STOCKTON, Calif. — With rain and winds blowing into town midday on Friday, the California Delta finally began to show weights it is capable of producing.
Overcast weather helped Mike Iaconelli turn 3-pounders into 5-pounders. He boated the biggest bag on Day Two of the TroKar Duel in the Delta, 25-12 and sits in second place, only 5 pounds and change off the lead.
"The only difference between yesterday and today is the weather," Iaconelli said. "Today, it seemed like every time I set the hook it was a big one."
Ike wasn't the only angler who benefited from the low pressure system. Seven 20-pound bags crossed the scales Friday, as compared to only one the first day. One of those belonged to Greg Vinson, who shot up into seventh place with 20 pounds, 6 ounces.
For Vinson, the overcast weather combined with warming water the day before had the big fish biting.
"Last night was a warmer night and we had sun all day yesterday," Vinson said. "The area I am fishing, the fish are transitioning to the spawn. The fish are coming in and some of them are the bigger females."
Vinson caught his two biggest fish in a typical spawning-type area where he didn't have a bite yesterday. That was a clear indication to him that the fishing should only be getting better. Add into that the rainy day Friday and it was lights out.
"I think this weather really shows in the overall weights," Vinson said. "I think the rain, overcast weather and this low pressure is always good in the spring."
Vinson's catch was anchored by the day's big bass, which weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Despite the better conditions, there surprisingly has still yet to be a double-digit bass caught this week from the California Delta.
Another angler capitalizing on the big bites on Day Two was Shaw Grigsby. He brought in 18 pounds, 14 ounces and moved into sixth place.
"These guys can say they changed this or they did that different, but it's pretty simple: It's raining and the fish are biting," Grigsby said. "On Day One of practice, it was lights out when we got a little bit of rain. This place is showing itself now, but it'll really show itself when it warms up."
Mike McClelland will have a chance to see if Grigsby's words prove true after squeaking into the cut by a single ounce. While he didn't find any big fish, the overcast weather had the fish fired up in his area.
"In practice, the wind blew every day and every time I picked up a spinnerbait, I got bit," McClelland said. "The wind picked up today and we got some cloud cover and I just went through covering water."
His 14-pound, 8-ounce bag put him in 47th place, one ounce ahead of Ish Monroe.
The overcast, rainy conditions didn't help all the anglers in the field. For Russ Lane, the cloud cover that ignited the bite for many of his competitors ultimately hurt his fishing.
After a stellar Day One saw him in third place, he only managed four fish and fell to 12th.
"The clouds kept the fish out of the matted grass," Lane said. "Maybe the sun will come back out tomorrow and it will get tough for everyone and I'll catch them again."
Lane might get his wish Saturday. The weather forecast for Stockton calls for sunny skies and a high of around 60 tomorrow.