UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

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Delta delivers dim, dreary day

Delta delivers dim, dreary day
Overcast skies and cooler weather greeted anglers on day one of the EverStart Western Division tournament on the Cal Delta.

OAKLEY, Calif. - After several weeks of mostly warm, sunny conditions, day one of the EverStart Series Western Division tournament on the California Delta brought overcast skies and about a 15-degree temperature drop. As cold fronts go, this late-season deal is relatively minor. Nevertheless, it will change the game enough to merit strategic considerations.

The drop in air temperature won't drastically affect the more important water temperature and few anglers will bother with gloves. The biggest factor will be the dimming effect of the overcast skies throughout most of the day.

Roy Desmangles, Jr., who won the Delta event's co-angler division in 2006 and 2009, said he expects the day-one conditions to diminish some options, while expanding others: "I think this weather might hurt the guys who were punching the mats. Weather like this makes the fish want toCalifornia pro Ken Mah hopes today come out from under the mats, so I think moving baits will be effective."

California pro Ken Mah agrees and notes that he's hoping the clouds and windy conditions actually spur reluctant fish into brash behavior.

"I think the fish will probably be more aggressive," Mah said. "I'm going to switch to some bigger baits - stuff that I was getting fish to look at in practice; I'm hoping that they will eat today because of the low light."

Throughout this vast ecosystem, Delta anglers will find fish from prespawn all the way to late post-spawn. Mah said he'll target the prespawn-to-spawn fish and throw a mix of jointed swimbaits and crankbaits.

Crankbaits and chatterbaits will comprise Tuan NguyenTuan Nguyen, of Woodland, Calif. said the topwater bite he was on in practice will probably take a backseat to more reaction baits. He's planning to split most of his time between crankbaits and chatterbaits.

"I'm happy to see the wind and the clouds come in because I think that's going to help my bite," he said. "I'm looking for fresh grass. This winter, a lot of the grass died off. The fresh grass is (scattered) on the Delta right now, but I was able to find a few stretches where I was able to catch fish on rip-rap banks with fresh grass."

Other likely producers include the iconic wacky-rigged Senko, swim jigs, dropshots and hollow body frogs. Paired Mah today, co-angler Zak Elrite said he caught practice fish on the new River2Sea Spittin' Wa 65. The bait's cupped face produces the kind of surface disturbance that attracts attention in conditions of low visibility.

The Delta's tidal habitat always presents another level of variables that anglers must consider. Fluctuating water levels position baitfish and predators, but sitting on a spot all day just doesn't work here. Some anglers want high water to push fish into shoreline shallows, while others may work patterns that benefit from falling tides, which pull fish to the edges of certain habitats.

On the flipside, the Delta's enormous range affords anglers plenty of opportunity to stay with aJeff Michels will spend much of his day fishing over grass and a swim jig will be one of his main baits. productive scenario. It's called "running the tide" - you find a stage that's producing bites and when the action dwindles with rising or falling water, you simply move up or down the tidal range to find the same scenario in different locations.

For example, Jeff Michels, of Lakehead, Calif. said he expects his best action during the last hour and a half of the incoming and the same time range of the outgoing. He'll rely mainly on a swim jig to tempt bass that feed with the water flow

"When the water's moving, I want to find clumpy grass with holes in it and if there are scattered tules in it, that's even better," he said. "I'm just going to throw reaction baits over the top of the grass and through the tules and hope to get a couple big bites. They'll just sit down in those holes, and as the tide comes past them, the fish are little more susceptible."

Logistics

When co-angler Zak Elrite finds himself around hydrilla, he will throw the new River2Sea SpittinAnglers will take off from Russo's Marina, located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif. at 7:00 each morning. Weigh-ins will be held each day at the take off site beginning at 3:00 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury 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 Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

The EverStart Series tournament on the California Delta is being hosted by Hook, Line & Sinker of The large profile of a jointed swimbait should prove effective at tempting bass in todayOakley, Calif.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the EverStart Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

Thursday's conditions:

An iconic Delta bait, the wacky-rigged Senko will likely produce plenty of bass today.Sunrise: 6:56 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 60 degrees
Expected high temperature: 70 degrees
Water Temperature: 74-76 degrees
Wind: W 10-15 mph
Humidity: 55 percent
Day's outlook: Overcast to partly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2013-05-16-california-delta 

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