Over the past two weeks, fishin here has been some of the best we’ve seen all summer long. Extended warming trends have allowed the bass here to get into comfortable situation where they are becoming more and more predictable, holding on specific patterns and willing to strike all day long. Over the past two months we’ve had an excellent shad spawn and are now seeing schools of bait through out the Delta system. As the shad flourish, the bass have become more active in areas where an abundance of bait is present. The entire feeding echo system and bass activity during the late summer is driven by the schools of shad. The smaller forage fish are gorging on the shad, and those 4-8 pounders are taking advantage.
The bait presence has also triggered that good summer time smallie bite up the Sacramento River above Isleton. One day last week we spent a day up there and caught smallies all day long. Most of the fish we caught were along rip rap banks where the boat was sitting in 10-13 feet. You could dropshot and toss craw cranks in 0-6′ till yer arms fell off catching em from 10 inches to up to 1.5 lbs. The 2-3 pounders were sitting a little further out on that first drop and break at 8-10 feet. These fish were just thumping brown jigs. We got clued into this by watching three commercial crawdad boats and the location they were dropping their PODS. Pulling up next to a number of their buoy markers, we took note of the 10 foot depth each trap was soaking in. This is a great time of the year ta git up there for a change of pace and enjoy a day full of catching them spunky lil bronze backs.
Last week’s warming also came at a good time leading up to the Snag Proof Frog tournament. Although not spectacular, the heat wave brought a lot of fish shallow that were more than willing to strike the frog. We found a great bite using the new Ish’s Phat Popping Frog. This is a purty cool top water frog bait that really draws strikes from bigger fish. This new frog is very versatile and offers a variety of actions and commotion that is something the bass here have not seen before. It pops, chucks, spits and walks, allowing you to work this bait in a number of different retrieves. I was pleasantly surprised at how many big fish we were catching all week out in open water, calling the bass up from the deeper grass beds in 6-9 feet of water. It worked extremely well shallow too, whether it be chucked way back in the tules, around the shallow grass flats or over the top of the red leaf canopies. One thing we discovered early the first day, was that it didn’t fish too effectively on our typical frog rods. For us, it was better suited using a 7′ MH stik with a little lighter tip, which is what we use with normal hard bodied poppers in open water. The Popping Frog is a great addition to the Snag Proof line up and really catches big fish here in deeper, open water.
The jig-n-grub bite here continues to be really good. We’re not finding much of a shallow flip or pitching bite. Gettin’ that jig down to 10-15 feet off the tulle islands ledges and drop offs is the ticket. Don’t over look the extended grass points that come off the points of the smaller tulle islands as well. The key is not fishing too fast and moving through an area on the trolling motor. Soak that jig like you would when your fishing a lake. Be patient and work it all the way out to the boat. We’ve has a lot of fish smoke that jig right under the boat or just draggin it behind the boat along the bottom. Yamamoto single tailed trailers have worked best, Right now it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s the 164 Sapphire Blue, the 213 June Bug or the discontinued 209 Indigo. It resembles a blue gill and they are chompin it.
For those of you who are jig-n-grub lovers, better git down to your local tackle shop and purchase all the 164 5″ single tails ya can find. I just got word this week, Yamamoto will be discontinuing this color along with many others in the grub line up. Damn that Senko anyhow, I now have a love-n-hate relationship with it. Due to it’s extreme popularity, it’s now squeezing out a lot of other good Yamamoto products to assure inventory space at the plant’s warehouse. Unfortunately, it’s an economical business decision, don’t be surprised that your favorite, secrete colored Yamamoto bait has been discontinued too because you failed to tell the world and it’s sales counts are reaching the minimum for Yamamoto to continue to carry them. Personally I am shocked that the 164 5″ grub has fallen into this unfortunate group of low sales baits. It has been a staple of a large group of anglers fishing jigs here on the Delta and Clearlake, as well as most of our lakes here in Northern California.
Fishin is great here on the Delta right now. I’ve got a lot of availability if your interested in getting out to experience the summer bite here on Jigs, Kreatures and topwater.
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