By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Holiday shopping now easy thanks to Bass Pro Shops
Placeholder Image
Christmas shopping has never been something I looked forward to.

Consequently, I’m a last minute shopper.

If everyone on my Christmas list was an outdoorsman of some sort, I wouldn’t have the least bit of trouble finding a gift for them. Gone are the days when I catalog shopped.

With Bass Pro Shops right down the street, I can now pretty much shop for the whole family. For my wife there is an excellent selection of Columbia’s women’s line of clothing.

For my son, just visiting the store is a gift in itself most of the time; there’s always something to spark his interest. A few years ago it was the Bass Pro Shops Christmas train set, and this past summer it was the spring loaded fly swatter.

As for me, there’s always been that dream of a new boat parked outside my house with a red ribbon on top. I wish!

Seriously, Christmas shopping has gotten a lot easier for me living in Manteca. As much as I do miss the way it used to be, there are definitely conveniences that a lot of cities don’t have.    

Delta Report
Striper fishing continues to get better. Anglers are catching stripers while trolling broken back rebels and drifting live bait.

Striped bass seldom stay in the same place for much time. Sometimes waiting them out is the only choice.

A good area is the rock dam found in Middle River. In the early morning hour, try tossing top-water lures, and during the day try drifting live bait.

Another good spot is right around the Highway 4 bridge in middle river adjacent to Union Point.

Largemouth bass fishing has slowed down, as the numbers of bass have slowed down recently. Slow-moving baits have been working, but anglers are struggling to catch quality or quantity.

The water temperature is on the brink of dropping into the forties making jigs the smart choice right now.

New Melones Lake
Trout fishing is reported as being red hot. All baits are working well for trout, and anglers fishing off the bank are making sure that whatever they fish with at least floats off the bottom.

Anglers trolling are catching fish while trolling at all levels. Most anglers are choosing to fish the top 20 feet with shad imitating lures.

Bass fishing continues to be good as well as the bass are feeding off schools of baitfish. Large swim bait fish are still being caught as anglers are fooling an occasional big fish with trout imitators.  
Lake Amador
Trout fishing is great for anglers fishing both on and off the bank.

If you plan on fishing off the bank, make sure to get there early, as a lot of the more accessible spots are being taken up early.

The bait of choice is power bait or trolling any shad imitating lure from the surface down to 10 feet. Bass fishing has slowed, as most fish have moved deep for the winter.

Jigs and drop shotted Robo Worms on main lake points are key areas right now. As the Trout are up shallow now is a great time to toss a swimbait.

Lake Don Pedro
Bass fishing is tough for a lot of anglers. Those catching bass have to work very hard with jigs or toss big swimbaits in hope of one large bite.
The trout plants have spurred on the bank bite at Fleming Meadows with limits on rainbow glitter Power Bait or Rooster tails.
Lake Tulloch
Fishing for Rainbow Trout is excellent. Brown Trout and Kokanee are starting to show up as well for a lot of anglers fishing around the dam around 35 feet deep.

Anglers fishing for trout are fishing close to the bank while rolling shad, tossing castmasters, cripplures, or Slim-Fins in U/V or silver at depths from 10 to 15 feet deep.  

Tip of the Week
One of the hardest things for anglers to do during the winter months is to slow down. Personally, I struggle every year during the winter months because I can never seem to slow my presentation down. During the winter a lot of fish stop chasing and for the most part are trying to conserve energy.

Bass for example can often be found lying motionless on the bottom for extended periods of time only to move when a feeding opportunity presents itself.

There’s an old saying amongst bass fishermen that goes, “When you think you’re fishing slow, slow down even more.”  
To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail