Fishing Swimbaits for Delta Stripers with Professional Angler Kenny Schmitt
the weather settled, a slight wind broke the calm on top of the water. It didn’t
take long for the fish to respond and we started boating more fish.
storm in the distance Cal cast towards the rainbow and found gold in the form of
a nine pound striper which inhaled the Bullshad. By the time that he lifted the
fish up for a picture I was already hooked up with the Bullshad as well. “Looks
like we found the hot bait for the day,” Kenny commented.
The Bullshad sees some time with
We caught a few more fish but with nothing as big
as the first fish Kenny landed, we decided to move out to Sherman which is
further out of the Delta and closer to the Bay. We found a
quiet spot near the tules and broke for lunch. Cal took the opportunity to check
the forum and ping Mike Bucca to let him know the Bullshad was whacking the
Stripers. We also inspected Kenny’s tackle and found that he seemed to use an
assortment of different reels including Shimano, Daiwa and Ardent but all were
mounted on Powell rods. He explained the reason he liked Powell was that they
had a rod for every application and that he was extremely rough on his tackle
and yet had never broken a Powell.
Cal tests the Vendetta and likes
We compared notes with
Jonah and he was getting the fish on 4 inch swimbaits while Eduardo was getting
chasers to strike ripbaits. The highest quality fish for the day were going to
the swimbaits including the Lunker Punker and the Bullshad. It was at this point
that Jonah reached into his locker and handed a Vendetta rod for Cal to try. We
had the rod in our lab and JIP was responsible for testing the particular stick
but Cal was interested to see just how well the rod would handle stripers since
we had a decent bite going on. Cal reciprocated by handing Jonah’s son Eduardo
the Bullshad he caught a fish on earlier that morning. “It is yours now, what I
like about the Bullshad is it is kind of rough looking, it gives the bait a more
realistic finish, and that tail is awesome,” Cal explained.
Stripers are aggressive! This tiny
fish hits the Punker on the surface and it is no bigger than the bait itself
With the wind starting to
pick up we head back out to the San Joaquin river and started back up again. The
quiet period we enjoyed during lunch was quickly replaced with wind that started
churning the water and created whitecaps in the distance. “Let’s fish this edge
hard and move in for cover,” Kenny said. I moved from the back of the boat where
I had been standing on opposite sides with Cal to the front where I fished in
between Kenny and Cal. Kenny worked a 4inch paddletail, I stuck with the
Bullshad and Cal worked a variety of small 4inch shad baits. “Now this is what I
call a field test,” I joked as we cast our lures side by side.
During the day the Bullshad reigns
supreme as the hot bait
Three casts later a nice
seven pound Striper tight against the shore inhaled the Bullshad. Both Kenny and
Cal kept on casting into the same area to pick up surrounding schooling fish but
didn’t get any strikes. I returned the Striper into the water and made another
cast….sploooosh, we witnessed a huge surface strike right in front of us! We had
to maneuver the boat around to get in position, I didn’t want to horse this one.
“Take your time, let her run if she wants to,” Kenny exclaimed. We didn’t have a
net in the boat so Cal intercepted the fish at the back of the boat with a
Lipper as I tried to guide the fish in. The minute the Striper saw the boat it
went for a second run, but I could tell the Striper was tiring. Before long Cal
reached down and we had a twelve pounder in the boat.
Kenny lands another fish as the
wind starts to pick up
We took a picture of the
fish and released it and quickly took up our positions once again. By now the
wind was getting downright nasty and Kenny was starting to find it challenging
to hold the boat in position. We were determined to finish fishing the length of
the bank and fought the wind to keep casting.
“Bullshad!” I yelled as I set into a third fish.
“I can’t believe that, you're fishing in between us and that’s three fish to our
zero,” Kenny said. “You have any more of those Bullshads?!”
Pretty soon wind waves are
starting to wreak havoc on the fishing
Fishing the Vendetta through Hornets...Yes, I said