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Weather can be fascinating
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The first time I took my wife out fishing on the Delta she asked, “Are there always this many bugs around?”

I knew then that it was going to be a short trip and that the Delta was off the list when planning to take her fishing. I had a friend who wanted to wait for the perfect weather conditions before going out.

Most avid fisherman would be willing to fish in any type of weather conditions. I’m partial to the early fall and spring but have fished all 12 months of the year when I was actively involved in tournament fishing. I’m not sure there’s a weather condition that I haven’t fished through.

One of the most beautiful but scariest has to be the mountain thunder and lightning storm. The power of a storm I find so impressive, that oddly enough I enjoy watching the storm pass just as long as I’m in a safe place. Therein lies the problem, there aren’t too many safe places when you’re out on a boat. The most obvious solution has been heading for cover, either by waiting the storm out in my truck or finding an empty boat slip to hide underneath.

During these in-between times of the year the weather can change in a moment. It’s one of the most fascinating times of the year but can also be one of the most dangerous.


A lot of anglers are catching bass while fishing the outside weed edges.

Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing the 6- to 8-foot range.

Striper fishing continues to improve. Early morning and the evening hours seem to be the most productive times. Anglers are doing well while fishing around Big Break, Mildred Island, and Franks Tract with top water lures and large rattle baits.

Duck hunting season is open, so be on the lookout for duck blinds.

New Melones Lake

The lake has finally reopened and the trout are biting for a lot of anglers trolling between 25-35 feet deep. Anglers trolling for trout are using wedding rings and needlefish attached to either down riggers of diving planes.

Bass fishing has slowed for a lot of anglers. I believe the cooling water and the high skies probably have a lot to do with it. The fishing should improve as the weather and temperatures become more fall-like. 

Lake Camanche

Fishing for bass continues to be good for anglers fishing with top-water baits early in the morning and then switching over to small plastics during the day.

The crankbait bite is also starting to improve as the water temperatures become more fall-like.

Trout fishing is slow but should be picking up shortly as the cooler weather is surely to bring them up shallow.

Catfishing is still good for anglers fishing off the bank with chicken livers or anchovies.

Lake Pardee

Lake Pardee is scheduled to close shortly, so if you’re looking to get out one more time you have until sunset on Nov. 3. It is scheduled to reopen in February.

Trout fishing has been slow for trollers. Fish are caught while trolling down to 50 feet in the early-morning hours.

Lake Don Pedro

There’s a good trout bite on the lake. Anglers are doing well while fishing between 35 - 55 feet with a variety of shad imitating lures.

King Salmon are also being caught for those trolling shad or anchovies between 60 - 75 feet deep. The Upper Bay, Woods Creek and in the Tuolumne River arm are all good areas.

Bass fishing remains steady for smaller fish that can be found feeding on large schools of shad throughout the lake. 

Tip of the week

Soon, many of us boat owners will be storing our vessels until the weather starts to warm up again. The biggest and possibly most expensive mistake we can make is not treating the leftover fuel that will be sitting in our boats fuel tanks. Old untreated fuel can be harmful to an outboard, especially a newer outboard.

Because of this, I make it a habit of mine to always add one bottle of Stabil with every fill-up.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email