It’s 6:30 Thursday morning and Tong, Tim and I launch out of Russo’s Marina. We make a 15-minute run south and fish the mouth of a dead end slough near Orwood. The tide had just peaked and started to push out. Using a Shell Cracker on a tulle point, a nice bass swirled on the swimbait, but missed it. As the tide continued to push out, we moved into Rock Slough, but found no action. Finally we caught a couple on weighted senkos on the outside of Mandeville Island. Around 1pm we took a break and had some lunch back at Russo’s Marina. The guy in the small tackle shop told us there has been some chemical spraying going on in order to kill off the vegetation in the water. These areas that were sprayed were definitely lacking baitfish and bass. As the tide started to bottom out, we stayed in Franks Track and focused on fishing the breaks in the levy wall. The wind was blowing pretty well so we stayed on the north side. Using jigs, senkos, and brush hogs, we caught around a dozen fish, with the largest weighing around 3.5 pounds. The water was quite dirty so black and red was our color of choice.
The next day I went out alone and launched out of Orwood Marina at around 6:15. With my video camera attached to a tripod in the back of my boat, I had high hopes of capturing some good footage. Flipping a ˝ ounce black and red jig, I stick a 5.2 and a 2 pounder right outside Discovery Bay. Then moving south with the tide I make a stop at Coney Island. Fishing a deep hole just out side a big grass flat, I catch a 5.5 pounder on a ˝ ounce red spinnerbait. I stuck that fish on my very first cast. Thinking I was about to get into them pretty good, I stayed around that general area for a little over an hour, but catch nothing else. There were plenty of nice healthy weeds and clear water around Coney Island and many other parts of the South Delta. These areas have not yet been chemically sprayed like most of the areas farther north. I then head over to a dead end slough near Rivers End Marina. I spot a 5 pounder with its nose on the bank. Casting a frog up on the shore and then dragging it in, the frog gets smashed as soon as it touched the water. I search for more bass in that dead end slough, but find nothing. Right as the tide started to push back in, I move north to the main channel outside Widow Island. With my new injected Lunker Punker Jr. in hand, I fire a cast to a large piece of wood on a deep rock bank. I work the swimbait a few feet off the bank and then bring it to a stop, a couple seconds later a 7 pounder slurps it off the surface. I fished a couple more areas after that but caught nothing else. Only five bites all day, but I had around 25 pounds of bass. The funny thing is, every fish came on different lures and spots. This time of year that is pretty unusual, especially at the Delta. During the prespawn usually when you find one big fish, you have found a bunch. This was not the case today.
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