UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

The Cal Delta is Looking Good
Greg Troughton

This week the Costa FLW Series Western Division will conclude with the final event of the season on the California Delta. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, should showcase a different side of the Delta, given that most of the Western Division tournaments on the famed fishery take place in the spring. That said, last year’s event on the Delta fell on nearly identical dates as this year and could be a good tease for how things may shake out this time around. 

Complete details

 

Greg Troughton

Lay of the water

With the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Calaveras and Mokelumne rivers feeding the Delta, there is no shortage of water to fish. All told, there are about 1,000 miles of navigable waterways that feature all types of bass habitat from natural to manmade. 

Since the Delta is connected to the Pacific Ocean, it is a tidal fishery. That can play a role in the tournament, as veterans of the Delta may choose to run the best tide to capitalize on prime bites, while others may pick an area and hunker down all day. 

Anglers on the Delta can pick an approach that plays to theirs strengths and go with it. From cranking to punching and everything in between, a 20-plus-pound bag is possible doing whatever you’re comfortable with. 

 

Ken Mah

Pregame speculation

The fact that this event is taking place in the fall is a slight curveball for those who have fished other FLW events on the Delta over the years. Fall transition can be a tough time almost anywhere in the country, but that may not necessarily be the case this week. 

“The fish are starting to transition into their fall patterns, which could make the fishing a little bit tougher than usual,” says Wade Curtiss, who won the 2015 Costa FLW Series Cal Delta tournament. “Most guys will either hunker down and fish one area all day – flooded islands like Franks Tract, Mandeville or Mildred – or they’ll run the tide.”

Still, Ken Mah, who holds seven top 10s on the Delta, including his fourth-place finish last year, thinks this event could outperform 2018. 

“Overall, I think the Delta is much healthier than it was last year,” Mah opines. “It’s fishing much better, too. People are going to catch a lot of fish and there have been more big ones caught throughout the summer than there was last year. A big fish on the Delta right now is 7 or 8 pounds. But I think there will be more 5- to 7-pounders weighed in this tournament than there was for this event last year.”

 

Gregory Troughton

Tournament tactics

Expect to see a bit of everything in this tournament. Drop-shots, weightless Senkos, crankbaits and punching will all do some heavy lifting. Gregory Troughton won the last year’s tournament and was mostly punching. The rest of the top 10 followed suit with a mix of moving baits – like crankbaits, vibrating jigs and topwaters – and punching to earn their respective finishes. Due to less spraying, the grass is healthier than in 2018, and it’d be a safe bet to see punching and winding through grass being a strong performer. 

 

Greg Troughton

Weight predictions

Troughton won with 60 pounds, 2 ounces last year and was carried by his day-one and day-two bags of 22-7 and 24-14, respectively. He practically ran away with the event in winning by nearly 7 pounds.

He was a bit of an anomaly, but the rest of the weights should be solid benchmarks for this derby. Mah believes 34 1/2 pounds should make the top 10, which is about a pound higher than last year.

“Last year, I thought 52 1/2 pounds would have a shot at winning, and I was grossly wrong,” Mah admits. “So, this year, I’m going to say you’ll need around 54 pounds to win unless someone is on a different planet like Greg was last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes more than 60 pounds to win this year, and hopefully it’s me.”

 

David Valdivia

Angler of the Year race

While someone is going to win this tournament, there is also another competition worth watching at the Delta. The race for Angler of the Year is super close, as the two pros leading the charge have been on an absolute roll this season. David Valdivia and Lane Olsen both hold 493 points, and both have scored top 10s in the first two events of the season on Lake Mead and Clear Lake. The difference may boil down to Valdivia being a seasoned veteran with solid Delta experience and Olsen being a newcomer to the Costa FLW Series. 

Just behind them in third is former FLW Tour pro Tim Klinger with 488 points. What’s maybe scarier is that Joe Uribe Jr. and Wade Curtiss sit in fourth and fifth with 486 and 482 points, respectively. Uribe and Curtiss are hammers on any body of water, but they both know the Delta well and know how to contend for wins. 

The rest of the top 10 is full of top-notch anglers, too. Sit back and enjoy the show, because this should be tight race to the finish. 

 

Lane Olson

AOY top 10:

1. David Valdivia – 493 points

2. Lane Olson – 493

3. Tim Klinger – 488

4. Joe Uribe Jr. – 486

5. Wade Curtiss – 482

6. Brett Leber – 472

7. Justin Kerr – 471

8. Andrew Loberg – 459

9. Rusty Salewske – 458

10. TJ Merrell – 457

 

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: flw  bass-fishing  fishing-tournament  costa-flw-series  california-delta  kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2019-09-26-california-delta 

Nixon Ready for Fresh Start

Nixon Ready for Fresh Start

Except 2020 will be different for the General. He’ll miss the season opener on Sam Rayburn and stop No. 2 at the Harris Chain. In fact, he might not get to launch a boat for the 2020 Pro Circuit until stop No. 4 or 5 in April. READ MORE »

Review: VMC Tokyo Rig

Review: VMC Tokyo Rig

When the VMC Tokyo Rig first debuted at ICAST in 2018, a lot of folks didn’t know what to make of the weird-looking contraption. Some thought of it as a gimmick. I kind of felt that way at first until some industry friends told me about their success with it. It didn’t take long before I had a few in hand and was ready to take it for a spin. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Kurt Mitchell

Check-in Time: Kurt Mitchell

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Delaware pro Kurt Mitchell.  READ MORE »

FLW, TBF Extend Strategic Partnership

FLW, TBF Extend Strategic Partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BENTON, Ky. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) and The Bass Federation (TBF) announced today a new strategic partnership. This agreement extends bass fishing’s longest-running alliance between two pioneering organizations in service to grassroots anglers from coast to... READ MORE »

FLW Announces Schedule, Rules and Entry Dates for 2020 High School Fishing Season

FLW Announces Schedule, Rules and Entry Dates for 2020 High School Fishing Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BENTON, Ky. – Today FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) announced the schedule, rules and entry dates for the 2020 FLW High School Fishing season. New for 2020, the winning team (two anglers) at the National Championship will both advance to the 2020 FLW Series... READ MORE »

Phoenix Boats Signs as Exclusive Boat Sponsor of FLW

Phoenix Boats Signs as Exclusive Boat Sponsor of FLW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BENTON, Ky. - FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) announced Tuesday that it has reached a sponsorship agreement with Phoenix Boats, a leading boat manufacturer known for innovation, performance and an angler-centric business approach. Effective... READ MORE »

Wall Back to Building Baits

Wall Back to Building Baits

The offseason for many professional anglers is a time to hang out with family and take a step away from a bass boat, while some even swap time on the water for time in a deer stand or duck blind. Not so for Jacob Wall, who just wrapped his first year as a professional angler. READ MORE »

How the Pros Spend Thanksgiving

How the Pros Spend Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends – especially those we might not get to see that often. And, of course, it’s time to indulge in some delicious food while giving thanks for what we have in our lives. For professional anglers, the holiday is even more special because it lands during that small portion of the year when they’re not on the road and can spend a little extra time relaxing at home. READ MORE »

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Growing up on Lake Okeechobee, Jared McMillan loves to flip for big fish when the opportunity presents itself, but he’ll be the first to tell you that mid-November can be one of the best times to be on the water. READ MORE »

FLW Announces Schedule, Rules and Entry Date For 2020 FLW College Fishing presented by YETI

FLW Announces Schedule, Rules and Entry Date For 2020 FLW College Fishing presented by YETI

BENTON, Ky. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) announced Thursday the schedule, rules and entry dates for the 2020 FLW College Fishing presented by YETI season, highlighted by the FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida, and advancement opportunities for anglers to compete in the Bass Fishing League (BFL) All... READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with South Carolina pro Bradford Beavers.  READ MORE »

FLW Announces Details for 2020 FLW Pro Circuit

FLW Announces Details for 2020 FLW Pro Circuit

TULSA, Okla. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), announced today the full details, including rules, entry dates, schedules and the location for the 2020 Championship. The circuit will feature a field of 150 pro anglers competing across seven regular-season tournaments, which culminate to the FLW TITLE. A new event, the TITLE will showcase the top 50 pros from the FLW... READ MORE »

South Carolina’s Miller Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Wild Card Tournament on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

South Carolina’s Miller Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Wild Card Tournament on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Boater Michael Miller of Greenville, South Carolina, caught a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds even to win the no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his efforts, Miller earned one of the final berths into the 2020 BFL All-American Championship... READ MORE »

Major League Fishing Closes Acquisition of Fishing League Worldwide

Major League Fishing Closes Acquisition of Fishing League Worldwide

TULSA, Okla. - Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that the acquisition of Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) has closed. This agreement brings together the league behind the no-entry-fee Bass Pro Tour and the largest grassroots organization... READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Missouri pro Jeremy Lawyer.  READ MORE »

Adrian College Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year Title

Adrian College Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year Title

TULSA, Okla. – The bass-fishing club at Adrian College is the best in the country, capping off the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing season in 1st place overall with 2,350 points, and earning the team the title of 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year... READ MORE »

Marietta High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open

Marietta High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open

HARTWELL, Ga. – The Marietta High School duo of Carter Koza of Maretta, Georgia, and Paul Marks, of Cumming, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open... READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

HARTWELL, Ga. – The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, and Grant Tattersall, of Sterling, Virginia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College... READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Smallmouths dominated at the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Oklahoma’s Andrew Upshaw led the way with brown bass caught on a jig and a Ned rig on bluff bank transitions in the reservoir’s lower end. Behind him, only a couple of pros hedged their bets on targeting largemouths. The rest fished for smallies and considered green bass to be bonus fish and spotted bass to be limit fillers on the tough days. READ MORE »

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

In classic Southern smallmouth fashion, crankbaits and jigs dominated the top 10 at Lake Cumberland during the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship. The only exceptions were a few finesse baits and the tackle used by two pros who targeted largemouths. Here’s what worked. READ MORE »