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Tournament fishing a good outlet for competitive spirit

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POSTED August 27, 2010 2:28 a.m.
This past weekend, a close friend and I decided to enter a local tournament instead of just going out and fishing for the day.

Ultimately, we ended up donating our money to a group of anglers who surely had spent more time practicing than we had. Surprisingly, the weights were really low, and although our catch was average at best we finished higher than I had expected.

There are so many highs and lows to tournament fishing. Unlike a lot of other sports, you cannot see your target, and sometimes a lucky cast can instantly turn a bad day into a great day.

I believe for anyone who loves competition, tournament fishing is definitely something you should try. It will definitely test every competitive bone in your body and at times possibly serve you up a huge dose of humility.

Although having the best equipment is nice, I’ve beaten anglers with well over $100,000 worth of equipment. I’ve also lost to anglers who were fishing out of a boat that would fit into the back of my truck.

It’s really a great sport that comes down to who can catch the biggest five-fish limit. Expectedly, numbers of competitors have gone down for most organizations. Because of this, most tournaments today have sort of a club feel to them.

If you have the time and the money, now is a great time to give tournament fishing a try. Locally, Stockton Bass Club holds monthly tournaments on the Delta, which I really enjoy fishing.

If you’re interested you can visit their website at

Delta Report
Fishing continues to be tough for a lot of bass anglers. For a lot of people fishing this past weekend, the flip bite all but died down as the top-water bite accounted for some of the bigger fish caught.

There are lots of smaller schools of bass actively feeding on small baitfish, which can be caught on reaction lures and small top water baits.  Catfishing remains good for anglers fishing cut bait.

Look for bigger catfish to be relating to deep holes along the river.

New Melones Lake
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.

During the day anglers are dragging Carolina rigged plastic baits such as brush hogs and lizards. Kokanee fishing is slowing down, limits are still being caught but they are less than 2 pounds on average.

Bluegills continue to provide steady action for those fishing around boat docks and the backs of coves. Fishing for Catfish is good for those fishing at night.  

Lake Don Pedro
Bass are being caught on Senko’s and top water baits. Hula grubs and crank baits are also working well while fished between 5 to 10 feet deep.

Trout fishing is excellent on the lake, with many of the trout being caught between 30 and 50 feet deep. Hot baits for those trolling have been Chucker T Spoons, nickel or silver color.

Lake New Hogan
Bass fishing remains good for those fishing senko’s and topwater baits during the morning and evening hours.

New Hogan is one of those lakes that gets very little fishing pressure compared to the other local lakes. There is a small fee of no more than $5 to launch a boat and fish for the day.

It does get a lot of boat traffic during the weekends from personal watercrafts and wake boarders. It’s well worth the visit if you can manage a day off during the week.

Tip of the Week
When storing your tackle it’s important to separate certain items in order to prevent rust or damage to your tackle box.

Some plastic baits, for example, will actually melt through a plastic box if having direct contact with another plastic. They’re also most likely to have a high salt content which will also take its toll on exposed metal.

Lead weights and hooks should never be stored in the same box as the moisture from the lead will surely create rusty hooks.

Hard baits should be left out to air dry before placing back inside a tackle box. Silicone packs that come with a lot of items we purchase today can be re used to help keep moisture out of your tackle box.  

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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