This past weekend I had the opportunity to get back on the Delta after a few months. Recent
weather patterns had continued to push the Delta bass further into their fall transition until the
weekend of the tournament where we experienced daytime highs in the 90s and overnight lows in the
mid 60’s. in addition to the heat, we also experienced flat calm conditions, which is somewhat unusual
for the delta during transitional periods.
Being that I had not been on the Delta for a few months I felt I needed to make the most of my 2
available days to practice. The Delta has thousands of miles of fishable water and covering it all is nearly
impossible. However, I still tried to run around as much as possible. My practice days dealt very
different conditions than the tournament days were projecting. Practice was cold, rainy, and windy.
While the tournament days looked to be hot, sunny, and calm. With that being said, I knew much of
what I would get bit on in the “storm” would not necessarily translate to the tournament.
During practice I found quite a few fish on a Picasso Shockblade Pro fishing over grass on the
high tide and around it on the low tide. I caught most of my numbers on a square bill crank bait.
Certain areas had 25-30 smaller 12-14 in bass. I got lucky and tricked a 5.15lb largemouth on the square
bill in one of these areas. As the day progressed and the tide got low, I began driving and looking for
healthy grass. As mentioned earlier I have not been on the Delta in months and needed to relearn
where the good grass was and what has been sprayed and killed. 50+ Gallons of fuel later I found a
handful of areas that had healthy grass and the right type of grass to be a factor come tournament
weekend. I knew I had the right grass when I could see and hear crawdads moving in the grass.
Come tournament weekend I felt relatively confident that my areas would kick out some fish
and if I was lucky there would be some better fish mixed in. Saturday morning my girlfriend Taylor and I
arrived at our first spot. I immediately started throwing a frog around the grass. It wasn’t but a few
minutes in that we began catching small fish. We boxed a couple of small keepers and continued
through the area. About an hour into the morning, I get a massive blowup on the frog. I rear back, set
the hook, and wind the fish over the grass. As I clear the grass clump, I feel the hook release and the
frog flies back over my shoulder. Shaking with anger I slowly calmed myself down and get regrouped. I
get back up to the trolling motor to cast again and find one of the hooks on my frog is opened up. These
delta bass are so big and strong if you only get them with one hook it’s a likely deal that you could have
a failure. In this case a 6-8lber stuck in the grass was enough to do the trick.
We stayed in this area until about 9am and left with only a couple of 2 pounders to show for it.
We then ran down to one of our other areas. We showed up and immediately started to get bit on the
frog. We filtered through about 10-15 fish before we found a pair of clone 3 and a half pounders before
we had to run back to make the final hour weigh in. We got lucky and cashed a couple of checks for the
last hour and were able to pay our entry fees with those 2 fish.
Day 2 threw a few curveballs. Based on the tide I knew the area we finished Day 1 in was not
going to be as much of a factor. We decided to start at Day 1’s starting spot and see what happens from
there. After a while of fishing, I noticed the bite was significantly tougher. Unsure why I kept fishing and
kept rotating through baits. As the sun got higher and the day got later I noticed this area had quite a
few boats coming in it throughout the day all of them were throwing a frog. At this point I began to
start flipping and punching. If these fish were shy to the frog, I was not going to die with it in my hand. I
punched a grass line, and I had my eye on a patch of grass across the slough of grass as a boat who came
through fished by it without a bite. After flipping a bit further, I moved over to the grass I had been
watching. I eased up and 5 twitches in a 3 and a half pounder bit and came I the boat. After catching
punch fish and frog fish behind a few of the boats in this area I knew I could find some more healthy fish
to weigh in. By 10:30am we caught another 3-pounder punch and ran to the scales and cashed them in
for another chunk of cash.
After weigh-in we ran back to that area and hopped right back on the punching and frogging
program. We worked hard and filtered through 2 pounders waiting to get another decent bite. Luckily,
we kept our heads down and found a small little area of grass that was loaded with fish. We started
flipping and right off the bat hit a 4 pounder. Shortly after we caught a few other small fish. We did all
we could and headed back to the final weigh in with a 4 pounder and a 2 and a half pounder. We turned
our fish in and only the 4 pounder was good enough for a chair at the weigh in.
A few takeaways from my weekend are. Be confident in your decisions, fish to win, pay
attention to conditions and fish behavior, and make sure you have the right tools for the job. Below are
some of the tackle and tools that helped lead to success:
– Picasso Lures Gunmetal Tungsten Punch Weight:http://picassooutdoors.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=gunmetaltungstenflipping
– Gamakatsu SuperHeavy Cover Punch Hook – With Tin Keeper: http://Super Heavy Cover Worm with Tin Keeper – Gamakatsu USA Fishing Hooks
– Gamakatsu G-Power Heavy Cover Worm Flip and Punch Hook: http://G-Power Heavy Cover Worm Flip and Punch Hook (4 Pack) – Gamakatsu USA Fishing Hooks
– Dobyns Champion Extreme 805 Punch Rod: http://The Dobyns Champion Extreme HP Series – Dobyns Rods
– Snag Proof Bobbys Perfect Frog: http://Bobby's Snagproof Perfect Frog (outdoorproshop.com)
– Scum Frog Trophy Series Frog: http://Scum Frog Painted Trophy Series (5/8oz) | Outdoor Pro Shop
– X-Zone Lures Adrenaline Craw: http://Adrenaline Craw 4.25" (6 Pack) – X Zone Lures
– Costa Del Mar Diego Sunglasses: http://Diego Polarized Sunglasses in Green Mirror | Costa Del Mar®