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Getting lost in the Delta
Fishing Report pic
Jerry Walser of Lathrop caught two largemouth bass weighing 10 and 4 pounds this past weekend on the Delta. - photo by Photo Contributed

Every year, about this time, I’m reminded of when I came across two lost anglers while fishing the Delta. 

As I was fishing they approached me, asking if I knew where the launch ramp was. When I asked them which ramp they were looking for, they had no idea of the name of the ramp they launched out of. They then began to describe the launch ramp to me and after a process of elimination I realized where they must have launched from. 

As I began to give them directions, it was obvious that they had no clue of where they were going. I told them to follow me as I proceeded to their launch site. They were at least 15 miles away from their launch site and without some assistance would have probably never found their way back. 

Back then anglers used primarily maps to navigate the Delta. Not many had GPS devices on their boats. In fact, somewhere in my garage I still have my old Delta map. Now, if I had to I could use my phone’s Google map app as well as the GPS that’s built into my boat’s depth finder. 

I only know of one friend who has ever been stranded on the Delta and had to stay the night in his boat. According to him it wasn’t something that he ever wants to experience again as the night became very cold and he had no extra clothing with him. 


Delta Report 

The bite on the Delta continues to be tough for a lot of anglers. Anglers are reporting catching bass while fishing the outside weed edges. Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing the 6- to 8-foot range. 

Stripers are being caught by anglers fishing around Mildred Island but not in the large number like most would expect for this time of year. Anglers catching them are trolling rebels. As the water temperatures drop a little more the bite should pick up considerably.  


New Melones Lake

Not too many boats are on the water due to the dropping water levels. The lake is currently just over 12 percent full, meaning that all launch ramps are out of the water. It is highly recommended that if you’re planning on launching your boat that your vehicle is equipped with four wheel drive. 

The only reports coming out of the lake are from those fishing for catfish from the bank. There continues to be a good bite for anglers fishing at night with cut bait.


Lake Don Pedro

Not too many anglers are fishing the lake. Fleming Meadows is the only launch ramp open. It is is limited to one lane which has been keeping a lot of boats away. 

Traditionally, this time of year is a good time to target king salmon and trout, as the water temperature is beginning to drop and the shad are starting to school up.  


Lake Camanche

Your best bet on the lake is fishing for catfish. Anglers fishing for catfish are fishing with Chicken Livers and Anchovies. 

Bluegills can still be caught up shallow by anglers fishing with worms. Bass fishing continues to be good for numbers of smaller fish and for those fishing with small plastic worms or jigs.


Tip of the Week

When searching for the right place to fish off the bank there are a few things you might want to take into consideration. 

The first thing I look for is structure. I haven’t had much luck while fishing banks that were smooth or shallow. Also, try fishing points; these are areas where the bank comes to a point. If there is a considerable drop in depth once casting out from the point the better. If the points fail to produce, try fishing the backs of coves. 

Fish sometimes can be caught in the backs of coves when they’re not feeding on the points. There are times when waiting it out is the best solution and other times when trying a variety of different spots can make all the difference.  


To contact Jarod Ballardo email