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Play it safe by preparing for thunderstorms before fishing

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POSTED October 8, 2010 1:51 a.m.
Last night was the first night in a while that we’ve had thunder and lightning.

My son, who is 8, was convinced that a lightning bolt was going to pierce through the ceiling and split our house in two.

If you’ve ever tried to change the mind of an 8-year-old, you would definitely understand how hard it was for me to convince him otherwise. I tried using all the statistical evidence I could find, even made up a few stories, but he wasn’t budging.

So we stayed in the house with all the windows closed, stayed away from all electrical sources, and were not allowed to turn on the water until the storm had passed.

Personally, I’ve been caught in a few storms.

Several years ago, while fishing at Lake Camanche, I got stuck out on the water during a thunderstorm. I wasn’t really scared or concerned, until I saw all the other boats heading onto shore.

I decided then that I better follow their lead and trailer my boat as well. I’ve always been told to count the seconds between the flash and the sound of thunder — the closer the two get, the closer the storm.

On that day they were 20 seconds apart. Last night I counted over a minute for most of the flashes. The fall is a lot like spring in that you never know when you’re going to be stuck out in the middle of a storm.

My best advice it to always be prepared for the worst and to not question your instinct.

Delta Report
The current water temperature has dropped down into the mid-60s, which usually indicates that the fish should be actively feeding.

Lots of smaller fish are being caught on reaction baits especially when there is a little wind and cloud cover. The bigger bass are still being caught on top water baits or by flipping.

Small schools of striped bass are being found throughout the Delta working bait on the surface. Look for the bigger striped bass to start making their way through the system as the temperatures continue to drop.

New Melones Lake
Trout are becoming more and more active as the water temperatures continue to drop. Currently anglers are catching them while trolling between 15 and 35 feet deep.

Top lures are threadfin shad Needlefish and blue/silver Excel lures. Bass fishing remains steady for anglers fishing drop shotted plastics or while dragging small plastics along the bottom.

Jig fishing is also starting to become popular as anglers are catching some of the better quality bass while working depths down to thirty feet with brown jigs.

Lake Camanche
As the water starts to cool trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal. Anglers are trolling between 30 and 40 feet deep with Excel lures for trout up to 4 pounds.

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

Lake Don Pedro
Rainbow trout are on the bite for those fishing around Big Oak Island to Jenkins Hill. Uncle Larry’s spinners are doing exceptionally well for trout at 35 feet.

There are also reports of King Salmon being caught out of Woods Creek while using rolled shad or anchovies with an E Chip troll harness.

Anglers are trolling between 60 and 80 feet for salmon. Bass fishing has been fair for those fishing top water lures early and shad imitator lures during the day around schools of shad.

Tip of the Week
 For those who like to drop shot, try fishing two baits by rigging one hook close to the bottom and a second hook up a couple feet.

Often, if you’re in a really good area, you may be able to catch two fish at the same time. It’s also recommended that your bottom bait be a darker color imitating crawdads which are often found walking along the bottom.

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