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Plenty of options for anglers as spring nears

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POSTED March 14, 2013 11:10 p.m.

The most difficult decision local anglers have to make this time of year is where to go.

This time of year can be so hit or miss; you can be stuck on what seems like a fishless body of water while 10 miles down the road the fish can practically be jumping in the boat.

I admit I’ve had days where I’ve pulled my boat out of the water and moved to a neighboring lake in hope of salvaging the day. What I like about the Delta is that with 10,000 miles of shoreline I’m never stuck in one place.

What I like about New Hogan is that it only costs $4 to launch, and most of the time it seems like I have the whole lake to myself.

What I like about Pardee is that not many people fish it, and if the fish aren’t biting I can always drive down the road to New Hogan.

Lake Amador is another one. There are giant bass in that lake, but it’s pretty small and crowded during the spring. It costs more to fish it than the other bodies of water mentioned, but I save on gas.

There are many more places to decide from, but as much as I’d like to think I know where I’m going this weekend I’m still undecided.


Delta Report                

Anglers are having success fishing a variety of different baits for bass. Senko’s are always a good bait to use this time of year with green pumpkin being one of my favorites. Don Iovino’s spade-tail worms in the S20 color also works well.

Most anglers are fishing the West Delta around Franks Tract. The West Delta seems to fish better earlier in the spring than the rest of the Delta.

There are no reports of striped bass being caught. Crappie fishing is wide open right now for anglers fishing around the numerous docks found in sloughs such as Sandmound, Whisky, and Discovery Bay on small minnows. 


New Melones Lake

Trout fishing continues to be slow. Anglers catching limits are trolling most of the day. Currently they are trolling the top 30 feet with blade and crawler combos. Small plastic worms have been working well for spotted bass lately.

With all the report of big fish being caught there are a lot of anglers tossing swim baits throughout the lake. It’s just a matter of time before another giant bass is caught.  


Lake Don Pedro

Fishing has picked up lately with trout being caught while fishing the top 25 feet of water. The king salmon bite has also started to pick up lately for those fishing rolled anchovies 30-45 feet deep.

As we get closer to the month of April the salmon bite usually gets better.

Bass fishing remains steady for those fishing jigs and Robo Worms slowly crawled along the bottom. Those seeking out trophy sized fish are tossing their favorite swim baits as the big ones are looking for a big meal.


New Hogan 

Not much attention has been given to this lake, and it’s one my personal favorite springtime destinations. How can anyone argue paying a $4 launch fee to fish gin clear water during spawning season?

Schools of bass are starting to make their way into the backs of coves and can be easily enticed with a shaky head worm, green pumpkin. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, this is the place to be.


Lake Amador

Lake owners continue to plant large amounts of trout. Power bait fished on the bottom as well as under a bobber is the going technique.

Bass fishing has started to pick up as anglers are starting to get a few while fishing crank baits and jigs. While the trout are still shallow large trout imitating swim baits are sure to entice a few followers at the least.

The crappie bite has really started to pick up as anglers are catching crappie up to a pound around the boathouse.


Tip of the Week

Electric trolling motors have come a long way in the past 10 years. When purchasing a trolling motor I recommend that you purchase one that will provide you with more than enough thrust.

In the Delta, tide movement combined with wind can make it impossible to stay in one place unless you have ample thrust. I currently have a 101-pound thrust trolling motor for my 20ft boat. For a mid-size bass boat I recommend a 74-pound thrust engine. And for anything smaller 40-50 pounds of thrust should be fine.


To contact Jarod Ballardo, email

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