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Cutback could help tournaments return to life

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POSTED May 13, 2011 12:52 a.m.

I’m guessing there are very few of us who haven’t been affected by some type of cutback over the last few years.

I can remember not too long ago there were local tournaments held just about every weekend on the Delta. Now, with the average team tournament fee going in the $175-$300 range, tournament organizations are struggling to get the numbers needed to stay in business.

There’s been a lot of discussion on how to increase the numbers of people willing to compete. The obvious answer is to lower entry fees, but then there would be less money to pay back.

I don’t believe the answer lies in the entry fees as much as it lies in the cost to own a boat.

Boats are luxury items — I’m reminded of that every year by our county’s tax assessor. Basically, I’m billed annually a 1-percent tax on my boats current Blue Book value along with a few other small fees.

As my boat has depreciated, my bill has been a little less every year. It’s expensive to own a boat, especially in today’s economy.

I believe for most guys, including myself, that it’s an easy choice to spend our extra money fishing instead of entering into a tournament where a very small percentage of the field will even break even.

Delta Report

Fishing for largemouth bass on the Delta is great, as the Senko bite is on fire. Many fish have spawned already but there are still more to come.

Large schools of shad are found roaming the shallows turning on the early morning spinnerbait and buzz bait bite.

Topwater frogs are also working well in whites Slough for anglers fishing the newly formed matted vegetation.

Dock fishing for crappie and bluegill has started to pick up as the fish have moved shallow, crappie jigs and pile worms are working well for anglers.

New Melones Lake

The trout fishing has really slowed down due to the increase in temperature.

Kokanee fishing has been great! The kokanee being caught are being picked up 30-45 feet deep off of Glory Hole Point. Freshwater shrimp, krill or carp spit are all good choices.

Bass fishing continues to be good as a lot of fish can still be found shallow. Anglers fishing Senko’s and topwater baits are catching numbers.

Crappie and bluegill continue to provide action for anglers fishing around submerged trees found in the backs of the coves. 

Lake New Hogan

Stripers have started to show up as anglers have been catching them while using shad and anchovies laced with pro-cure scent down to fifteen feet deep.

Bass fishing continues to be good, as there are still plenty of fish found up shallow or in the guts of creeks leading to spawning areas.

Bluegill and crappie can also be caught while using mealy worms or crappie jigs in the back of coves.

Lake Don Pedro

Limits of king salmon up to four pounds are being caught while fishing around Fleming Bay between 30 to 100 feet deep. Anglers are rolling shad with Pro-Cure scent.

Bass fishing continues to be good, as anglers are still finding a lot of fish on beds. Don’t rule out looking for spawning fish on long tapering points or submerged island tops, as sometimes those fish don’t get pressured as often as the fish in the backs of the coves.

Crappie fishing is great. Anglers are catching Crappie on minnows and crappie jigs in and around submerged trees.  

Tip of the Week

Launching a boat by yourself can be a big task.

Over the years I’ve found that the best way to go about it is to back the trailer into the water just enough to where the boat wants to slide off, unhook the bow strap, climb into the boat, drive it off the trailer, tie it off to the dock, and then park the truck.

If others are waiting in line to launch their boat try to park far enough back so that they may also launch while you are parking your vehicle.

When loading, I tie off my boat out of the way from others, back the trailer in deep enough so that the boat can be driven completely on, drive the boat on, hook up the bow strap, climb into the back of my truck, climb out of the back of the truck into the drivers seat and drive the trailer and boat out of the water.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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