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Auburn native brings Classic trophy to the golden state

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POSTED February 27, 2009 5:28 a.m.
Congratulations to Skeet Reese from Auburn for winning this past weekend’s Bassmaster Classic.
The Bassmaster Classic is arguably the most coveted freshwater fishing trophy. Along with a half-million-dollar check, the winner of the classic is estimated to earn close to $2 million over the course of the year.
Reese not only made history by winning the classic, but he made California history by being the first angler from the golden state to win.
This is a huge accomplishment for us Californian anglers, as we now have the trophy on the West Coast. For those of you who missed the coverage of the classic you missed a good one.
It ultimately came down to two anglers who were both amazingly matching each others catches up to the very end.
The tournament ended up being won by a mere 10 ounces over Michael Iaconelli.    
Delta Report
Bass fishing has been hit or miss lately, because the weather has been inconsistent. The best reaction bite seems to be right before the storm.
As the sun has gotten high with the winds dying down, painfully slow presentations have been the key to catching bigger fish.
For reaction baits, any crawdad imitating bait is working well and for flipping or pitching, wacky rigged Senko’s or black and blue jigs seem to be key baits.
With this current weather and the time of year, it’s really a toss-up. You can possibly have one of the best days of fishing one day, and one of the worst days of fishing the next.  
Lake New Melones
The recent storms that have passed have made fishing conditions a little bit tough for anglers. The bite for trout has slowed quite a bit, but anglers are still having success.
Trout are still being caught while trolling no deeper than 20 feet deep, and the bigger fish being caught have been coming from bank anglers using Power Bait. The bass fishing was just beginning to turn on again before the recent storms moved the fish deeper once again. Anglers report on catching bass while throwing swimbaits and fishing deep structure with spoons and drop-shotted Robo Worms.
Lake Don Pedro
Huddleston swimbaits are fooling bass while fished as deep as 50 feet. Brown jigs are also working for those fishing main lake points and structure down to 70 feet deep.
King salmon are starting to be caught by angler fishing between 60 and 150 feet deep. There are still lots of trout being caught by anglers fishing off the bank although many of those trout are said to be those that were recently planted in the lake.
Lake Pardee
Fishing continues to be good from the shore. The recreation area is still holding plenty of trout that seem to be unwilling to leave the area and venture out into the main lake.
The Launch Ramp, Rainbow Point, Tom Sawyer Island, and the point directly across from the east end of the Marina are all good areas. Sliding sinker set ups are the most successful and silver/blue Kastmasters seems to be the favorite bait of lure fishermen.
Not much to report about the bass fishing on the lake, as it’s been very quiet. As the water temperature warms a little look for the bass to start making their way towards the obvious spawning areas.
Lake Tulloch
Fishing is excellent right now for anglers who are rolling shad at depths from 6 to 17 feet or pulling a crawler behind a Little Slim Willies on a side planer at depths from zero to 5 feet deep. The lake level has risen but launching is still a little tricky, make sure take the necessary precautions.
Product Review
Through the years I have tested a variety of different scales and buoy systems for tournament fishing.
Most had worked for a little while but never seemed to completely fulfill my expectations. While searching for a scale systems I believe that I’ve have found the ultimate buoy system. It consists of colored ropes attached to large safety pin like clips. The name of the product is EZ Cull RZ made by Basswidow Products which can be ordered through www.basswidowproducts.com .
Unlike other systems that I’ve tried, these buoys don’t break and the ropes even float making it easy to grab a fish out of the live well while attached to a clip.
There is nothing I hated more than having to wrestle a fish out of the live well that has escaped previous buoy systems.   

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

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