Denis Peirce: The big fish are biting |

Denis Peirce: The big fish are biting

Colin Peirce has typically caught his biggest fish of the year in April. This year he has already landed a 4 pounder, but there is still time to go bigger.
Photo by Denis Peirce


Tom and Andi have a cabin on their property available for short term rental. For more information visit

We are close to halfway through the month of April. Here in the low elevations spring has definitely arrived along with some good fishing. Bass have entered into the spawning season and with this, the fishing is turning on.

The foothill reservoirs are still in the mid to upper 50 degree range. With rising water levels and sunny days the fish are moving into the shallows.

One of the hallmarks of spring in the north state are the low pressure fronts that come through with rain and wind. The fluctuating barometer can put the bite off on a given day but overall this is the season for bass fishing.

Last weekend Colin and I went fishing on Tom and Andi Moreno’s pond in Penn Valley. Tom takes a daily walk around his pond. Through the cold weather months there is not a fish to be seen along the shore line.

Ten days ago on his morning walk Tom noticed more than a dozen bass nosed into the shallows all around the perimeter of his pond. The seasonal change had arrived. The next phase will be nest digging in the shallow sandy spots.

These smaller waters warm up faster than larger lakes and the temperature on Sunday afternoon had risen to 65 degrees. It was a warm day with a slight breeze to ripple the surface, great spring conditions.

We arrived in the afternoon to hit it at the warmest time of the day. There were ducks on the water and the local geese were still on the lawns eating grass.

Upon arriving I stopped to chat with Tom and Andi. Colin had other priorities, grabbing his rod he was off to get on with fishing.

By the time Tom and I made it out to the water Colin had fished his way around to the far side of the pond. My conversation with Tom was interrupted by whooping and hollering, Colin was already into a good fish.

He had been casting a diving plug and I had noticed he was having a problem with it hitting the bottom and fouling with short weeds. I had watched him spend his time cleaning the hooks frequently.

This fish hit the plug before it went too deep. The bass was solidly hooked and was still on the line when Tom and I made our way to the far side of the pond. It was around a 4 pound fish. Colin’s biggest of the year.

Each year in April Colin catches his largest bass of the year. It is the month when the big fish come out to feed with less subtlety than other times of the year. These fish get big and fat by feeding but it is much more difficult to get them to eat your lure at other times of the year.

Colin has his challenges in life. One of his passions is fishing. We have been fortunate that Colin has been able to spend many wonderful days on this pond learning how to bass fish.

What it takes is time on the water trying different things to figure out on your own what works. That is more effective than having some old guy always telling you what to do. Colin is an accomplished angler thanks to the opportunities afforded to him by the Tom and Andi Moreno.

Denis Peirce writes a fishing column for The Union’s Outdoors section and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio. Contact him via his website at

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