Navigating the Delta can be a little intimidating for someone who is not familiar with where they’re going.
I remember how intimidating it was my first couple of years fishing the Delta. My boat at the time fit in the bed of my truck, so I usually didn’t travel out of sight of the launch ramp. That all changed once I purchased my first full-sized bass boat.
Still unsure of where I was going, a close friend encouraged me to purchase a hand-held GPS. Back then, GPSs were pricey, so I was a little hesitant at the sight of the price tag. After some deliberation, I decided to buy the one.
The GPS was extremely helpful. Not only did it remove any fear of getting lost, it enabled me to mark all my favorite spots by storing them as waypoints. I no longer use a handheld GPS, but I do have one built into my depth finder — most depth finders today come with a GPS feature.
Somewhere on all GPS devices there’s a disclaimer that states “Not to be relied on as a navigation device,” or that “hazards may not be marked.” I’ve yet to be misled by a GPS but have lost connection from time to time.
If you don’t have a GPS there are a couple things you can do if you find yourself lost. The tide will always tell you which way is west, as the water is drawn back toward the ocean when going out. Following it will lead you out into a main channel. If tide is coming in, the water will be heading south or towards the backs of the sloughs.
The main channels in the Delta are also loaded with clues as there are poles that are marked with numbers that are sequential, making it easy to follow. Also, you can’t go too far before you run into a marina or harbor. On your map you should be able to find that location to give yourself some bearing.
If you plan on venturing out on the Delta you should at least have a map. And if all else fails, ask a fellow angler. It’s a little scary at first, but before long you’ll know the Delta like the back of your hand.
The water temperature has dropped, which usually indicates that the fish should be actively feeding. Lots of smaller fish are being caught on reaction baits especially when there is a little wind and cloud cover. The bigger bass are still being caught on top-water baits or by flipping.
Small schools of striped bass are being found throughout the Delta, working bait on the surface. Look for the bigger striped bass to start making their way through the system.
New Melones Lake
Trout are becoming more and more active as the water temperatures continue to drop. Anglers are catching them while trolling between 35 and 60 feet deep. Top lures are threadfin shad Needlefish and blue/silver Excel lures.
Bass fishing remains steady for anglers fishing drop-shotted plastics or while dragging small plastics along the bottom. Jig fishing is also starting to become popular as anglers are catching some of the better-quality bass while working depths down to 30 feet with brown jigs.
As the water starts to cool, trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal. Anglers are trolling between 30 and 40 feet deep with Excel lures for trout up to 4 pounds. Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.
Lake Don Pedro
The only reports coming out of the lake are from anglers that are fishing for bass. The bite seems tough for a lot of anglers since the lake is a lot warmer than normal for this time of year.
Anglers having any luck are finding them at varying depths while drop shotting small worms through schools of baitfish. The trout and salmon bite has been nonexistent for a lot of anglers.
The 20th annual C.O. Pro-Teen Classic has been rescheduled for Sunday Oct. 22. The purpose of the Pro-Teen event is to introduce teenage kids to alternative activities. It’s a chance for a kid, who otherwise does not have the opportunity, to enter and participate in a “pro-style” tournament event.
Boaters are needed. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact Andy “Cooch” Cuccia at 925.392.8871 or Flipbiguns@yahoo.com.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email email@example.com.