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Get ahead by picking up on fall behaviors

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POSTED October 1, 2010 2:51 a.m.
If there’s one thing that I can never predict, it’s the weather.

Now that we are officially into fall, of course we are greeted with unseasonably high temperatures. I’m not really sure what effect the weather has had on the fish.

The water temperatures, I’m sure, have risen a little, but not as drastically as you would expect. Our nights are longer now and our mornings have been cool.

From my experiences, the fall-type behaviors of fish usually starts earlier than many anglers expect. Some of the most successful anglers know this and are often weeks, if not months, ahead of their competitors.

I have a few baits that work really well during the fall months that I use as my indicators. For some reason, as we get closer to fall I get a lot of smaller fish aggressively bite lipless reaction baits. That’s always been a signal to me to start looking for isolated grass mats as the bigger fish seem to gravitate towards those isolated grass mats.

I believe over the years a lot of anglers have their own indicator baits.  

Delta Report
The bite has been off and on for bass on the Delta lately. Decent numbers of fish are still being caught on all types of reaction baits, but they’re typically of the smaller version.

As the weather stabilizes more the bigger bass should become more predictable as they will settle into their fall locations.

Stripers are really starting to turn on for anglers fishing the flooded islands like Franks Tract and Mildred Island.  

New Melones Lake
Trout fishing is tough on the lake. Those anglers catching trout and kokanee are travelling up river near the log jam or in the backs of creeks, like Angels Creek.

Bass fishing has started to pick up lately as the bass are actively feeding on schools of fish. The jig bite is surprisingly good for those fishing brown and black jigs.

As the water cools even more look for the rip bait bite to turn on and the fluke bite as well. Catfishing is still good at night for anglers fishing cut bait off the bank.

Several cats up to 7 pounds have been weighed in this past week.  

Lake Don Pedro
The trout bite has been really good lately — most fish are being caught from 25 to 40 feet deep.

Several lures are working well right now for trollers. Vance’s Little Slim Willie with a nightcrawler or scented grub, Ex-Cel small shad, Vance’s Nasty-Boy, or rolling frozen shad off a Pro-Troll Harness.

King Salmon are being found in Jenkins Hill and Flemings Bay, while trolling with shad or anchovies. Anglers trolling for salmon are finding them between 40 and 120 feet deep.

Bass fishing is still good for smaller fish as many anglers are catching them early on surface lures and around main lake points during the day.

Lake Camanche
Trout fishing has been really slow. Once the water cools the trout bite should pick back up.

Catfishing is good for anglers fishing off the bank with cut bait. Anchovies and chicken livers have been the most productive baits so far.

Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.   

Tip of the Week
One of the hardest things about fishing sometimes is knowing when to change baits or techniques.

Several times after a less than stellar day of fishing I found myself second guessing some of the decisions I made when on the water.

When things get tough, I put on only those lures or baits that I have the most confidence in and I pick an area of the lake or river where I have the most confidence. This helps in by preventing me from running from one location to another and also helps in keeping me focused.  
 
To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail jgbbass@yahoo.com.

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