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Delta can be full of surprises in late summer

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Delta can be full of surprises in late summer

Alex Smedley of Stockton snagged this 10-pound Delta Bass on Wednesday.

Photo by ALEX SMEDLEY/


POSTED August 20, 2010 12:36 a.m.
Several years ago I took a friend out fishing on the Delta.

He proceeded to catch the biggest bass of his life that day. Funny thing was that he just got back from a guided trip in Mexico for trophy bass. His biggest fish during his Mexico trip was half the size of the one he caught that day.

We weren’t in a tournament or under any type of pressure; we were just two friends out fishing.

We ended up staying out on the water that day until almost 11 p.m. The fishing was great!

I would have never guessed we would have caught the fish like we did that day. I wish I knew what triggered those bites. The Delta is strange in that at any moment your luck can change.

Admittedly, it’s far from the prettiest or cleanest places to fish. What it is, though, is an amazing fishery that can be loaded with surprises.

As the summer is surely going to start winding down, the fall can be one of the most interesting times on the Delta. Several different species of fish start becoming more active while others start their migration through the Delta.

I recently contacted my friend and told him to get ready.

He replied by saying, “I already am!”

Delta Report
Fishing on the Delta has been reported as being tough for a lot of bass anglers.

Bass are reacting to lures such as rattle traps and spinnerbaits but the bigger fish are being caught while flipping and working top-water baits.

Striper fishing continues to be slow, but as the water temperatures continue to drop the bite should be picking up.

Catfishing remains good for those fishing cut bait along the bottom.

New Melones Lake
Trout are still being caught by anglers fishing at night under a submersible light. Many anglers are choosing to fish around the Stevenot Highway 49 bridge.

Kokanee fishing has slowed down for a lot of anglers. Those anglers catching them are trolling down to 60 feet deep around the dam area.  Bass fishing continues to be good for smaller bass on soft plastics while worked along the bottom. Bigger bass are being caught in the early morning hours on topwater lures and at night on top as well. Bluegills continue to provide steady action for those fishing around boat docks and the backs of coves. Catfishing has remained good for anglers soaking bait off the bank while fishing mostly at night.  

Lake Don Pedro
Trout fishing is good on the lake for anglers fishing down to 35 feet deep. Kokanee fishing is also great for anglers fishing around Jenkins Hill as deep as 100 feet deep.

Some reports of king salmon are also coming in by anglers fishing as deep as 150 feet in Fleming and Middle Bay.

Bass fishing is good for anglers using live bait in the top ten feet of water. Live crawdads and live minnows are the top producers. For anglers using artificial baits, hula grubs or baby brush hogs are not a bad choice. During the low light hours top-water lures such as Zara Spooks and Rico’s are working well.  

Lake Tulloch
If you can get out before all the water skiers the bite for largemouth and smallmouth is really good.

Top-water lures in the backs of coves is leading for some exciting action as well as rip baits worked across points. Night fishing on the lake is really good for anglers working top-water lures and spinnerbaits at night.

At night, a lot of the docks around the hotel area stay lit which usually brings a lot of bait shallow to feed.

Lake Pardee
Anglers are catching trout early in the morning with several limits being reported by trollers. The catfish have started to bite during the day on cut bait and clams.

In order to catch catfish anglers are focusing on limited shade found along the shore from overhanging trees. Bass fishing remains good for anglers fishing top-water baits during the morning hours and small plastic baits during the day.

Tip of the Week
One of the biggest complaints from fishermen using spinning rods is the eventual line twist that seems to plague the design. When this happens most fishermen opt to replace the line with fresh line.

There is an easy fix to this problem. All you have to do while idling out in a boat from spot to spot or going through a five-mile zone is let your line out without anything attached to the end.

The line will untwist itself while dragged through the water which will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

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

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