UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Drama on the Delta

Drama on the Delta
Mike Andrews remains on top of the pro division, but the massive lead he has enjoyed for two days has shrunk to a pound and a half.

OAKLEY, Calif. - His record-setting day-one bag established a high standard and a solid day-two performance widened the gap. However, pro leader Mike Andrews saw his Stren Western Division lead shrink by seven pounds, complements of one persistent antagonist.

Quick review of the numbers: Andrews' 36-pound, 3-ounce day-one limit is the largest in Stren Series history and second largest in FLW tournament history. That feat gave him a 7-pound, 12-ounce lead, and adding 24 pounds on day two pushed his margin to 8-8. His day-three weight of 15-1 gave him a total of 75-4.

However, like a shark homing in on its prey, Discovery Bay, Calif. pro Jeremy Zipton cranked out Despite carp intrusion, Jeremy Zipton sacked another big limit and moved within striking distance of the lead.consistently competitive limits for three days, marched up the standings and now sits within striking distance of denying Andrews a wire-to-wire win. Zipton weighed 25-6 on day one for eighth place, 24-9 on day two for third, and 23-13 on day three for a 73-12 total that reduced Andrew's advantage to a mere 1 pound, 8 ounces.

Like most, Andrews said the extreme heat (100-plus degrees) and mostly flat conditions shut down the reaction bite. Crankbaits, chatterbaits, swimbaits and the like simply did not appeal to the big fish, which seemed more interested in finding shade than chasing meals.

"It got flat calm and hot today and the fish just get really lethargic, sit back and become really spooky," Andrews said. "They won't chase a reaction bait. We needed a little bit of wind and a little bit of chop.

"I tried (reaction baits) for about two hours this morning, thinking I could get a low-light bite, but that didn't work. I had nothing at 8 o'clock and I tried chatterbaits, crankbaits, topwaters - I tried it all."

Third-place pro Kyle Porter found his fish on deeper tule points with current.Andrews said he eventually packed up and ran to some of his historically dependable areas. "I went out west and hit every spot that I've ever caught a fish on in my life. I just tried to scratch out a limit by pitching a Senko into the tules, which is just what I did."

Now tournament competitors are well-accustomed to finding boats on their hot spots (did someone say "bent rod pattern"?), but when Zipton arrived at his primary location, he found intruders of the scaly kind.

"I ran to my spot that's been holding (big) fish first thing this morning and the carp had moved in there because of the warmer water and I was only able to get one good bass out of there," Zipton said. "The carp were rolling around (spawning) and muddying up the water. You'd see the tules moving and think it was a bass, but it's just carp."

Zipton caught his fish on wacky-rigged Senkos. "I think it's the (slow) fall. The fish are in a lazy, post-spawn mode and they want an easy meal."

Kyle Porter of Acampo, Calif., flipped black jigs around deeper tule points with current, added 21 This 10-pounder anchored the 17-pound, 4-ounce stringer that kept Timothy Venkus in fourth place.pounds, 14 ounces to his day-two total and moved up three notches with a third-place total of 69-1. Porter said he looked for fish in areas that offered relief from sweltering conditions.

"I think these fish are in culture shock with this heat wave we're having," Porter said. "The water is really heating up and I think the bigger post-spawn fish are moving to the outside points with current."

Best of the rest

Hunter Schlander said heTimothy Venkus of Wilton, Calif. maintained his fourth-place spot with 66-14, and Hunter Schlander of Modesto, Calif. stayed at fifth with 66-5.

Venkus also won Snickers Big Bass honors with the 10-pound fish he caught while flipping a wacky-rigged Senko. "I struggled all day. I didn't have my first keeper until noon and I caught that 10-pounder less than an hour before (today's check-in)."

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

6th: Zack Thompson, Orinda, Calif., 65-4
7th: Chris Raza, Roseville, Calif., 63-14
8th: Jeff Michels, Lakehead, Calif., 63-1
9th: Beau Joudrey, Oakley, Calif., 62-3
10th: Sean Stafford, Fairfield, Calif. 61-15

Peak possesses co-angler lead

Following a dramatic day-two advancement in which he climbed 81 notches to the second-place Wacky rigging 7-inch worms in the tules led Charles Peak to the first-place spot in the co-angler division.position, Charles Peak of San Jose, Calif. overtook the top co-angler spot by catching a limit weighing 19 pounds, 12 ounces and posting a total of 54-2.

Peak stuck with a wacky-rigged Senko all day and worked his rig in tules. He figured out that dead-sticking the bait was an effective presentation after a clear message from his biggest fish.

"My pro had a fish on and I set my rod down so I could get the net," he recalled. "When I turned around, my rod was twitching. I picked it up and I had a fish. It was about 6 pounds."

Fishing wacky-rigged Senkos at a In second place, Orangeville, Calif. co-angler Chris Hughes jumped from 20th on the strength of a 24-pound, 5-ounce limit that gave him a 52-14 total. He fished a wacky-rigged Senko around wooded islands and kept his presentation to a "painstakingly slow" pace. This strategy worked, as his weight came together quickly.

"I had my whole bag today by 11 o'clock," Hughes recalled. "I culled out a 4-pounder and when I threw it out, I thought `I have to cull a 4-pounder!'"

Aaron Reitz of Soda Springs, Calif. added 9 pounds, 14 ounces to his total and slipped to third with 48-2. With the reaction bite not happening, Reitz returned to his trusty dropshot rig and fished it slowly against tules. He had the quantity, but lacked quality.

"I caught more fish today than the first two days," Reitz said. "I had about 30 fish. I was just missing the big bite."


Best of the rest

Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif. placed fourth with 46-4 and Joseph Smink of Modesto, Calif. finished Chuck Woodfifth at 45-12.

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

6th: Wayne Antoine, San Francisco, Calif., 45-10
7th: Roy Desmangles Jr., Lincoln, Calif., 45-3
8th: Joseph Bricker, Pleasanton, Calif., 44-1
9th: Paul Fontaine, Brentwood, Calif., 43-14
10th: Pat Leiser, Antioch, Calif., 43-8

Chuck Wood of Fairfield, Calif. caught the heaviest bass on the co-angler side, a 9-pound, 8-ounce fish.

Day three of Stren Series action on the California Delta continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (CT) 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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