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Lifting restrictions could threaten bass population

By JAROD BALLARDO

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POSTED March 20, 2009 4:46 a.m.
For as long as I can remember, limits of fish that can be kept have always been in place. It’s common sense that without limits, specific species of fish populations can be decimated.

Recently, state legislators have proposed lifting all restrictions on bass fishing on the Delta.

Their reasoning behind lifting restrictions is twofold: One, they believe that the two non-native species, striped bass and largemouth bass, are the culprits behind the declining salmon and delta smelt population; and two, they simply want more water released — more water equals more money!

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they don’t care about fish populations nearly as much as they care about the release of more water.

Ever since studies on the decline of delta smelt populations identified the pumping of water to be the cause, the amount of water being released was reduced.

Since then, they have been in search of a reason to get their much-wanted water back. This latest tactic is surely to create uproar if passed.

Personally, it’s hard to believe that restrictions would ever be lifted after how much work and effort has gone into ensuring the populations of bass species remain strong.

For more information visit www.aquafornia.com. Once on the website you can search a variety of issues in relation to the delta and water release. 

Delta Report

The bite is very good right now. A lot of quality-sized bass have been moving shallow to feed and spawn. The key to catching the bigger fish has been finding not only the right area, but being there when the tide is just starting to go out.

This time of year it’s also very important to make several passes over a bank where you just caught a fish.

Senkosm spinnerbaits and jigs are working really well. Once the tide bottoms out try fishing the outside weed lines or targeting noticeable clearings within the weed beds.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing has slowed down as the water temperature is in the 60s. Bass fishing steadily increases as more and more fish have made their move shallow for the spawn. Senkos and baitfish imitating reaction baits are working well from the surface down to 35 feet.

Crappie fishing is starting to pick up anglers are doing fair while fishing around underwater trees while using crappie jigs. Fishing at night is still the better choice for catching crappie.

Lake Don Pedro

The bass bite has all but died for a lot of anglers, although this time of year they can be caught one day with ease and non-existent the next.

Recent reports suggest that the most consistent bite if for those anglers fishing jigs down to 20 feet deep. Brook trout averaging 2 pounds and rainbows to 18 inches are being caught between 10 and 20 feet in the Narrows. 

Lake Pardee

Bass fishing is hit or miss for some anglers.

With the lake quickly becoming a favorite of many swim bait fishermen there has been plenty of boat traffic over the past few weekends. If all possible try getting out on the lake during the week, the water is gin clear so make sure to make long casts and use more natural baits.

New Hogan Lake

Bass are on beds right now or in ditches adjacent to bedding areas. Shaky head trick worms in green pumpkin is working well right now.

No sign of stripers but there are large schools of bluegill that can be found around bedding areas, which can be caught on worms. 

Tip of the Week

Many of your favorite local launches sell yearly passes.

If you fish often I highly recommend that a yearly pass be purchased, you’re surely to save money over the course of the year.

Prices on yearly passes vary wherever you go, most are under $200 and can be used an unlimited amount of times.

The one I recently purchased has just about paid for itself in less than a months time as the launch fees at most local launches have increased. Initially it was hard justifying letting go $200, but as I pass by the pay box every time I launch my boat now, it was money well spent.

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

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