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Knives are an angler’s best friend

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POSTED January 9, 2009 12:48 a.m.

Over the Christmas break I visited the in-laws who live in Arizona.

While cooking for my nieces and nephews I was having a difficult time opening a package of Hot Dogs. My father in law saw me struggling to open the package and offered me his pocket knife.

To my surprise, the knife was the same one that I had given to him as a gift several Christmases’ ago.

It’s just a mid sized Swiss Army knife that he obviously has taken a liking too.

I’ve never been much of a knife guy myself, although I do have a Swiss Army Knife that I purchased while stationed in Germany.

I find it interesting how a lot of outdoorsman have at least one small item that seems to go with them wherever they go.

My dad used to have a small ceramic frog that he stored in his tackle box, he believed without a doubt that the frog brought him luck.

A close friend of mine kept a rabbit’s foot attached to his key chain and after each catch he would make sure to rub it.

Personally, I’ve never felt lost without a certain item but I do have a few that I’ve taken a liking too.

My Leatherman Micra is one of my those items and after dropping one in the Delta several years ago my current one is attached to my belt loop by a lanyard. In fact, it has become the first thing I look for when stepping into my boat. 

Delta Report

Fishing has slowed a bit due to the high skies and low water temperatures we have been experiencing lately. Fishing for largemouths is always hit or miss this time of year as their metabolism has slowed way down. The water temperatures have also dropped down into the low forties in some places on the Delta making it even tougher. Jigs are the bait of choice either in black and blue or shades of brown or black. Stripers are still being caught but not the numbers that we have seen in the past few weeks. As the weather stabilizes more look for the bite to pick back up.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing continues to be great for anglers fishing off the bank. Anglers are catching easy limits if Trout up to two pounds while fishing with Power Bait. Anglers trolling are catching a lot of trout as well but mostly the smaller planter fish. Most angers are either still fishing out of their boats or fishing off the bank. Bass anglers are catching numbers while working soft plastics and jigs down to forty feet deep. The bigger bass are being caught on swimbaits, the bites are far and few but if you’re out in search of a trophy you just might catch one.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is good right now as anglers are catching them on and off the bank.  North Shore bank anglers are having the best of luck right now while catching limits of Trout up to two pounds on both Power Bait and Power Eggs. Bass fishing remains steady as anglers are fishing down to 25 feet deep with soft plastics and jigs.

Lake Don Pedro

The trout at Don Pedro continue to provide anglers with steady action. Currently they can be found from the surface down to 25 feet. Mexican Gulch, Big Creek arm, Six Bit Gulch and the area around the Flume all seem to be loaded with fish.

Vance’s Slim Willie and crawler/combo or in tandem with an Ex-Cel green back shad or Nasty Boy is a very good set-up for bows in the two pound range.

Lake McClure

Trout fishing is fantastic right now for anglers fishing all over the lake right now. Easy limits of Trout up to two pounds are being caught by anglers fishing both off the bank as well as in boats. Power Bait is working well for those who like to sit and wait. Rooster Tails and Kastmasters are hard to beat as many are catching a lot of Trout while working lures along the shoreline. Trolling is good right now, many are trolling ExCel spoons in various colors at depths from 7 to 15 feet adjacent to the buoy line at 2 mph.

Tip of the Week

I learned the hard way that if you plan on staying out in the rain that to make sure once getting home that everything gets aired out until dry. All boat compartments should be vented or left open or mold will surely develop.  

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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