By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Fishing on boat offers solid pandemic social distancing
Fishing Report
Jarod Ballardo holds up a bass recently caught on the Delta. - photo by JAROD BALLARDO

All major tournaments have been cancelled due to our current pandemic, and fishing alone seems to be one of the few things left to do.
I purchased a season-long launch pass several months ago. The pass has allowed me to drive up to the launch ramp, drop my boat in the water, park my truck and head out fishing.
The last two times, I didn’t even have to fill up with gas. When I do fill up with gas I go during the off hours. After filling up both tanks in my boat, I apply hand sanitizer and go fishing.
While on the water, I saw what seems like the normal amount of boats on the water. What I noticed, was, like myself, there were a lot of boats fishing alone. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if the other boats were giving more room to each other than normal. The only time I could possibly come in contact with another person would be at the launch ramp.
Out of the four times that I went fishing this week, there was one person who was within six feet of me. Like a lot of you, I don’t know what’s right or wrong to do during times like this. I do know that “Scientific studies show that time outside in nature, especially among trees, significantly reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, energy, and sleep, and boosts the immune system.”
I’m going to continue to fish when I can. The weather is great, the fishing is great, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that “if you think you’re going to get sick, you’ll get sick.”

Largemouth bass continue to provide action for those fishing a variety of different techniques, finding clearer water and banks protected from the wind and current seem to be what anglers are targeting. One of the most consistent baits this time of year is a shallow running crawdad colored crankbait or a lipless crankbait.
Striped bass fishing is good right now for anglers trolling broken back rebels around the Stockton area. An occasional striper is also being caught by largemouth bass fisherman tossing reaction baits. 

New Melones Lake
The trout bite has been reported as being off and on. The better bites have been for those fishing the banks. A lot of trout have made their way into the coves keeping those fishing Power Bait busy.
Bass fishing is hit or miss for a lot of anglers, as they have yet to move shallow. They are being caught on a variety of slow moving baits while fished around lake points. The bites haven’t been very aggressive; many fish are just picking the baits up and moving off with them. 

Lake Don Pedro
The trout bite continues to pick up,. Mexican Gulch, Big Oak, and Graveyard Bay seem to be the hot areas. Trout are being caught by those trolling within the top 25 feet with Uncle Larry’s Spinners.
Large swimbait fish are being caught for those working points. The swimbait of choice seems to be the Huddleston Deluxe in a trout pattern. For those targeting smaller bass, crankbaits and jigs have been producing decent limits of fish.

Lake Pardee
Trout are being caught for those fishing the top 10 feet while trolling flashers with lures tipped with a partial scented grub or night crawler behind dodgers or sidekicks.
Bass fishing remains great for anglers working jigs through off shore structure. 

Lake Amador
Fishing is great for trout, anglers are doing well while fishing with Power Bait around the dam and marina areas. Over 1,000 pounds of trout are being planted weekly.
Bass fishing is starting to pick up. Most anglers having any luck are fishing bottom baits such as worms or jigs down to 20 feet deep.

New Hogan
With the water temperatures near 60 degrees look for the bass to be moving shallow to spawn. Especially in the shallower parts of the lake where the water warms sooner, shaky head worms and Senko’s are usually very good baits to use this time of year for both size and numbers of fish.

Tip of the Week
When changing the oil in your lower unit it’s important to know how your particular lower unit is filled. Some are filled from the top and others are filled from the bottom.
As simple as it may look it can be quite the task if you were to assume it filled up the same way a previous motor did.
I recently ran into this problem performing my last service and after referring to the service manual like I should have done in the first place, I realized that I was doing it completely wrong.

To contact Jarod Ballardo email