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Visit to old fishing spot brings back memories
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This past weekend while attending a friend’s wedding, I was taken back to the neighborhood where I grew up.

The wedding ended a little after noon and the reception didn’t start till after 5. So, I decided to take the wife sightseeing.

I showed her the house where I grew up, my old school, houses of friends, and last but not least, all of my old fishing spots.

One in particular we called the “Safeway Pond,” because it was located right behind a Safeway grocery store. I met one of my best friends while fishing that pond and was glad to see it still there.

The pond had a newer, higher fence than I remember, but just like 25 years ago, if you looked closely, you could see the opening in the fence where kids were going in and out.

Growing up, I pretty much lived to fish. If I went home after school it was to pick up my fishing gear and head to a local pond. As punishment, my fishing gear would be taken away.

Fortunately for me, my father was as passionate as I was. Our weekends were spent fishing all through my junior high years. Looking back, I really don’t know what I would have done without such a passion while growing up.

Recently, I was contacted by Randall Smith, a Sierra High School instructor who is also the advisor of the school’s fishing club. I was pleased to know that such a club exists and will definitely be going through my tackle this weekend to see what I can donate.

If you have items that you would like to donate, I’m sure the club would greatly appreciate it.

You can contact Mr. Smith at

Delta Report

There are a lot of smaller largemouth bass being caught on reaction baits. The best time is an hour before and an hour after the drops from high to low.

Flipping is spotty right now and the frog bite is fair to good. Schools of smaller striped bass are actively working their way through the system. There’s a lot of surface action right now in the Whites/Disappointment Slough areas.

The current water temperature is right around 68 degrees, as it drops even more the bigger fish should be easier to find.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing is great, as anglers trolling are finding them between 30 and 50 feet deep.

Fish are being caught on Apex, Needlefish, and Excel lures. Night fishing remains good for trout anglers as they are fishing under submersible lights with power bait and night crawlers between 10 to 20 feet deep.

 Bass fishing has slowed a bit, as anglers are still catching smaller fish with small plastics off the bottom. Reaction baits such as rattle traps, spinnerbaits, and Zara Spooks are working as well when there’s a little breeze on the lake or in the early morning hours. 

Lake Camanche

As the water starts to cool, trout are being found a little shallower during the day than normal. Anglers are trolling between 30 and 40 feet deep right now with Excel lures for trout up to four pounds.

Bass fishing continues to be steady with a lot of smaller fish being caught while dragging small plastic worms.

Lake Don Pedro

Trout fishing is excellent for anglers trolling Middle Bay between 20 and 40 feet deep. The best baits are Excels, Kastmasters, and Triple Teasers.

Bass fishing is fair for anglers fishing drop shotted worms throughout the lake right now. The numbers are good, but there is very little size to report.

Product Review

If you ask a seasoned bass angler what he or she misses about the lures of the past, they are eventually going to mention the use of wood in the construction.

One of the drawbacks to the older wood baits has been getting them to run strait once out of the box.

Lately, I have been able to get my hands on a product by Bomber called the Bomber Balsa Model B; it’s a shallow running crankbait which is made out of balsa wood.

What makes this bait unique is that it’s constructed with Bomber’s exclusive Tru-Trak system, ensuring that every Balsa Model B runs true right out of the package. It’s been a while since I’ve fished a balsa made crankbait so I was excited to give it a try.

I was immediately impressed with the overall look and feel of the bait. Once tied on and casted the bait ran perfectly strait with a one of a kind wobble.

Its square bill effectively made its way through shoreline cover without hanging up and its buoyancy immediately came into use when the bait was paused during the retrieve.

If you’re like me and like to fish through and around heavy cover the Bomber Balsa Model B is great bait to add to your collection. 

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email