I hear a lot of professional anglers talk about how fishing wasn’t cool back when they were kids.
Most of those same anglers are in their late 30s or mid-40s, close to my age.
I couldn’t agree with them more!
For some reason, fishing wasn’t considered cool around my peers. So, early on in my teens I kept it somewhat of a secret. At the same time, I kept my eyes out for any signs of fellow anglers in my school.
One of the first friends I met when moving to Manteca as a teen was coincidentally wearing a jacket with a Ranger Bass Boat logo on it. I immediately knew that there was another angler in my class, and when we had our first break I went up to him and talked fishing.
I believe it’s different nowadays, mainly because of the Internet. Fishing is no longer looked at an old man’s sport or weird amongst teens. Everything from the clothing to the boats that are used on tour has changed the way fishing is viewed today.
With that said, there’s still a declining number of new anglers coming into the sport. There are many reasons for that decline. Most would blame technology, while I tend to believe that they’ve never had a chance to go fishing, as I’m coming across an alarming rate of teens who’ve never been fishing.
Water temperatures are now in the low- to mid-80s, making fishing tough. Bass have been biting for those fishing top-water and flipping shade pockets. Some smaller bass can be found feeding on schools of bait in Mildred Island.
No reports of any striper action, but many anglers are reporting of a good catfish bite on clams and anchovies. Plenty of bluegill have made their way shallow and can be caught easily on small worms.
New Melones Lake
Kokanee are primarily being caught on the lake by anglers trolling between 30 and 50 feet deep. Anglers are trolling Apex Lures and tipping their lures with shoe peg corn.
Bass fishing is good for numbers. There is an excellent top-water bite early in the morning and late in the day. A lot of small fish are being caught, anglers are targeting main lake points with small jigs and plastics as well as isolated islands. Fishing the deeper side of the islands seems to be the best right now as the fish can be found bunched up.
Bluegill and crappie continue to bite once found. Many anglers are choosing to target them at night under submersible lights. For crappie, anglers are using live minnows or crappie jigs, for bluegill anglers are using small worms like red worms or wax worms.
Lake Don Pedro
Kokanee are providing steady action. They are holding in some very big schools off Copper Mountain, Oat Hill and Hatch Creek between 40 and 60 feet deep and hitting Pee Wee hootchies, Sockeye Slammers and Glow Marni Bugs in tandem with Vance's Gold Dodger or U.V. Slingblade.
Bass fishing has been fair in the early morning hours on top-water baits. During the day, anglers are catching bass while fishing deeper with either deep diving crank baits or soft plastics. There was recently a tournament held at night on the lake where it took over 21 pounds for five fish to win the event.
Fishing is good on the lake for anglers targeting bass. Recently, while visiting the lake, I saw schools of striped bass exploding on the surface around the launch ram cove during the evening hours.
Reports are that anglers are catching their fair share of striped bass while trolling rolled shad or sardines. A secret of many of the locals has been trolling an umbrella rig through schools of striped bass.
Oak Grove clinic
On Saturday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will plant 1,000 pounds of catfish at Oak Grove Regional Park thanks to the Fishing in The City Program.
There will also be a free fishing clinic which will be conducted by the DFW from 8 a.m. to noon across from the nature center where rod loans and free bait will be provided to program participants.
There is no registration fee for the event; however, a $5 fishing permit fee and valid California fishing license are required for those 16 years of age or older. There’s also a $5 vehicle parking fee. All state Fish and Game laws apply.
Oak Grove Regional Park is located on Eight Mile Road and Interstate 5 in Stockton. The parks gates will open at 8 a.m. and close at dusk. For more information, call 209.953.8800.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email email@example.com