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Getting around the rising cost of fuel
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This morning on my way to work, I saw two bass boats filling up at the local gas station. I couldn’t help to think what their costs were for the day. My bass boat holds 52 gallons of gas, and my truck holds 23 gallons. If I were to fill them both up, it would cost me around $300.

My boat’s engine is a two-stroke — if I was low on oil it would cost me an additional $40, bringing my total cost to $350 just in gas and oil.

Our current gas and oil prices have drastically changed the way I fish. I can’t remember the last time I put gas in my boat; I barely turn the big engine on anymore.

Most of my money goes into fueling up my truck. I have gone a little easier on the gas pedal and have tried to stay local, but there’s just no way to eliminate fuel costs of a tow vehicle.

Like many, I’ve had to make a conscious effort to keep the cost down and have started saving ahead of time so that when the opportunity presents itself I’m not having to break the bank.   

Delta Report

Typical spring-like conditions of off-and-on activity has been making it tough at times on anglers.

When the wind is blowing try reaction baits such as spinnerbaits and swimbaits across points where there are sparse tulles. When calm, try tossing green pumpkin Senko’s towards visible holes within the grass beds or fishing the outer most weed lines.

Jigs fished deep from 6 to 8 feet is also a good technique for this time of year for targeting fish that are in transition.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing has slowed down for a lot of anglers fishing off the bank. Trollers are finding the biggest fish upriver, with planters and an occasional kokanee in the main lake at 20-50 feet with nightcrawler/Wedding Ring combos, U.V. Apexes or a Cop Car

Needlefish or other shad-patterned lures trolled at 1-1.5 mph.

 Bass fishing continues to be very good for anglers fishing from the bank down to 20 feet. Bass are spawning throughout the lake, making them easy targets for site fishermen. One of the most overlooked patterns is the morning top-water bite.

This time of year is a good time to toss a Zara Spook type topwater bait first thing in the morning.

Lake Don Pedro

Bass fishing has really turned on lately, as many fish can be found spawning throughout the lake. Senko’s and small worms are working really well one the sun comes up.

In the morning, target the backs of coves with top water lures as there are many schools of fish that have migrated to the backs of coves. Coves where there are underwater brush piles or trees are holding schools of fish.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing at Lake Camanche continues to be very good for a lot of anglers. Both the lake and the pond are putting out nice limits of fish.

Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake as many fish have moved shallow and be caught with a variety of different baits. Because of the spawn try using baits that can be worked across obvious spawning flats or beds.

In the morning try top-water baits and if the wind picks up try tossing swimbaits as the swimbait bite is always good when there are trout being caught on the lake.   

Lake Pardee

Bass fishing is really starting to pick up as the water temperatures continue to rise. Look for the fish to be up shallow on beds.

Because the lake is so clear the bass will be spawning a little deeper than most other lakes. A big mistake anglers make when searching for beds on clear lakes is that they look too shallow.

Trout fishing remains good for anglers fishing with power bait around the launch area or trolling from the surface down to 25 feet deep.

Tip of the Week

Most fishing rods now a day are made with cork handles. After multiple times out combined with the handling of fish and bait they can become dirty. Over the years I have tried several ways to clean the cork handles.

One of the most effective ways that I have found was to use wet wipes. Surprisingly, wet wipes do a great job and can also be used to wipe down all your rods components.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail