Title: Challenges of Early Spring Time Bass Fishing.
Well this is the time of year we all wait for as bass anglers. With a fantastic amount of western rainfall and snowpack the entire west got a super jumpstart on the spring season and it's future over the last few weeks with all the storms we've had in the western United States. As I write this there's a tremendous band of beautiful warm weather in front of us and we all know there's more storms heading west for the spring season. I'm sure we have quite a few more battles in front of us as we try to maneuver through the storms of the spring season but for the most part the spawning season has arrived for much of the western United States. Even though I have spent quite a bit of time speaking about how incredible it is for us as bass anglers to enjoy the springtime season. That doesn't necessarily mean that everyone of your fishing trips is going to be a complete slamdunk. Can't simply just drop your boat in the water and expect springtime is here to rescue you from all of your weaknesses that you may have in your fishing game. The spring of the year requires a lot more flexibility an adjustment than one might think. Yes on the perfect sunny days that are beautiful and water clarity is fantastic sometimes spring fishing can be quite easy. During perfect condition you have so many options. You can set the boat out in 12 to 15 feet of water and cast a plastic worm, a Senko and many other well-known springtime weapons. When the surface of the water is smooth and you have 10 to 15 feet of visibility in the water boy there's all kinds of options for site fishing and all kinds of cool stuff. On those perfect days in the spring when conditions are right you can have some of the greatest days of your life and actually begin to believe although it's just for a few brief moments that this sport of bass fishing can actually be quite easy. I really don't think that you need my help when conditions are perfect. What I have noticed in the spring of the year is when the weather gets a bit nasty and you have overcast conditions and you don't really have the optimum conditions that you would want for your day spring fishing can get a bit tricky. I thought we would talk about some of the techniques you can use to maximize your effort when the weather isn't cooperating as you had hoped for. One of the toughest things that anglers run into across the western states is low light conditions early in the morning when they launch their boats. It's what many of us in professional fishing call "Fishing in the Gray". Fishing in the gray is actually a term that was taken from ocean skippers all up and down the California coastline. We have so much fog along our Pacific Coast that it's a slang term for going fishing under gray skies or foggy conditions. A typical situation would be you I plan to go out and do some site fishing first thing in the morning and the overcast conditions make that very difficult. I would go ahead make the choice to start your morning off with all of your casting techniques. Pick the area of the lake that you believe you want to start in and rather than trying to look for fish in that area make long casts and fish the area thoroughly and wait for the conditions to get better. Don't go out and try to force something that the conditions are right for. You will have your window of time where you will have a chance at the sun coming out and the surface of the water being smooth where you can capitalize on a key sight fish. It's much like fishing a spinner bait. Sometimes of the year you'll want to go out and fish a spinnerbait but there's no wind to make the spinner bait bite really happen. Yet you still go out and try to fish the spinnerbait under less than perfect conditions and really don't have any success. It's the same way in the spring when your sight fishing. Don't force the issue. Speaking of the spinnerbait you may go out in the spring of the year and have overcast windy conditions first thing in the morning. Put your whole sight fishing game plan behind you and get to work with a crank bait and a spinner bait in the same shallow water areas that you believe the fish are spawning in. Utilize the techniques that you have that work best under those conditions. Like I said as the morning progresses conditions will change and you will have other opportunities to utilize different techniques. Another thing that I found very common in the spring of the year is on a warm sunny day you'll see lots of fish in shallow water or catch lots of fish in shallow water that are often aggressive during those warm sunny afternoons. On the very next day you will go out fishing in the same area and the conditions will be cold and windy. You'll notice that the fish aren't in that shallow water, it seems as though they vanished. Most likely those fish have moved out on a ledge or drop off that's adjacent to the area. Fish really like to sit out and stage in a bit deeper water when the conditions are not perfect for them. Later in the day if the sun comes out and the water warms you'll notice those same fish will run right back into that shallow water and you'll begin to see them like you did the day prior. I guess the focus of this is don't believe that the fish just move into shallow water and stay there permanently through the spawning cycle. The fish still move and change each and every day based on the conditions. It's very important that you make those changes with the fish. We are all of the belief that a warm sunny beautiful day is the optimum situation for the fish to come into shallow water and set up around something and really get after it during the spawning season. Most of us are also of the belief that if you have nasty cold windy conditions that those same fish that were in shallow water the day before will move into deeper water and almost sit back and wait for conditions to get better. You will notice for the most part that most of the fish in your area are still there but sitting out in slightly deeper water and staging waiting for better conditions. Most of us are also of the belief that once a fish is right in the middle of its spawning cycle almost any kind of weather can come through and that fish just will not leave. These are very few of the fish though. There's only a certain number of fish there in the absolute peak of their spawning session and just refuse to leave. With that being the case the majority of your fish are going to be out deeper water on those cold nasty days. It's a major mistake for you as an angler to fish under beautiful conditions and find an area loaded with fish and just continue to fish there regardless of the conditions. That's a just a major mistake made in the spring of the year. This spring can still be one of the very toughest times that you have as an angler. The only saving grace for us bass fisherman is that as most of us know once spring is in full swing most the time the weather becomes pretty consistent. That's really the saving grace for us bass fisherman during the spring season. That good consistent warming weather keeps those fish up and aggressive for us to experience fantastic fishing. Just be prepared every day that you go fishing in the spring and know that if any adverse conditions come through you're going to have to make changes in your approach. If you do not make the changes you will suffer through a very tough fishing day. As a basic overview try to keep your fishing from 2 to 10 feet of water throughout the spring season when you do how the Octomom sunny warm conditions. When things get windy, cold and nasty try to move your focus more to 12 to 20 feet of water even 25 feet as a general rule. Try to narrow your lure selection to baits that actually touch the bottom. For instants try to focus on a plastic worm, a jig, a split shot plastic worm. If you're going to use a crank bait make sure it's a crank bait it actually makes bottom contact throughout the retrieve. Make sure it's a crankbait that will hit the bottom in anywhere from 2 to 15 feet of water. If it's cold and nasty definitely pick a crankbait that you can fish down into 20 to 25 feet of water. I've always been of the belief that fish are very very bottom focused during this time of year. It's just a personal theory but I really believe that fish are very very focused on the bottom at this particular time of year. You've heard me talk quite a bit about suspended fish at different times of the year. This is not one of those times. I'm a big believer that the fish are looking down and really focused on things on the bottom. Whatever lure you select just try to remember to keep that bottom contact during this time of year. Enjoy your spring time fishing but don't take it lightly. You can make a major mistake by going to the lake and just expecting the fishing to be fantastic everyday in the spring. When nasty cold weather comes through it could be some of the toughest fishing you'll experience this season. Be ready for it. If you don't enjoy success right off in the morning be prepared to adjust into slightly deeper water and use your electronics and look for subtle breaks, hills, ledges and isolated cover in deeper water that you think the fish may move to once inclement weather comes to town.
January 26, 2017
by admin Comments Off on Lake Casitas Fishing Guide Report 01/25/2017
Lake Casitas Fishing Guide Report 01/25/2017 – We wanted our Lake Casitas bass fishing guide clients to check out just one of several fantastic videos that we have from last weekend's monster storm. This influx of freshwater rushing into Lake Casitas sets us up for a fantastic spring spawning season. We have already seen lots of fish moving into shallow water to spawn and a full moon is set for February 11. Anglers interested in booking a bass fishing guide trip can call or text me directly at 818-439-1154.
January 16, 2017
by admin Comments Off on Lake Casitas Fishing Guide Report 01/15/2017
Lake Casitas Fishing Guide Report 01/15/2017 – With a full moon set for February 11, 2017 this is the time for clients to begin to book fishing trips for an incredible spring season at Lake Casitas in Ventura California. Here is just one of several pictures of our February fishing clients from 2016. Each and every year we see a huge movement of fish into shallow water on this February moon. All of Southern California is aware that Lake Casitas is one of the very first places where fish move into shallow water to spawn and it's the place to be in Southern California. Anglers interested in booking their fishing trip for the month of February can call or text me at 818-439-1154.
We're super super close but we're not quite there yet. That's right I know it's hard to believe but as an example here at Lake Casitas in Ventura California we're maybe 30 days away from seeing our first cycle of bass move into shallow water to spawn. All of us are constantly reminded each and every year when we see bass fry in the water very early in the season just how early some of the fish move into shallow water to spawn. Now let's make it clear I'm not trying to sell the theory that there's large volumes of fish that move into shallow water during the month of January and February. What I can tell you is that more fish and especially large fish move in early in the season to spawn than most all of us will ever be aware of. As we all anxiously await the first sign of bass moving into shallow water and start to build nests in the ultra clear waters of the western United States. This is really a super fun time for us. We have all this beautiful clearwater and have some of the most famous reservoirs in the country for spotting that bass of a lifetime. Until that first sign of bass showing up in shallow water where you can visually spot them I thought I would go over the specifics of pre-spawn fishing. I thought I would go over exactly what pre-spawn fishing is really all about. Kind of clarify for people exactly what the term pre-spawn means and share with you a couple of my best techniques for this time of year.
The actual term pre-spawn means bass that are setting up in staging area and getting ready to move into shallow water and build spawning beds in anywhere from 2 to 15 feet of water. Usually bass will pick a spot that is very close to an area that they like to spawn and kind of set up there. What I mean by this is the fish will pick a little drop off or ledge with some good deepwater access nearby where they can set up and feed on threadfin shad and crayfish and bulk up as they prepare for the long and tenuous act which we call spawning. Bass will stage in these types of areas, these ledges and drop off next to shallow spawning areas and you can generate some fantastic fishing as the fish appeared to be somewhat grouped up on these isolated places. This can be one of the best times of the year if you are fortunate enough to find one of these super cool pre-spawn areas as you can set there for a good 30 to 40 days and catch quality bass that are all set up on this one isolated spot. The trouble is finding a spot like that. But it is exciting and that's why so many of us love pre-spawn fishing because it gives you that opportunity to look around and hopefully find one of those spots. Try to focus on areas of the lake that you believe the most bass spawn in and try to locate ledges or drop offs that are in close proximity to those areas and that's your best chance of locating your own secret spot to catch pre-spawn bass. Boy when you find a spot like that it's really cool. A lot of the bass are super chunky and healthy and look fantastic as they get ready for it this spring spawning season.
Now let's get into some of the favorite pre-spawn lures and techniques that you can use. Without question one of the greatest pre-spawn weapons is a lead head jig. First of all let's talk about your set up. Of course I recommend a baitcasting outfit for this type of fishing. A 6 1/2 to 7 foot long medium heavy action bait casting rod is best. As most of you know I'm a big Daiwa guy and I always like to use technique specific equipment for each lure than I'm fishing. I like to use it worm/jig rod manufactured by Daiwa and put that rod together with one of the brand-new Tatula casting reels. Let me tell you if you have not tried one of these new Tatula reels you absolutely need to check it out. I've got three or four of them now and I absolutely love them. They have a super cool low-profile and a slightly larger spool as far as width goes. I like this because I can use this new Tatula reel and do a lot more things with it. For instance it's a fantastic reel for fishing the larger swim baits and umbrella rigs. It has just a tad more line capacity and that works well for fishing jigs also. The fact that when you press the thumb bar down and the line guide pops completely open is fantastic. What I mean by pops open is that the actual level wine pops open yet the hood of the reel and top of the reel stay completely rigid. This allows you to press the button and make some of the longest casts that you ever make in your life. The fact that that level wind completely pops open and there is so much area for your fishing line and it not be hindered by that level wine is what makes the difference in this fishing reel. It feels like every other fishing reel that you fished with. The difference in the Tatula is the fact that when you press that button the reel feels like every reel that you own except this one will cast better than anything you've ever used. The reel has an absolutely incredible handle on it also which I really love. It feels great in your hand and has the perfect amount of texture on it and really is built for power. Probably the most attractive thing to most people about the Tatula reel is it's super affordable. You can purchase this reel for under $150 and have something that you will have with you for a very very long time and you'll be able to cast a variety of baits with tremendous distance. For my jig fishing I like to take the Tatula real and match it with a technique specific Daiwa worm/jig rods and you will be set up with one of the best outfits you'll ever use. As far as fishing the jig the most important thing is to fish the jig with confidence and stick with it. This is a quality fish bait. Sure you can catch more fish on a drop shot plastic worm or shaky head worm or any variety of worm techniques. But the Jig produces quality bass and it's very rewarding at this time of year. What's nice about jig fishing at this time of year is the bass are really focused on feeding on crayfish in the pre-spawn season and you're actually choosing the bait that the bass are very very focused on. This is always a good thing and this is one of the few times that I tell anglers to try to focus on fishing jigs at this time of year. There's a lot of times during the year were I don't think that a jig is the best choice when it comes to bass fishing. This does not happen to be one of those times. The spring is when you want to pull your jigs out of your tacklebox and focus on it in particular during the pre-spawn season. I like to fish the jig on 10 to 12 pound florocarbon fishing line. I think it would be a good idea for some of you to look into some of the new green florocarbon fishing lines that are available. I started to experiment with that myself and I have noticed osome pretty good results. If you're fishing a smaller lighter jig 10 pound floral carbon is a really good choice. If you're fishing a heavier jig usually 12 pound florocarbon is your best choice. About the heaviest line that I ever fish the jig on is 15 pound florocarbon and that's when I feel pretty confident about the spot and that the water color is a bit stained where I feel like I can get away with the 15 pound test line. I don't know about you but I feel pretty confident when I hang a bass on 12 pound test line. It's pretty strong stuff and you can handle most anything that you hook. Tie the jig to the florocarbon with a Palomar not. Try to focus on fishing your jig slow and keep it on the bottom. You can experiment with small movements and twitches in your rod tip as you move through the day. You sometimes can dead stick the jig as you move it along, even stop it for 20 to 30 seconds maybe even longer on certain fishing spots whatever retrieve that you come up with is fine, the biggest problem with jig fishing is most of the people end up putting it down. Be devoted to fishing with the jig and fish it hard. Give it some time and keep grinding away at it. This bait will produce quality bass and like I said this is the time of year you want to develop your confidence when it comes to jig fishing. As far as colors of jigs you can use a wide variety of colors but I recommend you start with something that you have confidence in. Some of my top color choices are obviously the old standby a brown half ounce football head jig with a purple trailer. Without question a brown football head jig with a purple trailer whether the trailer be plastic or pork has absolutely been my number one producer for me over the last 20 years. It can be like I said a pork frog chunk if you like but I really like to use a zoom chunk trailer also in a purple color. If I had to pick a second color it would definitely be watermelon with red flake. I like to use a watermelon red flake jig with a matching trailer. Then my third choice would probably be a straight black jig. What I mean by straight is a black jig with a matching black trailer. Those would be my three top color choices for fishing in the western United States. I really feel like it if you have those three basic colors you're pretty well set. Try to focus on fishing a 3/8 ounce jig and also a half ounce jig those being your two top choices. Don't focus too much on the color of your bait, focus more on sticking with the jig and fishing it hard and keeping it on the bottom and fishing it slow. If you'll focus on those simple facts that will produce the best results. Good luck with your pre-spawn fishing and if any of you ever have any questions about this article or any of my other columns you're always welcome to visit me at www.RichTauberFishing.com.
January 9, 2017
by calprof Comments Off on Castiac Lake Fishing Guide Report 01/08/2017
Castiac Lake Fishing Guide Report 01/08/2017 – Our guide service is pushing all of our attention toward Castaic Lake in Castaic California. We had a very very difficult week of fishing at Pyramid Lake. I personally took trips the last three days in a row and had little to no success. Today things started on an upward swing as we are now seeing good movement of large 5 to 7 pound striped bass at Castaic Lake. There's a variety of techniques that work and we are very excited about what the coming week will bring. Anglers interested in booking a fishing trip and call or text me at 818-439-1154.
January 5, 2017
by calprof Comments Off on Southern California Saltwater Guide Report 01/04/2017
This summer we will have a boat and a captain available for local saltwater fishing – Jake Klinshaw our saltwater inshore and island captain with some exciting news today: I ordered 6 fully custom rods from Seeker and am going to get some reels for them so that way we have designated boat rods for the 2017 Ranger Bahia 22 foot center console. That way if anybody wants to book a trip and does not have the right tackle or would like to use it we have that option. There's 3 each of two different types that are totally versatile for any application of fishing we'll be doing around here. That way there's enough for 3 people to be outfitted.
January 4, 2017
by calprof Comments Off on Southern California Bass Fishing Guide Report 01/01/2017
Lake Casitas Fishing Guide Report 01/01/2017 … Smiles and great memories is what this sport is all about. All of us at RTF want to say Happy New Year and looking forward to a fantastic 2017 fishing season.
Southern California Bass Fishing Guide Service – Lake Casitas 01/01/2017
December 27, 2016
by calprof Comments Off on Southern California Bass Fishing Guide Report 12/25/2016
Southern California Bass Fishing Guide Report 12/25/2016 – Well here it is Christmas day and I thought I would share this picture of what it's all about for our fishing guide clients at RTF. Lots of fun, lots of fish, and memories that last a lifetime. Merry Christmas from all of us at Rich Tauber Fishing.
December 24, 2016
by calprof Comments Off on Best Of Southern California Fishing Guide Report 2016
Best Of Fishing Guide Report 11/23/2016 – Well it's almost New Year's so we thought we would spend this week showing off some of the "best of" pictures from our fantastic season at RTF. First up is Kentucky Derby winning jockey Stuart Elliott and his son pictured below this summer at Lake Casitas during a wide-open bite on 3 to 6 pound bass at Lake Casitas in Ventura California with guide Rich Tauber.
Southern California Bass Fishing Guide Service – Lake Casitas 07/02/2016
December 22, 2016
by calprof Comments Off on Winter bass fishing tips for our Southern California fishing guide clients Castaic Lake, Pyramid Lake, Lake Casitas.
Winter bass fishing tips for our Southern California fishing guide clients Castaic Lake, Pyramid Lake, Lake Casitas12/21/2016– Before I even begin the Southern California bass fishing guide client tips segment I have to give a quick shout out to my great friend George Kramer at WON BASS. When I first started working at Western outdoor news seven or eight years ago George is actually the person that named my column "The Tauber Perspective". He helped coach and guide me through my first several articles that I wrote and gave me good ideas on what topics to write about and taught me some of the finer points in putting together good stories. George Kramer is in my opinion without question the finest writer in the business when it comes to the sport of bass fishing. I actually started reading George's columns when I was in my early teens and then met him when I became a professional bass angler in 1978. George used to interview me at press conferences when I happen to have a good day on the water. As I walked into the press conference George always looked at me and said wow it sure helps when you "Fish where the fish are". We used to look at each other and laugh and it seemed like such a simple statement at the time but it actually is the lead into what we will speak about in this column. The simple words stated by George Kramer to "fish where the fish are" really embedded on in my mind during my professional fishing career. It all seems so simple but it's so very very true and without question as we work our way now into the winter season there is no time that it's more important to concentrate on fishing where the fish are then it is at this time of the year. The areas where you can consistently catch fish in the wintertime become very finite and it's so important for you to focus your efforts in the right area if you're going to achieve success during the winter. Winter fishing is all about patience and timing. Here in the western United States the main food source that's consistent for our fish is threadfin shad. Western fish love to gorge themselves on large mature threadfin shad all through the fall of the season. By the time it gets to winter these fish are fat and choked with a abundance of threadfin shad. The fish are healthy and fat as they prepare to relax for the most part through the winter season. As the water cools the fishes metabolism decreases and for the most part fish do not need to feed that often during the winter months. You're dealing with very short windows of time that the fish are actually active. With this being said you need to concentrate your efforts in areas that you believed to have a good populations of bass and keep working the area in an attempt to be there when the timing is right and the fish decide to bite. Whether you're going to fish in a tournament or you're going fun fishing for the weekend try to focus your efforts on two or three particular areas that you really like. Give them a good amount of time and be patient and work the area thoroughly. This is not the time of year to fish 10 or 12 different spots during the course of the day. This is when an angler focuses on two or three areas that he or she really likes and works those areas with confidence in an attempt to be in the right place at the right time. The majority of the success that is celebrated by Western anglers in the winter is being had by being focused and having the confidence and patience to stay in the area you know the fish live in. The same goes for your lure choices. Keep your lure selections down to a minimum and try to focus your efforts on proven baits that always produce each and every winter. My personal choice is to limit my winter fishing arsenal to a Hopkins Shorty 75 jigging spoon, a Rapala Ice jig, Senko, some version of the plastic worm, and a football head jig. Keep your color choices very simple. Keep your jigging spoons in some type of a threadfin shad color pattern. I like a plastic worm in the natural ox blood or nightcrawler like tones. Just something very natural don't be flamboyant at this time of year. Keep your jig very simple and try to resemble the colors of the crayfish at this time of year. I've always liked something in a brown and purple color and there are many anglers that love watermelon colors during the winter also. Once again decide on a jig that you're going to fish and don't overthink it. The most important thing about all of these fishing techniques is to really slow down the movement on your bait and really try to minimize the amount of tip action that you use on your bait in the winter. Without question I can tell you the biggest mistake that anglers make in the winter is they move their rod tip too much because they had so much success doing that during the spring and summer of the year. When the water temperature is warm a bait that has a lots of movement in it and works erratically looks very natural to a fish. In the winter it's the furthest thing from the truth. Remember the water is now getting cold. Everything in the water is slowing down. It just does not look natural to the fish when they see something moving in a quick erratic fashion at this time of year. It's a dead giveaway to fish that this is not the the real thing. Anglers are so used to throwing out there plastic worm and jiggling their rod tip as they have in the summer and I see them all the time doing this during the winter of the year. This is the biggest mistake that you can make. Try to fish your bait as slowly and evenly as possible. Let me give you a small example of what I'm talking about. In the winter time of the year I much preferred to fish the split shot technique with a plastic worm. Without question the split shot technique has faraway been the most productive plastic worm technique for me in the winter. The simple reason is that by having a split shot on your line in front of the worm kills or deadens all the erotic movement that an angler imparts with there rod tip. If you insist on using the drop shot technique when you plastic worm fish don't move your rod tip. Just drag your split shot or fishing with very very slow movements during the winter. You'll see a marked difference in your success if you won't move and impart too much action into your bait during this time of the year. Another great example of that is fishing with the Senko in the winter. One of my favorite ways to fish it is to throw it out a long distance on a spinning rod with 8 pound test line. I actually don't move the bait for the first two minutes that it's in the water. I let the bait sink all the way to the bottom and let it rest on the bottom for at least 30 to 40 seconds before I even move it. Generically this is called "dead sticking". It's absolutely one of the most productive Western techniques for catching bass in the winter. The problem is most anglers just don't have the patience to throw a Senko out with absolutely no weight on it and not do anything for over two minutes. It's just so difficult for people to comprehend. You'll throw your Senko out and you will not have touched it for two minutes and then all of a sudden you'll see your line moving away. The fish see the bait slowly undulating on the bottom and they just simply come up and inhaled the bait right off the bottom. Once again this is an example of not moving your bait and keeping your focus in small areas and being patient. Even when you fishing with the jigging spoon whether it be the Hopkins Shorty 75 or the Rapala Ice Jig you don't half to move the bait so radically with your rod tip. Try moving your jigging spoon with subtle movements. Small hops. Or slow lifts with gentle falls. These all can change your results dramatically in the winter. Now remember that were speaking about largemouth bass in this column. When you're speaking about fishing smallmouth and Kentucky spotted bass they absolutely love cold water. When you're fishing for Kentucky spotted bass and smallmouth bass in the winter you can throw all these rules out the window. There's lots of stuff that you can work at high-speed and have great success on smallmouth bass and Kentucky spotted bass. But when you're fishing for northern strain largemouth bass and Florida strain largemouth bass in the west boy you better slow your bait down because it can really change the course of your day. Like my good friend George Kramer says "fish where the fish are". Hope this helps and good fishing to all.
Below is an example with one of my clients on his bass fishing guide trip with me at Lake Casitas this winter the results that can be achieved when you focus your efforts in the small areas that fish cycle in during the winter.