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Predicting fishing success like forecasting weather
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Sometimes even I am left wondering what I did wrong after an unproductive day of fishing.

Last week after reporting on all the great fishing on one of our local lakes, I decided to give it a try. I fished at the exact depth, speed, and even purchased the exact lure that the reports were ranting about.

Within a half hour of trolling we caught our first fish. Mind you, it was at a different depth and on a different lure. After that, we caught absolutely nothing the rest of the day.

It was a tough pill to swallow. The only good thing about it all was that I was able to get home early to see my beloved Seahawks beat the Cowboys.

That’s fishing I guess. As much as I’d like to think I can catch them anytime, you just never know if the day is going to be good or bad.

Years ago I used to think that being a weatherman was a good job. The weather was so unpredictable that if you made a mistake it was accepted. Well, writing a fishing column is kind of the same.

There’s no way to ever know the exact location bait and time of day the fish are going to bite. There are so many factors to consider when predicting what the fish are doing.

I just hope that my reports are at least giving a general idea of what’s happening on the water.

Delta Report

Lipless rattle baits are working well for numbers of fish. For bigger fish many are tossing Snag Proof frogs. The bites are far and few but the quality of fish can be above average.  Anglers are also doing well while fishing with Senko’s along the weed edges.

There are schools of striped bass to be found boiling around the Stockton area. Although they are of the smaller size, they can be a lot of fun to catch on top water lures.  

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing has really slowed down for anglers — they’re still catching them while fishing at night under submersible lights but the numbers are down. Bass fishing has slowed down recently as smaller fish are being caught on small plastics during the day.

Catfishing is still good for anglers fishing the evening hours while using cut bait. Many anglers are fishing right off the bank with chicken livers for catfish up to 11 pounds.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing remains good with most trout being caught by trollers. Anglers are trolling between 35-55 feet deep with Apex spoons.

Bass fishing is slow with lots of smaller fish being caught but very few of any size. Anglers are currently catching bass while drop shotting and spooning anywhere between 25-35 deep.   

Lake Camanche

Anglers are doing well while fishing for trout. Many are trolling between Little Hat Island and Big Hat Island.

Bass fishing remains good for those fishing with senko’s and crankbaits during the day. Catfishing remains good for anglers fishing at night off the bank.

Lake Pardee

Catfishing is good on the lake. Anglers are focusing on the southern coves of the lake and around the recreation are. Many of them are reporting success while using chicken livers for bait.

Bass fishing is good for smaller fish. Anglers are currently catching them on shad imitating lures. A favorite bait is a white willow leaf spinner bait. 

Tip of the Week

When searching for the right place to fish off the bank there are a few things you might want to take into consideration.

The first thing I look for is structure. I haven’t had much luck while fishing banks that were smooth or shallow.

Also, try fishing “points” these are areas where the bank comes to a point. If there is a considerable drop in depth once casting out from the point the better. If the points fail to produce, try fishing the backs of coves.

Fish sometimes can be caught in the backs of coves when their not feeding on the points. There are times when waiting it out is the best solution and other times when trying a variety of different spots can make all the difference. 

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email