The sea lions have made their way back into the Delta.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not the most comfortable when one is swimming around the area where I’m fishing.
I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with sea lions. The first time being while I was reeling in a salmon while trolling from a charter boat. The deckhand told me to hurry up while reeling in a salmon that I had hooked. Seconds later, my line started peeling off my reel like if I had snagged onto something. The deckhand then grabbed my rod from me and cut my line.
Another time, I was fishing with a friend on the Delta and he mentioned to me that he had a bite. As soon as he set the hook, his line took off uncontrollably, not knowing what he’d hooked. He tried to fight whatever bit his line until it took his whole spool of line with it. Right before he ran out of line, we saw a sealion surface in the distance.
Those two experiences combined with watching how easy it is for a sea lion to jump onto a dock that sits at about the same height as a bass boat makes it an easy decision for me to stay on the lookout for sea lions from now until early summer on the Delta.
The water temperature continues to drop, which usually is an indicator that the fish should be actively feeding. Lots of smaller fish are being caught on reaction baits especially when there is a little wind and cloud cover. The bigger bass are still being caught on top-water baits or by flipping.
Small schools of striped bass are being found throughout the Delta working bait on the surface. Early signs of larger schools of striped bass are starting to be reported around the Pittsburg/ Antioch area. Anglers catching the larger striped bass are either fishing top water lures, swim baits, or live bait around current.
The Rio Vista Bass Derby and Festival is only a few weeks away with the 71st Annual Event taking place from Oct. 12-14. Information on the derby is available at www.bassfestival.com
New Melones Lake
There are very few anglers fishing the lake because of the water levels. Trout fishing has slowed down quite a bit recently.
Anglers having any luck are trolling from 30 to 90 feet deep. Anglers fishing at night under submersible lights are having the best luck while fishing the main lake and dam areas.
Bass fishing remains steady for anglers fishing drop-shotted plastics or while dragging small plastics along the bottom. Jig fishing is also starting to become popular as anglers are catching some of the better-quality bass while working depths down to thirty feet with brown jigs.
Fishing is slow on the lake for everything except for bass. The bass have been biting just about anything. There are smaller bass being caught but the action is steady. Trout fishing has all but died down until the water temperatures drop which should bring the trout closer to the surface.
Lake Don Pedro
There are very few anglers fishing the lake as the lake is being used heavily by recreational boaters. Late fall is usually an excellent time for anglers to catch king salmon, so most anglers are crossing their fingers and hoping that in the next month or so the water temperatures will drop enough creating better conditions for fishing.
Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.
Tip of the Week
The more a person gets into fishing the more they feel that they have to buy. Like most hobbies, there’s always something new coming out that quickly becomes a must have.
Fishing rods, for example, are a lot like golf clubs to a lot of anglers. Technique-specific rods have become the norm. Just because a rod is meant for a specific technique doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for something else.
In the end, it’s what you feel most comfortable fishing with and your level of confidence while fishing with that rod.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email firstname.lastname@example.org.