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Inspect engine before buying boat
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Several friends of mine have been asking about buying a used boat.

Personally, I’ve never bought a new boat but like most people I’d like to someday. When
looking for a used boat, one of the most important parts is the engine.

The engine is the most expensive part of the boat, and without it the boat is almost useless. Like purchasing a car, some of the same questions can be asked of the seller.

How old is the engine? How long since its last service? And have you ever had any problems?

If it’s a newer boat you can even ask to contact the last mechanic who serviced the engine. When newer engines are serviced, they are put through a computer-based diagnostic test and a printout is usually provided to the owner.

Similar to a smog test, some of that information can be helpful in determining the overall condition of the engine. Visually, the engine should be free of oil leaks, especially near the prop area. The prop should also be checked for damage.

A bent or severely chipped blade can lead to a list of problems, as the balance will be thrown off, and shaft or seal damage may occur.

Lastly, ask if there’s any warranty left on the engine or boat. In most cases they’re transferable.

Delta Report    
The bass are reacting to lures such as rattle traps, chatter baits and spinner baits. The bigger fish are being caught while flipping creature type baits around grass points or while using topwater frogs.

As the days become shorter and the nights become cooler, the fish should begin to feed heavily, making reaction baits a good choice. Striper fishing continues to be slow right now but as the water temperatures continue to drop the bite should be picking up.
Catfishing remains good for those fishing cut bait along the bottom.

New Melones Lake
Trout fishing remains good for anglers fishing under submersible lights at night.
Kokanee fishing has been slow lately, as they’re most likely preparing for this year’s spawn. Bass fishing continues to be good for smaller bass on soft plastics while worked along the bottom.

Bigger bass are being caught in the early morning hours on topwater lures and at night on top as well.  

Lake Camanche
Fishing remains good for bass and bluegill. Anglers catching bass are fishing topwater lures early in the day and then switching over to senko’s and small plastics worked around rock points.

Trout fishing has really slowed down, as anglers are having mixed results while trolling.  

Lake Tulloch     
If you can get out before all the water skiers the bite for largemouth and smallmouth is really good. Top-water lures in the backs of coves is leading for some exciting action as well as rip baits worked across points.

Night fishing on the lake right now is really good for anglers working top water lures and spinnerbaits at night. At night, a lot of the docks around the hotel area stay lit which usually brings a lot of bait shallow to feed.

Lake Pardee
Anglers are catching trout early in the morning with several limits being reported by trollers. The catfish have started to bite during the day on cut bait and clams.

In order to catch catfish anglers are focusing on limited shade found along the shore from overhanging trees. Bass fishing remains good for anglers fishing top-water baits during the morning hours and small plastic baits during the day.

Tip of the Week
One of the biggest complaints from fishermen using spinning rods is the eventual line twist that seems to plague the design.

When this happens, most fishermen opt to replace the line with fresh line. There is an easy fix to this problem.

All you have to do is while idling out in a boat from spot to spot or going through a five mile zone let your line out without anything attached to the end.

The line will untwist itself while dragged through the water which will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail