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Head to mountains for cooler weather
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Years ago, it didn’t matter how hot it got outside, I was prepared to fish through the heat of the day.

I actually scoffed at anglers who got off the water by noon or waited until the evening. I think differently now. I prefer to fish the morning before it gets too hot, or fish the evening until the bite dies down. On a rare occasion I’ll still fish through the day but the bites have to be pretty good.

I’ve recently discovered another way to stay cool during the summer. Head up towards the mountains — the higher the elevation the cooler the temperatures.

We really live in one of the best places in terms of weather. Pretty much, whatever weather you’re looking for can be found within a 100 miles. 


There’s a good reaction bite for those tossing crank baits, buzz baits and topwater frogs. Once the sun is up, look for any grass that is located near or around deeper tulle points and try flipping jigs or any other creature baits in or around the grass.

Current is also important this time of year, as moving water is a little cooler, moves the bait around and contains more oxygen.   

New Melones Lake

Kokanee fishing continues to be red hot early in the day while trolling apex lures between 70-90 feet deep. Most anglers report pink lures working best in the morning, and green or fire tiger lures working better in the afternoon.

Bass fishing remains good for numbers of smaller fish with the bigger ones being few and far between. Anglers are doing well while tossing Zoom Flukes and jigs to the edge of visible mud lines. Anglers drop-shotting are also doing well while fishing between 25 - 40 feet deep.

Catfishing has been really good for those fishing at night with traditional catfish baits. bluegill and crappie continue to bite for those fishing with either a minnow or worm under a bobber in the backs of coves.

Lake Don Pedro

Kokanee are dominating the scene on the lake right now. Graveyard Bay, Copper Mountain, Oat Hill, and off Hatch Creek are the best areas. The most productive setups are Sockeye Slammers, Scorpion Spinners, and Fire Tiger Kokanee Killers in tandem with a Vance’s 4/0 dodger. Fish are being caught between 55-90 feet deep.

Bass fishing for numbers is really good right now on small worms during the day and top water lures during the morning and evening hours. 

Lake Amador

Later in the day and early in the morning schooling fish can be spotted throughout the lake feeding on shad. This type of feeding activity can lead to some of the most exciting top-water action an angler can find. Just make sure to wait for the school to become active before tossing your lure into the frenzy.

If you don’t wait for the fish to begin feeding you may scare the school off. Night fishing remains good for those fishing large power worms and spinnerbaits.

Lake Camanche

The bite is really good for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots. Lures that are being used are spinnerbaits and crankbaits, while the bigger fish are being caught by those dragging plastics along the bottom.

Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of bays.

Boaters Needed

On July 21, the 16th Annual Conroy Oakley Pro-Teen tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours.

Boaters fish for free, and event organizers are in need of more boaters. For more information, call (925) 684-9775.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email