Saturday, August 12, 2017

B.B.S. Gull Lake

Conditions: 52-76℉, Sunny to partly cloudy, Calm or very light E wind
Water Temp: 72-76℉

The Day:  
Not sure exactly what time we blasted off at.  We didn't run very far.  I started off throwing the Whopper Plopper.  After about 15 minutes my boater Mick got himself a decent bass on a craw tube.  I immediately put down the Plopper because there hadn't been a hint of activity on the surface and picked up the Legend Xtreme with a blue/black Chigger Craw on it.  About 5 minutes later I had my first bass in the boat, a 13.3 incher.  Mick then got another decent one and I got a 13.5".  Mick then caught 17 incher and a couple more good one's in pretty short order.  I got a dink next to a dock as we worked our way back over where we had fished.  My blue/black Chigger Craw was trashed so I put on a breen one.  There started to be some surface activity so I started  throwing the Plopper again.  Mick caught his limit fish about an hour and 20 minutes in.  I put the Plopper back down pretty quickly.  I think Mick culled once and I got my big fish of the day, a 15.25"on the Chigger Craw.  I was throwing both the Chigger Craw and a craw tube as well.  I had several fish pick them up and drop it immediately.  Also plenty of bites from sunfish.  The area seemed to go dead, so we headed North to his big fish area.

There were lots of sunfish swimming around, so tried the LiveTarget Sunfish Wake bait.  I saw some boils on the surface so I also tried a bluegill Shower Blows 105 for a while.  Mick started catching some bass but they didn't help him, maybe he culled once or twice.

Mick gave me a red shad craw tube.  I threw it for about 10 minutes without a hit and went to a black/red fleck Chigger Craw.  Mick caught another bass and asked me why I wasn't throwing the craw tube.  He had a good point.  I switched from a 3/8 to 3/16 weight with the craw tube.  While I was fishing the Chigger Craw and the craw tube once again I was having fish pick it up and drop it.  I tried letting it sit or giggling it in place, but they wouldn't come back for it.

It was now a little after 11AM and we headed South.  I don't know which bay we were in but Bill Bailey and Alan Steinbauer were both fishing really close to where we pulled in.  Mick had a small keeper on before I even had my line in the water.  Alan's boat left pretty quickly and we headed that way.  Mick caught another bass that didn't help him.  We went right into the thick coontail and Mick was showing me how he fishes for them in the Fall.  He pulled in a small keeper on his first or second drop.  He then caught another one pretty quickly.  I think I then missed a hit and Mick caught another one.  I missed a couple more bites, but finally hooked up on won just over 13 inches.  Mick sat down and ate a sandwich.  I think I missed one more hit, before me left for the next spot.

The next spot was reed island.  I had a fish just hammer the craw tube after it landed, but when I set the hook there was nothing there.  Might have been a pike.  We fished the area for about half an hour and didn't get anything, so off we headed to what must be eastern most southern bay and fished off of a point.  I got my last fish of the day (13.75) there and missed a couple of hits as well.

We went in and tried some docks.  Didn't get anything.  With about 40 minutes left we headed back to our starting spot and didn't get anything.

Results:  My 5 fish weighed 7lbs 6ozs, which put me in 18th Place out of 22 anglers. Mick's fished weighed 14/1 and put him in 7th Place.  Keith Tuma won his second in a row with 18/11.  Chuck Steinbauer had a 4/5 big bass.

My Thoughts:  Mick probably caught 4 fish to my one.  He had me around fish all day and even gave me the color that was working.  By the time I figured out I needed to grind with craw tube it was too late.  My mental focus was good all day.  Disappointing to not get a limit, but I had a good time.
   

Saturday, July 15, 2017

B.B.S. North Long Lake

1lb 10ozs Lake Fork Craw Tube (Grn Pumkin/Brown)
6:45-2:50PM North Long Lake we fished all 3 Bays
Conditions: 60-83℉, Partly to Mostly Sunny, Wind All Day out of multiple directions

I came into this tournament without a care in the world.  I was not prepared mentally for how difficult catching fish might prove.  After the pre-fish I was sure we were gonna catch a limit a piece.  Boy was I wrong.  Normally, I am content to let my boater call all the shots for the day and am loathe to offer suggestions.  I need to recognize instances where I need to be more assertive.  This tournament was probably one of those instances, but I can't say with any confidence that the results would have been much different.

The Day:
I had thought to myself that starting where we caught multiple fish and then quickly left in 371 Bay should be our start spot.  Checkbook suggested we start in the reeds where we got fish in Merrifield Bay.  No problem.  Fish for 30 minutes, if we don't get a bite get out of there and go to 371.  That is pretty much the way it played out.

When we got to 371 Bay a boat was anchored maybe 50 yards to the NE of the juice.  We were there maybe 15 minutes and Checkbook got bit off.  I don't remember if I had gone to the front of the boat or not when I caught my only bass of the day on a Lake Fork Craw Tube.  I threw out a marker buoy and went and got the fish weighed and put a cull tag in.  By the time I was ready to fish again Checkbook was retied and back on the trolling motor.  Over the next hour or so I missed a couple of hits and got a pike.  I think Checkbook caught a pike.  The boat that was anchored finally left.  Checkbook wanted to leave as well.  I thought we should fish toward where the boat was anchored, but didn't speak up.

We went to the reeds in 371 that I had a blow up in during pre-fish.  Checkbook got his lone keeper there on a jig.

Next we headed to the main lake.  We apparently just missed fishing a spot that had a bunch of small keepers on it.  We didn't find the weeds.  I suggested we try some docks.  We went to either a resort or marina not sure which.  Didn't get anything there.  We fished some reeds nothing.  Tried another spot close by. Nothing.  We headed back to Merrifield Bay and fished the steep break on the North Shore narrows into the bay.  A good looking spot, but we didn't get a hit other than me getting bit off once.

Next we tried some reeds on the South shoreline, nothing.  We tried some docks.  I think Checkbook got a rock bass.  We tried some more reeds and some great looking shallow slop along the cattail shoreline.  Not a sign of a fish.  It was now about 2PM and both us were pretty frustrated.  I think I pulled the plug on where we were fishing maybe a bit to quickly as we were approaching some good looking water with some cain and thicker reeds, but I really wanted to get back to that weedline spot on 371 and that is where we went and  spent the rest of the day.  We caught several pike there and both got bit off in the final hour.  I also missed a few hits that might have been bass.  I later learned that a lot of the bass bites felt like panfish and you really had to coax them into taking it.  Or it could be that panfish were playing with a bait until a bass came to investigate.  Whatever, the day was over and we didn't figure that part of the puzzle out.

Results: My fish weighed 1lb 10ozs, which put me in 23rd Place out of 24 anglers with Checkbook  taking last.  Keith Tuma won by more than a pound and a half with 17/09 and with 4/05 Lunker.

My Thoughts:  I didn't really get spun out.  It's just that everything we tried didn't work.  If anything I was to casual believing we would eventually find and catch some bass. Looking back at my tournament results in July I haven't caught a limit in the month since 2012, ouch.  This finish pretty much forces my hand.  If I want any shot at making the Super 6 at the end of the year I'm going to have to fish Thunder Lake and miss my oldest brothers wedding ceremony.  A disaster on this level next month at Gull will make that decision a moot point.

Next Tournament: Gull Lake August 12th 

 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Snatchers at Zebulon Pike Res. Mississippi River

A Top 5 Finish for Swannie and I.
8:00-4:00PM Zebulon Pike Res. Mississippi River
Conditions: 58-68℉, Mostly Cloudy, Windy NW

The Day:
We ended up starting right before 8AM, thanks to a Snatcher who never showed up.  The wind was blowing on our starting spot pretty good and there were a lot of trees so I didn't start with the Plopper like I planed.  Instead I think I opted for the buzzbait and spinnerbait.  I got my first hit on the spinnerbait but it was a pike.  I then got a rock bass and then another pike.  About an hour in we went back and started over just a little before where we started the first time.  I went to the dreaded Texas Rig.  Within the first 10 minutes and before we reached our starting spot Swannie landed the first keeper of the day.  I ended up getting the Chigger Craw bit off by a pike.  I never did attempt to throw the Texas rig again.  Swannie ended up having to break off his swim jig.  We were just about to move when I got a 15" smallie on the spinnerbait.  About 5 minutes later I overshot my cast and had to break the spinnerbait off.

We ended up moving to our second area and not getting a hit there.

Off the spot #3, a shallow flat with rocks, around 11AM.  Swannie was surprized the only boat fishing there was Tim Benson who I think was 1 fish short of a limit at that time.  Swannie put on a lipless crank and caught 3 quick smallies, 2 keepers and 1 dink that had to go back.  He also caught a walleye around the same spot he got one in pre-fish.  I tried to make topwater work, but the fish weren't having it.  Swannie caught another keeper.  I had seen enough and switched to a red craw 1/2oz Berkley Frenzy lipless that I have had success with in the past in rivers.  I caught a 13 incher.  I think Swannie then caught a catfish and Tim lost a big smallie.  I got my big fish of the day, a 17 incher.

Shortly after getting that fish I cast out the Frenzy and the line broke at the spool.  Just great.  All I had left was a 1/4oz red craw Frenzy lipless.  I put a cast up by shore and got a 13.25" smallie.  Swannie got his fifth keeper then lost a good one on a swim jig.  I had a good smallie on, it would have been my second biggest of the day, and fought it to the boat.  I thought I was going to get it in the net and horsed it a bit to much and it came off.  Totally my mistake.  Losing that fish cost me 3rd Place.

With about 2 hours left we headed back down river.  I got my fifth fish, a 13.5", out of our our starting area where the wind was just pounding with about 40 minutes left in the day.  Eventually we opted to move to the western shore to get out of the wind.  I had the spinnerbait get hit by a couple of small fish, but didn't have another shot at #6.

Results:  My 5 fished weighed 7 and a half pounds, with a 2/04 big fish, which put me in 4th Place.  As you can see I beat Swannie by an ounce. Tim Benson kicked everyone's butt getting 1st with 14/06 and the 3/11 Lunker.  Fishing was tough with only two limits weighed in. Ouch!

Thoughts:  I didn't know we were going to fish that shallow flat as we barely went on to it during pre-fish.  I only had the two lipless cranks with me.  I wish I had more of them and some square bills as well.  Both Swannie and I should of had our limits.  Swannie was a great draw.  Neither of us had a clue fishing was going to be so tough.


 I am off to my best start ever as a Snatcher, so there is that.  If I can just finish middle of the pack from here on out I should reach my goal of being in the Top 10 at the end of the year.  A couple more Top 10 finishes and I should have a great shot at making the clubs Super 6 and thus make this years Challenge Cup Team.

Next Tournament: North Long on July 15th.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

6/3/17 Snatchers Platte/Sullivan

Getting Ready For Blast Off
7:45AM-3:50PM Platte Lake
Conditions: 54-84℉, Partly to Mostly Cloudy, 3 to 15MPH WSWNW Winds, Water Level getting low

There was a surprise at the ramp this morning when we learned a bass club with 7 boats would also be fishing Platte/Sullivan today.  They blasted off at 7AM even though all their boats weren't in the water yet.  Thankfully they only went until noon, so there was no conflict over weigh in and take out.

I think we blasted off around 7:45AM and we went right to what I will now forever call Chuck's Point.  It is a reed point with some cabbage mixed in with rice up by shore and a slop bay to the West.  I think Chuck got a 15" right away on a swimbait or swim jig.  I made a cast out of the reeds into the slop with the Horny Toad.   A fish slapped, but didn't get it.  I cast back and it got it this time, but it hung me up in the reeds.  It really wasn't happening at this spot so we went to one of my spots in the NW corner.  I think Chuck got a small keeper and I whiffed when a fish hit Maxx.  That darn J-Braid 8 wrapped itself around my rod good.  I eventually had to cut it.

We then went to Double Maidencaine Point.  I got a pike there.  Carp were active, but we couldn't raise a bass.  Next we headed to some docks on the South shoreline.  That didn't pay off with anything.  We were making our way out of the rice when I had something show up behind my frog.  I let it sit for a couple of seconds and when I moved it again a 17.75" bass blasted it.

Chuck was intent on getting to some docks, so we didn't fish the area to see if anything else was there.  Chuck came in a little too close to the South side of the small island and he hit bottom with his motor.  Thankfully he didn't seem to do any damage.  We didn't get anything on the docks.

We then headed to the point across from the Platte Lake access and the fish were active there.  Chuck got the first couple of fish.  Then I got a 13.3," 14.25" and a 17" on a Bass Pro Speed Shad.  I lost a 15-16 on the Shower Blows Knock off.  I think Chuck filled out his limit and maybe culled once.

Next we headed back to Chuck's point.  Chuck got a fish right away again and was back to culling.  I caught a 12" line burner on a craw tube which I put in the well.  Almost immediately I had another bite as did Chuck.  They were both good fish.  Chuck's got off, but I landed mine and it was my big fish of the day 18.5" 3/07, so she was spawned out.  I then got a 16.5" fish on the craw tube to get rid of the line burner.  I switched to the Horny Toad and quickly got a skinny 16" fish on that.  Then the bite quit on Chuck's Point.

We ran into my bay, but everything was either covered up or kids were swimming there.  We ran back to the point across from the access.  I may have caught my final cull here, a 16.5 on the Speed Shad.

The sun came out.  We tried some docks on the Platte Access shoreline.  Didn't get anything.  We went back to Chuck's point.  I had a really good fish hit the Horny Toad, unfortunately after having it on for about 4 seconds it buried me in the reeds.  If it was a bass, and I think it was, it probably would have been my big fish.  That hurt me because I couldn't get rid of that skinny 16 incher.

We tried the slop to the East of the GOMH.  Both Chuck and I had hits but couldn't hook the fish.  We went back to Chuck's point to end the day.  He got a solid cull and lost a good one while I got several fish that didn't help me.  And the day was done.

Chuck had me believing we had  me believing that our weights were fairly similar.  They weren't.

Results:  My fish weighed 15/8, which put me in 7th Place.  Whew, I finally made a Top 10.  Chuck came in 3rd Place with 17/4 and he had Lunker with a 4/2.  Mark Munson won with 17/12.  I'm a little surprised no one caught an 18lb bag as the fish were really biting.

My Thoughts: Finally a half way decent tournament day for me. I would have been really disappointed had I come in with anything under 14lbs.  There are just so many 15.5-17" fish in the system right now.  Can I keep the momentum?


 

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Mini Bucks at Rabbit Lakes

Guy with the Lunker that Dwight Caught
9:00AM-3:00PM Rabbit Lakes
Conditions: 53-36 degrees, Alternating between Mostly Sunny to Mostly Cloudy throughout the day,  Wind out of the WNW 8-2MPH less wind towards the end.

I was asked to fish the annual Snatchers Mini Bucks Tournament by Charles Steinbauer because Nate, his usual partner, wasn't able to make it this year.  The lakes were divided into 5 holes, one for each boat. Holes 1,2,4 and 5 were in the lake and the pit was a hole #3.  We would get an hour and 10 minutes in each hole with  I drew for us to start in Hole 4, which meant we got an extra 10 minutes to fish the pit.

In Hole #4 we didn't get anything on our first two spots.  I caught a 14" keeper on our 3rd stop on a bluegill D & M Baits Piranha Swim Jig.

In Hole #5 (The northern most quarter of the lake) Chuck got 14" right away and I got a 12 incher on breen Crazy Legs Chigger Craw.  I think Chuck got another 12 incher and then got a quality 17+ fish off a dock.

Hole #1 (The farthest SW quarter of the lake) Chuck got another quality 17+ bass.  It hit like a pike and I got 13"on a Craw Tube along a reed point to cull out the smallest fish.  This is the hole the Lunker for the tournament came out of in the Slop in the far western bay.

Hole #2 I got a 13" fish culled out our other dink on the Horny Toad in the reeds.
17.15" Craw Tube brown/grn pumpkin

Hole #3 (The Pit).  I think my 17'er was the first fish we got in the Pit providing a good upgrade.  Chuck got a couple of fish that didn't help and I got 1 that didn't on the craw tube.  With about 15 minutes left I got 14" that was a small up grade.
   When we went to take off to go in, we didn't have enough juice to start the motor.  We had been having trouble with the electronics all day.  I was eventually able to get a hold of Guy who came and towed us in.
Waiting to see what Guy and Dwight brought in.
 Dwight and Guy won the tournament and got lunker.  We got 3rd.  Here are the results.


Baits I'm Thinking of for this years Tournaments

Birch Lake- Buzzbaits,  Walking Baits, Chatter Jigs, Jerkbaits, Flukes, Whopper Plopper, Gunfish 117, Horny Toad, HB Frogs, Lizards, Swim Jigs, Traps, spinnerbaits, Grass Pigs both sizes, Craw Fatty, Wake baits, Trick Worm

1 .Tatula Rod: Frog
2. Carolina Rig: Horny Toad
3. Dock Rod: Fluke/Senko
4. Xtreme: Chigger Craw/Senko
5. Avid 7Hvy: Craw Tube/Craw Fatty/Lizard
6. Mojo 7'MH: Poison/Piranha/Crank/Lipless/Topwater/Jerkbait
7. Mojo 7'4": Poison/Piranha/Crank/Lipless/Topwater
8. Crucial: Spinnerbait


South Long- Punching, Buzzbait, HT, Swim Jig, Chatter Jigs, Flukes, HB Frogs, Spooks, Gunfish 117, Trick Worm

Pre-Fish
1.  Tatula Frog++++++++++++
2. Mojo 7'4"???????????????????????
3. Avid 7 Heavy+++++++++++
4. Lamiglass???????????????????????
5. Dock+++++++++++++++++
6. Avid 6'8" Fire ????????????????????-------
7. Swim Jig LTB????????????????????
8. Mojo 7'?????????????????????????--------

Tournment
1. Tatula
2. Avid 7' H
3. Xtreme 6'8"
4. Dock
5. Horny Toad
6. Lamiglass
7. Mojo Crankster
8. Spinnerbait

Fishhook Lake- Whopper Plopper, Frog, Horny Toad,
1. Tatula
2. Mojo Crankster
3. Mojo Crank
4. Avid 6'8" Armilo
5. Dock
6. Avid 7' H
7. Xtreme

Pokegama

Rabbit
1. Chigger Craw Xtreme
2. Craw Tube Avid 7 H
3. Dock
4. Mojo 7'
5. Tatula with Jig
6. Avid 6'8"
7. Swim Jig
8. Spinnerbait

Whitefish Chain
1. Craw Tube
2. Chigger Craw
3. Dock
4. Dinger
5. Mojo
6. Mojo
7. Buzzbait
8. Spinnerbait

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Whitefish Chain BBS

I didn't take any pictures.
7:45AM-3:50PM Lower Whitefish, Big Trout, Lower Hay
Conditions: Low 60's, Cloudy with light drizzle in the morning, Wind to Very Windy ESE

The Day:
I missed the only bite right at the boat on Mark's starting spot on a Piranha with a Chigger Craw trailer.  I don't think Mark got anything.  Next we went somewhere on lower Whitefish where a point comes out.  I got a 14.66" bass there on the Piranha and had multiple claws get bit off as well.  Next we went to a close by protected shoreline.  I got 3 pike pretty quickly on a white Booyah Spinnerbait, but the 3rd fish stole the lure. I think Mark got a rock bass off of a dock.

We next went to Big Trout to fish docks.  Mark finally got his first keeper.  I managed to get two keepers on a Yum Dinger.  My lunker (2/1) came off of a pontoon boat lift with a pontoon on it.  That was my last keeper of the day.  I also missed a fish that felt good when it hung me up on a wave runner lift on a craw tube.  I also got a pike on a weedline on the Craw Tube.  Shortly after I got the pike Mark had a nice bass get off as it dove into the weeds.

We went back to Mark's starting spot and got nothing again.  We spent the rest of the day in Lower Hay.   Mark also caught a dink off of dock then had another good fish get off in the weeds on the same dock.  Then the docks went dead.  I caught a 10" dink out over the weeds and Mark caught his 5th and last keeper with about 10 minutes left over shallow weeds.

Results:
My 3 fish weighed 5lbs 4ozs which put me in 14th Place out of 18 anglers.  Mark had 5 fish for 8/13 which put him in 11th Place.  The winner was Mick Ziebell with 17/1.  Lunker was a 3/9 caught by Swannie.  Whitefish fished tough and only 7 limits were caught.

I ended up finishing in 12th Place for the year, behind two guys that didn't fish in two tournaments. smh

Thoughts:
 Not catching fish sucks. For some reason the fish were tucked up well under the docks and the wind made making good presentations difficult even with Mark putting down the Power-Pole.  The day seemed to fly by as well.  Only caught two limits out of the six tournaments and weighed 26 fish out of a possible 36.  By far the worst fishing I've done as a Snatcher.  I didn't reach a single one of my goals for 2016 as a Snatcher.  But I did have a good time despite the poor fishing I encountered.

Congratulations to Chuck Steinbauer on his 12th Baxter Bass Snatchers Mr. Bass title.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Snatchers Rabbit Lakes

17.33" Craw Tube Grn pumpkin/brown
7:45AM-3:55PM
Conditons: 65-59 degrees, Cloudy to mostly cloudy, Windy to very windy N, Light to heavy rain

Pre-tournament thoughts:  Rabbit Lake has always given me fish and my boater Dennis' confidence had me pretty confident I would get a limit.  Turned out getting there was more difficult than we thought.

The Day:
The last two boats waited until 7:30 to put in, which annoyed Dennis and me as well.  Conditions were perfect and we easily could have been fishing by 7:30, but as it was we blasted off at about 7:45.  We went straight to one of Guy's spots with Dwight right behind us.  We fished it for about 20 minutes and didn't get anything.  Dwight caught a nice one, but we didn't see it.

Next we went to a spot that was protected from the wind where Dennis got some good fish pre-fishing.  I put on the small Plopper and immediately had a 11.75" bass on.  I think Dennis first fish was a pike. He then got a couple small keepers.  I had a couple fish not get the Plopper, unfortunately all I have is the one color.

Next we  headed to the wood and Dennis got a little better keeper, but that was it.  We got to the spot where I got my best fish in pre-fish and I got an even bigger one (17.66) on a Lake Fork Craw Tube.  Unfortunately that was all we got.  We followed the road out and I got a 15.33" by where I got one in pre-fish.  I also got a pike on the Craw Tube as well and Dennis got a walleye.

I think we then went to the island and didn't get anything there.  We went back to our starting spot and Dennis got a quality fish that came off just as I got the net under it.  Dennis was quite thankful.  We spent quite a while there and Dennis got one more keeper.  I just couldn't buy a bite there except a pike that bit me off.

We left to go to the numbers spot.  Dennis forgot to put the trolling motor up and we got drenched.  We had a good laugh.  I missed a hit right away on the Craw tube and Dennis had a fish on pretty quickly as well.  I think it might have been a pike.  Dennis got a keeper and then he got his big fish.  I got bit off.  I started throwing a white spinnerbait and got a pike. Then I got a 14" and 12.75" pretty quickly as we worked back over the area.  I think Dennis got a couple more keepers and missed some bites as well getting a nice walleye.

We went back to the island and I got a big dogfish.  It put up a great fight.  Unfortunately my attempt at a selfie with it failed.
Dennis got himself a cull.  A rain storm was moving in on us, so we went to our second spot.  I missed a fish on the Craw Tube right away.  Then it started raining.  I had a bass hit the Craw Tube as I was reeling it back to the boat and I landed it (14").  It started pouring.  Dennis missed a few more bites. We got out in the wind and I cast out the Craw Tube and had an over run.  When I picked the bait back up I thought I felt a fish, so I set the hook.  My line cracked as my line broke just above the rod.

We headed back to where Dennis got his big fish.  I got a nice pike on the black blue Piranha and I got a dink on the jerk shad that was only a couple inches longer than the bait.  We got up by the pads and I got 15.5" on the white spinnerbait; the fish really thumped it.  I got my limit with about 2 hours left

We went back to our starting spot and I discovered I didn't have enough line to fish on the craw tube rod.  We didn't get anything.  We went back and tried to expand on our numbers spot, but came up empty.  We finished expanding on our second spot.  Dennis had a fish that would have culled get off just before I could reach it.  My last hit didn't get the spinnerbait and the day was over.

Results:
My limit weighed 11lbs 4ozs and put me in 12th Place out of a field of 16.  Dennis was one more big fish short of contending for the win.  His 15/11 put him in 5th Place.  Dwight "Hammer" Hammermeister took his very first Bass Snatcher victory with a 16/8 limit.  Paul Ruff had a 4lb 3oz smallmouth that took Lunker.

My Thoughts:
I wish I could have gotten rid of the 12 incher.  I would have moved up 1 spot for sure and possibly 2.  I tried a number of lures that came up empty: Super Fluke, Swim Jig, Rattlin' Rap, Baby Minus One, Fat Free Shad, Chigger Craw, Jig and Chigger Craw, KVD Sexy Dog, and RI Vixen.  For whatever reason I just cannot get in sync with the fish, it's frustrating.  I should have been able to catch more than 6 keepers.

Next tournament is at Whitefish Chain on Sept. 24th.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

B.B.S. Pokegama

2nd From Last, 2nd Place, 1st Place
Dave Smith 4lb 8oz Lunker
7:40AM-4:00PM Pokegama Lake (Grand Rapids) 14 Guys Fishing
Conditions: 76-58 degrees, Light to M NW wind, Mostly Sunny to Mostly Cloudy,  Water visibility about 5'

Pre-Tournament Thoughts: 
I was due for a good tournament finish.

The Day:
We made the long run down to Sherry Arm and started on a large sunken Island with some cabbage where Bill had gotten a nice smallie in pre-fish.  Nothing was home except a small rock bass that I got on a craw tube.  We then moved to a wind blown point.  I pulled two pike on a chart/white Strike King Spinnerbait and Bill got the first keeper of the day, a small largemouth.  I had a good sized smallmouth head butt the spinnerbait right in front of me.  Why couldn't the fish bite it instead?

About an hour and a half in we went to the slop in the South end of Sherry Arm.  Bill got a couple more small largemouth.  We then worked the W shoreline and I got a 13.5" largemouth on Sweet Revenge Mad Maxx.  It showed itself and I got it on the second cast.  A little farther down I got a 13.75" out of some bulrushes on a craw tube.

We went to another point and Bill got another small keeper largemouth.  We went back to the point where I saw the smallie.  I had a couple dink bass grab the spinnerbait and get off.  Bill caught a 3-15 smallie on a jig.  That made his day.  We went back to the sunken island and didn't get anything.  With about two hours left to go we headed back towards Tioga.

I got a 14" in some reeds with rice on the craw tube.  We went into Poole Bay.  I lost a tungsten sinker to a snag in the reeds because I didn't retie my line which had been getting frayed.  Was not to happy about that.  We then moved across to the West side of the bay to some lily pads that Bill hadn't pre-fished.  I had fish miss the Horny Toad and Bill missed what sounded like a good fish just outside of the pads on his frog.  Then his trolling motor caught a bunch of braided line with a spinnerbait attached, so we lost use of the trolling motor for the final hour.

We moved into Tioga Bay and drifted with the wind along some reeds.  I had a good fish hit the Horny Toad but it swam right at me and I couldn't keep up and it got off.  Don't know what it was because I never saw it.  I had some dink bass hit the Horny Toad and had a couple good strikes not hook up. Bill got a small cull and the day was over.

Results:
My three fish weighed 4lbs 13ozs which put in 13th Place out of 14 anglers.  Bill's fish went 11-7 and put him in 10th Place.  1st Place went to Tim Benson with 17lbs 8ozs and Dave Smith had the 4-8 Lunker.

My Thoughts:
I thought for sure I was getting last place in this one, but Art saved me from that fate.  We just weren't on anything as Bill having the smallest limit of the tournament with a 3-15 kicker proves.  I should have thrown the jerk shad some, but was to lazy to switch the spinnerbait for a speed clip.  That smallmouth bumping the spinnerbait and not eating it got in my head a little bit.  They usually crush it and are hooked up solid.

Next Tournament Rabbit Lake in two weeks.    

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 16th B.B.S. Fishhook Lake

A pod of about 8 Loons we came across
7:50AM-4:00PM Fishhook Lake
Conditions: 79-63 degrees, Mostly sunny to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy, started calm then winds from 5 to 10 MPH out of the SW

Pre-tournament Thoughts:
I came into this tournament hoping for the best, but expecting it might be a difficult day.  My boater Art doesn't have a GPS and the Lakemaster Chip for mine just has generic contours of the lake that may or may not be accurate.  I didn't even think it was worth bothering putting in waypoints of spots to check out.  I did bring the GPS with though.

The Day:
We blasted off third and headed East to large point with a big weed flat.  I believe 5 other boats started on it.  I took that as an encouraging sign.   We were the closest boat in towards shore.   Dennis Lothspeich was in the closest boat to us and he had a pike break him off on his first cast.  My boater Art got a rock bass.  Herman who was in Dennis boat got himself a keeper largemouth.  I started out throwing topwater and didn't raise a thing.  I got a rock bass on the Piranha and had a pike follow in it as well.  Art got a couple more rock bass and pretty much everybody left the area after an hour and a half.  I had a pike break off my Texas rig and the wind started up.

We moved to the NW corner of the lake and I got a pike on the Pure Poison with Swim Fluke Jr. for a trailer.  We then moved in to try a few docks.  Very fishy looking water to me.  Between two of the docks there was a tree hanging over the water and I put a cast up right by shore.  Sure enough there was a good bass sitting there that took my Fluke and I hooked it.  It went 16", I wouldn't be getting a skunk for the day.  I was feeling pretty good about that.  We came up to some slop and reeds and I missed a hit on a LiveTarget Frog.  I wasn't looking at the lure when it hit.  I did get a good hookset, just don't think the fish had the frog.

We ended up going back to our starting spot.  We started catching rock bass and I had a pike break me off again.  I think I caught the next bass, a 14.25" keeper on a craw tube.  I didn't have my wits about me, as I didn't throw out a marker buoy I brought or think to put a waypoint in the GPS.  Art inexplicably decided to move us pretty much right after I caught the fish.  Art eventually did catch himself a keeper.  I didn't even cross my mind to throw the buoy or mark a waypoint.  We caught a few more rock bass.  Then we left and tried a couple other spots getting nothing.  With about an hour and a half left in the day we went back to the starting area again.  I quickly landed a 13.75" and a 14" keeper on the craw tube and Art landed his biggest fish and had one jump him off.  Once again I didn't think to throw the marker or put in a way point.  That was the last of our action other than a few more rock bass and a couple of bites that I missed.

Results:  My four fish weighed 7lbs 8ozs which put me in 16th Place out of 18 anglers.  Art's 2 fish weighed 3/11 and put him in 17th Place.  Keith Tuma won with a modest 16/10 and Lunker went to Tim Benson with a 5/2.

My Thoughts:  Who knows if I would have thrown out the marker buoy or marked where we caught fish on the GPS would have made a difference or not.  I just wish I had thought to do it.  Catching 1 more fish would have moved me up at least 2 more spots.  Other than the brain fart on the marker buoy and GPS, I thought I took advantage of what I was presented with.  The one suggestion I gave on where to fish didn't produce anything for us.  Getting bit by rock bass kept me from getting bored and I only lost two tungsten weight's to the pike.  The day could have gone far worse.  I'm just glad I caught anything.

Next Tournament:  Lake Pokegama (Grand Rapids) Aug 6th.        

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June 19th B.B.S. South Long

Getting towed back to the landing by Bill Bailey
7:45AM-4 PM South Long Lake

Conditions: 70-88 degrees, Windy to Extremely Windy out of the SSW, Mostly Sunny turning cloudy in the last hour or so.

The Day:  Our first stop was the points on the South side of the Channel into the South bay.  We worked our way NE than North after we went around the second point.  We didn't get anything on the points and were heading North to the docks.  I was throwing the Whopper Plopper across the channel towards the lake side of the other point.  The Plopper was almost back to the boat when a 14.25" hit it.  First keeper of the morning.

We worked our way North into the reeds and rice.  My boater Tony got a couple of squeakers and I got one (13") as well on a Horny Toad.  I missed a hit in the rice along the back edge of the reed. We working the shallow side of another reed bed when a fish missed the Horny Toad.  I cast back and got a 14" fish.  Tony saw a descent size fish jump and worked himself into position to get it.  It took some casting, but eventually he got it to hit.  It was a solid fish.

We worked the reed beds and Tony got his limit.  I wasn't getting any hits on the Horny Toad or a frog, so I started throwing a white Grass Pig on a weighted swimbait hook.  I got a 14.25", then I lost a fish at least that size when it got hung up on the very last reed before it was in the clear.  I then got a 13.95" bass and then lost the next one that hit me in the reeds.  We went and fished a dock.  I threw my fluke to a clump of rice and good fish jumped all over it, but I botched the hook set.  I couldn't get the fish to hit again.  We went back into the reeds. I think I missed two more hits in the reeds before I finally got my limit fish, a 12.5" squeaker.  We were a little over 2 hours into the tournament at this point and the wind was really starting to come up.

I think the next fish in the boat was Tony's big bass, a solid 3lber.  We decided to go back and start all over in the reeds.  As we were coming to another reed bed I made a fairly long cast with my craw tube and 15 incher picked it up.  That was my big bass of the day and the only one I would get on the craw tube.  I did also get a rock bass and a green sunfish on the craw tube that I thought for sure was going to be a bass by the way it hit.
Took a picture of the little guy.
      We went for a long stretch without getting anything.  Eventually we started getting fish again.  I culled out my second fish with a 13.5".  Don't remember what I caught it on, the swimbait maybe.  I started throwing the double Colorado blade Strike King Spinnerbait and I caught a pike, then a rock bass, then a 12", then my final cull of the day with a 14" on it.

With a little more than an hour left it seemed like the wind was quieting down, so we ran up the lake to the other spot we got fish while pre-fishing.  That was a mistake as it was still whipping around up there.  We tried it for about half an hour then headed for the SE shoreline which was still in the wind.  I looked in the well and one of Tony's fish had expired.  After getting nothing there for 10 minutes we called it quits.  I don't remember exactly when, but shortly after Tony pointed the boat towards weigh-in we hit something, spun the hub, and bent up the prop pretty bad.  We waved down Guy who towed us to weigh in.

Results:  My limit weighed 8lbs 10ozs, which put me in 16th Place out of 21 anglers.  Tony's fish weighed 13-14, but the 2oz penalty cost him 3rd Place because Guy with whom he was now tied had the Lunker for the day at 4-7.  Chuck Steinbauer was the tournament winner with 16-2.

My Thoughts:  Tony's boat control in that nasty wind was excellent.  With a little better luck in landing the fish that bit I may have had a shot at being in the Top 10.  Lost fish are part of the deal in the reeds.  I did beat my weight by 14ozs from the tournament we had on South Long on 6/21/09, but my place of finish is one place worse this time.

In AOY I'm 4 points ahead of where I was at this point last year.  I finished in front of the two guys that were behind me at Birch. Unfortunately I didn't manage to finish in front of anyone who was in front of me either, other than two guys who did not fish this tournament.  I am going to have to fish better if I'm going to make my goal of finishing in the Top 10 for the year.

Next Tournament: Fishhook Lake at Park Rapids on July 16th.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

June 4th B.B.S. Birch (Hackensack)

Tournament Winner the humble Dennis Lothspeich in his new ride.
Conditions: 65-55 degrees, Cloudy with some rain, Windy for most of the day out of the NW

Not The Day I Was Looking For:
We blasted off at about a quarter to 8AM.  We went to the channel that separates the two basins.  I quickly had a fish on my D & M Baits Piranha bluegill color, but it was a pike.  As we were fishing through the channel I had the Grass Pig's tail get bit off.  As we worked our way North out of the Western side of the channel I got a 12.75" keeper on a black/blue Piranha with a Chigger Craw trailer.  We kept moving North.  I got a 11" on the Chigger Craw.  The wind came up and it started raining.

We moved to the South side of the Island and fished around the rock point.  As we were working the windward side coming up on Paul and Hammer my boater Darren stuck the Lunker of the Day.  That was the only fish we got in that area.  We worked around the West side of the Island where I got a pike on an Okeechobee Craw Craw Fatty.   We started down the East side and Darren missed a hit.  I quickly landed a 14.75" in the same general area on the Craw Fatty.  We pulled a little more off shore and I got a 14.25" and a 16.75" (2-6) also on the Craw Fatty.  Darren picked up a couple of fish as well on Craw Tubes.  I landed a short and a couple of pike and missed some hits.  Darren got his limit.  The action slowed.  Darren switched to a Senko.  He had a mule on, but his drag was too loose.  He tightened it up to much and the fish broke him off as it jumped just out of reach of the net.

That kind of wrecked the mood in the boat as Darren was pissed off and I wasn't getting bit out there in the wind and rain.  Also my upper back really started to be a pain.  Darren did get another good fish on the Senko and maybe one or two more fish on it.  I tried an Strike King Ocho and a couple of crankbaits.  We finally bailed on the place with about an hour and a half left.

We tried a point where we had gotten a fish in prefish.  Didn't get anything there.  We moved in to try a few docks.  I got a bad wind knot that put my Fluke Rod out of commission.  That truly sapped my confidence.  We tried another point where I got a pike on the bluegill Piranha.  Darren got a fish that didn't help him.  We worked some slop not getting a hit.

We hit the channel on the way in.  I got a rock bass on the Craw Fatty and Darren got a small upgrade, but then he culled two fish leaving him one short of a limit.  That error ended up costing him two places in the final standings.

Results: My 4 fish weighed 6lbs 9ozs and put me in 13th out of 15 anglers.  Darren came in 6th Place with 12-6.  Dennis Lothspeich as noted above was the winner and his fish weighed 14-9, beating Guy Henkensiefkin by 2 ozs. and Chuck Steinbauer by 3ozs

My Thoughts:  Bottom line I didn't fish very well or intelligently.  I skipped right past the Chigger Craw I had on to put on the Ocho.  We were fishing a spot that was ideal for a football head jig.  It didn't even enter my mind.  I should have thrown a jerkbait as well.  I allowed myself to get frustrated and mentally spun out.

I think it really would have helped if we would have had a marker buoy or two out.  We were fishing far enough off shore and a school of fish was definitely there.  Not having a marker buoy made us far less efficient.   I was out there throwing blind.  

I give myself a D for for that disappointing and depressing finish.  I now haven't caught a limit in 3 straight tournaments.

Next Tournament South Long  

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

B.B.S. Tournament Cedar Lake(Aitkin) Oct. 3rd

My Boater Guy came in 3rd Place and sealed Club Mr. Bass/AOY Honors
Conditions: Mostly sunny, wind out of the ESE 5 to 15mph, temps from the low 40's getting to low 60's.  About 4-5 foot of visibility in some of the bays less in others.

The Day:  We headed up to the North end of the eastern most bay.  It's a slop area where we got bites in pre-fish.  Guy was punching and I was throwing a frog and toad.  Guy missed one or two hits, before we left after about trying for half an hour.  We went to the southern end of the same bay where there is some slop and reeds.  I broke off my Horny Toad when I got hung up on a reed.  I think guy got his first bass and a pike out on the weedline.  I got a pike on a Craw Fatty just before we left to fish some docks.

Guy got one out of a dock and I missed one.  Next we went to a weed hump up in the area by where we started.  I think Guy got a bass and I got a 16" and a 15.75" on the Craw Fatty.  Next we went back to where we started and Guy caught a good one immediately punching.  I think he ended up getting his limit and culling once before we left.  We went back to the spot where I broke off the Horny Toad and I spotted it, so I got it back. We tried a bunch of spots and didn't get anything but break offs.  We ended up going back to the area with the reeds where I caught my pike and I got another one, could have been the same fish.  Then we went back up to where we started with about an hour and a half left.  Guy got a cull and I got a 13" on the Horny Toad.  I think getting that fish in amped me up a little to much an I sailed my next cast onto a beaver dam where I got hung up and had to break off.  We tried some other spots, I did had one hit on the Horny Toad in some pads but it didn't hook up and then the day was done.

Results:  My 3 bass weighed 5lbs 6oz, which garnered me 11th Place out of a field of 14.  First Place went to Bill Ludenia with 15-10 and Lunker was caught by Chuck Johansen with a 4-10 fish.  Guy's 3rd Place limit went 13-7, just an ounce shy of Johansen.  It was a tough day with only 6 guys getting a limit. Well at least I beat my 3 fish limit I got here in 2009, which was 4-2.  If we never fish Cedar Lake again, I'll be fine with that.

My Thoughts on the 2015 season:  I didn't get my revenge on any lake, but Farm Island.  It was the second time I missed two tournaments in a year;  The other time was in 2012 with back issues.  Missing the tournament at Woman Lake really sucked.  Missing what would have been a hot, humid, and miserable day on Rush Lake not so much.  It was my worst year for number of fish weighed (16), weight (28.31lbs), and points accumulated (101), which was down 9 places from 2012.  However, I finished 16th out of 41 guys in the Club this year, which was better than 2012 when I finished in 18th Place.

It was a tough year for fishing in the Club as a whole.  For the first time since I've been in the Club we didn't have a single Snatcher go 6 for 36 getting a limit in each tournament.  In the final four tournaments of the year Woman, Rush, Mission, and Cedar more than half the field failed to come in with a limit. Hopefully the poor fishing in the last two thirds of the season is a fluke of the lakes chosen and days fished and not a trend. Participation was down with Cedar Lake being the smallest field I've fished against.