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Van Dam’s victory a well-earned feat

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POSTED March 3, 2011 11:59 p.m.
Kevin Van Dam won his fourth career Bassmaster Classic, which was held on the Louisiana Delta.

This latest win ties him with Rick Clunn for Bassmaster Classic victories. One record that he didn’t tie was his three-day total of 69 pounds, 11 ounces. The previous classic record was 56 pounds, 2 ounces.

While many anglers dream of just being able to fish in the classic, winning four is truly an amazing accomplishment. The first-place prize of $500 000 keeps him on top of the all-time career money winners. His total career earnings have now surpassed $5 million.

I’ve never been a big fan of Kevin’s, but I cannot ignore his accomplishments.

In a sport where you’re literally fishing blind, the chance of error is almost guaranteed. In this last classic, Kevin was fishing amongst fellow competitors who were at times less than a cast length away from him.

Everybody around him was throwing the same exact baits and he still managed to prevail. I’m not sure if we’ll ever have another competitor as good as Kevin Van Dam. I am sure, that if I were a fish, I’d definitely be afraid of Kevin Van Dam.

Delta Report

Anglers are having success fishing a variety of different baits. Black and Blue jigs are hard to beat this time of year, especially given the current conditions.

Don Iovino’s spade tail worms in the S20 color are also working well. Water clarity this time of year is always an issue especially after all the rain we’ve been hit with.

Try finding clearer water in the back of dead end sloughs.

New Melones Lake

Those braving the elements are still catching trout while trolling the top 20 feet of water. Trolled Needlefish and fluorescent power bait fished off the bottom have been the hot baits lately.

Small plastic worms have been working well for spotted bass. Regardless of the frigid weather the bite has picked up for spotted bass.

Lots of limits are being caught with most bass ranging from one to 2 pounds. Anglers catching them are focusing on fishing around rocks, especially deep rock walls.

Lake Don Pedro

Fishing has picked up lately with trout being caught while fishing the top 25 feet of water. Bass fishing remains steady for those fishing jigs and Robo Worms slowly crawled along the bottom.

The most consistent bite for limit sized bass has been for anglers fishing between 40 and 50 feet of water.

Lake Pardee

Water temperatures have yet to break the 50 degree mark making it tough for many bass fishermen. For those fishing for trout the bite remains fairly good.

Anglers trolling are doing well while fishing the top 10 feet of water. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing with Power Bait.

Most of those fishing off the bank are fishing around the marina or launch ramp.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing from the bank or out of a boat. Many anglers are doing well while using power bait. Those trolling are using a variety of trout lures which all seem to be working.

Bass fishing remains steady with many limits being caught by those fishing between 15 and 25 feet deep. Anglers fishing for bass are using both jigs and small plastics for their limits.

Tip of the Week

Electric trolling motors have come a long way in the past 10 years. When purchasing a trolling motor I recommend that you purchase one that will provide you with more than enough thrust.

In the Delta, tide movement combined with wind can make it impossible to stay in one place unless you have ample thrust.

I currently have a 101-pound thrust trolling motor for my 20-foot boat. For a mid-size bass boat I recommend a 74-pound thrust engine, and for anything smaller, 40 or 50 pounds of thrust should be fine.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail
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