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Auburn native kicks off annual Bassmaster Classic

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POSTED February 19, 2010 2:04 a.m.
By the time this column is printed the 2010 Bassmaster Classic will have already begun. Scrolling through the list of competitors, there’s only one angler from California who qualified for the tournament. That angler is Skeet Reese from Auburn.

Not only is he a local guy, but he’s the defending champion. Just two years ago Skeet was edged out of what would have been his first classic victory by seven ounces. This year, the classic is being held on Alabama’s Lay Lake just as it was two years ago.

Skeet’s been on a roll since winning the 2009 Bassmaster Classic and followed that victory up by nearly winning another Angler of The Year title this past season.

Classic footage can be viewed on ESPN2, and for real-time leaderboard information you can visit ESPN.com.   

Delta Report
Right now the bass fishing is really starting to show signs of picking up. The outgoing tide has been producing the best bites.

This time of year on the Delta is usually hit or miss for bass anglers. Red crank baits and spinner baits are my favorite baits.

The water clarity in a lot of places is still not the greatest, but the temperatures have risen and our next full moon should create a good bite. The striper bite has slowed down for a lot of anglers, and no shad was seen working the surface on my last trip.   

New Melones Lake
Trout fishing has slowed way down for anglers fishing from shore and from their boats. High bright skies usually make it very tough for trout fisherman; the forecasted weather front may turn the bite back on.

Anglers trolling should head to the main lake between the spillway and dam and troll from the surface down to 30 feet deep. Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing schools of fish found off shore as well as fish closer to the bank.

Fishing around off shore Island tops produced the best results for me while fishing with a Shaky Head Zoom Trick Worm. Once I did get bit I circled each island as fish were moving up and down the bank.

Lake Amador
Three thousand pounds of trout are still being planted per week. The trout that are being planted are from 2-6 pounds a piece and are some of the best fighting trout around.

Power Bait is usually a favorite among shore anglers and those trolling prefer any shad imitating bait trolled from the surface down to10 feet deep.

Bass fishing remains slow for a lot of anglers, as the water temperature rises the fishing should pick up.

Lake Don Pedro
The bite on rainbow trout remains good most fish are being caught in the Tuolumne river arm, Woods Creek and Upper Bay near the flume.

Anglers catching trout are fishing from the surface down to 20 feet deep. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as plenty of fish are being caught on small plastics right now down to 40 feet deep.

Lake Pardee
One of my favorite all-time lakes recently opened itself up for the year. Aside from the excellent trout fishing this lake has to offer, there is a Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass population that is often overlooked by a lot of anglers.

Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing for bass and trout are being caught up near the surface in the mornings and 15 to 20 feet deep during the daytime.

Weekly Tip
With the rainy season right at our doorstep it’s important to always be prepared for rain. Fleece is one of my favorite materials for wet weather.

Fleece is not only lighter than most other materials but dries a lot faster than cotton and is one of the most comfortable materials to wear.

I always wear fleece under my raingear as it’s easy to remove if it gets too warm and once the rain stops can by itself as an outer layer.   

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail jgbbass@yahoo.com.
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