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Fish can sense change in bait, lures
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Last week I wrote about the slightest environmental changes and the effects these changes can have on fish.

This week I’d like to write about the slightest changes in baits and tackle and how those changes can be the difference between catching a fish or not.

When it comes to artificial lures, I’ve learned over the years that no two baits are the same. They may look the same and be of the same make and model, but there are always going to be differences.

Experienced tournament anglers believe that there are differences between the same baits so much that some actually keep baits stowed away just for tournament days. This explains why sometimes if you look close enough you will see some of the top pro’s tossing lures that look way overdue for replacement.

When it comes to terminal tackle something as simple a bigger or smaller-sized weight can make the exact sound of a crawfish crawling along the bottom or disturb the water just enough to make a bass think a crawfish is exiting its burrow. When the fishing is the toughest anglers who make the right adjustments are usually the ones catching the fish.

Next time you’re struggling to catch a fish don’t forget that the smallest change can make all the difference. 

Delta Report

Striped bass are really starting to bite on the outgoing tide. Anglers fishing for stripers are jigging 1-ounce Hopkins jigs, trolling broken back rebels, or drifting live bait. Remember the limit is two-striped bass per person per day and they must be over 18 inches long.

Largemouth bass are still being caught on reaction baits but the bigger fish continue to elude anglers. Fishing the outside edges of deep weed lines are good areas to try.

Bluegills continue to bite while fishing baby night crawlers off the bottom. A lot of nice-sized bluegill are being caught while fishing around the docks at Paradise Point.

New Melones Lake

Fishing for trout continues to be slow but should get better shortly as the lake continues to cool. The Department of Fish and Game has started its weekly trout plants that have helped create a fair bite. Power Bait under a bobber or inflated Nightcrawlers fished on the bottom has been the trick lately.

Trollers are fishing down to 25 feet deep while dragging shad imitating lures. Bass fishing has been slow for a lot of anglers who are struggling to catch many fish. For numbers, anglers are targeting schools of fish found at a variety of different depths or tossing large swimbaits in hope of imitating one of the many trout being planted in the lake.

Lake Don Pedro

Fishing for bass is tough, as very few anglers are catching limits. Those catching fish are fishing drop shotted worms around main lake points or jigging spoons around balls of bait.

Trout fishing is also tough for anglers trolling for trout. Typically the fishing picks up one the lake has turned over. The lake should be turning over as soon as the water temperatures drop some more.

New Hogan Lake

Bass fishing has been steady for angers fishing small plastics. Anglers are also doing well on jigs and shad imitating crank baits.

Striped bass fishing is good to fair for anglers fishing the early-morning hours. Anglers fishing for striped bass are using Hopkins Jigs or using cut bait.

Lake Camanche

Trout are being planted this week all around the lake. Anglers are trolling near Hat Island and Little Hat Island between 30-35 feet deep with shad imitating lures. Bass fishing is good in the Causeway for anglers fishing with brown jigs.

Tip of The Week

Many of us spend hours preparing our tackle boxes or trays to our liking. I recommend spending just as much time and attention to your box or bag full of emergency items. Items like fire extinguishers lose their charge over time and something as simple as having a few basic tools on board can help prevent you from having to cut your trip short. 

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email