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Going fishing?

Bass Pro Shops offers free classes

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Going fishing?

The largest selection of fishing equipment in the Northern San Joaquin Valley can be found at Manteca Bass Pro Shops.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED May 5, 2012 1:47 a.m.

As a youngster growing up in Stockton, Jerry Mullen had an early introduction to fishing.

From anywhere around town, he wasn’t too far from the banks of a river. It was there Mullen could catch catfish or striper.

His interest in the sport soon expanded.

“I lived next door to bass fisherman,” he recalled Friday.

Mullen found nearby reservoirs such as Lake Camanche, New Melones Lake and Don Pedro Lake much to his liking. He could catch kokanee, trout, and bass, to name a few.

Through a local 4-H Club, Mullen learned about fly fishing.

His passion for fishing eventually became part of his career. Mullen has been at the Manteca Bass Pro Shops since its 2008 opening, starting there as the department manager in the Fishing Department.

He’s now the store operating manager.

His Bass Pro Shops is the perfect place for those interested in getting into the sport of fishing. For example, the superstore at 1356 Bass Pro Drive has an Intro to Fly Fishing class scheduled for Saturday, May 12, beginning at 2 p.m.

Can’t make it then? No problem. The nearly 40 associates that currently work in the Fishing Department are all knowledgeable about the sport, according to Mullen.

“They can get you started with the proper spin rod and reel,” he said. “They can also recommend the type of bait.

“It all depends on what type of fishing you’re planning to do.”

He pointed out that cut bait such as sardines, shad and anchovies work out nicely for those fishing along local rivers.

As for young children, Mullen indicated that Oak Grove Lake at Eight Mile Road off Highway 5 can make for a positive and rewarding experience.

This 10-acre lake is stocked with seasonal catfish and trout. “It’s important for a youngster to experience the thrill of actually catching a fish,” he said.

Mullen still enjoys fishing, including trolling, fly, and ocean.

As for favorite fishing holes, he found places along the Delta at Rio Vista much to liking.

“There are a lot of places out there but you have to find them,” Mullen said. “It’s all trial and error.”

More information can be obtained by logging on to A blog on fishing and other outdoor activities can also be found on the Bass Pro Shops website.



209 Staff reporter


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