfish going strong

BRADLEY — White bass went on the snap in a big way this past week to join an already-good bite with aggressive and willing spots as water temps slowly inch upward at Lake Nacimiento. The whites went on a tear starting midweek on through the weekend, providing anglers in the right locales with plenty of bent rods.

“The white bass fishing near the mouth of the river was just stupid,” said lake regular and frequent WON source Rich Lingor, who was on the lake Friday and gathered a few more reports over the weekend. “It was about all you wanted with just about whatever you had — Road Runners, spoons, Rooster Tails or Rapala minnows. Just about anything that might look like a shad is getting bit.”

whitebassWHITE BASS WENT on the snap this past week, especially near the mouth of the river, where they were hitting just about ‘“anything that looks like a shad.”

The spotted bass aren’t on quite the feeding bender as their white brethren but are still being lipped in steady numbers. First thing in the morning is providing bassers with some topwater opportunities off main and secondary points, along with a decent reaction bite through the morning with underspins, spinnerbaits and small cranks. Finesse plastics are also picking off good numbers of spots throughout the day, but early and late has been best with the recreational boat traffic muddying things up a bit.

Crappie are currently willing biters for the most part if you can find them, but heavy water releases at around 420 cfs are causing the slabs to relocate to new structure frequently — still, pin ‘em down and they’ll most likely hammer the jig. Catfish are also available at Naci with cut baits in what is a fair-to-good bite.

At neighboring San Antonio, the latest development is the burgeoning shad spawn currently underway at the lake.

“There is a huuge shad spawn going on at San Antonio right now,” Lingor told WON, who fished the lake midweek. “It’s just about the most shad I’ve ever seen there.” That latest development regarding the shad has helped spark a bit of a reaction bite with an uptick in numbers of largemouth taking baits, and a bit more quality showing now too. Spinnerbaits and underspins are getting a little play in the mornings but soft plastics are still ruling the roost as far as getting bites goes.

SAN ANTONE KITTY — Catfish continue to chew well at Lake San Antonio, with quality cats like this model for lake local Rich Lingor.

Catfish are also going strong at San Antone, with kitties to 8 pounds in the mix and most anglers targeting the cats finding at least a couple willing takers. A variety of cut baits are doing the job nicely, along with the occasional shad imitation intended for bass. Lingor noted that a key in the current whiskerfish bite is using light 6-pound line and little or no weight for a more natural presentation. Striped bass on the other hand appear to have a seemingly much more dim prognostication.

“The bad news is that it looks like the stripers are just about non-existent,” Lingor said. “It may just be that we might have lost our adult population with the last algae bloom. There were rumors of a couple people maybe seeing a striper boil in the last couple weeks, but there’s just no sign of ‘em. On a brighter note, there are lots of bluegill swimming around in the coves, so it looks like that fishery might be bouncing back.”

Down the road at Lopez Lake the largemouth action is also heating up, both in terms of quantity and quality. Bassers are finding some topwater chances early with buzzbaits and walking baits, while the mornings are also giving up some solid fish on crankbaits, jerkbaits and underspins. But the way to rack up the most numbers at Lopez remains Texas-rigged plastics and jigs, along with the occasional creature bait enticing a quality model.

The panfish bite is also rolling along nicely at Lopez, Lingor said. Soaking mealworms or redworms on a split-shot or dropper loop setup has been scoring very good numbers of bluegill and redear.

THE HARRIS CREEK launch ramp has seen a significant drop in the lake level with continuing water releases.

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