So its only February 3rd, and half the country is still frozen under sheets of snow and ice. So what on earth is Vince talking about spring fever for already you might ask? Well unfortunately here in California we have had a very mild and dry winter so far to go with our already record drought conditions we have been dealing with for the last several years. Our day time temps for most of the state are on the rise, with some parts of the state topping out at 80+ degrees. Here in the region of our beautiful California Delta, we are already seeing trees starting to bloom, and bees starting to pollinate. What this tells all of us knowledgeable anglers is that the big girls are on the move! As our water temperatures continue to rise, some of the biggest bass will be spawning in only a few short weeks to a month. So what does that mean for anglers on the Delta? time to start concentrating on transition edges next to spawning flats where the big ladies are starting to feed and fatten up after a winter of just hanging out deep and conserving thier energy. This is one of the best times of year to catch your biggest bass of a lifetime, but its not all lights out fishing. It will still be a bit tough going till our temps become more stable. So for me, that means fishing a bit slower still. I like to concentrate on bulkier baits like big jigs, 7" senkos, and lighter punch rig type flipping baits with only 1/2-3/4 oz weights rather than the typical 1+oz weights. These baits will make you fish at a slower pace, giving you the best odds of sticking a pig. Now they are not the only techniques that will be working. A lot of guys who have a bit more control will start doing good slow rolling a big spinner bait, swimbait or crank bait. But lets face it, if your only allowed to fish one or two days a week, put the odds in your favor and take full advantage of the baits that will increase your odds for that fish of a lifetime. Usually this time of year, darker colors like black and blue, brown, and watermelon greens or bright colors work best because the water will be stained from rain and run off into the rivers that feed our Delta. Especially since most of the vegetation and hydrilla have died off from the colder temps. But as I mentioned previously, this isn't your typical early spring. Our waters haven't gotten cold enough for long enough to kill back that vegetation, and our rivers haven't seen enough rain to muddy them up. So in many areas of the Delta the water is very clear with good visibility. For that reason I have been doing better with more natural colors like Sprayed Grass, or watermelon candy. And of course the best spring time color spinnerbait and crank bait red or crawfish colors. So if you're looking to stick a giant, get up off the couch where you've been hiding all winter, and give the early spring Delta bite a chance. I think you will be very surprised.
I have been guiding and fishing professionally across the country for over 25 years. I fish all types of fisheries from black bass in freshwater to shark and tuna in the depths of our seas. I give seminars and work sportsman's show all across the country. Follow my blog as we visit some of the best fisheries around the world and preview the latest tackle, rods, and techniques!