As most of you know, I recently made the move back to the California, where I gained some of my bass fishing "chops."
The move- driven by the need to be closer to my fiancé- isn't the usual relocation you would expect from an aspiring professional bass fisherman, as most, given a choice, would choose to remain in the South- the undisputed epicenter of professional bass fishing.
However abnormal the decision may seem to an outside perspective, the move is actually proving to be a great opportunity to get back to my roots as an angler, as well as once again being able to experience the "Golden State's" tremendous bass fisheries that offer the country's greatest opportunities to catch a fish of a lifetime.
Though the South gets most of the ink when it comes to fishing publicity, California is a well-kept secret, that really isn't a secret at all.
We all know about the trout-fed Southern California lakes that consistently pump out Florida-strain largemouth in the high-teens. These waters are ruled by the big-bait specialists who dream large and carry big sticks, and who are not afraid of throwing a shoulder out in search of one monster bite.
Though I am intrigued by this big-bait fanaticism, I prefer to catch fish- big fish- and a lot of them. This is where the Northern California lakes have proven to offer the best of both worlds.
One fishery in particular has really set itself apart in my mind- The California Delta.
This tidal fishery is one of the most diverse, and exciting bass factories I have ever experienced. With Florida-strain largemouth up to 18-pounds being caught there, and a crazy amount of double-digit fish being caught daily, it has been a body of water I have become addicted to this year.
My love for this impressive river system has turned into a labor of love, and now, after receiving my California guide's license, I have now opened up shop on my new guide business, so I can share my passion for the special place.
Though it resides on the opposite side of the country, the California Delta (AKA Sacramento Delta), is very similar to South Florida where I cut my teeth as a grass fishing fanatic. The Delta is characterized by hundreds of miles of weaving waterway comprised of winding sloughs, large tidal lakes and long rivers that feed the system. The common thread throughout the system is the vast expanses of grass, such as tules (round reeds), cattails, hydrilla, and hyacinth, just to name a few.
The familiarity of this grass mixture really made me feel at home starting out. I was able to quickly implement my favorite grass techniques to catch big bass- including a 9-pounder I caught on my first trip out since moving back to the state.
One of the best bites on the Delta is the frog-bite, and it is known as being one of the best in the country. I also have found much success with Flipping as well.
Sharing California Love
When it came to the decision on where I wanted to start offering guide trips, the choice was too easy once I started fishing the Delta again. Don't get me wrong, there are some other excellent fisheries around (Clear Lake comes to mind), and I'm sure Ill do plenty of trips to those places upon request, but the Delta was the one I felt connected to.
Though much of my fishing career has been focused on tournament fishing, I am no rookie to guiding, since Ive been guiding in Alaska since 2005. Guiding is a special opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with other fish-heads, and with such a powerhouse fishery as the Delta, its a chance to share a fishery someone might only be able to experience once in their lifetime.
Though the move to California might be a little out of the ordinary, I'm feeling right at home with my new favorite bass fishery and my new guide business.
If you are interested in taking a guide trip (or a multi-day trip) to the California Delta you can reach me by emailing me at: Sonar@SonarFishing.com
I hope to take you fishing one day!