Mark Lassagne qualifies for B.A.S.S. Federation State Team at the California Delta.
A one-two punch claims tidal water trophy.
The decision to stick with two techniques and two areas paid off for the Yamamoto pro, as the event’s anglers found the tidal water system fishing small and tough.
Lassagne’s one-two punch included two Yamamoto presentations – a Senko in depths from 10 to 30 ft and a Flappin’ Hog for shallow punch fish.
The strategy earned Lassagne 12.8 lbs on day one, rocketing him 4 lbs above his nearest competitor. The final day he came to the scales with a limit of 11 lbs, widening his gap by nearly 5 lbs and claiming victory with a tournament total of 24.9lbs.
“It’s not often when you can win a California Delta event with 25 lbs for two days, said Lassagne. “I did it in a limited area, grinding out a limit each day.”
Lassagne tempted the deeper bass with a wacky-rigged, 5 inch, watermelon red Senko, using a Gamakatsu wide gap finesse weedless hook and a River2Sea 1/16 oz nail weight. He fished the plastic on an Okuma Helios medium-action spinning rod, paired with a Helios HX-25 spinning reel spooled with 8 lb fluorocarbon.
The punch rig consisted of a green pumpkin/red Flappin’ Hog on a Gamakatsu Super Heavy Duty 3/0 hook with a bobber stopper and a River2Sea 1 oz Trash Bomb. His punch gear was the Okuma 7.11 Heavy Matt Daddy rod, coupled with a Helios 8.1:1 reel, spooled with 65 lb braid.
Lassagne found himself in cooling temps, gin clear water and flat-calm conditions. This prompted him to head over to an out-of-the-way marina.
Although his strength is flippin’ and punchin’, Lassagne was metering fish in 20 ft on his Garmin 1040 XS and knew he had to go with a deep-water finesse presentation.
Targeting the banks was a popular choice for other contenders; but Lassagne stuck to the deeper water, fishing open slips and backs of boats.
“I was tossing the rig up, letting it sink on a slack line and then waiting for it to start swimming away,” he recalled. “Even though the bite was tough, having the right equipment played a huge role in my success. It started with my rod. The Helios is so light and sensitive, it played a big part in me being able to detect the bite.”
At 11 a.m., Lassagne had a small limit and his co-angler had two keepers, when he decided to go punching to improve his weight. With a short amount of time and a small bite window, he ran about 25 miles to a dead-end slough, fishing slow until the tide started to turn.
“The shallow fish didn’t start to bite until the tide was coming in,” he shared.
Around 12:30 p.m. he got his first shallow punch fish – a 3 ½ pounder. During the next hour, he boated another 3 lb’r. The clocked ticked down, showing only 10 minutes of fish time remaining, when he landed two more largemouth – a 2 ½ and a 3.