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2012 resolution: fish more!
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It’s now 2012, and I’m sure many of us have made and probably already broken our New Year’s resolutions.

This year I went away from my traditional resolution and decided that I needed to get out fishing more in 2012. This past year I really missed out on a lot of good opportunities. I did manage to get out at least once a month but that just wasn’t enough.

Just the other day my son reminded me that it’s been a while since we went out fishing. He’s 9 years old now and is pretty good at telling me when we haven’t been fishing in a while. So, before I start making commitments this year, hopefully I’ll think twice before committing to something that’s going to lock up my weekends.

If so, I’ll have to do what I did last year and go on a fishing frenzy between the months of June and July.   

     Delta Report

The striped bass really seem to be scattered. Anglers are having a tough time pinning them down with one specific pattern. Those having the most luck are moving from spot to spot while covering a lot of area. The techniques being used are both live and artificial baits. It’s really just a matter of finding the fish.

Bass fishing is tough, as anglers are advised to use lighter lines and smaller baits as the water has gotten real clear in a lot of areas. Most anglers are choosing to use a drop shot rigged worm along deep weed edges.

Lake New Melones

A new lake record brown trout was caught last Friday, Dec. 30. Michael Oliveira caught this massive 13-pound, 4-ounce fish while fishing for bass near the dam with a small (similar to a Rapala Shad-Rap SR-5) shad-patterned crank bait.

This is considered to be the best time of the year to target the big brown trout. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well for trout while fishing with Power Eggs or Power bait in rainbow or chartreuse colors. Anglers trolling are doing well while top-lining and using side planners. A single night crawler threaded onto a Wedding Ring behind a Sling Blade is hard to beat.

Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow. For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs. 

  Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing continues to be great for both trollers and bank fishermen. Mexican Gulch seems to be the hot area for anglers trolling down to 30 feet deep with shad-patterned ExCels. The salmon bite is expected to improve as we get closer to February.

Bass fishing has slowed, as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish.

Lake Amador

The Lockhart family continues to plant between 800 and 1,000 pounds per day every weekday with 4,000 pounds of fighting cuttbows. Anglers having luck are either trolling the top ten feet of water or fishing with power bait.

Lake Pardee

Lake Pardee is scheduled to reopen Feb. 16 for recreational vehicles and the 17th for fishing.

Lake Camanche

The south shore pond seems to be the hot area, as anglers are doing well while fishing with power bait. North shore bank fishing is still producing limits this week, mostly in the early morning hours when the water is coldest.

South shore has a couple of good reports as well. Jerry Harvey from Valley Springs caught an 11-pound, 7-ounce bass trolling the main part of the lake using swim bait. Bass fishing remains fair with anglers catching fish while working small plastic baits along the bottom.

Tip of the Week

If you’re planning on not using your boat for a while it’s always better to top off the gas tanks before storing, than to let it sit empty. An empty tank allows for a lot of condensation to build up resulting in water mixing with your fuel. This can be a very costly mistake if not treated properly.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email