UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Tour - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Will Hawgs Show up at the Cal Delta?

Will Hawgs Show up at the Cal Delta?

The Costa FLW Series Western Division regular season will come to a close in late September with the California Delta event launching from Russo’s Marina in Bethel Island, Calif. The Delta, known for the mammoth largemouths that hide in its abundant vegetation, has the potential to send the Western Division out with a bang ahead of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Nov. 1.

A tidal fishery consisting of canals, islands and levees, the Cal Delta is a big-bass factory for those who know how to attack its constantly changing conditions, though the tidal fluctuations can be make-or-break for the inexperienced or stubborn. At its core, the Delta is like many fisheries in California: a venue capable of producing a lot of 20-plus-pound bags.

 

The lay of the water

The Cal Delta is loaded with vegetation and structure, both manmade and otherwise. With a handful of grasses, rock levees, docks, roadbeds and current, anglers have opportunities to fish nearly endless patterns at a somewhat tricky time of year for bass fishing.

The Cal Delta stop for the Western Division is almost always a May event, and the change in scheduling this year could be a curveball for anglers used to hammering largemouths over on Clear Lake this time of year – not that the Delta isn’t capable of producing monster bags in the fall, or any other time of year, for that matter.

Still, the fishing could prove to be tougher than many expect, especially if the abundant grass on the Delta has begun to wane below its summer peak.

 

Pregame speculation

“From what I’ve been hearing from some local friends of mine that live in that area, fishing has been actually tough, and a lot of that has to do this year with them spraying the grass pretty aggressively,” Western Division Angler of the Year points leader Joe Uribe Jr. said on a recent episode of the FLW Podcast. “A lot of the areas that a lot of us anglers like to go to, kind of our local honey holes, they’re kind of changed up. There’s no grass there.”

The odd time in the season and a potential reduction in good vegetation due to spraying and natural life cycles could mean smaller limits than we’d otherwise expect to see on a fishery like the Delta. Uribe expects it might only take about 15 pounds per day to make the cut.

On the other hand, and as Uribe points out, “any cast at that place could be a giant.”

If someone is able to crack the code and land more than just one giant, a 60-plus-pound total might take home the top prize.

 

Tournament tactics

Past Costa FLW Series events at the Cal Delta have almost always taken place in May, when spawners and postspawners are both generally in play. Now, as bass are as spread out as perhaps they will be all year, nearly limitless tactics will be possible. This tournament could be won just as easily in shallow water with a crankbait (as was the case when Hunter Schlander won the event in May 2017) as it could be with finesse tactics such as drop-shotting and wacky rigging.

The key will undoubtedly be knowing how to dissect the tides and find a pattern that works each day based on tidal conditions.

“You’ve got to have obviously the right ingredients there,” says Uribe. “The tide’s always a factor.”

The angler who best manages the changing tidal conditions – and maybe finds a giant or two along the way – is the angler who has the best chance to snag a victory on the Delta.

 

What’s it gonna take?

Uribe believes it might only take 15 pounds per day to make the top 10 at the Delta. That might very well be true, but there’s always the potential for bass in the 8- or 9-pound range to tip the scale and produce multiple 20-pound bags.

Schlander won with 57-1 last year. In 2016 it took 60-1 from Charley Almassey, and the year prior it took 61-13 from Wade Curtiss to win. Of course, all three of those tournaments took place in May.

Twenty pounds per day is possible – and would very likely win at the Delta this year – but it seems reasonable to temper expectations, if only a little, given the time of year for this event.

 

The Angler of the Year race

Both Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year are up for grabs in the Western Division, and it comes as no surprise that the name “Uribe” tops the list on the pro side heading into the final event of the season. What might come as a surprise, though, is that “Uribe” appears at the top of both lists.

Joe Uribe Jr. leads on the pro side after an eighth-place finish at Lake Havasu in February and a third-place finish at Clear Lake in May. His 491 points put him 11 points ahead of Nick Nourot and 14 points ahead of Justin Kerr.

On the co-angler side, Joe’s sister, Rachel Uribe, paces the co-angler field with 476 points following a pair of 13th-place finishes at Havasu and Clear Lake. She’s two points ahead of Ralph Wells and 13 points ahead of Joseph Cunningham.

There’s enough of a logjam atop both leaderboards to make for an interesting tournament, but don’t be surprised to see the Uribes finish the job with another impressive one-two punch on the Delta.

 

AOY top 10

1. Joe Uribe Jr. – 491 points

2. Nick Nourot – 480

3. Justin Kerr – 477

4. Sean Minderman – 476

5. Blake Dyer – 476

6. Cody Murray – 467

7. Carl Limbrick Jr. – 464

8. Marty Lawrence – 457

9. Jason Borofka – 449

10. Jason Milligan – 448

 

COY top 10

1. Rachel Uribe – 476 points

2. Ralph Wells – 474

3. Joseph Cunningham – 463            

4. Jacob Traba – 458              

5. Txawjtas Tas Moua – 452

6. David Swendseid – 452

7. David Zavvar – 452

8. Tony Zanotelli – 444

9. Kirk Beardsley – 438

10. Barry McCoy – 436

 

Tournament details

Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner in each division determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7 a.m. PT

Takeoff Location: Russo’s Marina, 3995 Willow Road, Bethel Island, CA

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. PT

Weigh-In Location: Russo’s Marina

Complete details 

 

Tags: justin-onslow  pre-tournament  2018-09-27-california-delta 

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live is back for the season finale of the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain. The event, which is presented by T-H Marine and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau runs Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30. READ MORE »

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Living about as far as possible from Champlain, Wade Strelic is looking to finish his rookie season strong at the FLW Tour finale. Hailing from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego, Strelic is sitting 28th in points and has made the check cut in three out of six events so far – another good derby will lock him in to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Ron Nelson is easily in the group of favorites in the event and a bonafide Northern expert, so I was eager to hop in the boat for a morning with the smallie snatcher. Champlain isn’t fishing quite like it was the years he won, but Nelson is still guaranteed to have a lot of eyes on him come day one. READ MORE »

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is a giant of a lake. It stretches 100-plus miles from its beginning down south at Whitehall, N.Y., and runs all the way up to the Canadian border between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Though the competitors aren’t allowed to venture into Canada, there is still plenty for anglers to break down for the final event of the 2019 FLW Tour season. READ MORE »

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

This week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir touching Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama pulls double duty for a joint production of the High School Fishing National Championship (Wednesday-Friday) and the 10th annual Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals (Wednesday-Saturday). READ MORE »

Review: Jackson Kayak Bite

Review: Jackson Kayak Bite

In the burgeoning fishing kayak market, there’s still a pretty large gap, on the whole, between entry-level boats (think $500 or less) and the top end of the market. It’s hard to find a really good kayak that blends quality, stability and affordability for anything less than $1,000. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

Champlain is such a fun location for a tournament in large part because of the unpredictability involved. Nelson winning last year’s Costa FLW Series tilt with all smallmouths was something of a surprise, but given the conditions, it made plenty of sense. Exactly what will go down this year is legitimately up in the air. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

The 2019 FLW Tour season comes to a close later this month on Lake Champlain, a lake that just about guarantees a fun finish and lots of smallmouths. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

In today’s morning story, James Biggs made several predictions for the first day of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Based on what our media team saw this morning, Biggs’ predictions are basically spot on. Two-thirds of the field is fishing up shallow, and there aren't many big bass to speak of. READ MORE »

High Water, Good Fishing at Rayburn

High Water, Good Fishing at Rayburn

Thanks to Mother Nature, the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division, which was originally scheduled to take place on Grand Lake, will now take place at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Rayburn was supposed to host the division finale, but extreme high water on Grand forced the swap. The tournament, which is presented by Mercury Marine, kicks off on Thursday. READ MORE »

FLW Live for College Championship

FLW Live for College Championship

This week FLW Live is back for the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River. The event, which is presented by Lowrance and hosted by The Commissioners of Charles County, Md., and Dept. of Recreation, Parks & Tourism, runs Tuesday, June 4 through Thursday, June 6. READ MORE »

Breaking Down the All-American Field

Breaking Down the All-American Field

When the anglers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American start competition on the Potomac they’ll be up against the absolute cream of the crop of FLW’s grassroots ranks. READ MORE »

Previewing the Potomac

Previewing the Potomac

Just two days separate the final day of the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American and the start of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship, both on the Potomac River. Given the time of year the pair of tournaments land on the fishing calendar, it’s fair to expect some big things from both events. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Fishing pressure and a cold front have shut down the bite at Table Rock Lake for stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division season. The lake's largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are not coming easy. READ MORE »

Young Wins Marshal Contest, Saves a Life

Young Wins Marshal Contest, Saves a Life

John Young of Canal Winchester, Ohio, walked away from his first-ever visit to Lake Chickamauga with $2,500. Perhaps more importantly, he left with a story he and his day-two angler, J Todd Tucker, will never forget. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

The timing of the FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga was both a curse and a blessing for the top 10 finishers. There were plenty of fish to be had – and on a multitude of patterns – but the big double-digit females Chick is known for were hard to track down. READ MORE »

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division should shape up to be quite the catchfest. Coming off of the division opener on Kentucky Lake, where pros were challenged with tough fishing, this week’s event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, should be stellar in terms of both numbers and quality of fish.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Cox Comes from Behind on Chickamauga

Cox Comes from Behind on Chickamauga

Weighing the biggest bag of the final day, John Cox moved from third to first to take the win in the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Lake Chickamauga. Buoyed by two very late kickers, Cox put 21 pounds even on the scale on day four for an 83-9 total. Behind him, Buddy Gross nearly pulled off the comeback win on his home lake, tallying 81-14 on the week. With the win, Cox takes home $100,000 plus contingencies, and also moves into the Angler of the Year lead with just one event left. READ MORE »