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No need to stock up on the same bait
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­ A friend of mine sent me a picture of his recent purchase of baits.

In the picture he had close to 10 of the same three baits. I joked with him by saying, “If you have more than three, they’ll stop working.”

He responded by saying, “You’re probably right.”

I was immediately reminded of a time about 25 years ago when we were really hit badly by a series of storms here in the Central Valley. I remember part of I-5 being closed due to flooding.

Back then, Lake Amador was the only place my dad and I used to fish. At the time, the water was as dark brown as I’ve ever seen it.

My dad chose to use a new worm made by Culprit, which was red and black. Surprisingly, he proceeded to catch fish after fish on those worms and fittingly had found his new favorite bait. On the way home, he talked about the bait and how he needed to order more. What proceeded was the UPS man dropping off a box filled with what seemed like a lifetime supply of Culprit’s Red Shad colored worms.

It took a few years before he finally realized that his worms weren’t the only ones that worked in his tackle box. Since then, I try to not own more than three of the same baits, and every time I see anything in Red Shad color I think about my dad and that day after the storm.

Shade is the most important factor when fishing for Bass on the Delta. Really pay attention to the banks and look for any shade pockets.

This past weekend, the bigger Bass being caught were on Sweet Beavers on the shady side of isolated islands. The top-water frog bite has remained excellent for those willing to toss it all day.

Anglers are catching frogfish in both open water and above matted vegetation. Catfishing has been very good recently along Whiskey Slough for anglers fishing with clams and anchovies.  

New Melones Lake
The Kokanee bite has remained excellent for those fishing the right depths. Anglers are reporting that the Kokanee are being caught fairly shallow during the morning hour and between 30 to 50 feet deep during the mid day.

The most popular area right now for trollers is between the spillway and the dam. Bass fishing has been good for smaller fish on small plastics during the day and top water lures early morning and right before sunset.

There are a lot of islands becoming visible due to dropping water levels, try fishing on the deep side of the islands for schools of bass. Catfishing has been really good for night fishermen fishing just about anywhere on the lake.

Bluegill and Crappie are also cooperating as many anglers are doing well fishing the backs of coves with minnows or worms under a bobber.

Don Pedro
Kokanee are providing plenty of action for those trolling from 100-120 feet. Bass fishing continues to be great for anglers fishing for numbers.

Pretty much everything is working for smaller fish, those fishing deeper with jigs or tossing large swim baits are catching the bigger fish.

The bluegill bite has been very good around brushy areas with an occasional crappie being caught. Fishing at night for catfish has been fair to good for anglers who are patient.   

Lake Amador
Lake Amador is a night-fishing lake this time of year. Not many anglers are braving the heat, as the fish have become very sluggish during the day.

Bluegills are about all that is being caught. At night there are some big Catfish being caught and even an occasional Trout for those fishing the dam area.

There are also reports of Crappie being caught on minnows at night by those fishing around the dock area. If you do plan on fishing Amador at night make sure to get there before 9 p.m. as the gates are locked after that.

Boaters Needed
On July 18, the 12th annual Conroy Oakley Pro-Teen tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island.

The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours. They are in need of more boaters for the event, and boaters fish for free.

For more information call (925) 684-9775.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail