Fished the Delta on Sunday February 23rd. Water temps were 56.1 to 59.7 with water stained to clear depending on where you were at. Winds were about 4 mph or so… a really nice day to be out on the water and a great opportunity to chase down some big bass.
The hook, line & sinker was running it’s last event of the season so I figured I would jump in and have some fun. We started off throwing a bunch of different reaction baits: Persuader blades, IMA lipless crank baits and rip baits, custom chatter baits, wake baits, buzzbaits and small swimbaits… with just a couple of swing and misses. We stuck with reaction for way too long and decided to see how the punch bite was. I grabbed my Abu Garcia Varitas 7’11” flip rod and started to go to work. I was punching a 4″ Havoc Pit Boss in the big Texan color with a 1 ounce tungsten weight on 65lb spiderwire coming off an Abu Garcia SX HS reel. I made my first pitch into what was left of dead hyacinth mat and proceeded to see my line wiggle a little… so I set the hook and right away knew it was a good fish as it thrashed and was shaking the entire area of the mat. Once I got the head to break the mat it was confirmed, real good fish! She ended up being a nice 8.58 lber. We proceeded to work that area for another 30 minutes with no luck. Started running banks and stopped at another dead mat with no takers. I decided to make a run to the middle delta area where I knew there should be some hyacinth to fish and sure enough, there were a few dead mats there. Pulled up and made a few pitches and boated a 3, two more casts and boated another just under 3 before missing another two more fish. Needless to say we ran dead mats for the remaining time we had left but were only able to land those 3 fish punching and a keeper my partner for the day (Matt) ended up getting a in the last minutes on a white chatterbait.
We only boated 4 fish for 15.17lbs and ended up in 21st place with 2nd big fish. 1st big fish came in at 9.3lbs just edging us out. The winning weight was 27.37 for 7 fish. Guys reported catching fish flipping beavers, throwing blades, punching and on a drop shot.
This was the first time I had been on the river in almost 4 months… and it showed! It was a grind for us for sure!!
It was great weather to be on the water and I had a real good time hanging out with Matt, which I met for the first time Sunday morning at the ramp. Thanks Matt, for the conversation and hanging out for the day and especially for your service to our country… THANK YOU!!
Good luck fishing and get out there and get you a donkey!