UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Santee Cooper

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 Cherokee Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Cherokee Lake

Targeting spawning smallmouth bass was by far the dominant pattern when the FLW Tour visited Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee in April. With a few exceptions, the top 10 pros targeted various combinations of rock and gravel banks where the fish were bedding. Finesse baits such as shaky heads, Ned rigs and small swimbaits saw the most work. READ MORE »

Cherokee Has Been Good to Jason Bridwell

Cherokee Has Been Good to Jason Bridwell

Jason Bridwell fishes in the Volunteer Division of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League, and his track record on Cherokee, a lake at which he considers himself a local, is nearly spotless, especially after a win in the FLW Tour Marshal program contest. READ MORE »

AOY Update – Cherokee Lake

AOY Update – Cherokee Lake

This year’s FLW Tour Angler of the Year race is hurtling toward one of the most dramatic finishes ever. After finishing 46th at Cherokee Lake, rookie pro Miles “Sonar” Burghoff took advantage of a stumble by Terry Bolton to move into the top spot in the standings. If Burghoff can hold on through the final two events, he’ll be the first rookie since Shinichi Fukae in 2004 to win the AOY award. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Cherokee Lake

Top 10 Baits from Cherokee Lake

The smallmouth bass spawn was on at Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee when the FLW Tour came to town in April. Most of the top pros caught their fish on Ned rigs and shaky heads, as well as swimbaits and jigs. READ MORE »

Upshaw Still Up at Cherokee

Upshaw Still Up at Cherokee

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake featured great fishing again and remarkable consistency from many of the leaders. Still on top, Andrew Upshaw weighed 17 pounds, 14 ounces of smallmouths to up his total to 36-4. In second, Dylan Hays dropped off the pace slightly and weighed 16-11 for a 34-8 total to lurk a bit less than 2 pounds behind Upshaw. Overall, 18 pros weighed more than 16 pounds on day two, and 28 pros have amassed totals over 30 pounds. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Power-fishing tactics with spinnerbaits, jigs, Texas rigs and ChatterBaits on prespawn cover and structure dominated the top 10 at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in April. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

April is transition time in the Tennessee Valley, when bass make their push from prespawn staging areas toward spawning grounds. They set up on rocky banks, shallow points and any kind of wood cover near shore in areas adjacent to spawning pockets. As we saw at the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, some of the best baits for catching bass this time of year are old-school springtime classics: spinnerbaits, jigs, shallow-running crankbaits and Texas rigs. Add in vibrating jigs and wobble-head jigs, and you have about all you need. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Grand Lake has a history of being feast or famine, and it was a lot more famine this past week for the FLW Tour’s fourth stop of the 2019 season, presented by Mercury. Falling water and inconsistent weather made just catching a limit a herculean task, as nearly as many pros didn’t weigh in a fish as brought in a limit every day of the event. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

If you’re going to fish Grand Lake this time of year, you’d better be good with a spinnerbait. The FLW Tour event at Grand Lake last week sure showcased that. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Grand Lake

AOY Update: Grand Lake

Terry Bolton is now more than halfway to his first FLW Tour Angler of the Year title after another top-30 cut at Grand Lake last weekend. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s four top-30 cuts in four events, including two top 10s and his first FLW Tour win. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits From Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits From Chickamauga

Prespawn on Lake Chickamauga usually means a healthy dose of lipless crankbaits and umbrella rigs, so it wasn’t surprising that those were exactly the baits that dominated for the top 10 at the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine on the east Tennessee fishery. Square-bill crankbaits had their place, as did vibrating jigs and a variety of other baits. In the end, though, the common thread connecting many of the anglers in the top 10 was either a trap or a rig. READ MORE »

Stacey Has Big Plans for Marshal Winnings

Stacey Has Big Plans for Marshal Winnings

Holice Stacey has a little more spending money in his pocket after taking home the top prize in the FLW Tour Marshal program contest at Lake Seminole last week — money he plans to pump right back into his passion for fishing. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Crankbaits were the deal on Kentucky Lake during the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing Open. Springtime on the Tennessee River impoundment usually means traditional prespawn tactics, and we saw a bunch of that during the tournament. Anglers in the top 10 relied heavily on lipless and diving crankbaits, as well as umbrella rigs, jigs and jerkbaits.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Like the winning team, many others in the top 10 targeted main-lake points and rock-to-gravel transitions – and pretty much anything that served as a current break. With the wind whipping and the water being drawn down at a rapid pace, there were a couple predominant patterns that developed throughout the event. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Seminole

Prespawn bass were the main storyline for the third stop of the FLW Tour on Lake Seminole presented by Costa. Finding areas that held concentrations of staging bass was vital to fishing all four days and most of the pros rode individual spots to their respective finishes. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

Bryan Thrift’s bomb at the third stop of the FLW Tour on Seminole may ripple through the minds of fans for a while, but the other contenders for Angler of the Year pretty much stayed on fire. In the lead, Terry Bolton banked his second top 10 of the year and padded his lead. Behind him, Scott Martin earned his second top 10 in a row to push him into the runner-up spot as he pursues his second AOY title on Tour. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Vibrating jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastic creature baits, along with a few finesse baits, were the primary tools used to catch prespawn bass from hydrilla beds on Lake Seminole in March. Learn how to put more early spring fish in the boat with the lures used by the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Mead

Top 10 Baits from Lake Mead

Lake Mead fished tough at the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener presented by Ranger Boats. It only took 34 pounds, 12 ounces to win the three-day event, but the top 10 pros somehow figured out the tricky clear-water fishery. Tim Klinger relied on a spinnerbait to get the job done and notch what might be one of his top wins in FLW competition. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Mead

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Mead

A wide variety of patterns was in play early on in the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener presented by Ranger Boats, but one dominant pattern developed throughout the event. Most of the top 10 finishers spent day three targeting prespawn fish in flooded cover in the Overton Arm of Lake Mead. READ MORE »

Toho on YouTube

Toho on YouTube

The second stop of the FLW Tour season on Lake Toho was a big-bass bonanza. Thanks to mandatory POV cameras and marshals, plenty of big bass were caught on camera. Aside from individual catches, pros also documented their practice and tournament days to give the viewer and inside look at how their event unfolded. Below is the full list of videos released by the pros at this point.  READ MORE »