Saturday, July 15, 2017

B.B.S. North Long Lake

1lb 10ozs Lake Fork Craw Tube (Grn Pumkin/Brown)
6:45-2:50PM North Long Lake we fished all 3 Bays
Conditions: 60-83℉, Partly to Mostly Sunny, Wind All Day out of multiple directions

I came into this tournament without a care in the world.  I was not prepared mentally for how difficult catching fish might prove.  After the pre-fish I was sure we were gonna catch a limit a piece.  Boy was I wrong.  Normally, I am content to let my boater call all the shots for the day and am loathe to offer suggestions.  I need to recognize instances where I need to be more assertive.  This tournament was probably one of those instances, but I can't say with any confidence that the results would have been much different.

The Day:
I had thought to myself that starting where we caught multiple fish and then quickly left in 371 Bay should be our start spot.  Checkbook suggested we start in the reeds where we got fish in Merrifield Bay.  No problem.  Fish for 30 minutes, if we don't get a bite get out of there and go to 371.  That is pretty much the way it played out.

When we got to 371 Bay a boat was anchored maybe 50 yards to the NE of the juice.  We were there maybe 15 minutes and Checkbook got bit off.  I don't remember if I had gone to the front of the boat or not when I caught my only bass of the day on a Lake Fork Craw Tube.  I threw out a marker buoy and went and got the fish weighed and put a cull tag in.  By the time I was ready to fish again Checkbook was retied and back on the trolling motor.  Over the next hour or so I missed a couple of hits and got a pike.  I think Checkbook caught a pike.  The boat that was anchored finally left.  Checkbook wanted to leave as well.  I thought we should fish toward where the boat was anchored, but didn't speak up.

We went to the reeds in 371 that I had a blow up in during pre-fish.  Checkbook got his lone keeper there on a jig.

Next we headed to the main lake.  We apparently just missed fishing a spot that had a bunch of small keepers on it.  We didn't find the weeds.  I suggested we try some docks.  We went to either a resort or marina not sure which.  Didn't get anything there.  We fished some reeds nothing.  Tried another spot close by. Nothing.  We headed back to Merrifield Bay and fished the steep break on the North Shore narrows into the bay.  A good looking spot, but we didn't get a hit other than me getting bit off once.

Next we tried some reeds on the South shoreline, nothing.  We tried some docks.  I think Checkbook got a rock bass.  We tried some more reeds and some great looking shallow slop along the cattail shoreline.  Not a sign of a fish.  It was now about 2PM and both us were pretty frustrated.  I think I pulled the plug on where we were fishing maybe a bit to quickly as we were approaching some good looking water with some cain and thicker reeds, but I really wanted to get back to that weedline spot on 371 and that is where we went and  spent the rest of the day.  We caught several pike there and both got bit off in the final hour.  I also missed a few hits that might have been bass.  I later learned that a lot of the bass bites felt like panfish and you really had to coax them into taking it.  Or it could be that panfish were playing with a bait until a bass came to investigate.  Whatever, the day was over and we didn't figure that part of the puzzle out.

Results: My fish weighed 1lb 10ozs, which put me in 23rd Place out of 24 anglers with Checkbook  taking last.  Keith Tuma won by more than a pound and a half with 17/09 and with 4/05 Lunker.

My Thoughts:  I didn't really get spun out.  It's just that everything we tried didn't work.  If anything I was to casual believing we would eventually find and catch some bass. Looking back at my tournament results in July I haven't caught a limit in the month since 2012, ouch.  This finish pretty much forces my hand.  If I want any shot at making the Super 6 at the end of the year I'm going to have to fish Thunder Lake and miss my oldest brothers wedding ceremony.  A disaster on this level next month at Gull will make that decision a moot point.

Next Tournament: Gull Lake August 12th 

 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Snatchers at Zebulon Pike Res. Mississippi River

A Top 5 Finish for Swannie and I.
8:00-4:00PM Zebulon Pike Res. Mississippi River
Conditions: 58-68℉, Mostly Cloudy, Windy NW

The Day:
We ended up starting right before 8AM, thanks to a Snatcher who never showed up.  The wind was blowing on our starting spot pretty good and there were a lot of trees so I didn't start with the Plopper like I planed.  Instead I think I opted for the buzzbait and spinnerbait.  I got my first hit on the spinnerbait but it was a pike.  I then got a rock bass and then another pike.  About an hour in we went back and started over just a little before where we started the first time.  I went to the dreaded Texas Rig.  Within the first 10 minutes and before we reached our starting spot Swannie landed the first keeper of the day.  I ended up getting the Chigger Craw bit off by a pike.  I never did attempt to throw the Texas rig again.  Swannie ended up having to break off his swim jig.  We were just about to move when I got a 15" smallie on the spinnerbait.  About 5 minutes later I overshot my cast and had to break the spinnerbait off.

We ended up moving to our second area and not getting a hit there.

Off the spot #3, a shallow flat with rocks, around 11AM.  Swannie was surprized the only boat fishing there was Tim Benson who I think was 1 fish short of a limit at that time.  Swannie put on a lipless crank and caught 3 quick smallies, 2 keepers and 1 dink that had to go back.  He also caught a walleye around the same spot he got one in pre-fish.  I tried to make topwater work, but the fish weren't having it.  Swannie caught another keeper.  I had seen enough and switched to a red craw 1/2oz Berkley Frenzy lipless that I have had success with in the past in rivers.  I caught a 13 incher.  I think Swannie then caught a catfish and Tim lost a big smallie.  I got my big fish of the day, a 17 incher.

Shortly after getting that fish I cast out the Frenzy and the line broke at the spool.  Just great.  All I had left was a 1/4oz red craw Frenzy lipless.  I put a cast up by shore and got a 13.25" smallie.  Swannie got his fifth keeper then lost a good one on a swim jig.  I had a good smallie on, it would have been my second biggest of the day, and fought it to the boat.  I thought I was going to get it in the net and horsed it a bit to much and it came off.  Totally my mistake.  Losing that fish cost me 3rd Place.

With about 2 hours left we headed back down river.  I got my fifth fish, a 13.5", out of our our starting area where the wind was just pounding with about 40 minutes left in the day.  Eventually we opted to move to the western shore to get out of the wind.  I had the spinnerbait get hit by a couple of small fish, but didn't have another shot at #6.

Results:  My 5 fished weighed 7 and a half pounds, with a 2/04 big fish, which put me in 4th Place.  As you can see I beat Swannie by an ounce. Tim Benson kicked everyone's butt getting 1st with 14/06 and the 3/11 Lunker.  Fishing was tough with only two limits weighed in. Ouch!

Thoughts:  I didn't know we were going to fish that shallow flat as we barely went on to it during pre-fish.  I only had the two lipless cranks with me.  I wish I had more of them and some square bills as well.  Both Swannie and I should of had our limits.  Swannie was a great draw.  Neither of us had a clue fishing was going to be so tough.


 I am off to my best start ever as a Snatcher, so there is that.  If I can just finish middle of the pack from here on out I should reach my goal of being in the Top 10 at the end of the year.  A couple more Top 10 finishes and I should have a great shot at making the clubs Super 6 and thus make this years Challenge Cup Team.

Next Tournament: North Long on July 15th.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

6/3/17 Snatchers Platte/Sullivan

Getting Ready For Blast Off
7:45AM-3:50PM Platte Lake
Conditions: 54-84℉, Partly to Mostly Cloudy, 3 to 15MPH WSWNW Winds, Water Level getting low

There was a surprise at the ramp this morning when we learned a bass club with 7 boats would also be fishing Platte/Sullivan today.  They blasted off at 7AM even though all their boats weren't in the water yet.  Thankfully they only went until noon, so there was no conflict over weigh in and take out.

I think we blasted off around 7:45AM and we went right to what I will now forever call Chuck's Point.  It is a reed point with some cabbage mixed in with rice up by shore and a slop bay to the West.  I think Chuck got a 15" right away on a swimbait or swim jig.  I made a cast out of the reeds into the slop with the Horny Toad.   A fish slapped, but didn't get it.  I cast back and it got it this time, but it hung me up in the reeds.  It really wasn't happening at this spot so we went to one of my spots in the NW corner.  I think Chuck got a small keeper and I whiffed when a fish hit Maxx.  That darn J-Braid 8 wrapped itself around my rod good.  I eventually had to cut it.

We then went to Double Maidencaine Point.  I got a pike there.  Carp were active, but we couldn't raise a bass.  Next we headed to some docks on the South shoreline.  That didn't pay off with anything.  We were making our way out of the rice when I had something show up behind my frog.  I let it sit for a couple of seconds and when I moved it again a 17.75" bass blasted it.

Chuck was intent on getting to some docks, so we didn't fish the area to see if anything else was there.  Chuck came in a little too close to the South side of the small island and he hit bottom with his motor.  Thankfully he didn't seem to do any damage.  We didn't get anything on the docks.

We then headed to the point across from the Platte Lake access and the fish were active there.  Chuck got the first couple of fish.  Then I got a 13.3," 14.25" and a 17" on a Bass Pro Speed Shad.  I lost a 15-16 on the Shower Blows Knock off.  I think Chuck filled out his limit and maybe culled once.

Next we headed back to Chuck's point.  Chuck got a fish right away again and was back to culling.  I caught a 12" line burner on a craw tube which I put in the well.  Almost immediately I had another bite as did Chuck.  They were both good fish.  Chuck's got off, but I landed mine and it was my big fish of the day 18.5" 3/07, so she was spawned out.  I then got a 16.5" fish on the craw tube to get rid of the line burner.  I switched to the Horny Toad and quickly got a skinny 16" fish on that.  Then the bite quit on Chuck's Point.

We ran into my bay, but everything was either covered up or kids were swimming there.  We ran back to the point across from the access.  I may have caught my final cull here, a 16.5 on the Speed Shad.

The sun came out.  We tried some docks on the Platte Access shoreline.  Didn't get anything.  We went back to Chuck's point.  I had a really good fish hit the Horny Toad, unfortunately after having it on for about 4 seconds it buried me in the reeds.  If it was a bass, and I think it was, it probably would have been my big fish.  That hurt me because I couldn't get rid of that skinny 16 incher.

We tried the slop to the East of the GOMH.  Both Chuck and I had hits but couldn't hook the fish.  We went back to Chuck's point to end the day.  He got a solid cull and lost a good one while I got several fish that didn't help me.  And the day was done.

Chuck had me believing we had  me believing that our weights were fairly similar.  They weren't.

Results:  My fish weighed 15/8, which put me in 7th Place.  Whew, I finally made a Top 10.  Chuck came in 3rd Place with 17/4 and he had Lunker with a 4/2.  Mark Munson won with 17/12.  I'm a little surprised no one caught an 18lb bag as the fish were really biting.

My Thoughts: Finally a half way decent tournament day for me. I would have been really disappointed had I come in with anything under 14lbs.  There are just so many 15.5-17" fish in the system right now.  Can I keep the momentum?