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FISHING: Rewarded for planning, patience in tournament
Fishing Report
Jarod Ballardo with an 8.8-pound bass caught during the Future Pro Tournament held on the Delta. - photo by JAROD BALLARDO

This past weekend was one that I won’t forget for a long time. 

A friend and I fished the Future Pro Tournament on the Delta. I had been pre-fishing several days before and felt pretty good about the upcoming event. 

Like always, on the actual day of the event, a lot of the areas that I had to myself during the week were being pressured by other anglers. One area wasn’t for some reason, and when I arrived there around 9 a.m. I immediately began catching fish that were bigger than the fish I had been catching all morning. 

If you’ve ever fished a tournament before, there always seems to be a time in the day when things just go dead. The fish seemed to stop biting, and there I was just going through the motions, cast after cast. 

I then made this one cast, and when I went to move my bait, it was immediately pulled back. I set the hook the best that I could on a tight line and the fight was on. Fortunately, I had a partner to net the fish because it was a big fish and the hook came out as soon as the fish was in the net. 

The fish was the biggest of the tournament at a tad under 9 pounds and secured us a sixth-place finish out of 104 boats. What made this event special for me was the decisions that I made during the tournament. I had a plan, but at times went with my gut and when I found fish, I stayed on them. I also was awarded one of the nicest trophies that I’ve ever won, and earned a little money. 

Tournament fishing is tough, especially when you’re not at least winning your money back. Like fishing, you’ve got to stick with it, and when you least expect it your time will come. 

Delta Report

There is a great top-water bite on the Delta, especially in the morning and evening hours. Anglers tossing top-water frogs and spooks are catching them pretty good. We’ve experienced our first real heat wave of the summer, causing the bass to seek shady, more oxygenated places. It’s a good time to search out grassy areas closes to deep water for bigger bass. 

Striped bass fishing has slowed down for a lot of anglers. There are large schools of bluegill and carp in the shallow spawning making them easy targets for anglers just looking to get bit. 

Don Pedro

Anglers are doing well while trolling for trout between 30 and 50 feet deep around Jenkins Hill. Kokanee fishing continues to be tough for anglers. Most are preferring to stick with fishing for trout and are being rewarded by the occasional kokanee. 

Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing top-water baits in the mornings and a variety of baits during the day. Some of the better fish being caught are by anglers fishing Kei-Tech swimbaits slow rolled between 15 and 25 feet deep.  

New Melones Lake

Fishing for kokanee is surprisingly slow. Those that are catching them, are catching nice-sized fish between 14 and 17 inches long. 

Trout fishing continues to be good for anglers that arrive early. The bite hasn’t been as wide open as in the past few weeks, but there are still some really nice yrout and kokanee are being caught by anglers trolling anywhere from 20 to 50 feet deep with their favorite trout and kokanee set ups. While trolling, there are a variety of species of fish biting. 

On both of my trips to Melones we caught crappie, trout, and bass while trolling between 20 and 35 feet deep with Triple Teasers. Anglers fishing for bass are catching a lot of fish on top-water baits during the morning and bottom baits during the day while fishing from the shoreline down to 30 feet deep. 

Lake Amador

All the trout plants have stopped until the weather cools back down. 

There are catfish being plated into the lake. Anglers fishing for catfish are doing well while fishing around the launch ramp cove and the dam with traditional catfish baits.

Lake Pardee     

With the temperatures increasing and more people heading out to the lakes looking to cool down, fishing Lake Pardee is on my short list. 

Unfortunately, the kokanee bite so far this year has been really tough. There are a lot of small fish being caught, which has been frustrating even the seasoned kokanee fisherman.

Bass fishing continues to be good for numbers of smaller fish, and this is the time to catch a lot of smallmouth bass on crickets. Fishing with crickets for smallmouth bass in the summer is one of my childhood favorite techniques on Lake Pardee. 

Product Review

I recently purchased some sun gloves to go with the rest of my sun protection apparel and have really been impressed with both the comfort and functionality of the gloves. The gloves that I purchased were Simms brand which cost me around $25 through Tackle Warehouse. Similar gloves can also be purchased trough Amazon for less than $20.

To contact Jarod Ballardo email