Event number 3 FLW National Guard Western Division California Delta 9/23/09 - 9/26/09
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER
A Variety of Anglers
Another element of danger and opportunity. Peat bogs form on the bottom submerged below the water line. Over time they have the ability to dislodge from the bottom and float to the water's surface. The bogs (a misnomer)as they are referred to, can be quite large in size creating floating cover and also a navigation hazard. In California, peat is only found in the Sacramento - San Joaquin River Delta.
Floating vegetation pushed against the tulles. Submerged vegetation on a flat in front of the tulles atop a break line into the river channel. This is a bend in the river that faces directly into the tide turning current. The wind is blowing with the current, added value. I like this area!
Back to the Bass and Pre-Fishing
Front Versus Back
J.R. is a veteran Co with 12 top ten finishes and 2 wins in his FLW resume. J.R. is the Co-Angler champ of this event so you Co's might want to pay attention.
J.R. says that it is important not to copy what the pro is doing. Use a different worm, different size, and a different color. Show the fish something different, adapt and fish your strengths. Take advantage of opportunity when it comes. For example, if the pro is culling his fish and is at the live well that will leave an open lane towards the front of the boat. He also points out that the drop shot rig works at any lake in the west and anywhere in the country for that matter.
J.R. lead this event from start to finish, he explained that light line is what made the difference. When you think of the Delta most have images of power fishing. J.R. explains that when behind a pro who is power fishing and perhaps moving down the bank quickly there are advantages for a co-angler with light line. Are these Delta fish line shy? No, light line will fall through the water column faster. It will also add more action to your bait. When fishing behind a fast moving pro that quick fall will put his bait in the strike zone faster allowing added seconds to a presentation and better action while in the zone.
That was excellent information. Throughout the western FLW venues you will always find J.R. somewhere near the top of the co-angler field. He attributes the light line presentation to his victory at this event. Thanks for sharing J.R. and congratulations on your win.
WHAT MAKES THE DELTA A PROLIFIC BASS FISHERY?
The California Delta has been touted by some pros as being the best tidal bass fishery in the nation. One of the main reasons for this is the aquatic vegetation here.
Interestingly all of the aquatic vegetation shown above is non-native invasive exotic plant material. My view point comes from one isolated perspective. Knowing what invasive plant material can do I can only wonder what the true value of these weeds have on this ecosystem when considered from a holistic understanding. Enough and back to my selfish personal reality and the bass.
The food chain = energy flowing from one organism to the another.
These insects, shrimp and zooplankton are the prime food source for bait fish and crayfish. It is also initially the sole prey item for almost all fish larvae. The density and distribution of zooplankton has a direct effect on a fish species stock strength. The aquatic plants are the base of this food pyramid as they support these tiny organisms.
For a multitude of reasons many bodies of water do not have sufficient weeds. Anglers often say that 'blue stoning' makes the bass sick and the bite drops off. The bite certainly drops off but it is because the killing of the weeds disrupts the food chain.
As you will see these weeds had a major role in this event.
STUDY PERIOD IS OVER, TIME TO TAKE THE TEST
DAY FOUR; ONLY THE TOP TEN PROS REMAIN
RECAPPING THE PROS
The Final Standings
Angler 4 Day Weight lb - oz
1 Rusty Salewske 75 - 5
2 Charlie Weyer 74 - 12
3 Chris Zaldain 73 - 5
4 Ken Mah 71 - 0
5 Brett Hite 70 - 8
6 Brent Ehler 68 - 0
7 Zack Thompson 64 - 9
8 Dee Thomas 63 - 13
9 Robert Lee 61 - 13
10 Ricky Shabazz 54 - 9
Labeled a flipping contest; while on stage each top ten pro mentioned this technique. Only two other techniques were referenced and only after following flipping comments.
COMPETITION IS OVER FUN FISH TIME
A tip; fishing from day light hours and into the twilight we take off our sunglasses during the low light. This striper was hooked on a bass top water popper with braid. During these light conditions it is hard to see exactly where the hooked fish is. The hooks can easily pull and come flying right back at you or your partner. During these light conditions wear clear protective lenses and prevent possible serious eye injury.
Another one in the books, see you guys next time.