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Veterans’ Day fishing trip yields striped bass and raindrops

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POSTED November 18, 2011 1:08 a.m.

I was finally able free up some time on Veterans’ Day to go fishing.

It’s been a while since I’ve been out. Actually, since football started back in June, I’ve been pretty busy until now. So, I was able to convince one of my mentors, Coach Dudley Kinlaw, to get on the boat with me and go out for a few hours.

What I didn’t do was look at the weather forecast.

As expected, it rained for what seemed like the first time of the year, and conditions were less than ideal. It took a while for us to get started, but once we did we were surprised immediately with a keeper-sized striped bass.

Thinking this was going to be easy, we quickly got our lines back in the water and caught nothing but raindrops the rest of the day. All in all, it was a good day.

Catching something definitely lifted our spirits and just being out there felt good. I was definitely a little rusty, as I struggled to navigate around the docks, but I would do it again in a heartbeat and am already looking forward to my next trip.

Delta Report

The tough bite continues for largemouth bass fishermen.

Striped bass are really starting to bite on the outgoing tide. Anglers fishing for stripers are jigging 1-ounce Hopkins jigs, trolling broken back rebels, or drifting live bait. Remember, the limit is two striped bass per person, per day, and they must be over 18 inches long.

Largemouth bass are still being caught on reaction baits but the bigger fish continue to elude anglers. Fishing the outside edges of deep weed lines are good areas to try.

Bluegills continue to bite while fishing baby night crawlers off the bottom. 

New Melones Lake

Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reports:

“Trout fishing is good and getting better with 2- to 3-pound holdovers in addition to the planters. Bank anglers are getting in on the act with the best action in the morning with Power Bait on a sliding sinker rig in the shallow waters in the backs of Angels or Glory Hole coves.

“Kastmasters or ExCels scented with threadfin shad scent or Pautske’s Eggs also are effective from the banks. The bank action will only get better and better as the water cools and the lake turns over within the next couple of weeks.

“The Department of Fish and Game will be planting trout on a weekly basis for the remainder of the month. Bass fishing is fair for anglers that are finding them schooled up and chasing shad.”

Lake Don Pedro

Danny Layne of Fishn’ Dan’s Guide Service said, “The shad are moving toward structure and warmer water, so trolling closer to shore is a good idea.”

He’s been finding good action for holdovers and recently planted trout with small Needlefish, Shasta Tackle’s Humdingers, ExCels or Triple Teasers at depths between 20 and 40 feet deep off Laughlin Island, Big Oak Island and near Graveyard Bay.

Bank fishing for trout has been excellent with heavy trout plants scheduled by the Department of Fish and Game on a weekly basis for at least the next month. Spinners, live minnows, rainbow glitter Power Bait or night crawlers all are working for the planters.

For largemouth bass, Manny Basi said, “Bass in the 8- to 9-pound range have been taken on the River2Sea SWaver swim bait in light trout or trout in the past week.  The recent trout plants have turned on the swimbait bite, and the Spro BBZ Floating also is working near the trees.”

Lake Amador

Trout are being planted heavily and anglers aren’t leaving disappointed. Lake Amador raises and plants trout which come from their own farm. They are a mix between a rainbow trout and a cutthroat trout which are called cut bows.

Power bait is the bait of choice for anglers as limits are being caught throughout the lake. The dam area seems to be a favorite location of bank anglers as most plants occur there.

Tip of the Week

When I first started fishing I would never change my line until it mysteriously started to break.

Since then I learned that line changes are necessary, especially when faced with different water conditions.

When fishing stained dirty water like we have in the delta you can get away with a heavier thicker line. When fishing a lake where you can see more than ten feet down, it’s recommended that you switch to a smaller diameter line.

Twenty-pound test may seem small to some but it must look like a huge rope to a fish in clear water. Thicker line also gives off more vibration as water cannot pass through it. Lighter line cast further, is less visible, and more sensitive.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email jgbbass@yahoo.com.

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