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Fishing is not for everyone
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One of my greatest fishing challenges is taking someone out for the first time. It’s so crucial that they catch a fish and have a good time. 

This past weekend I was able to take a younger cousin of mine out fishing for the first time. He ended up catching six fish, all on a top-water lure. Up until the moment he caught his first fish, I was beginning to worry that he wasn’t going to catch one. I took a gamble and avoided using live bait, while putting all of my confidence in a top-water bait. 

I figured that if he were to catch his first fish on a top-water lure, that he would be hooked for life. I was also out fishing the day before and had a lot of success on the same lure that he was using. What I didn’t expect was that after catching his sixth fish he would decide it was time to go home. 

On our way home, I asked him what he thought about fishing. In a roundabout way he let me know that he wasn’t as passionate about it as I was. I was reminded that fishing is like that — some love it, while others don’t seem to understand what the big deal is.


The Delta

Bass fishing continues to be good on the Delta. The early morning top-water bait hasn’t been disappointing anglers as they have been having luck while fishing with Whopper Ploppers and Snagproof Frogs. 

Once the sun is high there are a lot of smaller fish feeding throughout the Delta that are willing to bite on a variety of lures. Catfishing and fishing for Bluegills continues to be good just about everywhere on the Delta.


New Melones Lake

Catfishing is king on the lake. There are a lot of nice catfish being caught by anglers fishing of the bank with traditional catfish baits. Most anglers are opting to fish for catfish during the night but they are also being caught by anglers fishing during the day. 

Bass fishing remains good for those that are fishing the lake. There are a lot of small fish feeding on shad making them easy targets. The kokanee bite has started to slow down. 

The trout are biting though for anglers fast trolling spoons around the dam between 40 and 50 feet deep. The only launch ramp open currently on the lake is at Glory Hole Point. A vehicle equipped with four-wheel drive is essential. 


Lake Don Pedro

The kokanee bite has all but shut down as anglers are choosing to target trout and king salmon lately on the lake. Both fish can be found right now while trolling Sockeye Slammers and Needlefish at 100 feet deep. 

Bass fishing is fair for anglers looking to catch a lot of small fish while the bigger fish have been harder to find. Anglers fishing for bass are concentrating on fishing the main lake points with small worms or jigs. 

Fleming Meadows is the only available launch ramp on the lake. There isn’t a courtesy dock either making boating by yourself nearly impossible.


Lake Amador

The night bite continues to good for anglers that are willing to fish through the night. Anglers fishing for bass are having luck while fishing top-water baits until the sun goes completely down and then changing to large plastic worms for the rest of the night. There is also a good catfish bite at night for anglers fishing around the dam and launch ramp area with cut bait. 


Tip of the Week

Recently while out on the water I was asked by another boater if I had a screwdriver on board. He was having problems with his electronic trolling motor and had no tools with him. Another time I was called over by a boater who asked if I had a pair of wire cutters, he had a hook embedded in his thumb. 

In both cases my basic supplies of tools have saved the days of those anglers. I highly encourage that anyone out there who has a boat pack a small tool box to leave on the boat; it could very well save the day. 

To contact Jarod Ballardo email