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Pucker up: Anglers getting comfortable kissing their catches
Bulletin fishing report
Clint Colwell of Stockton kisses a bass he caught fishing in Smith Canal on the Delta. - photo by Photo Contributed

“To kiss or not to kiss.”
I’ve recently seen an increase of anglers kissing their catches. I’ve personally never kissed any of the fish that I’ve caught. I’ve honestly never really thought about it.
The first time I ever saw an angler kiss a fish was in the 1980s. Professional angler Jimmy Houston, as far as I know, was one of the first to kiss a fish on camera. My initial thought was that he must be crazy!
I now realize that it was a brilliant move on his part. It made myself and his viewers want to watch his show even more. He must have got the message, because after a while he was kissing every fish he caught.
After some research, I found out that anglers have been kissing fish longer than I thought. Anglers kissed fish as a way to say thanks or say goodbye if they were being released.
I received a picture from one of my longtime friends kissing a fish. I still get a good laugh at the sight of an angler kissing a fish. As funny as it is though, I still don’t plan on kissing any of my future catches.
Delta Report
Fishing on the Delta is good around the Stockton area for bass. There are a lot of nice mats growing in the area making good overhead cover for the bass. Anglers doing well are throwing top-water lures or fishing shallow running crank baits.
The bluegills have been spawning all over the Delta. Anglers searching for biting fish are fishing around the boat docks with small worms and crappie jigs.
Catfishing is fair for anglers fishing with chicken livers or anchovies in Whiskey Slough.

New Melones Lake
Kokanee fishing is improving for those fishing early in the day while trolling apex lures 30 to 45 feet deep in green, red, or pink.
Bass fishing remains good for numbers of smaller fish with the bigger ones being few and far between. Anglers are doing well while dragging Carolina Rigs along the bottom. There is a good top-water early and late in the day.
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.

Don Pedro
Kokanee fishing has been really slow. Those having any success are trolling sling blades with pink or purple hootchies tipped with shoe peg corn between 30 and 90 feet deep. Bass fishing is good during the morning hours. Once the sun gets up the fishing gets a little tougher. Anglers that are having success during the day are fishing soft plastics around main lake points.

Lake Amador
Fishing during the day has been really for those going for bluegill in the shallows. The bass fishing has really slowed during the day. Fishing during the night is great with lots of quality fish being caught.
Berkeley Power Worms in any of the darker colors are working well. As the sun comes up look for the schools of bass to also come up for the first couple hours of the day.

Lake Tulloch 
The bite on the lake has been really good while fishing the morning and evening hours with top-water baits. During the day, go deeper for bass with small plastics and deep-diving crank baits.
Boat traffic has been really heavy lately so getting there early or fishing the evening is highly recommended. Night fishing has also been good to those fishing spinner baits in Copper Cove.

Lake Camanche
The bite is really good for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots. Lures that are being used are spinner baits and crank baits, while the bigger fish are being caught by those dragging plastics along the bottom.
Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of bays.

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 13-19 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