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Flotation devices are essential for boaters of all ages
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Recently, I was contacted by Wayne Allen, an owner of a waterfront cottage located along Sandmound Slough.

He was concerned about the lack of safety that he regularly sees while tending to his property, primarily boats that have multiple children in them not wearing their personal floatation devices.

Every year people are dying from accidents that are happening while out on the water. A vast majority of those that are fatal involve boaters and passengers who are not wearing a PFD.

After doing a little research I found out that approximately 80 percent of all drowning deaths were due to unexpected entry into the water. I mentioned in a previous column that having your PFD next to you and not on is as ineffective as driving with your seatbelt across your chest but not buckled in.

There’s really no excuse for not wearing a PFD. I’ve yet to meet a person who could swim while unconscious.

Part of being a parent is ensuring the safety of our children, when it comes to boating we cannot guarantee nothing will happen. Wearing a PFD is as easy getting used to as wearing a seatbelt.

Delta Report

With the increase in temperature, look for the bass to seek shade. Lots of small fish are being caught on reaction baits, but the bigger bass are being caught by those throwing snag proof frogs and flipping brown jigs.

It’s important to pay attention to the wind this time of year. Buzz baits and spinnerbaits can be extremely effective fished on the outside weed edges during windy conditions.

Wake baits are great baits this time of year as the bluegill are spawning around the same areas as the bass tend to spawn.  

New Melones Lake

Kokanee are being caught by a lot of angers right now fishing near Rose Island, the dam, and near Glory Hole Point. The bass bite remains good for anglers throwing reaction baits Pop-R’s and Zara Spooks are providing nice bites during the low light hours of the day.

During the day anglers are doing well in the backs of coves where there is wood present. The panfish bite is good. Fish are being caught all over the lake but especially in the backs of coves with sunken brush.  

Lake Don Pedro

Kokanee fishing is excellent right now for anglers trolling from 50 to 75 feet deep. Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sport Fishing has been locating 15- to 18-inch trout from the surface to 20 feet deep on rolled shad. Bass fishing continues to be tough for a lot of anglers as they have yet to settle into a specific spawning cycle.

Anglers doing well are locating them on around underwater structure from 10 to 30 feet deep while fishing with a drop shot or shakey head worms.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is starting to slow down as the water temperatures have risen. Those that are catching trout right now are fishing as deep as 45 feet to catch them.

Bass fishing has also started to get tougher for anglers as bass have moved deeper. Those having success are focusing on suspending fish over off shore rock piles.

Lake Tulloch

Smallmouth bass have been providing excellent action for anglers fishing late and early with topwater lures. Once the sun is high try switching to small plastic baits fished deep, shakey head worms, darter heads, and drop shotted Robo Worms in either a craw or shad pattern should produce good results.

Fishing Derby

On Saturday, the San Joaquin County Parks and Recreation Department and the Delta Fly Fishers will be holding a fishing derby for kids ages 15 and younger at Oak Grove Regional Park.

The event will begin at 6:15 a.m. Approximately 1,500 pounds of catfish will be planted prior to the derby.

There is no registration fee for the event, however, a $3 fishing permit fee and valid California fishing license are required for those 16 years of age or over who would like to fish.

A $5 vehicle parking fee will also apply. Participants must supply their own fishing equipment. Oak Grove Regional Park is located on Eight Mile Road and Interstate 5 in Stockton.

Park gates will be open at 6:15 a.m., derby registration closes at 10 a.m. and the last weigh-in is at 12:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded shortly thereafter. For more information, call (209) 331-2050 or log onto Last year the gates were open early so I highly suggest getting there earlier than 6:15 as the park fills up fast.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail