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October sparks fond memories for Ballardo
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October is one of my favorite months to fish.

Temperatures are usually cooler and the waterways aren’t as crowded. It’s not yet duck season either, so I pretty much can have the water to myself.

One of my favorite places to fish in October is the Delta. Reaction baits are hard to beat this time of year as baitfish can be found throughout the system. Stripers also begin to make their migratory route through the delta and can be found usually around some of the more well known flooded islands.

My two most memorable October moments were both on my birthday, October 7.  

One was when I caught a 7-pound bass two years ago, which I thought was pretty funny, and the second was on my 13th birthday.

My dad surprised me that day by entering the both of us in a tournament held on Lake Amador. It was my first ever bass tournament.

We ended up coming in 13th place, which I thought was pretty good for our first time and at the same time very coincidental. Since then, many birthdays have passed, but my love for the month of October has remained.  

Delta Report
Lately on the Delta, the bite has been on and off for bass.

Decent numbers of fish are still being caught on all types of reaction baits, but they’re typically of the smaller version.

As the weather stabilizes more the bigger bass should become more predictable as they will settle into their fall locations. Stripers are really starting to turn on for anglers fishing the flooded islands like Franks Tract and Mildred Island.

There has been a lot of talk lately of a great early topwater bite around Franks Tract for keeper-sized stripers.  

New Melones Lake
The trout bite has slowed some but anglers are still catching them while trolling between 35 and 50 feet deep. Cop Car and Excel lures have been producing a majority of the bites lately.

Limits now are hard to come by, but anglers are catching fish in the 2-5-pound range.

Bass fishing has started to pick up lately, as the bass are actively feeding on schools of fish.

The jig bite is surprisingly good for those fishing brown and black jigs. As the water cools even more look for the rip bait bite to turn on and the fluke bite as well.   

Lake McClure
Bass fishing has really turned on right now for numbers of fish. All shad imitating lures right now are working well.

Make sure to bring a lot of small plastics as anglers are reporting close to 50 fish a day in some cases while working small plastics.

Lake Don Pedro
The trout bite has been really good lately. Most fish are being caught from 45 to 60 feet deep. Several lures are working well for trollers.

Vance’s Little Slim Willie with a nightcrawler or scented grub, Ex-Cel small shad, Vance’s Nasty-Boy, or rolling frozen shad off a Pro-Troll Harness.

King Salmon are being found in Upper Bay, Woods Creek and in the Tuolumne River arm, while trolling with shad or anchovies.

Lake Camanche
As the water starts to cool, trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal. Anglers are trolling between 30 and 40 feet deep with Excel lures for trout.

Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.   

Tip of the Week
One of the hardest things about fishing is knowing when to change baits or techniques. Several times after a less than stellar day of fishing I found myself second guessing some of the decisions I made when on the water.

When things get tough I put on only those lures or baits that I have the most confidence in and I pick an area of the lake or river where I have the most confidence.

This helps in by preventing me from running from one location to another and also helps in keeping me focused.  

Fishing and Hunting Seminar Schedule at Bass Pro Shops
There will be a seminar on a wide range of hunting gear, how they work and what works best on Oct. 3 and 23 starting at 2 p.m.

On Oct. 4 and 10, also at 2 p.m., Bass Pro Shops will host a seminar on the basics of archery to ensure a successful and safe hunting experience.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail