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Winter weather constantly changing
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Here comes the rain, at least I hope so.

For the first time in a long time I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. It’s really pretty amazing how fast things can turn around and how fast we start to panic when we haven’t had any rain in a while.

Doing this report for close to 10 years now has taught me that the weather, especially from January through May can be so unpredictable. If there’s ever a time of year to be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather it’s now.

Delta Report

The bass fishing is really starting to show signs of picking up. The outgoing tide is the best. Once the tide bottoms, so does the fishing.

In recent tournaments the overall average has increased, and plenty of fish over 5 pounds are being weighed in. The water clarity is almost gin clear in a lot of places, temperatures have risen and our next full moon should create an awesome bite.

Fishing for striped bass remains tough, as very few reports of fish being caught are coming in.

New Melones Lake

Trout fishing continues to be good for planter-sized trout. Anglers are catching them while fishing with power bait off the bank or tossing traditional trout lures. Kastmasters seems to be the favorite lure for anglers trying to catch Trout.

Bass fishing has started to pick up as anglers are starting to catch large swimbait fish. Amongst the bass fishing community there seems to be some really nice swimbait fish being caught on the lake. 

Lake Don Pedro

Anglers fishing for bass are doing well while fishing with live jumbo minnows. For those that prefer to catch them with artificial baits, jigs fished between 10-20 feet deep have been the most consistent of baits.

Trout fishing from the banks has slowed as the lake hasn’t been planted for a few weeks, but patient anglers can locate limits by either tossing lures or Power Bait from the banks or trolling near the shorelines. For those trolling there are still a lot of planter trout that can be found just below the surface.

Lake Pardee

One of my favorite lakes is opening back up soon. Lake Pardee is scheduled to open for fishing on Feb. 14 and for camping on Feb. 13.

In years past, the bass fishing has been tough around opening day. This year they’ve pushed the opening date back, which is definitely a better date for bass fishing. They’ve also increased the number of trout that are going to be planted leading up to opening day.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is good in the South Shore Pond and around the North Shore day-use area. Anglers fishing for trout are catching them with Power Bait or Rapala lures.

Bass fishing is improving slowly; anglers catching them are crawling baits along the bottom or tossing large swim baits.

Lake Amador

There are still plenty of trout being stocked weekly. Anglers fishing off the bank and by boat are having success both trolling and fishing with Power Bait. There’s really no secret to catching them as there are so many in the lake that as long as you’re keeping your line wet you should catch a limit of trout.

Tip of the Week

One of the many questions I get asked by anglers is what fishing line I prefer. I have tried them all from time to time and the best all-around line that I have ever used is Berkley’s Trilene Big Game.

For the Delta I use 15-pound test for cranking, and for the lakes I use 10-pound test for almost all applications. It’s an all-around good line which I have been able to depend on.

For the price Big Game is my favorite choice of lines, I prefer the clear line over the green tinted line as I can see it better above water.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email