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A painful reminder to practice safety when handling hot plastic
Bulletin head shots

As most anglers do, I’ve been tinkering around with fishing tackle and baits for most of my life.
Years ago, a friend taught me how to melt hot plastic down, which has led to me being able to pour my own plastic baits. I’ve always known of the dangers of working with hot plastic/plastisol but have never had any accidents until recently.
While finishing a pour, I took my gloves off for just a moment and somehow knocked over the measuring cup full of hot plastic. When it fell over, it splashed hot plastic onto my hand.
Fortunately, I only ended up with a second-degree burn on my index finger and a first-degree burn on my middle finger. It was a scary situation to say the least.
It took several weeks for my burns to heal, but I’ll never forget the lesson that I learned. When there’s hot plastic around, my gloves are staying on. I also make it a point to not leave hot plastic out in the open anymore.
There’s and old saying that “if you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.” That saying definitely held true.
I was very fortunate to not have more serious injuries and now know firsthand the dangers of working with hot plastic.

There’s a good reaction bite for those tossing crank baits, buzz baits and top-water frogs. Once the sun is up, look for any grass that is located near or around deeper tulle points, and try flipping jigs or any other creature baits in or around the grass.
Current is also important this time of year as moving water is a little cooler, moves the bait around and contains more oxygen.  

New Melones Lake
Kokanee fishing has finally turned on. Anglers are doing well while trolling pink hootchies behind a sling blade. Limits are being caught by anglers trolling at 40 feet deep early in the morning.
Bass fishing remains good for numbers of smaller fish with the bigger ones being few and far between. Anglers are doing well while tossing Zoom Flukes and jigs to the edge of visible mud lines. Anglers drop-shotting are also doing well while fishing between 25 and 40 feet deep.
Catfishing has been really good for those fishing at night with traditional catfish baits. Bluegill and crappie continue to bite for those fishing with either a minnow or worm under a bobber in the backs of coves.

Lake Don Pedro
Kokanee are dominating the scene on the lake. Graveyard Bay, Copper Mountain, Oat Hill, and off Hatch Creek are the best area. The most productive setups are Sockeye Slammers, Scorpion Spinners, and Fire Tiger Kokanee Killers in tandem with a Vance's 4/0 dodger.
Fish are being caught between 30 and 60 feet deep. Bass fishing for numbers is really good on small worms during the day and top water lures during the morning and evening hours.

Lake Amador
Later in the day and early in the morning, schooling fish can be spotted throughout the lake feeding on shad. This type of feeding activity can lead to some of the most exciting top water action an angler can find.
Just make sure to wait for the school to become active before tossing your lure into the frenzy. If you don’t wait for the fish to begin feeding you may scare the school off. Night fishing remains good for those fishing large power worms and spinner baits.

Lake Pardee
There are still trout being planted into the lake, which has made it nice for those that are fishing off the bank. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing in the launch ramp cove with their favorite trout baits. Anglers trolling for trout are having better luck searching for kokanee, as the kokanee bite seems to be improving weekly.
Anglers trolling are for kokanee are finding them schooled up between 30 and 50 feet deep. Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing with jigs and Senko’s during the day and with topwater baits in the morning hours.  

Pro-Teen Tournament
On July 15, the annual Conroy Oakley and Andy Cuccia Pro-Teen Classic 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.
Registration for anglers and boaters for the event is now open. Boaters fish for free, for more information visit or contact Linzy Cuccia at 925.752.4453 or
To contact Jarod Ballardo email