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Exorbitant fees put damper on family camping trip

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POSTED July 6, 2012 12:31 a.m.

I just returned from a camping trip and couldn’t believe all the fees that I had to pay in order to camp a few days at the lake.

There were fishing fees, day-use fees, second-car fees, launching fees, dog fees, camping fees and more. As much as I tried to ignore all the fees and just tried to focus on having a good time, it was hard to not feel a little unhappy.
I don’t know, maybe it’s always been that way, but this time definitely seemed different. The one fee that seemed to bother me the most was the daily dog use fee. I was charged $3 a day for having my dog with me. My dog had to remain on a leash the whole time and couldn’t even swim in the lake. I even was reminded that I had to pick up after my dog wherever she chose to relieve herself. Surely, I cleaned up after her, but definitely contemplated the latter so that I could at least justify paying a daily fee for her.

All in all, I had a great time camping with the family, once the pain of all the fees wore off — I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m sure there’s a reason for all the fees, but there’s got to be an easier way.     

Delta

Those doing well for bass are using spinnerbaits and buzz baits. With all the boat traffic recently on the delta most anglers have chosen to stay home.

Fishing off the bank is good for catfish and panfish. Bluegill and crappie can be found near either brush piles or docks, try using small worms or minnows under a bobber.

 For catfish right now any of the traditional catfish baits are working well while fished off the bottom.     

New Melones Lake

Kokanee catches continue to keep anglers busy, trout fishing has slowed down for the summer. Anglers catching kokanee are fishing the dam area and can be found between 40-50 feet deep.

Bass fishing is still good for anglers tossing rattle traps and spinnerbaits. Catfishing has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers fishing the night just about anywhere on the lake.

The bluegill and panfish bite has been wide open these past few weeks for those fishing the backs of brushy coves.

Lake Don Pedro

Fishing is hot for kokanee, trout and king salmon. Anglers targeting kokanee are finding them while trolling between 50-80 feet deep with hootchies. Anglers targeting trout and king salmon are trolling between 80-100 feet deep with spoons for trout and rolled shad for salmon.

Bass fishing remains good in the morning and evening hours. During the middle of the day the fishing gets a little tougher as all of the boat traffic tends to muddy up the water.

Lake Pardee

Summertime is a great time to fish Lake Pardee, where fishing for smallmouth bass can be great. A favorite technique on mine is the use of crickets for smallmouth bass. Fished either on the bottom or drug in and round underwater rock piles almost always provide action.

If choosing to use artificials the early morning top water bite often is very good and the mid day jig bite around submersed islands is also another great choice.

Either way, Lake Pardee is a beautiful lake which is a true fishing lake only, no personal watercrafts allowed, and no body contact with the water allowed.

Lake Camanche

The bite is really good for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught right now just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots.

Lures that are being used are spinnerbaits and crankbaits, while the bigger fish are being caught by those dragging plastics along the bottom.

Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of bays.

Lake Amador

Most of the fishing is taking place during the night. Very few anglers are fishing the lake during the daytime. Anglers are currently catching bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and a few trout all while fishing through the night.

Boaters Needed

On July 15, the 15th annual Conroy Oakley Pro-Teen tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours.

Boaters are needed for the event. Boaters fish for free. For more information, call (925) 684-9775.

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