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Patience pays off on Delta

Jarod Ballardo

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POSTED October 4, 2013 1:09 a.m.

With the stripers beginning to make their way through the Delta, I am once again reminded of my first time ever fishing for them.

I’m not sure how old I was but I was a little guy. Mom had packed our lunch and off we went with boat in tow to Coyote Point Launch Ramp.

It was a foggy morning in the bay. I remember listening closely to what my dad was telling me. This was my first chance to get on the boat and I didn’t want to mess it up.

Once the boat was launched we headed into open water. I remember my dad telling me that this was one of his better spots and began fan casting a Cordell Spot, which is still to this day one of his favorite lures.

I just stood there in amazement while listening to the rattles of the lure approaching the boat with each retrieve. This went on for hours.

Unlike kids nowadays I waited patiently focusing all my attention on every cast. Finally, it happened — my dad hooked and landed the first keeper striper for the day. It took a while but I was more excited than he was to witness something so amazing.

On the way back to the boat ramp I remember like it was yesterday, my dad putting me on his lap while letting me steer the boat. We must have done at least five donuts out in the middle of the bay before heading back to the launch ramp.

I was completely hooked on fishing from that experience. My patience on the trip enabled me to become a regular on the boat and the rest is history.  

Delta Report

The current water temperature has dropped down into the mid-60s, which usually indicates that the fish should be actively feeding.

Lots of smaller fish are being caught on reaction baits especially when there is a little wind and cloud cover. The bigger bass are still being caught on top water baits or by flipping.

Small schools of striped bass are being found throughout the delta right now working bait on the surface. It won’t be long before the striped bass bite turns wide open.

New Melones Lake

I received an email Wednesday stating that the federal government had closed the lake until an agreement was made. I haven’t heard anything since. I advise calling the lake at (209) 736-4333 before making the trip.

Trout are becoming more and more active as the water temperatures continue to drop. Anglers are catching them while trolling between 35-60 feet deep. Top lures are threadfin shad needlefish and blue/silver Excel lures.

Bass fishing remains steady for anglers fishing drop shotted plastics or while dragging small plastics along the bottom. Jig fishing is also starting to become popular as anglers are catching some of the better quality bass while working depths down to 30 feet with brown jigs.

Lake Camanche

As the water starts to cool trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal. Anglers are trolling between 30-40 feet deep right now with Excel lures for trout up to 4 pounds.

Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.  

Lake Don Pedro

King salmon and rainbow trout are beginning to bite right now for those fishing around Big Oak Island to Jenkins Hill. Uncle Larry’s spinners are doing exceptionally well for trout at 25 feet deep.

There are a lot of king salmon being caught out of Woods Creek while using rolled shad or anchovies with an E Chip troll harness. Anglers are trolling between 60-80 feet deep for salmon.

Bass fishing has been fair for those fishing top water lures early and shad imitator lures during the day around schools of shad.   

Product Review

If you were to look online for fishing knots you would be amazed at how many different ways there are to tie on your bait. Over the years I’ve tried different knots but have my favorites and stick to those.

My advice to you is to find a knot that is easy to tie, has withstood the test of time and use that knot. Of course, different types of lines may require a different type of knot.

If you’re worried about that, stick to the basic Palomar Knot it can be used on all types of lines and it’s easy to tie.

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