CA Delta 02-28-2020
My boat is in the shop again, but that's not going to stop me from getting out there this time of year. So I dusted off the Kayak and dumped her in at one of my favorite spots. This area right next to highway 12 on the banks of the Sacramento river is where I first learned to fish the California Delta. I launched the kayak at the tail end of the falling tide around 1000-1030 am. I started out throwing a red craw colored lipless crank to see if I could get on a reaction bite with the last good hour of water movement. I had no luck except for one fish in the 3 pound range that followed it right up to the kayak. With the tide almost bottomed out and little to no current or wind I started punching. I caught my first fish on my second punch with a Cali Craw D bomb. a healthy 3 pound pre-spawn female. I let her go and preceded down the bank punching isolated grass patches. I got bit almost like clock work on the grass patches that had wood mixed in it, like a laydown, bush, or piece of drift wood. All my fish punching were decent quality, with the biggest weighing in at 4 pounds. As I worked the bank back to a spawning pocket. I began seeing multiple fish cruising the shallows looking for there best spawning locations and getting ready to do the deed. Seeing some fish in the 7-8 pound class swimming right by me and not wanting anything to do with my lure is extremely frustrating but I assure you these fish can be caught in a conventional way. I began throwing a weightless swimbait on the surface to see if I could draw a reaction bite from one of the big ones cruising the shallows, and that seemed to be the right move because I preceded to catch 20+ fish over the course of the next couple hours ranging from 1 pound to 3 pounds. Yes! Nothing giant but definitely a fun day of fishing. The tide began rising again around 230 pm which only seemed to help the bite. I ran out of swimbaits by 4 pm and had to switch to a rage toad which didn't really give me the same result. I fished until sun down cycling from top water to punching with some bites here and there but nothing big. I got off the water at 545 pm with a beautiful sunset and counted the day as a success. The last week we have had a 3 or 4 day warming trend which really helped the surface temps rise and get these fish to make a move for the shallows. The warmest water I found was 62 degrees in the back of a spawning pocket. The water has been much clearer this year compared to years past and it is definitely making it tougher to get a reaction bite on moving baits like a lipless crank and a squarebill. I am honestly a little surprised I was able to get so many bites on top, with the clear water and the water temps just barely getting over 60 degrees in most spots. We had a cold front move in this weekend bringing some wind and colder night time temps which should slow these fishes roll a little bit. One more thing before I finish up this report, I know this time of year can be tough for a lot of fisherman but please do not go around snagging fish in the shallows with treble hooks. First of all its illegal and will get you in big trouble with Fish and Game, but also its unsportsmanlike. Anyone can go around Mike Longin (aka snagging) fish and say they caught them using traditional methods but that would make you a liar and honestly an unethical person. Please do your best to take good care of the fish you catch. This means releasing the fish right away after you catch them. This helps the future bass populations and puts less stress on the fish. This time of year is notorious for poaching so keep an eye out and if you see any suspicious activity call California Fish and Games Tip line at 1800-541-4591. I hope everyone has the opportunity to get out this time of year and go bass fishing. It truly is one of the best times of the year to catch a lot of fish and your biggest fish ever. If you want to get in on the action feel free to contact me and book your trip. If you are a veteran, active military, or a first responder can enter the giveaway going on my Instagram page until Thursday March 5th. Until next time remember to Live Fast and Catch Bass!