By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Beat the heat by fishing early, or late
Placeholder Image

The weather has been uncharacteristic for the month of May — lots of wind and cooler temperatures for this time of year.

According to the weatherman, temperatures are supposed to top out at 100 degrees this Saturday, which would be the first time this year that it reaches the century mark.

Fishing while it’s hot outside is something that I’ve learned to try and work around. In the past, I’d fish right through the heat of the day while convincing myself that I was being tougher than the average guy. I’ve finally learned that smarter is better than being tougher when planning to fish the summer months.

If I’m fishing locally, I enjoy fishing early in the morning or later in the evening. Not only does this help in avoiding most of the summertime boat traffic, but it puts me on the water when the fishing is the best.

My general rule of thumb is to be off the water by noon if fishing in the morning, and off the water before midnight if fishing at night. Sometimes I’ll fish through the night, but it’s been a while.

Since adopting that strategy I’ve enjoyed fishing the summer months so much more and have been pleasantly surprised at the results. The mornings have always been good for fishing, and the evenings have been surprisingly good.

Delta Report

The bite remains good for a variety of species.

Bass have been hitting top-water lures as well as a variety of different reaction baits. You can’t go wrong with buzz baits early and late in the day. Once the sun gets nice and high snag proof frogs are catching some of the bigger bass while those cranking are catching nice limits.  Franks Tract continues to produce nice numbers as well as Whites and Disappointment Slough.

Striper fishing has been good for those trolling rebels near Cache Slough and Miner Slough. Anglers are also doing well while fishing for stripers off the bank along the San Joaquin River near Mossdale and around Whiskey Slough.

New Melones Lake

The trout fishing has remained slow. Fishing for kokanee is still great for anglers who are trolling from 50-90 feet deep with hootchies. The kokanee are schooling up around the dam area and Rose Island.

Catfishing is really good for anglers fishing cut bait through the night for them. There was a catfish weighed in last week that topped 13 pounds.  Bass fishing continues to be hot, as there are plenty of post-spawn bass willing to bite. The top-water bite has really opened up as anglers are doing well while using Zara Spooks and Poppers.

Lake Don Pedro

The bite is great on the lake for trout, kokanee, and king salmon. Most anglers are fishing for kokanee between 60-100 feet deep. Mexican Gulch, Fleming Bay, and in Middle Bay are all good areas for all three species. Anglers fishing for trout are finding them mixed in with the kokanee as they are taking kokanee gear as well as Excel spinners.

Those fishing for king salmon are doing so with rolled shad. Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing topwater baits in the morning as well as in the evening. During the day anglers are drop shotting small worms or tossing reaction baits around main lake points.

Lake Pardee

Trollers are concentrating in the South end of the Lake adjacent to the intake tower and the River Arm up to Columbia Gulch. Boaters continue to land some nice trout in this area.

Kokanee have been showing up but not in great numbers. The fish are hanging a bit deeper with the warming surface temperatures, most have dropped down between 40-60 feet deep. The winning combos have been Uncle Larry’s and Apex lures with night crawlers or scented corn behind medium flashers or medium size dodgers in red, blue, and chrome.

Bass fishing is good this time of year as anglers are targeting and downed timber or rock walls with jigs and Senko’s.

Product Review

For those smart phone users, there are so many great fishing apps available today for free. Some of my favorites include fishing logs, tide apps, and moon phase apps.

There are many more, including fishing games and hunting apps as well. I encourage you all to search fishing in your phones applications feature.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email