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Differences between reaction, rip baits
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Recently, I was asked to explain the differences between a reaction bait and a rip bait.

I realized then that for those just getting into the sport, or who have been out of it for a while, can easily be confused with the ever-changing fisherman’s language.

Oddly enough, each type of fishing has its own lingo, making it impossible for me to cover all of them.

I primarily fish freshwater for largemouth bass. A hot topic lately has been swim baits. Swim baits are artificial baits that, when fished, imitate a swimming fish. Usually, they look identical to an actual fish and possess a paddle tail.

Rip baits are artificial baits that are long and slender which are fished with a ripping or jerking motion. Most rip baits are designed to suspend, making them very effective when fishing schooling fish.

Reaction baits are any baits, artificial or real, that produces a instinctual reaction strike from a fish.

An example of a reaction strike would be a fish striking out of pure aggression. Often, reaction strikes can be defensive as a fish’s main defensive mechanism is their mouths. This usually explains how sometimes fish can be hooked outside of their mouths, as they often charge a bait not wanting to feed but injure the bait or scare it away.

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. Look for the bigger striped bass to start making their way through the system as the temperatures continue to drop.

New Melones Lake
Trout are becoming more and more active as the water temperatures continue to drop. Currently anglers are catching them while trolling between 35 and 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 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 thirty 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 and 40 feet deep with Excel lures for trout up to four pounds.

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

Lake Don Pedro
Rainbow trout are on the bite for those fishing around Big Oak Island to Jenkins Hill. Uncle Larry’s spinners are doing exceptionally well for trout at 35 feet.

There are also reports 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 and 80 feet 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.

Carl and Jerry’s Fishing and Hunting Show
This week, Carl and Jerry will be calling in and down mallards, pintails and other duck species while hunting from a blind in the Suisun Marsh.

They will also reminisce about the start and struggles of creating their own outdoor TV show. Jerry will also create a soul-warming duck onion soup during the cooking segment of the show.

The show is scheduled to air Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet California.

Tip of the Week
For those who like to drop shot, try fishing two baits by rigging one hook close to the bottom and a second hook up a couple feet.

Often, if you’re in a really good area you may be able to catch two fish at the same time. It’s also recommended that your bottom bait be a darker color imitating crawdads which are often found walking along the bottom.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail