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Cover lunch, launch and call it even
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It’s that time of year again when I get plenty of calls or emails from friends and family who want to go fishing.

This month has always been a busy month for me. Hopefully before it gets too hot I’m able make good with all of my promises to them.

A topic of discussion amongst boat owners is how much they expect a partner to contribute to the daily expenses. Personally, I’ve never felt comfortable with the whole money-exchange ordeal — giving or receiving.

What I have done to make it easier is to just come out and tell the person what costs I expect to cover before I even take a step on their boat. I rarely ask for money if I’m planning on taking my boat out but do expect a little help at the end of the day.

A couple things that really make it nice are when someone covers the two ‘l’s’ — lunch and the launch.

In getting the boat prepared for a day of fishing, preparing a lunchtime meal becomes a burden. It’s really nice when I don’t have to worry about it.

The launch fees can be painful at times, especially when you’ve spent a considerable amount of money just getting there. It really makes it nice when a partner says to just put the boat in the water while they take care of the fee.

If you prefer to make a cash contribution, $40-$60 should be more than acceptable.

Delta Report

Plenty of post-spawn fish are being caught on reaction baits. Franks Tract continues to be a good spot for bass.

The swimbait bite is starting to improve as the bass are either looking for a big meal or protecting their fry. Vegetation throughout the Delta is starting to take over and grass lines are forming nicely.

On windy days spinnerbaits are working well in red or white.  

New Melones Lake

The trout bite has all but died, but the Kokanee bite has really started to pick up. Kokanee are being caught by those trolling anywhere from 25 to 45 feet deep.

Bass fishing has been great lately on the lake. Crankbaits, Rip Baits, Rattle Traps, and plastic worms are just a few of the baits that are catching bass.

Night-fishing for catfish is also starting to pick up, any major cove or creek arm is a good place to try. Anchovies, sardines, or a ball of night crawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish.   

Lake Don Pedro

All the talk is about the king salmon bite. The best areas still seem to be around Jenkins Hill. Salmon are being caught anywhere from 13 to 80 feet deep.

Anglers having the most success are trolling with frozen shad and anchovies injected with Pro Cure’s bait gels.

The Kokanee are also biting and scattered throughout the lake between 25 to 50 feet deep.

Bass fishing has been tough lately, as the water temperatures have dropped. Once the weather stabilizes more look for the bass to seek the shallows again.

Lake Camanche

The trout fishing in the pond has slowed down. There still are a few trout being caught on power bait but they’ve been on the small side.

Fishing for bass continues to be good. Anglers are fishing top water in the morning and Senko’s during the day. Several fish can still be found up shallow on spawning beds.

Catfishing has started to improve for anglers fishing off the bank with anchovies or chicken liver.

Jayson Runavaara caught a huge catfish on 5/8. He was fishing by Sugarloaf campground and caught an 18.1-pound catfish, which was caught with a Kasmaster lure.

Tip of the Week

When storing your reels it’s best to back off the drag as much as possible.

The drag system in reels usually consist of two curved washers that when tightened down create tension. Over time left in that position the washers will begin to weaken and the drag system will stop working.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail