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Dreaming big with first purchase of Power Ball ticket
Adan Garcia snagged these two bass while fishing the Delta recently. - photo by Photo submitted by Adan Garcia

Earlier in the week while I was getting my morning coffee at 7-Eleven, the cashier asked if I’d like to buy a Power Ball ticket.

I usually never play, but he said that the jackpot was over $60 million. That got my attention. He then asked, “How many tickets would you like to buy?”

“Only one,” I answered. “If I’m going to be lucky I’m going to have to be real lucky!”

So all day after that, I couldn’t help to think about all the things I would do if I won. I’ve always wanted to tour the country and compete in bass fishing — that’s on top of my list. I’d purchase a huge RV with a trailer that could transport my boat and truck, load my family up and fish the circuit, with the goal of qualifying for the Bassmaster Elites.

Fast forward to this morning, I found out that I only won $7. That’s far from the amount I’m going to need to chase my dream but just being able to dream with the slightest of possibility of that dream coming true was well worth the $2 purchase. Plus, I more than doubled my money. I’ll be buying two tickets before this weekend’s drawing.

Delta Report

Bass fishing is hot and cold. Typical spring-like conditions of off-and-on activity has been making it tough at times on anglers. The wind earlier in the week made fishing impossible pretty much wherever they went.

Now that the wind has died down and the temperatures have risen it’s hard to beat a Senko. When calm, try tossing green pumpkin Senko’s towards visible holes within the grass beds or fishing the outer most weed lines. Jigs fished deep from 6 to 8 feet is also a good technique for this time of year for targeting fish that are in transition.

New Melones Lake

The kokanee are really starting to bite in the main lake between 38 and 50 feet deep on Hootchies tipped with Fire Corn trolled at 1 to 1.5 mph. Trout fishing is also very good, as trollers are catching limits while trolling Wedding Rings between 30 and 50 feet deep.

Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported continued good bass action with the big ones still showing up with jigs, plastic worms, Senkos, Brush Hogs, lizards, and swimbaits.  Local angler John Martin caught and released a 7-pound, 1-ounce spotted bass.

One of the most overlooked patterns is the morning topwater bite. It’s a good time to toss a Zara Spook type topwater bait first thing in the morning.

Lake Don Pedro

Just like nearby New Melones, the trout and kokanee bites have improved 100 percent lately. Between 30 and 50 feet seems to be the magic depth for both species. Trollers are using a variety of different bait to catch them. King salmon are being found between 80 and 85 feet deep for those trolling rolled shad.

For bass Senko’s and small plastic baits are working really well one the sun comes up. In the morning target the backs of coves with top water lures as there are many schools of fish that have migrated to the backs of coves. Coves where there are underwater brush piles or trees are holding schools of fish.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing at Lake Camanche continues to be very good for a lot of anglers. Both the lake and the pond are putting out nice limits of fish. Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake as many fish have moved shallow and be caught with a variety of different baits.

Because of the spawn try using baits that can be worked across obvious spawning flats or beds. In the morning try topwater baits and if the wind picks up try tossing swimbaits as the swimbait bite is always good when there are trout being caught on the lake.

Lake Pardee

Trout and Kokanee are still holding shallow for those anglers trolling for them. Just about any shiny bait trolled from the surface down to 10 feet deep is bringing in limits. Anglers trolling are either trolling the main lake or trolling up river. Bass fishing is slow, as the water temperature is still a little low.

Tip of the Week

Most fishing rods now a day are made with cork handles. After multiple times out combined with the handling of fish and bait they can become dirty. Over the years I have tried several ways to clean the cork handles.

One of the most effective ways that I have found was to use wet wipes. Surprisingly, wet wipes do a great job and can also be used to wipe down all your rods components.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email