UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Old Hickory Lake

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta
Greg Troughton

Two heavy-hitting days buoyed Gregory Troughton to a 6-pound, 11-ounce lead going into a tough day three in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. The Discovery Bay, Calif., pro stumbled in the final round with a limit of 12-13, but outlasted the field and secured the win with 60-2.

Troughton caught most of his fish by punching a Yamamoto Flappin Hog, but he added a few keepers on a Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jackhammer and a Don Iovino Splash-It popper.

Click here to read the full details of Troughton’s winning pattern.

Read on to learn about the rest of the top 10.

Complete results

 

2. Barrack goes big

Coming into day three in seventh place, Bobby Barrack knew he had a lot of ground to make up, so he pulled out all the stops and sacked up 19-3 – the final round’s heaviest bag – to end up finishing runner-up with 53-7.

A longtime Delta fixture, Barrack recently relocated to Maud, Texas, but flew out west to fish his home away from home.

“September is the trickiest month out here; it’s transition time,” Barrack says. “The nights are getting longer. The water temperature is lower in the morning. Knowing that, I started deep today [Saturday] with a jig.

“The first bite I got was a 5 1/2-pounder, and I thought, ‘OK, here we go.’ But it was just one here, one there.”

After running out of patience at his first stop, Barrack made a 38-mile run to a promising area that delivered a 5, then a 3 1/2 before he lost a difference-maker. He worked both his main spots with a two-pronged attack using a frog and a punch bait. He also threw a 1/2-ounce Dandy Baits Football Jig. Stroking the jig proved most effective.

 

3. Monroe punches his way to third

Fishing his first Delta event in more than a year, California pro Ish Monroe turned in a consistent performance with limit catches of 15-14, 18-9 and 18-8. His efforts landed him in third place with 52-15.

Monroe caught most of his fish punching a Missile Baits D Bomb with a 4/0 River2Sea New Jack Flippin Hook and a River2Sea Trash Bomb tungsten weight. He used 1- and 1 1/2-ounce weights and added a Bub Tosh Paycheck Baits punch skirt with the latter for larger profile.

Specific tackle, Monroe says, was essential to his success, including using the Daiwa Tatula Elite Ish Monroe punch rod.

“It’s an 8-foot rod designed for punching,” he says. “It has the right tip and the right action. I was using 65-pound Maxima braid on a 7:1 Daiwa Steez reel.

“You want something high speed, but not too high. When you get those fish bowed up in that mat, if you have a reel with a gear ratio that’s too high, you can’t turn the handle,” Monroe says. “It’s kind of like going up a hill [in a car]. You want to kick it in low gear, but then when you’re going down the hill you want it in high gear.”

 

4. Mah punches, glides and buzzes

Before the tournament, Elk Grove, Calif., pro Ken Mah predicted a winning weight of about 51 pounds, so he was admittedly surprised to find himself in fourth place after tallying 52-12.

Despite solid limits and a few fish in the 5- to 6-pound range, Mah couldn’t locate those Delta giants so necessary for a winning bag.

“I fish here a lot, and I just wasn’t getting the big bites,” he says. “Greg [Troughton] got two 7-pound bites and a 9-pound bite. Jerred Jennings got three 7s, and that’s why they were 1 and 2 going into day three.”

Mah caught his fish on a 3/8-ounce buzzbait with a gold blade and Zoom Horney Toad trailer, a River2Sea S-Waver glide bait and a punch rig with a Big Bite Baits YoMama.

 

5. Jennings frogs, fishes on top

Stockton, Calif., pro Jerred Jennings took the early lead with a day-one bag that weighed 22-11, but yielded a spot after Troughton’s huge day-two catch overshadowed what was, in fairness, a strong second-round catch of 17-15. Unfortunately, day three confounded Jennings, and a small limit of 10-10 moved him back to fifth with 51-4.

“I kept a punch rod in my hand about 80 percent of the time, but I was able to get some fish on a buzzbait and some fish on a frog,” Jennings says. “It’s typical September out here: Your bigger fish are going to come in the grass or in the mats, and if you get lucky, you get one on topwater.

“The tide got later every day, and I knew I’d struggle the last day. I fished some areas that I’d fished in practice but I didn’t fish the first two days. It just didn’t work out.”

 

6. Cordiale punches to sixth

Jason Cordiale of Orinda, Calif., placed sixth on day one 19-8, dropped to 10th on day two after adding 14-7, but regained the No. 6 spot in the final round when his limit of 17-3 gave him a tournament total of 51-2. Punching with a Reaction Innovations Kinky Beaver accounted for all of his fish.

Cordiale’s game plan required patience, as the day’s high, outgoing water made him wait for what he wanted.

“I was chasing a low tide, so it didn’t happen ’til the end of the day,” he says. “With a high tide almost all day, it was always an afternoon bite for me.”

 

7. Nourot takes AOY title

The day-three blues caught up with Nick Nourot, but the overall picture turned out quite nicely for the Benicia, Calif., pro. A 19-pound, 12-ounce bag on day one put him in fourth place, and adding 18-3 the next day bumped him up to third. In the final round, Nourot found only 12-10 and ended up seventh with a tournament total of 50-9. His performance secured the Western Division Strike King Angler of the Year title.

“I’m shocked that I actually won it,” Nourot says of AOY. “On day two, I was asking my friends to add up the points.

“I fished totally different on day three because my goal was to win Angler of the Year. I knew I needed to finish in the top-10, and I’d already done that, so I went for a big bag.”

The first two days, Nourot caught all of his fish punching with 1- and 1 1/4-ounce weights. He also punched on day three, but added keepers on a frog and a wacky-rigged finesse worm.

 

8. Cloutier adjusts, takes eighth

Nicholas Cloutier of Oakley, Calif., spent two days milking a highly productive stretch of vegetation on which he had won a local tournament a few weeks prior. On day three, the spot finally ran out of gas, and he had to move.

“I ran up north and found this spot, and when we rolled up there, I was like, ‘There’s a 6, there’s a 5, there’s a 4. Let’s figure it out,’” he says. “My co-angler got most of them, but I got some.”

The first two days, Cloutier stuck with punching grass. In the final round, he caught his fish on a 1/2-ounce Cloutier Custom bladed jig with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver trailer and a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko.

 

9. Grover goes with the bladed jig

Kyle Grover of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., compiled weights of 16-13, 17-5 and 11-8 to place ninth with 45-10. After two good days in his main area, Grover struggled on day three and had to scramble around for his limit.

“I caught them in there on day two, but you could tell it was getting dry,” he says. “I couldn’t get bit in there. The birds weren’t working. I just think I caught too many.

“I caught one punching on day two, and around noon on day three I went to my punch stuff. I caught all my weight after 12:30.”

Grover caught his fish on a Ladies Man bladed jig and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.

 

10. Slow final day drops McKay to 10th

A tough final round left Jeremy McKay with only three keepers for 4-14, giving him a 10th-place total of 39-15.

“My spot was starting to dry up, so I made a long run that didn’t pan out. I came back south and tried to punch for a big bite, but it didn’t happen,” McKay says.

A Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with a 1 1/2-ounce tungsten weight produced all of McKay’s fish.

Tags: david-a-brown-and-jesse-schultz  post-tournament  2018-09-27-california-delta 

Top 10 Patterns from Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Chickamauga

When you put one of the largest and most talented fields of bass anglers on one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country, big things are bound to happen. The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga became a battle between shallow and deep, with pros on either side catching big stringers of giant bass. Here's how they did it. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Chickamauga

When so many anglers are throwing similar baits and running similar patterns, doing something a little different can be quite the advantage. Sure enough, the pros who made the top 10 at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga all had techniques or tactics of their own to set themselves apart. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Eufaula

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Eufaula

Josh Stracner won the 2020 Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Eufaula by fishing offshore. He targeted deep ledges in the mid-lake area for two days before switching to brush piles in 12 to 15 feet on the final day when a front moved through and replaced still, sunny conditions with wind and overcast skies. The rest of the top 10, with one exception, also fished offshore in what turned out to be a pretty typical June ledge-fishing tournament.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Eufaula

Top 10 Baits from Lake Eufaula

June on Eufaula is ledge season. Well, mostly. Nine of the top 10 in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event at Eufaula fished offshore, but targets included ledges, brush piles, standing timber and some “in-between” offshore structure where bass stopped in transition from the bank to out deep. One pro even fished exclusively shallow. Here are the baits they used to make the cut. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Pickwick

Top 10 Patterns from Pickwick

Pickwick Lake greeted Toyota Series anglers with high, stained water and stronger than normal current last week. While the last week of May usually means fishing to depths of 25 feet on Pickwick, some anglers felt Pickwick’s bass were a little behind in their summer migration to the deep ledges. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Pickwick

Top 10 Baits from Pickwick

From shallow bars to deep ledges, the offshore bite on Pickwick was the deal for the majority of the field in second stop of the Toyota Series Central Division. Because the offshore bite reigned supreme, it’s no surprise that the lures thrown by the top 10 pros were standard issue for the Tennessee River this time of year. READ MORE »

Vlog: Becker's 3 Patterns from Martin

Vlog: Becker's 3 Patterns from Martin

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Matt Becker recently shared a great video that details the three patterns he used to earn a fourth-place finish at the season’s third stop on Lake Martin. Becker, who’s currently second in the Angler of the Year race, caught both largemouth and spotted bass and capitalized on a variety of tactics for a top finish. His patterns included targeting staging and spawning spotted bass on shoals, skipping docks and sight-fishing for spawning largemouths.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Martin

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Martin

Spotted bass dominated the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Lake Martin, but they didn’t win it. Sure, the sheer abundance of spotted bass in Martin left most pros’ thumbs bloody and raw from catching so many fish. Yet, it was the key largemouth that really separated the field, and what helped Jason Abram earn his first victory. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Bites were easy to come by at Lake Martin. It was getting the quality bites that separated the field. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Though the total weights didn’t live up to some expectations, the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee was still a lot of fun. The weather was great, there were plenty of fish caught the first two days, and there was a truly dramatic race for the win on the final day. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Hartwell

Because of high water and cooler conditions, bass on Lake Hartwell haven’t quite gotten fully into the mood to spawn. During the Toyota Series Eastern Division opener on Lake Hartwell, there were plenty of shallow fish to be had, but catching them wasn’t as simple as finding one pattern or one primary bait. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Hartwell

Early March on Lake Hartwell can be feast or famine. The bite often depends on weather patterns, as both largemouth and spotted bass are staging before the spawn. MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Marty Robinson pulled off a wire-to-wire win, but the victory wasn’t easy. The final field of 10 contained a lot of local knowledge and experienced anglers who were ready to knock Robinson off should he falter. Here’s a look at how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their paychecks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

In February, with water temperatures in the high 40s, no one expected a fast and furious bite during the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. What everyone hoped for was quality fish. There were two 10-pound-plus bass brought to the weigh-in stand, but it appeared consistency was the name of the game, at least for the winner, Jim Neece Jr. of Bristol, Tenn.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

In past FLW events on the chain, the grass was best in Griffin and Harris, but this time Dora, Beauclair, Eustis and Harris provided most of the top bags. Targeting hydrilla, eelgrass and hard spots, prespawn and postspawn fish were the focus for the vast majority of the top schools. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

It was February, so low temperatures were the norm for the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Water temperatures were in the high 40s, which meant the bass were generally not overly aggressive or active. Not all, but most fish were taken in shallow water where the bass were moving up to feed and/or take advantage of warmer, shallower water. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Between cold fronts and pressure, the Harris Chain has been a tough nut to crack, yet the top teams in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance got it done with a combination of plastic and hard baits. Certainly, the teams learned a thing or two from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event held the week prior on the chain, but you still can never go wrong with a Texas-rigged worm, vibrating jig or lipless crankbait in Florida. READ MORE »

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Warren “Butch” Kritsberg has only lived in Florida for a few years, and he’s still learning a lot about fishing the Harris Chain of Lakes. Fortunately, he now has a lot of new intel about where and how to catch giants after riding along with Laramy Strickland on the second tournament day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event, which was presented by Bad Boy Mowers. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Each day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes was markedly different from the day prior. Most of the field struggled a bit, and the final 30 anglers were left scrambling to figure out how to find and catch fish in the post-frontal conditions that are often so detrimental for Florida largemouths.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

At Florida’s Harris Chain, in late winter, it’s a good bet the same handful of baits are going to produce more than any others, from Lake Harris down to Apopka. During the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on the Harris Chain, presented by Bad Boy Mowers, it was Texas rigs with black and blue plastics, jerkbaits, Carolina rigs and a few other moving baits that most often got the call.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

The Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River potentially missed some stellar fishing opportunities. Despite being the time of year when big green fish start to move up to the banks en masse to spawn, changing weather conditions and multiple cold fronts kept fish coming and going all week, opening small windows on which pros and co-anglers needed to capitalize. READ MORE »