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Value of life jackets

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POSTED July 24, 2014 11:14 p.m.

Life jackets are one of the most valuable pieces of equipment on a boat, but lot of owners spend huge amounts of money on radio systems, wakeboard towers, downriggers, power poles, and other luxury items.

When it comes to life jackets, a lot of times they couldn’t tell you what sizes they have, and some of them even keep them stowed away under a seat compartment somewhere.

In the past 10 or so years, suspender type life jackets have become popular. Most them are designed to automatically inflate once submerged in water. The problem is that they need to be serviced every year. A lot of owners assume that they are in good working order since they have yet to be deployed and continue to wear them. Just recently there was a boating death as a result of an auto-inflate device not deploying.

Size is another major factor, especially when fitting children. Too big, and a child will slip right out of a life jacket. Too small, and the life jacket may not keep a child’s head above water. Nine out of 10 of those who’ve been thrown overboard and drowned, may have survived if they were wearing a properly sized and functioning life jacket.

Delta

Water temperatures are now in the low- to mid-80s, making fishing tough for a lot of fishermen. Bass have been biting lately for those fishing top-water and flipping shade pockets. Some smaller bass can be found feeding on schools of bait in Mildred Island.

No reports of any striper action lately but many anglers are reporting of a good catfish bite on clams and anchovies. Plenty of bluegill have made their way shallow and can be caught easily on small worms. 



New Melones Lake

Kokanee are primarily being caught on the lake by anglers trolling as deep as 80 feet once the sun gets higher in the day. For kokanee anglers are trolling Apex Lures and tipping their lures with shoepeg corn.

Bass fishing is good for numbers. There is an excellent top-water bite early in the morning and late in the day. A lot of small fish are being caught despite the receding water levels. Anglers are targeting main lake points with small jigs and plastics as well as isolated islands. Fishing the deeper side of the islands seems to be the best right now as the fish can be found bunched up.

Bluegill and crappie continue too bite once found. Many anglers are choosing to target them at night under submersible lights. For Crappie anglers are using live minnows or crappie jigs, for bluegill anglers are using small worms like red worms or wax worms.



Lake Don Pedro

Kokanee are providing steady action, they are currently holding in some very big schools off Copper Mountain, Oat Hill and Hatch Creek at depths from 100 to 115 feet deep. Angles are catching them while trolling Pee Wee hootchies, Sockeye Slammers and Glow Marni Bugs in tandem with Vance’s Gold Dodger or U.V. Slingblade.

Bass fishing has been fair in the early morning hours on top water baits and during the day anglers are catching bass while fishing deeper with either deep diving crank baits or soft plastics.



Lake Pardee

There are plenty of anglers taking advantage of the early morning trout and kokanee bite. Anglers fishing for trout are primarily trolling down the south arm between 60 and 90 feet deep.

Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing top water lures early and late in the day and jigs during the day. The most productive bait during my visit was a watermelon red twin tail spider grub fished from the bank down to 30 feet deep. 



Tip of the Week

A lot of anglers struggle with line twist while using spinning rods. Line twist can be caused by a lot of things. Not having a properly working swivel can cause line twist along with improperly spooling the line onto the reel.

One thing you can do if you have line twist is to let that line out while driving your boat slowly with nothing tied onto the end. The line will untwist itself; you can also do the same thing if fishing a river with running water.



To contact Jarod Ballardo email jgbbass@yahoo.com.

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