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Piece of mind worth the price of maintenance

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POSTED December 27, 2008 1:43 a.m.

Christmas is over, and it’s time to get prepared for one of the most exciting times of the year.

Spring is right around the corner, meaning that the boat shows will surely attract a lot of prospective boat owners.

With a new bass boat costing close to $50,000, my current boat looks and runs just fine for at least another year. For those who are set on purchasing a new boat, make sure you get what you want before agreeing to anything.

A friend once told me that a boat is nothing more than a hole that we throw money into. As my yearly service is due,

I’m looking to throw roughly $600 into that hole.

Peace of mind is worth it, as $600 is cheap when it comes to knowing that I’m going to get back to my launch site, or when the sun is going down and there’s a storm moving in.

I’m often amazed at how many people keep their boats stashed away during the offseason and expect that it’s going to work just fine a year later in some cases.

Boat engines are full of rubber components that, when out of water for extended periods of time, can become dry, causing them to either harden or crack.

Fuel that has been allowed to sit for extended periods of time can also separate if pre-mixed. Before taking the boat out, I would definitely recommend getting it serviced.

Depending on how old or new your engine is, the cost of a yearly service can surely be worth it in the long run.

Delta Report

Striped bass continue to keep anglers busy, as schools of fish are found throughout the delta. Anglers are either trolling broken backed rebels, tossing swim baits, jigging, tossing rattletraps, or using CT bait in order to fool these fish.

Stripers schools move fast so once getting bit make sure to toss your bait back in as soon as possible, as the window of opportunity often closes fast.

Bass fishing has really slowed; most anglers tend to flip jigs exclusively this time of year, which is often the best choice. Try finding areas out of current and fish slow.

New Melones Lake

Trout continue to bite on the lake. A lot of nice fish have been coming from anglers fishing power bait off the bank.

When fishing power bait make sure that your bait floats off the bottom. Also, before casting out soak your bait first, which ensures that the bait holds to the hook.

Anglers trolling are also having good luck while trolling the top ten feet with shad imitating lures.

Lake Amador

Trout fishing is great right now for anglers fishing both on and off the bank.

If you plan on fishing off the bank make sure to get there early as a lot of the more accessible spots are being taken up early.

The bait of choice right now is power bait or trolling any shad-imitating lure from the surface down to 10 feet.

Bass fishing has slowed as most fish have moved deep for the winter. Jigs and drop shotted Robo Worms on main lake points are key areas right now. As the trout are up shallow now is a great time to toss a swimbait.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing continues to be the best bet right now. The North Shore area has been really good lately for anglers fishing off the bank with Power Bait and anglers trolling shad imitating lures are doing well while fishing along the dam.

Bass fishing has slowed some but anglers are still catching bass on jigs and small plastics. It’s important right now to find baitfish as bass are actively feeding on them.

Tip of the Week

For those boat owners, I’ve got a little trick to share with you that can help in keeping your hull clean.

What I do is drop a bar of soap down where all the bilge pumps and batteries are, once wet it will dissolve slowly and help prevent any oils and such from sticking to the inner hull.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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