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Smart shopping for cash-strapped anglers
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It’s been a while since I’ve purchased any new equipment.

My newest rod and reel combo is almost 3 years old but works just fine. With the current cost of fuel, I’d rather spend a day fishing than purchasing a piece of equipment that didn’t need to be replaced.

As much as I’d like to think a particular rod or reel helped me catch more fish, I highly doubt it. Baits, on the other hand, should not be skimped on.

 On more than one occasion, I’ve tried to get away with buying an imitation of a popular bait. Almost always, in the long run, I eventually ended up buying the original, leaving me with the one I wanted in the first place and the one that I should have never bought.

When trying to limit your expenses, sometimes buying the more expensive original is the cheapest way to go.

Delta Report

Bass fishing continues to be good for those fishing wacky rigged senkos or flipping jigs around tulles.

When the wind is blowing, many are having success while tossing shallow running crank baits and spinner baits. The bass are just getting ready to spawn so look for them to be in the backs of sloughs or on top of tulle islands.

It’s really important this time of year to pay attention to the grass, bass will clear out areas along the bottom. Clearings in the grass are a good sign that there may be a bass spawning there.

Bluegill are starting to be found up shallow and around the docks. Typical bluegill baits are working well. Bluegill usually start their spawn as we get closer to the month of May.

New Melones Lake

Fishing for trout continues to be good. As the weather warms look for the bite to get tougher.

Getting there early before the sun gets too high is the key, as many of them can be caught shallow while it’s still cool. Anglers fishing for trout are doing well while trolling cowbells with a night crawler trailer as deep as 25 feet.

Bass fishing is starting to pick up as many anglers are catching a lot of numbers up shallow with a variety of different baits. For numbers you can’t beat a small plastic worm or senko fished from the bank down to 10 feet deep.

Those catching larger fish are fishing swim baits and jigs. They’re not getting the numbers of fish other anglers are getting but they’re catching quality.

The crappie and bluegill bite is starting to pick up as the water has been slowly warming up.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing continues to be good on the lake. Most of the trout are being caught by those trolling from the surface down to 25 feet deep.

Bass fishing continues to be good there are a lot of fish being caught shallow on baits fished from the surface down to 10 feet deep.  

Lake Pardee

For the past few weeks the lake has been hit pretty hard with high winds making fishing almost unbearable. The winds have finally subsided and the fishing should be excellent. Weekly trout plants continue, so anglers are surely going to be hitting it hard this weekend.

Popular places are around the boat launch and the EBMUD Boathouse.

Bass fishing should be good as the clear skies and increase in temperature should have brought the bass up shallow.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is really good for anglers fishing off the bank with power bait and for anglers trolling from the surface down to 25 feet deep.

Bass fishing is starting to pick up for anglers tossing wacky rigged senkos along the bank while working them down into deeper water.

Tip of the Week

With the warmer weather coming, there are very few things more miserable than having a headache while the sun is beating down on you.

I make it a point every year to purchase a few items that I keep in my boats survival kit. One being Aspirin, making sure to purchase the extra strength because it can be used for more than a headache. I

 can’t tell you how many times something as simple as having aspirin on the boat has saved the day for me.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email