Thursday, September 19, 2013

Aug 17th B.B.S. Blind at the Cullen Chain

We met at a parking lot in Brainerd at around 6:15AM and found out we would be fishing the Cullen Chain.  I was alright with that as I like the lakes and my boater Guy won the last tournament there.  The weather promised to be warm, mostly sunny and breezy out of the SW.  We launched out of the middle lakes access around quarter to 8AM.  We were first boat out.  Guy didn't want to run the risk of getting caught in the Culvert going to the Upper Lake so we went to a sunken island on the middle lake.  There was a guy fishing topwater there already.  We came in to the SW of him and about 3 of our boats also came in on this spot.  I had what I'm pretty sure was a pike hit at my Stanley Phantom and other than that we got nothing.

We moved to a point off of some reeds and guy got two good quality fish right away.  I got a pike on a black/blue Chigger Craw.  Not wanting to retie I switched to a craw tube.  I got a 12.5" bass on that as well as a rock bass.  I think Guy landed a couple more small keepers.   We then went to another point off of some reeds.  I had tied on another Chigger Craw by then and was quickly rewarded with my best fish of the day a 15.5" largie.

We then fished some reeds and some slop.  Guy got a nice dogfish.  Guy made the call to head to the Lower Lake.  We had to get out and push but made it.  We started on a weedline spot just out from the channel and I was immediately rewarded with a 14" bass.  We then moved around a bunch of places not getting anything.  The wind had come up pretty good by now and there was a reed bed getting nailed by the wind.  Guy caught a a keeper than two quality fish the first 15 minutes we were in the reeds.  One of the fish was the 4/3 Lunker of the tournament.  I broke off my Texas Rigged craw tube with 3/4oz Tungsten Sinker twice getting caught on the reeds, so I switch to a Strike King Hack Attack jig. We stayed in the reeds and I managed to get one that was just short of 14" and two 14.5" bass out of them on the Jig.  I got my limit and I was happy.  I didn't fish the rest of the day very well only getting a rock bass out of some pads missing a few other hits.  Guy put together a pretty good pattern in the middle lake hitting pad and reed edges with the wind blowing in on them and picked up a few culls.  We quit about 15 minutes early.

Results:  My 6 fish went for 8/12 and put me in 20th place.  Guy managed to win the thing  by over 3lbs with 18lbs 2ozs

My thoughts:  My head just wasn't in this one, especially after I caught my limit.  I did enjoy watching Guy put on a show.  This tournament sealed my fate of not going anywhere in the club point standings this year. Oh well.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Aug 3rd B.B.S. Rabbit Lakes

Weather: The day went back and forth between partly and mostly cloudy.  Wind was light in the morning building to about 10 MPH out of  the NW in the afternoon. Temps went up quickly from a cool morning into the low 70's.

The Day:  We started right around 7AM thanks to my boater Art showing up a bit late.  We got our starting spot, a reed point with boulders on the West lake, despite going out 9th.  The point didn't give us anything but about 15 minutes in as we headed back to the East I got 14.5" on a yellow Zoom Horny Toad out of the reeds.  I was awfully glad to have it, because I came into the tournament awfully pessimistic.  About 10 minutes later I caught one that was to small on the Horny Toad.  Eventually we pulled off of the reeds and slop and I got another dink that didn't measure on a black/blue Berkley Powerbait Crazy Legs Chigger Craw texas rigged with a 3/16oz tungsten weight.  Nothing else happened out there so we moved.

We went to the mouth of a slop bay and worked our way in.  In the pads I got a 15" fish on a Yellow Spro Frog.  I think that was the only fish we had hit in the slop.As we came out of the bay I think that is were Art got his first fish of the day.  Next we headed to a hump that Guy and I fished in my last tournament on Rabbit Lake.  Art just got done telling me "this didn't seem to be the deal" when I hooked into a quality 16.5" bass on the Chigger Craw.  Next at my suggestion we went to a weedline off of some docks that Guy showed me at the previous tournament. I cast into a clump of cabbage weeds that were on the edge of a weed point with the Chigger Craw.  I thought I was caught on some weeds but then my pole kept bending, so I set the hook.  It immediately jumped showing me it was a bass and it was a good one.  When I got it in I estimated it at 19.25".  I had to estimate it because Art ruler was only 17.5" in length.  Art guessed it was close to 5lbs and I said it was a 4 for sure.  It turned out to be 4lbs 4ozs and won me the Lunker/ Big Bass "wood".  Needless to say I was feeling much more positive about the day at this point.

As we worked our way East I spotted a stick in the cabbage on a reed edge and pulled a 15.25" off of it on the Chigger Craw.  Art got a fish off of some  pads with the wind blowing into them.  I missed a good bite in the reeds with wind blowing into them on a craw tube near our starting spot.  We ended up going to the far West end of the lake.  Art lost a good fish right away on a frog, then he caught a dink that was too small.  We worked around the bay.  I did have one hit in the slop, but it may have been a pike.  As we came to the mouth of the bay Art got one in the pads on a frog.  As we worked our way East I got my limit fish, a 14", on a Hack Attack Jig with a Chigger Craw trailer out of a pad edge that had wind blowing on it.  We got back to Guy's docks and I pulled a 13 incher that didn't help me off of a boat lift on the Hack Jig.  On the next dock I culled out the 14" with a 15" with the Hack Jig.  That was my last bite of the day.  We fished some more slop and Art missed some hits.

Results:  The guys really sacked them in this one.  My 14lbs 6ozs bag was only good enough for 13th Place.  Chuck Steinbauer won his 3rd tournament of the year and second in a row with 18/05.

Thoughts:  Huge thank you to Guy Henkensiefken for showing me the area/ spot where the big bass came out of.

We didn't fish in the East Lake at all.

Turns out Guy is my boater for the next tournament, which is a "blind" tournament where we won't find out what lake it's at until that morning.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

July 21st B.B.S. Rush Lake (Ottertail)

I guess you could say after the last two tournaments I got depressed.  I didn't get around to writing this report until 2 weeks later.  There is really not a whole lot to tell.  In the morning my boater Adam predicted it would take 20lbs to win.  We sped off to his starting spot, an off shore weedline.  Adam got 1 bass there on a craw tube I think.  On the second spot he got one on a jig.  We tried a bunch of different places for the next 5 hours only getting a couple of pike. Finally on the starting spot Adam connected with another bass.  I think we left and came back and Adam got 2 more bass.  We left and came back to finish the day on the spot.  With 5 minutes left before we had to go in  I was just about to say it didn't look good for me getting the skunk today, when I had a hit on my Crazy Leg Chigger Craw.  It was a 3.75lb bass, so I didn't get skunked.

My fish kept me out of last place but that was it.  I was 2nd to last place for the 2nd tournament in a row.  This time I finished in 26th Place.  Chuck Steinbauer won it with 20lbs even.  This was Chuck's 2nd victory of the season.

I wish I had packed a 2nd Texas Rig Rod.  I finally got the fish after going down to a 3/16th oz weight and the Chigger Craw.  Would it have made a difference, who knows.

This tournament pretty much wrecks my season in terms of my end of the year standings.  I'm going to need 3 strong finishes to have any shot at  making the Top 10.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Bass Snatcher Rabbit Lakes Tournament Tommorrow

This will be my 2nd Tournament on Rabbit Lakes.  I fished an Excel Bass Tournament there in late June of 2004 and I fished with the Snatchers there in late July of 2010.  I don't know if those experiences are going to be of any benefit or not. I got out to fish with my boater Art for about 3 hours on Wednesday.  Art doesn't have good track record at the lake.  He also doesn't have a GPS, only an old Garmin fish finder.  I took him to 1 place we got fish on the West Lake and told him about 2 others.  We didn't get anything but panfish hits off the hump.  On the East Lake I took him to 1 weedline where we got fish in the last tournament.  I got 1 bite that I think was a bass and Art mostly retied from a bite off he had in the West lake.  Art didn't like fishing in the wind so we moved.  The next two places we went were spots we fished in the last tournament, but hadn't told Art about; He caught a nice keeper off of one of them.  We did see a couple of other of our guys catch fish.

Honestly my expectations for this tournament are at an all time low.  I just hope I can get a keeper.

I've got 3 rods rigged up with Frogs: A Spro, Horny Toad, and SnagProof Buzzbait
1 Jig Rod
2 Texas Rig Rods
1 Topwater/ chatterjig/ crankbait rod
1 Jig worm/ Dock  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pre-Fish Rush Lake

Aruku Shad Meets a Black & Decker Tackle Wrecker
I was fortunate to be able to go and pre-fish Ottertail Lake with Barry Mowers.  Barry isn't my partner, but he had an open seat, so I went with him.  I we were fishing by 7:30AM.  We tried a weedline spot first.  All I saw there was a bunch of perch chasing my swim jig.  Then Barry took us to some reeds and he got a pike and a nice bass or two there.  We got some advice from people fishing in a pontoon, so we headed to the North end of the lake.  We actually didn't find what they told us about to start with, but we found a good area anyway.  I got a bass on a Horny Toad and Barry got a couple of bass and missed a couple as well.  We also saw some pike activity but didn't catch any.  A storm came up and on our way back to the landing we found what the people in the pontoon told us about.  We got loaded up just in time, because it poured and thundered.  We met up with another guy from the club and went and had breakfast.  When we got back to the lake I think it had stopped raining.  We went back up to a different area on the North side of the lake and fish some more reeds and assorted slop.  I got my best bass of the day on a Gambler Ninja spin in the reeds and another good one on the Horny Toad in the reeds with some pads.   I also got a decent size pike while pitching the reeds with a craw tube.  I don't remember if Barry caught anything.

Next we went out and tried to find a good weedline.  It started raining again and the wind had come up out of the SE.  I got a rock bass on our first stop on a bluegill Pure Poison with a green pumpkin Grass Pig Jr.. On about our 3rd or 4th spot I got a couple of small pike on my Aruku Shad.  I had a big 30 inch class pike hit at the Aruku Shad right by the boat but it didn't get hooked.  I threw back in the same direction and got nailed.  I figured it was the same fish but it turned out to be a big old dogfish.  We netted it and it got all tangled up.  You can see from the picture what it did to my bait.

Next we went to some reeds on the South shore Barry got a couple of good bass and I got a 25" pike.  We tried a few docks without any luck.  We cruised around looking at some things then went back up to the North side. I got a small bass on the Ninja Spin and that was the last fish of the day.  We were off the water by 3:30 I think.

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 22nd B.B.S. Misson Lake's

The Weather:  It was cloudy with the wind switching directions a few times, and it even got calm a time or two or maybe it was just the shoreline we were fishing.  I don't think it sprinkled, but at one point I put my rain gear on thinking it was going to rain pretty good.  It stayed near 70 degrees the whole day and that was the water temp as well.

The Tournament:
We blasted off from the Upper Mission Access as the 12th boat out of 17 at around a quarter to 7AM. We drove West.  Right away I got  a 13" bass on a reed edge on a bluegill Pure Poison with grn. pumpkin Havoc Craw Fatty Trailer.  A couple of casts later I got hung up in the reeds and I broke off for some reason.  We fished the reeds for a couple more minutes, then went to either a sunken hump or point, I'm not sure which it is.  I fished the area before back at the Challenge Cup we had back in 2009.  I think I missed one bite and that was it.  Nate my boater informed me at one point fish were breaking, but I never saw or heard it.  It was windy.

Next we headed to a weedline off of some reeds West of the Public Access on the Upper Mission.  There I got a pike on the Poison and 14.95" bass on the Stanley Phantom.  Getting this fish wasted a lot of my time because I never had another fish hit it the rest of the day. Eventually we headed to a weedline on the South shore off of some reeds.  Right away I got 30" or so inch pike on the Pure Poison.  Nate got 2 good bass on a jig, and I got my 14" on a Hack Attack Jig with breen Powerbait Chigger Craw trailer.  We moved into the reeds and Nate got another good fish. We went back out and worked the area Nate got the 1st couple without any luck.  We then had a long lull trying along the SE end of the lake.  Nate got one fish I think.

Next we went to a spot that I suggested on the North end of the Lake.  There we ran into Guy and Jim Smith. Nate got his limit.

We next headed to Lower Mission.  I got 13" and a 12" squeaker on a white Horny Toad.  Nate pulled a few fish off some docks, so next we headed to a magic dock, where Nate pulled off about 6 or 7 fish.  He offered me the knock off senko he was throwing and I accepted it.  I don't think the problem was my fluke, but my lousy casting.  I just couldn't get the lure in the right places.  I missed a few bites with the senko, but I finally hooked up with another 12" squeaker.  We worked some more docks and some shoreline cover with me missing several bites.

Next we headed back to the Upper Lake and the spot Nate got his first 3 fish.  I culled one of the 12"'s with a 12.75" on a Grass Pig Jr. and got my big bass of the day 15.25" (1/14) off of a dock with the Hack Attack jig.

We tried a couple more spots on the Upper Lake.  Nate getting a cull at that island/ point thing.  I caught a 12.5" bass that didn't help on a craw tube and got bit off.  Next we headed into the Lower Lake.

We fished a reed bed into the shoreline cover where I missed a couple on the Horny Toad.  Next we went to a sand break and got nothing there.  With 20 minutes left Nate asked my docks or caine.  I chose the caine.  That worked out for Nate cause he got one last good cull.  I missed yet another hit on the Horny Toad and then we were done.

My six fish weighed 8lbs 11ozs which put me in 32nd out of 33 guys.  Nate weighed 16lbs even and won the tournament by 2ozs!!!  Great job Nate!

There were only 4 bags under 10lbs and 14lb bags went down to 16th Place.  I was only saved from last place because Herman only caught 2 fish.

My Thoughts:
I just had a bad day on the water, it happens.  This is my second worse performance as a Snatcher;  Second only to the beat down I took at Cedar Lake in the 1st tournament of the year.  At least I got a limit in this one.

I don't really know why the day went so bad.  I didn't get tired or lose focus.  My dock skipping and Horny Toad skills both were both super rusty.  I have decided to demote the rod I've been using for skipping docks.  It just doesn't have enough back bone.

One thing other than on the docks were Nate had first crack at them, we never really got into the fish.  We didn't get very many bites on the weedlines for as much as we fished the them.  Sounded like a lot of people got their fish up shallow on the lower lake.  We spent most of the day in the Upper Lake and on the weedlines.

If I had it to do all over again.  I would have thrown the Hack Attack Jig more.

Mission Lakes seem to have my number, this is 3 poor showings in the 3 times I've fished it.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Range Bassmasters Tournament Platte/Sullivan Lakes

Well my camera went on the Fritz today, so my photo's suck.

Here is the Big Bass and Tournament Winner Ron.
She went 4/11 and was caught under a tree on Platte Lake on a jig I think.  He must be a new guy in the club, as that they don't have his full name on their website yet.  His winning bag went 15/1.

Second Place went to Emmet Smith at 14lbs and 3rd Place went to Emmet's partner Marty, who also must be new to the club this year as his full name doesn't appear on the website either; His bag was 12/14.  It sounded like all the winners fish came from Platte Lake.

I think there was just one other fish over 4lbs.  They had 8 boats fishing

Saturday, June 08, 2013

June 1st B.B.S. South Long Lake

The Weather:
The weather forecast was for it to be raining from the get go and winds out of the NW gusting upwards of 20mph.  Fortunately the rain held off and the wind stayed fairly mild as well out of E NE for the first couple of hours.  It then rained for about an hour or so and the wind was really blowing by the end of the day.

The Tournament:
We were first boat out at around quarter to 7AM.  We would have got out sooner but a certain boat put there plug in the wrong hole.  We went right to our starting spot and my boater Owen had his big bass of the day in the first five minutes.  I decided the conditions might be right for topwater so I had put on my Stanley Phantom.
Right after Owen got his fish in the boat.  I had my first keeper on, a solid 15.25" fish that I would hold onto all day.  I caught the next 3 fish as well landing a 14.5", 16", 14.75".  By this point we started getting crowed by a couple of different boats; All of them catching fish as well.  Owen landed a few to catch up with me.  I got a 15.75" and 13.50".  We were now in a calm area and I got my big fish of the day a 17.5" , 3lb 1oz bass also on the Phantom.  Unfortunately we didn't really stay in that area to work it over and headed back over the water we had just come from.  The wind had come up a little bit more at this point and when we got back into the wind the topwater bite seemed to have died.

Owen caught one off a dock so we did that for bit, but that was totally unproductive.  It started to rain so we headed to our secondary area.  I think I landed one that didn't help then I got a 16 incher getting both fish on black blue Strike King Pure Poison with black blue Berkley Havoc Grass Pig Jr. as the trailer.
This is what I would get the rest of my fish on for the day.  Other than that one fish that area was a bust.

We then went to an old reed bed that was in the wind.  I had a good feeling fish on right away but it came off half way to the boat.  That was it for that area, so we went back to our starting spot which was quite crowded at this point.  We started catching fish almost immediately, so we worked the area for the rest of the day.  However we did go up into the calm area that was still calm and I culled a couple of times with a 15.25" and a 16.5" and I got several that didn't help. Owen culled a couple of times as well.  I did try throwing the Phantom some scaring Chuck Steinbauer in the process, but didn't get any hits on it.

My 6 fish weighed in a 14lbs 7ozs which put me in a tie for 5th place, which I won on the big bass tie breaker.  I got lucky because the other guy had a dead fish penalty.  Owen had 13/7 and came in 10th.  We broke record for the best first club tournament of the year in terms of total weight caught.  Our average bag was 12.65lbs.  Chuck Steinbauer won with 16/15 beating Ed Ott by an ounce.

I'm happy with how things went for the most part.  I had fun, it was a good day with the topwater to start.  It's pretty clear we wasted time fishing those docks, but one fish sent us off on that mission, so what are you gonna do?

Monday, May 27, 2013

South Long Pre-Fish

15.75" my second biggest fish of the day
I got out for a few hours today with my boater Owen to pre-fish for next Saturday's Tournament on South Long.  The lake seems to be a bit behind Platte Lake at this point.  The warmest water we found was 55°F and it was pretty much 54°F everywhere.  The wind was blowing out of the E SE yet again for the 3rd or 4th straight day.  I guess the air temp got to 61°F today and there was no sun.  We basically didn't catch very many fish.  I got 5 but two of them were quality keepers at or a bit over 2lbs.  We got everything on moving baits.  Depending on the weather improving a bit this week, we have confidence in a couple of spots.  Thankfully they both are fairly large areas.  Being boat #1 should help.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bass Snatchers 2013 Schedule

Here is what my club is fishing this year, with my comments.

June 1st South Long-  Other than the parking situation,  I like the lake.  I've fished it twice when we fished our 2nd tournament in 2009, which was on June 21st.  I have some revenge to get on those bass.

June 22nd Mission Lakes-  I like these lakes.  I've fished them twice, but that was in October both times.  I'm sure they will fish a bit differently than it did in 2008 and 2009 because those were after all in early October.

July 21st Rush Lake-  I don't even know where this lake is, let alone anything else about it other than the Snatchers have fished it before twice, once in mid July of 2000 and once in late August of 2003.  The lake took 19lb weights to win both times but there weren't many limits caught either time.  Hopefully the lakes bass population has improved since then.

Aug 3rd Rabbit Lakes-  I have fished these lakes 2 times as a Snatcher, once for pre-fish and once for the tournament in late July of 2010;  And I fished it 3 times in 2004 for an Excel Bass Tournament I fished in late June 2004.  I look forward to getting a bit of revenge on the fish there for 2010, but the lake has generally treated me well.

August 17th Blind-  We won't find out the lake until the morning we go to fish it.  It could be any lake within 30 miles of Brainerd that is 1000 acres or more and that we didn't fish last year, so North Long, Alexander, Bay, and Whitefish Chain are out.  I believe the 30 mile rule puts Platte/Sullivan in play.  I believe the Mississippi River is in play as well.  Should be interesting.

Sept 21st Little Boy/Wabedo-  I'm not happy that the club refused to switch this with Mission so the smallies could be in play.  I fished there twice but that was for Muskie Tournament also in late Sept. or maybe it was Oct..  I don't recall what I caught other than 1 tiny muskie and maybe a couple of pike and bass in the reeds.  I lost a box of topwater lures there.  It just stinks that there could be a topwater smallie bite going on.

Hopefully my back will be OK this year, that's my biggest concern.