Sunday, October 11, 2020

2020 Challenge Cup Borden Lake

 It was a windy cloudy cool day on Borden Lake for the 2020 Challenge Cup. The Snatchers were a lost cause without Chuck Steinbauer to lead the team. We came in Last. Tim Benson did leave with 2nd Place Money though. All of the Snatcher Co's only caught 2 keepers apiece. My fish being the lightest of the bunch. The fishing was more difficult than it should have been. I expected the fish to really be snapping, but they weren't. Which led me to become discouraged, disinterested, and bored. After a long dry stretch, my boater finally started getting some fish and I perked up for the final couple of hours.  I caught my second keeper with about 5 minutes left to go. My boater Jason Schmitt ended up being just shy of the money. He got his fish on the chatter and swim jig with a swimbait trailer. His boat was sweet.


Sunday, October 04, 2020

B.B.S. Cedar Lake


If I never see Cedar Lake again it will be too soon. We started out with a slow-motion start in heavy fog that was lifting by the time we arrived at our starting spot in Sunrise Bay. The fish were inactive.  So we started covering water. I got a couple pike. I think Nate connected with his first fish around 10:30AM in some pads on a swim jig with a Kalin's Mogambo Grub, He missed a bite and then caught one off a dock. We then tried the North end of Sunrise and he missed a couple there. We briefly tried the Slop Hole. That wasn't happening so we quickly left. Just outside of the Slop Hole Nate got a nice keeper and had a couple other good ones boil on his jig. He gave me a Mombo and I got my keeper that was 12.25". We then left Sunrise and worked in the mid-section of the Lake. We were fishing pads with reeds and about to leave when Nate caught a good fish. That bite clued us into a pattern, but we couldn't land out bites and I got a pike.  I did lose a small keeper that hung me up on the pads. We went back to the place in Sunrise where Nate had the boils. I had a feeling one of us was going to get smoked and it was me first. I got too excited and jerked the jig out of the fishes mouth. Nate caught his limit shortly after that. We went back to our starting spot and didn't get anything. Then we went and worked the area across from where I missed the blow-up. I missed a blow-up in the reeds there as well. We went back to where Nate got his first fish and I got a pike. We spent the last 15-minutes by the access. Nate got his biggest fish of the day there and I got another pike. Fricken Cedar Lake.

Results: My fish weighed 1lb and put me in 12th Place. Nate won the tournament with 16/3. Tim Benson caught the 3/12 Lunker and Placed 3rd making him the 2020 Bass Snatcher Mr. Bass. Theo won the final Co-Angler Challenge of the Year out of Tim's boat.

My Thoughts: It was a tough bite and even if I had caught that other bass I had on I don't think it would have moved me up any. Who knows if my other bites were even bass or not. I finished in the Club Super 6, so I do get Wood for this year. I set new personal bests for Total Points, One Out Points, and Average place of finish. I wasn't because I fished that great, I didn't. We just didn't have our full complement of guys this year.  

Saturday, October 03, 2020

B.B.S. Gull Lake


 Conditions: 36-48℉, Cloudy in the morning turning PC around noon, Clouds returned the final couple of hours, 0-4mph

My Boater: Club President Tim Benson (2nd Tournament I've fished with him) 

Oopsie: As I started North on 25 toward Brainerd I remembered I didn't put my cull tags in my bag. 

The Day: Everbody was there early in the belief that there wouldn't be parking spaces due to a big walleye tournament, but that wasn't the case. I was the last guy to arrive. I got my stuff in the boat and Tim had four extra cull tags. We blasted off a little before 7:30AM and we headed right to the reeds on the West side of  Round Lake. It wasn't long and I flipped up my big bass of the day 2/15 on a Texas Rigged junebug craw tube.  Tim got 2 or 3 keepers on our first pass along the outside edge in maybe a 60-yard stretch. We then worked our way back inside the reeds but not too far from the edge. I missed a bite on a Hack Attack Jig and caught a pike around the same area where I got my bass. As we started back on a second pass Tim got a nice one. I think he was culling by the time I got another bass. I did lose a fish that broke me off. Tim threw a chatter jig to a small reed island and had a good one jump all over it. I cast my craw tube to the area and was immediately hit by my second biggest bass of the day. We thought maybe we found a school, but nope. So after checking the area out resumed fishing down the reed line. Not too far down Tim got another good one on the chatterjig. I caught a 12.5" just outside of the reed line on a Hack Attack Jig. Then I got on the reed line on a tilapia craw tube. The sun had come out prompting me to go to a lighter color. I got my fifth fish on a D & M Baits junebug Piranha 2 Swim Jig (chatter). I got my limit fish around noon on the craw tube. We then worked our way back with me missing or losing several bites.

We then tried a small reed bed and Tim got a couple of upgrades. At that point, we decided to leave Round. We went to reed bed on the North end of Gull. I got one upgrade on a junebug craw tube and caught a dink on a LiveTarget Baitball Popper. It wasn't happening. We spent the final hour and a half on the South end not catching anything.

The Results: My fish weighed 12/13oz putting me in 7th Place. Tim had 18/9 putting him in 4th. Keith Tuma won with 20/6 and got Lunker with a 4/7 fish  Second went to Smitty with 19even and Al Steinbauer got third edging Benson by 6ozs. The Co-Angler Challenge was won by Beau again.

My Thoughts: I am satisfied with my day. It took me a couple hours to relax and get comfortable and in tune with pitching the reeds. We were the only boat in Round and because of that fact we probably should have stayed there the whole day.  

This Tournament guaranteed I will finish 5th or 6th in AOY.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

B.B.S. Little Boy/Wabedo

Conditions: 50-58℉, Cloudy to Mostly Cloudy with occasional drizzle, 0-4mph SE
The area received a pretty good rain overnight.

The Day: We started in the reeds just to the East of the YMCA Camp in Little Boy. I may or may not have missed a couple of bites. After about an hour and a half with nothing to show for it we left the those reeds and headed to some reeds on the NE side of the lake. Bill missed a bite along a tree in the water. I had something very pike like attack my Fluke and get off quicky in the reeds. I had a couple other boils, but nothing hooked up. We then went to the dock by the outlet where Al had already taken a fish. We then headed to Wabedo. We started fishing to the east right at the entrance to Wabedo. Bill was working the shoreline reeds and I was throwing out with my orange Shower Blows knock-off. I had a 35 or so inch muskie jump over the lure and miss thankfully. From there we went and worked a weedline.  Finally, I got the skunk out of the boat with 2.5lb bass on a junebug Piranha. Bill then caught a line burner on a Senko. Then he got a fish that almost went 2lbs. I got a pike on a craw tube. It was calm and overcast. Perfect topwater conditions. I started throwing a River2Sea Bubble Walker. Something boiled behind the lure. I let it sit for a few seconds then popped it. Whoosh, the 6.5 pound pike took it. After putting up a good fight Bill netted it for me. Thankfully, It didn't put up any fuss in the boat and the hook came out easily. We fished Wabedo for maybe 15 more minutes then headed back to Little Boy with maybe 2 hours left in the day. We went back to the YMCA camp area starting to the West of where we did in the morning.  There is a breakwater at the camp. I made a cast to it with a bone Shower Blows and good bass blasted it. It jumped got down in the weeds and came off. I was not happy. We worked the reeds again. I had something pike like take a shot at my Spro Sprinker knock off and not hook up.  Bill was pretty frustrated as was I. I suggested we move in closer to shore into an area that was good for me and Al in the last tournament. We started working the pads and rice, nothing. Then we came to boat lane. I probably should have directed Bill on how to best approch the high percentage area. Sure enough there were a couple of fish there. I got a decent hookset, but the fish quickly got off. It was 2 to 3lber.  Bill put on frog as I peppered the area. I think he got a bite on his third cast by a smaller fish that didn't hook up. We came to the next boat lane and sure enough their were two fish in the high percentage area. We both landed our bites this time. That happened right in front of Hammer and Checkbook who were working towards us.  We quickly ran out of slop. With 20 minutes left we went to another slop area where Bill lost a fish and I caught a pike.  I was quite disappointed to only bring in two fish and thought I would be a bottom dweller for sure. But a lot of guys struggled, so I reached my goal of a Top 8 finish.

Results: My fish weighed 5lbs 6ozs, which put me in 8th Place. The tournament was won by Tim Benson with 18/9 and he had lunker with a 4/8. Beau Bacon won the Co-angler Challenge out of Tim's boat with 14/03, which put him in 3rd Place. Al Steinbauer was 2nd with 15/8.

My Thoughts: I don't know what the fishes deal was. I would have thought everbody would have come in with limits under those conditions, but the fish were just not up and feeding like you wold expect in the Fall. 2/3rds of the field caught 3 or fewer fish. Ouch

We figured out something that would work to late. Oh well I am now in a three way tie for 4th in the Angler of the Year. It looks like I stand a decent chance of making the Clubs year end Super 6 provided I don't skunk at either of the final two tournaments, which are back to back the first weekend of October on Gull and Cedar Lake.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

B.B.S. Rush Lake (Ottertail)

Smitty's Anchor Fish in a 21lb Bag
What My Scale Said I Had

Started late due to fog turning sunny around 11:30 or so. Light WSW Wind.

The Day:
Started with a fog delay, so we bumped the weigh-in time to 4:30PM. I think we had our 5mph blast off at 8:20 or so. Herman and I were headed to the East end so it was a good long time before we started fishing. We stopped at some reeds along the South shoreline with some rice and pads closer into shore. I got a pike on a frog along some reeds and then the first bass of the day (1.94lbs) along some rice.  Herman got a 2lber out from some rice on a spinnerbait. That made his day. We hit some Reed/Rice/Pads in the middle of the Eastern Bay next. I got a 1.27lber out of some pads. Had a couple of probable pike swipe at me and not come back for seconds. I launched one pike that bit 12 feet through the air when I set the hook on it.  I then had the 2.40lber ambush the Sparrow about 8 feet out in open water after coming off of some pads. We worked around the backside of the stuff we were fishing. I cast to some pads landing on the edge when a 3 to 4lb fish body slammed the Sparrow. I quickly dropped the rod and set the hook sending the Sparrow back towards me at Mach 1.  The dang fish didn't eat the frog. I threw the kitchen sick at her trying to get it to bite again, but she gone!  That was my last bite in this stuff. As we worked our way over to the access area I switched the Sparrow from my 7' 4" Xtra Heavy Frog Rod to my 7'4" Heavy Tatula Frog Rod. It was clear that I was going to be throwing a frog for the next few hours, so I wanted to do it with my favorite rod.  Over by the access I had a 14/15 bass get off at the boat. I figured that fish would have been culled so I didn't stress it. The sun came out.  We were working some open water between slop pockets when I caught a dink. When we got to the next slop line I lost another 14/15 fish, no biggie.  We went through a little dead zone of rice.  We were approaching a rice/pad point where Bruce lost a bite during pre-fish. I think Herman missed two separate fish there. I think Herman missed another fish in some pads/reeds.  The area turned to pads. Herman gave me control of the boat as he made sandwiches. I had a pike miss me.  I then had the 2.66lber give his location away. I caught her on the next cast.  I doubled back to re-fish the area and got the 2.73lber. The sandwiches were now ready so we sat there and ate. I finished first so I went back over the area again and got the 2.22lber. We doubled back one more time and didn't get anything so we proceeded along the pad edge. I got me big fish of the day which weighed 2/13. Shortly after that, I had a fish smoke the frog and bury me in the pads. Thinking it was another good one I put way to much pressure on the rod and it snapped. The fish was still hooked and I reeled in a 13-inch dink. I quickly put the Sparrow back on the Xtra Heavy and tried to get the fact that I busted my favorite rod in the world with little hope of being able to procure another one out of my mind. I caught a couple fish that didn't help and Herman lost a couple of quality blow-ups.  Herman was not happy about missing the fish and that his trolling motor was continuously needing to be freed of weeds. And I wasn't happy I had busted my rod.  Smitty came over to talk letting us know his smallest fish was 3lber.  After he left I should have suggested we re-fish over the pads again. I don't know if Herman would have gone for it or not seeing the trouble the weeds were giving him, but the thought didn't even enter my mind. I did want to go back to the area where I got my first quality bite. That is where I got my final cull of the day, a two and a quarter. At about 2:30PM we left for the West side of the lake. We went to some reeds where he got some bites in pre-fish. Nothing going on. We then tried some docks. Herman got a dink. We then went to some reeds/pads along the Southside of the lake. Herman got his third fish and I got a couple of dinks.

The Results: My fish weighed 15/15, which put me in 4th Place. The tournament was won by Smitty's 21/05 bag. Beau won the Co-Angler Challenge again with 16/13 which put in 2nd Place. Getting "wood" for the first time was Jonathan Notsch in 3rd Place with a 16/7 bag and Bruce Groulx with the 4/1 Lunker.

My Thoughts: This tournament is going to sting for a while.  Breaking my favorite rod because I was so amped up burst my bubble.  Devastating! I love that rod.  I can't believe I only had that one 3 to 4lb bite and the doggone fish didn't get the frog. It's like losing the smallmouth that would have filled my limit on the Mississipi. I am snakebit as far as getting wood. We really should have gone back over that padded area a second time.

On the positive side, fourth place is solid points. I am now definitely in the hunt for the Super 6 as I currently sit in 5th Place and the next tournament is on Little Boy/Wabedo.  A lake I feel good about.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

B.B.S. Serpent Lake

2/8ozs Z-Man TRD
Boater: Chuck Steinbauer
Conditions: 65-84℉, Mostly Sunny, 0-3mph Various directions

The Day: We blasted off for this one at around 6:40AM which is nice.  It became quickly apparent to me with Chuck getting bites almost immediately on a stick worm and nothing going on topwater that finesse fishing would have to be a bigger part of the program than I wanted it to be.  I switched to a Z-Man TRD on an Outkast Perfect Ned Head and caught me a 9" dink and a rock bass.  I didn't get a hit on anything on the next two spots we tried.  I finally got my first keeper in the boat on the Ned Rig at Darrin's Point. The fish was 14.5" long and in my haste to get back fishing I didn't weigh it till later.  It ended up being the smallest fish in my bag at 1/7. I then caught a line burner followed by my big fish of the day at 2/8.  We then went to the spot Chuck got a nice smallie and a couple of good lmb's on in pre-fish.  I caught a 2lber and Chuck got bupkiss.  We then went to the public access where I got a couple of small topwater fish that would take forever and a day for me to cull out.  I did manage to get rid of the line burner and the one I replaced him with on our next stop before we hit a long dry spell.  We came back to that weedline spot later in the day and I got an upgrade that stuck along with some dinks and a multitude of rockies.  In the final hour, we hit one of Chuck's old spots, and both upgraded a couple more fish.  We spent the final 20-minutes down by the landing where there was a chop on the water. I had two fish hit at the Whopper Plopper and not hook up.

Results: My fish weighed 11lbs 15ozs which put me in 6th Place. Chuck's weighed 14/10 and put him in 2nd Place. Hammer took 1st with 16/5 and lunker with a 4/02 smallie. Tyler Czech was the first Co-Angler Challenge Winner of 2020 with 13/05.

The 6th Place finish is my 3rd best finish in the 1st tournament of the year.  It looks like we are going to have small fields this year and there is a possibility we won't make up the first tournament which was postponed.  Every point counts and this finish gives me a leg up in finishing in the Club Super 6 at the end of the year.

My Thoughts:  Pre-fishing is a big deal for my confidence level. Last year the late June tournament was held on Alexander under similar circumstances, but I was unable to pre-fish that one.  The report coming in last year was that the bite was on fire.  When it wasn't on tournament day I got caught flat-footed and never got comfortable with what I was throwing.  I only brought in 3 fish that day.  This year I was prepared for what I was going to throw if the fish didn't cooperate and the plan worked out pretty well.

I should probably pick up some more of those Outkast Perfect Ned Heads.  I only have 3 of them.

Final Standings:

Saturday, September 28, 2019

B.B.S. Leech Lake

2/11 Evergreen Soft Shell Frog

Sarah getting prepared to teach Chuck Steinbauer how it's done

Beau Wins 4th Co-Angler Challenge of the Year.

Tuma Wins and Got Lunker As Well
Conditions: 37-57℉, Sunny turning mostly Cloudy around 2PM, 0-4mph NE

The Day:
I forgot to bring my sunglasses. Fortunately, my boater had an extra pair in his glove box.  Also, it was nice to draw a partner with dual consoles so I didn't freeze on the ride to Boy Bay.  We started in the reeds on the North end of Bear Island.  I got the first bite of the day on a junebug Craw Tube, but it got off.  I thought it was a bass, but my line was frayed so maybe it was a pike.  I got two other bites in the reeds.  The first one dropped it immediately and the second had me into a reed before I could even set the hook.  Wasn't able to get either fish to hit again.  After an hour of that, we headed for some rice.

We started shallow working our way along the rice line to deeper rice.  Ruff had a couple fish strike at his frog, but not hook up.  The second fish was 2/3lb bass that jumped completely out of the water but didn't get the frog.  Once we got to the deeper rice Paul but the first small keeper in the boat on a craw tube.  I think slightly before that Dennis showed up and started fishing about 50 yards up or so in the direction we were heading. I took that as a positive sign.  Paul got the second fish of the day as well.  He only got one more non-keeper for the rest of the day.  He had about the same number of bites as me.  Over the next couple of hours, I managed to get 4 keepers in the boat on the junebug Craw Tube.  I missed a couple of bites on a frog and a few on the Craw Tube.  By noon my upper back was sore.

At About 1:30PM we left the rice for the northern Shoreline of Boy where we fished a couple of docks, some rushes which transitioned into rice.  We didn't get anything.  So we went in search of reed beds on that northern shore.  Ruff got his short there. With an hour of fishing time left, we headed back to the rice and Dennis was there again.  We put into the rice about 50 yards away.  Paul missed a fish and then I got a keeper on a Green Pumpkin/Brown craw tube.  Shortly after that Dennis motored in much closer to us and informed us we came right in on the juice.  He also reported his non-boater Snatcher rookie Jon Notsch was kicking his ass.  I asked Dennis what size weight they were using.  He was using 1oz and said Jon used a 1/2oz, but Jon said he was now using a 1oz as well.  I ended up getting bit off so I switched back to the junebug Craw Tube and upgraded to a 1/2oz weight: I had been using 5/16th.  We motored back on the other side of Dennis and I quickly got my limit fish in the boat.  I got a fish that wouldn't help and got bit off two more times.  With 20-minutes left I got two culls on an Evergreen Frog including my big fish of the day.

The Results: My bass weighed 11/04 which put me in 10th Place out of 20 anglers. 1st Place and Lunker were caught by Keith Tuma (20/02) (4/01).  The Co-Angler Challenge was won by Beau Bacon for 4th time this year with a 3rd Place finish out of Tim Benson's boat.  Three anglers blanked and only 8 limits were caught.  Tough bite.

I ended up in 9th Place for the year

My Thoughts: I didn't fish particularly efficiently because I struggled with casting accuracy all day long thanks to a poor night's rest coming in and the really long day I spent on the water on Thursday. Other than that I thought I fished pretty well.  We spent at least half the day where there were no fish.   Once again a kicker fish eluded me.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

B.B.S. Gull/Crow Wing River

Checkbook Won the Co-angler Challenge with 15/4 
Conditions: 81-65℉, Mostly Sunny, 5-15mph South

The Day:
We started at the rice island at the confluence of the two rivers where Bruce got the two bites prefishing.  There was notably no activity going on here while there was plenty of it when we pre-fished.  We didn't get a bite.  There was some activity to the South of us just off of the rice.  When we got down there I had a fish hit my Piranha Chatterjig, but not hook up.  It jolted the rod like a pike.  That was the only bite we got along the rice.  We then headed across to the slop matt which wasn't nearly as well-formed as when we pre-fished; It shrunk significantly.  I saw a fish come out of the water.  I had bruce get me in casting range and I got a hit on the Spro Sprinker Frog but it didn't hook up.  It was a small fish.  Couldn't get a follow-up hit on a swim jig, Piranha, or craw tube.  We worked our way to the South end of the mat.  There was activity there and I was just about to say expect to get a bite when Bruce had a hit on his swim jig.  It got off.  Bruce is pretty sure it was a bass.  A couple of minutes later I had the grub tail get bit off the Piranha.  I replaced it with a Zoom Speed Craw.  We worked back over the point and I directed Bruce to take us into a cut slop.  I got my first bass there.  I was so relieved not to be skunked.  We worked up the East side of the slop mat without any luck.

Next, we went to re-work our starting spot coming up from the NW along the shoreline.  I got my second bass along the shoreline on the Piranha.  Didn't get anything on the second pass.  I think we then went a little way up the Crow Wing to where Bruce got a bass the first day he pre-fished. Bruce got a pike and I got a pike in the rice slop on a 1oz Jig/Craw.  I was so ticked it wasn't a bass.

We then tried a spot in the confluence we hadn't pre-fished and didn't get a bit.  We then ran up the Gull River to a narrow section.  I got my third bass there at the entrance to the narrow section on a white double willow white Strike King Spinnerbait.  We fished a few more spots without any luck in the Gull River.  We went back to the starting spot.  Nothing doing.

We then ran up the river.  Bruce thought he missed a bite.  I got an 11-inch short largemouth.  I thought I missed a bass, immediately threw back to the spot and got a pike that stole my spinnerbait when it came off the Power Clip.  Was not to happy about that.  We ended the day where I got my second fish.
Results: My fish officially weighed 6/01 which put me in 14th Place out of 18 anglers. Bruce got skunked and came in last.  The winner was Keith Tuma who set a new all-time record bag for the club with 24/8.  Lunker went to Ruff with a 6/03 mega pig.  Checkbook took the Co-Angler Challenge with 15/4.

My Thoughts:  I got a tough break when I drew Bruce for a boater.  He s an outstanding guy, but he is a novice when it comes to bass fishing.  I think Bruce probably would have preferred if I would have taken charge and run the boat.  If I ever get partnered with him again I'll see if he wants me to do that.  The thing is I enjoy the challenge of fishing from the back end of the boat without having to worry about controlling the boat.  I did do some boat control coaching, which I think Bruce found helpful.  If I would have taken control of the boat I would have thrown a frog a lot more than I did.  A frog was a key bait for Tuma and Ruff.

Thanks to the number of guys that elected not to fish this tournament I am basically guaranteed to reach my goal of being in the Top 10 at the end of the year.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

B.B.S. Rabbit Lake

Typical Rabbit 2lber caught Pre-fishing in the Pads
Conditions: 83-65℉, Partly Cloudy, 3-12mph WNW
WT: High 70's

The Day:
We blasted off 4th right behind Chuck Fields and wouldn't you know it he went right to our starting spot as well which was off of the big point on the North of the pit side of the lake.  Darren set us down to the West of Fields and we started working towards him.  I had a 1.91lb bass jump on my 3/8 black/blue jig pretty much immediately.  I got it in the box and it was a repeat performance with a slightly smaller fish.  The fished seemed to shut down on the jig after that. I threw out a Neko rigged Yum Dinger and got a 1.30lber on that immediately.  I think Darren got his first fish shortly after that and I got a short.  We worked back over where I got the fish to start and didn't get anything, Fields worked to the East so we went to where he started and I got 1.70lb fish that hit my jig on the fall.  After maybe an hour and a half we went to our second spot which was in the NE section of the pit lake.  I made the mistake of checking our fish while we were running and I shut the livewell on one of my rod tips breaking it, doh!  I got a 1.19  and my 2/8 lunker to fill out my limit on the jig.  I then culled up with 1.71lb fish on the jig.  Darrin was getting a little better quality of fish on a blue/black craw tube, so I started throwing that and I got a  1.63lb fish on that;  I thought the fish was a weed at first.  We were just about to leave to go fish the pads when I got a 2.05lb fish on the jig next to a dock.

The pads didn't even yield a blow-up for me, but Darren got a couple of fish there and missed some solid blow-ups.  Next, we went out and worked the roadbed.  I think I got a 2.13lb out there along with a couple that didn't help.  We went back to our second spot and I got my last fish of the day there on the craw tube (2.20).

Results: My fish weighed 13/02 with 2/8 big fish which beat Hammers 2/06 big thus putting me in 12th Place.  Darren's fish weighed 14lbs with 3/04 big which put him in 10th Place.  The tournament was won by Jim "Smitty" Smith 17/03.  Lunker weighed 3/14 and was caught by Mick Ziebell.

My thoughts: I don't think I lost any fish that hurt me.  I just didn't have a shot at a kicker that would have put me in the top half of the field.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

B.B.S. Farm Island Lake

Co-Angler Champion for the Day
What my scale says I had.
Thoughts Coming In:  We had a very good pre-fish.  I was a little concerned because it was a deep jig bite.  While I can catch fish that way I know it is an area of weakness as I miss a lot of bites.  My boater Bill Lundenia is a jig master.  I figured I would see if they would hit a craw tube, which I'm much more comfortable with and switch if Bill was catching them on a jig.

Conditions: 83-66℉, Some clouds in the morning turning sunny, 0-4mph WSW
WT: High 70s

The Day: We went South to start where the fish were bigger on average in pre-fish.  I started by throwing a River2Sea Bubble Walker over the calm lake.  A pike jumped about 5-feet in the air and was my first fish in the boat.  After about 10-minutes it was clear that any area fish didn't want it on top, so I switched to the craw tube and pretty quickly got a 2lber.  I got one other 2lber, but it was not happening so we went to the "Smallmouth Hole".  I picked up a quick keeper as did Bill.  Then Bill had a 3lber throw his jig. I got a couple more 2-pounders on the craw tube.  We then went to a hump and I got 2.66lber on the craw tube.  The sun came out.  We tried one more spot in Farm Island then headed for Little Pine.

Bill got a bass in Little Pine on the jig, so I switched to the jig immediately.  I missed 3 or 4 bites.  Bill was missing bites and getting bit off.  It was dead calm and minnows were skittering around above the milfoil, so I thought I would throw a few casts with the Bubble Walker.  On the second cast, a 3lber took it but immediately jumped and threw the bait.  Bill then had a good fish break off at the rod.  He was looking for his line; The fish he lost jumped and immediately my lunker of the day (3lbs) struck the topwater.  I got a bass that didn't keep on my very next cast.  That all happened in the span of about 6 casts for me.

We went back into Farm Island and fished some docks.  I tried out the Neko Rig like I said I was going to do.  I got one that almost helped me breaking my Techna AV rod in the process. I got a couple of dinks as well.  We went back to everywhere we fished in the morning and I had a few fish pick up a brown/green pumpkin craw tube.  We ended the day watching Checkbook snatch a good one.  Bill only got 5 keepers in the boat.

Results: My fish went 14/8 which put me in 4th Place and allowed me to be the Co-Angler Champion.  The tournament was won by Tim Benson with 16/2 and Tim got "Lunker" with a 3/08 fish.

My Thoughts: A good day for me, some though luck kept it from being a good day for Bill as well.  I may not switch a thing up for the next tournament at Rabbit Lake.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

B.B.S. Lake Alexander

Conditions: 84-65℉, Sunny to start then partly cloudy to cloudy, 3-6mph SE
Water Temp: Low to mid 70's (just a guess)

The Day:
My boater Tim was confident we would crush them.  The fish had other ideas.

We started outside a small cove along the South shoreline.  Nothing there.  I started topwater, then went to spinnerbait, then to a jerkbait, then back to a smaller topwater.  As we got to a rocky shoal at the cove entrance Tim got his first keeper a small smallmouth.  I'm not even sure what he was fishing with.  We started approaching some docks.  I think Tim caught a fish and needed to re-tie so I went to the front of the boat.  I had a fish hit my Shower Blows when I wasn't paying attention and lost it half way to the boat.  It was just a small keeper, no big deal right?  A little way down the shoreline I got my big bass of the day on the Shower Blows.  It was a smallmouth that went about a pound and 2/3rds.  That was it for me for quite a while.  We jumped to a couple of reefs.  Tim had a good smallie break him off because he had his drag set too tight.

Tim was drop shotting and hardly getting a bite.  That really played with me mentally because I just was not prepared for the day to go down like that.  Finally, about 3 hours in we headed for some bullrushes.  Tim got a good largemouth on his second cast and then quickly missed one.  I missed hit on my frog in some small pads.  I then got a small keeper off the back side of the rushes.  Tim started culling and I got one that barely went over 12-inches.  I missed a couple more bites in the rushes.

We went and tried some other spots.  I got a couple shorts off of a small point.  We went back to the start spot and Tim got his big bass, a 3lb smallmouth.  It just wasn't happing there so we jumped a couple of offshore spots.  Tim had a smallie get snatched by a muskie when he was bringing it in.  He fought it for a couple of minutes before the muskie let go. Then the smallie got off Tim's line just like that.  It wasn't a very big one and when it got off the muskie was in hot pursuit. We went back to the bullrushes to end the day.  I missed one bite on a frog and I think I missed a couple that hit the craw tube but could have been rock bass.  Who knows.

Three small fish, what a disappointment!

The Results:
My three fish weighed 3/12 and put me in 18th Place out of 20 anglers.  Tim's fish weighed 12/04 and put him in 7th Place.  He was only 9oz out of 3rd Place so breaking off that fish really hurt.  The winner was non-boater Beau Bacon with 16/7.   Lunker went to Chuck Fields with a 3/14.

My Thoughts:  I didn't fish well.  For some reason, I was checked out mentally for most of the day and just couldn't get comfortable with what I was throwing.  I just think I was so unprepared for fishing to be so difficult.  For at least the last two weeks of June catching bass for me became a difficult proposition.  Not sure what it's gonna take for me to get out of this rut.  I better find my mojo quick because the next tournament is less than two weeks out. 

Saturday, June 01, 2019

B.B.S. Whitefish Chain

Conditions: 50-66℉, Partly Cloudy, 3-8mph NE
Water Temps: Low to mid 60's

The Day:
Neither of us pre-fished so we went in basically blind hoping Alan's experience on the Chain would carry the day.  We got off to a pretty good start running across Whitefish up into Loon Lake.  My first bass of the day was a line burner caught on a 105 size Shower Blows.  The only topwater bite I got all day, but wind and weeds forced that hand.  I was surprised by the amount of weed growth in a number of areas we fished.  At the end of the first hour my boater Alan was culling as he got into a spinnerbait bite in the wind.  I managed to pull a 1.75lber off a dock on a 5" Yum Dinger while that was going on.

We moved up to the North shore out of the wind.  I caught a 13-incher on the Dinger casting towards some pads.  Alan spotted some beds and we drifted over a fish that was still there and Al caught it.  It was Al's biggest of the day (3/10) and only smallmouth.  I didn't catch any smallies.  I caught my biggest one of the day (2.50) shortly after Al blind casting the Dinger.  We continued fishing docks and pads until I got my limit and culled once which happened by 9:30AM when we left Loon on our way to Cross Lake.  One of the fish I caught had a Senko and hook stuck in its gullet.  I pulled the Senko out and the darn thing went belly up soon after. 

Al decided to give Hidden Lake a quick look and he got three quick small upgrades.  I missed my bites and Al started losing fish as well.  After that, we hit some spots in Cross that yielded only little fish or nothing.  So we then went to Clamshell.  I think Al got one cull there.  I lost a couple of bites that felt like good fish.  We tried Bertha for a little bit getting nothing then headed to Hay to finish the day.  I missed a good fish and got a small upgrade on the bubblegum Super Fluke fishing docks.

I thought I had done OK, but boy was I wrong.

My limit weighed 11/13 minus 2oz penalty so 11/11 was my official weight which put me in 17th Place out of 20 anglers.  Alan was only 2 places better with 12/11.  The winner was Chuck Fields setting a new all-time record bag for the Bass snatchers at 23lbs.  Tuma tied the previous all-time record with 22-10 getting 2nd Place. The winner of the Co-Angler Challenge was Beau Bacon with 17/4 out of Tuma's boat.

My Thoughts: Not being able to pre-fish this one relegated us to the back of the pack.  We were the only boat without at least a 13lb limit and you had to have 15/8 to crack the top 10.  Neither I or Al anticipated that.  On to Lake Alex.