Location: California Delta
Air temperature: 51-73 degrees
Water temperature: 55-57 degrees
Tide: 2 hours incoming, 4 hours outgoing
Water clarity: 1′-7′
On February 5, 2018 I decided to head out to the California delta to try and build off of my findings from my previous trip. My last trip was very successful but it seemed as if the big fish weren’t showing themselves as they should.
As I stated in my previous report I believe we missed the tide on our last trip, because the areas we fished are traditionally big fish spots. I needed redemption on the illusive Florida strain largemouth which can be so difficult to figure out from time to time.
I decided that today was going to be all about catching big fish, which meant I had to except the fact I might go all day without a bite. I only took one rod out of my rod locker prior to launching my boat. The only rod on my deck that day was my jig rod.
It was almost like something was guiding me to throw the jig with an overwhelming amount of confidence. It felt like the legend himself Andy Cuccia was guiding me to the big girls. Those of you who know me know how much I idolized Mr. Cuccia. With his recent unexpected passing it’s left me with a void in my heart.
I’ll never forget our jig conversations prior to the weigh ins or our text messages to one another regarding the latest fishing hot spots. Mr. Cuccia you are a true legend of the sport of bass fishing and you will truly be missed.
After launching my boat I ran South approximately twenty minutes to a well known community hole. Several other boats were fishing the same area and I noticed a couple average sized fish being caught. With the abnormally warm weather we had been experiencing the last five days I knew some big girls would be lurking around waiting for their next big meal.
I tied on a 1/2 ounce TNT Baits wada jig in a dragon fly pattern and immediately went to work. The area I was targeting is adjacent to deep water and almost emulates a fringe on a fairway to a well known spawning area. With the rising and falling tide this particular area allows the fish to move vertically to feed.
After covering a hundred yard stretch without a bite, I started the big motor and cruised down another five hundred yards to a specific bend in the river. All the same ingredients were present but the tide was less influential. I pitched in and detected a subtle bite. I reeled down and set the hook as the big girl started plowing towards deep water. I turned her with my Dobyns 735 and thought about boat flipping her until I saw her girth. She opened her mouth and I bent down and lipped her. I was guessing she weighed about seven and a half pounds so I was fairly surprised when the scale read 9.02.
I worked my way down the bank picking apart every piece of grass, tule, and rock. The niner came off a sandy bottom naked stretch of bank which kinda left me puzzled. Typically all the ingredients must be present in order to catch the big ones, however in this specific spot it didn’t have a lot of anything.
I continue down the bank only stopping occasionally to rub some more smelly jelly on my jig. I recognized the tide had peaked out and the water began to switch directions. The water seemed a bit clearer then usual so I decided to switch my chunk trailer to a more translucent version.
I flipped my jig into a whole in the grass and almost simultaneously a fish grabbed it and tried to get away. I set the hook, reeled down twice on my revo rocket, and boat flipped a five pound chunk. I fished for another hour without a bite. The tide was falling fast and I was spending a lot of time cleaning grass off of my jig. I knew it was time to make a change so I ran thirty minutes South to try my luck there.
The tide was a bit higher in that area and the water was stained to a tannic color. I made a long pitch into a trough which had tulles to the left of it. My jig got hung up in the rip rap rocks so I started popping it to get it free. My jig popped free from the rock and I reeled it in to see if anything had been compromised. A little paint was chipped off the head and my 25 pound floro had some rough spots.
I retied my jig on and continued to flip and pitch it. I pitched it towards a secondary weed line in an approximate depth of 7′. My jig settled to the bottom and I popped it twice. A fish grabbed it on the second pop and buried itself in the grass. I winched the fish out of the grass and began sifting through the hydrilla. After removed the large clump of grass I finally could distinguish my prize. A beautiful six pound bass.
What a day it was on the California delta. Catching big bass on a jig with my buddy shining down on me.
If you’d like to book a trip with Sick For It Guide service call 209-345-7721 or message me on our Facebook page.