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.

        

Monday, September 21, 2015

B.B.S. Mission Lakes Tournament Sept. 19th

What I caught My 3 Fish On (2 Bass, 1 Pike)
My first big mistake was thinking I would be able to get a limit no problem.  My boater Bill B. had a good history on the lake and we as a club caught the fire out of them here two years ago in June.  I thought the fish would be everywhere and on the feed, boy was I wrong.  Less than half the field caught a limit and about half of us had 3 fish or less.  It was tough.

My second mistake was not calling to check if my boater pre-fished, which he did end up doing.  I didn't bring my dock skipping rod because I didn't know we would be fishing docks.  Oh well.

Conditions: Post cold front, cool in the morning getting to about 70 degrees, Sunny, light winds for the first 3 hours then getting to be about 10-15mph in the afternoon out of the WSW, about a foot of visibility maybe less.

The Day: We started in the Lower Lake in some maidencaine.  Bill missed a bite on a spinnerbait.  We spent maybe half an hour, than moved up the lake to try some docks.  Bill got a squeaker out of some sparce reeds.  And I got a 11.75" of a dock on the Craw Fatty.

Next we moved to the Upper Lake.  We fished outside of some reeds, then went in to try some docks.  I got my only keeper on the Horny Toad.  I then missed a fish on the HT and Bill also missed a fish on the same dock.

Next we moved to a weedline spot outside of the reeds.  Bill picked up three descent one's on this spot on a Senko.  The last of which he got when Chuck Steinbauer was close by, which gave Bill quite a thrill to do.  The wind came up while we were on this spot.

Next we went to the NE corner of the lake and got nothing, then we went to the reed point by the Upper Lake Access and Bill got an OK fish on the Senko.  I switched to a Grass Pig Jr on a Texas Rig.  I should have put it on a mushroom head jig instead as I got a couple of bites but didn't get hook into them at this spot or at the place Bill got the 3 fish.

Next we went to a spot outside of a reed point on the NW shore.  I got my pike there.  Then we moved in to fish docks.  I missed a bite that took the Horny Toad when I let it sink at the back of a pontoon and another fish that hit the HT as I brought it out of a thick patch of reeds that was out from a dock.

I think Bill got a hammer-handle off an under water point.  With about an hour and a half left we went back to the Lower Lake and retraced our steps back to the docks then maidencaine.  Bill pulled his biggest bass there on a Yabbie.  I missed a hit on the Craw Fatty, but the line was frayed a bit so it was probably a pike.  We then went over by the access where Bill got a small pike on a swim jig with a swimbait.

Results:  My fish weighed 1lbs 8oz, which kept me out of last place by an ounce.  I finished 19th out of 20.  Bills fish weighed 12-13 and put him in 7th Place.  1st Place went to Chuck Johansen with 17-15 after a 2oz dead fish penalty.  Lunker went to Darren Kiefer with a 4lb 6oz fish.  He was fishing with Johansen.

My Thoughts:   I just wanted to go out and catch a bunch of fish.  What a disappointment!

I didn't get a bite on a chatter jigs, Chigger Craws, Red Eye Shad, buzzbait, or a Vixen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

B.B.S. Farm Island Tournament June 13th

"Sweet Revenge" color Mad Maxx frog
Conditions: Mostly Sunny, Wind out of the E ESE and ENE 5 to 15mph, Temps from high 50's to mid 70's

The Day:  We were a bit surprised to have the whole SW slop bay to ourselves in the morning.  We spent all day there fishing the shallow rice and pads with Tru-Tungsten Mad Maxx Frogs.  My boater Roger and I both mostly threw "Sweet Revenge", but I threw "Big Sexy" in the afternoon as well hoping it might get me a big bite.  Only 3 other boats came in there the whole day and they didn't stay long.  The fish bit throughout the day with only one about an hour long dry spell  from about 9-10AM.  I got the first bite of the morning about 5 minutes in, but it was a pike.  There was a lot of baitfish activity right away in the morning before the wind came up.  Roger was up two to nothing when I got my biggest bass of the day, a 16.25" about half an hour in.  As we were drifting across the flat Roger asked me if we should drift closer to shore.  I told him I thought the fish could be anywhere.  About 5 minutes later I herd a whooosh.  A big bass had annihilated Rogers frog.  I turned my head and informed Roger about the situation as he was watching my frog at the time.  Roger got it in and it was 4lb 5oz and to tied "Lunker of the Tournament."  Roger had his limit before I got another fish.  I just wasn't getting hit.  Roger had his limit in the first hour and a half.  We had to use my push pole a couple of times.  Roger had culled two times when I got on a hot streak and landed 5 fish to Rogers none (14", 14.75", 13.5", 15.25, and 15.9").  Roger was getting bites, but missing them.  I had my limit by 11AM.  I got a 15.5 to cull out the 13.5" and then caught a couple more pike, five 12inch fish, and 14.5", which I culled out for 14.75" fish.  We had lots of short strikes and a few bad hooksets cost me some fish I probably should of had.  I had three bites on the Havoc Pit Boss but I missed all of them.  I also fished the Fluke and Horny Toad but didn't get a bite on either one of those.

Results:  My six fish weighed 11lbs 7ozs and put me in 15th Place out of 27 fishing.  Roger's fish were 16lbs and netted him 3rd Place, with the 4lb 5oz Lunker.  The winner was Guy Henkensiefken with 16-8 edging out Keith Tuma by three ounces, two of which were for a dead fish penalty.

Thoughts: Frustrating, but fun day.  Here's my theory on why Roger kicked my butt. I believe the decision to switch out my Team Daiwa-S103 with a 6:1 ratio the day before for the 9:1 ratio Revo Rocket was a critical mistake. I couldn't slow down enough with the Rocket to give the frog the look they wanted. I was trying to match Roger's retrieve, but it just wasn't happening for me when I did that.   Roger had quite a few more bites than me, but we caught about the same amount of fish.  I definitely caught more 12" fish than Roger.  That and Roger was just lucky to land casts next to bigger fish that were able to take the frog well enough to be hooked.

It really would have helped if Roger would have had a small anchor to put down when we were drifting through good water.  That would have saved Roger some frustration of dealing with the rice as well.

How much can a guy complain on a day where he caught 17 fish and set the hook on at least that many more.  The fish bit all day and I fished one of my favorite ways.  Amazingly I didn't get a single hit while walking my frog when I had the opportunities to do that in holes in the weeds.

I saw one 5lb dogfish and an 8lb carp.

Next Tournament: Woman Lake July 18th

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

May 30th B.B.S. Bay Lake

Todd Berghuis and a loon
6:50AM-3:00PM
Conditions-  Mostly sunny, cold and windy in the morning out of the NNE, the breeze dying down a bit, and it warmed to the high 50's.

The Day:
It was cold in the morning, I did layer up properly and stayed warm except for my left hand which I had to stop fishing with a couple of times to put in my pocket to warm up.  We agreed to start on a deeper spot where we got a double on in practice.  This spot was exposed to the brunt of the wind and the fish weren't there.   My boater Todd got a couple pike and an Ok sized bass and I got a pike on a craw tube.  After about an hour we moved shallow.

I got a pike then a small keeper (12.5") on a black/blue D & M Piranha with a sapphire blue Chigger Craw.  We then moved to another shallow bay where that loon came to see what we were up too.  Todd got two small keepers.  I switched up to a bluegill color D & M Piranha with a swimbait trailer.  Very quickly I got a small keeper (12.25") casting out, then one that felt better than it was (13.75") right up next to shore.  We worked back over this area two more times.  I got a pike on the D & M and Todd got another keeper or two.  We worked into a small marina and I got a quality fish (15.75) off a pontoon with a white Zoom Horny Toad.

We then made a move to a boat channel.  As we were entering it I got my best fish of the day (15.9") off of the first dock in the entrance.  Todd caught one of his better fish in the channel and I got my limit fish (12.5") and missed one on a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke.

We made a long move to another shallow bay.  Todd got a fish to cull and I ran the trolling motor for about 10 minutes while he got his fish figured out.  Shortly after he regained control of the trolling motor I saw a 15.5" bass take a shot at my Piranha.  I caught it.

We tried our starting spot and didn't get anything but a pike or two.  We then went back to the bay with the loon.  I had a hit on the the D & M that ran towards me and got off.  I think I got my next cull (14.5") on a Zoom Super Fluke.  Todd got a couple that didn't help him.  We got to a calm area and I got my last cull (13.25") on a Reaction Innovations Vixen.  We made one last move to the bay where I got my biggest fish in pre-fish, but didn't get anything.  And then the day was over.

Results:  My six fish weighed 10lbs even and was good for 18th place out of 30 anglers.  My boaters limit went for 10lbs 15ozs and put him in 11th place.  The winner was Nate Steinbauer with 14lbs 2ozs who caught the Lunker at 4lbs 2ozs.

My Thoughts:  I could have done without the cold front and a little less wind.  Apparently the bite turned on in the later part of the after noon, but we really struggled the last two hours.  Fish just didn't move up in the bay we chose to fish unfortunately.  Todd was really enjoyable to fish with and was very concerned that I get my limit, which I fortunately got in the 1st half of the day.

My #yearofrevenge starts at the next Tournament at Farm Island Lake.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bay Lake Pre-Fish Report

My Boater Todd Berghuis
We got out for about four and a half hours on Tuesday afternoon.  We had almost perfect conditions, could have used maybe a bit more wind for it to be perfect.  I feel good about what we we caught as both of us got multiple good sized fish for Bay Lake.  We are having a major warm up starting and we didn't see many beds, so it''s possible everything will move to the bank for Saturday.  I guess we will see what tournament day brings.
16" My biggest of the night

Friday, March 27, 2015

8/16/14 B.B.S. Fishtrap Lake (Blind)

Note: Written way after the original tournament date.

I'll admit that I got a bit depressed after my finishes so far this year.   I needed an attitude adjustment to get up for this tournament.  My boater in this one, Guy Henkensiefken, asked me while we were out on the water why I wasn't doing my tournament recap blogs.  That is the reason why I have dragged my feet in writing them so long.

This was the 2nd year in a row I drew Guy for the "Blind" tournament and this is the third time I've fished with him (Rabbit Lake '10, Cullen Chain '13).  After last years tournament he gave me an assignment of coming up with 20 things to talk about in the boat.  I came up with 1, Christian Ponder lol.

Conditions: Very similar to Pelican Lake but not as cool in the morning and a little cloudier and more humid, breaking into sun.  Very little wind.

Highlights from the Day:  

We had a kind of late boat draw, I don't remember if Guy got to go to his starting spot or not.  We started in a spot with two other boats close by.  In the calm conditions I started out throwing the chrome sexy shad KVD Sexy Dawg.  I'm pretty sure I put the first fish in the boat, a 14 incher.  I think I had one other fish not get it.  Guy got a couple of descent fish.  It started clouding up and looked like it might storm for a while.  We moved spots and I got one just over 15" on a black Sexy Dawg.  That was it for my topwater fish.  I don't know why they weren't going as conditions seemed perfect.  I did miss a couple on frogs in the pads later in the day.  I got a 12.25, 3x 13.75", and 14.25" and one hammer handle on a breen Chigger Craw on various weedlines.  My lunker, a 2/12, was my last fish of the day caught out of some pads on a green pumpkin Strike King Hack Attack Jig with Chigger Craw tailer.  I think Guy got a nice one out of the same patch of pads earlier in the day.

Results: My 6 went for 9/13 putting me in 11th Place out of 20 anglers.  This was my highest finish of the year.  Guy's bag of 14/13 put him in 5th place.  The tournament winner was Tim Benson with 17/6.  Chuck Steinbauer got Lunker with a 4/3.

My Thoughts: Man did it get hot out with no wind.  At least the beat down Guy gave me wasn't as bad as last year.

Guy's Parting Thought (Paraphrased):  "The days in this club when I could come in with 14 or 15lbs and expect to contend for the win are over, you've really got to catch them now."  A comment that proved less than prophetic because at the last tournament of the year on Whitefish the winning weight was bellow average at only 12/11.    


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Aug. 2nd 2014 B.B.S. Pelican Lake

Waiting to Blast Off
Note:  This being written more than half a year later so the details may be a bit sketchy.

Conditions: Cool in the morning (54 degrees) getting to 82 degrees, very little wind, and hazy sunshine for most of the day.

I think my sleep schedule was messed up for this tournament.  I either woke up super early or didn't get any sleep at all.  I ended up arriving at the ramp in Jones Bay at least an hour before sunrise.  I was the first one there, but not by as much as I thought I would be.  My boater for this one was Roger Ubl who has many years of experience on Pelican Lake.  Unfortunately I was unable to get out to pre-fish with him.  He told me he wasn't getting a lot of bites, but the one's he were getting were nice one's.

The Day:  I brought my Ipod to wear during the run, set to my Tournament Playlist I had been listing to all morning.  As the picture shows it was a beautiful morning.  We blasted off at around 6:50am.  The run North listening to tunes as the guys raced up the lake was one of my highlights of the year.  We went to a hump or maybe humps quite a ways off the SE of Gooseberry Island.

On the way North I saw fish breaking on top and conditions were perfect for topwater, so I started by throwing a Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg in chrome sexy shad.  Sure enough within my first 10 casts I had a quality fish come up and blast it.  Unfortunately, after being hooked briefly it jumped way out of the water and flipped me off.  I'd say it was at least 18 inches.  A few casts later I hooked and caught a 14.75" largie.  Unfortunately that was it for my topwater bites for the day despite the fact we were around fish busting on the surface for most of the morning and for the last hour of the day as well.  I think Roger got a couple on some kind of plastic and I got a 16.5" on a Blue Bruiser Lake Fork Craw Tube.  Roger was really disappointed with the size of the fish we got here.

After about an hour to hour and a half we left and went off the western tip of Gooseberry Is.  Dang breaking fish that were either out of range or wouldn't hit what I was throwing.  Roger managed a few on the worm he was throwing.  I managed to get a small hammer handle on small Bomber Fat-Free Shad and a 17.25" bass on a breen Chigger Craw.  We went to a weedline off the SW side of Gooseberry and I got another 17.25" on the Chigger Craw.  That was it for my fish for the day.

We ended up going and fishing some cabbage beds, going back to our starting spot, and some deep weedlines.  I tried every rod in the boat including a Carolina Rig, which is something I rarely throw.  I had some bites from sunfish but that was it.  Roger managed to get a respectable limit by the end of the day.

Results:  My 4 fish weighed 10lbs 1oz, which put me in 21st Place out of 26 anglers.  My lunker went 3lbs even.   Rogers 6 weighed just under 14lbs, which only put him in 15th Place; I guess the  quality fish were snapping this day.  The winner was Chuck Steinbauer with 19/1 and his son Nate got "Lunker" at 4/10.

My Thoughts:   Getting that first bass in the boat would have been nice.  I was really wiped out by the end of this one, but I didn't really let it effect my fishing.  I felt like I fished strong for most of the day.  I just don't think we ever found a good school of fish.  The weights were way up from the tournament we had back in 2009 when I took 4th Place with 14lbs even.  If I had it to do over again I wouldn't have thrown a Carolina Rig and a lot less topwater.  Fishing with Roger and hearing his stories is always enjoyable.