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Is it the better fisherman or the better equipment?

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POSTED April 13, 2012 9:46 p.m.

Several years ago when the swim bait started to become real popular, I wrote about the baits becoming better than the anglers. As technology has far surpassed what I could ever imagine, I’ve been amazed at how it’s changed the way anglers have fished. It seems like every year there’s a new bait, technique, or piece of equipment that makes me wonder if catching more or bigger fish is now determined by who has the better equipment, instead of who’s the better angler.

Recently, the Alabama Rig was banned by one of the major tournament organizations. As a result there are now more bait-specific tournaments being held that I can ever remember. Personally, I’ve used the bait and have had mixed results. Quite honestly it’s fun to watch swim through the water and the possibilities seem endless. I’ve fished other wonder baits before but this one’s definitely different. You can purchase Alabama Rigs at most major tackle stores. Fisherman’s Warehouse has a variety of Alabama/ Umbrella Rigs as well as Bass Pro Shops.

Delta Report:

Bass fishing is king this time of year on the Delta. Typical spring-like conditions of off and on activity has been making it tough at times on anglers. When the wind is blowing try reaction baits such as spinnerbaits and swimbaits across points where there are sparse tulles. When calm, try tossing green pumpkin Senko’s towards visible holes within the grass beds or fishing the outermost weed lines. Jigs fished deep from 6 to 8 feet is also a good technique for this time of year for targeting fish that are in transition.

New Melones Lake:

Trout fishing has slowed down for a lot of anglers fishing off the bank. Trollers are finding the biggest fish upriver, with planters and an occasional kokanee in the main lake at 20-50 feet with nightcrawler/Wedding Ring combos, U.V. Apexes or a Cop Car Needlefish or other shad-patterned lures trolled at 1-1.5 mph. Bass fishing continues to be very good for anglers fishing from the bank down to twenty feet. One of the most overlooked patterns right now is the morning topwater bite; this time of year is a good time to toss a Zara Spook-type topwater bait first thing in the morning.

Lake Don Pedro:

Trout and salmon have been hit or miss for anglers as the water clarity has become an issue. Recent rain and wind has really stirred things up making it tough on anglers fishing shallow. For bass Senko’s and small plastic baits are working really well once the sun comes up. In the morning target the backs of coves with top water lures as there are many schools of fish that have migrated to the backs of coves. Coves where there are underwater brush piles or trees are holding schools of fish right now.

Lake Camanche:

Trout fishing at Lake Camanche continues to be very good for a lot of anglers. Both the lake and the pond are putting out nice limits of fish. Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake as many fish have moved shallow and be caught with a variety of different baits. Because of the spawn try using baits that can be worked across obvious spawning flats or beds. In the morning try topwater baits and if the wind picks up try tossing swimbaits as the swimbait bite is always good when there are trout being caught on the lake.

Lake Pardee:

Trout and Kokanee are still holding shallow for those anglers trolling for them. Just about any shiny bait trolled from the surface down to 10’ deep is bringing in limits right now. Anglers trolling are either trolling the main lake or trolling up river. Bass fishing is slow right now as the water temperature is still a little low.

Veterans Bass Fishing Tournament:

The Manteca Bassin’ Buddies Bass Club is having a “Take a Veteran” bass fishing tournament on May 5th at Russo’s Marina in Bethel Island. There is no entry fee or cash involved, it’s a donation-only fishing event to show appreciation for the men and women who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms. The club’s members, families, and businesses are all donating their time as well as providing a BBQ lunch. If you’re interested in participating as a veteran or would just like to donate your time for this great cause, please contact Ray Yamada at rayyamada@gmail.com or (209) 482-1943.

Tip of the Week:

Most fishing rods nowadays are made with cork handles. After multiple times out combined with the handling of fish and bait they can become dirty. Over the years I have tried several ways to clean the cork handles. One of the most effective ways that I have found was to use Wet Wipes. Surprisingly, Wet Wipes do a great job and can also be used to wipe down all your rods components.

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