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Keeping pace with change of seasons
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With the summer-like conditions we’ve been having lately, the inexperienced angler tends to believe that the fishing conditions are the same as the summer. After all, the days are just as hot and the waterways are as busy as any other summer day.

What most anglers fail to notice is the evenings we have been having. Our days are getting shorter and our nights are cooler. This change has a huge effect on the fish, as the extended hours of darkness combined with the cooler nighttime temperatures has significantly dropped the water temperatures.

Most fish species by now already believe its fall. So, if you’re doing the same thing you did throughout the summer to catch fish and it isn’t working, it may be time to try a more fall-like approach to catching them.

When I think of fall I think of reaction. Most species of fish are actively feeding. I prefer moving baits that mimic a baitfish. Rattle Traps are one of my favorite reaction baits. They’re easy to fish and catch a lot of numbers of fish.

Fall is a great time of year to fish. Unfortunately, most anglers miss the best fishing while thinking it’s still summer.

Delta Report

Early in the morning anglers are doing well while fishing for bass with top water lures. During the day anglers are either catching them with reaction baits like Rattle Traps or flipping heavy cover with sweet beavers. Bluegills are plentiful and can be caught just about anywhere while using red worms. I haven’t heard of any striped bass reports yet. During this time of year it’s always good to have a rod with a top-water lure tied on just in case a school of striped bass appear.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing is slow on the lake. Night fishing under a submersible light continues to be the best approach for catching trout. Kokanee fishing is also slow, as they are either spawning or preparing to spawn.

Any day now fishing for trout can turn around though as the baitfish are starting to school up indicating that there is a change about to happen. Catfishing remains good for anglers fishing cut bait throughout the evening hours around all the lakes recreational areas.

Bass fishing is fair. There are a lot of bass following the schools of shad found all over the lake. Anglers are using shaky head worms or drop shot rigs through the schools of bait for small limits of fish.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout and bass fishing is really good on the lake. Anglers fishing for trout are finding them while trolling around the schools of baitfish being found from the surface down to 35 feet deep.

Bass fishermen are employing similar tactics as there are many schools of fish being found around main lake points. Unfortunately, the last I checked, lake access was closed as a result of recent fires. I believe it’s clear now but to be on the safe side I’d check. Information on the status of Yosemite National Park and road closures is available at

Lake Camanche

Trout fishermen are finding trout while fishing with power bait at depths between 35-40 feet deep. Bass anglers are having luck early and late in the day on top water lures.

During the day, the bite has been tough as anglers are working small plastic baits slowly along the bottom as the bass have become very lethargic during the day.

Lake Pardee

Trout fishing is tough. Those having any luck are fishing between 30 -60 feet deep.

Bass fishing is fair. Key areas are around isolated islands with jigs and worms. Top-water baits are working well in the morning and evening hours.

Tip of the Week

Late summer is an interesting time of the year. You’d be surprised at what works this time of year. As far as bait selection, don’t be afraid to try something new or something a little out of the ordinary.

I’ve had some great times fishing this time of year while using untraditional baits. While everyone seems to be tossing the same thing try something different, you may be surprised at what you catch.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail