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Four-wheel drive feature not required to tow bass boat

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POSTED November 12, 2010 2:49 a.m.
Over the years I’ve had a variety of different tow vehicles.

My first bass boat, at age 17, was towed by my 1965 Ford Mustang. I still remember digging through the salvage yard for a tow hitch that would mount to the back of that car.

The car got the job done for several years until I finally sold it and bought a truck.

My first truck was a small Ford Ranger with a V6. It was fairly good on gas and was air conditioned, which was my favorite of all the trucks accessories.

I eventually purchased a 17-foot fiberglass boat and upgraded to a bigger truck. The truck was a 1500 GMC 4x4 fully loaded. Although used and 10 years old, to me it was a dream come true.

I eventually got the “OK” from the wife and was able to purchase a new truck several years later. I bought another GMC 4x4 with an extended cab. I currently still own the truck and still enjoy every minute driving it.

Looking back, I probably didn’t need to purchase a 4x4. I would have rather went with the four-door crew cab without 4x4 as my family has grown.

I’ve launched my boat at just about every local body of water and have only had to use four-wheel drive twice, and that was just for precautionary reasons.

A friend of mine used to always tell me, “It’s better to have it when you need it than to not have it at all.”

I guess that’s true to a point, but if I had to do it all over again I would have went with the crew cab instead of the 4x4.

Delta Report
The tough bite continues for largemouth bass fishermen.

Striped bass are really starting to bite on the outgoing tide. Anglers fishing for stripers are jigging 1-ounce Hopkins jigs, trolling broken back rebels or drifting live bait.

Remember, the limit is two striped bass per person, per day, and they must be over 18 inches long.

Largemouth bass are still being caught on reaction baits but the bigger fish continue to elude anglers. Fishing the outside edges of deep weed lines are good areas to try right now.

Bluegills continue to bite while fishing baby night crawlers off the bottom. A lot of nice-sized bluegill are being caught right now while fishing around the docks at Paradise Point.

New Melones Lake
The trout bite has begun to pick up. Bank anglers are starting to report good catches while using power bait.

Trolling for trout continues to be slow but should start picking up shortly as the water temperature continues to drop. Bass fishing is very good for smaller fish.

The larger bass are likely to be following the trout up shallow, this time last year anglers were catching big fish while tossing swim baits around main lake points.

Catfishing is still good for anglers fishing cut bait off the bank. Anglers fishing for catfish are doing well while fishing around Angels Cove.

New Hogan Lake
Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing jigs and worms down to 40 feet.

Fish are really starting to gorge themselves as they prepare for the winter ahead. Reaction baits are most effective while fishing wind blown points.

Lake Don Pedro
Trout fishing has been picking up as anglers are finding them chasing the shad up to the surface. Those trolling for trout are having the best luck while trolling from the surface down to 35 feet deep.

Bass fishing is also tough as the bass being caught are small in size.

Lake Amador
Trout are being planted heavily and anglers aren’t leaving disappointed. Lake Amador raises and plants trout, which come from their own farm.

They are a mix between a rainbow trout and a cutthroat trout, which are called, cut bows. Power bait is the bait of choice for anglers as limits are being caught throughout the lake.

The dam area seems to be a favorite location of bank anglers as most plants occur there.

Tip of the Week
When I first started fishing, I would never change my line until it started to break. Since then I learned that line changes are necessary, especially when faced with different water conditions.

When fishing stained dirty water you can get away with a heavier thicker line. When fishing a lake where you can see more than ten feet down, it’s recommended that you switch to a smaller diameter line less visible line.

Twenty-pound test may seem small to some but it’s very visible in clearer water. Thicker line also gives off more vibration, as water cannot pass through it. Lighter line cast further, is less visible, and more sensitive.     

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

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