UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Mitchell

Top 5 Patterns From the Cal Delta – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns From the Cal Delta – Day 1

A key flipping bite from a 7-pound, 9-ounce bass anchored a day-one catch of 22-11 for Jerred Jennings, who leads the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on the California Delta.

Flipping and punching beaver-style baits with 3/4- to 1-ounce weights were his primary techniques, but Jennings also caught fish on a frog and a buzzbait.

Here’s how the rest of the top five opened the tournament.

 

2. Gregory Troughton – Discovery Bay, Calif. – 22-7 (5)

Trailing the lead by only 4 ounces, Gregory Troughton’s limit of 22-7 included a 6-13, which probably would’ve broken 7 pounds had it not coughed up a hefty bluegill in the livewell. Though the regurgitation was frustrating, the forage was indicative of the fertile area in which Troughton fished.

“There’s a lot of bluegill in the area I’m fishing, a lot of crawdads, a lot of fresh grass and wood. It’s a lively area,” he says. “Pretty much one area produced the bigger fish. I fished really slow and hard the whole day.”

Finding healthy hydrilla was the key element for Troughton’s productive spots, but that’s easier said than done. Signs of herbicide treatments are visible throughout much of the Delta, both in the brown, dying hyacinth rafts and the noticeable absence of submerged aquatic vegetation.

“It’s very hard to find hydrilla, and I spent a lot of time looking for the right stuff,” he says.

Troughton caught his fish flipping, punching, wacky-rigging Yamamoto Senkos and throwing poppers. His big fish ate around 10:30 this morning.

 

3. Robert Nakatomi – Sacramento, Calif. – 21-13 (5)

With one bass going 6-6 and another in the 5-pound range, Robert Nakatomi’s day-one catch of 21-13 has him in third place. He says he fished the places where he’d found fish in practice, but the fish grew today.

“I was looking to get 2 1/2- to 3-pounders, and I got two big bites, which are crucial right now,” Nakatomi says.

He ran the tide to stay on the last half of the outgoing cycle. During this window, he targeted fish positioned for feeding on the falling water. Hitting 15 to 20 spots, Nakatomi threw a mix of baits, with his best bites coming on a ChatterBait, spinnerbait and a River2Sea S-Waver.

“The right spots had to have a combination of cover – tules, weeds and some rock,” he says. “It just seemed that a combination of the three covers is what they wanted.”

 

4. Nick Nourot – Benicia, Calif. – 19-12 (5)

Mobility and timing were intrinsic to Nick Nourot’s productivity, as the California pro sacked up 19-2 and placed third. A 6-pounder buoyed his weight.

“You can literally be in a spot, and with the clear water, you won’t see anything, but you come back two hours later and they’re swimming all around the boat,” he says. “So, running the tides to be exactly at the right place at the right time is the most important thing.

“I fished 10 different areas, and I started the big motor 30 to 50 times. When they’re not biting, you don’t stand a chance.”

Keying on the high to mid-outgoing stage, Nourot says he caught fish on a worm and he flipped. His biggest fish bit around 10 a.m.

 

5. Ken Mah – Elk Grove, Calif. – 19-9 (5)

Executing on a well-conceived game plan paid big dividends for Delta stick Ken Mah, whose 19-9 has him in fifth place. He started off making a long run from takeoff and getting on a solid mix of topwater and flipping action early.

“Going into this tournament, I wanted to get freed up, so to speak, so my goal was to get 13 to 14 pounds early and then try to upgrade,” Mah says. “Getting that bag early today allowed me to take some chances and hit some home runs. I was really head-hunting for one big fish, and I was fortunate enough to get a 5 1/2-pounder late in the day.”

Mah caught his fish on a mix of flipping, cranking and topwater baits. His late-day kicker bit a flipping bait.

 

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