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Gentrys big catch and release creates buzz
Kyle Gentry of Oakdale created some buzz at New Melones Lake after catching this 18.11-pound largemouth bass. - photo by Glory Hole Sports

The entire buzz this week has been about the 18.11-pound bass that was recently caught and released by Kyle Gentry of Oakdale.

The fish was caught during a recent tournament held on New Melones Lake. Kyle caught the fish on a jig while he was retying another rod. When he went to pick up the rod that had the jig on it he was surprised to find out that he had a fish on the other end of the line. His story isn’t the first I’ve ever heard of someone catching a giant fish while their bait laid motionless on the bottom.

I personally have caught several fish while I was untangling a line or taking a bite out of a sandwich.

The greatest part about Kyle’s catch was the release. Years ago that fish would have gone straight to the taxidermist for mounting.

Apparently, keeping the fish wasn’t even an option for Kyle. He quickly released the fish right back to the waters where he caught it once it was weighed in.

Delta Report

The bite is starting to turn on for bass. When the wind is low, pitching Senkos into weed clearings is always a productive technique this time of year.

Once the wind picks up anglers are doing well while tossing their favorite spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, or crankbaits.

During the low tide anglers are finding fish positioning themselves along the weed edges. Striper fishing continues to be slow this year as anglers have all but abandoned trying to catch them.

New Melones Lake

Bass fishing has started to really pick up lately with the average fish exceeding the 2-pound mark. Bass are being found actively feeding on shad and are being caught on a variety of baits.

Some anglers are even reporting catching between 20 and 40 fish per day.  There’s a good bite right now for anglers fishing swimbaits as there have been 3 bass over 12lbs weighed in this week including an 18-pound giant caught and released by Kyle Gentry of Oakdale.

Trout fishing is fair to slow right now with very few limits being brought in. Anglers are waiting in anticipation as the Kokanee bite should be turning on any time now.

Lake Don Pedro
The trout bite continues to pick up. Mexican Gulch, Big Oak, and Graveyard Bay seem to be the hot spots for anglers.

Trout are being caught by those trolling within the top 25 feet with Uncle Larry’s Spinners. Large swimbait fish are being caught for those working points.

The swimbait of choice seems to be the Huddleston Deluxe in a Trout pattern. For those targeting smaller Bass crankbaits and jigs have been producing decent limits of fish.

Lake Pardee
Trout are being caught for those fishing the top 10 feet while trolling flashers with lures tipped with a partial scented grub or night crawler behind dodgers or sidekicks. Water levels are very high and visibility is down to about seven feet. Bass fishing is showing signs of picking up.

As soon as the water temperature increases a bit, look for a large group of fish to begin making their way shallow.

Lake Camanche
Bass and trout are biting well on the lake. For trout those fishing with power bait or trolling Rapala’s are having the best luck.

The biggest trout of the week was caught by Norval Pimental of Modesto. The fish weighed a whopping 10 pounds!

Norval caught the fish while trolling with Ex-Cell lures. The big bass of the week was 5 ½ pounds and was caught by Mike Taylor of Sonora. His fish was caught on a Senko sinking worm.

Salt Springs Reservoir
If you’re looking to try something different Salt Springs Reservoir has been putting out decent sized bass lately. Anglers are doing well right now using crankbaits and small plastic worms for fish averaging from 2 to 4 pounds.

Tip of the Week
Forget about the pegs. Two years ago I switched to bobber stoppers when pegging my weights.

What I like the most about bobber stoppers is how easy they are to work with and how they don’t have to be jammed into the weights like traditional pegs.

For just under $2 a pack, they’re a steal, and best of all you can change weights without having to re-peg. Just make sure to wet the line before sliding the bobber stopper in place.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail