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Unsightly spots may produce beautiful results
John Gray of Sonora set a new lake record with this rainbow trout that checked in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. - photo by Photo courtesy of GLORY HOLE SPORTS

Often I see fishermen point at an area or spot and say, “It looks good over there!”

For someone who’s new to the sport, he or she may wonder to themselves what exactly are they looking for.

First, you have to realize that fish live under water and not on top of the water. Part of the learning process for anglers is their ability to distinguish between what looks good to them and what the fish may be attracted to.

You would be amazed at the amount of spots that get very little fishing pressure because they don’t look like anything special from above. Some of my most prized spots are all by themselves, where there is no identifiable landmark.

A strategy professional anglers often use is to seek out areas that look the most unappealing. There’s a good chance that the average angler is going to overlook such areas, and if there are fish in the area, they’re going to be less reluctant to bite.

Next time you’re out, force yourself to fish areas that don’t look appealing to you. By doing that you may be surprised at what you find.

Delta Report

Early in the morning anglers are doing well while fishing for bass with top-water lures. During the day anglers are either catching them with reaction baits like Rattle Traps or flipping heavy cover with sweet beavers.

Bluegills are plentiful and can be caught just about anywhere while using red worms.

I haven’t heard of any striped bass reports yet. During this time of year it’s always good to have a rod with a top water lure tied on just in case a school of striped bass appear.

New Melones Lake

Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sports reports:

“Trout fishing is outstanding right now on the lake. Recently, a new lake record was caught by John Gray of Sonora while fishing with Gary Burns of ‘Take it to the Limit Guide Service’ on a silver/blue Excel spoon while trolling the main lake at 2.4 mph at a depth of 76 feet.

“Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing confirmed the excellent action, and they were releasing trout in the 2.5- to 3-pound range while keeping trout to 4 pounds using a couple of different techniques. Fast trolling heavy spoons or running ExCel spoons behind an 18-inch leader on a slower troll at depths from 45 to 70 feet is producing the large trout There are good sized shad in their bellies as they are gorging themselves.”

Catfishing remains good for anglers fishing cut bait throughout the evening hours around all the lakes recreational areas. Bass fishing is fair; there are a lot of bass following the schools of shad found all over the lake. Anglers are using shaky head worms or drop shot rigs through the schools of bait for small limits of fish.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout and bass fishing is really good on the lake. Anglers fishing for trout are finding them while trolling around the schools of baitfish being found from the surface down to 35 feet deep.

Bass fishermen are employing similar tactics as there are many schools of fish being found around main lake points.  

Lake Camanche

Trout fishermen are finding trout while fishing with power bait at depths between 35 and 40 feet deep. Bass anglers are having luck early and late in the day on top-water lures.

During the day, the bite has been tough as anglers are working small plastic baits slowly along the bottom as the bass have become very lethargic during the day.

Lake Pardee

Trout fishing is tough. Those that are having any luck are fishing between 30 and 60 feet deep. Bass fishing is fair right now; key areas are around isolated islands with jigs and worms. Top-water baits are working well in the morning and evening hours.

Tip of the Week

Late summer is an interesting time of the year. You’d be surprised at what works this time of year. As far as bait selection, don’t be afraid to try something new or something a little out of the ordinary.

I’ve had some great times fishing this time of year while using untraditional baits. While everyone seems to be tossing the same thing try something different, you may be surprised at what you catch.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email