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Fishing for living not all that it’s cracked up to be

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POSTED January 16, 2009 12:29 a.m.

If you ask any serious angler what he or she would love to be doing for a living, they most likely would respond by saying “fishing.”

A friend once told me to not make work out of the one thing I do to relax. Competitive fishing can be one of the most exhausting, frustrating, expensive, addictive, rigorous, and at the same time gratifying experiences out there.

Many don’t understand the time put into trying to be the best out on the water, or the sacrifices which have to be made.

Often, so much time and money is spent in practice that making the top prize is breaking even for some. Very few, are able to fish for a living and there are far more stories of failure than success when chasing the dream of fishing for a living.

A little friendly competition is needed sometimes, but it’s more important to not forget why we started fishing in the first place.          

Delta Report

Anglers are catching small bass while fishing rip baits on the outside edges of grass beds.

During this time of year, bass anglers typically search for places that are a little warmer than others such as dead end sloughs and out of current areas.

Striper fishing has been good and should continue to be good as the warmer water temperatures due to the latest storms has warmed the water up a little bringing the bait closer to the surface.

Make sure when facing muddy water conditions that you have a lure tied on that will be more visible to the fish such as chartreuse colored bait.

New Melones Lake

The trout fishing continues to red hot.

Reports from Glory Hole Sports have stated that it is the best trout fishing that they have seen in months.

Both anglers on and off the bank are catching fish. A variety of baits are working well, anglers trolling are fishing between 15-20 feet of water, and anglers fishing the banks are tossing Rapalas or fishing with Power Bait.

Bass fishing has remained tough for anglers trying to catch fish over one pound, even the small ones are far and few between. A jig worked slowly along the bottom would be my first choice.  

Lake Don Pedro

The trout at Don Pedro continue to provide anglers with steady action. Currently, they can be found from the surface down to 25 feet. Mexican Gulch, Big Creek arm, Six Bit Gulch and the area around the Flume all seem to be loaded with fish.

Vance’s Slim Willie and crawler/combo or in tandem with an Ex-Cel green back shad or Nasty Boy is a very good set-up for bows in the two pound range. 

Lake McClure

Trout fishing is fantastic right now for anglers fishing all over the lake. Easy limits of trout up to two pounds are being caught by anglers fishing both off the bank as well as in boats.

Power Bait is working well for those who like to sit and wait. Rooster Tails and Kastmasters are hard to beat as many are catching a lot of Trout while working lures along the shoreline.

Trolling is good right now; many are trolling Ex-Cel spoons in various colors at depths from seven to 15 feet adjacent to the buoy line at 2 mph.

Tip of The Week

When faced with tough conditions such as cold, muddy water, it’s important that there be some changes made in lure selection and presentation.

Most people look down into the water thinking how can a fish possibly see my lure?

A lot of times the muddy water that we see from standing above the surface only extends a few feet below the surface.

The only true way to know this is to stick a camera down there or swim down and take a look for yourself.

Personally, I try to fish a little deeper than normal and keep close to grassy or weedy areas. The grass and weeds help filter the floating particles and can actually help create a clearing beneath the surface.

I also prefer to fish with baits that have some chartreuse in them or are dark such as the black and blues, glowing baits can also be excellent when fishing dirty or stained water.

Glowing baits not only glow in the dark but also glow in muddy or stained water.    

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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