UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

High tide on the Delta

High tide on the Delta
A flaming sunrise bespoke the bright, hot conditions on tap for day one.

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. - Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing - or, at least, a challenging thing. Gotta have water to fish and current generally stimulates fish, but this week's tide schedule may prove perplexing for Rayovac FLW Series Western Division anglers on the California Delta.

This massive aqueous network collects California's Central Valley drainage and funnels it into the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, which converge and make their way out to San Francisco Bay. This coastal connection makes the Delta a tidal fishery with daily ebb and flow bearing great impact on access and fish positioning.A big moon hung over Russo

Quick snapshot:

• Rising tides flood the shorelines and allow bass to push farther into the tules, hyacinth mats and other shallow cover, while outgoing water drains the shallows and pulls fish to the outer edges of vegetation or the nearby channels.

• Water moving up or down positions baitfish, so predators tend to feed more aggressively once an incoming or outgoing tide gains momentum.

• Bass are generally more relaxed with high water over their backs, but they become increasingly wary as the water falls.

• Incoming tides are generally murkier, while outgoing water - filtered by the vegetation - usually runs clearer.

California pro Zack Thompson will try to coax a big bite with a wake bait.The week's big moon phase (full last night) has delivered the usual round of strong tides. For all three days of the tournament, anglers will face super-high morning tides and afternoon lows falling below the mean low tide level (aka "negative tides"). Translation: Lots of water in the early morning followed by outgoing cycles with screaming current for most of the day.

This morning saw a high tide of 3.62 feet near the tournament site on Frank's Tract about an hour before the 6 a.m. takeoff. The water will fall to -0.36 feet by 12:43. Exact levels and schedules vary Throughout the Delta, but the common theme of early high water and huge outgoing cycles will run fairly consistent.

Depending on their check-in times, anglers will catch an hour or two of today's afternoon incoming cycle. However, because tides advance a little less than an hour each day, day two will offer less incoming tide and day three will lose that chapter entirely.

On the upside, California pro Jimmy Reese said the Delta region has seen a warming trend that Delta veteran Ken Mah hopes his Luckycraft crankbait tempts some quality fish.should encourage the remaining spawners to get shallow and do their thing.

"We've already seen the first big wave of fish spawn, but there's still a lot of prespawn fish looking to move up," Reese said. "This warmer weather has them ready but the ones I saw in practice weren't locked down anywhere; they're still pretty skittish."

Reese said he'll take advantage of the higher water to fish likely spawning areas while the fish are less wary. On the lower stages, he'll go sight fishing.

Today will see extremely hot conditions with minimal wind, so it'll be a scorcher. Here's a look at some of the tactics anglers will employ:

Zack Thompson: Looking mainly for post-spawn bass, he's committed to a topwater assault with a frog, buzz toad and a wakebait.

Matt Newman will employ a 1-2 punch of buzz toads and topwater frogs.Ken Mah: Expecting a mix of prespawn, spawn and postspawn fish, he'll try to grab an early limit on a crankbait and then look for bigger fish in the afternoon by punching mats and throwing big topwaters.

Matt Newman: Leveraging the abundance of fry (newly hatched bass), the rod builder from Agoura Hills, Calif. will use a buzz toad to cover water, scatter fry and thereby locate the bass guarding them. He'll then focus on the area with a topwater frog.

James Tate: The California co-angler, won his division on the Delta in 2012. He'll focus his efforts on outside grass lines with a Senko, a dropshot and a frog.

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Russo's Marina located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif., at 6 John Billheimer readies his scale and cull tags for a day of Delta action. a.m. daily. Weigh-ins will be held at the launch site beginning at 2 p.m. each day. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C 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 Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala.

Competitors make their way to the take-off point.The Rayovac FLW Series tournament on the California Delta is being hosted by Hook Line & Sinker, Sugar Barge RV Resort & Marina, Providence Eatery, Black Bear Restaurant and Russo's Marina.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 5:55 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 68 degrees
Expected high temperature: 96 degrees
Water temperature: 67-71 degrees
Wind: W 5-10 mph
Day's outlook: Mostly sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2014-05-15-california-delta 

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

The cold front that moved through northeast Florida last week shut down the fishing on the St. Johns River in a big way, just as bass were starting to move up to the banks to begin spawning. With the weather that came through, many of those fish pulled back off the bank to wait for more stable conditions. Fortunately, stability arrived this week in the form of warmer weather, but it remains to be seen if those three or four days of warm, stable conditions are going to be enough to get fish back up on beds. For now, it’s safe to assume anglers are going to have to be adaptable over the next few days in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. READ MORE »

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

It’s been nearly six years since the Toyota Series has been to Toledo Bend, but this week the Sabine River impoundment takes center stage to kick off the Southwestern Division season. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta featured all the typical Delta tactics. Punching, vibrating jigs, finesse and even a frog made an appearance in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta had a lot of punching as usual, but it was far from the only thing going. Due to the lush grass and windy and touch conditions, vibrating jigs and finesse played a big role as well. READ MORE »

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta, Jack Farage totaled 37-2 to edge ahead of Cesar Laguna for the co-angler win. The win is Farage's fourth as a co-angler at the FLW Series level and he took home a brand new Ranger boat because of it.  READ MORE »

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Blake Dyer set the pace on day one with a 27-pound, 3-ounce bag and he never relinquished the lead in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Weighing 15-8 on the final day, Dyer totaled 62-13 to stay ahead of a final-day charge from Jason Borofka. For his win, which is his first with FLW, Dyer takes home $31,114 and a trophy that will last forever. READ MORE »