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Experience, adaptability can improve your luck

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POSTED February 14, 2013 10:44 p.m.

I’m beginning to see more and more boats being towed through my neighborhood, leading me to believe that the fishing must be improving.

Obviously, the weather has something to do with it, but I’m going to trust my instinct and hold to my original belief. If you fish long enough you can’t help to not notice the subtle changes.

From my earliest of days, I can remember trying to analyze why a fish bit only in a certain spot and only on a certain bait. Since then I’ve tried to take the bits of information I’ve learned over the years to make me a better angler.

To the outsider they may think I’m lucky. While I do get lucky sometimes, it doesn’t hurt that I was fishing the right bait in the right color and at the exact same depth that I caught an equally-sized fish several years ago.

Having experience and knowledge can be a double-edged sword at times. Often a person can be stubborn or unwilling to try a new bait or technique. Some of the best anglers I know are what I would consider masters of one or two techniques, but can also catch fish doing just about everything else.

The most elite of anglers usually possess both skill and luck. I’ve been on a boat with one of those guys before, and it’s mind boggling. 


Delta Report

Bass fishing is really starting to show signs of picking up. The spinner bait is deadly this time of year for big females that are usually found around sparse tulle points.

The outgoing tide is the best tide. Once the tide bottoms out the fishing slows way down and the bigger fish became harder to find. The water clarity in a lot of places is still not the greatest, but the temperatures have risen and our next full moon should create an awesome bite.

The striper bite has slowed down for a lot of anglers and no shad was seen working the surface on my last trip.  


New Melones Lake

Trout fishing remains good, as a lot of anglers have made their way to the lake recently to try their luck. Anglers fishing from shore should target main points such as Glory Hole Point, Osprey Point, under the Highway 49 Stevenot Bridge, and Tuttletown. Nightcrawlers floated with marshmallows or inflated with a worm inflator have produced the most rainbows from shore. Berkley Select Power Bait or Power Eggs have caught plenty of fish, and throwing a silver/blue Kastmaster or spinner such as a Rooster Tail is also effective from shore.

Trollers should head to the main lake between the spillway and dam and troll from the surface down to 30 feet deep.  


Lake Don Pedro

The bite on rainbow trout and king salmon remains good. King salmon and rainbows are being caught in the Tuolumne river arm, Woods Creek and Upper Bay near the flume.

Rolling shad, Vance's Sockeye Slammer, or small green-back Ex-Cel lures are very effective trolled at 30-45 feet.

For rainbows try fishing from the surface down to 20 feet deep. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as plenty of fish are being caught on small plastics right now down to 40 feet deep.


Lake Pardee

The lake opened Thursday for camping, and fishing begins today. Bass fishing has always been tough on opening day. The trout, on the other hand, have been plentiful, as the lake has been stocked just about weekly through the winter months and has been stocked even more for opening day.


Lake Amador

Plenty of trout are still being stocked weekly providing anglers with limits. Anglers are having luck while fishing with power bait off the bank or while trolling shad imitating lures just below the surface.

Bass fishing is still slow. Once the water temperatures increase the bass will surely start making their way towards their spawning areas.


Weekly Tip

I once fished a week on Lake Oroville and it rained every day. Nothing I was able to wear was able withstand day after day of rain except for my fleece.

What I learned is that fleece although wet, still kept me warm and dried up a lot faster than any of the other fabrics I was wearing.

It was also a lot lighter when wet and of all the items that I wore, my $10 fleece gloves, with the half fingers were by far the best.  


To contact Jarod Ballardo, email

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