Earlier this year, I purchased a used bass boat.
The boat is actually 23 years old. Twenty-three may not seem that old, but in bass boat years it’s a lot! Especially if it has not been taken care of.
I purchased the boat knowing that it needed a lot of work. I actually looked forward to bringing it back to life. I also wanted something that I didn’t have to worry about beating up, being able to take it in places those with fancier boats wouldn't dare to go. I also like not having to take a bunch of time wiping it down after a long day of fishing.
It’s been a long expensive project, but I’m very close to having the boat where I want it to be. I’ve pretty much had to repair everything from the trailer coupler to the engine. In doing that, I’ve learned more about bass boats than I originally intended. In my case, I discovered that many of the minor repairs that the boat needed were either ignored, disabled or done wrong in order to save a few dollars.
It’s been frustrating to say the least.
I now have more time and money invested in the boat than what I can sell it for. Some would say that I should have purchased something that needed less work. Maybe they’re right, but very few can say that they know as much about their boats as I do.
Bass fishing is really good on the Delta. With the full moon, increased temperatures and the winds finally dying down, there should be a lot of fish shallow. In the morning I’d go with a top-water lure like a popper or snag proof frog.
Once the sun gets up, it's hard beating a Senko pitched into visible clear spots along weed flats. Pretty much anything should catch them, but for the big ones finding those spawning flats is the key.
The annual spring striped bass run has begun and anglers trolling have not been disappointed. Striped bass can be caught all over the Delta, but the Rio Vista area seems to be the most consistent.
Anglers targeting stripers are trolling their favorite deep or shallow diving broken backed lures.
New Melones Lake
Anglers trolling between 30 and 60 feet deep are beginning to catch kokanee on a variety of kokanee baits. Trout are also being caught at the same depths as the kokanee. Most anglers are either fishing for kokanee and catching trout, or fishing for trout and catching kokanee.
Bass fishing is at its best for both numbers of fish and size. For numbers, it’s hard to beat a shaky head. For size, Senko’s and jigs are catching quality fish along with swim baits.
There are a lot of fish on beds, so if you’re a bed fisherman you shouldn’t have a problem catching a good limit of fish.
Lake Don Pedro
Fishing for trout is great on the lake. The best lures to use are still Uncle Larry’s Spinners tipped with night crawlers fished on the surface to 15 feet deep.
A few king salmon are also being caught by anglers fishing from 30 to 60 feet deep while trolling shad or anchovies. Bass fishing has also started to pick up with many anglers catching a lot of fish while drop-shotting small plastics.
Sight fishermen are also doing well finding the bigger female bass defending their young.
The trout bite continues to be good lately at Lake Camanche. Trout are being caught from the surface down to 30 feet by anglers trolling Ex-cel lures and those off the bank are using Power Bait.
Bass fishing has really picked up lately for anglers tossing small plastics. Anglers are reporting catching between 20 and 50 bass per outing between 1-2 pounds apiece.
Tip of the Week
There’s no better time to take a kid fishing than in the next few months. There are plenty of fish shallow, which should provide a lot of action for the impatient angler. It’s really hard to beat a worm fished under a small bobber.
Kids don’t really care about catching a trophy fish as much as they care about catching something. My son remembers very little about his first few years of life but can tell you every detail about his first time fishing.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email firstname.lastname@example.org.