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Dont settle for imitation tackle or youll pay for it
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When it comes to fishing tackle, I’m just as guilty as anyone for spending more money than I probably should. 

I’ve learned over the years that it’s just not worth it to be out fishing with a bait or lure that I don’t have confidence in. Nearly 20 years ago, the Yamamoto Senko took the bass fishing world by storm. Everybody was fishing with them, and everyone was catching fish. 

Costing over $5 for a pack of five, I settled with the many imitations of the bait that became available. My experience with those imitations was one of much frustration and disappointment. It was the turning point for me. I vowed to myself to never purchase another imitation unless of course I’m left with no other option. 

I’ve since taken that same approach towards everything that I purchase. Knockoffs almost always result in a person spending more money in the long run than if they would have went with an original to begin with. Not to mention, the time wasted dealing with a product that was primarily designed to look like something instead of functioning identically to the original. 


Delta Report

With water temperatures dropping and as the days become shorter the fishing should be getting better. Bass are being caught on just about anything. Reaction baits such as rattle traps and spinnerbaits are producing lots of numbers. 

Stripers are starting to make their way into some of the flooded islands such as Franks Tract, Big Break, and Mildred Island. Anglers are using cut bait and trolling for stripers. The bite isn’t wide open yet but is improving steadily. 


New Melones Lake

There are not many anglers fishing for trout of kokanee. With the water levels being so low, the majority of anglers are fishing off the bank for catfish. Catfish are being caught all over the lake by anglers fishing with their favorite live or cut bait. 

Bass fishing has slowed down. Smaller fish are being caught on small plastics during the day. 

All of the boat launching is taking place out of Glory Hole Point by boaters that are willing to launch of a two lane gravel bank. Having a 4x4 is essential for boaters planning on launching.    


Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing is good with most trout being caught by trollers. Anglers are trolling between 40 and 50 feet deep with Apex spoons. 

Bass fishing is slow. There are a lot of smaller fish being caught but very few of any size. Anglers are currently catching bass while drop shotting and spooning anywhere between 25 and 35 feet deep. Fleming Meadows has the only paved launch ramp on the lake that is currently open.   


Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is very slow. Bass fishing continues to be good for those fishing traditional summer patterns. Topwater baits are working well early in the morning and late in the day. 

During the day anglers are catching limits of fish while tossing crankbaits or small plastic worms. Catfishing is also good right now on the lake for those fishing off the bank with night crawlers or anchovies.


Lake Amador

The catfish and bluegill bite is good on the lake. Anglers fishing for bluegill are doing well while fishing with worms. Anglers fishing for catfish are using cut bait around the dam area or off the main lake points. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as the water temperatures are starting to drop a bit. 


New Hogan

There are still schools of striped bass following schools of shad. Anglers that are willing to deal with less than great launching conditions are being rewarded with having the lake mostly to themselves during the weekdays for $4 a day. Stripers are being caught while trolling umbrella rigs. 


Tip of the Week

Late summer is an interesting time of the year. You’d be surprised at what works. As far as bait selection, don’t be afraid to try something new or something a little out of the ordinary. 

I’ve had some great times fishing this time of year while using untraditional baits. While everyone seems to be tossing the same thing try something different, you may be surprised at what you catch.       


To contact Jarod Ballardo email