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Combat the cold weather with proper fishing wear

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POSTED December 19, 2008 12:19 a.m.

As the first real cold snap of the year has occurred, a lot of anglers have put their boats away until next spring.
Personally, I’ve had some really good days fishing during the coldest months of the year. Several years ago, after being fed up with being cold and damp, I purchased a set of high quality cold-weather gear.
The cost was nearly $500 for the complete suit, but it ended up being well worth it. Bass Pro Shops sells a similar or equal value suit for around the same amount that will surely make fishing during the coldest of days bearable.
Far too often I see anglers on the water with the wrong cold-weather gear on. If you cannot afford to spend a lot on cold weather gear there are a few basic things that you can do to help keep the cost down and ensure some comfort.
Fleece is an amazing insulator and very comfortable and affordable. What I really like about fleece is how fast it dries when wet. I always make sure to have some fleece layered under my outer jacket or pants.
Having cold feet is the worst — everybody’s feet are different. As our feet sweat the cold air can make for a numbing experience. Shoes or boots that are heavily insulated don’t exactly keep your feet warm if they sweat easily.
When in the military I was issued some hideous-looking rubber boots. As ridiculous as they looked they kept my feet warm and dry through the coldest conditions.
I ended up finding a pair for sale on ebay a few years ago that I wear when it gets really cold.  

Delta Report

Stripers continue to bite well for anglers fishing reaction baits as well as live bait in and around schools.
Stripers rarely hold up in one spot for long, they may like to frequent certain area but they are prone to be moving constantly. Waiting them out sometimes is the best method this time of year.
Largemouth bass fishing is slow right now as most fish are being caught on jigs and rip baits.
Anglers are targeting areas out of current right now. Crappie are said to be biting well around the docks at union point, small crappie jigs and minnows seem to be doing the trick.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing is picking up for a lot of anglers, especially for those who are fishing up river closest to the cooler water.
Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while with Power Bait, and anglers trolling are doing well trolling from the surface down to 20 feet. Trollers have been having most of their luck while trolling shad imitation lures such as Apex U.V., Needlefish, Excel Lures, and most other small spoons. 
Trolling frozen shad has also proven a good technique for catching bigger rainbows, and possibly brown trout. Bass fishing has been tough lately for a lot of anglers. Those that have been catching them are catching them between 20 and 40 feet deep with drop shotted worms and jigs.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing has been good lately; many anglers are catching limits. The North Shore area has been really good lately for anglers fishing off the bank with Power Bait.
Anglers trolling for trout are trolling Rapala (J-7) Brook Trout patterned lures from the surface down to 10 feet deep.
Most trollers are staying around South Shore area. Bass fishing is fair for anglers willing to slow down and fish small plastics, Robo Worms and one-ton jigs are may favorite baits this time of year.
It’s important to look for schools of bait right now as the bass are surely near. Spoons are also beginning to bring in schooling bass up to three pounds.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing is great right now for anglers trolling from the surface down to 15 feet deep. The hot areas right now are near the Dam or around Rogers Creek.
Bass fishing has slowed considerably. Anglers are catching smaller fish while spooning through schools of bass down to 40 feet deep.

Tip of the Week

I learned a long time ago that there is no wrong way to fish and that fish don’t care about brand names or how much money was spent on tackle.
Lately, I’ve been reading up on a technique where it requires an angler to rig his worm weight upside down.
It’s a technique that was performed accidentally, but has since been proven effective. An upside down rigged weight actually creates more disturbance than a traditionally rigged weight and is easier to keep in one place.

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

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