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Affordable New Hogan Lake at its best in April
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It’s been over a year since I’ve taken my dad out on the water with me.

For one reason or another, we could never seem to get on the same schedule. This past weekend I was able to get him out on my boat with me for a trip to New Hogan Lake. The lake has become a special place to me since April 2002 when I caught and released my biggest bass to date.

The fish weighed over 11 pounds and was netted by my dad. Since then I’ve always made at least one trip to New Hogan Lake during the month of April.

I didn’t find any giants, but the weather couldn’t have been better, the fishing was good, my boat ran great and my dad and I got to spend a day together on the water.

If you’ve never visited New Hogan Lake now is the time to go.

The water is still cool enough that there are very few wake boarders in the water but warm to keep the bass spawning. The cost to launch is only $4 for the day, and the campsites are top notch.

I don’t usually keep my catch, but when I do their fish-cleaning station is complete with cutting boards, sprayers and a powerful garbage disposer.

I almost hate to share my love for this lake with everyone, but it’s really a great place to fish and still have money left over at the end of the day.

Delta Report
The bass fishing is great for anglers fishing a variety of different baits. The always productive bait of choice is the Senko.

It’s important this time of year to make more than one pass over a spot if a fish is caught. With the increase in temperature look for the top water bite to take off as there are already signs of fry.

Reaction baits are also working really well for those tossing spinnerbaits, chatter baits, rattle traps, and crawdad colored speed traps.  

New Melones Lake
The trout bite has been non-existent for a lot of anglers fishing off the bank.

As the water temperatures rise even more the bite can become even tougher. Bass are being caught by reaction baits as well as jigs.

The bigger bass have been caught while using jigs and dragging Carolina Rigs along the bottom.

Catfishing has been good for anglers fishing in the backs of coves during the night, anchovies and sardines are working really well.

Crappie and bluegill continue to bite well for anglers fishing around submerged trees with minnow and crappie jigs.    

Lake Don Pedro
Fishing for trout, king salmon, and Kokanee has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers. For King Salmon try fishing 80 to 100 feet deep near Jenkins Hill. Small rolled anchovies, shad, Sockeye Slammers or small Ex-Cel’s are working well right now.

Trout are being found on the top twenty feet while trolling traditional shad patterned lures. Kokanee are being caught from 35 to 50 feet deep while fishing the South Bay area. Bass fishing continues to pick up as this next full moon should move up another batch of spawning fish. Just about everything is working right now as the bass are in all three levels of spawn throughout the lake.  

Lake Camanche
The Trout fishing has slowed a bit for anglers fishing Camanche. They have reported that the bite has been picking up as the day goes on and not necessarily in the early part of the day. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing with Power Bait and Anglers trolling for trout are trolling the top 20 feet of water for their limits.

Bass fishing continues to get better as the bigger females are starting to show up on the beds found throughout the lake.

Make sure to practice catch and release when landing a fish found guarding its young.  

Lake Pardee
Bass continue to be on beds throughout the lake. Surprisingly, the fishing pressure has been relatively light.

Now is the time to throw big swim baits across main lake points. Many believe that the next world record Smallmouth will be caught out of Lake Pardee.

Product Review
If you hate the smell of fish on your hands there’s a new product out there called Lunker Lather.  I recently used it after a day of fishing and cleaning fish and was pleasantly surprised at how much of the smell was removed.

It’s designed to eliminate fish repelling odors but also does a pretty good job of eliminating fish odors as well. It’s also made by fishermen for fishermen right here in Stockton.  

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail