Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gull Lake Bass Snatchers Sept. 19th

The Weather: It was a sunny day in the low 80's with light wind in the morning picking up to about 10MPH out of the South in the afternoon.

Here are a couple of Snatchers (Darren and Owen) waiting for blast off:

On the phone my boater Art sounded confident we would get fish but before blast off he informed me that he thought he would be lucky to get a limit under the expected weather conditions.

We blasted off a little before 8AM from the Government Point Public Access and we headed SW to Wilson Bay where we stopped on a weed flat on the South side of Hunters Point. There was a light ripple on the water and I started off throwing a buzzbait, but eventually switched to a purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. After about 7 minutes I put a 12.5 incher in the boat. That fish was followed by a 13.5", 12.75", 13.75" that totally went airborne when it hit, and 13.10" that started bleeding pretty good so I threw it back. We got off the flat and as we were making our way back on I threw a smoke tube along the deep weedline and got a 13". I started throwing the Popper again and got a 12.5" and a couple of shorts. At this point we were about an hour into the tournament. My partner Art had two fish at this point. The wind died and so did the action on top. I think I got a couple of fish that did not help on the tube.

Around 10:30AM we made a move to Green Lake which is a small round bay ringed by slop and docks. I pulled a 15.75" on a black blue jignpig on the edge of pads and slop. I got a couple that didn't help on a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke off the docks and slop. Eventually I started throwing the smoke tube out into deeper water and I culled up to a 13" and got a few more that didn't help. Once we fished around the bay, we made a run to a spot on the South end of Wilson that had rice and pads near deeper water. Art had a fish miss his topwater frog. He had me throw in with a jig and I pulled out another 12.5" that didn't help. As we made our way down the rice I had a good fish swirl on my jignpig as I was swimming it but it didn't get hooked. Eventually we moved to a weed flat were I had a fish rise to but not hit the Frenzy Popper and Art got a couple of keepers.

We probably spent the last 3 hours back at our starting spot. On the first pass I threw a black spinnerbait because the wind was blowing pretty good and I got a small pike, a rock bass, a short and a 12.5 plus I lost one that was most likely a 12 incher. On the next pass I tried a chatter jig without any luck. Art pulled out to the deep weed edge and started catching fish, so I went back to the smoke tube and started catching fish; some short, some keepers that didn't help, and my final cull with a 13.5. I caught quite a few fish in the last 3 hours. Art filled his limit and culled a couple of times fishing with a red jigworm.

At around 20 to 4PM we headed in to Ernie's where we would have the weigh in. We tied the boat up on the dock and Art took this picture of my biggest fish which cut off my head.

Art went to the bar to get a drink and I decided to throw a cast out towards a dock with some boat lifts that was within casting range with the tube. I had a fish nail the tube but I didn't hook up. I couldn't get a re-strike as our tournament boats started coming in.

My 6 fish ended up weighing 8lbs 7ozs which put me in 12th place out of 24 guys. My boater Art had 7lbs 9ozs, so this is the 3rd time out of 12 Bass Snatcher tournaments where I "back seated" my boater. The tournament was won with 13lbs 4ozs caught by 2009 Baxter Bass Snatchers Mr. Bass Dennis Lothspeich which made this his 3rd win of the year. I back seated Dennis at Pelican this year.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Leech Lake Bass Snatchers August 22nd

This is the tournament I was looking forward to more than any other on the schedule and I ended up with a great partner draw for the lake. I rode up from Baxter to the Horseshoe Bay resort with my boater Bill Ludenia. Horsebay Resort on the map above is by the Y in Agency. There was some pretty good fog on my way to Brainerd, but it really wasn't to bad until we got up to Leech. Despite a fairly good fog we blasted off early at around 7:30AM. It turned out that after we got out a couple of miles the fog disappeared.

Our starting spot was a reed bed towards the NE side of Bear Island (Bear Island is the big Island on the SE side of the lake). Another club boat also started in this reed bed. I didn't even have my rods organized and Bill was pulling his first bass into the boat on his 2nd cast. We worked the area for about 30 minutes and I think Bill got one more fish.

Next we moved to some of the heavy cover in Headquarters Bay, which is South of Boy Bay. I think it was our third stop in Headquarters that I had a massive explosion on my white Zoom Horny Toad and I landed a thick 17" bass. We were fishing rice and the fish bit close to a nice sized clump of rice that had a pretty good open lane beside it. As we worked this rice bed Dennis, my boater from Pelican, pulled in a pretty good distance in front of us and Dwight, my boater from South Long, was also fishing in the general area. I had a couple of fish swat at my Horny Toad and one solid blow up that I should have hooked up with as we worked the area. I think Bill got 1 fish and we say Dennis land a bass and his partner catch a big dogfish. To be honest I think we worked through this rice a bit quicker than we should have because fish were definitely there. After about 45 minutes we moved a little ways to some undercut banks with pads and rice, but that was dead. We kept moving North along some good looking rice and I think Bill landed a fish or two before we made a move to some rice on the East side of bear Island. There were lots of signs of fish in this rice but we didn't catch any. The day was bright and sunny and the fish on this particular spot were spooky.

We moved North to the reed bed where we started the day and I got a bite on my tube jig but missed it. I cast right back to the same area and got hit again and this time I landed a 13.75" largemouth. I don't remember if I got one more fish in these reeds or not. I don't think Bill got a fish this time.

Next we moved up to Boy Bay to try some docks. On the very first dock my bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke got bit off. On this same dock Bill landed a 3lb bass. I think Bill got a 2nd dock bass before I connected with a 12.5" bass. I think Bill got another dock bass before I had a fish that I thought was a bass swim out and take the Fluke but when I set the hook I was bit off clean, so it was actually either a pike or muskie. Once we got to the end of the docks we pretty much kept working East in a mix of rice and reeds. Bill in the front of the boat was pulling an occasional fish while I was throwing the white Horny Toad, a brown Bobby's Perfect Snagproof Frog, and a tube jig hauling water. One time when Bill was culling and I was in the front of the boat I cast the tube a ways into the rice and pulled out a 15". We jumped around and worked some reeds and then more Rice with Bill pulling more fish and me getting blanked. We were working rice and I threw into an open area with the Bobby's Snagproof frog and got a strike which I landed but it was under the 12 inch minimum. You don't catch shorts on Snagproof frogs very often.

We moved to the South side of Boy bay into some awesome looking water and I landed another short on the Snagproof Frog, what is with that. After a long lull Bill moved us to an area where he thought I could fill my limit with some small fish. I managed to get a 12.5 on the Snagproof frog on this water.

Time was starting to run short, so we headed back to the area where I got my big fish. Unfortunately the long day in the sun was wearing on me pretty good at this point and I wasn't at my best. Right away I had a bite on the Horny Toad and missed it. About 5 minutes later I had another great bite on the Toad and I came up empty again. A few minutes after that there was a massive explosion on the Horny Toad but I didn't hook up this time either and that was my last bite of the day.

On the way in we did throw a quick hail mary for me in the reeds where we started. I was worn out and highly disappointed in my execution.

I ended up one short of my limit with 5 fish for 9lbs 4ozs which got me 17th out of 24. If I would have landed my bites I probably would have been 14th or better. My partner Bill had 13/11 and got 10th. The winner was Dennis with 19/13 and big bass was only 5/0 and went to Art Becker who will be my boater at Gull Lake.

Analysis: I just did not have a very good day on the water.