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FISHING: Welcoming a new generation of anglers

I’ve been teaching junior high school for nearly 20 years now.
In all those years, I’ve met two students who were really hooked on fishing. As a kid, it was tough finding friends who liked fishing as much as I did. My peers knew that I liked fishing, but I doubt they knew just how much I liked to fish.
The biggest attraction for me wasn’t the fish, it was the fishing environment. When out fishing, and around other passionate anglers, I felt more welcomed than anywhere else.
I remember for my 13th birthday my dad and I fished a tournament on Lake Amador. The morning of the tournament, while checking in, they had a birthday cake there at the marina with my name on it. Everyone wished me a happy birthday. I guess you can say that I was hooked from that point on.
As an adult, I can tell almost immediately tell how passionate a younger angler is about fishing. Yes, there are still a lot of kids who like fishing, but it’s not too often I meet any that are as hooked on fishing as I was when I was their age.
For that reason, it’s important we welcome this new generation of anglers into our sport, like those adults who did before us.

Delta Report 
The water temperature is starting to raise ever so slightly, causing anglers to get excited about fishing for bass on the Delta. According to the last report, water temperatures were nearing 50 degrees in the West Delta.
Anglers fishing for bass are doing well while flipping and pitching black and blue jigs around tulle points and islands. There is also a decent bit for anglers that are willing to fish a rip bait on light line. It’s important to let the bait come to a complete stop as the fish are still very lethargic.

Lake New Melones
The trout bite remains a mystery on the lake, as very few anglers have been doing any good. Most of the angles on the lake right now are targeting spotted bass.
I was able to get out on the lake this past Monday and had a great day considering the time of year. I mainly was fishing between 30 and 50 feet deep while slowly working jigs around main lake points. The key was keeping my boat in 60 feet of water while casting towards the bank while working the jig to the boat.
Many of the bites were very subtle but enough to keep me on the lake until the sun went down. As far as color, I was using mostly brown swing head jigs. Some of my better fish came while fishing around main lake points and bluff walls.

Don Pedro
Bass fishing is improving, as the bigger bass are being caught on swimbaits and glide baits. Anglers fishing with smaller plastics and jigs are catching them between 25 and 80 feet deep.
Fishing for trout continues to be slow for anglers. Many believe that the lake is fishing tough due to the lack of trout that are in the lake and are opting to wait for the spring for the bite to pick up.

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 doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.
Anglers are also doing while tossing trout lures like Kastmasters towards the shallows.

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

Lake Camanche
Bass fishing is fair, as many anglers are having luck while fishing with jigs from the bank down to 25 feet deep. Those fishing with small plastic baits are also having luck while fishing around main lake points.
Trout fishing is good for both anglers fishing the main lake and the ponds. Both are being planted almost weekly. For bigger trout and numbers, many anglers are focusing on fishing the ponds.

Tip of the Week
As ugly as the conditions may seem, don’t be discouraged to get out fishing — especially for bass.
This is the time of year when the biggest fish are eager to start their spawning ritual, making them susceptible to being caught. Make sure to keep a close eye on water temperature. The closer it gets to 55 degrees the better the bite will become.

To contact Jarod Ballardo email