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Releasing fish helps make angling possible

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POSTED May 22, 2009 2:32 a.m.
Without fish, the sport we all know as fishing would not exist.

Fortunately, Ray Scott, the founder of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS), saw the light when he watched a fisherman release a trout back into a stream after being caught. In the early days of bass fishing, anglers kept everything they caught and ate them.

In the 70s, that tradition started to change with the introduction of catch and release. Since then, there’s rarely a day that goes by when I don’t catch a fish that hasn’t already been caught and released. In fact, sometimes I can tell if I’m in a good area when I’m catching fish that show no visible signs of being caught before.

Every once in a while I still run into people that insist in keeping their catch. All I can do is hope that for every one person who keeps there catch, there are twice as many who release their catch.   

Delta Report
Many anglers have been frustrated lately as bass fishing has been tough. There are plenty of fish that are spawning or have spawned already.

The key to catching them is to not stay in one place too long.

Wacky rigged Senko’s are always productive this time of year as well as crawdad patterned crank baits. For those looking to bed fish there are also visible beds if you’re able to find clearer water.

Bluegills have started to spawn and there are a lot of fish found shallow willing to eat red worms or wax worms.

New Melones Lake
The trout bite has all but died for many, but the Kokanee bite has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers. Kokanee are being caught for those trolling anywhere from 25 to 45 feet deep.

Red, chartreuse, pink or a silver Apex has been the top producing lure, with Uncle Larry’s Spinners, Hootchies, Killer B’s, and Glitter Bugs in the same colors all catching fish, as well.

Bass fishing has been good lately as the water temperatures have risen to the mid-60s. The last full moon brought up a lot of nicer sized fish. For those not bed fishing a variety of different baits are fairing well right now.

Crankbaits, Rip Baits, Rattle Traps, and plastic worms are just a few of the baits that are catching Bass right now.

Night fishing for catfish is also starting to pick up, any major cove or creek arm is a good place to try. Anchovies, sardines, or a ball of Nightcrawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish.

The crappie and bluegill bite has really started to pick up, some anglers are even reporting catching limits of crappie when fishing tight to structure using live minnows.

Lake Don Pedro
All the talk right now is about the King Salmon bite all over the lake right now. The best spots still seem to be around the Jenkins Hill area while fishing king salmon anywhere from 13-80 feet deep.

Anglers having the most success are trolling with frozen Shad and Anchovies injected with Pro Cure’s bait gels.

The Kokanee are also on a good bite, but are still scattered around the lake at depths of 25 to 50 foot levels.

The best set-ups are Sep’s watermelon dodger, silver prism or copper dodgers, while trailing lures such as Uncle Larry’s Mad Irishman, Copper Pop spinners or Kokanee bugs, all tipped with white shoe peg corn soaked in Pro-Cure’s carp spit, Kokanee special, and shrimp and prawn oils.

Lake Camanche
Trolling for trout continues to be good early in the morning and later in the day. With the increase in water temperature the trout have been holding deeper down to 40 feet.

Bass fishing remains good for anglers working the shoreline for spawning fish with shaky head worms. Bluegill fishing is good, as there are a lot of fish up shallow around shoreline brush.

Tip of the Week
Memorial Day weekend is one that a lot of people have been looking forward to for some time.

Waterways are surely going to be stirred up by recreational boaters and safety on the water cannot be stressed enough. Personally, I prefer to get on the water early and get off the water before noon.

In case you chose to join the crowds of people be extra careful and if you see a  Sheriff’s boat that has its blue lights on, by law you must slow down to steering speed only for jet boats and idle speed for prop boats.

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