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FISHING REPORT: Weather dampens annual Arizona trip

I finally brought my boat with me to Arizona.
The drive down there went incredibly well. I was really thankful that I spent the time getting my boat and trailer prepared for the trip. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t do me any favors. It was colder this year than it has ever been during my previous visits, and it even rained one of the days!
I was told by some of the locals that it only rains on average three days per year. If it wasn’t raining, the wind was really bad, making it difficult to effectively fish.
I was able to get out two times. One was with a local YouTuber. We had a great time and I learned a lot about the river and how to fish it. The other was with my son and nephew.
We ended up getting stuck in a backwater area on New Year’s Eve. Not knowing how we were going to get out, two of us had to get into the freezing water and try to back the boat out of the narrow opening that we were stuck in. Fortunately, with a lot of luck and effort, we found a spot where we were able to turn the boat around.
Honestly, I was really beginning to think that we were going to be spending the night stuck out there. It was an adventure to say the least.
Now, it’s time to pack everything up and head 630 miles north to Manteca. I’m not sure if I’ll be bringing my boat with me next year. One thing’s for sure — I’ll be keeping a closer eye on the weather forecast and definitely avoid the backwater areas.    

Delta Report
The striped bass really seem to be scattered. Anglers are having a tough time pinning them down with one specific pattern. Those having the most luck are moving from spot to spot while covering a lot of area. The techniques being used are both live and artificial baits. It’s really just a matter of finding the fish.
Bass fishing is tough, as anglers are advised to use lighter lines and smaller baits as the water has gotten real clear in a lot of areas. Most anglers are choosing to use a drop-shot rigged worm along deep weed edges.

Lake New Melones
Trout continue to bite for a lot of anglers who are fishing off the bank. Anglers are fishing around Glory Hole Cove and catching trout up to two pounds.
The hot bait has been Power Bait. Trollers are catching fish up shallow but of the smaller size giving bank anglers the advantage. Anglers trolling are doing well while top-lining and using side planners. A single night crawler threaded onto a Wedding Ring behind a Sling Blade is hard to beat.
Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow. For numbers, try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs.  

Lake Don Pedro
Trout fishing continues to be great for both anglers trolling and bank fishermen. There is an excellent trout bite in the Moccasin Arm of the lake with the fish stacked up in the backs of the river arm. Anglers trolling are dragging heavy spoons on lead core on a fast presentation as the fish are close to the surface.
The salmon bite is expected to improve as we get closer to February. Bass fishing has slowed, as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish.

Lake Amador
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are getting their monies worth in most cases. Power Bait has been the ticket either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.

Lake Pardee
Lake Pardee is scheduled to reopen Feb. 14.

Lake Camanche
The south shore pond seems to be the hot area. Anglers are doing well while fishing with Power Bait. North shore bank fishing is still producing limits this week, mostly in the early morning hours when the water is coldest.
South shore has a couple of good reports as well. Bass fishing remains fair, anglers catching fish while working small plastic baits along the bottom.

Tip of the Week
If you’re planning on not using your boat for a while, it’s always better to top off the gas tanks before storing than to let it sit empty. An empty tank allows for a lot of condensation to build up resulting in water mixing with your fuel. This can be a very costly mistake if not treated properly.

To contact Jarod Ballardo email