UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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Parra pounds 'em on Cal Delta

With the only bag of 30-plus, Eric Parra took the day-one lead on the Cal Delta.

OAKLEY, Calif. - Tidal fisheries can prove profoundly perplexing, but Eric Parra offered a lesson in leveraging ebb and flow to his advantage as he sacked up a huge limit to grab the day-one lead at the FLW EverStart Series Western Division event on the California Delta.

Galt, Calif. pro caught 31 pounds, 8 ounces - the day's only weight with a 3 at the front end - and established a lead of 4-3 going into day two. Parra's leading sack included a 10-pound, 5-ounce toad that tied with 9th place pro Richard Dobyns for Snickers Big Bass.

"I found one group of big fish in one area about 200 yards long and they were there this morning," ParraEric Parra caught his fish by throwing a black and blue Senko toward the drains of a Delta pond. said. "I'm just going back and forth. We spent the whole day there."

Parra said the fish he targeted were all fat prespawners staging just outside of where they'll soon do the nesting routine. The black and blue Texas-rigged Senko he threw probably resembled the bluegill these fish would certainly prey upon this time of year.

The sweet spot, Parra said, was outside of a pond and once the morning's high tide started falling, the spot went off in a big way. Understanding what was happening and positioning accordingly was essential to his success.

"When the water starts coming out of the pond, the fish sit outside of (the drains), in the current," he said. "I'd throw that Senko of in there and they'd eat it before it hit the bottom.

"The fish were aggressive right before it peaked at the high tide. Once the tide turned, it slowed down a little bit, but about an hour into that high outgoing it started to get good again. That moving water was definitely the thing."

Michels slows down for second
After his reaction bite fizzled, Jeff Michels picked up his Senko rod and sacked up the second-place limit.His early efforts to establish a reaction bite faltered, but once Lakehead, Calif. pro Jeff Michels dialed in what the fish wanted around 10 a.m., it was nearly non-stop action the rest of his day. The move netted Michels the second-place spot with 27-5.

"I was throwing an Alabama rig (with 5-inch Mothers Finest swimbaits) for three hours this morning and got one big bite that I missed," he said. "Then I just started pitching Senkos to tules and caught all of my fish on Senkos."

Michels wacky-rigged his watermelon/red flake Senkos. He said that matching a tactic to the current conditions was the key to his success.

"The water's still not really warm so the fish are kind of sluggish," Michels said. "This is just a really slow presentation and that's just what they want. As soon as we started flipping Senkos we caught fish all day. The last hour, the tide dropped out on us and we weren't getting a bunch, but until that happened we caught fish the whole time."



Hawk takes third

Roy Hawk, of Salt Lake City, Utah put together a strong limit of 25-2 and took the third-place spot on dayUtah pro Roy Hawk weighed 25-2 on day one. one. He fished mostly in two to six feet of water and targeted a mix of habitat. Hawk fished reaction baits and flipped with a Pepper Punch, a skirted tungsten weight, atop a Texas-rigged Yamamoto creature bait.

"I was just covering water," Hawk said. "I didn't get a lot of bites; I caught maybe 10 bass all day. I just caught a couple of nice ones and that makes all the difference."

Although he couldn't divulge the key details of his pattern, Hawk said that he did a lot of moving to stay on the right combination of tide stage and current. Overall, he said his performance exceeded his expectations.

"Throughout practice, I'd usually catch one good one each day - like a 7- or 8-pounder," Hawk said. "Today was a little better than my practice when I had right around 20 pounds each day."

Carpenter on the run for fourth

Shallow water and thick weeds was the right combination for fourth-place pro Brian Carpenter.He described his strategy as one of running and gunning, but local pro Brian Carpenter stopped often enough to find the quality fish he needed for a fourth-place bag weighing 24-4. The Bethel Island angler caught his fish on reaction baits, jigs and punch rigs.

"I was looking for low tide and thick weeds," Carpenter said.

Bryant Smith, of Castro Valley, Calif. placed fifth with 23-14.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Cal Delta event:

6th: Alex Sanchez, of Manteca, Calif., 23-5
7th: Mike Folkestead, of Orange, Calif., 22-9
8th: Paul Tilton, of Oroville, Calif., 22-6
9th: Richard Dobyns, of Yuba City, Calif., 21-15
10th: Phillip Dutra, of Antioch, Calif., 21-14
10th: Steven Yee, of Sacramento, Calif., 21-14

Senkos send Bottini to co-angler lead

Paired with second-place pro Jeff Michels, Ryan Bottini, of Benicia, Calif. also found a great Senko biteFishing Senkos slowly gave Ryan Bottini the co-angler lead with 25-10. and caught 25-10 to top the co-angler division.

"We found about a mile stretch of sparse tules that were pretty shallow and that was where we caught them," Bottini said. "I tried all kind of stuff at first and then I caught an 8-pounder on a Senko about 10 o'clock and stuck with it all day."

A slow presentation was essential to Bottini's success. "The big ones were just hitting it on the drop. I wasn't feeling the bite; I was just watching the line swim out to the deeper water."

Notably, second place co-angler, Nick Nourot rooms with Bottini in Benicia. Nourot sacked up a limit of 23-14 and trails the lead by 1-12.

Tai Au, of Gilbert, Ariz. placed third with 20-3, while Tom Elliott, of Downey, Calif. took fourth with 19-5. James Tate, of Calabasas, Calif. was fifth with 17-13.

Best of the rest

Eighth-place co-angler Aaron Agner caught the largest bass of day one - a 10-pound, 13-ouncer.Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Cal Delta event:

6th: Steve Biechman, of Redding, Calif., 16-15
7th: Carl Limbrick Jr., of Bonita, Calif., 16-14
8th: Aaron Agner, of Anderson, Calif., 16-12
9th: Spencer Moran, of Carmel, Calif., 16-5
10th: Rick Davis, of Ramona, Calif., 15-11

Agner took the Snickers Big Bass award on the co-angler side with his 10-13 (heaviest fish of day one).

Day two of EverStart Series Western Division action on the Cal Delta continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Pacific) at Russo's Marina, located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2012-03-29-california-delta 

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