Life jack­ets are one of the most valu­able pieces of equip­ment on a boat. A lot of own­ers spend huge amounts of money on ra­dio sys­tems, wake­board tow­ers, down­rig­gers, power poles, and other lux­ury items on their boats. When it comes to life jack­ets though, a lot of times they couldn’t tell you what sizes they have and some of them even keep them stowed away un­der a seat com­part­ment some­where. In the past 10 years or more sus­pender type life jack­ets have become pop­u­lar amongst boaters. Most of them are de­signed to au­to­mat­i­cally in­flate once sub­merged in water. The prob­lem is that they need to be ser­viced ev­ery year. A lot of own­ers as­sume that they’re in good work­ing or­der since they have yet to be de­ployed and con­tinue to wear them. Just a few years ago there was a boat­ing death be­cause of an auto in­flate de­vice not de­ploy­ing. Size is an­other ma­jor fac­tor. As chil­dren grow, so should their life­jack­ets. Nine out of 10 of peo­ple who’ve been thrown over­board, may have sur­vived if they were wear­ing a prop­erly sized and func­tion­ing life jacket.


Water tem­per­a­tures are now in the low- to mid80s mak­ing fish­ing tough for a lot of fish­er­men. Bass have been bit­ing lately for those fish­ing top water and flip­ping shade pock­ets. Some smaller bass can be found feed­ing on schools of bait in Mil­dred Is­land. No re­ports of any striper ac­tion lately but many an­glers are re­port­ing a good cat­fish bite on clams and an­chovies. Plenty of bluegill have made their way shal­low and can be caught eas­ily on small worms.

New Melones Lake:

Koka­nee are pri­mar­ily be­ing caught on the lake by an­glers trolling as deep as 80 feet once the sun gets higher in the day. For koka­nee an­glers are trolling Apex Lures and tip­ping their lures with shoe peg corn. Bass fish­ing is good for num­bers; there is an ex­cel­lent top water bite early in the morn­ing and late in the day. A lot of small fish are be­ing caught de­spite the re­ced­ing water lev­els. An­glers are tar­get­ing main lake points with small jigs and plas­tics as well as iso­lated is­lands. Fish­ing the deeper side of the is­lands seems to be the best right now as the fish can be found bunched up. Bluegill and crap­pie con­tinue to bite once found. Many an­glers are choos­ing to tar­get them at night un­der sub­mersible lights. For crap­pie an­glers are us­ing live min­nows or crap­pie jigs, for bluegill an­glers are us­ing small worms like red worms or wax worms.

Lake Don Pe­dro:

Koka­nee are pro­vid­ing steady ac­tion, they are cur­rently hold­ing in some very big schools off Cop­per Moun­tain, Oak Hill and Hatch Creek at depths from 100 to 115 feet deep. An­glers are catch­ing them while trolling Pee Wee Hootchies, Sock­eye Slam­mers and Glow Marni Bugs in tan­dem with Vance’s Gold Dodger or U.V. Sling Blade. Bass fish­ing has been fair in the early morn­ing hours on top water baits and dur­ing the day an­glers are catch­ing bass while fish­ing deeper with ei­ther deep div­ing crank baits or soft plas­tics.

Lake Pardee:

There are plenty of an­glers tak­ing ad­van­tage of the early morn­ing trout and koka­nee bite. An­glers fish­ing for trout are pri­mar­ily trolling down the south arm be­tween 60 and 90 feet deep. Bass fish­ing is good for an­glers fish­ing top water lures early and late in the day and jigs dur­ing the day. The most pro­duc­tive bait dur­ing my visit was a wa­ter­melon red twin tail spi­der grub fished from the bank down to 30 feet deep.

Lake Amador:

There are still some trout be­ing caught but they are far and few and are be­ing found deep dur­ing the morn­ing hours. Bass fish­ing is fair right now for an­glers fish­ing soft plas­tics dur­ing the day and top­wa­ter baits dur­ing the morn­ing and evening. Cat­fish­ing is pick­ing up for an­glers fish­ing through the night around the dam or launch ramp ar­eas while us­ing a va­ri­ety of cat­fish baits. There are plenty of bluegill to be caught all around the bank for an­glers us­ing red­worms fished un­der a bob­ber.

Tip of the Week:

A lot of an­glers strug­gle with line twist while us­ing spin­ning rods. Line twist can be caused by a lot of things. Not hav­ing a prop­erly work­ing swivel can cause line twist along with im­prop­erly spool­ing the line onto the reel. One thing you can do if you have line twist is to let that line out while driv­ing your boat slowly with noth­ing tied onto the end. The line will un­twist it­self; you can also do the same thing if fish­ing a river with run­ning water.

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