(From KramerGoneFishing.com) What started out as a mere Honor Roll for California bass fishermen some 15 years ago has turned into an exercise in sleep deprivation. The California Top 40 Bass Angler’s List brings both satisfaction and its share of aggravation for me and members of the crack Bass Angler Assessment Team (BAAT) as we tried to piece together this worthy list.
And I blame the 200 or so candidates under consideration. Even among the top pros, the 2010 season had its share of ups and downs: major successes but also huge letdowns. Then throw in everything from injuries to polygraphs to residency disputes (this is the California Top 40, remember) and we’ve done more back-tracking than Lewis and Clark.
But also remember the list is a living thing–not a museum. Changes in how we assess angler quality have led to some surprises. Problems with FLW’s handling of co-anglering actually led to the BAAT’s closer scrutiny of those competitors and the success they have achieved without boat control.
But when you come right down to it, there was no way to deny Auburn’s Skeet Reese his narrow, but rightful spot as this year’s top pick. Two Elite Series wins for regular season B.A.S.S. points leader, and the continued no. 1 standing in the Bassfan.com World Rankings were enough to edge Redlands’ Brent Ehrler, who led the National Guard race in the West, and a finished in the top 5 on the FLW Tour, winning in both circuits.
And how close was it? You know that gap in a split ring?
Still, there are lots of other names we want to recognize. Take a look and see what you think:
1. Skeet Reese, Auburn–A family man with personality (a full quota, at that) but as intense a competitor as there is in the sport.
2. Brent Ehrler, Redlands–A great observer who makes fluid decisions on the water and who seems at home on every lake.
3- Cody Meyer, Grass Valley–I hate to admit it, but this is the latest super star to emerge from Northern California.
4-Ish Monroe, Hughson–Leaner, but not necessarily meaner, Ish seemed more relaxed this year and he was whacking him all over the country.
5-Rusty Salewske, Alpine–Is this the best California bass fisherman that nobody knows about? No glitter, but he’s a star.
6. Bill Siemantel, Castaic–Like it or not, before he’s done he’ll be recognized as one of the iconic figures in the sport. And I’m not lying.
7. Robert Lee, Angels Camp–One of those natural fishermen who catches them in critical situations on the biggest stage.
8. Jon Strelic, El Cajon–Here is another low-key pro who just ends up near the top of the standings. And it runs in the family; one day his son Wade may join him on the list.
9. Chris Zaldain, San Jose–We saw this guy was special several seasons back and now he is one of the very best in the Golden State.
10. Paul Bailey, Willits–A fast learner with unbounded energy, he took two AOY titles (Overall & north) in WON Bass, and he beat a future Hall of Famer on the way.
11. Mike Folkestad, Yorba Linda–Tough one with a puzzling body of work. For the only 3-time U.S. Open winner, there were a couple of Angler of the Year titles, a couple of tour wins, and then the now-famous blanko in the Forrest Wood Cup. One of those things was a fluke.
12. Mike Phua, Chino–This is a very good angler (team or otherwise) who showed he can win regardless of his partner.
13. Rick Grover, Santa Margarita–Here’s recognition that is long overdue. (And I know what you’re going to ask about his son Kyle.) But fishing know-how is like water–it runs downstream.
14. Jeff Michels, Lakehead–We liked this guy the first-time we saw him in action, but his 5th place in the National Guard Series was all we needed to know this year.
15. Matt Allen, Vacaville–A savvy big bass guy who is not a maniac. It’s kind of refreshing.
16. Bret Gouvea, Redding–An impressive NorCal veteran who keeps getting better.
17. Gregg Silks, Hemet–Is there a special category for guides, trollers, live bait and big bait fishermen who also make their own lures? No. That’s why he’s here.
18. Dick Watson, Alta Loma–Another experienced angler who’s time has come. A near U.S. Open winner and close WON Bass AOY challenger, it’s his debut on the list.
19. Bub Tosh, Modesto–We’re told he’s not everyone’s favorite fourth for bridge, but he’s got a puncher’s chance of winning any Delta contest.
20. Joe Everett, Mission Viejo–By his own accounts, the unabashed best angler on Lake Mission Viejo. But we watched him in action close-up. This is no ordinary fisherman and those 17 pounders are real.
21. Jason Milligan, Shasta Lake–This guy gets great marks from his peers and co-anglers. Plus, his 11th place in National Guard (8th best among Californians) looks good, too.
22. Dee Thomas, Bentwood–More than just an honorarium, he was right there in the Anglers Choice points chase. Nobody else on a respirator is doing that.
23. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles–The problem with publicity for this guy in San Luis Obispo County? They think a flashlight is “the spotlight.”
24. Greg Gutierrez, Red Bluff–Some family health issues behind him, it looks like the fireman is starting to fire-up.
25. Mike Andrews, Oakley–Injury riddled, the exact placement on the list was in dispute. But he belongs.
26. JR Wright, Truckee–Had to fire three guys on the BAAT team for missing this guy’s co-angler track record. He can fish.
27. Kevin Hawk, Ramona–Nobody won more money than this guy (what half a mil at the Forrest Wood Cup?) We’d have felt better if he hadn’t blanked on the very next outing.
28. Tom Leedom, Fallbrook–Highly respected in San Diego County, it will be a matter of means and opportunity that could push him into the public eye.
29. Jimmy Zanotelli, Redding–Too young and inexperienced to make the list? It wasn’t a problem when he earned the co-anglering AOY for National Guard.
30. Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs–He’s probably better than this in 2010, but we gave him a pass last year. So sue me.
31. Joe Uribe, Jr. Lake Forest–Proving size limits do not refer to the competitors, “Little Joe” is a pro.
32. Gary Dobyns, Yuba City–A real puzzler this year with little statistical support. In the end, we used the old sports cliche: “You can’t lose your starting job to injury.”
33. Randy McAbee, Bakersfield–I thought this guy was dead, and then I saw him at ICAST or somewhere. A quiet year, but a great talent.
34. John Kerr, Ramona–Privy to some documented, but under-publicized catches, I can tell you, this former U.S. Open winner has not lost a step.
35. Guy Williams, Menifee–Not just a superb co-anglering campaign in FLW, but in teams and Top Stix he made an impression. Expect more.
36. Michael Tuck, Antelope–Not his best season (15th in NG) but remains a tough customer in competition.
37. Kevin Johnson, Valencia–If he could avoid the bad finish, I think this guy has top 10 ability.
38. Zack Thompson, Orinda–If we passed out one cookie this year, this is it. I just think his 26th in National Guard and awful FLW Tour numbers are misleading.
39. Mike Brakebill, Reseda–Sometimes you just have to recognize skill in its own realm–and leave it at that.
40. Dugan McIntosh, Palermo–Winning out over a ton of other worthy candidates, the final spot goes to a first-timer on the big list. And he probably didn’t know we were watching.
Breaking down the delta by seasons Spring, summer, fall and winter and how the fish migrate and relate to current, weeds shade and other structure can potentially help you catch more fish and bigger fish.
It all starts with time on the water. Get out as much as you can. If you don’t stay on the bite, the fish will change or move on you and it can be very difficult to get back on them. If you can’t spend the time on the water read all you can. Places like Calbassin.com and my website mikeandrewsfishing.com are good places to read up on what’s happening on the delta at any given time.
Mike Andrews is one of the Top Anglers on the California Delta
The Delta is a big place and can be very intimidating. The best way to start fishing the Delta is to break it down in 4 sections. Get a map and mark out sections, North. South, East and West. The middle Delta holds the best numbers of fish, so that’s a good place to start. Pick a section and learn it. Learn how the fish relate to current, shade, weeds and learn the deep sections. That will help you make the Delta fish smaller.
Right now, December 2009, the Delta is still fishing tough. It has been that way pretty much all year. I’m not sure of the reason, but it has definitely been a down year for one of the best fisheries in the country. This year my best day was about 28 pounds. Last year I had 8 days over 30 pounds including a 35 and 36 pound limit in tournaments. I sure hope it rebounds next year.
Mike is a featured speaker at many Nor Cal Venues.
Here Mike speaks at the 1st annual Bass Jam in Cotati California
I fish the delta differently on days when I am just out fishing and days I am in a tournament or pre-fishing for a tournament. When I am just out fishing I like to experiment with new baits and techniques. These fish see allot of baits so you need to think outside of the box and change up to keep them on their toes. When I am pre-fishing for a tourney I check all of my go to areas looking at water color and try to get a bite or two to see if anyone is home. I’m not like a lot of other tournament fishermen, I always hear, “I’m swinging for the fences” or “Go big or go home”, I hate those sayings. I fish for the most bites as I can get. If I’m catching 50 fish a day, 5 of those fish will be good ones, and I’ll take my chances with those 5 rather then throwing low percentage baits and hope that I get 5 big bites and get them all in the boat. I hate doing bad in tournaments and its that fear of failure that keeps me near the top of the standings.
Right now on the delta we are getting into the winter stage. The water temp is in the high 50’s now and the fish are starting to pull out of current and heading into the back of dead end sloughs and marinas. They will be feeding on shad for the next couple of months until the shad die off. This is the only time out the year I throw shad baits. During every other month of the year I throw crawdad imitation baits, but during the winter months they really get on a shad bite. My favorite way to catch them this time of year is ripping a Lucky Craft pointer 100 in sexy shad. I use a 705cb Dobyns rod with 10 pound fluorocarbon line. On high tide I throw it over the weed beds and on low tide I parallel the weed lines and throw into the lanes in the weeds. I will vary my retrieve until I find what they want; rip-rip-pause, rip-pause or rip-rip-rip. Keep changing the cadence until you find what they want as it will change from day to day or even hour to hour. Another great way to catch numbers is by drop shotting. I use a Dobyns 703dx spinning rod with 20 pound power pro braid. I tie the braid to a swivel and utilize 10 pound mono from there to a 2/0 ewg hook and a 6” Roboworm. MMIII is the best color for me and I use it about 80% of the time, but I like Salt River Craw and the Peoples worm from Roboworm also. I pitch it up under and around docks and weed patches and shake it for 1 to 3 minutes. The fish really like to burry themselves in the weeds in the winter. You will find on most days you will get more bites staying close to the weed lines and clumps. For big fish in the winter you can flip a jig or throw a swimbait.
In the afternoon the rock walls will warm and the big bass will move up and lay in that sun to warm up. This is a great time to catch a toad! I like to pitch a Bobby D jig up on the rocks or I pull the boat right up on the bank and parallel cast a Weed Slinger up to them. Black Dog has a new version of the weed slinger out now and it is killing them, stripers too. I use a Dobyns 795 Mike Long rod with 25 pound fluorocarbon for the Weed Slinger. I use a Gamkatsu G-mag hook in the weed slinger and fish it right on the bank. I’ll start fishing it in 2-3 feet of water and work my way down until I find what dept the fish are holding at. By throwing parallel to the bank, you keep the bait in the strike zone longer and can cover the water more effectively.
As we move into spring and the water temp starts to come back up, the fish will move out of their winter spots and start staging near spawning grounds. This will happen during the first week of sunny weather usually around the beginning of March depending on how cold our winter was. Deep water around flooded islands is a great place to find the fish. Jigs rule this time of year. The fish will be bunched up on the breaks and steep walls around the flooded island such as Big Break, Sherman, Franks Tract, Mildred, and Little Mandeville and when you find them, you can really catch some good fish.
When the water temperature gets into the low 60’s the fish will move up into the flats in the flooded islands. This is when they are the easiest to catch. Senkos rule this time of year. Get into the sparse tulles and flip/pitch a 6” or 7” watermelon/red (208) Senko on a Dobyns 765c with 20 pound fluorocarbon and hold on. There are lots of 10 pound plus fish caught this way every year. This will work all the way through the spawn. After the spawn the fish just move right back to the places you caught them during the pre-spawn. The fish will want to be in or near current when they are done spawning. Look for tulle points and breaks in the islands with current to position the fish. This is when the wakebait/swimbait bite gets really good. I like to take a Black Dog Baits Go-2-Minnow and swim it through the cuts and tulles. I usually swim it down about 1-2 feet. I throw it on a Dobyns 795 Mag Topwater rod and 50 pound power pro braid. This time of the year can be a blast catching good numbers and big fish. It is a blast to watch a 8+ pound bass dart out and smash your bait.
After the spawn the fish move into their summer pattern which means weeds and shade. They well either go into the weed beds or under the floating weeds. This time of year you have to go in and get them. Punching is a great way to find them as is swimming a Go-2-Minnow or the new Black Dog Baits Billed Mini-Shellcracker down the edge of the floating pennywort. Use a 805 flip/punch rod with 65 pound power pro, a 1 ½ ounce tungsten weight a 5/0 ewg hook, a Paycheck baits punch skirt and a double wide Sweet Beaver. Flip it up into the thickest, ugliest floating weeds you can find. Shake it until it drops through and hang on. Most of the strikes will be violent so be ready to cross their eyes when they hit it. The other place they will be is the vast weed beds in the flooded islands and shallow banks with deep water nearby. Top water works well on these fish. A Lunker Punker will call them up out of the weeds. Throw it on the Dobyns 795 Mag top water rod with 65 pound braid. I always like to put a drop of super glue about 10” up my line and let it run down to stiffen up the line. That will help keep the line from getting hung up in the hooks during a cast. A buzzbait will work well on these fish too, as will pitching a Senko into the holes in the weeds. This pattern will hold all of the way into fall when the water temp starts to drop.
In the Fall I like to throw crankbaits. I’ll take a Dobyns 705cb, 14 pound monofilament line and a Rat-L-trap or Lucky Craft BDS3 in crawdad color and get on rock banks and cover a lot of water. The fish will be in groups but, the groups can be miles apart. Once you catch one slow down and work the area over. A Bobby D chatter bait is deadly on these fish too. If you find a group of fish, you can also pull out a drop shot and load the boat. Top water will get you a few big bites too, but remember that is a low percentage bait and when I am fishing tournaments, I like to keep the numbers in my favor.
Those Fall Crankbaits can land one of the Delta Giant Stripers
Good fishing and good luck with the new tournament season.
Mike Andrews is sponsored by The Hook Line & Sinker, Dobyns Rods, Black Dog Baits, Russo’s Marina and Bobby D’s Baits
Fishing for bass on the California Delta during the summer time can be the most exciting time of the year! It can also be the most frustrating time. Everyone has their own way of attacking it, but here is my approach.
Summer time for me starts when the fish move off their beds. This will happen in late May to early June depending on water temperature and weather. When they are done spawning, they are weak, tired and skinny from the weeks that they have been busy making beds, chasing away predators and not eating. First thing the females will do is move out of the shallows and leave the smaller males there to guard fry. They will move out either into deeper water or off shore into the weed beds found in the big flooded islands such as Franks Tract, Big Break and Mildred. For the next few weeks they will feed up and get their strength back and settle into their summer pattern that is sitting in shade with heavy current and feed. That’s when they will get more predictable. Current + shade = Summer time river bass! That is the most important thing to remember when you are out on those hot summer days and not catching anything. Seek SHADE!
First thing in the morning and the last of the evening will be the better times of the day to catch a big fish because bass feed best in low light conditions. If you get an overcast day in the summer, you can really load the boat!! But that only covers about 4 hours of the day. What do you do the other 10 hours? Find shade what else! Shade can be found in many different ways. Boat docks, trees, floating weeds, tullies and as subtle as a rock but you will always find bass hiding in the shade.
One of my favorite ways to catch numbers of bass is the crankbait. I will take a Dobyns 705cb put on a 5:1 ratio reel with 14 pound mono and start chucking crawdad colored crankbaits on rock walls with a lot of current. These banks will have fewer weeds to get caught up in your hooks because of the heavy current. I like to use a 1/4oz Speedtrap. The 5:1 reel will get you more bites because it forces you to slow down. The most productive banks will be the ones facing west. In the summer we have a West wind blowing almost every day and that will move the fish right up on the bank. The fish will usually be bunched up, so you might have to cover a mile of bank with nothing, then 10 in a row! I will use the crawdad color until the water starts to cool towards the fall. Then the bass will go on a shad bite and I will switch to a white or shad colored bait. This is a great way to catch numbers of fish to have fun or fill that tournament limit.
Another great way to catch numbers and have a chance at a big fish is Punching. Punching is taking a big weight (1 ½ oz) putting it on heavy braided line (65-80) and a heavy flipping stick. I use a Dobyns 805Flip. This is a power fishing technique meaning you need to be in shape and strong to do this kind of fishing all day. You go out and look for the thickest heaviest floating cover you can find and flip that big weight up in the air and try to bust through it. Periwinkle, floating tullies, floating moss, trash, whatever you can find that is making a canopy for the fish. Because that is shade! And big Delta bass love shade. It also pulls bluegills crawdads and other prey in there because of the cooler water for the bass to feed on. I will use a Reaction Innovation Double Wide Sweet Beaver on a 5/0 BMF hook. Use a bobber stopper above and below your weight. This will keep your weight tight to your hook to make it go in easier and will keep the weight from breaking your line on the hook set. When you get your bait through the cover, just shake it on the bottom for a couple of seconds. If no bite, yo yo it a couple of times. There is no mistaken when you get bit. They will just about jerk the rod out of your hand. When you do, swing hard! Get that fish coming up through the thick cover right now!! If you let the fish dig down and burry their head, you will be digging through a lot of weeds and a lot of lost fish. Your best chance of landing that fish is on the hook set. You must set hard and crank like heck!!
Now we come to everyone’s favorite way to catch them Top Water!! Nothing is more exciting that watching a double digit fish smash a top water bait and the Delta is the best place in the country to get just that. Being ready for that bite is the key to a life time trophy and a fish story. Make sure you come prepared. This means heavy rods, heavy line and big baits! By far my favorite top water bait is the Black Dog Lunker Punker. They come in all colors and sizes, but I seem to always go back to plain old white in the 6”. I will throw it on a Dobyns 795 SB MT rod a Curado 300 and 50 pound Power Pro. The 795 SM MT rod has a little shorter handle than the 795 ML rod and is prefect for big top water baits. The night before I am going out I will hang my bait on my line and add a couple of drops of super glue 10”-12” up the line and let it run down. This will make that line stiff and will help with not catching the front hook on the bait while casting. A big plus when fishing for giant bass. Throw the bait close to your target. Be prepared! A lot of times fish will hit that bait right then. Slowly start walking the bait out with long pops of the rod tip. Allow enough time between pops for the bait to glide side to side. Pause it every 4 to 5 pops. That is a good retrieve to start with but let the fish tell you what they want. Some days they want it moving fast and some days they want it just sitting there. Experiment each day to see what they prefer. Areas I target with the Punker are rock walls with weeds, big weed flats, tullie islands and anything else that will make shade. Low light conditions will get more strikes, but this bait will catch big fish all day. Big bass want a big easy meal and the Punker is just that, so if you put it in ones zone…….. Who knows what will smash it next! May even be a 40 pound Striper!!!
Another top water favorite is the frog. Personally I use the River2sea frog, but there are many brands to choose from Snag Proof make a good one too. I use a Dobyns 736c with a curado and 50 pound Power Pro braided line. Guys like to use 65 pound braid for frogs but I have more confidence in the 50 because I like to throw mine in open water more than I do on top of the weeds and cheese and think those crafty big bass can see the bigger line and it might cost me a bite or two. I like to throw frogs everywhere you find shade. Under docks, over mat (cheese), under trees, tullie points. Anywhere there is an ambush point for a big bass to be. I will throw up, let the bait sit for a couple of seconds, then walk the bait back using quick snaps of the rod tip to make the frog walk and spit water back and forth. When you get bit, it will usually be a violent strike! Be prepared. Don’t let it startle you, just sweep the rod to the side hard and crank like there is no tomorrow! This is not time to play a fish. Big bass have a way of getting them frogs out if you give them any slack. I use white on sunny days and black on overcast days. Color don’t seem to matter much if you put it in the right place at the right time, it can be a big fish catcher!
And if all else fails, a Dropshot can be very productive in the summer months. Fish will load up in the good sections of a bank. Weather it be a rock bank with a big tree making shade or a deep tullie point with current coming around it, if it’s a good spot chances there are more than one fish there in the summer. Even if you catch a couple on a crankbait or top water, you can come back with the dropshot and load the boat. Take a Dobyns 703c put on some 10-12 pound Fluorocarbon a 2/0 light wire wide gap hook and a 6” Robo worm in MMIII or Shad color (late in the summer). Just toss it up current and shake your rod tip working the bait towards you until you feel a tick or the rod loads up. This is a great way to catch numbers with a big one thrown in here and there.
Try some of these techniques and I’m sure you will be catching more bass on your next trip out to the Delta.
Summer time on the Delta can be some of the frustrating times to fish. Its always windy and the pleasure boats will muddy up your spot in no time. To combat this you need to get out early! fish all of the high traffic areas first thing in the morning, then when the wind and the boat traffic picks up, move into the tullies islands such as Mildread, Franks Tract or Big Break and marinas. Look for shade and deeper water in the middle of the day. The punch bite had been steady too. There are a lot of big rafts of perrywinkle weed floating around and it makes great cover for big bass. Getting them out is another story. Be prepared to lose a few, but if you use a big heavy rod with 65-80# braided line you will be able to horse some of the hogs out of the stuff. Work big topwater baits and frogs early and late in the day and punch and flip jigs and plastic’s in the middle of the day and you should be able to put together a solid day on the River.
Well this is the last weekend of fishing for me for some time. Next Wednesday I go under the knife to get my torn rotator cuff fixed and will be out of commission for at least 6 weeks. So I decided to take my 8 year old son Michael up river for some Small mouth fishing on Fathers day weekend. We ended up catching 78 of these hard fighting bass in less than 4 hours! Great fun for the beginner. We started at Vieira’s and fished towards Isleton using red speed traps and swimming yamamoto grubs on dart heads. Most of the fish are small 8”-12” but we did get a hand full over 2 pounds. Still great fun with the boy, and his smile says it all. Happy Fathers Day you all you Dads.
As far as the Largemouth fishing on the Delta right now, the fish have really settled into their summer pattern. Look for a good top water bite in the morning and in the afternoon using Lunker Punkers in open water and Frogs in the weeds and muck. For the rest of the day look for shade with current. Shade can be as little as a piece of wood or a rock so look for it very closely. Crankbaits, Dropshot and Swimbaits are my favorites this time of year. There is also good number of fish in the weeds in the summer time. Weeds also make shade as does the rafts of pennywort floating around out there. You can punch that stuff with a 1 1/2oz weight a 4/0 hook with a double wide Sweet Beaver. Use a very stout rod like the Dobyns 805 Flip with heavy braided line. You really need to pull on these fish to get them up and out of the thick stuff. Have fun out there and make sure to wear your life vest as it gets pretty busy out there in the Summer.
Its been a couple off weeks since my last report. I fished 2 tournaments since then. The Berkley Big Bass Challenge and the last ABA of the year. I’ll report on both, if anyone reads this stuff, please leave a comment below so I know I an not just talking to myself! LOL.
The weekend of 6/6 and 6/7 was the Berkley Big Bass Challenge. It was a big fish format using only Berkley baits on the Delta. Each hour 8 fish were paid and the largest of each hour would receive a key that at the end of day 2 would start a brand new Toyota Tundra! Needless to say our goal was for each of us to win a hour so we had two chances at the truck. Each person could only win one key so we would have a 2 in 12 chance to win the truck if we reached our goal. Saturday started off and we were throwing the Berkley version of a spook called a Frenzy Walker. We started catching fish right off up to about 4 pounds. Our game plan was to come in during hour two to have our best chance at winning a hour or at least a chance at cashing one of the hourly prizes. At our second stop we started punching the periwinkle weed with a 1 1/2 oz weight and a chigger craw. About 10 minutes in I get a “thunk” and set the hook, and its ON! I got a big fish stuck in the very thick weeds. I rear back on my Dobyn’s 805 flipping stick as hard as I can to pull this fish up through the weeds and right in the waiting net! We knew it was around 7 pounds and would be enough to win one of the hours but when? This is where the strategy comes in. We thought for sure the first hour would have a big fish weighed and we were right, a 10.50 (which ended up being the biggest of the tourney) was weighed in during the first hour. We came in during the second hour and when we put her on the scale she weighed 7.33 pounds good enough to win the 2nd hour and $500. Awesome! After being held up for over an hour doing a polygraph test we head back out to get Bobby his fish. Well we didn’t catch a good fish the rest of the day, so we went home to rest up for day two. On Sunday we basically did the same thing at the same areas as day one, but the bite was allot tougher as the wind died to nothing and was sunny after Saturdays cloudy windy weather. I ended up catching one fish just over 4 pounds and won another $100 but Bobby never did get that big bite we were looking for. So Sunday at the awards we all (12) draw a key to try in the truck. We lined up with the biggest fish going 1st. I think I was about 6th or 7th to try my key. With each guy trying his key and them not working my excitement was building all for NOT when the guy right in front of me started the truck and won it!! I was next to try my key . Oh well still a great weekend fishing and $600 to show for it.
Yesterday 6/13 Bobby D and I fished the last of the year ABA Delta circuit. It was going to be a close race for Anglers of the Year between us and another team with them leading by 6 points going in so we had our work cut out for us. We head out to the same spot that we fished the week before with the Frenzy Walkers. The wind was blowing very hard! Up to 30mph and we were not getting bit so I switch to something with a little more presents in the choppy water. I put on a rattling injected Black Dog Lunker Punker and it was “Game on”! The fish were crushing that bait! Some awesome top water bites. We had about 16 pounds in the boat in 30 minutes, As we come up to some floating weeds I pick up a frog and toss it between the bank and the weeds and “Swoosh” a nice 5 pounder grabs my frog! After a quick fight she is in the boat. We jump around to a few spots and catch some smaller fish and another 5 pounder on a senko. We are up to about 19 pounds but are still fishing hard to cull out another 3+ in the live well. Finally around 1:00pm we go back to our starting spot and with the tide down we could see all of the open lanes in the weeds so we decide to throw frogs and wake baits in the holes and lanes in the weeds and hope for one more big bite. About 15 minutes later I see a big bass dart out of a weed patch right at my wake bait! “Fish on”! Bobby D stellar on the net as usual and in the box she goes a nice 5 3/4 pounder and out goes a 3 pounder! Now we are up to 21+. We fish out the day and go in to weigh our fish. We were in the 2nd flight and when we weighed we had 21.68 and took the lead! But there was still 15 teams or so to weigh in so we didn’t get too happy until the last boat weighed in and we had won! Then we find out that the team we were chasing had a tough day, so we won AOY too! Very cool. It was our 2nd in two years and 7th total. Bobby and I have been fishing together for 11 years now and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. We fish as a “Team” really well and I look foreward to many more years fishing with Bobby. We would like to thank a few of our sponsors. Russo’s Marina, The Hook Line & Sinker, Dobyn’s Rods, Black Dog Baits, Bobby D’s Baits and Lowrance. All of these company’s help up to do what we love and have fun doing it.
Busy, Bust, Busy!!! It is Memorial weekend on the Delta and there are a ton of boats out there! There are a bunch of Stren guys out practicing for this weeks up coming tournament along with the holiday weekend traffic! The fishing is toughend up a bunch with all of the boats running around. The best bet is to get out early and hit the good spots before the skiers get out, then head to the marinas and flooded shallow islands to get out of the boat traffic. There is a top water bite, but it is hit and miss I would try it 1st thing in the morning and if you don’t get any bites in the first hour give it up and change to something a little deeper and slowed like jigs, senko’s or a drop shot. I did get my 1st fish of the year over 10 pounds this week on a Black Dog Go2Minnow waking it on the surface. The fish crushed it in 3′ of water in a shade pocket at 9am on Rock Slough and fought great. It was on a Dobyns 735C rod with 50 pound power pro braid.
Good luck and be safe out there! And WEAR YOUR LIFE VEST!!
I fished the ABA Delta tournament yesterday. It took 25+ pounds to win and almost 20 to get in the top 10. We had 20.70 pounds. We caught all of our fish on Bobby D chattterbaits, Senko’s and swimbaits. Most of the fish are done spawning now. A new wave moved up last week, but they are mostly gone now too. All of the fish we caught were post spawners. The top water bite has been good for the last week, with a bunch of fish being taken on Black Dog Lunker Punkers. Evening time is best for the top water bite unless you get overcast skies, then it will last all day. The fish will move into the current this time of year. When they get done spawning, they move out onto the points and sit in the eddies created. This is a great pattern to fish and can get you a bunch of bites. Good Luck!
Last week the Delta was ON FIRE!! Of course I had to work all week, but a lot of my friends were catchin em’ big time! The top water bite was off the hook during the overcast days. The Black Dog Lunker Punker was the best bait along with the frog. Guys were reporting many big fish up to 10 pounds. Then the weekend comes and I am greeted with sunny skies and 20mph winds!! :-(.
Last weekend I fished the Won Bass super team tournament and didn’t do so good. Saturday we had 20 pounds but on Sunday we only had about 14 pounds and didn’t even weigh in.
This Saturday I fished the ABA team tournament out of Russo’s Marina and fared much better. We caught about 20 fish with our best 5 going 25 pounds good enough for 3rd place. 27 pounds won it and they had a 15.59 Kicker bass in their limit!!! What a awesome fish! We caught our fish on Senko’s, Crankbaits and Bobby D’s Chatterbaits.
There are a lot of bed fish up right now. I don’t fish for them, but the guys that do say they are very skittish and move off the bed when you come near. The water temp is holding at 58-60*. It is a few weeks behind last year at this time, but fishing is still good and will continue to get better in the coming weeks. Watch for more of these teeners to come to the scales!
I did not get a chance to get out this week on the Delta, we made out annual trip to Lake Pardee instead. I like to get a change in scenery a couple times a year. It was beautiful up there. We caught one top water fish (an 8 pounder on a Go-2-Minnow) and 6 more fish on Jigs up to 6 pounds. The Smallies are just starting to make beds, but none were locked on. We did catch 3 little guys, the other 4 were Largemouth’s
The Delta fishing is good right now. Water is staying in the low 60’s and the bass are moving up to bed. There are a few already on, but I would expect the major move up on the next full moon (April 9th). You can catch fish on just about any bait you like right now. Senko’s, Jigs, Chatter baits, Spinner baits, Crank baits to name a few. There are also some top water fish already being caught! Next weekend there is a Won Bass Super team tournament on the Delta out of Russo’s Marina. There will be some huge bags of bass weighed in and some big ones too! Come on out and win some money while you having fun. We will see you there.