I headed up to lake Sonoma with my son. Got a late start but he wanted to get on the water. We got on the lake about 9am and headed for cherry creek on the north end of the lake. It was a nice warm day already in the high 60’s. I Dumped the trolling motor in the water and noticed the water temp was in the low 60’s and stained, so i pulled out my new Dobyns 765 cb glass rod, with 40# Vicious no fade braid and a 15# Vicious pro fluorocarbon leader, Awesome new rod for chatterbaits. A Dobyns Fury 733 with a wacky rigged 6″ Yamamoto senko on a weedless 3/0 Moto hook with 40# Vicious no fade braid and a 15# leader of Vicious pro fluorocarbon and a 2 Dobyns 703’s, 1 with 8# Vicious pro fluorocarbon with a 3.8 Keitech on it and the other had a 5″ Yamamoto wacky rigged senko on a weedless 1/0 Moto hook and 20# Vicious no fade braid with no leader for my son. We started on a nice flat with no luck. We fished to a small point going into a small finger. My son Pitched the senko up to the bank into a shadow and a 5#er crushed it off the surface and the fight was on. Fish #1 was in the boat. I pitched to the next shadow and another good fished crushed it. I fought him to the boat but he came off. The very next cast into a shadow yielded a junky 3#er, I put it in the well and while fixing my senko i heard a splash ahead me so i fired the senko to the center of the boil and another 5# almost ripped the rod out of my hands. We fished for another hour before we had to leave, landing 15-20 fish with a limit weighing 18-20lbs. It was a awesome trip and cant wait to get back up there !! Tell next time. STICK EM !!!
Comprehensive California delta fishing report and techniques for pre-spawn, post frontal Florida strain largemouth bass.
Date: March 27, 2017
Location: California Delta
Water temperature: 55-59 degrees
Water visibility: 0-1′
Air temperature: 49-62 degrees
Wind: 7-15 mph gusting to 25 mph out of the Northwest
Moon phase: 🌑 New moon
Conditions: POST FRONTAL
The month of March was starting out to be exceptional for bass fishing on the California delta. Large stringers in the thirty-pound range were rewarding local tournament anglers. Several local tournaments required a minimum of twenty-five pounds to even have an opportunity at a paycheck. Water temperatures were warming nicely into upper fifties and in some areas into the upper sixties. The first wave of pre-spawn buck bass along with a few big females transitioned from their secondary breaks outside their wintering holes on up into the shallows to begin looking for a bedroom.
Florida strain largemouth bass being the predator fish they are become extremely easy to catch when in this state. They don’t share their spawning areas with any other fish and the buck bass will do anything and everything to protect their spawning areas. The big female bass will hang back and wait for the bucks to do their thing, and if I forage such as a crawfish, tule perch, or bluegill presents itself, the big female will take the opportunity and feed. Once the buck bass has made a bed he will wait in that area to be chosen by a female bass. The female bass will choose a bed with a buck bass present and courtship will begin between the two.
Everything was setting up nicely and anglers were reportedly seeing large females on beds in all the flooded ponds. I too partook in some of the pre-spawn activities, catching nice size hens on the Optimum baits Furbit popping frog, and the River2sea Whopper Plopper. Just when everything seemed as if it was going as planned here comes the spring rain storms. A double header set of storms hit the California delta dropping three quarters of an inch of rain in some areas. The overnight low dropped down to the low forties and an artic wind began to blow from the north. Water temperatures plummeted down into the low fifties, and water clarity due to the recent storms was nearly nonexistent. Anglers began to struggle and several tournaments were won with weights ranging from seventeen to twenty-one pounds which is way below average for this time of year.
With the bite being as tuff as it was due to the post frontal conditions, I knew it was going to be a long tedious grind to catch a good bag. Most anglers I know see this as a hindrance, but I see this an opportunity to go out and learn.
I launched my boat in the central delta and blasted south. My plan was to target dead end slough where there was thick healthy submerged grass such as egeria densa otherwise known as Brazilian pond weed present. More specific to these areas I was also looking for banks that were east facing and adjacent to spawning flats. The reason why I chose to target these areas is simple. With the bass setting up the way they were prior to the recent storms, I knew the bass would be positive feeding fish. The bass that were still transitioning from their wintering patterns would become neutral feeding or in a negative feeding state, which would make the bass extremely difficult to catch. The reason I chose east facing banks, which many of you already know, is because the water warms up faster on those banks due to more sun exposure. I’ve found this is extremely important when you’ve had a recent dramatic drop in water temperature. I’ve found that even a half degree increase in water temperature during post frontal conditions can be the key to getting more bites.
The first bank I pulled up to had scattered grass, rip rap rock, and with the high tide it had a five-foot-wide trough. My bait of choice was a River2sea biggie series crankbait in delta craw color. I made the longest casts I could trying to cover the maximum amount of water targeting the center of the trough. I caught several buck bass within the first thirty minutes of fishing but the largest was maybe two pounds. I knew I was on a good bank because in the past I’ve seen and caught several fish in the six to eight-pound range in that area. I had zero visibility in that area so I was unable to see if there were any spawners present. I hopscotched up the slough to banks which were nearly identical in habitat. I caught a couple smaller bass on my crankbait. The tide continued to fall and my trough dwindled down to nearly nonexistence. I knew in the back of my mind the big ones weren’t on those spawning flats, but I needed to prove it to myself so I could focus on my primary technique which would be flipping.
I put my Dobyns Champion Series 736 cranking rod back in my rod locker, and took out my Dobyns Champion Series 805 Flip/Punch, and my Dobyns Champion Extreme XP 745 Heavy Jig Rod. Both rods were paired with Abu Garcia Revo Rockets for maximum efficiency and power.
My punch set up consisted of, 70 pound Fitzgerald braid, paycheck baits punch stop, 1 ounce River2sea tungsten trash bomb, 4/0 Gamakatzu extra heavy cover flipping hook which was tied using a snell knot. My bait of choice was a Nemesis baits bullet craw in a black/blue color.
My jig set up consisted of, 25-pound test Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon. My jig of choice was a TNT Baits Wada Jig, which is a custom hand tied jig designed and manufactured by master guide and delta legend Andy Cuccia. Due to nonexistent water clarity, I chose the larger profile Wada Bomb Jig which was all black in color.
With two rods on the deck negating from any further distractions, I went back to the section of bank where I first started fishing first thing in the morning. The tide was about half way out exposing a more defined grass line. There were also large holes in the grass which were present along with some scattered hyacinth which was in its decomposing state.
I started off by pitching my jig on the edge of the grass line and in the holes in the grass. Both areas were productive and I boated two fish over four pounds in the first fifty yard stretch of bank. The bass struck the bait on the fall which gave me the intuition to speed up my presentation allowing me to cover even more water.
I came to a section of bank where no holes were present in the grass and the grass appeared to be more congregated. I set down my jig rod and picked up my big stick. I began flipping my bait into the grass mats in various distances from the edge. I knew the bass were buried in the grass but it wasn’t clear exactly where. Approximately thirty minutes went by without a bite.
With the tide, almost completely out I started up the big motor and ran down the slough to an area adjacent to a big spawning flat. The area I pulled up on was a classic forty-five-degree angle delta bank which was substantially deeper, however the same well defined grass line was present. I began flipping my one ounce River2sea trash bomb weight into the heart of the matted grass. My rod immediately doubled over. I set the hook and landed a beautiful six-pound bass. I continue down the bank which was set up the same. I preceded to catch several more bass in the four and five-pound class. Bites were steady but lots of water needed to be covered.
All in all, it was a productive day but I never got the big kicker I was after. Catching bass in heavy cover using big heavy duty equipment is one of my favorite ways to catch them. Hopefully this fishing reports helps you catch more fish next time you’re out on the water.
RB Bass Angler,
Christopher Anthony Evola
Water temp: 56-59Water Clarity: 6″-2′Air Temp: 56-74 degreesWind: Northwest 2-7 mphTide: OutgoingMoon: Full ?
My brother Justin Ross and I, launched my boat at 0645 hours out of the Tiki Lagun Marina & Resort, located at 12988 W. Mcdonald Road, Stockton, California, 95206.
After launching we made our way out to the North side of Mildred Island. We started off throwing reaction baits such as the River2sea Ish Monroe Square Bill in delta craw color, and the River2sea Ish Monroe Bling Spinnerbait in the cold blooded color. We had zero bites on these baits in the first thirty minutes of fishing. I knew there were fish in the area because it’s a well known spot by almost everyone who fishes the delta. With the water warming the way it has, the full moon, stable weather, and high tide, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around why they wouldn’t eat a moving bait.
Without hesitation I knew exactly what needed to be done. The warm weather had me so excited for the pre spawn I forgot about winter transition. The bass needed to transition from their wintering holes up into the secondary breaks. From the secondary breaks they needed to feed on a forage that provides high calories, minerals, magnesium, and calcium which will sustain them through the spawning process. They needed to feed on crawfish which were becoming more active with the warm weather. I looked at my brother Justin and quickly put away all my rods but one. The only rod I left on the deck was my Dobyns 735 matched with my Abu Garcia Revo Rocket. This combination compliments my 1/2 ounce TNT Baits Dragon Fly Wada Jig extremely well. This particular color is my go to when the bass are in their winter transitioning stages.
We pulled up to a break on the north side of Mildred where the water was ripping out of the island. The rocks on the break were barely exposed and several scattered tules were present. I pitched my jig into a hole between the tules and rock about the size of a basketball. I felt a small tick so I leaned in and set, boat flipping a three pounder onto the deck of the boat. I looked over at my brother Justin and I told him we’re throwing jigs the rest of the day. He agreed and we continued down the bank catching several three to three and a half pounders. The tide was over half way out so we decided to run to Mandeville. We pulled up on the south side of Mandeville and it just looked perfect for a big girl to be present. It had a hard rock break scattered tules and a hard well defined grass line five feet off the bank. This area is what is referred to as a trough. I pitched my jig into the trough popped it twice and my line shot under the boat. I cranked on my Revo Rocket twice and leaned back with a cracking hook set. My rod doubled over and a nice chunk largemouth jumped right next to the boat. I flipping her up onto the deck of the boat and was greeted by a fist bump from my brother. That’s a seven he stated and I obliged him as I slipped her carefully into the livewell. As we made our way down the bank we caught several more three pounders along with several fish in the two pound class. As the tide fell out even further we noticed the fish were reacting towards a more aggressive swimming action on our jigs. This was beneficial because it allowed us to cover more water quicker rather then a traditional slow retrieve.
We came to an area where the trough was no deeper then two feet and there was lots of wood present. My brother flipped in between two limbs which were submerged and his line jumped approximately two feet. He leaned in and set the hook as he landed a nice largemouth which weighed five and a half pounds. We ran out of good looking water so we started up the motor and blasted back towards Mildred. We settled in an area we call three ponds which is located Northeast to Mildred. This area is basically tules with mixed in grass but the exterior has deep water around it which makes it ideal for winter transitioning bass. We fishing there for approximately twenty minutes when we doubled almost simultaneously on twin four pounders. With limited time before we had to leave, we took a quick photo and ended the day.
If I had only one tip to give it would be this. Just because the water is warming rapidly and there is a few fish getting ready to bed, doesn’t mean they all are. Keep an open mind while your out on the water and always stay optimistic. Hope this fishing report helps you catch more fish, and good luck out there next time your on the water.
RB Bass Pro Staff Angler
Christopher Anthony Evola
RB BASS Anglers Josh Parris and Nick Lynch win the 2016 Anglers of the year Title in the Northern Region of the Future Pro Tour . Their journey began in November 2015, both were in search of partners for the 2016 season and were introduced by Ron Howe at a RB BASS Angler meeting. Ron suggested we give it a shot as young Anglers and grow together. As with any partnership they set out to fish together before committing to the next year’s season. For their first dry run, they decided to jump into an Oro Madre open tournament at lake Camanche. With one day to pre-fish they took 3rd over some of the area’s top anglers. Both quickly realized each other’s strengths and cohesion as a team and decided to fish both regions of the Future Pro Tour for 2016. Their first run was at Don Pedro for Central region. It didn’t go well, a zig when they should have zagged if you will. Finishing in 48th place, they were determined to make their next showing better. Next stop for Central region would be New Melones. Being Josh’s home lake they had a competitive edge and it paid off! Taking both 1st place and big fish, they were making a comeback.
The rest of central region went marginal the team ended up in 8th place AOY. In the Northern region, their first stop was Lake Berryessa, and team Parris/Lynch grabbed a nice check. Next they were on Nicks home water Folsom Lake. With another strong performance, they cashed another check. Their next event would be at Clear Lake, and again they landed in the money.
The rest of the Northern season they cashed a check in every event! A big player in Josh and Nicks success was time on the water. Both team members owned boats which enabled them both to get out on the water and practice. The Northern regions last event would be at Lake Oroville. Going into this event team Parris/Lynch were leading AOY with a commanding 35 point lead.
With some great anglers right behind them, Nick and Joshknew that they had to fish like they were still number 2. Being that neither had much experience on Oroville it became their only focus. After lots of practice and time on the water tournament day was here. They started out swinging big looking for largemouth. After two hours of nothing they realized there was too much at stake to swing big all day, so they ran back to water that had proved productive in pre-fish. Quickly they were rewarded, sacking up over 8lbs in an hour currently a competitive weight on a very stingy Lake Oroville. They decided to go back out in search of the winning fish but never found them. Before they knew it, the day was over and they ended it with 8.52, good enough for 7th place and most importantly securing there 1st place for Anglers of the year over 179 teams!
Constancy is the key in any AOY race, Josh and Nick were able to put in enough time on the water and ensure they always found decent fish. Congratulations to the RB BASS team of Josh Parris and Nick Lynch for an outstanding year and AOY victory! Nick is one of the youngest anglers to ever win part of a AOY title. This young RB BASS Team is Definitely a team to keep an eye on as they continue to grow their skills in Tournament Bass Fishing!
Lake Oroville report for 10/21 – 10/29
I was able to get up to Oroville for 2 events the last 2 weekends. The season closer of Future Pro Tour and The North Valley Tackle Open. The FPT had a 74 boat field and was won with 9.25lbs and the North Valley Open was 9.26lbs with 61 boats. Water temps ranged from 60-62 and weather was overcast to mild rain.
Prefish was our best day of course, we had around 11 lbs by 8:30am. The biggest of that bag was a 3lb largemouth and a couple 2s. FPT we weighed in 9.03 for 4th and 7.11 for 25th at the North Valley Open. The typical Oroville 1- 1.3 lb fish were abundant to say the least. We averaged around 50 fish per day every day we fished. Weeding through them and finding the bigger bites is key as always here where ounces count but we just couldn’t find those key bites on tournament day.
Our main areas of focus were steep bluff walls with any change (ie. Shale to granite, boulders to red clay etc), and points leading into shallower water. Every fish we caught was regurgitating small bait fish so we matched the forage. Most of our bigger fish were caught on an arig and spinner bait earlier in the day and backed up with numbers by finessing with either a shakey head or dopshot with bait imitating plastics. Depth range we focused on was 2-20ft.
It was great to get out there again as we haven’t fished any events in a few months. Oroville is always a fun lake especially when it’s like this and your catching fish ALL day long. Big thanks to Vince and crew at the FPT and Jamey, Dan and Jason at North Valley for putting on these events, and of course Sacramento Black Rifle, Monster Fishing Tackle, RB Bass, Dobyns Rods, River2Sea, Eyesurrender, and Big Bass Dreams. Look forward to seeing you all out there next time Danny Cross
Wild West Bass Trail Crowns a Champion at Lake Shasta
Zach Elrite wins the Shootout at Lake Shasta! Zach came to the scales with over 23lbs of Lake Shasta Spotted Bass and earns a Big Pro win at the first ever Wild West Pro/Am held in California. The win was worth $19,500 with the 100% plus payback. This wasn’t easy Zach had to beat out 129 other Pro Anglers all with impressive Angler resumes. Make no Mistake Zach has been working hard for years in the Fishing Industry with many companies in his promotional efforts. This Angler has put in his time and it has paid off Big! Congrats to Zach Elrite on your Big Win! Zachs sponsors include D&M Custom Baits, Coyote Tackle, Freedom Tackle, Dobyns Rods, Lews Reels, Undercover Sportsman, Dude Wipes and River2Sea.
Craig Gotwalls, Zach Elrite and Gary Dobyns
Wild West Bass Trail Co-Angler Champion
Lets not forget this is a Pro-Am and without Co-Anglers we cant have this kind of event. Tim Wells caught over 21Lbs of Lake Shasta Spotted Bass from the back of the boat and took home a check for $6500 for his efforts. Co-Anglers fish each day with a different Pro in this 2 day event. They must catch their own fish in this non shared weight style of event. Lets not forget this was all done with no NET! Congrats Tim on your big Co-Angler win!
Wild West Bass Trail has a 10 day off limits rule. The first official day of practice started off with Partly Clouds Skies and a Rainbow with a Pot of Gold at the end of it. Wild West Bass Trail would payout over $135,000.00 at this event and not even the next 2 days of Rain could put a Damper on that!
Red Lion of Redding California was the Host Hotel of this Big Event. Anglers had special room rates and Extra Security to make sure Anglers Trucks and Boats were safe at Night. The rooms had plenty of space , easy access for power and if you had a downstairs room you could walk out of your patio right to your truck and boat. With easy access to Food, Fuel, and other amenities.
The event all Started with the Pre-Event Meeting at the Red lion. Tournament Director Jason Bubier presented the Anglers will very detailed information and Rules about the event. The Red Lion Served Dinner to over 240 Tournament Bass Anglers. The food was good and the Anglers were all eager to get it on!
Anglers Would cross the stage with Hopes to Cash in on this big Purse!
Ranger Boats and Evinrude were in the West at Lake Shasta!
Champion Zach Elrite Pictured with Keith Trip of Ranger Boats. Ranger Boats stepped up big and paid all late fees for any Co-Anglers in this event! What a creative Idea and a Fantastic way for a leading Boat maker to support our Sport!
By the time weigh ins started there was quite a crowd starting to form at the top of the hill ay Bridge Bay Resort.
Anglers were shuttled up the Hill from the folks at Redding Yamaha.
RB BASS CO-Angler Michael Coleman Sporting his Big Ol Pig Hoodie at weigh ins.
Jason and Tara Borofka Wild West Bass Trail Pro and Co-Anglers, Photo Credit Potter Portraits
Lucas Oil gave Anglers a Gallon of Oil for their participation. This was in addition to the Raffle money they gave to Dan Wells of Chico Ca, for providing his Receipt copy of $50 of Lucas Oil Products. Dan was the Lucky winner of $1000.00!
Anglers rush to get their boats wrapped in time for this Big event.
Ken Mah talks to the Camera man on his way to go for the Win!
Jim Vretzos Co-Angler of Greater Bay Protective services weighs in on day-1
Anglers stack up eager for a chance at Big Money at the Wild West Bass Trail.
Richard Dobyns Tips his hat at the Scales.
Wild West Bass Trail Champion Zach Elrite