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Lending hand to stranded boaters

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POSTED April 19, 2013 1:50 a.m.

Getting stranded while on the water has to be one of my biggest fears, especially if I’m far away from a launch ramp.

Every year around this time, it seems like I’m always ending up helping stranded boaters. Surprisingly, not once was I offered anything other than a thank you for my services.

Of all the people I towed in over the years there are two that I remember the most. The first one was a young lady in a bikini. Her boat was tied up against the shore and she was standing inside the boat waving me over. As I approached the boat and agreed to tow her boat in, out from behind the boat came two guys. They both were laughing as they helped secure the rope.

Another time while fishing the Delta I saw a group of 10 people walking the levee. As I got within sight of them, they started waving and screaming towards me. Slowing down to see what they wanted, I was told that their boat had broken down. Before I knew it, I had 10 people in my boat and was driving them towards their boat to retrieve it.

I ended up towing them about 10 miles to the nearest launch and didn’t even receive a thank you from either one of them.

One of the earliest lessons my dad taught me was to help others that were stranded, because some day you might need their help. I’m not sure if it’s a law that you must help stranded boat operators. If not, it’s definitely one of those unwritten rules that you should.

Every time I’ve been helped over the years, I was simply asked to do the same for a fellow boater in return. So, I’ve made it a practice to say the same to those boaters I assist. 



Delta Report


Bass fishing is really good on the Delta. With the winds finally dying down and the temperatures forecasted in the 90s next week there should be tons of fish shallow.

In the morning I’d go with a top-water lure like a popper or snag proof frog. Once the sun gets up its hard beating a Senko pitched into visible clear spots along weed flats. Pretty much anything should catch them but for the big ones finding those spawning flats is the key.   



New Melones Lake


Kokanee are red hot. Anglers trolling from 30 to 60 feet deep are catching limits of Kokanee on just about anything that they can get in their mouths. According to reports, the kokanee are bigger this year on average than years past with several kokanee over 14 inches being caught per limit of fish.

Trout are also being caught at the same depths as the kokanee; most anglers are fishing for kokanee first and catching trout at the same time. Bass fishing is at its best for both numbers of fish and size. For numbers it’s hard to beat a shaky head. For size, Senko’s and jigs are catching quality fish along with swim baits.

There are a lot of fish on beds right now, so if you’re a bed fisherman you shouldn’t have a problem catching a good limit of fish.



Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing has remained good lately. The best lures to use are still Uncle Larry’s Spinners tipped with night crawlers fished on the surface to15 feet deep. King Salmon are also being caught by anglers fishing from 30 to 60 feet deep while trolling shad or anchovies.

Bass fishing has also started to pick up with many anglers catching a lot of fish while drop shotting small plastics. Sight fishermen are also doing well finding the bigger female bass defending their young.



Lake Camanche


The trout bite continues to be good at Lake Camanche. Trout are being caught from the surface down to thirty feet by anglers trolling Ex-cel lures and those off the bank are using Power Bait.

Bass fishing has really picked up lately for anglers tossing small plastics. Anglers are reporting catching between 20 and 50 bass per outing between one and two pounds a piece.



Tip of the Week

There’s no better time to take a kid fishing than in the next few months. There are plenty of fish shallow right now which should provide a lot of action for the impatient angler. It’s really hard to beat a worm fished under a small bobber right now.

Kids don’t really care about catching a trophy fish as much as they care about catching something. My son remembers very little about his first few years of life but can tell you every detail about his first time fishing. 



To contact Jarod, Ballardo, email jgbbass@yahoo.com.

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