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FLW Stren Series up and running on the Delta
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They’re off!

This year’s FLW Stren Series event on the Delta kicked off yesterday. The bite this year is tougher than years past making predictions very tough.

I was able to pre fish with my close friend and professional bass fisherman Vince Hurtado on Saturday. Together we had a great day catching a limit of five bass weighing slightly less than 28lbs.

I could tell Vince was very excited about what he had found and was definitely looking forward to getting the tournament started. You just never know in fishing though, he could of found the same fish other competitors had found and may have to overcome a variety of different factors come game day.

The buzz around the docks has been that 23 pounds a day will be enough to win the event. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if someone brings in a limit of over 30 pounds and think it’s going to take closer to 25 pounds a day to win the event.

This year’s event should be exciting as those well known hot spots have faded recently forcing a lot of local anglers to search out new water. A live feed of the weigh in can be watched at or you can go to the weigh-ins; Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Russo’s Marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 4893 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, beginning at 4 p.m.

Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Delta Report  
Right now on the delta the bite remains good for a variety of species. Bass have been hitting top water lures as well as a variety of different reaction baits. You can’t go wrong with buzz baits early and late in the day.

Once the sun gets nice and high snag proof frogs are catching some of the bigger Bass while those cranking are catching nice limits. Striper fishing has been good for those trolling rebels near Cache Slough and Miner Slough.

Anglers are also doing well while fishing for Stripers off the bank along the San Joaquin River near Mossdale and around Whiskey Slough.

New Melones Lake
Kokanee fishing is good right now for those trolling between 35 and 50 feet near the dam South Island, Rose Island, the spillway and to the Highway 49 Bridge.

Currently the hot baits are Vance’s Sockeye Slammers behind a Vance’s Gold Dodge or Glitter bug, Pink Hootchies, or Uncle Larry’s Pink Tiger spinners behind a Shasta Tackle Sling Blade.

Bass fishing continues to be the hot bite right now as there are plenty of post spawn Bass willing to bite. The topwater bite has really opened up as anglers are doing well while using Zara Spooks and Poppers.

Lake Don Pedro
Lake Don Pedro remains very good for Trout, Kokanee and King Salmon. Rainbow Trout are being found while trolling from the surface down to 30 feet deep. Kokanee up to 2 pounds are being caught right now around Laughlin Island, Jenkins Hill, Copper Mountain, and Big Oak Island.

The King Salmon bite is exceptional for fish up to four pounds for those fishing from the surface down to 100 feet deep. Bass fishing is tough right now for a lot of anglers as they are being forced to employ finesse techniques in order to catch a limit.

The always productive shaky head worm is a good choice for this time of year. In the early morning hours try a topwater bait for the bigger bites.

Fishing Derby
On June 6 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 lbs. 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 sixteen (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.

Product Review
Having a good pair of clippers has never been more important than now. With the increase in use of lines such as braid and fluorocarbon traditional clippers rarely get the job done.

For the past several years I have been using a Leatherman Micra which comes equipped with scissors. They don’t rust and can be attached to a lanyard. I have had my Micra for close to five years and have yet had to replace it. It still cuts with ease and I don’t leave home without it.

The only drawback to the tool is that it doesn’t float; I learned this the hard way and have since kept mine attached to a lanyard.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail