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Event Article


Fishing Swimbaits for Delta Stripers with Professional Angler Kenny Schmitt (continued)

For this trip Cal and I would fish on Kenny’s Ranger while Jonah would follow closely behind us on his boat. Kenny told us in advance that he would be fishing mostly swimbaits and we packed accordingly. We brought an assortment of big baits including Black Dog Lunker Punkers, 22nd Century Triple Trout, Deps Highsiders and the new Triton Mike Bucca Bullshad which TMike handed us at this year’s ICAST show.


We head for open water to find bigger fish

Dark and Early we go: Part of catching successfully catching Stripers, or any fish in the Delta, is to understand the effect of tides on the fish. Fishing the tide changes can be some of the best times to get into the big fish and when it comes to Stripers it definitely affects their feeding patterns. To get in a full day of fishing we left for the Delta at 4am. As we loaded the car we were greeted with flashes of lightning followed by loud rumbling thunder seconds later. The lightning activity was imposing and as we drove to the Delta we witnessed some of the nastiest looking lightning we have ever seen in our area. It was so bad that we got on the phone and called Kenny and Jonah to see if we were still on. They were both willing to give it a shot if we were so we continued to make our way to the Delta.


Jonah works the edges of hippy grass islands

While it rained off and on during the drive when we arrived at the launch ramp the air was muggy and totally still. We launched and proceeded out into an area of the Delta known as Big Break where we started off fishing with topwater  big baits. It didn’t take long before Kenny started getting followers on the Lunker Punker. After a few short strikes he said “do you have a subsurface swimbait, maybe a 4” paddletail, toss it right behind my Punker.” I did exactly that but not with a hollow body but with a 4”  Spro BBZ-1 Shad and instantly started getting strikes. The only problem was that the fish just were not committing all the way, instead they seemed like they were testing the bait. The top of the water was totally still but as soon as there was the slightest ripple on the surface the fish turned on immediately. Kenny landed the first striper of the day on a aggressive topwater strike on the Lunker Punker and we kicked off the trip with a healthy looking ten pounder.


A striper freaks out as it gets close to the boat

After a flurry of activity and a few more Stripers between five and eight pounds a very menacing looking dark cloud moved over the area. It was so dark it blocked out the morning light completely. We could see lightning strikes in the distance but it was almost as if were in the eye of the storm. It was then that I started to notice an eerie hum. “Do you hear that?” I inquired as the buzz only got louder. It sounded like it was coming from the passenger rod rack and as I leaned in and looked over the edge to take a closer look...ZAP! “I just got shocked by the rods!” I exclaimed.


...another striper courtesy of the TMike Bullshad

Cal moved his rod around back and forth and it started humming and crackling “it sounds just like a lightsaber, feels like I’m holding a lightning rod in my hand,” Cal said “probably a good idea if we don’t stay out in the open right now.” Kenny didn’t know what we were talking about and didn’t notice the buzzing. “You can hear it if you move your rod up and down,” I said. He picked up a rod above the cork grip and moved it vertically….ZAAAP! Kenny got shocked so hard he dropped the rod straight on the deck and it almost flipped right into the water. “You were not kidding, that hurts,” Kenny exclaimed. “I’ve been fishing the Delta for a long time and I’ve never seen anything like that!”


The wind starts to roll back in

We motioned to Jonah and he pulled alongside and said he noticed the buzzing as well. At that point it started to rain and lightning could be seen striking close to the edge of the Delta. It was time to find some cover. Luckily for us the storm blew right through and by mid morning the sun started breaking through the clouds and we were greeted by a rainbow in the distance. We powered back to Big Break and started back up fishing an array of wakebaits, Cal pulled out the TMike Bullshad swimbait and went back to work.


We break for lunch and Cal checks the forum and pages TMike that his Bullshad is whacking the stripers

The Triton Mike Bullshad gets hot!


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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