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Communication key for anglers, duck hunters
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Duck hunting season is now open, so it’s important that we stay out of each other’s way.

It’s not much a problem because of the clear skies we’ve been experiencing lately, but once it becomes foggy, we have to be especially careful.

More than once I have been fishing around a duck blind without even knowing it was there. If you’re not sure whether or not you are approaching a blind, you will usually know by the sight of decoys in the water. When I see decoys I usually go around or turn back while trying not to navigating through the decoys.

You can also simply ask as you approach, “Is anyone in the blind?” and they will surely respond.

Years ago, when I thought I owned certain spots along the Delta, I ignored hunters and waited for them to tell me to move along. Most of those confrontations didn’t work well.

It’s much easier — and safer — to just move along and let them hunt in peace. Once duck hunting season is over, those same blinds make excellent fishing spots.

Delta Report

The bite on the Delta continues to be tough. A lot of anglers are reporting catching bass while fishing the outside weed edges. Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing the 6- to 8-foot range.

Stripers are being caught by anglers fishing around Mildred Island but not in the large number like most would expect for this time of year. Anglers catching them are swimming Fish Trap lures.

As the water temperatures drop a little more the bite should pick up considerably. Duck hunting season is open, so be on the look out for duck blinds.

New Melones Lake

Trolling for trout is still good for anglers trolling over the main river channel near the mouth of Carson and Coyote creek between 30’ to 90’ deep. Trout are feeding heavily on shad that are staging on the outside of the creek channels.

In the fall the shad will move to the backs of the coves and the fish will follow. Bass fishing continues to be very good for numbers of fish caught on shad imitating lures and plastics. Anglers are also catching fish while spooning through schools of shad.

Lake Pardee

Lake Pardee is currently scheduled to close on Nov. 4, so if you’re looking to get out one more time on Lake Pardee you have until sunset before it closes until February. Trout fishing has been slow for trollers. Those catching fish are catching them while trolling down to 50 feet in the early morning hours.

Lake Don Pedro

There’s a good trout bite on the lake. Anglers are doing well while working from the surface down to 35 feet with a variety of shad imitating lures.

King Salmon are also being caught for those trolling shad or anchovies between 40 and 60 feet deep. The Upper Bay, Woods Creek and in the Tuolumne River arm are all good areas right now to catch King Salmon up to 4 pounds.

Bass fishing is picking up as the bass are starting to transition into their fall feeding cycle. Most shad imitating baits are working well as well as football head jigs.

Lake Amador

The lake has began its stocking program with trout over 4 pounds. Trout are being stocked weekly and anglers are doing well while fishing with power bait or while trolling the top 10 feet with traditional trout lures.  

Tip of the Week

As our weather has begun to change, this is the time of year when anglers are the least prepared for the worst. Our days are a lot shorter and temperature swings can happen without much warning.

If you’re planning on being out on a boat all day you should have an extra set clothing and something to snack on just incase you have engine failure or come across someone stranded on the water.

Having a good map is also a must as I have been stopped by more than one boater who was lost on the Delta.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email