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Delta Championship day 1

Delta Championship

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

I had pre-fished for this tournament for five days in two weeks, finding that there was a really nice Frog and Crankbait bite the first week and a Frog and Buzzbait bite the second week. The common denominator was the Frog. So, on tournament day I was prepared with two Frogs, a Buzzbait, a Punch set up and a Rover.

Saturday rolled around and we ran to our first spot, now one of the big keyes to our bite was the current. We needed the Deltas current to be moving to really activate our fish, our first stop was perfect the tide was going out and it positioned our fish right were we wanted them. Thirty minutes into the day we had our first five fish limit in the boat. Frogs and Buzzbaits did the trick fishing them around sparse tullies near deep water. This pattern held up for us all day and we culled up several times. If it had not been for missing several big bites we would have weighed in the top ten first day, instead we ended day one in 33rd place with 12.35 pounds.

The second day of the Delta Championship.

Sunday started with another run to our area on the delta but the The Frog Bite and the Buzzbait bite were gone it took us and hour to put the first fish in the boat and it came on a River2Sea Rover. the rest of the day was spent in wonder of where our bite had gone. We tried all the same areas with the same baits to no avail. Around ten thirty my partner put another solid keeper in the boat, once again on a Rover. We came around one point that had a lot of current on it and caught nothing then noticed the current slamming the tullie lined rock bank in front of us. It just looked like a great bank to throw a Senko. Second cast three pounder in the boat, then it was on. I tied on the Senko and loaded the boat with two more fish both in the five pound range. This was all at 11:15 our weigh-in time was 12:00 no time to waist. Fished our way back to Sugar Barge and weighed in our 17.95 pound bag. This placed us in 12th overall with a two day total of 30.80 pounds for the Delta Championship.
The key to catching fish for us never changed all weekend current on sparse tullies by deep water. The baits changed to slower top water presentations and sub surface baits but the structure stayed the same.

See You On the Water,

BIG ED

Lake Kaweah Fishing Report

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

Not a lot of the Central Valley lakes have a ton of water this time of year, Kaweah is no different. It does seem to have launch ramps that go to the bottom of the lake.

I have taken a couple trips to this lake recently and have been able to catch a number of fish. No real size, just lots of tugs on the line. The largest has been a two and a half pound fish. Now, Kaweah is known for having some giant fish in it, my personal best is an 11 pounder. I have seen 13 pound fish taken and have seen pictures of 16+ pound monsters coming from the lake. Most of the big fish have all been in the spring, I have never heard of any real big fish being caught in the fall. You can’t catch a big fish if you don’t try so I tried.

Lake Kaweah, Bass, spotted bass,

Drop Shot fish

The water temperature was 64 degrees and the air temp was 84. Water levels had still been dropping and it had just been a full moon. It’s always tough this time of year to figure out what the bite will be. There are plenty of bait fish balling up, the trout are starting to move back towards the surface and the crawdads are still active. I decided to start with top-water baits and then gradually work my way down. I started by throwing a Lunker Punker on the main lake points and around any structure I could find. When that proved fruitless I changed to a Huddleston swimbait (ROF 5).  My partner started throwing the S-waver and a Skinny Dipper swimbait, we worked the same areas. After an hour of fishing those baits, I switched to the tried and true bait that seems to work every time the drop-shot. I took the Pro Worm Rainbow Shad out and made a cast into the area that I had just gone through with the HUD. First cast hooked a bass; this was the start of a 25 fish day. Now, there were no giants caught but sometimes just catching fish can be fun.  I was catching most of the fish in 12 feet of water, as I drifted out over deeper water (30-40 feet) I would mark a few fish. I tried to catch these fish but it was tough they just seemed more lock jawed. Finally I took out a 3 inch Pro Leech in Purple Shad; third cast into the deeper water rewarded me with the biggest fish of the day. Having this new knowledge lead me to fish for the deeper fish, thinking “this is where the bigger fish might be lying,” I picked up the HUD again. After another half hour of no bites, back to the drop-shot, this time sticking with the deeper water and the smaller bait. Caught only one fish and it wasn’t a big fish.

So, if you’re headed out to Lake Kaweah in the next few weeks I would still tell you to bring the big baits and keep them handy. You just want to make sure and have that drop-shot rod ready. Focus on the areas of the lake that have some bottom structure and depth changes. Keep your eyes on your graph, when you find bait balls drop down your bait. First thing in the morning seemed to be the better bite, action wise.

Good Luck out there,

Big Ed-

 

Jig Fishing in the Fall

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

 

The days are getting shorter, nights longer and the deer woods are calling, it must Fall.

 

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only for the cooler weather, the hunting seasons and the comfort food that’s on it’s way but for the fishing. One of my favorite types of fishing is Jig fishing, this time of year is when it really starts to shine. All types of lakes turn on in the fall for the jig bite, this mostly happens because the fish are really trying to feed up for the winter hold over. The smaller fish have a tendency to hang out and around the bait balls and gorge themselves on the bait fish. Bigger fish will of coarse eat bait fish as well but if they get the chance  for one good meal, they are taking it.

 

The crayfish that a jig represents, is a more nutritious meal and helps put more weight on. As the winter months near the bass are trying to stack on as much weight as possible. While the lakes are full of free swimming bait fish at this time of year, bigger fish are still more territorial and have the tendency to stay closer to structure and wait for the bait to come to them. The structure they tend to stack up on is rock piles and vertical wood. the rock piles will hold more temperature and crayfish are often found in the vicinity. The standing timber also attracts the bigger bass but in this instance it gives them a vertical feeding alternative as well.

 

Now that we have some areas to search for these bigger fish lets talk about the jig itself. My favorite jigs are the LBS Tackle 1/2 ounce football. The 1/2 ounce size is probably the most used jig on the market. I like to stay with very natural colors. Brown, orange, black, blue, green and purple to name a few. Any combination of these colors can really make for a great jig. My best advice is to try and match your jig to the surrounding cover. So, if you find a lot of clay banks I stay with brown and orange or just brown,  so on for grass,  rocks etc. I like silicone skirts with band collars.  They are very versatile, I can keep my head tied on and change the skirt as needed.

 

bass fishing, Jigs, LBS Tackle, largemouth Bass, Nitro Boats

Beautiful 5 pound bass

 

Fishing the jig, once I find the structure I’m going to fish I like to position my boat a full cast away so that when I cast the bait actually lands a few feet on the other side of the structure. I like to start by hopping  the jig kind of quickly along the bottom pulling and raising the rod to give the fish more of a reaction bite approach. I can always slow down and drag it but in the fall I like to go fast first, then slow down.  Make sure you fish from several angles before you move on to another area. If I have a spot that has produced before, I like to hit  six to ten different angles just to see if the bass are positioned in a certain way, on the structure. When you catch fish remember to pay attention to the angle and speed of your retrieve, this will probably be the way all the fish are set on this structure. Now you’ve caught several fish off this structure, I always like to throw a different color jig back in there, just to see if I can pick up that extra fish. A lot of times the big fish has watched the same color come through, time and time again then a different color comes through and that’s the trigger.

 

Jig fishing in the fall is about hitting your good spots and making multiple casts to the same

areas. You might not catch the numbers that the bait fish guys are but the fish you catch will be of better quality.

 

My favorite  LBS Tackle jigs are the Scarecrow, Molting Craw, Deep Purple, Mud Candy and the Brown and Orange.

 

Hope this helps. See you on the water.

 

BIG ED

Pre-Spawn Bass

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

It”s that time of year again, bass start moving up to the banks to begin the life cycle anew. This can be one of the greatest times to put a wall hanger (replica please) in your boat.

Weather

Weather this time of year is vital to success. Stability or slight changes make for good fishing, severe change leads to poor days of fishing. Many people believe fishing with a high pressure is better than a low pressure and vice versa. My belief is that it dosen’t matter, as long as it has been in place for a few days.

I have found that a specific time of day makes a huge difference in this season as well. The hard part or fun part is finding what time of day the bite is turning on. Meaning you have to spend all day on the water. I’ve had fishing days with friends all in different boats, at the end of the day we get together and almost every time there will be a one to two hour time period that we all got are fish. Nice part about this scenario is the time and pattern will usually be stable for a few days. If you find fish are biting around one or two in the afternoon you can sleep in, get to the lake an hour earlier, cash in on the bite go home.

Baits

Baits during pre-spawn can range from crawdad imitations to trout imatations. Key here is to find what stage the fish are in.  When bass first come up to feed my theory is,” like bears coming out of hybernation they don’t go after big meals first just the most calorie rich”. In the fish world like ours crustacean’s are a calorie rich food. A bass can regularly consume more than one crawdad in a day which means they get more bang for their buck as compared to a trout sized bait. As the days get closer to the spawn, I’ve found the trout sized baits get eaten by the bigger fish more regularly. Theory being that as the fish put on weight they don’t want to cruise around looking for small meals they would rather hang near the spawning areas and get one big meal a day.

Location

Areas to look for pre-spawn fish are cove mouths, points, river channels and ledges. I first like to start with river channels then ledges and next points if you can find an area with all three youv’e found what I like to call a “honey hole”. Bass move up from their winter haunts in deep water when water temperature starts to rise and days get longer. They will first move to the river channels that have deep water access near them. from here they can feed at different levels and easily return to the depth with the more comfortable water temps. Ledges offer the same conditions,  providing larger depth changes in a vertical way. Points offer the warmer water later in the pre-spawn . As days warm and fish stratify in less deep water points become a valuable feeding area for bass. It allows the fish to move to shallow water, roam over flat areas that hold crayfish, set up in ambush spots near stumps and rocks to feed on baitfish. Just before the spawn starts the mouths of coves will hold large numbers of fish. these are transition points, if fished at the right time you can put a lot of fish in your boat. I’ve found that when the days have been warm a long time ( four to six days) cove mouths are the place to focus your attention.

One more tip if your catching a lot of bucks (male bass) in five feet of water pull out to ten to fifteen feet, thats where you’ll find the bigger fish.

Good luck out there,

BIG ED

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