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Best thing you can do for your boat: Use it
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It puzzles me sometimes how something can break without even being used. Because of a busy schedule, I was unable to get my boat out for a few months. When I had last used it, everything was working perfectly.

Upon starting my boat, everything seemed to be working great, until I looked at my fuel gauge. It was stuck on empty, I tapped on it, and looked for loose wires, but nothing seemed to work. Knowing that I had enough fuel for the day, I wasn’t going to let a fuel gauge stop me from fishing; it did make me wonder what the problem was though. Then, once at my spot, I dropped my electric trolling motor into the water and pushed on the accelerator pedal, and got nothing. My boat then began drifting towards the bank as I frantically tried to figure out what the problem was. All of a sudden, the electric motor turned on and it started working like new.

I ended up not having a single problem the rest of the day but once again, I wondered what the problem was?

I always have said that the worst thing you can do to a boat was to let it sit. This past experience leads me to believe that when it comes to boats you’ll get more out of them if you use them, instead of letting them sit. Also, if it’s been a few months since you’ve taken it out; don’t assume everything is in perfect working order. I recommend testing everything out, before you head out. 

Delta Report

Striped bass fishing is starting to pick up for anglers fishing live bait around Franks Tract and Discovery Bay. Anglers are using live mud suckers or bluegill to catch their limits of fish. Bass fishing is slow right now for anglers. Now that the water temperatures are in the low 50’s anglers are using mainly jigs and creature baits for their bites. Bluegill can still be caught around most docks but you must move around until you find them.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing is starting to improve as the water temperatures have dropped considerably. The Department of Fish and Game has begun their weekly trout plants which have provided some action for anglers fishing off the bank. Most anglers are having some success while fishing power bait off the bottom in the backs of coves. Bass fishing has slowed down and anglers are currently struggling to catch even the smaller bass. Those that are catching them are fishing small worms off the bottom or fishing around schools of baitfish of main lake points. 

Lake Amador

The Tackle Box Café at Lake Amador reported they continue to plant 1000-pounds every week, and trolling has been picking up in addition to good action from the banks. Bass fishing is pretty slow right now as most anglers fishing the lake are fishing for trout.

Lake Don Pedro

The lake hasn’t turned over yet, but the water is clear in the 62 to 64 degree range. The shad are moving towards the structure and warmer water, so trolling closer to shore is a good idea. Anglers trolling are finding good action for holdovers and recently planted trout with small Needlefish, Shasta Tackle’s Humdingers, ExCels, or Triple Teasers at depths between 20 - 40 feet deep off of Laughlin Island, Big Oak Island, and near Graveyard Bay. Bass fishing continues to be slow for anglers. Most anglers having any luck are seeking out schools of bass found holding close to structure. Once found they are either spooning for them or drop shotting small worms.

Lake Camanche

Anglers are doing well while fishing for trout both out of the ponds and in the main lake. Most anglers are fishing off the bank with power bait for limits up to 5 lbs. currently the lake and the ponds are being planted weekly with trout so the action should continue to pick up.

Tip of the Week

I always keep a couple extra zip lock bags in my boat as well as a fishing cleaning kit. Usually, I don’t keep my catch but when I do catch something that I plan on keeping, I can clean and pack my fillets in ice before I leave the lake. Also, the zip lock bags have come in handy for other things, like keeping my cell phone and wallet dry during an unexpected downpour.