Blake Dyer has dominated through two days of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the Cal Delta. With a total nearing 50 pounds, he’s also one of just two pros to bring in back-to-back 20-pound limits. However, that doesn’t mean the rest of the crew hasn’t been doing work, and with the big fish in the Delta, anything is possible on the final day.
2. Austin Wilson — Citrus Heights, Calif. — 42-0 (10)
Moving up from fifth place, Austin Wilson was the only angler besides Dyer to break the 20-pound mark both days. He opened with 20-2 on day one and added 21-14 today for a second-place total of 42 pounds.
Wilson says he intentionally held back on some of his areas on day one because today’s forecast left him with a lot of question marks.
“I did a lot of the same stuff I did yesterday, but I saved a lot of water for today,” Wilson says. “I didn’t know what was going to happen; it was a little bit colder this morning. And with the wind pounding everything, I wasn’t too sure how everything was going to fish.
“I just stayed in one arm of the Delta and went back and forth, back and forth. At the very end of the day, about 10 minutes before check in, I caught one that was almost 6 pounds.”
Wilson says he alternated between punching mats and covering water between the vegetation with a vibrating jig.
“I got a limit early on a ChatterBait just to calm some nerves and then I just slowed down and punched away,” he says. “I caught my big fish at the end of the day punching.”
3. Jason Borofka — Salinas, Ca. — 41-12 (10)
Nabbing the tournament’s second-heaviest limit, 25-8, on day one landed Jason Borofka in second place and gave him enough cushion to absorb a slower day two that saw him catch 16-4. His combined weight of 41-12 earned him a final-round berth in third place.
“Today, I went back to the same area I fished on day one and caught what I caught, ran around and tried some new stuff; came back to my spot and kept catching them,” Borofka says.
Borofka says his main spot is a sunken boat, which gave up three of his biggest fish today. He caught his other two limit fish on a dock.
“I was really confident that I was going to catch them on reaction baits today, but I just didn’t,” Borofka says. “The first hour I didn’t get a bite, but then I changed to flipping and throwing Senkos and then boom, boom boom. I had my weight by about 10:30.”
4. Nick Nourot — Benicia, Calif. — 37-7 (10)
On day one, Nick Nourot reported having only eight keeper bites and today was just as stingy.
“I didn’t have a fish until 10 a.m.,” Nourot says. “I tried something different in the morning and zeroed. I went and tried a high tide spot that wasn’t high enough on the first day, thinking I was going to get one big one.
“Then, I made a long run, but didn’t catch anything on my first spot. Finally, I caught a small fish and then a 6 1/2-pounder. I made my last cull right outside the entrance to the marina."
Nourot says he had trouble figuring out what the fish wanted, but he eventually dialed in a frog bite that produced all of his fish. He says he lost a giant that he estimates at 9 pounds, which bit his frog, cleared the surface and shook free.
5. Bub Tosh — Modesto, Calif. — 37-6 (10)
Frustrated by a battery issue that significantly hampered his day one performance, Bub Tosh mounted a big comeback on day two by catching the day’s biggest limit, 23-8, and rising 32 spots to fifth with 37-6.
One of the Delta’s most accomplished punchers, Tosh says he played an aggressive game that paid big dividends.
“I knew the mats would be thick, so I’m punching a big 2-ounce weight and I’m fishing stuff that guys are driving by because it’s just too much,” he says. “The wind blowing like it is it packs them so tight nobody can get through them. Everybody usually doesn’t own a weight bigger than an ounce and a half.”
Tosh also notes that, while many anglers use downsized baits on 3/0 hooks to slip into dense mats, he pairs his big weight with a sizable creature style bait on a 6/0 hook.
“The fishing doesn’t really start until you make it through the mat,” Tosh says. “There’s a lot of trial and error, but when you get bit, they almost rip you off the deck of the boat.”