Water temperature: 56-58
Water clarity: 3-12 feet
Air temperature: 48-59
Wind direction/speed: North 5-15 mph
Seasonal fish pattern: winter transition/pre spawn/spawn
Moon phase: New Moon
Tidal influence: high outgoing
On March 25th 2020 my buddy Justin Mesinheiner and I decided to try our luck fishing the California Delta. We launched at first light out of Whiskey Slough located at 3401 S. Whiskey Slough Road. The tide had reached its highest point and began shifting outward.
The wind was blowing steadily out of the North, and scattered clouds filled the horizon. It was down right cold first thing in the morning, so I didn’t run very far before I started fishing. I fished rock points, island drop offs, and tulle berms inside whiskey slough. My bait of choice was a chatterbait, Colorado bladed spinnerbait, and a River2sea square bill.
Zero bites the first thirty minutes of fishing, so I put my big boy pants on and ran towards Mildred. I flipped pinch points inside and outside the island, with a 1/4 ounce Texas rigged creature bait. I caught one decent two pounder, and lost another one around the same size. The water temperature was 58 degrees, but the post frontal conditions coupled with the brisk north wind, directed me to what I needed to do “Punching and Flipping”.
Those of you that know me, or frequently read my articles, you definitely know what my preferred style of fishing is. There’s something majestic, and pleasantly hostile about punching that really gets me fired up. 8 foot rods, super fast reels, 65-80 pound braided line, 2 ounce tungsten weights, 5/0 hooks, are just a handful of the components necessary to do battle while punching.
We ran about a half hour West to catch a lower part of the tide. This helps gives us a visual target while punching/flipping, and it also congregates the fish in more particular areas. Hydrilla grass is like a buffet to a largemouth bass on the California Delta. Crawfish, bluegill, crappie, are just a few of the forages bass consume in these waters.
As we fished down the bank we would come to an area which had slightly denser vegetation compared to the rest of the mat. These were the areas we got bit, and when we did the fish were 4 pounds plus. We fished until about 3 pm while utilizing the same technique. A seven pound kicker decided to jump in the boat with us which was a nice surprise.
No mega bags for us on this day, but we managed to catch 27-28 pounds for our best five fish. The fishing wasn’t easy, and we only caught about 8 fish all day.
Good luck fishing next time your out on the water 🎣