Location: California Delta
Air temperature: 57-61 degrees
Water temperature: 54-56
Water clarity: 1-3 feet
Wind direction/speed: South-Southwest 2-8 mph
Seasonal fish pattern: winter transition
Moon phase: waxing crescent visibility 14%
Tidal influence: low incoming
The Perfect Storm
On March 10, 2019 my son Vincent bribed me into taking him fishing for a couple hours after his baseball practice. Fishing is a common practice in the Evola house, and an activity we enjoy doing as a family. The only abnormality from our regular routine on this particular day was the fact it was raining,hailing, and cold. Definitely not ideal conditions for a seven year boy or even a grown man for that matter.
Putting my skepticism aside, I hooked up to the boat and towed it to Vincent’s baseball practice. On the way to the practice I told Vince we were only going fishing under the following circumstances; it wasn’t hailing, and the wind wasn’t blowing 20 mph out of the North. Vince acknowledged my requirements and we arrived at practice shortly after.
During the baseball practice the sun poked out a time or two, but it was quickly covered up by large cumulonimbus clouds. The wind sporadic blew out of the South and rain occasionally fell. As quickly as the rain started it stopped. The threat of rain was still evident, and the likely hood our trip would be canceled was highly probable.
Once the practice concluded the rain came followed by the hail. I looked towards the North which was the direction of the delta and saw a huge bright blue hole in the clouds with sunlight beaming through. I looked in the back seat where Vincent was sitting and his hat brim was tipped down covering his eyes.
I pointed the truck North and started ripping towards Rivers End Marina which is the closest launch to our location. When I made the Northbound turn onto Byron Road from W. Grant Line, Vincent’s sorrow turned to excitement. He started fist pumping and dancing in his seat.
When we pulled up to Rivers End Marina the rain began to fall again. Vincent and I went inside the convenience store to pay for the launch and get a couple snacks. We sat in the truck after our purchase and waited for the rain to subside. Approximately twenty minutes went by and the rain had finally stopped.
I launched the boat and checked the tide as we idled out of the marina. The tide was bottoming out and would switch to incoming in approximately an hour. The water temperature in the back of Rivers End Marina was 56 degrees, and the water had about two feet of visibility.
I made a short run North to an area where there was plenty of vegetation present. The vegetation was lush and healthy. Baitfish of an unknown variety began to flicker on the surface in the middle of the slough. I began flipping a creature bait towards pockets in the vegetation. I discontinued this presentation after about thirty minutes without a bite.
I worked my way down the bank focusing on the deepest parts of the vegetation which was emergent. The tide began to come in and things got interesting extremely quick. Almost immediately when the tide switched I had my first bite. The bite was subtle and almost undetectable. My bait was underneath the boat and out towards deep water almost instantaneously. I set the hook fought the fish for about ten seconds before she came up and broke water. The fish was well over seven pounds and she spit the bait before I could put her in the boat.
The very next pitch the same scenario unfolded, however this time I was ready for it. I flipped the fish into the boat and fist pumped Vince. She was a good fish weighing right at seven pounds. We caught a couple more quality fish in that area before it started raining again.
On the drive home Vince and I talked about the events which transpired, and how everything worked out just right. Countless memories have been made with my son while fishing the California Delta. Can’t thank the good lord enough for my family, our health, and the means to do what we love.
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