Sunday, September 25, 2005

Team Bass 2005 Tournament of Champions Sept. 24-25 2005

The Tournament of Champions lakes are kept secret until the day before the tournament, thus if you want to pre-fish you either have to hit a lot of lakes or guess. I was thinking about hitting Horseshoe and Sauk in addition to Platte/Sullivan but I didn't do either, I ended up regretting my sloth.

Saturday September 24th Sauk Lake
Conditions: It was overcast all day with a slight wind out of the south. Temps were probably in low to mid 60's.

I basically started this tournament on Sauk the way I started the tournament in August. I hit the same shoreline with a fluke. No luck. I then proceeded to hit some wood with jigs, no luck. Then some pads with the jig, no luck. Then weeds and pads, no luck except a bunch of pike on a slow rolled spinnerbait. I tried docks no luck except a couple more pike, one of which broke off a swim jig. Every once and a while I would bring out the storm swim bait trying to catch a monster. It just was not my day.

Finally in the last hour I missed a good fish 3-4lbfish and caught a 2lber. So basically my TOC was over on Day 1.

Saturday September 25th Knife Lake
Conditions: It was cloudy and cool turning into a light breeze and steady rain.

As that I was basically eliminated from the running, I was fishing for big fish. My heart was not in it. I did catch several fish including a smallie in the rice. The rain got to me so I gave up and released my fish. I went back to the car and listened to the Vikings game while waiting for the weigh in.

Last Place both days.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Team Bass Platte/Sullivan Sept.10 2005

Report Done: 5/25/06

I'm not going to report except to say that I quit early because I was so frustrated. It was windy out of the south, my trolling motor was giving me trouble and I was on nothing on my home lake. Can you say Disaster!

Update: Now that time has passed 1 fish for 2lbs 20zs for 17th Place out of 20 boats.

Next Tournament: TOC

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Team Bass Knife Lake August 27th 2005

Report done 5/25/06

Pre-fish: I don't think I pre-fished this one due to having a GEM camp.

Tournament Day Conditions: Morning it was semi cloudy calm around 70. Afternoon the winds picked up out of the west and it was near 80 with sun then thickening cloud cover.

Started in the same spot as last year which is basically right across the lake on the western shore from the blast off point. I think I got one small one in the box right away and missed a good hit as I worked the shore south. I only went so far then headed back north eventually running along the Island as I was working that shore some old timer and his wife passed by me and parked up the shore line about 70 yards and out about a good casts distance. I kept working the shore line and when I got down by this guy he starts talking about how I have no manners even though it was he who parked right in my path but far enough out for there to be plenty of room for me to continue working the shore line. I was like "whatever!" I worked around the North Side of the Island and got nothing into the weeds.

Another tournament boat was just working it's way around a mini-point on to the run of docks just North of the Island. I decided I would hit the first dock and then I would blast out. I immediately got hit by a solid 17"er. I then caught two more small keepers out from that dock. I worked to the next dock and got another solid 16"keeper. The other boat and I passed each other. They were pitching jigs and I was throwing a topwater Zoom Horney Toad. They caught fish behind me and I caught fish behind them with me getting the better of it with a solid 18"er and I think my first cull out. I worked up and back on the run of docks getting one or two that didn't help me.

I then ran to the east shore farther North on the lake. There was a solid algea bloom in this area but it didn't matter because immediately I got another keeper from under a dock. I then proceeded to miss a good hit and then another. I went until the algea just got too thick and headed North a little farther than where I started before. I missed a good hit from a 3 to 4lb fish. That was several quality chances in a row gone. The wind started coming up and the eastern shore turned tough.

I then headed to the river inlet and got nothing. I went under the bridge and tried the far south end of the lake. I missed another solid blow up. The wind was coming in good now. I worked my way north with no luck. I then headed to the run of docks were I had done so well and got 1 more slight cull up. I then headed to the weigh in knowing I had blown a shot for a pretty good bag with missed fish. As it turns out I would probably have had a tough time breaking into the top 4 which all had 18lb bags.

I ended up in 7th place with a 13lb 6oz bag

TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 2.23lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 13.37lbs

Mistakes: I was worn out from the week of camp and I struggled to keep my focus. I outright missed fish because I didn't have my A or even B or C game. For the last few hours on this one I was a hurting unit.

After Thoughts: This tournament was very hard on me. I was just wiped out. At the end of the day I went back to the launch and took a nap on the deck of the boat before loading up the boat and going home. This one pretty much sealed my fate into not being able to break into the top 10 for the year but I kind of feel fortunate to have caught what I did. After all I got my best fish behind one of the clubs top boats and I did much better than last year.

Next Touranment: Platte/Sullivan

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Team Bass Horseshoe 2 August 20,2005

Report done 5/10/06

Pre-fish: I don't believe I pre-fished for this tournament.

Tournament Day Conditions: Clear to hazy sun, NW wind at 15 mph, Air temp 80, Water temp lower 70's

Tournament Day: It was one of those calm warm and humid tournament mornings. As I was running to "the starting point" I noticed panfish dimpling the surface and I decided to start on the wooded portion of "the starting point". There was a school sitting there on the wood and I think I must have boated 4 fish plus one solid miss and 1 or 2 more misses where I'm not sure of the quality of the fish. I broke my jig off at one point and went scrounging around and got it back. I headed around the point nothing, then I fished fast all the way down to Tracy's Channel getting nothing.

Tah Dah, there was fish in "Tracy's Channel" this time and I filled my limit with the Zoom Horny Toad. I had a blow up miss on the toad, so I pitched back in with the jig. WHACK! I set the hook into a 5lber, Dogfish! Ohh well. I think I caught a couple of other bass, maybe culling up a little.

I then headed over to the other cuts, nothing around to and past "Break off Point". Into the next point I got smacked on that one dock by the biggest bass of the day (Zoom Horny Toad). I think I got a couple of other fish in this cut that may or may not have slightly culled. I worked into the next cut without any success.

I am pretty sure it was getting to be late in the day at this point. I did try some docks on the way to "Kicker Break off Cut" where I think I may have gotten a small cull up. Then to the weigh in.

My bag was 13lbs14ozs, my biggest Horseshoe Bag yet, which was good enough for my best Horseshoe finish so far 6th Place.

After the tournament was over I stayed around and fished some stuff down the river with mixed success.

Horseshoe 2

TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 2.31lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 13.87lbs

Mistakes: I had a bad pitch or two that ended up costing me fish. I think one of those lost fish was a good one of at least 3lbs.

After Thoughts: I really enjoy fishing the chain and it's hard to complain with my best performance on the Shoe so far. I just can't seem to find or land the kicker fish that will vault me into the money.

Next Tournament: Knife Lake

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Team Bass @Sauk Lake August 6,2005

Report Done: 5/8/2006

Pre-Fish: Went into this one lake unseen.

About Sauk Lake: This was an all new lake for me and the Team Bass Trail. Coming in Sauk Lake had a reputation for tough fishing, great looking water and big fish; would that hold true or would we find something else?

Sauk is basically a river/lake like the Horseshoe chain. The lake had a pretty good algae bloom and thus stained water.

Tournament Day: Sight unseen my goal was to get a limit and just hope it was big enough or that there was a kicker in there. My basic strategy was to put the trolling motor down and cover water until I figured something out.

Conditions: Warm, the morning with a slight overcast clearing in the afternoon. Wind out of the south 5 to 10mph.

I went under the bridge heading west put my self on the calm south shore and started fishing with a Bubble Gum Zoom Super Fluke. It didn't take long and I landed my first keeper, just under 2lbs. A little farther down I landed another then another and then I missed a solid 3-4lb fish on a poor hookset. These fish were all shallow related to wood. I went through I fairly long dry spell before I caught one and then missed a good fish on the fluke in a tangle of wood. I worked that piece of cover over pretty good and eventually caught that fish I missed on a jig. I then went through another long dry spell. I moved East of the bridge on the North side and started fishing slop with a frog and a jig.

The limit fish was proving elusive as I missed a few blow ups and bites on the jig. I didn't get frustrated, I got mad. With about 10 minutes left I nabbed a good 2lber on the Zoom Horny Toad. I felt really good at that point and headed in.

For Sauk Lake
TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 2.11lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 12.69

12lbs 11ozs for 7th Place

After Thoughts: It's a good thing I got that limit fish or I would have been highly frustrated. I must have lost at least 5 bass before I finally filled out. Overall I felt good about getting 7th place as it could have been far worse. I was a ways out of the money but plenty close to falling far had I not caught that last fish.

I don't know if pre-fishing would have helped or hurt me in this one as that I feel I had a fairly productive day. I don't think the fishery has an overwhelming abundance of fish to begin with. Having that attitude that it might be tough helped me to keep my head in the game. My early success was a big bonus.

Mistakes: Missed fish just killed me in this one.

Final Thought: The big fish and big stringers just didn't show up, the tournament was won by wood pitching jigs.

Next Tournament: Horseshoe 2

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Team Bass @N.& S.Center July 30, 2005

As that this report is written on 5/8/06 I don't remember much about this forgettable tournament.

Pre-fish: The plan was to hit South Center early to mid morning than pre-fish with Dave Smiddle in the later afternoon. I didn't get to the lake until after 5PM and Smiddle got off early and had been fishing out of his boat for most of the afternoon. He took me around to show me his spots then we fished for a little while before he had to leave. I then proceeded to look for some stuff on my own catching a few quality fish. I stayed over night at the access and did pre-fishing for a second day on South Center. I tried all sorts of things and caught fish here and there with nothing great but enough for a good feeling heading into the tournament as I headed home.

Tournament Day: Since the culvert between the two lakes was under construction we had the option of fishing either lake with two separate weigh ins. Naturally I chose South Center as that is where my pre-fishing was concentrated.

Conditions: The weather was partly sunny to overcast with a bit of a southern breeze.

Blast off came and I headed to my starting area, nothing. Secondary spot nothing, Third spot nothing, Fourth area nothing. Tried some docks, nothing. Tried some slop, nothing. It was now late morning and I had nothing to show for it. I then went inside a shallow bay to an isolated spot where I thought I would be able to get at least my first keeper, nothing. Finally some time after noon I got my first keeper in some pads, I worked the area and got a second fish and that was it. I did try and work a couple of Smiddles spots with only a bite off and a couple of crappies on a drop shot to show for it.

As if the day wasn't frustrating enough, at the end of the day I got harassed and threatened by a dock owner for fishing to close to his boat and dock. If my cell phone still worked I would have recorded his every word and took the time to turn the guy in. As it turns out he harassed a couple other of our guys.

All and all a second year in a row with a miserable showing at N&S Center. 2 fish for 2lbs15ozs and 19th place out of 22 Teams.
For Sylvia/Twin
TLA: .000
LCP: .000
FWA: 1.47lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 2.94lbs

After Thoughts: Can't believe what I caught was all I caught, tough day and I'm embarrassed on a pretty good bass fishery.

Mistakes: I think I was fishing just too fast. Mike Daloia , 8th place, said he caught lots of fish, plus tied for big fish senko fishing docks and pads slowly.

I didn't stay positive and fish to the best of my abilities. At the end of the day I was just frustrated and going through the motions.

Drop shotting: What was I thinking? In that stained water a texas rig should have been the way to go.

Final Thought: It was just one of those days, N&S Center kicked my butt for the second year in a row. Maybe next year.

Next Tournament: Sauk Lake

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Team Bass Horseshoe Chain-July 9th 2005

Pre-fish: I just could not get my act together even with leaving GEM Camp directly from Black Water Lake. I slept in and then putzed around getting ready. I was not onto "the chain" until 7:30PM, not much for Pre-Fishing time. I headed to a row of docks and got nothing, I then went to my starting area from last year and popped a couple of fish and figured all the stuff I've had success on in the past was good to go. I then went to GPS the entrance to the "river section" and went to a bay I've wanted to try on Horseshoe where I caught 1 fish but that was it. Went back to the landing and read through the New Bassmasters Magazine and then set up the boat for bed.

The boat was not nearly as comfortable as at Lobster. It was too humid and dank under the boat cover and I could not sleep. When I opened the cover mosquitoes were buzzing me. My alarm clock was ahead by about 2 hours and so at 3am I thought it was 5am and I figured I'd just stay up until the tournament started. Man it took a long time for it to get light as I finished off reading the Bassmaster and waited, I even got a bit of sleep in the truck before people started pulling in.

Pre-fish Analysis: Not enough sleep bad, bad, bad! I wished I hadn't come for pre-fishing at all.

Tournament Day:
I made a morning day decision to start at "the starting point" rather than in "Tracy's Channel." I did get one fat 13incher out from under one little tree on a jig but that was it. I made my way down the way to Tracy's Channel getting nothing. A boat was in the Channel and they said nothing was in there and they were not kidding. I didn't even get a bite and there were no carp or sunnies really and that place is normally full of life and worth a limit. I then headed around to "the carp cut" area around to "Break Off Point." I luckily managed to land a good bass on a fluke off a tree on the point even though I was out of position when it hit.

I went into the next cut and got nothing off the entry docks. I went back further into the cut and found a school of fish holding under slop along a retaining wall. I worked the whole area and filled my limit.

Onto the next cut and it's docks where I got nothing. I went to the other side and flipped trees and culled up just a little bit and missed a couple. All the fish seemed to be about 13-14inches which is weak for the Chain. I then headed to "Kicker Missed Cut" and got my last cull fish. Headed to the cut across the way and the day was over. I had my worst Horseshoe bag yet for a Team Bass tournament and a worse bag than on Lobster for goodness sake. Normally I've had a limit with a nice fish pretty early in the day, but it was tough to get bites on this hot and hazy day. I figured I was headed for a dismal finish in the mid to high teens.

I hung out at the weigh in and the weights were way down this year. My bag of 10lbs15ozs was good enough for an 8th Place finish (tie for my best Horseshoe finish last year when I had a couple of more pounds)
For Horseshoe
TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 1.82lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 10.94lbs

For Season
TLA: .750
LCP: .826
FWA: 2.21lbs
BBP: .053
TDWA: 10.52lbs
(TLA-Tournament Limit Average, LCP-Limit Catch Percentage, FWA-Fish Weight Average, BBP-Big Bass Percentage, TDWA-Total Daily Weight Average)

After Thoughts: What's with the shoe? All it took to win was 17-1 which is quite low for Team Bass, but the real story is the low average of weights. My 8th Place weight of last year 13-12 was good enough to make the money this year. I guess I am happy with my finish as that it could have been far far worse. I lucked out in that Craig and Roger, the winners at Koronis, were one short of limit when I was 10oz's in front of them.

Mistakes: I could have used more sleep. Fatigue did become a factor for me in that hot weather and the lack of sleep made focusing a conscious struggle. I did amazingly well at keeping my focus but I would say I fished at about 85% of what I would have done rested.

Otherwise I fished alright and nothing comes to mind.

Parting Thoughts: Even though I was worn out I decided I wanted to check out some more of the chain and so I headed out after the tournament. I ran into this guy, who's name I don't recall, who was pre-fishing for the Midwest Sportsman Bass Tournament and he said he just got out but had been pre-fishing a few days during the week. He bragged about how he had and been catching nice fish left and right in his pre-fish and he went on to brag about how great this Midwest Sportsman Trail is and how good their fisherman are and how it was gonna take 20lbs with a 5 bass limit to win next week; He was off by about 5.5lbs and there is no way their top team would have beaten the Team Bass top team if they could have brought in a 6 fish limit. Sure their average weight per fish was maybe a bit better than what Team Bass as a group had, but we were a week closer to Post Spawn and they fished a different day, a day on which Team Bass guys and gals were whacking 20lb stringers on Maple Lake. My guess is that we fished the tougher day.

I guess there is something in fisherman and tournament fisherman in particular that makes us prone to want to brag and be the one's who are catching the most and biggest. The great thing about the end of the tournament day is that "the scale" don't tell very big lies, if it lies at all.

Next Tournament: Team Bass Guy/Gal on Sylvia/Twin.

Team Bass Lobster Lake June 25th

Pre-Fish June 24th- My research indicated that this was a Sylvia/Twin like fishery with clear water, lots of bass, but difficult to catch bass with any size. I got a late start and was not on the water until about 10am. Talked with Jack Kiffe briefly at the ramp.

Started out by running around the whole lake for a quick look at everything. The lake reminded me a lot of Clearwater in Wright County with lots of reed beds and bullrushes along with some good dock runs, and slop, there is also some good wood in the water. The day started out sunny and hot with only a little bit of wind. I started out by putting a tube through matted weeds and getting fish, mostly 12's except for a 4lb dogfish. Was observing lots of sunnies and carp.

I then went to Fluke weed flats and inside weedlines. I got a couple of nicer fish. I threw a topwater popper and got lots of little dudes. Threw in the slop and got a couple of blow ups. Started pitching a jig on rushes, reeds, slop and wood and got more bites mostly small. At some point it started clouding up pretty good. I hit some dock areas and got more dinks mostly. Ran into, Koronis partner, Nick Graupe and John Larson for some small talk as it was sprinkling a little bit. They reported lots of dinks deep or shallow.

A little while after talking with Nick and John, I found a little something by catching 3 quality mid 2 to almost 3lb fish in as many casts and went up to figure out why they were there and there WAS a reason. I just wish I hadn't hooked em to find this out. I decided this would be my starting spot.

I then went to check a similar area and had a muskie or pike steal a topwater frog but there wasn't much here except little bass. As the sun went down I did some fun fishing with the popper and some topwater frogs in the reeds. I had a quality bass jump me off in the reeds. As it got dark I went back to the launch and set up the boat which was my motel room and that worked out great.

Pre-fish Analysis- I like the lake and Sylvia/Twin knowledge experience would be a definite advantage. The key would not be just getting a limit (getting a limit would be easy, I succeeded at catching keepers every way I fished) or needing a BIG limit (getting a 3lb plus average probably is a very long shot), but finding a limit of 2lb fish and finding any fish 3lbs or more would be a big deal.

Tournament Day:
Think I had a take-off number in the low teens. Not that it mattered even with boat 1 my run was long enough that almost any boat was gonna beat me to my starting spot if they wanted. I was happy to see that no one was anywhere near that part of the bay where my "something" was. I started out catching fish immediately on flukes and a popper. Within 15 minutes I had 5 fish in the well but they were all disappointing 12-13.5 inchers. Finally I got a solid hit on a jig but it turned out to be a 2.5lb pike that only fought like a solid bass. I hadn't even seen a pike the day before and so I was disappointed. Left this spot with 5 dinks in the well.

I then headed for quick stab at a reed point, nothing. Then to where I lost the big one in the reeds, nothing. On to the far east side, tried this good looking deal but it didn't have anything. Fluked an inside weedline and filled my limit also had a walleye follow of all things. Decided to keep on the inside weedline in the other direction and I ended up missing a solid fish somehow, but I changed to the "Smoke" fluke and luckily I think I hooked it, a 15"er. I didn't get anymore and headed to the outlet were I got a bunch of little one's.

I then headed back to my morning spot and culled up 2 fish with 1 being another quality fish at or around 2lbs. I stopped by some wood in the slop and missed an opportunity for something that MAY have been a good fish because I wasn't paying attention like I should have been while pitching a tube into holes. I then tried around some docks and wood but didn't get anything there.

I then went to area I pitched mats and tried that but nothing really was going on. I did eventually manage a couple of culls with on 14+ fish off some slop. When into the last 2 hours I headed back to my starting spot and got another quality 14+ fish. I then ran for the NE "Claw" but screwed up and was in NW "Claw" so I decided to run that slop quickly and managed to luck into a 14+ bass. I got another solid strike which turned out to be a 4lb pike, doggone it. I then headed to the NE "Claw" which looked awesome with the wind blowing in stained water and carp playing playing but all I managed was few dinks. I then spotted something that I had not noticed in my lake scouting. Time was running short and I wanted to get back to my starting spot one more time and so I didn't have a chance to explore. I ran to my morning spot and got yet another good cull out of it. I had to quickly head off to the weigh in spot on the East side. I figured I had the 2lb average I wanted and had a solid shot at fishing in the money, I figured I was 1 quality 3lb+ bite out of the win.

I was disappointed that my cookie cutter bag of 14.5 to 15.75" limit was only good for 11lbs 5ozs. I thought I was much closer to 12lbs than that or even over 12lbs, Damn skinny fish! My big bass 15.75inches was only like 2-6. I ended up in 7th Place just 2lbs even out of 1st, 14oz's out of 2nd, and 7oz's out of the money in 4th. Dropping to 7th place was an Ouch! cause I thought my bag was better.

After the tournament I decided to check out that little deal I spotted there at the end. It took a bit of effort on my part to figure it out but when I did immediately I was greeted by my first 3lb Lobster bass and then another and then another within 12 casts. If I had found this in pre-fish, I would have won going away, darn it. I ended up with 4 at least as big as anything I had in the tournament and a shot at a big dogfish too. If only...

I guess one can only hope that Lobster is drawn as a TOC lake and the two things that I have there hold up as that they are not quite the same but similar.

After Thoughts: Frustration! On my starting spot, I burned some of it's better fish in finding it and not thoroughly scouting enough left a gold mine untapped when I really should have found it. I could have had a 15+lb limit, but that's the way it goes.

Looks like Clearwater, fishes like Sylvia Twin.

#1: Missing what I missed in my pre-tournament and pre-fish scouting.
#2: Lack of concentration and good technique for a moment that may have cost me a good fish.
#3: Catching that 3rd fish in a row in the same spot pre-fishing, two in a row should have told me something was up and I should have checked it out a little closer.

Stats: Lobster Lake
TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 1.89Lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 11.31Lbs

For Season Stats and Next Tournament See Horseshoe Chain Above...

(TLA-Tournament Limit Average, LCP-Limit Catch Percentage, FWA-Fish Weight Average, BBP-Big Bass Percentage, TDWA-Total Daily Weight Average)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Team Bass Guy/Gal @ Sylvia/Twin July 23rd

Note: Report done 3-27-2006
Pre-fish: None do to not taking this tournament seriously and my familiarity with the lake. I would have loved to pre-fish but it just wasn't in the offing.

Tournament Day: Note my Gal was sister in-law/sponsor Erin Sutter-Maas
I arrived at the lake far before Erin and I's agreed meeting time. I headed out to do a little early morning fun fishing and did get into a bunch of small bass. Technically I think this was against the rules but it's the guy/gal tournament and so I didn't think it mattered. I wasn't pre-fishing. I knew this spot holds bass in the early morning and that I would not visit the spot in the tourney, and probably nobody else would as well.

Eventually it was time to meet Erin and Jeff. We got squared away and headed to the check in. There were 12 other teams.

Conditions: Warm and becoming more overcast, maybe a slight wind but I don't remember.

At Blast Off we made our way past the starter mansion that sits on the families old property and headed to "My Island" and "Turtle Bay." After a quick lesson on frog fishing in the slop, Erin and I were casting away. The bass were in the area but we were having a hard time hooking up. The size of the fish was OK but not great. We fished the general area for a long time. Getting a blow up ever now and again with a fish every once and a while. Just before the thunderstorm hit, I got the best fish of the day, a solid 2lber, down towards McGregor's towards the end of the rice. Conditions got perfect just before the storm hit and I think I landed our 4th bass at that time.

The Storm hit and we went across to the 1st Dock inside "My Island" to wait it out. It rained, it poured, it blew, and it thundered. We were protected pretty good from the wind, but it rained cats and dogs. The Storm must have lasted a good hour. FYI the guy/gal tournament fishing hours are shortened, so an hour or more off the water is a big deal. Finally the storm slowed a bit and we headed back out covering the same area, I think I missed a couple of opportunities and didn't catch anymore.

We then headed to the channel. It was starting to clear up at this point and we were into post frontal conditions. We started fishing around the Twin Channel entrance and around "Bullhead Bay" At some point I think it was Erin that caught our limit fish and I think she got another that didn't keep, while I caught a few more smallish one. I think she got her fish on a spinnerbait. I had and missed a solid blow up on a frog, through persistance I managed to catch what was another quality 2lber (maybe this was our big fish). At some point the wind started really whipping up out of the South. We fished along the North shore of the channel and across the channel flat over to the camps beach.

We headed over to the Sylvia channel entrance point and braved the waves. I think I manged to catch a cull fish off the wind beaten point. We fished into the lee and then quickly went over and finished up at the pads where the channel turns North towards the camp. Erin had a quality blow up that we just didn't land there. At this point it was time to go and so we headed to the weigh in.

We had a 6 fish limit for 9lbs 13ozs which was good enough for 2nd place. 1st Place went to Jack and Mary Kiffe @ 10-11. Erin got the trophy and I got the $100. I didn't know they paid out in this tournament so that was a nice surprize. Over all Erin and I had a good time and got very wet.

For Sylvia/Twin
TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 1.63lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 9.81lbs

After Thoughts: Wish we could have had a full day as that I definitely didn't get to all my spots. Erin kept in good spirits despite the drenching and she was able to contribute at least 1 fish to the bag which is good. I pretty much stuck to my plan and we had an OK day. We were just one solid fish out of first place. Things did get tough after the storm passed.

Next Tournament: North and South Center

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Team Bass Koronis Lake

Posted by Hello

Pre-Fish:The Plan was to Pre-fish Rice on Thursday and Koronis/Mud on Friday. I just could not get things together Thursday and at 1PM I decided it was too late to go and have a productive day and so I went to Rock lake by me instead which I thought resembled some area's of Rice and the river. I got my Snagproof and HT game on with numerous bass, the biggest being a 19"+. I was hoping for a big doggy , but got none.

Friday: I got out when I wanted but detoured in St. Cloud at the Verizon store and Sportsman Warehouse (Nice Store and Snagproof Pro Tournament Frogs for $5.99). I was on the Lake around 11:30 and proceeded to eliminate lots of water and find some potential spots. I caught a couple of nice 5lb Pike, several 2-3lb and smaller bass and had a couple of hints of possibly some bigger fish. It rained but not really hard enough for me to put the rain gear on. For the most part I was trying not to hook fish. Lots of Milfoil and CurlyLeafPond Crap in Rice. Towards the end of the day I took a river tour down to Mud within sight of the Koronis Bridge. I managed to get a few biters in the river and then ran up the river in the dark. Headed into Paynesville to get my gear set up and slept at a Way side Rest.

Tournament Day:
Dropped the boat at Camp Koronis and headed to the Koronis Access to meet my partner for this one Nick Graupe. He spent Fri. pre-fishing but wasn't sure he found anything. His best area didn't have the smallies yet and he found only a few fish on beds. We cruised out to flat and started with topwater. I landed about a 12" right away that I didn't even bother to measure and threw back. Dale and Roger had also pulled onto the same flat and Roger nailed a nice smallie on topwater right away. After about 45min with neither us or them getting anything we headed to Island 3 where there were some beds. Nick had a blow up and I followed with a wacky Senko and got a pick up; I set the hook, and got back a hook because it must have only taken one end. A little ways down I got an 11" smallie. Of all the smallies on the lake I had to catch two dinks.

We then headed to the river to the area that I had found that happened to also be what Nick found. Nick missed the first few hits but then put a 14" in the boat. We worked around the whole area and caught a few more. Nick on topwater and me on my secret bait. I had a good one smash it out of a hole in the grass that I'd gotten a smaller one out of the day before. We then ran a long run of unproductive water, it started to rain and headed back into Koronis.

Nick started getting bit by some nice largemouth but they kept flipping us off. He lost a solid 3lber about 1 foot before it was in the net. Nick was getting quite frustrated. He lost one fish when the hook or split ring broke off. I think Nick landed our limit fish and then I got our first culling on a Lucky Craft Sammy. A short time later I had a large Smallie come up under the Sammy but it didn't take it; It was a big dude. We may have gotten one or two more on the stretch before it got slow.

We headed to a stretch of water across the bay which was similar and where I had found some smaller smallies pre-fishing a couple of years back. Nick got a rock bass. It started pouring hard and I decided to put on that bright colored Bullfrog Frenzy Pop and work the flat by casting out towards the lake. Almost immediately I hooked into that Smallie in the Picks. I didn't know it was a good one until it jumped cause it took it fairly light and was swimming at the boat, but there was little doubt after that first jump what kind of fish it was. It went airborne 2 or 3 more times and we landed the bronze beauty that went 4lbs even (Last year I had two 4-2's and lost a bigger one). I was surprised it went 4 cause it was only a little over 18" inches long, can you say "CHUNK." We didn't get another strike in that area.

We then went back to the stretch where Nick missed those fish and I saw the Smallie. We managed to cull out our 3 bass that were 14.25inches. With about 1/2hour left we headed to our starting spot. I had a good blow up on Spook but it didn't hook up and was probably only slapping at it. Time was up and we headed in.

Nick and I both guessed we had 15 something and Nick thought it would be good enough for 6th. As it turns out we were just shy of 17 with 16lbs13oz. We came in 6th Place.

Here's our two Best.
Posted by Hello

Congratulations to Craig Sanders and Roger Ellwein
for their win and Craig for getting Big Bass.

BP's Note: This was Craig's 1st Team Bass Win and probably Rogers as well. At my very first Team Bass tournament I teamed up with Craig and we had a fun time even though our results were not great. Craig is a really nice guy and loves to fish tournaments and it was great to see him come out on top. At the dock I watched him pulling fish some nice fish out of the well. I asked him if he thought they 20 and he said more like 15-16 and I guarantee he wasn't sandbagging me, he was truly shocked they had what they had. That a Boy Craig!

For Koronis
TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 2.80Lbs
BBP: .166
TDWA: 16.81Lbs

For Season
TLA: .500
LCP: .500
FWA: 2.83lbs
BBP: .143
TDWA: 9.91Lbs

After Thoughts: Had a good day on the water with Nick and it's hard to be disappointed with a nearly 17lb bag when not everything was going our way. It's interesting to see how different fishing styles work out as that I would have fished the day probably much differently than we did as a team.

Mistakes: Most of what we did worked or could have worked to a great degree, so it's really hard to find anything glaring like at Bone. Probably one of my bigger ones was not throwing that bright colored bullfrog Frenzy Pop sooner. Maybe that smallie that looked at the Sammy would have crushed the Frenzy. Who knows.

The only thing I can really come up with was that after we got a limit we could have spent more time trying to dig up big smallies, but as it was we culled up several largemouth and probably gained more than a pound on those last 3 keeper Largemouth, would we have tied into a couple of smallies is an unknown and what we did worked.

Parting Thoughts: 6th place points should be good for help in the end of the year standings. I love the rain, baby. Man did catching that Smallie make my day! It was a leaper.

Next Tournament:See below Range Bassmasters

Next Team Bass June 25th @ Lobster.

Range Bassmasters @ Platte/Sullivan

Posted by Hello
Today the Range Bassmasters MN BASS Federation club had a tournament at Platte/Sullivan and of coarse I had to make it to the weigh in to see how they faired. Originally I was gonna "mock" fish against them but I was too tired from Koronis and slept in.

The Range Bassmasters is a Brainerd Area Club and has Steve Quinn of In-Fisherman as member. Other notables in the club are Bill Bongs, Brian Brown and I recognized a couple of other guys, but don't know their names. It was nice to see a few teens in the club and even a woman or two. It looked like there were about 10-12 boats.

The tournament was won by Emmet Smith who had a 5fish 16lb+ bag and many of the bags were 12lb+.

This was Big Bass:
Posted by Hello
caught by Tyler Malloy. I believe the bass was 4lb13oz???
Posted by Hello
Brandon Jedlenski with another 4lber.

Here's a couple of more Platte/Sullivan Specials:
Perry Alfords with a fish that had to be a 4lber.
Posted by Hello
A typical P/S 3lber. Lots of those were weighed in.

BP's Notes: Surprizingly, not a single 5lber came in and I've yet to catch one since openner. Where are the Super Toads? I did get a couple before the bass openner and some guys reported losing large fish in the thick stuff. Maybe it's post-spawn and the fish just didn't have the feedbag on yet. All in all lots of 17-18inch Platte/Sullivan specials. The post weigh-in environment reflected a tournament where people caught fish and had a lot of fun on the water. The top sack of 16lbs is very impressive when you consider it is 2 people fishing out of the same boat for 5 fish limit separate weights.

I didn't hear much talk about "the rice," which is a bit of a surprize because their are some good beds forming this year. But then again I haven't found em there either.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

This is an example of a Fishers of Men Club Bass tournament score sheet. Hopefully Dave V will be able to copy or capture what he needs. (click to enlarge) Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

Revision in Team Bass Goals

Here's the New and Improved Goals for 2005 (Thanks to a miserable showing in WI@Bone)

The New and improved version...
Team Bass Trail:
1. Win 2 Tournaments (1@Horseshoe)
2. Win Big Bass 2 Times
3. Place in the Money 7 times
4. Never Finish below 10th place
in Minnesocold
5. Limit every tournament in Minnesocold
6. Average over 2.25lbs per fish

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Team Bass Bone Lake

Posted by Hello

5/10: Was tired after the Teen Challenge Weekend at Wapo and so I didn't get out to Bone until the late afternoon. I think I got out after 5PM. I started by doing some Sonar and GPS work then went to the entrance to the Boat Channel. Fish were in there pretty thick and I popped a bunch on topwater and a wacky rigged Senko including a hefty 19" inch fish. Water temps were upper 50's main lake to mid 60's in the channel. Saw a bunch of Eagles, they are all over the place.

Posted by Hello
5/11: I decided that a week and a half out was plenty of time for the lake to change and I wanted to catch something so I started the morning by fishing the channel entrance and then go inside. It was sunny and warm and I Popped a bunch of fish on the wacky senko's and on a white jig n pig. Got another hefty 19" on the Jig pitched to the base of an isolated pad. Lost the jig to a big muskie that wrapped me in a boat lift; I played the fish all wrong and really should have landed it. The muskie jumped and swam by or under the boat many times in the 10 minutes I fought it. On my pass out I did get a couple of more nice bass. I then went out and did some GPS work and then fished the area by the little island and landed several more keeper bass there on the wacky rig and with a swim jig. Overall a very good day on the water, my 5 Best were easily 13+ and might have gone 15+. I explored much of the East Side. Feeling Good about Bone as I went home.

5/15 Headed to Bone after the MN Opener with GEM at the St. Louis River. Got to Bone about 1:30 on Sunday which was Sunny and Cool after a windy and wet Saturday. Took my time launching and talked with WI Federation guy who was pre-fishing for 8Bone 8Deer 2day split tourney the same weekend as us. They would be launching at 6:30 and so would have first crack at the Channel if any of them wanted it. Just what I didn't need. Got on the water and did GPS work and fished a bit on the North End. Started to rain as I was getting off the water. Found something interesting.

5/16 The start of the Weathermen being dead wrong. Waited all morning for it to get warmer than low 50's. I headed out about 1PM when it finally got over 60 and it looked like it was gonna warm up. Worked down the lake on the West Side and got into a 35or36 Muskie on PinkHJ along with several small bass. Worked the West side as it got cloudier, cooler, and more windy. Popped another muskie this time on craw Frenzy Jerk, this one was bigger, maybe 38". Both muskies unhooked at boat side. Water temps now in mid to low 50's.

5/17 Once again cloudy, windy, cool. The weatherman had predicted 70's and sun every day and was wrong every day. I did some GPS work on the upper West Side. The water was getting colder not warmer. Also did some work on the East Side. Was only catching small fish. I was not satisfied and the weather predictions were still for warming so I decided I would be back Fri.

5/20 Got out a bit late and arrived about 3 or so. Shot the bull will Jack Kiffe and Brad Seiwert and then went out to do some Aqua Viewing. Didn't see a single bass out deep but did find lots of pannies in certain area's. As the sun went down the water had warmed in shallow and there was activity and I found something in super shallow. Would the night temps hold them in? Main Lake Upper 50's North end shallows low to mid 60's.

Tournament Day:
Watched 2 boats from WI FED club go right to NBC. Team Bass had 19 Teams and I drew out 17th. It did get into the low 50's but stayed calm and warmer for much of the evening. Was threatening to rain and storm as we launched. I headed right to a shallow area I thought would be good. Much of the North Bay was covered. I immediately landed a 12" on topwater. With boats close I played some defensive fishing and didn't go super shallow right away (this was a mistake as I think I had a good hour were I could have gotten into some better fish super shallow). Caught 3 more on topwater with one just under 14". Just after 7:45 the wind started up a bit out of the SE and the fish moved out. I went super shallow when I had some breathing room 8:30 but by then they were gone.

The wind eventually started really blowing and I headed toward the channel in rollers. Caught a few shorts on a spinnerbait over the flat as I headed to NBC. Nick and Doug were in there working it hard. I fished the entrance with the HT and a ways into the channel. Did miss something by a dock, but got no other bites. As I headed out I decided to work the entrance with the BSF and caught several more shorts.

I then headed out to crank the L in the wind. Out on the Tip did get 2 close shorts on consecutive casts while ripping the weeds with a Bluegill DT 10. I thought I might be onto something but that was it. Worked the inside windblown along the windblown out side and backside without anything. Was 1 PM and nothing in the Well so I headed to the Glass House. Worked the glass house West with a crank and Jerk and got into some shorts. The wind was blowing pretty good and it was getting warmer and got a few shorts on a spinnerbait. Went back and decided to work the Glass house break with a tube and promptly landed a nice fish but it was really blowing and my anchor wasn't holding, got several more shorts. Watched Wick land a couple on Docks, for goodness sakes. Got a few more hits from shorts and a Rocky Rocco, but no more keepers. Time was running short and so I did a quick hit in the Deer Playground, I then remembered I was 10 slow and had to head in. 1 stinking keeper.

Bone Stat Line:
TLA: .000
LCP: .200
FWA: 3Lbs
BBP: .000

After Thoughts: It's tough when you are catching short fish on everything you try and have a history on the lake of popping shorts along with good fish in the same area's and techniques together. I kept believing the next bite would measure but they kept being short.

I can't believe the winning team did it on on docks.

Mistakes (What I wish I would have done differently):
1. Not going supper shallow and fishing with the HT right off the bat. I think the fish were there, but I was trying not to tip others off. Plus I was expecting a front/storm from the west not wind out of the SE. I thought the water was gonna be protected and there would be a spree when the front arrived. Instead of playing the weather the weather played me all the way on this one. The weather forecasts being wrong played havoc with my game plan.

2. I recognized the fish moved out and was just to slow in getting to the NBC. I could have beaten Doug's boat in there and could have shared the area with Nick and probably landed at least a couple of good keepers.

3. Should have thrown a jig on the L Tip after the bite stopped.

4. Spent too much time shallow and probably on the L, which meant I left some water on the table. I should have gotten to my spot on LBSKI point even though it would have been roller city there and throwing a spinnerbait off the buoy flat may have been good too.

5. Jack and I should have teamed up. Together we very well might have won it as that he was on better fish and I was using techniques that were getting bites and I almost certainly would have pulled a couple from the back deck.

Parting Thought:
Which is better: A 16th Place(worthless35Pt)3LB FWA and .200LCP
or a 9th Place(42Pt) Skunk?

I'd take the Points and the skunk.

Next Tournament: Koronis/Rice June 4th with Nick Graupe

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

BP's Tournament Goals 2005

1. Repeat as MN Bowfin Grand Champion

1. Win or place in the money in Hillman Lions Platte Lake Pike Tournament (August)

Team Bass Trail:
1. Win 2 Tournaments (1@Horseshoe)
2. Win Big Bass 2 Times
3. Place in the Money 7 times
4. Never Finish below 10th place
5. Limit every tournament
6. Average over 2.25lbs per fish

Monday, March 07, 2005

Thoughts on Bass Fishing Statistics

Most sports measure achievement in one way or another with a diverse variety of statistics. Bass fishing can be measured in the same way. Here are my proposed statistical categories that I think all Bass Fishing Organizations should keep and that I will keep for myself on at the BP Tourny HQ.

TLA or "Tournament Limiting Average" : Number of days with limit weighed divided by total tournament days fished.

Angler A gets 8 Limits in 10 Tournaments for a TLA of .800%

LCP or "Limit Catch Pace" or "Limit Catch Percentage" : Total Number of fish caught in the tournament season divided by the accumlation of limit X tournment days.

Angler L weighs 40 out of a possible 50 fish for a LCP of .800%.

A TLA of 1000 would equal a LCP of 1000 but one could conceive of having a poor TLA and a pretty high LCP. Say a angler gets a limit in 4 of 10 tournies for a TLA .400% yet out of the 50 fish limit total possible they weigh 43 fish for a LCP of .860%

FWA or "Fish Weighed Average" : Total Weight of fish weighed divided by number of fish weighed. I think this one is very important.

Angler F weighs 115lbs by way of 50 fish for a FWA of 2.3lbs
Angler W weighs 115lbs by way of 40 fish for a FWA of 2.87lbs.

BBP or Big Bass Percentage: Total of fish over 4lb weighed divided by total fish weighed.

Angler BP weighs 6 Toads out of 50 for a BBP of .120%

Update: Bass Parade Blog has done a post on Bass Fishing Statistics.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Bulldog Lake Ice Fishing Contest 2/12/05

What a beautiful day. Temps were in the mid 40's and I had a to wear shades it was so sunny.
Posted by Hello
I started the day by heading over to Bulldog lake for the annual Holy Family Church Fishing Contest and Raffle. As it turns out Don Weinmeister and I drove separately for this one, but as I was pulling down the drive way Don passed right in front of me. The contest would run from 12:30-2:00.

We headed out to the lake together, and discovered that NO ELECTRONICS OR SONAR was a rule. Needless to say I was not a happy camper. To me Ice Fishing without electronics is like having dinner without having something to drink. Sure you CAN do it, but why! I find it hard to accept that the electronics give me an unfair advantage when I've used it in two previous Ice Fishing contests this year and won nothing; last week I got skunked. Electronics won't catch you the winning fish, but they will help you catch fish or more fish than you would have otherwise. Basically, the rule excluded one of the main reason's why I enjoy ice fishing. LAME.

Anyway I headed out to what I thought would be the deepest water and when they honked the horn I started fishing. I figured I was in about 23 feet of water which was less than I wanted to be in. In Bulldog the main hole goes down 36 feet or so. I started with Maggots on a Fat Boy but got nothing. Some fish were getting caught just to the South of me. I also watched a girl fishing right by the weigh in car catching sunfish after sunfish. It appeared that lots of small sunnies and perch were being brought up. Also some people to just to the South of me brought up a couple of almost half pound Crappies. I switched to a spoon and jigging a minnow figuring a Pike would be the winning ticket. In the last half hour I switched to a minnow hoping to get a Crappie as that no pike had been brought in and there was a 3 way tie with Crappies.

With about 15 minutes left I took this pic figuring I wouldn't catch anything.
Posted by Hello
With about 10 minutes left, I missed what appeared to be a Perch bite. With about 4 minutes left I got another bite and it looked very Crappie like so I took my time before setting the hook. It turned out to be a small Bluegill, but hey I wasn't skunked. I took a picture but apparently it didn't transfer into the memory card. I didn't win a door prize at the raffle ohh well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Erskine Tourny (Pine Center Sportsman Club)

Posted by Hello

On 2/5/05 the Pine Center Sportsman hosted an Ice fishing Contest on Erskine Lake that I fished with Don Weinmeister (Picture) . The Prizes were $300 for the biggest fish, $100 for the 10th biggest fish, and $100 for the first fish. I didn't qualify for any of those cause I got skunked. The Contest had probably 200 to 300 people and only 5 fish were caught total. I don't know what they did about that 10th biggest fish. However, I did win two candy bars as door prizes, Woohoo! A Milky Way and a Twix.

Erskine is a little dishpan lake about 5 miles North of Platte. I've never fished the lake except for a few casts in the spring off the public access. The fishing area was about 150 yards out from the access and seemed to be barren sand bottom. Probably not the best choice of spots on the lake to have a contest. Don says it's a pretty good bass lake, I might have to check it out next summer.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Aitken Jaycess Ice Tourny

Try your Luck on the Dead Sea?

Not too Crowded.
Posted by Hello

Well it was a beautiful morning when I and Don Weinmeister set about after fame and fortune on the Mille Lacs Lake glacier. Ok it was a little hazy, but the temps were good and there was very little wind. The Contest was sponsored by the Aitkin Jaycees (duh!) and was held out of Barnacle's Resort on the NE corner of the "Big Pond."

We arrived a little over an hour and a half early and did some scouting with the Vex. We immdiately found water 26ft deep and marked fish. We basically decided that was good enough and set up shop in the NE corner of the designated fishing area. Sure enough as soon as the contest started I had fish looking at my offerings.

Unfortunatly I didn't catch anything until about 45 minutes in when I seriously downsized to maggies and then all was catching were 2-3" perch. Finally I got a couple of perch I thought might have a shot at the prizes. I weighed the biggest, but by then he wasn't big enough to make the Top 25 for prizes. I gave it a good effort in the last hour but just could not get a bigger fish to go. I pretty much had crowds of little perch around the whole time from start to finish.

Since it was so nice out, Don and I decided to fish while the crowds made there way off the ice. There are a few more Ice Contests I hope to hit this winter. Maybe if I was able to weigh all the Perch I caught, I would have had enough to get a prize. Oh well, it's just a Ice Fishing contest and the money goes to the community.

Here's Don Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 13, 2005

2004 Wisconsin Tournament Review.

Come on it's Czecheslovakia. We zip in we pick them up we zip right out again. We'renot going to Moscow. It's Czecheslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Click to hear the quote, do you know what movie it's from?

Anyway here is a review of the two Team Bass Wisconsin Tourneys I fished last year.

Deer Lake-9th Place Tie Weight 0-00
What can I say, the pre-fishing psyched me out. I had two "good days" for pre-fishing; sunny and calm and so I knew that keeper bass would not be easy to come by. I consider myself pretty good on the pre-spawn fish and they just were not there to be had. By tourney day I was not looking foreword to it and really wished we would have been on another lake. Deer is clearly on a down cycle as far a largemouth, but maybe in a couple of years it will be better; I caught a lot of 8-11" bass on the days I pre-fished. I also landed several Ski's pre-fishing which was cool and saw a bunch more. At one point during pre-fishing I went down a row of docks and there was musky at each one for 5 docks in a row.

The tournament day was cloudy and cool with a bit of wind, the weather cleared and warmed up for about the last hour or so. All I got tourney day was one nice crappie, I don't think I even got one short bass during the tourney; the day before I caught a bunch of shorts. All but 8 of the 23 teams skunked and nobody got a limit which is unheard of for Team Bass. After the tournament was over I stayed and fished, actually getting into a bunch of shorts and maybe a keeper or two. I then headed to Bone and had a blast catching bass on topwater at dusk.

Winning weight: 3Fish 12lb3oz BB:4lb10oz

Bone Lake-1st Place and Big Bass Weight:13lb14oz BB:4lb1oz
What can I say, but I like this lake. The tourney day started out terrible, however, as I took a spill while launching the boat and my right side was soaked. I had to put on different shoes without socks for fishing. I pre-fished the lake and felt much better than I did going into Deer. As it turned out, my plan A was a winner thanks to a little luck. Another boat got into the area I wanted first, but they didn't get anything and moved out quick.

I then went in and worked the area as methodically as I could and the fish were there. The rest is history.

Here is a longer recounting of my win on Bone:

I guess being Team 7 was my lucky number as that was the cut off for me to go to my #1 spot over #2. The water in this #1 area was the warmest in the lake I could find and probably among the murkiest. As it turns out drawing #7 wasn't good enough for me to be first to it so I stopped short of the area to give the boat ahead of me a chance to work the area first. In the meantime I caught a couple of short fish off of some docks on a Super Fluke. By the time I was getting to the last dock on the stretch, the other boat was on it's way out of the area I wanted to fish and they hadn't had any luck.

However, they were in and out quickly so I thought maybe they were fishing it to fast and my slow methodical approach would pull a fish or two that I figured had to be in there. The week before the area yielded 3 solid keepers for a club tournament winner.

Note on that- I wanted to fish and would have fished this area regardless of seeing the club guys in there catch fish. The week before, after the Deer lake tournament, I went to Bone to pre-fish and this was pretty much the first area I went into, catching a nice fish missing 4 others and it was loaded with panfish and there were at least 4 muskies there. The next day I also pre-fished Bone and nabbed a 3.5 and missed several fish yet again. I also learned that I better pay more attention to my casting angles and hooksets. The next week when I saw the club guys in there catching fish 1st thing in the morning it just confirmed that the area should be my first spot if I could get it. Those club guys got the fish on Zoom Baby Brush Hogs, a lure that I do not own and was not willing to go out and buy. As it turns out between me and the 2nd place boat this area proved it was a lot better than the 3 fish those club guys pulled the week before or the area just got plain might have gotten better.

Anyway back to catching the fish. In the first stretch of water I thought something hit my Super Fluke, but there was nothing there. A couple of minutes later I got a 10incher which I took as a good sign. A bit farther down by a clump of Lilly pads and pontoon I had a good swirl, hookset and thought I had my first keeper, but it was just shy of 14." I then cast by some other nearby pads and got one just over 14".

Just after that I noticed a fin come out of the water I was sure belonged to a good sized female bass spawning. The first cast two the spot something tipped the fluke but didn't take it. On the next cast I got a 10" male. A couple more casts to the exact spot gave nothing. I then cast down the shore, and when the Fluke got to the pocket just beyond the area where I saw the fin a nice bass came out and just crushed it. I got a good set but didn't stick the fish. I was a bit dejected that I blew that opportunity. However I did learn that the fish may be spawning and I went back and worked the area where I caught that male just under 14 and all around the pontoon and pads where I got the 1st keeper in the hopes that female might have been passed over; No luck.

About minutes had passed after missing that good fish and so I pitched the Fluke back to the same pocket . To my surprise something boiled on it and I stuck her this time, a one eyed mid three lb 17incher full of eggs. "Ole One eye" tends to miss baits which may have been the case with the first miss and also i think they tend to be more aggressive than your average bass because of the one eye.

I then slowed down even more and tried to work as precisely as I could so as not to miss any females I might come across. As I moved down a bit further I caught a couple more shorts on the fluke and then up close to the shore I saw some signs of fish movement. I repeatedly cast the fluke to the spot without any results. I then switched up to a jig n pig. On the very first pitch the line jumped and I set into a solid 15inch bulging female. I kept the jig on and about 3 pitches later the line jumped again and I got another female that was just over 15inches.

By this time another boat had come into the area and I watched them get a couple of keepers in behind where I had been but had worked over thoroughly or so I had thought. I kept working the jig for a while but no more luck so I went back to the fluke. I got to the pontoon where prefishing I had gotten a mid 3lb fish. I made a solid cast way underneath and I felt some pressure. I reared back and made a solid set and the days Big Bass came out from under the pontoon and I had her in the net in no time. I now had my limit with one dink, two solid keepers, and two really nice fish. I was elated and relieved to have a limit after skunking at Deer.

A few minutes later I had a solid take on the fluke where I saw the flash of the fish and set into what I thought was going to be another big bass; that was until the fish came up and I saw the shape of of a missile. Instead of a good bass it was a 3 to 4lb Pike. Yes it was a pike and not a ski.

I was coming to the end of the area when I had another good boil on the fluke and I set the hook hard but had broken my line or so I thought. I was kicking myself for not retying after I got the pike, I gave the line a good look over but figured I missed something and it cost me the fish. Then I reeled in and discovered that my hook was still there; the fish must have only had the back of the fluke and it ripped right off on the hookset. I decided however that it was time to retie anyway.

After retying, I thought that a fluke would not be the best choice to go back after the fish with. On a whim I put on a black Snag Proof tournament frog and casted beyond the spot of the boil and into the bulrushes along shore. I then worked the frog slowly out and over the spot. I gave the frog a twitch and she nailed it. I put the hammer down on the set and had her speeding into the boat, another solid 15inch female and I culled out the one just over 14. I worked what was left of the area and got a couple of shorts and then headed back toward the other boat. After not getting anything for a while I decided to head out to one of my deeper spots. As I passed the other boat we compared notes, and they had four with two solid fish. They were pretty sure there were some more good fish in the area and if they could catch them after the way I worked the area then I would have to give them props.

I headed out to my deep-water spot and fished it with cranks, a jignpig, and drop-shot. I missed a good hit with the jig and got a short. I had panfish hit the drop-shot and set the hook a couple of times but no bass. I got a muskie follow and 14.75" bass on the crank. After battling the wind and mist I decided to head into some calmer water and try and nail a kicker on a good flat with a buzzbait and Storm Swimbait. I got a short on the buzzbait and had a muskie follow the Swimbait. With about an hour left I decided to head back to the area I had gotten the fish. The other guys were still there and said they filled their limit and got a bunch of fish culling several times but hadn't really added that much weight in the process. I caught one about 14.5" and couple of shorts, but no more big females and then it was time to go in.

I figured I had between 11 and 13 pounds and was hoping just to be in the money. I was surprised that my big one was over 4lbs as that I measured her at 18.5". I must have got her at her pre-spawn zenith in weight. After last years big bags I thought I really needed one more 3plus pound fish to even have any shot at all. Amazingly enough my weight held and I won one of these things and I know that ain't easy in Team Bass.

Special Thanks to Jeff and Erin Sutter-Maas my main sponsors and my boat sponsor G.E.M. Camp (Great Expectations Ministries).

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The BP Tourny HQ is now Open

This blog is part of the Bass Pundit Blog Franchise Empire which are offshoots of the Blog Bass Pundit.

The purpose of this blog is to keep track of the BP's personal tournament experiences, and photographs.