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Patience a virtue, but coffee helps
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The first fishing advice I ever received was to be patient.

I’m not sure if I even understood the word back then, I just knew that I was expected to wait for the fish to come to me. This time of year, I’m constantly reminded of that advice as the bites are usually harder to come by.

There are a couple of things that I do to keep motivated when the fishing gets tough.

I always bring a warm thermos of coffee. Just about the time frustration starts to set in, I pull out my thermos and warm up with a cup of coffee. Not only does the coffee warm me up, but it helps me regroup. Sometimes, I’ll even leave my bait in the water while I’m having my cup of coffee. There’s been several times where I’ve caught fish that bit while I was taking my coffee break.

Another thing that I do is try to bring someone to keep me company; it’s amazing how fast time goes by when you’re enjoying your time. If I can’t find a fishing partner, I make sure to bring my iPod full of all my favorite songs.

It’s easy to stay motivated when the fish are biting. Those anglers that I look up to the most catch fish when nobody else is.

Delta Report

Fishing has been tough recently on the Delta. The water has muddied up and with water temperatures dropping into the low forties the reaction bites have become scarce. Anglers catching them are targeting deep holes that are void of current with jigs and other small plastics.

Striper fishing continues to be tough. The water temperatures should start to climb as we get closer to spring. Once the temperature gets back into the 50s the bite should start picking up.

Lake New Melones

Trout fishing has slowed down a bit but anglers are still bringing in limits. The hot bait has been Power Bait. Trollers are catching fish up shallow but they have been a lot smaller than the ones caught off the bank. Because of this, a lot of boaters have chosen to drift live minnows under a bobber in the backs of coves in order to target the bigger trout. Angels Cove and Glory Hole Cove have been the hot areas recently for trout.

Bass fishing remains consistent, as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are still being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow. For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs. The bite for numbers of smaller bass is great right now for anglers targeting submerged wood and drop offs.   

Lake Don Pedro

The trout bite is good for anglers fishing from the surface down to 25 feet deep. Anglers are targeting the bigger fish that are combing the bank while using side planers and trolling a variety of shad imitating lures. Anglers fishing off the bank for trout are doing well while using Power Bait.

Bass fishing has slowed, as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish.

Lake Amador

Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.

Lake Camanche

Fishing is good for trout as anglers are catching trout both out of the pond and in the lake. For those fishing the lake, north and south shore day use areas are producing limits. Bass fishing remains tough as most anglers are going after trout.

For those searching for bass I recommend either a drop shot or football head jig. Favorite areas for me this time of year are island tops and main lake points.

Lake Pardee

The lake is currently closed and is scheduled to reopen on February 15.

Tip of the Week

Something that I like to keep in my boat is a small tube of clear silicone. Silicone is great for sealing up any unexpected water leaks and can even be used to waterproof plastic baits such as top-water frogs.


To contact Jarod Ballardo, email