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Running old fuel can damage boat’s engine

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POSTED February 21, 2013 10:44 p.m.

Last year I started fishing for trout and kokanee, and before I knew it time had passed and my bass boat just sat there.

Well, this past weekend I pulled my boat out from underneath its cover in preparation for a trip out on the water. Cosmetically, the boat looked great. I actually got a little excited at the thought of taking it out on the water.

I’ve both read and wrote about the dangers of using old fuel, so I was a little concerned. After further research and asking a few outboard mechanics, I was informed that I could seriously damage my engine by running old fuel. Apparently, as fuel sits for extended periods of time it loses its octane level, making it harmful to an engine that was designed to burn fuel at a certain octane level.

So, now I have the chore this upcoming weekend of siphoning 20-plus gallons of gasoline from my boats fuel tanks, changing my fuel filter, and treating the new fuel with a fuel additive. I’ve learned the hard way that when it comes to a boat’s engine it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Delta Report

Bass fishing has been great lately with large numbers of fish being caught on reaction baits. Red seems to be the color they are most interested in lately.

Stripers are still active throughout the delta but not nearly as active as the last couple of months. The current water temperature is right around 54 degrees around the Stockton area and the water clarity is slightly stained.


New Melones Lake

Shore fishermen are still doing good while fishing with Power Bait for trout. Last week, there were several trout over five pounds caught off the bank.

Anglers fishing the bank are also starting to have luck while tossing lures such as Kastmasters and Rooster Tails. Trollers are also doing well while trolling down to 30 feet deep with shad patterned lures. Bass fishing has started to pick up as many fish are starting to make their migration towards the shallows. Swimbaits are still the lures of choice for those seeking a trophy bass.  

Anglers are also catching bass while fishing with jigs, worms, and brush hogs. Crappie fishing has started to pick up for those anglers fishing near the dam with crappie jigs.  . 


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 twenty 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

Fishing on the lake has been slow lately as the lake has been flooded with anglers in search of one of the many big fish that inhibit the lake. Lake Pardee is no longer a secret making for tougher than normal conditions.

Recently, while on the lake there was an abundance of surface action out over deep water but no visible action up in the shallows.

Trout fishing is good around the ramp area as many anglers are hooking up while using power bait. Bass fishing is slow as the fish are believed to be awaiting the next full moon.


Bassmaster Classic

This year’s Bassmaster Classic is being held on Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in Tulsa, Okla., Feb 22 – 24. Unfortunately it’s not going to be aired on TV until early March. You will be able to watch live footage to include the weigh-ins daily on .

Weekly Tip

Keep an eye on the moon phase as bass have become anxious to move up shallow and spawn. With each full moon there’s rise in tide enabling fish to seek out premier spawning areas.

Males are the first to seek out spawning areas, to clear out a space for the bigger female to lay her eggs.     


To contact Jarod Ballardo, email

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