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Waiting out heat wave this weekend
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The “dog days” of summer are here! 

With this weekend’s forecast of temperatures above 100 degrees and very little wind, it’s going to be a grind for those who plan on fishing during the day. I went fishing Wednesday evening, and when I got home at 10 it was still 89 degrees. Fortunately, I only experienced a few hours of intense heat before the sun started going down. 

I can’t imagine being out there all day this weekend. If I do get out, it will be before the sun comes up or in the evening. Unless I’m fishing a tournament, it just doesn’t make sense to be out there. 

For those of you determined to fish, regardless of the weather, my hats off to you. I’ll be most likely hanging out in the shade somewhere waiting this heat wave out. 


Shade is the most important factor when fishing for bass on the Delta. Really pay attention to the banks and look for any shade pockets. This past weekend, the bigger bass were caught on Sweet Beavers on the shady side of isolated islands. 

The topwater frog bite has remained excellent for those willing to toss it all day. Anglers are catching frog fish in both open water and above matted vegetation. 

Catfishing has been very good recently along Whiskey Slough for anglers fishing with clams and anchovies.  

New Melones Lake

Anglers are starting to catch trout but must go deeper in order to catch them between 50 and 60 feet deep. The kokanee bite has remained wide open for those fishing the right depths. Anglers are reporting that the kokanee are being caught shallow during the morning hours and between 45 and 80 feet deep during the midday. 

Bass fishing has been good for smaller fish on small plastics during the day and topwater lures early morning and right before sunset. 

Catfishing has been really good for night fishermen fishing just about anywhere on the lake. Bluegill and crappie are also cooperating as many anglers are doing well fishing the backs of coves with minnows or worms under a bobber.

Don Pedro

Most anglers looking to catch trout and kokanee are fishing nearby New Melones instead. There are still trout and kokanee being caught but the bite is reportedly not as hot. For those that choose to fish Don Pedro, they are still catching while trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep. 

Bass fishing is great on the lake. Anglers are doing well while fishing topwater baits in the morning and underspins and jig, fished as deep as 30 feet deep during the day. 

Lake Amador

Lake Amador is a night fishing lake this time of year. Not many anglers are braving the heat right now as the fish have become very sluggish during the day. 

Bluegills are about all that is being caught. At night there are some big catfish being caught and even an occasional trout for those fishing the dam area. There are also reports of crappie being caught on minnows at night by those fishing around the dock area. 

If you do plan on fishing Amador at night, make sure to get there before 9 when the gates get locked.

Lake Pardee

The hotter it gets, the better Pardee becomes for smallmouth bass. Crickets are a must for sheer numbers of smallmouth bass. Rig and fish crickets just as you would a split shot rig with a smaller hook of course and get ready for some action. 

Bigger smallmouths are usually caught by those who anchor and drop a line over the side and wait them out. The nice thing about using crickets is that you have a chance at catching just about anything that swims in the lake.  

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 spinnerbaits and crankbaits, 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.

Tip of the Week

Certain knots will slip when using braided line. In fact, my first attempt at using braided line was miserable due to improper knots. Most braided lines come packaged with a diagram of recommended knots. The Palomar knot is a good one, and for a little extra security, try adding a drop of super glue to the knot.

To contact Jarod Ballardo email