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FISHING REPORT: Warm up those boat engines before first spring outing

This is the time of year when the launch ramps start getting crowded.
There’s also sure to be one or two boats parked off to the side that are either not starting or running right. Time after time, I see a lot of boat owners who put their boats up for the winter and expect it to fire right up at the first sign of spring.
A lot of our older outboard engines are no different than those gas-powered yard tools that most of us have for working around the house. One of the worst things you can do to a boat’s engine is to let it sit. So, it’s recommended that you should occasionally hook it up to a water source and let it run for a while. I would also make it a habit to add fuel stabilizer to your fuel tanks every time before you fill it up.
So, if you’re planning on taking your boat out for the first time this year, I highly recommend running its engine at home first. You don’t want to be one of those boats parked on the side of the road.

Delta report
The water is still very cold and muddy in a lot of areas on the Delta.
Anglers fishing for bass are having luck while fishing with bright-colored lures in chartreuse, black, or red. The best areas seem to be in the back of the sloughs since they’re not as muddied up. Baits like jigs, chatterbaits, and spinnerbaits are the go-to baits.
There isn’t much being reported about stripers. The closer we get to springtime weather, areas around the Rio Vista Bridge are usually the ones to turn on first.

New Melones Lake
The lake has been pounded with a series of storms that have caused the water to become very stained in some areas. Water levels have been on a constant rise as well.
Fishing for bass seems to be the most consistent bite on the lake. Anglers are finding them schooled up on the bottom. Shaky head worms and ned rigs have been working well.
The bass being caught are averaging between 1 and 2 pounds. There was recently a tournament on the lake and a little over 17 pounds for five fish won the event.
 Be sure not to discount the A-Rig bite, as there have been a couple of nice fish caught by those fishing an A-Rig. For trout, anglers are fishing near the inlet located in Angels Cove where trout are taking advantage of the high-water runoff.
Lake Don Pedro
The only consistent bite on the lake seems to be by anglers fishing for bass. Anglers are catching them in a variety of different ways. During my recent visit to the lake, I caught my fish on hula grubs, senko’s, jigs, and small swimbaits.  I’m not sure what the anglers that catching the bigger fish are fishing with, most likely they’re fishing with large swimbaits.

Lake Pardee
The lake is open and being stocked weekly with trout. Anglers are taking advantage of all the trout being stocked into the lake. Fishing from the shore with your favorite trout bait is your best bet, as there are plenty of trout still hanging around in the launch ramp cove.
Bass fishing is still a little slow as the fish have yet to make their way shallow. Anglers are having luck while drop-shotting or dragging a jig on the bottom.

Lake Amador
Lake Amador is still receiving weekly plants of trout, making it a favorite for anglers that are looking to fill their limits. The lake is full with a two-lane launch ramp and a courtesy dock. Anglers fishing for trout are doing well while fishing with Power Bait. Anglers trolling for trout are having luck while trolling down to 15 feet deep with their favorite trout lures.
Bass fishing is beginning to pick up as anglers fishing for trout are catching an occasional bass on night crawlers.

Assembly Bill 1387
Assemblyman Jim Wood recently introduced a bill to make recreational fishing more accessible by establishing a 365-day fishing license beginning the day you purchase it as well as providing a mobile fishing app, which would eliminate the need to carry a hard copy.
For more information, visit

To contact Jarod Ballardo email