Delta summer stripers (3-day binge)

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Posted by Mar Caballero on 2013-08-19 14:58:10

Fished the mighty CA Delta for 3 straight days and a blast. Still a bit sore from all the casting and tug-of-war with some feisty stripers.
I managed to book a mid-August guided trip with Capt. Costello a few months ago. I've been looking forward to this for awhile. Took Friday off work and met Mike at the dock early Friday morning. After a pleasant boat ride, we picked up my fishing buddy at the dock closer to our first fishing stop. It was a bit breezy but we somehow managed to chuck our clousers to the sweet spots. The action was frantic right off the bat. We were on top of a nice school of fish and systematically plucked them out of the water. Lots of super aggressive grabs, several doubles and extremely hard fighting fish. The warmer water temp had these fish amp'ed up and fought like much larger fish. We followed the school for a bit and boated 25+ fish before moving on to the next spot. Spent the rest of the day running and gunning and picking up a mix of dinks and several nice legal-sized fish along the way. We fished all kinds of water: shallow weedy spots, narrow deeper channels, pumps, etc. We even spent some time chucking topwater weedless bass bugs on top of the weed mats towards the end of the day. This resulted in a few awesome blowups. What a nice way to end the trip. Total tally for the day was 41 stripers with 20 or so of them legal-sized. Largest was 8.5lbs. Also caught a couple of LMB's on clousers.
This was a great learning experience. We fished some areas and structures that I would just normally pass by in the past. It was basically a full day of Delta striper flyfishing seminar by one of the most knowledgeable guides of the sport. Thanks again Mike.
I had so much fun on Friday that I went again Saturday morning. Launched at first light. Nothing like a nice boat-ride as the sun is coming up. Started out tossing some topwater patterns at first light. Had a few blowups by some smaller stripers that didn't stick. Moved on to a spot with a narrow 10-ft deep channel with fast moving water as the tide was bottoming out. Drifted with the tide and picked up 2 chuncky 5 lbers. Not a bad way to start. Moved to a shallow weedy spot at the start of the incoming. It was basically a repeat of Friday' s trip. Lots of nice-sized schoolies up to 6lbs aggressively taking flies. Towards the end of the drift, I made a cast to a small opening between the weeds and got a nice take after the first strip. Set the hook and the big fish started thrashing around in 2-foot deep water. One big surge and he was deep in the weeds. The line was wrapped in the weeds but I can still feel him I reeled all the line in and slowly inched the boat towards the fish, fighting the breeze and current while keeping pressure on the line. As I got closer, the fish made another run, freed himself from the weeds and ran under the boat. It turned towards the bow; my rod tip still under water trying to follow it and keep the line out of the trolling motor. The line was free but now the rod tip was touching the trolling motor shaft. The fish made one more surge and snapped the tip of my rod. Now he's stuck in the weeds again. I had enough of his antics so I just hand-lined this beast out of the weeds and finally into the boat. What a circus. Took a couple of quick pics of the hard-fighting 13-lber and sent him on his way. Topped it off with a couple more 3-lb schoolies and was off the water by noon.
Woke up late Sunday morning and had a nice breakfast with the family. My wife needed to study for an exam on Monday and I jokingly said that she can study on the boat while I fish for a bit. It worked! :-) We were on water at 9am and had a nice 3-hr fishing session; catching several nice schoolie stripers up to 6lbs. It was a very pleasant morning with very little wind. She got to study for a bit and took pictures while I fished.
Not bad way to spend a 3-day weekend.
See pics.

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