Monday, July 20, 2009

Bass Snatchers Lake Ida July 18th 2009

Weather: Overcast for most of the day with it being partly sunny the last couple of hours. Wind was pretty much out of the N NW at 5 to 10MPH.

We blasted off a little after 7:30AM and my boater Joe and I raced to our starting spot on the West side of the lake which was a string of small reed beds broken up by docks. I think it was fairly calm right along shore in the reeds but if you casted out into the lake and where the boat was sitting there was a ripple on the water. We were working North about 10 minutes in and Joe had a strike on his Snagproof Frog and landed the 1st bass of the day. We got down to the last or 2nd to last group of reeds which is where I caught a couple of bass on tubes casting out into the lake during prefish. I started throwing a smoke tube out into the lake and was rewarded with a fish that just went over the 12 inch minimum.

As I was casting out something just got smoked out over the weed flat about 2 and a half cast lengths out. I decided it might be a good thing to throw a gold Berkley Frenzy Popper. I didn't bring the rod I like to use for that so I had to rig up one of my swim jig rods. While I was rigging up Joe caught a high 2lb bass off a dock with the Snagproof frog. I started throwing the Frenzy Popper out over the weed flat as Joe worked us back over the water we had just covered. Something swirled about 10 feet off the back of the boat and I immediately hit the spot with the Popper and was rewarded with a 14.75" largemouth.

We worked down to where we started and then back North again to the dock where Joe got his fish. After that we moved out onto the weed flat and drifted South with the wind. There was a dead 3 to 4 pound Northern floating on the surface about 30 feet from the boat when a group of Pelicans flew by and the lead bird swooped down scooped up the pike and just kept right on flying, it was pretty cool. I think I had a swirl that missed the Popper and shortly after that I landed a 12.75" largie. I had another fish swirl on the Popper and miss. We worked an offshore reed bed and I missed a bite on a white Zoom Horny Toad, I think it was a small fish. Nothing more happened at the reed bed and so we pulled up stakes and headed South.

The next spot we went to was an area with lilly pads that are behind a large reed bed. Joe had got fish here both days of pre-fishing. I think I got bit at a couple of times by pike. Joe had a keeper bass take the Snagproof Frog close to the boat and as he was swinging it in his reel gave out some line and the fish hit the side of the boat and came off. That one hurt as it was close to 2lbs and Joe ended up one short of a limit for the day.

Next we headed to some small reed beds kind of like our starting spot. I believe Joe landed his 3rd keeper at this spot on the Snagproof Frog. I was casting a weedless tube into the reeds when I had a solid pick up and I set the hook hard into what felt to be a good fish. Unfortunately it was a 3lb northern pike. A little while later I nabbed bass number 4 (12.75") on a white Zoom Horny Toad in the reeds.

Next we went into a big shallow bay and started working the shoreline heading North. Joe missed a good hit right by shore with the Snagproof Frog. Sometimes I was casting in towards shore and sometimes I was casting out over the weed flat with the Zoom Horny Toad. On a cast out over the weed flat the Toad got annihilated by 14.75" largemouth. A little while down the shore line Joe pulled a 17inch 3lb 2oz beauty off an isolated piece of wood in the weeds. Eventually I took a break to eat a couple of sandwiches and Joe bird dogged a fish that turned out to be a small pike. The fish was in some super shallow slop and Joe could get it to wake to the frog but it wouldn't hit it. Eventually he motored up and got a look at it to discover it was a pike. Joe decided he wanted to eat something so he let me take the front of the boat and shortly after that I got my limit fish (12.75") on the Horny Toad. Joe got back up and started fishing and had his Snagproof Frog stolen by a little pike next to a dock. We tried to recover the frog but it was nowhere to be found so the pike probably ate it.

Next we headed up to the North end of the lake to work some more pads and reeds. Before we got into the pads there were some cattails and Joe pulled his 5th and last keeper on the Snagproof Frog. We worked some awesome looking pads but with the overcast it just wasn't happening. Finally as we were coming to the end of the pads and for some reason Joe had me take the front of the boat. I got hit in a pocket between the catails and pads with a watermelon Brovarney Swim jig with watermelon Zoom Speed Craw trailer. Despite a lousy hook set I landed the 14 incher and culled out my 12". We fished more good looking water in this area but couldn't get bit, so we headed back to our starting spot.

When we got to my tube spot, I naturally started throwing the smoke tube and I culled up 3 more times (13.75", 13.75", 14.25"). Both Joe and I got bit off by Pike and that was the last of our fish. We did go back to Joe's pad spot where he fumbled that keeper but didn't get anything and then it was time to head in.

My big bass was only 1lb 10ozs and my 6 fish went 8lbs 8ozs which put me in 15th out of 22 anglers. I had the lightest limit of the tournament. My boater Joe had 9lbs 7ozs and came in 12th. The winner blew everyone away with 16 and a half pounds by fishing docks in the wind using his Power Pole. Big Bass was this 6lb 6oz beast caught by Owen Lease.

Analysis- I felt like I fished well and pretty much caught what there was to catch and that is all I can ask. It was the first tournament of the year that I feel good about despite the mediocre showing. I feel bad for Joe, had he landed that fish that hit the side of the boat, he may have finished as high as 5th. Both Joe and I caught a couple of dinks that I didn't mention.

Where I Sit: With half the season now over I sit mired in 20th place, there are just 6 anglers beneath me that have fished at least 2 out of the 3 tournaments (we get to throw out our worst showing of the year). I actually am 1 point ahead of where I was at this time last year. Last year I ended the last 3 tournaments with a 17th, 3rd, and 20th which averages out to a 13th place showing. I would really like to improve on last years points and I think that will prove a challenge because I have only fished above 13th place once now in 9 Bass Snatcher tournaments. I guess all I can do is hope for good partner draws and fish as smart as I can.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bass Snatchers Ida Pre-fish

We will start this report at the end of the day. My boater Joe and I were headed home between Parkers Prairie and Eagle Bend when the truck shuddered and the next thing I knew a wheel was passing by the drivers side door. It was one of Joe's boat trailer tires. The tire went into the ditch and then into the woods quite a ways in front of where we stopped the truck. Luckily Joe was able to find the tire. Putting the tire back on was easy, getting the lug nuts tight was another story that I won't get into.

After about an hour and a half we were back on the road.

Weather: Yesterday it rained and stormed and the days forecast called for temps in the high 60's to low 70's with strong West winds and sun. When we got to the lake around 9:30AM it was quite overcast and windy. The sun eventually came out around 1PM.

The Fishing:Joe had been out on Ida on Saturday and found some fish shallow. Basically the day was dedicated to the search for shallow area's and fish. Joe loves to throw a Snagproof Frog and Ida has a fair amount of pads and reeds to explore and that is what we did for most of the day with mixed results. At times it was impossible to fish in the reeds due to the wind. The reeds tend to be tall and thick at this point of the year so about the only bait you can fish in that tangle is slop frogs like Snagproofs and Spro's. We did find a few fish and the bite seemed to be better when the sun was out. Here is Joe with his best fish of the day.

I didn't catch a single fish on a slop frog, but I didn't throw it most of the time like Joe. I did have a few bites on the surface, but I really wasn't trying to catch these fish only to get them to show themselves so we would know productive area's. Basically the bass I did catch came on a tube on weedlines and they were not very big with the exception of this 2lber.

We didn't really look for this type of water and I only threw the tube in a couple of spots but when the water looked right I got bit. I also got a few bites and caught 1 keeper bass on swim jigs.

Outlook: I am a little concerned about this tournament because I think it might be tough to catch fish behind Joe if we stay shallow for the day. From today's results it just didn't seem like there were good numbers of fish up shallow and where we did get fish seemed to favor the front of the boat although if there is less wind on Saturday that should open up some water. I think for me this lake is going to fish quite similar to what I did at the last tournament at South Long with heavy doses of the Zoom Horny Toad and Zoom Super Fluke. I will probably be throwing a slop frog more and a swim jig less. If I can catch 10lbs and a limit I'll be thrilled. I don't have high expectations.