Exploring California Delta Kayak Fishing with FishLab

A lone angler, a kayak, and the early morning light. The scene starts like a fishing novel and plays out in real-time as a drone and a camera crew cover Will Doud-Martin over the rippling waters of the California Delta. There on the West Coast’s most famous bass fishery, Doud-Martin rips through a lineup of FishLab lures in a quest to find the perfect bite. 

But Doud-Martin is less concerned with the optics than with catching fish. He didn’t paddle here for a photoshoot; that much is evident by the way he lops off half of the legs of a FishLab Rattle Toad. No, Doud-Martin came here to show the world his home waters, his lab, in a new YouTube series from the upstart tackle company that battled its way through the pandemic that began just weeks after its official launch. Now, FishLab wants to use stories like Doud Martin’s to forge themselves into a household name.

Check out Doud-Martin’s work in the video below.

That’s real fishing in the real world, and the California Delta is just one of FishLab’s “In the Field” episodes that breaks down real world applications for their baits. Call them science experience in the field. “Unlike regular bass fishing tournaments, kayak bass angling is really a solo sport,” said Doud-Martin. “Sure, there are a lot of fellow competitors and folks you might chat with over the course of the event, but when you are out on the water, it is you and the bass. You have to take all of that knowledge that you’ve learned and put it to work.”

Just like Doud-Martin, the anglers of Fishlab: In the Field aren’t glossy public relations professionals or t.v. stars, they’re the salt of the Earth anglers that make up the backbone of any successful tackle shop—they’re the real experts that fish their waters multiple times a week, turning the outdoors in their backyards into a working laboratory.

Speaking of that laboratory. Here’s the skinny on the baits Doud-Martin uses on the world’s most bass-centric river delta.

Rattle Toad

The Rattle Toad lineup consists of three sizes.  2 ¼”, 2 ¾” and the giant 3 ½” toad.  The key feature of the Rattle Toad is the oversized rattle chamber that is mounted in the head of the toad and keeps the bait lying flat on the water making it easier for fish to track the bait over thick mats of grass or through heavy scum lines.  

Available in both lifelike and classic frog colors, the Rattle Toad has an easy walking action with light use of the rod. The double frog hook on the toad sits high up on the side of the body so that it takes less body compression to expose the hook points and to get an easier hook set. The highly detailed and textured back of the toad mimics the reel texture of a frog and the floating PVC legs keep the frog up on the surface.

FishLab Popping Rattle Toad

The FishLab Popping Rattle Toad features a cupped mouth that creates a unique popping action as you walk-the-dog and puts out a loud plopping noise that calls in big fish from great distance. The floating skirt material that is used for the legs, keeps the legs up on the surface giving a larger profile for bass to strike at.

Available in three sizes and weights, the Popping Rattle Toad will fit nicely into your top water arsenal. The family features 2 ¼” – 1/2oz, 2 ¾” – 3/4oz and 3 ½” – 1 1/8oz versions and will be available in Green Frog, Mud Frog, White Frog and Black Frog.


Available in 4”, 5” and 6 ¼” these lightweight baits are great for skipping under docks or overhanging trees and can be fished in the heaviest of cover. These baits can be rigged weedless and are designed to be fished on a weighted screw lock swimbait hook.

With Baitfish, Minnow, Hitch and Sexy Shad as the color patterns, the Bio-Minnow will be able to mimic your forage fish perfectly.  The 4” comes with thee baits per package and the 5” and 6 ¼” come with two baits per package. 2021 welcomes new color schemes and sizes for the Bio-Minnow, including: fire tiger, pearl white, carp, and baby bass.

Bio-Shad Wake Bait

Available in 4” and 6” sizes, these lightweight topwater baits are great for drawing big strikes. You can work the FishLab Bio-Shad wake bait at a slow crawl all the way up to a fast burn and you won’t get blow outs. The double pinned join connection strengthens the bait and keeps the bait running true. Bio-Shad baits are a double hooked bait and feature a rear treble hook with feather trailer for increased attraction as well as a pre-rigged nose split ring.

Currently available in four striking patterns including, Shad, Sexy Shad, Golden Shiner and Chartreuse Shad, these baits are bound to drive bass and striped bass wild.  

More Videos In the Field

The California Delta is the second in what FishLab says will be at least a four location “In the Field” series this year. Episode one, below, features pro-am tournament bass anglers Adam Day and Paul Herber on an adventure to Lake Havasu.

To check out FishLab’s full lineup up freshwater lures, including blade baits, jerkbaits and more swimbaits, check out the FishLab Freshwater Collection landing page.