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Early signs of spring give anglers the itch

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POSTED February 7, 2013 10:17 p.m.

What a difference a week can make.

The last couple of days have been absolutely beautiful. Wednesday morning as I was getting out of the shower I heard something I haven’t heard in a while: birds chirping outside my bathroom window.

Then, as I left my house, I saw a flock of birds fly overhead. It just felt and sounded like an early-spring morning. All day at work, all I could think about was all my favorite springtime areas and wondering if there were any fish on them.

It’s been a while since I’ve been out bass fishing, but I haven’t lost that internal clock that tells me when it’s a good time to go. Days like Wednesday are historically hit-or-miss days. When you hit them at the right time, you can catch the fish of a lifetime.

A lot of anglers wait until the weather warms up more, but they’re really missing out on some of the best fishing of the year. 


Delta Report

Bass fishing is really starting to show signs of picking up. The outgoing tide is the best right now. Once the tide bottoms so has the fishing.

In recent tournaments the overall average has increased and plenty of fish over five pounds are being weighed in. The water clarity is almost gin clear in a lot of places, temperatures have risen and our next full moon should create an awesome bite.

Fishing for striped bass remains tough. Very few reports of fish being caught are coming in.


New Melones Lake

Trout fishing continues to be good for planter-sized trout. Anglers are catching them while fishing with power bait off the bank or tossing traditional trout lures. Kastmasters seems to be the favorite lure for anglers trying to catch trout.

Bass fishing has started to pick up as anglers are starting to catch large swimbait fish. Among the bass fishing community there seems to be some really nice swimbait fish being caught on the lake.


Lake Don Pedro

The swimbait bite has started to turn on. Several trophy-sized fish have been caught this past week while tossing an 8-inch Huddleston Swimbait. Jigs fished between 10 and 20 feet deep has been the most consistent of baits, along with drop shotting and darter heading a small plastic worm.

Trout fishing from the banks has slowed as the lake hasn't been planted for a few weeks, but patient anglers can locate limits by either tossing lures or Power Bait from the banks or trolling near the shorelines.  


Lake Pardee

One of my favorite all-time lakes is getting ready to open itself up for the year. The lake is scheduled to open on Feb. 14 for camping, and Feb. 15 for fishing.


Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is slow, as the recent early morning freeze has killed the bite lately. Bass fishing is improving slowly; anglers catching them are crawling baits along the bottom or tossing large swim baits.


Lake Amador

There are still plenty of trout being stocked weekly. Anglers fishing off the bank and by boat are having success both trolling and fishing with Power Bait. There is really no secret to catching them as there are so many in the lake that as long as you’re keeping your line wet you should catch a limit of trout.


Tip of the Week

One of the many questions I get asked by anglers is what fishing line I prefer.

I have tried them all from time to time, and the best all-around line that I have ever used is Berkley’s Trilene Big Game. For the Delta I use a 15-pound test for cranking, and for the lakes I use 10-pound test for almost all applications.

It’s an all-around good line that I have been able to depend on. For the price Big Game is my favorite choice of lines, I prefer the clear line over the green tinted line as I can see it better above water.


To contact Jarod Ballardo, email


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