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Avoiding growing traffic on Delta
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I’ve never fished in such pressured waterways as what I experienced this last weekend while on the Delta. 

Slowly but steadily the Delta has been receiving more and more boat traffic due to all of our local bodies of water having record low-water levels. 

In the past, a strategy of mine has been to fish as early in the morning as I could while hoping to beat the crowds. Unfortunately, even that has become a strategy of the crowds that I’m trying to avoid. 

If you’re planning on boating on the Delta, I’d definitely recommend staying as much out of the main channel as possible, or even better, going out on a day other than the weekend. A friend of mine said it best when he said that it looked like “water world.” 

I couldn’t agree with him more, as there were more boats out that day than I’ve ever seen before on the Delta.


The Delta

Top-water baits are still working well for bass during the morning and evening hours. A favorite bait of mine lately has been the Whopper Plopper. Pretty much all the colors and sizes are working. There’s also a good Senko bite during the day while fishing around deep grass beds. 

Bluegills are being caught in large numbers right now for those fishing with small worms in the backs of sloughs. Catfish are being caught on chicken livers and clams. 


New Melones Lake

Trout are being caught by those fishing under submersible lights during the night, and the kokanee bite remains wide open for those who choose to troll. The hot bait seems to be Apex Lures tipped with shoepeg corn fished trolled anywhere from 70 to 100 feet deep.

Bass fishing remains good for smaller fish during the day and bigger fish are being caught earlier in the day on top water lures. Bluegill and crappie continue to bite well for those fishing brush piles with worms and minnows. The best action for crappie is at night around a submersible light. 

The catfish bite is really good all over the lake at night. Catfish are being caught while using anchovies or chicken livers. Launching is still a problem as there are no paved launch ramps open. Glory Hole Point has the only accessible launch ramp which is gravel.


Lake Don Pedro

The best bite on the lake is for those anglers trolling deep. Anglers are having some success while trolling Excel Spoons and Needlefish for trout and king salmon. Bass fishing is good for smaller fish. Anglers fishing for bass are using shaky head worms down to 20 feet deep. Fleming Meadows still has the only available launch ramp open that requires some skillful driving as it’s not exactly a straight shot.


Lake Amador

Fishing continues to be slow during the day for anglers fishing for bass. Bluegills have been biting during the day on small worms in the backs of coves and around the dam area. 

Bass have been pushing the shad into the backs of coves and can be found feeding close to the bank. Bass are being caught at night on spinnerbaits, buzz baits, jigs, and brush hogs. At night some trout are being caught near the dam while fishing under a submersible light.


Lake Camanche

The bite is really good for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught right now 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.


Tip of the Week

Several years ago a wheel bearing on one of my trailer wheels burned out and if it weren’t for some help provided by friends, I’d probably still be stuck on the side of the road. 

Since then, I’ve made it a habit of mine to check my wheels at each stop along the way.

What I do is gently put my hand against the tire feeling for any unusual heat indicating a lack of oil or bearing that may be wearing out. I also carry extra wheel bearings and bearing grease along with the necessary tools needed to change a burned out bearing.   


To contact Jarod Ballardo email