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Cast from the past: Old lures may do the trick
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As a beginning fisherman I only had one or two lures I was confident in and used them regardless of the weather or time of year.

I didn’t catch fish every time out but do remember doing OK — some days were just better than others.

Just the other day, while cleaning out some of my old gear, I ran across some of those “old faithfuls,” as my father calls them. There they sat collecting dust on the bottommost of my tackle box.

My immediate thought was of disbelief, because they looked so dated. I then glanced toward one of my newer baits and noticed the improvements that have been made over the years.

There were a few baits that haven’t changed at all; the Cordell Spot made by Cotton Cordell, for example, still remains the same and is still as effective as when it first hit the market.

Looking back, I guess I miss the days when I had only one or two lures to choose from. The simplicity of just making cast after cast until getting bit is often missed.

The more I think I know about fishing, the more difficult it has been to catch fish sometimes.

Next time you are out on the water and the bites are far and few, tie on one of those “old faithfuls” and give those fish a cast from the past.

   Delta Report

Fishing on the Delta continues to be good for largemouth bass. Fish are being caught on a variety of techniques.

As more baitfish make their way through the system fishing should get easier. Jigs and lipless crank baits are accounting for a lot of numbers.

Striper fishing is still spotty with most fish being caught by those fishing the west side of the Delta. As the water temperature drops the stripers should begin to make their way further through the system.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing is great, as many anglers are catching them while trolling between 35-50 feet deep. Anglers are focusing near the mouths of coves and creek arms such as Carson or Coyote Creek while using shad-patterned or fire tiger lures such as an Excel, Apex, Needlefish, or Rapala Countdowns.

Bass fishing has slowed down recently, as smaller fish are being caught on small plastics during the day.

The crappie and bluegill bite is good to fair for those fishing the backs of brushy coves. Glory Hole Cove is one of the hot spots right now.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing remains good with most trout being caught by trollers. Anglers are trolling between 35-55 feet deep with Apex spoons.

Bass fishing is slow. Lots of smaller fish are being caught, but very few of any size. Anglers are currently catching bass while drop shotting and spooning anywhere between 25-35 feet deep.  

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is hit or miss on the lake, as anglers are struggling to find the trout. Most anglers having success troll at least down to 35 feet.

Bass fishing is great first thing in the morning, as well as right as the sun starts going down. During the day, anglers are struggling to get many bites.

The best bite on the lake right now seems to be from the catfish. Anglers are catching them day or night off the bank while fishing stink bait.

Lake Pardee

Trout fishing is fair for anglers willing to fish the early morning hours. Most anglers that are having any luck are trolling small lures like needlefish, wobblers, or Uncle Larry’s fire tiger all tipped with scented with corn.

Bass fishing is decent for smaller fish. Small worms and lures are working well while fished around the sparse wood found along the shoreline.

Catfishing is really good for anglers fishing off the bank around the launch site cove. Anglers are doing well while using a variety of catfish favorites with the most popular bait being chicken livers.

Product Review

Shaky Heads have become popular among bass anglers over the past few years. Since then, many different brands of Shaky Heads have been produced. I’ve must have tried them all by now.

One that I really like is the Picasso Shakedown Shakey Head. My hookup ratio has increased since switching over and the bait keeper works exceptionally well. The hook that is used is an ultra sharp Gamakatsu hook.

What I also like about this product is that after at least a hundred fish and being fish over rocks, its paint remains in tact.

For a while now I’ve been looking for the right Shaky Head and I believe I’ve finally found it.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email