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Clarks Fork is a nice, affordable change of scenery
Lathrop resident Steve Victor snagged a nine-pound bass while fishing on the Deltas Whiskey Slough. - photo by Photo submitted by Steve Victor

This past week I went and camped out at Clarks Fork with family and friends.

It was a 100-mile one-way trip to get there, but well worth the drive. I was reminded of just how lucky we are to be living where we live. Within a relatively short distance away we can be in places that seem like a whole different planet.

If you’ve never been to Clarks Fork I highly recommend it. The weather is a lot cooler than here in the Valley, making it a good getaway from the heat. There’s absolutely no cell phone service, forcing the kids to actually talk to somebody, and the campsites are very spacious.

One of my favorite things about camping at Clarks Fork is there camping fee. It’s a flat rate of $17 per night with no extra charges for dogs, fishingor a daily access. The only extra fee is for a second vehicle, which is minimal.

The fishing is on a river, the trout are plentiful and fairly easy to catch once finding a deep pool where they are sometimes stacked up.

All in all it was a great trip spent with great company around breathtaking scenery. I’m looking forward to getting up there again soon!


Shade is the most important factor when fishing for bass on the Delta. Really pay attention to the banks and look for any shade pockets. This past weekend the bigger bass being caught were caught on Sweet Beavers on the shady side of isolated islands.

The top-water frog bite has remained excellent for those willing to toss it all day. Anglers are catching frog fish in both open water and above matted vegetation.

Catfishing has been very good recently along Whiskey Slough for anglers fishing with clams and anchovies. 

New Melones Lake

Anglers are starting to catch trout but have to go deeper in order to catch them 50-60 feet deep. The kokanee bite has remained wide open for those fishing the right depths. Anglers are reporting that the kokanee are being caught fairly shallow during the morning hour and between 45 and 80 feet deep during the mid-day. Bass fishing has been great for smaller fish on just about anything during the day and top-water lures early morning and late.

Catfishing has been really good for night fishermen fishing just about anywhere on the lake right now. Bluegill and crappie are also cooperating as many anglers are doing well fishing the backs of coves with minnows or worms under a bobber.

Don Pedro

Fishing for king salmon and kokanee has been red hot lately. Jenkins Hill, Graveyard Bay, and Fleming Bay have all been producing good catches lately.

For the salmon, try rolled shad or anchovies or a 4-inch Sting King Lures in cop-car or pearl at 90 to 120 deep. Kokanee can be found at 50 to 80 feet while trolling Uncle Larry's spinners, Vance's Sockeye Slammers, or Pink Shasta Tackle Kok-a-Nuts.

Rainbows can be found from 25 to 45 feet hitting small Ex-Cel shad-colored lures. Bass are feeding on shad schools throughout the lake. Senkos, drop-shotting or split-shotting plastics in or around the schools of bait is producing numbers.

A favorite bait of mine this time of year is a white Zoom Fluke worked around the shady side of large rocks or any brush found along the shoreline.

Lake Pardee

The hotter it gets the better Pardee becomes for smallmouth bass. Crickets are a must for sheer numbers of smallmouth bass. Rig and fish crickets just as you would a split shot rig with a smaller hook of course and get ready for some action.

Bigger smallmouths are usually caught by those who anchor and drop a line over the side and wait them out. The nice thing about using crickets is that you have a chance at catching just about anything that swims in the lake. 

Featured Product

This week’s featured product is Power Pro braided fishing line. Over the past 10 years braided line has really changed how a lot of people fish. Like with any new product after a while there are too many choices out there.

I was turned on to Power Pro by a friend after several bad experiences with lesser lines and haven’t looked back since. It’s true that there are less expensive braided lines that will get the job done but if you’re looking to try braided line and want the best I’d go with Power Pro.

Modesto Ambassadors Tournament:

The Modesto Ambassadors will be holding their 40th Annual Classic Night Tournament
on Lake Don Pedro July 21.

For more information, visit their website at or email Henry Vanderweide at