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Switch up your strategy if fish are not biting

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POSTED August 5, 2011 12:05 a.m.

People who know that I like to fish often assume that the fish are always jumping in my boat.

In reality, I have many days when I just can’t seem to get a bite no matter what I do. There are certain times of the year when the fish seem to be biting better than others along with times of the day when my chances of getting bites are better.

Often I see anglers show up middle of the day in hopes of catching a fish. Many go home disappointed because on some bodies of water the middle of the day can be the toughest time to entice a bite.

Also, I often hear of anglers use the same bait or lure the entire day, while at the same time wondering why they were able to catch fish in the morning but not later on in the day.

Years of experience and hours of pulling my hair out wondering what I was doing wrong has its benefits, I guess. Over the years I’ve kind of put together a systematic approach to fishing for bass.

A strategy that I’ve learned to use was to break the day up into three parts: morning, daytime, and the evening. I fish the mornings and evenings almost the same, usually always with a bait fished close to the surface. Fishing in the daytime is a lot trickier, as the fish seem a lot more sensitive to the conditions outside.

The general rule of thumb is to try fishing all three levels of depth, bottom, middle, and the top until you get bit. It’s a very simple approach, but often overlooked.

Next time the bite gets tough try changing up. Then the fish might start jumping in the boat!

Delta Report

Water temperatures have been in the high 70s to low 80s. The reaction bite for largemouth bass has been good lately, especially when the wind breaks up the surface.

During the day the frog bite has been really good, as there are plenty of mats found in most major sloughs. Catfishing remains good during the evening hours and bluegill can still be found in bunches along the shallows.

New Melones Lake

Kokanee fishing continues to be good along with the bluegill and catfish bite. Anglers fishing for kokanee are trolling from 50-85 feet deep during the day. At night, the rainbows are being caught by those fishing around submersible lights with live minnows and power bait.

Bluegill are being found right now in the backs of coves and caught by those using worms for bait. Catfish are being caught all over the lake right now but mostly from the shore during the night on anchovies and clams.

Bass fishing continues to be good for numbers as many bass can be found in schools off points and main lake structure.

Don Pedro

Bass are being caught as deep as 20 feet during the day on jigs and top-water baits early in the morning and evening hours.

Kokanee are being caught as deep as 115 feet during the day by trollers. Bluegills continue to provide steady action for those fishing small worms under a bobber around shoreline cover.

Lake Pardee

Fishing for bass has been fair to good as there are still a lot of fish to be caught up shallow on shaky head worms. There is also a lot of schooling activity to be found on the lake, as a drop-shotted Robo worm through visible schools of fish has been producing numbers. 

Lake Amador

Fishing continues to be slow during the day for anglers fishing for bass and trout. Bluegills have been biting during the day on small worms in the backs of coves and around the dam area.

Bass have been pushing the shad into the backs of coves and can be found feeding close to the bank. Bass are being caught at night on spinnerbaits, buzz baits, jigs, and brush hogs. At night, some trout are being caught near the dam while fishing under a submersible light.

Product Review

Columbia clothing has always been a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts. Several years ago I purchased a few fishing shirts and have worn them every since. The shirts are incredibly comfortable and light weight.

The shirt model that I purchased was their Bonehead short sleeve shirt. For the price and comfort there isn’t any other fishing shirt that you will catch me wearing on a hot day. 



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

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