The tournament registration, partner pairing, and the tournament as a whole ran as smooth as can be! Many thanks to Larry and his West Coast Bass staff for making it an exciting season!
Day 1 – This was one of the most exciting days I’ve had this tournament season. I drew the Air Force Pro, Dave Erwin. This outstanding professional did his homework and put us on solid fish all day. His words for me when we started were, ”We won’t catch many fish, but we’ll catch big ones, if they bite”. We made a couple of quick stops on the way down to his primary water and Dave ended up putting 1 keeper in the boat. It was a good start. When we arrived at his primary spot, the fishing was kind of slow. I was throwing reaction baits, Vixen, frogs, and a small swim bait, while my Pro, Dave, was meticulously picking the tulles apart with his Senko. All of a sudden, the boat rocks as Dave sets the hook on a MONSTER! When it was all said and done, we boated his 8.10 pound largemouth.
We fished and fished – I picked up a short here and there – we made a couple of moves within his prime area – I was no help – I picked up 3 short fish, while Dave put 2 more nice keepers in the boat.
Our weigh-in was at 3:15 – we left his area around 1:45 pm – we arrived at his secret spot at approximately 2:00 pm. We had an hour left of fishing time and we only had 4 fish in the boat. I had yet to put a keeper in the live well. Dave’s secret spot screamed that “big fish live here”. I picked up my Rev Rig (you can read about in the Stockton Examiner or see it on Anglers West TV). I casted to an opening between 2 hyacinth patches with the bunch of tulles in the back. I thought I was hung up – I shook the rig – my line shot out to deep water at approximately 90 mph – I reared back, set the hook, and 1 hand on the rod could not hold it. I firmly grasped the rod with my left hand, pulled back as hard as I could to stop the fish, turned it, got it to the boat where he proceeded to pull drag and my drag was locked as tight as it could go. Fortunately, I always throw the rig with 50 lb. braid. That fish was 2nd big fish of the day – behind my Pro’s 8.10 pounder. It weighed in at 7.89 pounds and it got me a check for the 2nd biggest fish of day 1. It was my only keeper for the day – but, what a keeper it was!
When we brought our 3 bags to the scales, we totaled out at 22.40 pounds, which put us both in 2nd place. A big thanks to Dave and his professionalism!
Day 2 – I drew Rick Rudd an outstanding angler and a fine gentleman to boot. We headed to his first spot, where on day 1 he weighed in 18 pounds and change. I was excited because I had a chance for an excellent finish. When we got to the spot, the wind was howling – as a matter of fact, the wind blew hard all day – what a freakin’ nightmare! The pattern was flippin’ Senkos in sparse tulles in shallow water. This particular bank was holding a lot of fish! Within the first 15 minutes, we got 5 bites. I got 2 – managed to put 1 in the boat, while Rick’s managed to escape to fight on another day.
We stayed and fished his hot spot for about 5 hours. A couple more fish got missed. Rick had me put on this 4” worm and we managed to put 1 more in the boat with this dinky Pro Worm. The problem was in order to maintain boat control, he was on the trolling motor 100% of the time, and the backwash was blowing out the tulle patches we were fishing. Hence, the fish knew we were there.
The reason we stayed so long is we were hoping for a break in the wind, which never materialized. We went to a 2nd location where we managed to put 2 more keepers in the boat. We proceeded to his 3rd and final spot, where we put our 5th keeper in the boat and managed to catch 3 more keepers that didn’t help. Our 5 fish limit weighed in at 14.18 pounds. This allowed me to finish in 5th place and take home a nice check.
I’d like to thank Rick for his tenacity – for fighting the wind all day and not giving up.
The baits of choice for the tournament were – for reaction – the Vixen, the crankbait and the frog – although I didn’t catch any fish on reaction during the tournament, I did everyday during my pre-fish. The fish that I managed to put in the live wells were caught on the Rev Rig, Senko, and a 4” dropshot worm by Pro Worms.
You can watch this Delta Tournament on Justin Wolfe’s TV Show which is called Angler’s West TV and it will be aired sometime in June. Tune in so you can find out just what everyone was doing to bring in the hefty bags.