UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Delta dynamo

Delta dynamo
Local pro Mike Andrews caught a 36-pound, 3-ounce stringer that stands as the heaviest ever in Stren Series history

OAKLEY, Calif. - The weigh-ins were going as predicted at the Stren Series Western Division event on the Cal Delta, with lots of big bass and plenty of stringers breaking 20 pounds. Then things got, well, heavy - really heavy - as in the heaviest in Stren Series history, as in the second-heaviest in FLW history, as in Oakley pro Mike Andrews' phenomenal 36-pound, 3-ounce stringer.

By the way, Andrews is leading the Pro Division by 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and that's an interesting point of comparison. Five bass into 36-3 is nearly a 7-pound, 4-ounce average. Andrews had some larger, some smaller, but bottom line: He's leading by a fish.

Call it karma, celestial alignment, or just a right-place-right-time deal: Andrews took the fast train to Toadtown and threw some serious meat into the bump tank. Even for a local guy with plenty of Delta darlings to his credit, the leading pro seemed amazed at his day's productivity.

"I caught fish on (several) different baits," Andrews said. "I caught them on a chatter-style bait - that Second place pro Kyle Porter experienced his best action during the morningworked best for my big fish - I caught them on swimbaits, I caught them flipping Senkos, I caught them on jigs. It seemed I could do no wrong today."

The action started early and continued through most of the day. "I had 29 pounds by about 8:30 or 9 o'clock. My co-angler only had one fish, so I told him, `We're going to go prefish for (day two), because I'm not going to beat up my fish. I know a lot of spots, so let's go fish some spots were I think we can catch a bunch of 3- to 5-pounds bass and get you a good limit.

"Every spot I pulled up on, I would stick a 6- or 7-pounder. I was throwing 5-pounders over the side like it was nothing."

Andrews said the day's mixture of overcast skies and windy conditions worked in his favor; however, he's concerned about the day-two forecast for cloudless skies and flat, hot conditions. "I hope the fish are still there tomorrow."

Porter in second place

Timothy Venkus had a 9-pound, 14-ounce bass in his third-place limit.In second place, Kyle Porter fished jigs and crankbaits to gather a limit weighing 28 pounds, 7 ounces. Seeking areas far from any other tournament boats, Porter fished scattered patches of tules and grass. His plan delivered big results in a short amount of time.

"I caught all my fish by 10 o'clock this morning," he said. "The outgoing tide that we had for a couple of Gene Gray placed fourth with 27-10, an ounce behind third place.hours seemed to work best for me."

Porter said the wind that kicked up by late morning put the brakes on his action. "The wind blew hard, starting about 10 or 10:30, and shut down my bite. I could still fish most of my spots, but it seemed like the fish weren't as aggressive."

Rest of the b est

Timothy Venkus of Wilton, Calif., took third with 27-11; Gene Gray of Atascadero, Calif., placed fourth with 27-10; and Zack Thompson of Orinda, Calif., was fifth at 27-7.

Gray's 9-pound, 15-ounce fish won the Snickers Big Bass award.

Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the Stren Series California Delta event:

6th: Wayne Hinrichs, Novato, Calif., 27-4
7th: Hunter Schlander, Modesto, Calif., 25-7
8th: Jeremy Zipton, Discovery Bay, Calif., 25-6
9th: Leroy Bertolero, El Macero, Calif., 24-13
10th: Beau Jourdrey, Oakland, Calif., 24-12

Plastic power propels Smith to co-angler lead

At the morning checkout, Quin Smith of Galt, Calif., predicted that soft plastics would be one of the Co-angler leader Quin Smith predicted that plastic baits would work best and his words proved correct.tournament's top patterns. After drop-shotting Senkos and flipping beavers on his way to a leading limit weighing 21 pounds, 15 ounces, he felt his opinion had been validated.

Fishing a variety of structures in 3 to 5 feet, Smith said he found the fish far less aggressive than he did in practice.

"The bite was actually off today," Smith recalled. "They weren't biting the baits really well. I'd get a bite, set the hook, and they'd just come off."

Of his second-day efforts, he said, "I might try some topwaters early (on day two), but I'll probably stick with the (plastics)."

Rest of the best

Dean Krambeck of Vandenberg AFB, Calif., placed second with 19-6, while Lincoln, Calif., angler Roy Desmangles Jr. took third with 19-4. Fourth place went to David Koehler of Galt, Calif., who caught 18-14, and Craig Taylor of Olympia, Wash., finished fifth with 18-8.

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler leaders at the Stren California Delta event:

6th: Scott Burke, Oakdale, Calif., 18-5
7th: Merl Nunes, Vacaville, Calif., 18-5
8th: Brody Bramlett, Kelseyville, Calif., 18-2
9th: Kevin Gray, Hermiston, Ore., 17-5
10th: Joseph Bricker of Pleasanton, Calif., 17-2

Bricker also had the largest bass, an 8-5.

Day two of Stren Series action on the California Delta continues at Thursday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. CDT at at Russo's Marina located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-05-14-california-delta 

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