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FISHING: Improving bait-making skills as lakes shut down
Fishing Report
IIya Guryanov caught this 6-pound bass at Lake Amador. Courtesy photo

A lot has changed since my last report. 

Most, if not all, our local waterways have been closed to all recreation. There are still a few launch ramps that remain open, but I would call ahead of time to make sure. Some are closing without much notice. 

Personally, I think we're done fishing until restrictions are lifted. It’s especially tough for me because this is my favorite time of the year to be out on the water. I’ve already had to cancel several trips with friends and extended family members. 

Some of things I’ve been doing around the house to keep myself busy has been improving on my tackle and bait-making skills. Amazon must love me, because I’ve been ordering all the items needed to make my baits. 

Recently, I’ve gotten into painting baits with an air brush. I’ve seen the videos and posts online but never knew much about it. I still don’t know much, but it’s one more thing that I can do to keep me busy while stuck at home. 

This time more than ever I’m thankful for the wealth of information that is out there when it comes to being able to learn a new skill or hobby. 

I’m not sure how long it’s going to last, though — I’ve already grown tired of puzzles, TV and yard work.

The Delta

I called Paradise Point Marina and as of Thursday they are still open for launching. The last time I was there, there were a lot of boats out on the water and I saw more trucks with trailers parked than I have in a long time. 

As far as fishing, a lot of bass have moved up on beds making. I was able to catch a few off beds but with the wind and tide it wasn’t easy. A lot of anglers fishing for them with crankbaits and Senkos are catching numbers of fish, but mostly smaller fish. 

The top-water bite is also beginning to turn on. I haven’t heard much about the striper bite but I’m sure it’s improving. Traditionally, April is an excellent month to catch striped bass while trolling many of the main channels. Especially around the Rio Vista areas. 

New Melones

As of Thursday, the Tuttletown Launch Ramp remains open. New Melones has also been getting a lot of boat traffic. 

As the weather warms, more and more pleasure boaters will be out. I personally am staying away from the lake since not only is it an hour drive from my house, I hate to be turned away as I’m not sure how long until Tuttle Town Launch Ramp is going to remain open.

Lake Amador

Lake Amador remains open. The latest report that I received from the lake stated that there were 55 boats launched mid-week. That is a lot of boats for such a small lake, indicating that social distancing may be an issue. 

The lake continues to be planted with trout, and the bass have made their way into their spawning areas. The fishing is good, just not sure I’d want to be among the masses. 

Salt Springs Valley Reservoir

Not much is ever mentioned about this lake since it’s very small and has a strict catch-and-release policy. 

I called Thursday morning and the lake remains open for fishing. The lake is mostly shallow and can be tough to fish when the wind picks up. I’m curious to know how many boats are on the lake as it is one of the smallest lakes around. 

Closed: New Hogan, Lake Pardee, Lake Camanche, Lake Don Pedro.

To contact Jarod Ballardo email