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Don’t scrimp on life jackets on boats

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POSTED July 13, 2017 11:10 p.m.

Life jackets are one of the most valuable pieces of equipment on a boat. 

A 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 though, a lot of times they couldn’t tell you what sizes they have, and some even keep them stowed away under a seat compartment somewhere. 

In the past 10 years or more, suspender type life jackets have become popular. Most of 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’re in good working order since they have yet to be deployed and continue to wear them. Just a few years ago, there was a boating death because of an auto-inflate device not deploying. 

Size is another major factor. As children grow, so should their lifejackets. Nine out of ten of people who’ve been thrown overboard, 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. Bass have been biting 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 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 shoe peg 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, as the fish can be found bunched up. Bluegill and crappie continue to 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 holding in some very big schools off Copper Mountain, Oak Hill and Hatch Creek at depths from 100 to 115 feet deep. Anglers are catching them while trolling Pee Wee hootchies, Sockeye Slammers and Glow Marni Bugs in tandem with Vance’s Gold Dodger or U.V. Sling blade. 

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.

 

Lake Amador

There are still some trout being caught, but they are far and few and are being found deep during the morning hours. Bass fishing is fair for anglers fishing soft plastics during the day and topwater baits during the morning and evening.

Catfishing is picking up for anglers fishing through the night around the dam or launch ramp areas while using a variety of catfish baits. There are plenty of bluegill to be caught all around the bank for anglers using redworms fished under a bobber. 

 

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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