Sunday, June 27, 2010

Central Minnesota Bass Club@ Platte/Sullivan

Today the Central Minnesota Bass Club fished Platte/Sullivan. We hosted the weigh-in at our family lake place on Platte Lake. The day started out with a fog delay was overcast with some rain giving way to partly cloudy skies by the Noon weigh-in. Central MN Bass Club is a team circuit with a 5 bass limit.

I will have the official results when posted.

Big Bass was over 4lbs and the winning bag was 14 something. I believe there were a couple of 13lb bags.

Working out front.

The club has 15 boats.

This was big bass

Nick keeping water from running out both corners of his bag.

Monday, June 21, 2010

B.B.S. Farm Island Tournament

Sunday June 20th was the 2nd Baxter Bass Snatcher tournament of the year and it was held on Farm Island Lake, north of Garrison Minnesota. The weather was mostly cloudy in the morning turning to mostly sunny in the afternoon. It was calm for a good part of the day and when there was wind it was under 5MPH.

Some days you got it and some days you don't. This tournament day I didn't.

Nate and I started the tournament day running to the South end of the lake to fish docks. Nate started catching fish immediately. I didn't get a bit until our 2nd stop of docks and when I set the hook my line broke at the knot and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a pike. The 2nd row of docks didn't produce any fish, so we went back to the 1st run only expanded a little.

My first bass of the day was a short from under a dock. Quickly after that one I got a 12.75" largie on the bubblegum Super Fluke from a dock. My next fish was 12.5 and came from the reeds right where my boater had pulled out a fish. I also missed another bite in that same spot after I had caught the 1st one.

Next we went to more reeds and I had a fish slap at my white Zoom Horny Toad. I cast back and it took it. Fish #3 was 13.75" and would be my biggest of the day.

Next we ran some docks and reeds on the East side of the lake, but that was unproductive, so we headed out to try what was a popular weedline area. Here I got a 13.5" and barely 12 inch squeaker on a watermelon blue fleck Strike King KVD Pro-Model Tube. My partner got his two best fish of the day here on a jig worm.

Next we ran some docks on the West side of the lake. We had a guy come out and harass us about fishing his dock. While we were fishing his dock I noticed what turned out to be a nice bass sitting out from his fishing boat lift in shallow water. At first I thought it was something on the bottom. I made a cast and the fish swam around and then to my Fluke and sucked it in. I set the hook and the lure came flying back at me. I quickly re-threaded the Fluke and cast back but the fish just swam away and disappeared. I think it was at least a 2 and a half pound fish, which would have been about a pound bigger than anything I caught.

Next we went back to the popular weedline area and I got my limit fish which was 12.75" and caught on the KVD tube. We worked the weedline for quite a while but it had gotten sunny and calm and things got real slow.

Eventually we went to the West side of the lake and worked some docks and reeds. I got a 13" and 13.75" cull in the reeds on the Super Fluke and I missed one good bite.

Next we went to some of the best looking, best fishing slop you could ever want to fish. I got a 12" that didn't help right away, but then it was nothing except one strike from a small pike. The slop bay had some size to it and with the hot sun it had warmed the water quite a bit and I ended up with 3 fish dying and my partner lost several as well.

We hit the weedline one more time without any luck and closed out in some deep reed with a bit of wind blowing on them. I got a bass that didn't help on a swim jig.

My weight came to 8lbs even and I had 6os in dead fish penalties, but that didn't cost me anything. I ended up in 23rd out of 26 anglers which pretty much equals my worst finishes of the previous 2 seasons. My boater Nate had 13lbs 7ozs with a 6oz dead fish penalty that didn't cost him either. He finished 5th. 1st Place was 15lbs 1oz and caught by the previous two years BBS "Mr. Bass," the mercurial Mr. Dennis Lothspeich.

Analysis: I wish I had this day to do over. Missed fish certainly hurt me as did a lack of preparation and imagination. In terms of preparation I really wish I would have brought a jig worm rod instead of the pitching rod that I didn't end up using. My lack of imagination has to do with my not trying to use rattlebaits, chatterjigs, and maybe trying a couple of other things on those weedline spots, also had I tried pitching a jig in the reeds, maybe I would have come out better.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bass Snatchers Farm Island Tournament Preview

Tomorrow is the 2nd Baxter Bass Snatcher Tournament of the year on Farm Island Lake just North of Garrison, MN. This will be my 2nd Bass Snatcher tournament on Farm Island. Our 1st tournament of the year was on Farm Island 2 years ago. 2008 gave us a late Spring and we fished it June 7th, so lake conditions will be very different this year. My boater Nate Steinbauer has fished several tournaments on Farm Island and he tends to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack. Neither Nate or I got out to pre-fish, but I'm sure Nate got some good info about how things are setting up from his dad who was my partner at the first tournament this year.

In talking to Nate last week, he said we would be fishing docks, slop, inside weedlines, and some reeds. The weather is suppose to be partly cloudy with light wind, which I think will play to the docks and slop.

My first goal is to catch a limit and my second goal is to catch over 10lbs. At the previous Farm Island tournament I got a 6 fish limit for 9lbs 8ozs for 16th place. We have only 26 guys fishing, so I would also like to crack the top 13.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

B.B.S. Whitefish Chain Tournament

Saturday June 5th 2010 was my first Baxter Bass Snatchers Club bass tournament of the year. This tournament was held on the Whitefish Chain, which is about a half hour North of Brainerd Minnesota. The weather was overcast most of the time and we did have a couple of light sprinkles. There was little wind in the morning, but by afternoon it was blowing pretty good out of the West.

My original drawn boater had boat trouble, so I was given a new partner, Chuck Steinbauer. Chuck is "Mr. Baxter Bass Snatchers". I believe he has been in the club since it started in 1977 and has been Club "Mr. Bass" 10 Times. He has finished in the State Tournament qualifying Top 6, 29 times and he has won 35 club tournaments, including 3 of them on the Whitefish Chain. I had no doubt I would be around fish all day, but on the other hand Chuck has a reputation for being hard to catch fish behind.

Like most tournaments we blasted off about 15-20 minutes before the scheduled 7AM start time. We headed North out of Lower Hay for a short run to Delta Bay where Chuck had some rice and docks he wanted to hit real quick. I didn't even have a cast made and Chuck had a bass in the boat. I think it was under 12" thus to small to keep. The rice didn't give up anything else, so we headed to the docks, which gave Chuck a keeper or two.

We were quickly off to go look at some smallmouth beds. Another Bass Snatcher boat was at our next stop and he claimed that he caught the fish that were there. So off we went to another smallmouth spot. The smallies were not here either, but we both caught a couple of rock bass. Our next stop was again for smallmouth's in Big Trout Lake. Another boat was on Chuck's best spot and they told us someone else had already fished and caught a few off of where we settled to fish. We both started catching a bunch of rock bass and I got a little pike as well. Chuck did get one small smallmouth blind casting a senko and I think maybe he picked up one smallmouth off a bed with a tube.

Next we went to fish some docks and I picked up a 14.5" smallie on a electric chicken Zoom Super Fluke and a 14.75 smallie on a watermelon red&black fleck Strike King Ocho (senko). Unfortunately another club boat was coming towards us and so we took off and out of Big Trout. We stopped in a nice little weedy area in Lower Whitefish and Chuck pulled a couple of keepers, which were to small for his liking so we took off. We headed to another weed area in Bertha Lake which looked awesome, but I think only gave Chuck 1 little keeper and me a couple of rock bass.

Next we went to one of Chuck's bedded smallmouth and it was still there and Chuck caught his biggest fish of the day. Next we made a run up to Arrowhead Lake to go fish some docks. I thought the stuff in between the docks looked pretty good, but Chuck was quickly hopping from one dock to another. I threw a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke into one of the holes in the grass between docks and promptly got bit off, so I switched rods to the Ocho. Chuck caught a keeper off a dock and had me go to the front while he culled. This was my chance to work the stuff between the docks and it didn't take long until my best fish of the day a 16.5inch 2lb 14oz largie ate my Ocho. Chuck got back on the front of the boat and that would be my only fish out of Arrowhead.

Next we ran to one specific dock on Upper Whitefish but nothing was there, so we went to check a smallie bed. As Chuck was looking for a fish on a bed I made a cast and had the pearl 5" grub tail bit off my swim jig. There was another smallmouth bed and I had found it. I didn't really have anything handy to throw back at the fish, so Chuck worked it with his tube and eventually got the 2 and a half pound smallie to bite. That was a critical gain for him and a critical bit of bad luck for me.

Next we went back to the first smallmouth spot we had stopped in the morning and there was a good fish there, but it quickly spooked and didn't come back. We worked the area and Chuck did catch a little smallmouth which did cull a smaller largemouth.

Chuck made the decision to make the long run to Cross Lake and on our way there we made a couple of stops on what I think was Lower Whitefish at some docks with rocks. In one of the spots I pulled a smallie that was just over the 12 inch minimum length on a swim jig and off the next dock I picked off a chunky largie that I thought for sure would keep, but it was just under 12".

So we were off to fish docks in Cross and although the fishing was off and Chuck chaulked it up as a mistake; I managed to fill my limit with a 13" largie and 12.75" largie from the docks.

We made the run back up to Whitefish and by this time the wind was blowing pretty good, so we headed to a saddle with rocks with the wind blowing on it. I picked up my wht/chart Mille Lacs smallie killer 3/16oz Strike King Spinnerbait and was quickly rewarded with a solid hit, which turned out to be a 16.25" smallie. Unfortunately I was unable to pick up anymore fish on the spinnerbait.

We went back into Bertha, and I managed a small cull with a 13.25 largemouth caught on a smoke tube. Once again we went back to that first smallie spot, but no one was home. So we went to work at our starting spot in Delta Bay, where I got a few pike to show themselves but that was it and the day was up.

My 6 fish went for 11lbs 1oz, which put me in 10th Place. This is my 3rd best showing out of the 13 Bass Snatchers tournaments I've fished and definitely my best start to a year.

Chuck had 12lbs 1oz which put him in 5th. We were the 2nd best boat in terms of total weight.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Getting Ready For Game Day

Tomorrow is my first Baxter Bass Snatchers Bass Club tournament of the year and it's going to be on the Whitefish Chain North of Brainerd. I've been on the lake 2 times and the 2nd time was a tournament where I got skunked; Yes skunked on a bass factory. I doubt that will happen again as my partner is Chuck Steinbauer who is one of the best bass fishermen in the whole state of Minnesota and has probably fished the Whitefish Chain a hundred days or more and has won several tournaments there.

This tournament is going to be my best opportunity yet in club competition to bring in some brown bass. Since joining the club 2 years ago we have fished 5 lakes with smallmouth, but on Serpent they were out of season (MN Fall C&R season), and on Gull, Pokegama, and Ida my boaters didn't make any attempt to fish for them. I will have tubes, senko's, and Flukes in case the smallies need to be finessed a little bit, but I'm really hoping they will go on more aggressive presentations like topwater, spinnerbaits, swim jigs, and jerkbaits. If it turns out to be a smallmouth bed fishing deal, I'm not sure how that will work. I have pretty much zero experience sight fishing for smallmouth.

If the smallmouth give us problems my partner says we should have no trouble catching largies.