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Hot tips for when weather cools off

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POSTED August 27, 2009 11:48 p.m.
If you’re like me you’re probably wondering when this summer will finally end.

The good news is that our days are starting to get shorter and our nights cooler. For many species of fish this is the time of year they start aggressively feeding while preparing for winter.

Typically, anglers begin searching for packs of fish chasing schools of baitfish. When searching for bass you can usually find schools of fish around main lake points or in the guts of coves.

With the use of electronics schools of fish can be easily found. If you’re without electronics, the birds can often clue you in to where schools of fish are located.

Often, they wait around for any wounded or injured baitfish to surface. It’s really quite a spectacle watching them push schools of fish to the surface.

The key to catching fish that are chasing schools of baitfish to the surface is to make sure and wait for them to start exploding before tossing your bait into the frenzy. I’ve found that my chances of scaring away feeding fish are less when I wait for the action to begin instead of trying to induce action.

Another key to catching fish feeding below the surface is to not release caught fish until you’re out of the area. Releasing them back to into the same school they came from often shuts off the bite.

Fish are constantly changing color dependant on their moods and surroundings. Fish released back into a school after caught will most likely be a different color than the rest of the school, which is believed to have a negative effect of the mood of the school.

Delta Report     

Fishing continues to be tough for a lot of bass anglers. For a lot of people fishing this past weekend, the flip bite all but died down as the top-water bite accounted for some of the bigger fish caught.

There are still lots of smaller schools of bass actively feeding on small baitfish which can be caught on reaction lures and small top-water baits. Striper fishing continues to be slow, as water temperatures continue to drop look for the bite to improve.

Catfishing remains good for anglers fishing cut bait. Look for bigger catfish to be relating to deep holes along the river right now.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing remains good for anglers trolling as deep as 50 feet during the day and fishing under submersible lights 30 to 50 feet at night. Bass fishing continues to be good for smaller bass on soft plastics while worked along the bottom.

Bigger bass are being caught in the early morning hours on topwater lures and at night on top as well. During the day anglers are dragging Carolina rigged plastic baits such as brush hogs and lizards.

Kokanee fishing is starting to die off due to the current pre spawn conditions. Crappie and bluegill continue to provide steady action for those fishing around boat docks and the backs of coves.  

Lake New Hogan

Striped bass fishing is hit or miss at this lake right now as schools of bass move up and down with the baitfish. Currently, there are a few boils here and there, but mostly smaller fish.

Bass fishing remains good for those fishing senko’s and topwater baits during the morning and evening hours. New Hogan is one of those lakes that doesn’t get nearly the fishing pressure of the other local lakes.

There is a small fee of no more than $5 to launch a boat and fish for the day. It does get a lot of boat traffic during the weekends from personal watercrafts and wake boarders. It’s well worth the visit if you can manage a day off during the week.

Don Pedro

Trout and Kokanee have been tough to catch for a lot of anglers lately. For Bass brown jigs are working well for average sized limits. During the heat of the day anglers are going deeper with a drop shot rig for numbers.

Tip of the Week

For those of you who store your boat outside make sure to inspect it on a regular basis. A close friend of mine who stored his boat outside had some rodents get into his boat and chew up some of the wiring underneath his consol.

Somehow they had even gotten into his rod lockers where they had created a bedding area. Especially if you store dried foods for emergency use, you may want to remove the food when storing your boat.  

Carl and Jerry’s Fishing and Hunting Show

In this weekend’s show Carl and Jerry will be trolling for Delta Stripers on the Sacramento River side of The California Delta. They will also be discussing the migratory route of the striped bass.

Jerry will also be revealing his unusual technique for grilling an entire meal in a bag featuring the striper. The show is scheduled to air this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet California.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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