Fishing the Delta in the Wind

Tidal Water Strategies with Mike Birch and Bub Tosh

Winter 2020


Because floating mats made of hyacinth and other vegetation are easily moved, those on windward banks absorb a tremendous amount of wind energy. The result is a tightly compacted mat that’s not easily penetrated.


Contending with various levels of wind compaction — often compounded by falling tides — Birch keeps several punch rigs with different weight sized on his decks. With a lineup comprising 1 1/4-, 1 1/2-, 1 3/4- and 2-ounce weights, Birch notes how much resistance his bait meets and moves up as needed.

“You have to be quick to adjust,” he said. “You might be in an area where you were punching a 1 1/4 yesterday in calm conditions and now, you’re finding a 1 1/2 won’t get through. The fish are still there and, as a matter of fact, you may be able to catch better quality fish because a lot of guys are going to go right by (the compacted mats) with a lighter weight and they’re just going to give up.”

Noting that he’s punched weights as big as 2 1/2-ounce, Birch advises using just enough weight to get though a mat.

Delta local and the 2018 U.S. Open champion, Bub Tosh agrees and points out that the higher you go in weight size, the greater the risk of losing fish.


Bub Tosh