I wish I was fishing in the Toyota Series event on the California Delta in early August, because I know that event is going to be some of the best topwater fishing that you can find in the country. I’m going to be on Lake Champlain for the Bass Pro Tour during that Toyota Series event back home in California, so I won’t get to participate. Still, that doesn’t mean I’m not extremely jealous of all the guys who are going to be fishing out there.
I’ve had some of the best days of frog fishing of my life on the California Delta, and I expect the frogging to be just as good come August 3. The Delta has gone through some changes over the last 10 years or so thanks to the diversion of water, but that body of water still can produce a 10-pound bite with any cast you make, and there’s not a lot of places like that in the country.
My buddy was fishing in a tournament on the Delta not too long ago, and his co-angler caught a 13-pounder out of the back of the boat with a vibrating jig. That just goes to show how special the California Delta can be. There’s about two hours every day where you can’t do anything wrong, but then there’s four hours a day where you can’t do anything right. That’s what makes it so fun and challenging to fish.
That’s why figuring out the tides are going to be so important for this event.
The guys who can plan around the changing tides and finding the right baits to use are going to be the ones who come out on top. Other than a frog, I really think I would lean pretty heavily on topwater baits in general. Buzzbaits, plopper-style baits, Pop-R’s, and Spook’s are going to get plenty of bites in early August. I would also have a 1-ounce or 2-ounce punching set-up ready to go as well to get through the grass and find the big ones there.
The other thing I love about fishing tournaments on the Delta is that you’re never out of it.
During the Toyota Series event there in May, I ended my first day in about 50th place with only 12 pounds. That second day, I came back, made some adjustments and caught 22-5 in 30 minutes, moving me up into 16th place and cut a check. That’s why I say you’re never out of it, because 30-pound bags are possible there.
I have a couple of buddies who are Delta rats, and I’ve been talking to them over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been picking their brain and seeing how the Delta is fishing right now, wondering what it would take for someone to win there. Based on the information I’ve gathered, I really think it would take a three-day total of around 65 pounds to win. That may not sound like a lot, but the state of California only allows you to have an event last six hours each day.
So, for 18 hours of fishing total, that’s not a bad weight total at all.
I hope the West Coast anglers we have in California understand that MLF is trying to support us. In turn, I think we as West Coast anglers need to return the favor.
When I was younger and just getting started in trying to become a full-time pro, I really took advantage of these types of events to learn about myself and what it would take to compete. The payouts are great and the fishery is fantastic. I think this is an awesome opportunity for anglers to compete, get experience, and support these types of events so we can continue to get more and more like them out here.