UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


How low can you go?

First flighters in the EverStart Western Division event on the Cal Delta prepare to launch on a calm, sunny morning.

STOCKTON, Calif. - EverStart Series Western Division anglers will have their ups and downs on the California Delta, but the ebb and flow of this tidal environment will deliver opportunities for those who can figure out ways to capitalize.

Anglers launched in sunny conditions that will last the day. Light morning breezes will likely increase to about 10 mph during the day. Day one will start with high water and a long outgoing cycle will last for most of the competition hours. To the uninitiated, falling water can be intimidating, as it limits access and lays bare some of the shoreline structure that may harbor bass in high water periods. However, those in the know recognize a falling tide as the period of greatest opportunity on the Delta.Wave pro Gabe Bolivar saw a new group of spawners move up to the shoreline during his final practice day.

High tides grant fish maximum access to shoreline cover, but they also hide them from anglers. As the water falls, fish slide away from the shallows and predictably work their way toward outer edges. Example: Berkley pro Zack Thompson favors flipping and punching the pennywort mats that amass along tule berms. High water, Thompson said, may find the fish far back in the berm's gaps, but the falling cycle pulls them to the deeper edges as the water beneath steadily decreases.

Another advantage of the outgoing tide is its cleansing effect. As the water draws through tules, pennywort, hydrilla, etc., the vegetation filters sediment and delivers cleaner water to the fish's low-tide refuges. Baitfish like cleaner water, while the increased clarity provides anglers better perspective for spotting fish and/or the cover they'll seek.

Given the Delta's vastness, anglers may find fish in prespawn, spawning and post-spawn stages. Wave Sight fishing with white plastics like the Wave Swim Bug could deliver big results for Delta anglers.Worms pro Gabe Bolivar endured a tough practice, but yesterday revealed an encouraging sign that has the Ramona, Calif. angler eager to put his flipping stick to work.

"I practiced for four days; it was cold and windy and I had a tough time finding fish," Bolivar said. "I found a few fish, but it hadn't been fantastic. Yesterday, it was hot and in the afternoon, it slicked off and it seemed like a huge wave of fish moved up. One area in particular, I was in there for three days looking at the bank and I hadn't seen the fish. Literally, yesterday afternoon, they came up."

Bolivar notes that the week's warming weather and Monday's new moon likely influenced the movement. His only concern will be locating the fish early.

"Yesterday afternoon, I saw them on low tide, but (this morning) there's going to be a lot more water over them," Bolivar said. "They're going to be harder to see until the tide drops out a little bit because the water has some stain to it."

Bolivar will spend much of his time flipping a Texas-rigged 4-inch Wave Swim Bug. He likes a white bait for visibility. "It seems like a white bait really fires up the fish and you can see it well."

Thompson also encountered mostly tough practice conditions, so he's prepared to start day one in searchCalifornia pro Zack Thompson will use a Snagproof frog to locate active fish and a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss to punch mats. mode. He'll work a variety of presentations from crankbaits along rock levees, to wakebaits on windward shorelines and, of course, his flipping and punching with Berkley Havoc baits. Thompson will also throw a Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog to locate active fish.

"As the water is going to be high in the morning, I'm just going to start shallow and work my way out with the dropping tide," he said. "I'm not expecting to find concentrations of fish; I'm just going to hunt and peck and try to get the better size fish."

Bolivar said he's optimistic that the new wave of fish that moved up right before the event could produce impressive weigh-in action. "I actually was thinking that this tournament was going to be tough overall for everybody, but after seeing what I saw yesterday, I have a feeling that there are going to be some big stringers brought in. I think it's going to take big weights (to be competitive). It wouldn't surprise me if there are some 30-pound bags brought in. It's just a matter of if those fish bite."


Anglers will take off from the Weber Point Event Center, located at 221 North Center Street, Stockton, Calif. Co-angler Rommel Bagay ties a Texas rig as he waits for the day one take-off.at 6:30 each morning. On Thursday and Friday, weigh-ins will be held at the Weber Point Event Center beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Weber Point Event Center. Saturday's weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series ChampionshipPro Ken Mah and co-angler Chris Ricci make their way through boat check. that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

The EverStart Series tournament on the California Delta is being hosted by the Stockton Sports Commission.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:05 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 60 degrees
Expected high temperature: 90 degrees
Wind: W 5-10 mph
Humidity: 30 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-05-05-california-delta 


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