OAKLEY, Calif. — We expected it to be tough sledding on Day 1 of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Western Division tournament on the California Delta, but the field had other ideas. Despite a lingering cold front and dirty water due to stormy weather in the days leading up to the event, the Delta kicked out a solid number of impressive Day 1 bags. The top spot belonged to Nick Salvucci as he connected with 22 pounds, 5 ounces of largemouth to take the lead heading into Day 2.
The Western Division of the Toyota Series is presented by Tackle Warehouse, and this event is presented by Psycho Tuna.
Salvucci enters Day 2 with a 2-6 lead over Robert Cloutier and a 2-13 lead over Ish Monroe. Salvucci had plans to fish what he normally fishes this time of the year on the Delta—the northern and central part, he said. However, because of the conditions, Salvucci’s strategy was next to impossible. So, he spent his entire practice searching for new, clean water and he claims to have found some.
“I’m looking for clean water and that’s hard to come by right now,” Salvucci explained. “About 80 percent of the Delta is unfishable right now with all the storms. There was rain up in the mountains from 8,000 feet so we have snowmelt coming in and there’s wind. The fish are just getting jacked around right now.”
Although the conditions were far from ideal, Salvucci got off to a scorching hot start. As soon as his name was called and he took off, he beelined for some clean water, put his trolling motor down and didn’t have to wait long to start feeling good about his decision.
“The first fish of the day for me was a 6-pounder in the first 20 minutes, so that kind of slowed me down a bit,” Salvucci said. “Then a 5-pounder 20 minutes after that. I fished super slow in that clean water I found and had about 15 bites all day. I had a good day, but it’s a grind out there for sure.”
As the day wound down, temperatures crept into the low to mid-60s. That rise in temperature looks to be on the books for Day 2 as well, something that Salvucci is banking on.
“I like the warmer weather we got this afternoon and what should be here tomorrow,” Salvucci said. “I think we’re close to this place really turning on. The sunshine is definitely going to help with the bite tomorrow.”
1. Nick Salvucci – 22-5 (5)
2. Robert Cloutier – 19-15 (5)
3. Ish Monroe – 19-8 (5)
4. Justin Hicks – 18-3 (5)
5. Ty Faber – 17-8 (5)
6. Joseph Price – 17-5 (5)
7. Chris Kinley – 16-8 (5)
8. Patrick Touey – 16-7 (5)
9. Nicholas Cloutier – 15-9 (5)
10. Ken Phillips – 14-14 (5)