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Overpacking defeats purpose of experiencing outdoor trips

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Overpacking defeats purpose of experiencing outdoor trips

Manteca resident Randy Blankenship recently snared this 9-pound Delta bass.

Photo contributed/

POSTED July 9, 2010 2:32 a.m.
A close relative of mine mentioned to me that he was going camping for two days at one of the local lakes.

As he began to go through his packing list, he couldn’t help to add a few things here and there. Before he knew it, his truck was completely full.

He couldn’t believe how much stuff he needed for just a few days of camping.

“In the past, a few days of camping would only require half of this stuff,” he said.

As we went over his list we couldn’t help not overlooking items like inflatable mattresses, tables, chairs, mattress pumps, two oversized ice chests, fire wood, TV, radio, pop up shelters, and other space-hogging non-essentials.

My earliest of camping trips were spent sleeping on the ground and sharing one tent with the rest of the family. My camping trips/field exercises while in the military were spent sleeping in a tent that could almost be folded up and put in my back pocket.

Every year there seems to be a new invention that enables us to bring the comforts of home along. Most of these changes are good, but some of them, I believe, have taken away from fully experiencing living outdoors.

This doesn’t mean that I’m going to be leaving my inflatable mattresses home, but I’m definitely going to think twice about what I’m packing while trying to keep the non-essentials to a minimum.      

Delta Report
Wind has made it hard on some anglers seeking out a top water bite combined with the cooler mornings we have had lately.

Those doing well for bass are using spinnerbaits and buzz baits. With all the boat traffic recently on the delta most anglers have chosen to stay home.

Fishing off the bank is good right now for catfish and panfish. Bluegill and Crappie can be found near either brush piles or docks, try using small worms or minnows under a bobber.

For catfish, any of the traditional catfish baits are working well while fished off the bottom.  
New Melones Lake
Kokanee catches continue to keep anglers busy as trout fishing has slowed down for the summer. Anglers catching Kokanee are fishing the dam area and can be found between 40-50 feet deep.

Bass fishing is still good for anglers tossing rattle traps and spinnerbaits. Catfishing has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers fishing the night just about anywhere on the lake.

The Bluegill bite has been fair to good for those fishing the backs of brushy coves.

Lake Don Pedro
There is a good bite for largemouth bass for those dragging plastics down to 30 feet. Most anglers searching for Trout, Kokanee, or Salmon are heading to New Melones as the bite is wide open just a few miles away.

Lake Pardee
Summertime is a great time to fish Lake Pardee, fishing for smallmouth bass can be great this time of year. A favorite technique on mine is the use of crickets for smallmouth bass. Fished either on the bottom or drug in and round underwater rock piles almost always provide action. If choosing to use artificials the early morning top water bite often is very good and the mid day jig bite around submersed islands is also another great choice.

Either way Lake Pardee is a beautiful lake which is a true fishing lake only, no personal watercrafts allowed, and no body contact with the water allowed.

Lake Camanche
The bite is really good for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots.

Lures that are being used are spinnerbaits and crankbaits, while the bigger fish are being caught by those dragging plastics along the bottom.

Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of bays.

Lake Amador

Most of the fishing is taking place during the night.

Very few anglers are fishing the lake during the daytime. Anglers are currently catching bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and a few trout all while fishing through the night.

Boaters Needed
On July 18, the 12th annual Conroy Oakley Pro-Teen Tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island.

The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours. Currently, they are in need of more boaters for the event, boater’s fish for free, for more information call (925) 684-9775.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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