Demecs wraps up win on California Delta with 19-1 - Major League Fishing

Demecs wraps up win on California Delta with 19-1

Image for Demecs wraps up win on California Delta with 19-1
Conrad Demecs became a father and a California Delta champion all in one week. Photo by Charles Waldorf. Angler: Conrad Demecs.
April 21, 2023 • Matt Naber • Toyota Series

OAKLEY, Calif. – Conrad Demecs’ life changed forever in more ways than one this week. He may have made his first major step in transitioning to a career as a pro angler, and he became a dad.

“I hope to qualify for the (Tackle Warehouse) Invitationals next year and this gives me the confidence I need to compete at a higher level,” Demecs said after claiming the trophy at the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Western Division finale on the California Delta. “Then, having my son Kopeland born this week too – this is just a nice way to top it off.”

The only thing more consistent than the tide on the California Delta was the five-bass limits Demecs brought to the scale each day. The Phoenix, Arizona, angler posted 19 pounds, 5 ounces on Day 1 and followed it up with 19-0 and 19-1 to win by a 2-6 margin with 57-6. 

“I figured I needed another 19 pounds and all the guys behind me are hammers with the potential to catch 20 pounds,” he said. “I knew I had to be consistent to pull it off.” 

Demecs entered the final day just 1-4 ahead of Christian Ostrander. He stuck with the same basic plan that worked the first two days, eventually burning more than 30 gallons of fuel each day en route to his win. But, every gallon at the pump added up to roughly another $1,000 in winnings. 

“I guess I just found enough areas with five more bites, I got two big ones pretty early and got a 5-pounder on my last cast,” Demecs said.

Demecs’ win came on a 3/8- and a 1/2-ounce vibrating jig as well as punching a beaver-style bait and throwing a frog. He was primarily in the mid- to southern part of the Delta, which offered warmer water and better grass. 

“I just ran around a lot,” Demecs said. “If you want to win these events, you (usually) have to go punching but I couldn’t get much going punching. I caught fish this week on a spinnerbait, some punching, a few on a Senko, some on a frog. I think the warmer water is why I was able to generate the frog bite that I did (today) – I caught it at 1:30 p.m. when it was like 80 degrees.”

When he’s not tied up with his new role as a dad, or working as a roofing superintendent and guide, Demecs will keep his skills sharp at some local summer derbies and the U.S. Open on Lake Mohave before making the drive out to Table Rock Lake for the Toyota Series Championship in Branson, Missouri, on Nov. 2-4.

Demecs wasn’t the only winner on deck as his co-angler Steve Wey won his side of the competition as well. 

“He was good to fish with and we had a good time,” Demecs said. 

This event was presented by Psycho Tuna and hosted by the City of Oakley.

Top 10 pros

1. Conrad Demecs – 57-6 (15)

2. Christian Ostrander – 55-0 (15)

3. Adam Deakin – 53-2 (15)

4. Cody Crist – 48-0 (15)

5. Beau Joudrey – 45-15 (15)

6. Patrick Touey – 43-14 (15)

7. Hunter Schlander – 43-7 (15)

8. Ken Phillips – 43-7 (15)

9. Bill Oshinn – 43-3 (15)

10. Ty Faber – 41-3 (15)

Complete results

Steve Wey was the top Strike King co-angler with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 34-2. Photo by Charles Waldorf

Wey finds his way to the winners’ circle with 14-9 on final day

Salida, California’s Steve Wey is making a return to the Strike King co-angler fishing scene after taking a couple decades off to raise his family. Last year took him all the way to the Toyota Series Championship on Guntersville Lake, and now he’s a back-to-back qualifier for that event thanks to a 14-pound, 9-ounce final day on the California Delta that secured a 2-pound win. 

“It’s definitely exciting and something that means a lot,” Wey said. “It’s something you dream about – to win at this level and this stage is pretty cool.”

Wey placed 20th at last month’s Toyota Series event on the California Delta with 10-2. This time around, it was a better experience in more ways than one. 

“The bite got better from last month with the warming trends, and the rivers that feed the Delta are dropping a bit but they’re still high,” he said.

Wey was sixth on Day 1 with 11-11, then took the lead on Day 2 with 12-9 for 24-4 as his two-day total. He followed that up with four bass weighing 9-14 on Friday for a three-day total of 34-2. Tyson Christman finishes second with 32-3.

“I just enjoy the challenge of it all, the people, the comradery,” Wey said. “It’s you against the fish and you have to have a plan and be able to adjust to what the day brings, and make the right decisions. It’s really rewarding when it all comes together.” 

Wey caught six keepers and the five that he weighed in on Day 1 were all on Senkos. Then on Day 2 he had five bites and caught all of them drop-shotting, including a 6-10 kicker. The final day produced four keepers, one on a drop-shot and the rest came by punching. 

“The fish seemed to bite best when the tide was falling,” Wey said. 

The weather changed quite a bit from practice to the final day on the Delta, but that didn’t impact Wey’s fishing too much. 

“I was just out the back of the boat, so you have to fish with the conditions you’re presented with and need to be versatile to adapt to what your pro is doing up front,” Wey said. 

Wey was paired up with Christian Ostrander on Day 1, Blake Dyer on Day 2, and then the winning combo struck with Demecs today. 

“We did it on both sides and it was really cool,” Wey said of Demecs’ win. “He’s a great guy and gave me plenty of water to fish.” 

Now he’s heading to Table Rock for the championship and plans to bring his boat on the trek halfway across the country. 

“I don’t think I’ll change anything, just get an idea for the conditions and baits and build some confidence since that’s the key,” Wey said. “A big part of the sport is mental and keeping that positive attitude throughout the day.”