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Anglers, it’s duck hunting season again

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POSTED October 22, 2010 3:02 a.m.
Duck hunters, beware. There are going to be anglers out on the water and you must not disturb their fishing areas. Unfortunately, it’s the anglers that must beware as duck hunting season is now open. Over the years I’ve developed a sort of love-hate relationship with duck hunters. Once the hunting season ends many of the hunters’ blinds are abandoned until the next year. I’ve caught some of my biggest fish while fishing around abandoned duck blinds. During hunting season anglers usually avoid fishing around the blinds in fear of disturbing a hunter. Consequently, the fish become unpressured and easier to catch once the hunting season comes to an end. Unfortunately, I’ve had a few unpleasant experiences with hunters as well. Most of them have been over me fishing too close to their blinds. I’ve learned over the years that it’s best just to stay out of sight of all blinds. There are also areas on the Delta that hunters seem to like more than others. Pretty much all of the flooded islands are hot spots for hunters and most back waters. The closer you stay towards the main river channel, the fewer hunters you’re likely to run into.

Delta Report
The bite on the Delta continues to be tough for a lot of anglers. A lot of anglers are reporting catching bass while fishing the outside weed edges. Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing the six- to eight-foot range. Striper fishing continues to improve, early morning and the evening hours seem to be the most productive times right now. Anglers are doing well while fishing around Big Break, Mildred Island, and Frank’s Tract with top water lures and large rattle baits. Duck hunting season is open so be on the look out for duck blinds.

New Melones Lake
Trout fishing continues to be tough on the lake right now. Those having any luck are fishing at night under submersible lights between 20 and 30 feet deep. Bass fishing continues to be good for numbers of smaller fish caught on shad imitating lures and small plastics. Anglers are also catching fish while spooning through schools of shad.

Lake Camanche
Fishing for bass continues to be good for anglers fishing with topwater baits early in the morning and then switching over to small plastics during the day. The crankbait bite is also starting to improve as the water temperatures become more fall like. Trout fishing is slow right now but should be picking up shortly as the cooler weather is surely to bring them up shallow. Catfishing is still good for anglers fishing off the bank with chicken livers or anchovies.
Lake Pardee
Lake Pardee is currently scheduled to close at the end of the month so if you’re looking to get out one more time on Lake Pardee you have till sunset on the 31st of this month before it closes until February. Recently trout fishing has been slow for trollers; those catching fish are catching them while trolling down to fifty feet in the early morning hours.

Lake Don Pedro
There’s a good trout bite right now on the lake. Anglers are doing well while fishing between 35 and 55 feet deep with a variety of shad imitating lures. King Salmon are also being caught for those trolling shad or anchovies between 60 and 75 feet deep. The Upper Bay, Woods Creek and in the Tuolumne River arm are all good areas right now to catch King Salmon up to four pounds. Bass fishing remains steady for smaller fish which can be found feeding on large schools of shad throughout the lake right now.  

Tip of the Week
As our weather has begun to change, this is the time of year when anglers are the least prepared for the worst. Our days are a lot shorter and temperature swings can happen without much warning. If you’re planning on being out on a boat all day you should have an extra set clothing and something to snack on just in case you have engine failure or come across someone stranded on the water. Having a good map is also a must as I have been stopped by more than one boater who was lost on the delta.
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