California Boating Card


Northern CA Freshwater

Lake Berryessa bass on banks

By BILL RICE/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 11, 2018

WINTERS –– Water temps have soared to the mid 60's and the bass have crashed the banks at Lake Berryessa.

WON Field Reporter Scott Green said bass anglers are enjoying catching good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass all over the lake. Most of the fish being caught are males in the 1- to 3-pound range with a few occasional brutes over 10 pounds. The major creeks (Putah and Pope ) remain stained at this time, so spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, A-rigs and a variety of plastics are working up the creeks.

berryessaduoBERRYESSA DUO — Tom Jolin of Lakeport and Keith Bryan, owner of Powell Rods, had some fun on Lake Berryessa this week. The big largemouth that Tom is holding hit the scales at 9.45 pounds. The photo was sent in by WON Field Reporter, Scott Green.

“From the narrows and on up the main lake to the north end, you'll find clear water and plenty of bed fish,” Green said. “Best technique this past week has been drop-shotting 6-inch Robo worms in oxblood, Aaron's Magic or weightless senkos in the trees in 5 to 10 feet of water works best.”

Tom Jolin of Lakeport and Keith Bryan owner of Powell rods spent a recent day on the lake catching over 40 bass in the 1- to 3-pound range, but anchored it with a brute at 9.4 pounds. Tom said he caught the fish on a bed in 8 feet of water along the main body, with their best 5 going right around 21 pounds.

Grab your polarized sunglasses and head down the bank looking in protected coves an bays for bedded fish. Anglers are also seeing many big black crappie on beds in 5 to 10 feet of water and can entice them with white/red crappie jigs with some going up to 3 pounds. Catch and release is always recommended when bed fishing to ensure they get a full spawn this year.

Lake Berryessa remains 9 feet from the Glory Hole and all the launch ramps except Capell Cove are operable. Capell Cove is currently under construction getting re-paved.

Guide “Lunker” Larry Hemphill also had a good guide trip at Berryessa. He took a father and his brother, along with the father’s 6-year-old daughter, Allison, who loves to bass fish. And she is good! She beat the men for big fish with her 3 1/4-pound largemouth. She hooked, fought, and landed the bass all by herself!

Hemphill said, “We did some sight fishing with success but caught mostly smaller males. The bigger bass were still a little deeper in the narrows. With 4 in the boat, we just drop-shotted Robo worms most of the time. The bass were eating the two favorites – MM111 and morning dawn. We used some shad colors as well.”

They caught around 20 keepers with the best five around 14 pounds. Good average size! They had an amazing event in the afternoon – saw a 4- to 6-pound smallmouth swim slowly right by the boat. “I think she was okay, probably just sunning herself! What a sight,” said Hemphill.

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