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It’s good to have friends with boats
fishing report

For the second time in 20 years, I’m boatless.
It didn’t really set in until a few days ago when I walked out into my yard and looked at the empty space where my boat used to be parked. On one hand, it’s nice not having to worry about a boat. I have a habit of giving my boat a once over from time to time, just to make sure everything is OK. On the other hand, I’ve pretty much become dependent on friends who have boats to take me fishing.
I’ve been looking at other boats and contemplating my options. Part of me wants to go order the boat of my dreams and be done with it for the next 15 years. Another part of me wants to restore a classic bass boat. I could also buy a newer used boat, or attempt building/fabricating my own aluminum bass boat.
What’s really making it tough is that it’s kind of nice not having to make a boat payment, or pay for boat insurance/registration. As much as I want to buy new, I’m struggling with the idea of staring all over.
So, for now, I’m fishing with friends who have boats. As one of my favorite comedians says “You don’t want a boat, you want a friend who has a boat!”

The Delta
Bass fishing continues to be good on the Delta. The early-morning, top-water bait hasn’t been disappointing anglers, as they have been having luck while fishing with Whopper Ploppers and Snagproof Frogs. Once the sun is high, there are a lot of smaller fish feeding throughout the Delta that are willing to bite on a variety of lures.
Fishing for catfish and bluegills continues to be good just about everywhere on the Delta.

New Melones Lake
There are a lot of nice catfish beginning to be caught by anglers fishing off the bank with traditional catfish baits. Most anglers are opting to fish for catfish during the night, but they are also being caught by anglers fishing during the day.
Bass fishing remains good. There are a lot of small fish feeding on shad, making them easy targets.
The kokanee bite continues to be good for anglers trolling hootchies behind a dodger between 70 and 100 feet deep. Trout are still being caught by anglers fishing in the same areas as where they are catching kokanee, but it’s been tough.
Crappie are still biting for anglers fishing around brush that’s close to shade.

Lake Don Pedro
Fishing for kokanee continues to be good for anglers who are trolling between 40 and 70 feet deep with Shasta Tackle pink hootchies or sling blades. Trout are also being found mixed in with the kokanee, which have been an added bonus for anglers.
Bass fishing is fair for anglers looking to catch a lot of small fish, while the bigger fish have been harder to find. Anglers fishing for bass are concentrating on fishing the main lake points with small worms or jigs.

Lake Amador
The night bite continues to be good for anglers that are willing to fish through the night. Anglers fishing for bass are having luck while fishing top water baits until the sun goes completely down and then changing to large plastic worms for the rest of the night.
There is also a good catfish bite at night for anglers fishing around the dam and launch ramp area with cut bait.

Tip of the Week
Last year around this time, I was asked by another boater if I had a screwdriver on board. He was having problems with his electronic trolling motor and had no tools with him. Another time, I was called over by a boater who asked if I had a pair of wire cutters, he had a hook embedded in his thumb.
In both cases, my basic supplies of tools have saved the days of those anglers. I highly encourage that anyone out there who has a boat pack a small tool box to leave on the boat, it could very well save the day.

To contact Jarod Ballardo email