STOCKTON, Calif. — The Bassmaster Elite Series Duel in the Delta presented by Mahindra Tractors is decided, but with the changing conditions on the waterway affected by tides, temperatures and wind, we asked the final 12 to share how they made the cut.
ESPNOutdoors.com asked them what lures and patterns were most productive for you this week? And what was the single biggest factor for your success this week?
Aaron Martens (1st place, 85 pounds, 12 ounces, Leeds, Ala.)
Lures and patterns? "Robo Zippers and Worms. I used a 4 ½-inch Robo Fat Worm in Aaron's Magic with red flake and the Margarita Mutilator III. I fished an area I'd fished in the past that had little tidal influences and just kept flipping, I also used grubs. I wacky-rigging and I also drop-shot. The hard part was getting her out of the beds so I would get her to jump and then tail walk her out of the tules."
Biggest factor?"Making good decisions. It was important to me to get this monkey off my back, so pressure was a big factor."
Derek Remitz (2nd place, 78-6, Hemphill, Texas)
Lures and patterns? "I was cranking but I was also flipping jigs in mats and throwing Rat-L-Traps in grass flats."
Biggest factor? "Adjusting. I fished what seemed like dead water until I figured it out."
Lures and patterns? "For the most part I was using a 6-inch green pumpkin Senko in high grass in the open bays. For the rattle bite, I used my St. Croix Elite Tournament Series with medium action and my 7-3 medium heavy rod for Senkos."
Biggest factor? "Getting in the right area of Frank's Tract and staying there."
Skeet Reese (4th place, 74-6, Auburn, Calif.)
Lures and patterns? "I use a SR 705 Lamaglas rod, 20-pound test Spider Ultra-Cast and my new Lucky Craft SKT Trap in mad craw. It has a bill design that gives it a tight wobble and allows it to cut through grass."
Biggest factor?"Fishing inside and outside the grasses and tules."
Brent Chapman (5th place, 73-12, Lake Quivira, Kansas)
Lures and patterns? "Senkos and Brush Hogs."
Biggest factor? "Making the Classic is my goal and I knew I needed top 10s to be on track so, I guess motivation was the big thing for me."
Kevin VanDam (6th place, 72-5, Kalamazoo, Mich.)
Lures and patterns? "Strike King's spinner KVD signature and a Strike King red-eyed shad lipless crank, which is the same but runs deeper. I was throwing into tule points in the shade and to wind-blown points."
Biggest factor? "Following tides."
Jared Lintner (7th place, 69-15, Arroyo Grande, Calif.)
Lures and patterns? "A Jackall TN70 Titanium rip quick diver, it goes straight down, Senkos 5-inch worms in a variety of colors and all my rods are Powells. I was flipping mad craws and working key peat moss mounds in small lakes."
Biggest factor? "I was forced to slow down and sort through junk fish this week. I had three areas I worked as I had seen big ones in them during my pre-fishing and I thought I could just grind them out."
Jeff Reynolds (8th place, 68-14, Idabel, Okla.)
Lures and patterns? "Using Senkos and Zoom Brush Hogs inside shallow tules."
Biggest factor? "Senkos."
Chris Lane (9th place, 67-12, Winter Haven, Fla.)
Lures and patterns? "A BB Cricket Gambler lure. I was flipping into mats, getting in there and penetrating down, they'll get down and won't hang up. Rods were also key as there are so many variations and sizes that you need out here, mine are 2IG Ultra-Strike rods."
Biggest factor? "Not fishing one area. I came and I went."
Greg Hackney (10th place, 65-15, Gonzales, La.)
Lures and patterns? "Greg Hackney signature Quantum rod and reel. I use a Strike King ½-ounce jig, a Strike King Premier spinner bait and flip a 1 ½ True Tungsten with a creature bait.
Biggest factor? "Determination."
James Niggemeyer (11th place, 65-14, Lindale, Texas)
Lures and patterns? "I use an All Star 906 rod and was flipping 3-inch creature baits, keying in on tules."
Biggest factor? "Current and tules as the fish are in pre-spawn and moving in and out."
James Charlesworth (12th place, 62-14, Saint Cloud, Fla.)
Lures and patterns? "None."
Biggest factor? "Keep my head down and flip shallow."