Bob Ward Mobile Delta
"Tensaw River Report"

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Date Fished: 2/5/2015
Water Temperature: 53
Water Clarity: 0

Everything is negative. Water visibility in the lower Delta is 4 to 6 inches at best. Most fishermen are sticking to the west side (e.g. Bayou Sara) where the visibility is a little better. Even there limits are small (e.g. 5 fish ar 7 pounds). The rivers which feed the Delta are down, and with all of the north wind lately the lower and middle Delta are low as well. Incoming tide all day.

Date Fished: 12/2/2014
Water Temperature: 62
Water Clarity: 6 inches

More muddy water just when the fishing is beginning to pick up. I fished with my neighbor again yesterday for four hours and had limited success. Live bait fishermen were everywhere, having great success. Speckled trout are beginning to show up with large numbers of red fish, but the main victims are bass or green trout as they are called locally. It was a beautiful day and we fished mainly in creeks as that's where the bass should be this time of year, but according to local news this is the warmest fall season on record. Maybe that's why we didn't do so well in creeks.

Date Fished: 11/11/2014
Water Temperature: 65
Water Clarity: 0 foot

My neighbor and I fished the lower Delta for 4 hours yesterday morning and never got a bite. It was a beautiful, clear day with a good falling tide. We fished every pattern we knew from bays to creeks with worms, spinnerbaits and crankbaits without success. We saw many fishermen out today, most fishing with live bait, and they had limited success also. The story is out that hundereds of bass are being caught near the foot bridge on the east side of John's Bend and in the ditch which goes from there out to the Blakely River. Most fish are being caught on live shrimp I hear.

Date Fished: 9/25/2014
Water Temperature: 85
Water Clarity: 1 foot

Bass fishing in the lower Delta has been tough lately and I don't know why. The rivers which feed the Delta (the Tombigbee and the Alabama) are very low and decent catches of bass can be found there, but in the lower Delta schools of small bass should be everywhere there is grass this time of the year feeding predominately on spinnerbaits and shrimp imitations (DOA). I see the shrimp jumping everywhere and small schools of bait fish (menhaden) but no bass. The water is unusually fresh (little saline) and clear, and there is plenty of grass both in the bays and the rivers, but no schools of bass. The salt water species which invade the lower Delta this time of year (flounder, speckled trout and redfish) have not arrived in great numbers, probably due to the freshness of the water, and I surmise the schools of bass may have moved south into Mobile Bay for the same reason. Time will tell but I also think fishing pressure has taken its toll.

Date Fished: 7/8/2014
Water Temperature: 78
Water Clarity: 6 inches

My son, Bryan, and his partner fished the upper Mobile River and adjacent creeks Saturday, and had a very good day with 35 or so fish. Mostly on buzz baits until 9:30 AM, then river fishing with plastics. He and his wife fished the lower Alabama Monday with much less success while my partner and I fished the lower Delta with no success, not a bite. High muddy water everywhere.
Cool breeze kept us comfortable until noon when the heat and lack of success caused us to head for home.

Date Fished: 12/21/2013
Water Temperature: 58
Water Clarity: 6 inches

Beautiful day yesterday in the lower Mobile Delta but the fish were inactive. Fished 9 AM til 2 PM. Falling tide all morning.
Perfect conditions except for cold, extremely muddy water. Wind out of the SE got up pretty good after lunch and could no longer work plastics slowly so gave it up and headed home. No keepers again today.

Date Fished: 12/15/2013
Water Temperature: 51
Water Clarity: 1 foot

The lower Delta remains low and extremely muddy. I fished for four hours yesterday and did not catch a keeper. Good numbers of small bass were caught in the creeks last week before the cold front and more muddy water arrived. Water temp 48 at the launch in Chocalotta when I started,
51 in the creeks where I spent most of my time, and 52 in the main rivers. Not many people fishing.

Date Fished: 10/19/2013
Water Temperature: 78
Water Clarity: 1 foot

The good news is, the water in the lower Delta is clearing up nicely. The bad new is, the water is still very high and warm. My neighbor and I fished the lower Delta for four hours yesterday and caught 7 or 8 small bass, which is better than we have done in the past four weeks. Local major tournaments have been won recently with 5 fish at about 10 pounds. Hopefully it will get better as the weather cools.

Date Fished: 8/16/2013
Water Temperature: 85
Water Clarity: 6 inches

The lower Delta remains tough. Water very high and muddy. Surprisingly, there was little water movement even though there was a moderate north wind, the tide was falling, the Tombigbee is again out of its banks and the Alabama is too high to fish effectively. But, it was overcast most of the day and the air temp was below normal for August. Since I had such poor luck a few weeks ago fishing the rivers, I decided to fish over the grass in the bays in the lower end. Same story this week; no fish. More rain is expected each day for the coming week so I don't expect conditions to improve very much. On a positive note, my son and his partner fished the west side of the middle Delta and had pretty good success pitching plastics to wood cover.

Date Fished: 7/12/2013
Water Temperature: 82
Water Clarity: 0

Rain, rain and more rain. The lower Delta is very high and very muddy. Even though the tide was incoming all day today, the water was moving south. The fish should be in the rivers, so that's where I spent the morning. I fished the entire lower Tensaw River and most of the Blakely, and never got a bite. Well, I might have gotten a couple of bites, but I never put a fish in the boat. I fished mostly a Zoom horny toad over top of the grass but also tried a chartreuse spinnerbait and shakey head. Not many fishermen out today. I wonder why?

Date Fished: 3/30/2013
Water Temperature: 59
Water Clarity: 6 inches

High, muddy water most everywhere in the lower Delta. My neighbor and I fished four hours yesterday with only one bite, a 13 inch buck bass. We fished Grand Bay from one end to the other and never found clear water, grass or fish. We did find water temp of almost 65 in the northwest corner of the bay but visibility was less than 6 inches and there was no grass. Oh well, with a warming trend on the way bass fishing should be back to normal (after the record lows last week) next week.

Date Fished: 3/22/2013
Water Temperature: 60
Water Clarity: 6 inches

Strong east/southeast wind, incoming tide all day. Fished four hours with my neighbor 11AM til 3PM. Water very high and muddy and because of high wind spent all fishing hours in Chocolatta Bay. Water temp 59 when we started and 62 when we quit. No bites until water temp hit 61 degrees about 2PM (we couldn't throw plastics due to high wind, and couldn't throw crankbaits due to heavy grass, thus all bites came on chartreuse/white spinnerbaits) I had one bass over 4 pounds and my neighbor had two over 3. We caught numerous fish in the 1 to 2 pound range. Our best 5 about 14 pounds. A very good outing. This weekend should be better with highs in the 70s. Also, the middle and upper Delta should be right with the rivers feeding the Delta well within their banks for a week now.

Date Fished: 2/15/2013
Water Temperature: 57
Water Clarity: 6 inches

The middle and upper Delta are unfishable due to high water. The rivers which feed the Delta are above flood stage and will remain so unless we get a lot of north wind. I knew it would be nonproductive but I took a turn around the lower Delta today from 11AM until 2:30PM. Low tide was about 5AM. Muddy water everywhere. The five rivers in the lower Delta were boiling, heading south even with the incoming tide. The water temp has also dropped. Where it was better than 60 degrees last week, it is now 58 or less. Fortunately there was little wind today so my neighbor and I were able to get far back in the back waters where we managed to catch 5 bass with brightly colored spinnerbaits, two females full of roe (about 2 pounds each) and three buck bass. Not a bad day for us but the tournament fishermen will have a tough time this weekend.

Date Fished: 2/9/2013
Water Temperature: 60
Water Clarity: 6 inches

Yesterday, just after low tide (10 AM), my neighbor and I venture out into the lower Delta. Slight southeast wind. Water high and muddy. Tried fishing flats in the river but current was too strong and water visibility less than 6 inches. By moving far off the rivers in the backwaters we found clearer water and good activity. Bruiser Sally and chartreuse spinnerbaits were most productive. The key was finding areas where the incoming muddy water was mixing with the clear water. Two fish in the 3 pound range so the quality of bass fishing in the lower Delta must be picking up.
By 2:30 PM incoming muddy water had completely covered the lower Delta so we called it quits.
The water temp at the ramp was 60.3 when we started and 61.1 when we quit. It was 63.8 in the backwaters.

Date Fished: 1/26/2013
Water Temperature: 59
Water Clarity: 6 inches

The Mobile Delta is unfishable due to high, cold, muddy water, so with my neighbor I fished Dog River for three hours yesterday, beginning just after low tide (10 AM). The water was low and stained, and it was way too windy to fish the main river, white-capping with winds up to 22 mph out of the southwest. It was hard to get to because of the low water but we idled about a mile up Alligator Bayou and fished the deep banks as the wind blew us out. We caught a couple of small fish on a Bruiser Sally but the most effective weapon was a motor-oil colored shaky-head, which was difficult to fish due to the high wind. It was the first time either of us had been on the water in quite a while.
It was a very enjoyable outing. The air temp was 72 when we quit.

Date Fished: 12/14/2012
Water Temperature: 54
Water Clarity: 1 foot

Falling tide til noon. Moderate northeast wind. Overcast all day. Water level very low when my neighbor and I launched in Chocalotta at 10:30 AM. Fished lower end til 2 PM, mostly with plastics. Had best success with shakey-heads in 6 to 8 feet of water. I caught (and released) six 2 pound plus fish, one over 3 pounds, and my neighbor caught two fish, one about 2 pounds and the other a bare keeper.
Color didn't seem to matter much, but I had best success with a six inch gray feness worm.

Date Fished: 12/1/2012
Water Temperature: 67
Water Clarity: 2-3 feet

The weather has been so good I couldn't stand it - I had to go fishing. The air temp was in the low 70s, the water temp was in the mid 60s, there was practically no wind, and the water visibility was the clearest I have ever seen. My son took the afternoon off from work and took me out into the lower Delta as an early Christmas present. I figured we would smoke them with deep plastics such as the shakyhead. Wrong. We did manage a few on Okeechobee spinnerbaits, but they we few and far between. Nothing on crankbaits either. As usual, most fish came in or near grass in the rivers.
No big fish, but I did catch a two pounder, the first in a long time.

Date Fished: 11/10/2012
Water Temperature: 67
Water Clarity: 6 inches

Although the water has not cleared, bass fishermen are having pretty good success. The better stringers are still coming from the middle Delta, but the lower Delta is producing best numbers. The salt water species have arrived in abundance and live shrimp fishermen are everywhere. My neighbor and I fished Pass Pacata for a couple of hours yesterday (10 til noon) and had good success on plastics (I had 11 and he had 2) until the boat traffic ran us off. The rivers were filled with fishermen so we ran to the creeks (Mudhole and Lower Crab). We had limited success in Mudhole, but continued to catch small bass in Lower Crab. Water clarity in both ends of Lower Crab was about the same as everywhere else (the bays, the rivers, Mudhole, Conway), 4 to 6 inches, but water visibility in the middle was better, which is where we have better success.

Date Fished: 10/27/2012
Water Temperature: 75
Water Clarity: 6 inches

I fished the lower Delta from 11 AM til 2 PM with my neighbor, not expecting to have much success. I was not disappointed. Incoming tide all day. North to northwest wind moderate all day. Water level was pretty high, all things considered. Water clarity was a problem. Water visibility was 6 inches or less everywhere I went. I fished all types of environments; bays, rivers and creeks. I fished all types of lures. My neighbor caught one keeper bass; I did not get a single bite. I say plenty of live bait, speckled trout fishermen. Not many bass fishermen.

Date Fished: 10/5/2012
Water Temperature: 77
Water Clarity: 6 inches

Fished the lower Delta from 9 AM until 1 PM with my neighbor. Light north wind. Sometimes no wind at all. Falling tide. Water very stained. Fished the back end of Chocalotta Bay (where the water was a little clearer) for two hour with only one bite. Plenty of grass but no fish activity noted except for mullet. Moved to the lower Tensaw River and found and caught several bass on shallow bars or flats with grass near deep water.
All fish came on lizards. Color didn't seem to matter. Fishermen were everywhere early looking for speckled trout (weakfish) with live shrimp.
Words is out that specs have invaded the Delta. Did catch one small one on a spinnerbait.
Air temp was about 75 when we began but well into the 80's when we quit.

Date Fished: 8/25/2012
Water Temperature: 85
Water Clarity: 1 foot

Very disappointing fishing day. Fished lower Delta yesterday with my neighbor 7:30 AM til noon. Good falling tide.
Light wind changing from north to east. Trick worn, green pumpkin, the most affective bait. Caught and released four 12 to 13 inch bass.
All on deep banks in the Tensaw river. Nothing in mouth of bay (Bay Grass), flats in rivers, or shallow, grassy banks in rivers.
Similar results reported from recent tournaments in middle Delta.

Date Fished: 4/22/2012
Water Temperature: 76
Water Clarity: 1 foot

Two major tournaments were held in the Mobile/Tensaw Delta yesterday. I have yet to find the results but hopefully will before the day is over.
This report is for Friday the 20th. Beautiful day. Moderate south wind, switching to southeast, east, and southwest. I launched on the Causeway about 11 AM. Fishermen everywhere. The bass fishermen I talked to were not doing very well. Water visibility poor (about 6 inches) except over/behind heavy grass. Some bays (Grand Bay, Chuckafee, Delvan, Bay Minnette Bay ((not Basin)), and Yacht Basin) have little or no grass.
The spawn is over. Some bass hanging around spawn areas but hard to get to because grass has topped out. Water level very high so I decided to fish shallow areas normally not readily accessible. Found one good spawn area and caught several 2 to 4 pound fish and many small buck bass.
Problem was, they would only hit a Snagless Sally, and I misses more fish than I actually put in the boat. I tried several spinnerbaits, different colors, different blade combinations, but not one hit. I even tried a trick worm. I left them biting at 2:30 PM, just after the tide started going out.

Date Fished: 3/23/2012
Water Temperature: 72
Water Clarity: 1 foot

Same old story - plenty of buck bass reacting to spinnerbaits fished over grass in bays on the south end. Neap tides today with strong southeast wind. Did catch one sow, about 4 pounds, but mostly small buck bass in the 1 to 2 pound range. Best 5 about 9 pounds.
Water very high after two days of heavy rain. Started just after 1 PM and left then biting at 5 PM.

Date Fished: 3/7/2012
Water Temperature: 65
Water Clarity: 1 foot

Today was not a good fishing day, weatherwise. Strong ESE wind following a cold front made fishing difficult and most places in the lower Delta unfishable. But by sticking to the east side of the bays found water very high and bass very active. Fished from 2 PM til 5 PM and caught and released over a dozen keeper fish. Tried several baits but the white Bush Hog spinnerbait with chartreuse blades was the most effective. The key was to fish over the grass, 30 to 50 feet off the bank. Best 5 about 12 pounds. Rough ride back to the landing as it was white-capping everywhere.

Date Fished: 2/10/2012
Water Temperature: 57
Water Clarity: 1 foot

No wind for a change. Incoming tide all day. Overcast. Sounds like a perfect scenario for catching bass. Not so. My neighbor and I caught two small fish in Jim's Creek. Nothing in Chocalotta, Delvan or the Tensaw River. I talked to two other old timers and they reported the same results.
I talked to one fishermen as I was putting in and he reported that limits of bass were being caught shallow, in small feeder creeks off the bays.
Didn't say which ones. The fish must have been biting on the falling tide because they were not on incoming.
Water clarity was a lot better than expected and I found plenty of grass in the normal spawn areas, but no hungry bass.
We quit at 3:30 PM just as the rain started.