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Look for grass if you can’t find the bass

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POSTED July 31, 2009 1:13 a.m.
One summer as a child, while swimming in Lake Amador’s swim pond, I saw a grass mat floating in one of the corners of the pond.

As I swam closer to the mat I decided to take a look under the water to see what it looked like beneath the mat. As I closed in, I was instantly startled as a 5-pound-plus bass came darting right towards me.

That experience taught me that I needed to pay a little more attention to fishing grass if I wanted to catch bigger fish.

Up until then, I always tried to avoid areas with a lot of grass and got frustrated easily when trying to fish around grass.

I never could quite understand how a fish could live is such a tangled mess until I was able to see them with my own eyes swimming through the thickest cover with very little effort.

I now find myself looking for grass and have completely changed my approach to fishing. There’s an old saying: “Find the grass, find the bass.” Next time you’re out fishing, look for the grass.    

Delta Report
Live bait is always hard to beat. Catfishing is always a sure bet, clams being the bait of choice for most.

If you are in search of pan fish, it’s hard to beat a night crawler or red worm under a bobber. Most bluegills have just finished spawning so there are plenty of big ones up shallow.

If you are after largemouth, the early morning and evening top-water bite on the Delta has brought many success. Paralleling riprap banks with a buzz bait or tournament frog almost guarantees success.

New Melones Lake
Anglers catching trout at night while fishing between 30-50 feet deep are dropping a submersible light down to 20 feet and fishing 10-30 feet beneath it.

The Kokanee bite remains red hot for those fishing the right depths. Anglers are reporting that the Kokanee are being caught fairly shallow during the morning hour and between 45-80 feet deep during the mid day.

Bass fishing has been good for smaller fish on small plastics during the day and top water lures early morning and right before sunset.

Catfishing has been really good for night fishermen fishing just about anywhere on the lake. Bluegill and crappie are also cooperating as many anglers are doing well fishing the backs of coves with minnows or worms under a bobber.

Lake Amador
Fishing has been tough lately on the lake for bigger bites. A lot of the fish being caught are being caught at night but most are less than 3 pounds.

During the day bigger fish are being caught on snag proof frogs but they are far and few. Bluegills are being caught by anglers while fishing off the bank or around the docks with red worms.   

Lake Pardee
Anglers trolling for trout are doing fair while trolling early in the day. Most of the trout being caught are being found between 20 and 40 feet. Kokanee fishing remains good for those trolling between 50 and 70 feet deep. Bass fishing has been pretty slow lately with a few bass being caught early and late in the day on swim baits and top water baits. Catfish are being caught right now for those fishing the eastern shoreline of the lake while using chicken livers.

Lake Camanche
The catfish bite has been really good lately on the lake for those fishing with mackerel. Most of the fish being caught are found while fishing the main lake down to 20 feet deep. Bass are being caught off shore, mainly around submerged islands. Anglers are using small robo worms and crawdad colored crank baits.

Notice
As of June 9, the East Bay Municipal Utility District will no longer permit any live bait in water (minnows, crawdads, frogs, etc.) to enter Lake Camanche, or any of the other lakes operated by EBMUD. Live bait will no longer be sold at the EBMUD lake marinas.

Carl and Jerry’s Fishing and Hunting Show
This Saturday, Carl and Jerry will be featuring Salt Springs Valley Reservoir.

They’ll be describing some of the best techniques and patterns to use on the lake for catching numbers of bass.

Carl will also chat with Debbie Nunes about Salt Springs Valley Reservoir’s history and facilities. Carl and Jerry will also be teaming up to present their versions of two tasty dipping sauces for fried fish.

Their show will be airs at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Comcast SportsNet California.

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