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Fishing Report – Lake Oroville January 2013
Category : BASS FISHING REPORTS
I just got back from six straight days (1/13-1/18) of fishing out on Lake Oroville chasing spotted bass including fishing the FLW Everstart Series West tournament. In those six days I was able to put together a decent pattern, catch some nice spotted bass and largemouth, talk with other pros about how they were catching’ em and see some solid bags come to the scales. If you are heading up to Oroville to fish here is what to expect…
Lake Oroville conditions: Since Jan. 1st the lake has risen 8 ft. with the current water level at 836.35 ft. (full pool is 900ft.)
Water Temps ranged from 42-48°and water clarity was right around 2-3ft of visibility.
The lake experienced a big change in weather in a short period of time while I was up there. The weekend brought a cold snap that included freezing overnight temps and day time highs of just 40 degrees. As the week progressed the day time temps slowly got warmer with tournament day providing clear skies and highs in the low 60s. The wind varied each day between 3-10mph.
How to catch’ em: Due to the extremely cold weather the bite was SLOW (and when I say slow, I mean painfully slow) and therefore reaction baits were not a factor. Most anglers, including myself, fished slow finesse presentations and the slower the better- didn’t I already mention that 🙂 The afternoon bite proved to be better than the morning once the sun was up and water temps rose a few degrees. The majority of fish were being caught in a depths ranging from 15-30ft. on points, drop offs, flats with rocks and wood, and rocky banks. Talking to other anglers and reading the daily wrap-ups on flwoutdoors.com, your standard spotted bass finesse baits were producing: nail weighted senkos, 3″ tubes, 4-6″ straight tail worms on drop shots and darter heads, and finesse jigs. One of the top 10 anglers had also got on a good swimbait bite using a 3″ paddle tail style bait in a pond smelt pattern.
I kept it simple by dragging a 1/2oz-1/4oz football head jig (depending on the depth I was fishing) with a Damiki Hydra Evolution trailer in green pumkin black on a Dobyns Champion 804C. My other bait of choice was a 3″ Damiki Hydra in watermelon black on a 1/4 finesse jig head on a Dobyns Champion 704SF. The more active fish were hammering the bait while the bite of less aggressive fish was undetectable until I moved my rod and just felt weight.
There were a lot of nice bags of fish brought the scales during the tournament with most of the top guys bringing in some good kickers. All the bass I caught and saw at weigh-in were plump and healthy. Lake Oroville bass are in great shape and are providing some fun days on the water. Until next time stay focused, fish hard and I’ll see you on the water.