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209 is the place to be for summer fishing

When I think about fishing during the summer months while staying within the 209 area code, my options seem endless. What excites me most about fishing the summer months, is the early morning sunrise, and the late evening sunsets. I’ve learned that some of the best fishing in the summer usually occurs before the sun is fully up, or while the sun is going down. Over the years I’ve developed my own approach to fishing several of our local lakes or bodies of water during the summer months. Like a lot of anglers, I have my favorite lakes and favorite species to fish for.

The Delta:

Of all the places to fish in the 209 area code during the summer, the Delta is hands down one of my favorites for a lot of reasons. It expands across the 209 area code making it one of the most accessible bodies of water for area residents. A friend of mine used to say that somewhere on the Delta someone is always catching fish. He’s right, there are fish to be caught year round on the Delta.

The biggest challenge to fishing the Delta during the summer months is the boat traffic. Of course, there are areas where an angler can get away from all the boat traffic but he or she would be forced to vacate some of the best places to fish. The greatest advice that I can give anyone that plans on fishing the Delta during the summer months is to fish the off hours. Not only will you be able to beat the heat but I’ve personally had some of my best fishing on the Delta during the summer months while everyone else was still sleeping. The launch ramps are clear, the waterways are calm, and I’m able to get off the water before the crowds come to stir everything up. If you’re a top water bass fisherman, there’s something about fishing the Delta right as the sun is going down. If you’ve never fished passed 8pm on the Delta, give it a try sometime. Most anglers focus more on fishing the Delta early in the day. As a result the fish I believe have been programmed to let their guard down a little more during the later hours of the day, making the evening bite on the Delta one of my favorites.

Lake Pardee:

Lake Pardee is a great summertime fishing location for several reasons. It’s a fishing lake, plain and simple. They don’t allow any body contact with the water which makes it the perfect place to get away from boat traffic. The only negative about fishing Lake Pardee is the cost. It doesn’t cost any more than the other local lakes but at around $25 for a day of fishing for two people on a boat there are less expensive alternatives. Unfortunately, this summer the lake will be closing due to renovations of their RV Park on July 10.

New Hogan Lake:

New Hogan Lake is one of the biggest sleepers of all the places to fish during the summertime. It only cost $4 a day to fish the lake from the bank or from a boat, it provides some of the cleanest facilities around, and all four species of bass can be caught. If there’s any negative, it’s usually packed with people during the peak hours of the summer. Fortunately, there are large areas on the lake that are restricted to 5mph making it nice for anglers looking to avoid all of the boat traffic found in the main lake. Unlike neighboring Lake Pardee, you can have your boat on the water through the night making the lake a great early morning or late evening destination.

New Melones:

New Melones is probably one of the most popular of all the lakes within the 209 area code. Both launching and day use fees are $10 or less per day, its facilities are excellent, the lake is one of the biggest in the 209 area, and it provides great fishing. When I think of fishing New Melones during the summertime I can’t help to not think about fishing for Spotted Bass and Kokanee. Both species are very active during the summer, making them prime targets for many anglers including myself. The key to relatively easy limits of Kokanee is being on the water as early as possible. The best Kokanee fishing usually takes place before the sun is even up. I don’t know of anyone that catches Kokanee from the bank. Making a boat that can be used for trolling lures at low speeds is a must. For Spotted Bass you just can’t go wrong while fishing with a top water lure during the low light hours and a green pumpkin Zoom Trick Worm attached to a Shaky Head during the day. For Kokanee I suggest fishing the main lake and for Spotted Bass I suggest fishing the many lake islands and points.

Don Pedro Lake:

Don Pedro Lake is very similar to New Melones. The difference in the two lakes to me is that Don Pedro is a little less fished than Melones making it a semi sleeper lake for anglers looking to avoid the fishing traffic. Like New Melones, it’s a very popular lake for recreational boaters, jet skis, and boaters in general. Fishing wise, it has incredible potential. During the summer months, a large majority of anglers troll for Kokanee. Bass fisherman also do well while fishing main lake points for spotted bass. At night anglers usually choose to soak cut bait for catfish or fish around submerged lights for trout. Don Pedro Lake is one of the places that I’ve put on my own radar this summer, especially since Lake Pardee is having a shortened season.

Lake Amador:

Lake Amador is one of the most expensive of all the lakes to fish. It can also be one of the most rewarding places to fish. It’s one of the smallest of the lakes, making it relatively safer to fish at night than the larger lakes. During the summer, I usually plan at least one overnight fishing trip to Lake Amador. The gates close at 9pm for incoming vehicles, so if you plan on fishing the night, make sure to get there before the gates close. As the sun is going down the lake usually becomes alive as the bass bring the shad to the surface providing for some of the most exciting top water action. Once the sun is fully down, I prefer to toss a black spinner bait, or drag a large Texas Rigged worm through the night. As the sun starts to come up once again, the bass bring the shad back to the surface providing another hour or so of top water action.

Summertime fishing within the 209 area code is special, especially if you’re an angler that’s willing to fish for a variety of different species. I don’t know of too many other places that provide as many fishing options as the 209 area code does. Of course there are many of those options not mentioned in this article. There’s honestly too many for me to list, and many more that I’ve yet to discover in my 35 years of fishing within the 209 area code. If you’re a freshwater fisherman, the 209 area code is the place you want to be.