California Delta Ways “Not” to Win!!

California Delta

I am positive for the majority of tournament anglers, the California Delta has been a love hate relationship. I’m no different, this body of water has given me some of the best and worst moments of my fishing career, my first really big frog fish, 7 pound punch fish, a fourth place FPT classic finish (good and bad) and of course getting lost but finding your way back (best feeling of all). The same mystery that makes this fishery such a headache is the very same one that makes it so intriguing. We so often head out to this water with the feeling of “this will be the day” yet return with “next trip will be better”, why? For me it’s simple, I love the challenge. I love winning, who doesn’t? That alone should send me running for a different fishery. Unless your name is Lee, Mah or Rossetti why do you think you can win here? Because the Delta makes you crave it, the odds are against you and still you want the challenge. The best in the nation come to this fishery and get shut down, yet my desire to defeat this water pushes on. This may be bordering on insanity yet I don’t care. I want to catch really big fish put them in a bag and stand at the front of the line when the checks are being handed out, I want guys to pat me on the back and say good job and for others to resent me for doing well, I want the plaque that says Delta Champion and the Check that goes with it. Now, how the hell do I do that?

Now what not to do at the Delta.

I like most Practice on the Delta, probably not as much as I should but I do. I first headDelta Bassed out to the areas that I have caught big fish in the past and see if I can reclaim glory. Recently, I can not. I then choose the baits that I feel best match what the fish are feeding on this time of year. Now I try to match the bait to the area, by this I mean throw a crankbait in water that might actually allow you to throw it, and a punch bait in the weeds not the open rocks. I have learned that the Delta has areas that seem to push out winning weights during certain times of year. What I have not learned is how to find these areas. North, South, East, West when and why? That question has been plaguing me for a long time. Seemingly the answer should come with time and experience, “huh, anytime now”. Most people talk about the tide, I was once given some advise about tide that I feel makes great sense and has helped me immensely, “The Tide is constant, every day it comes in and goes out the fish know this, look for the fish to eat when its moving and hide when it’s not”. Now, this may seem a little to simple but hey, the guy has one a ton a money and prizes from the Delta, he can’t be that far off. Yes, I know there is more to it. I have tried to stay up with the times and still embrace the tactics that are tried and true. Flipping/ Punching, Swimbaits/Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits/Chatterbaits just to name a few. What I see is that for the most part, we are all using the same baits so it must be areas and timing. Alright, I’ve whittled it down, now what? I don’t know, I guess I just have to go find the areas that are holding better fish. Does that seem like a monumental task to you? I have fished areas that have given me 20+ pound bags and only caught 7 pounds, I’ve found big fish in pre fish only to not catch them on tournament day, and I have even had good fish on the first day and small ones on day two.

I’m glad I named this blog what I did because even as I type it, I realize I still have a lot of worked to do. Now, I told you before you even started reading that you wouldn’t get any good tips on how to win a Delta bass tournament. I just wanted to give you a look into how I go about not winning. Maybe it will help you not make the same mistakes I have.

See You on the Water