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Looming winter season increases striper activity

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POSTED September 24, 2009 11:18 p.m.
Well, it looks like we’re in for another weekend of hot weather.

Although the nights have been a little warmer than average, the water temperatures are continuing to drop. With the drop in water temperature combined with less hours of daylight, the fish are becoming more active as they are preparing for the winter.

A tell-tale sign for me has been the presence of small baitfish schooling up in the Delta. Schools of small stripers can also be seen aggressively feeding on the surface in the main river channels.

My favorite bait for this time of year has always been a lipless crankbait in chrome and blue. It’s a fairly simple bait to use and covers a lot of water in a short amount of time.

I’ve never caught any giant fish on the lure but can’t remember a day when I didn’t catch something.

Because of that, I always have a lipless crankbait tied on.

Delta Report     

There are a lot of smaller largemouth bass being caught on reaction baits.

The best time is an hour before and an hour after the drops from high to low. Flipping is spotty, and the frog bite is fair to good.

Schools of smaller striped bass are actively working their way through the system. There’s a lot of surface action right now in the Whites/Disappointment Slough areas. The current water temperature is right around 68 degrees, as it drops even more the bigger fish should be easier to find.  

New Melones Lake

Night fishing remains good for trout anglers as they are fishing under submersible lights with power bait and night crawlers.

Bass fishing has slowed a bit, as anglers are still catching smaller fish with small plastics off the bottom. Reaction baits such as rattle traps, spinnerbaits, and Zara Spooks are working as well when there’s a little breeze on the lake or in the early morning hours.
Catfishing is great right now with a lot of larger fish being caught while fishing off the bank. Anglers targeting catfish are using   anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken liver or night crawlers.

Lake Camanche

As the water starts to cool, trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal.

Anglers are trolling between 30 and 40 feet deep right now with Excel lures for trout. Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.   

New Hogan

Stripers are being found feeding on schools of smaller fish on the surface. Large-walking baits like Zara Spooks and Lucky Craft Sammy’s are working well.

It’s important to wait for the activity to start before throwing your bait into the school. Largemouth bass fishing remains fair with anglers doing well with reaction baits and jigs.    

Lake Don Pedro

Bass anglers are catching lots of smaller fish, while drop shotting between 20 and 40 feet. Trout up to three pounds are being caught right now by those fishing around Schoolhouse Point, Jenkins Hill, Laughlin Island, and Copper Mountain. Shad-imitating lures are the ticket for those trolling.

For salmon anglers, troll the same areas but with rolled shad between 80 and 120 feet deep.

Carl and Jerry’s Fishing and Hunting Show

Off to the High Sierras, Carl and Jerry join friend and guide Kyle Neeser for a Rainbow Trout trip at Loon Lake. The feisty trout and beautiful lake provide some memorable moments for the group.

Back at nearby Robb’s Valley Resort, Chef Scott Morgan discusses the resort features with Jerry and prepares Tequila-Lime Trout en Papillote.

The show is scheduled to air this Saturday at 3 p.m. and at 8 a.m. on Sunday. The show will be airing on Comcast SportsNet California.

National Hunting and Fishing Day

The National Hunting and Fishing Day schedule at Bass Pro Shops this Saturday is as follows:

•    10 a.m. Casting Demonstration at the Aquarium

•    11 a.m. Archery Basics Workshop

•    Noon BPS Fishing Product demonstration at the Aquarium

•    1 p.m. Fishing Basics Workshop

•    2 p.m. Fall Hunting Tips

•    3 p.m. Shooting Basics Workshops

•    4 p.m. RedHead Product demonstration

Tip of the Week

Most fishing rods nowadays are made with cork handles.

After multiple times out combined with the handling of fish and bait they can become dirty.

Over the years, I’ve tried several ways to clean the cork handles. One of the most effective ways that I’ve found was to use wet wipes.

Surprisingly, wet wipes do a great job and can also be used to wipe down all your rods components.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail

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