From Minnesocold, Bass Fishing Blog Capitol of the World!

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Snatcher Season at the Mid Way Point

The fishing funk I fell into last year has continued into this one unfortunately.  All of my finishes so far this year have been a disappointment.  First Tournament on Birch I didn't fish very intelligently and finished 2 places up from last.  Second Tournament on South Long lost fish cost me, but at least I got a limit; Finished 6 places up from last.  Third Tournament at Fishhook we just weren't on the fish and I feel fortunate I caught what I did; Two places up from last again.

So far only 1 of my goals for the season won't be reached.  I failed to catch a limit in two tournaments.  All the rest of my goals will be in play until the last tournament of the year.

I am seriously overdue for a Top 5 finish.  I haven't even cracked a Top 10 finish in the past two years and a half years. And that was with two fields of 15 or less anglers in the mix .

Draw for Pokegama is this Wednesday and the draw for Rabbit is two weeks later.  All it takes is one really high finish to get on a roll.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Snatchers Fishhook Tourny July 16th

A pod of about 8 Loons we came across
7:50AM-4:00PM Fishhook Lake
Conditions: 63-79degrees, Mostly sunny to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy, started calm then winds from 5 to 10 MPH out of the SW

Pre-tournament Thoughts:
I came into this tournament hoping for the best, but expecting it might be a difficult day.  My boater Art doesn't have a GPS and the Lakemaster Chip for mine just has generic contours of the lake that may or may not be accurate.  I didn't even think it was worth bothering putting in waypoints of spots to check out.  I did bring the GPS with though.

The Day:
We blasted off third and headed East to large point with a big weed flat.  I believe 5 other boats started on it.  I took that as an encouraging sign.   We were the closest boat in towards shore.   Dennis Lothspeich was in the closest boat to us and he had a pike break him off on his first cast.  My boater Art got a rock bass.  Herman who was in Dennis boat got himself a keeper largemouth.  I started out throwing topwater and didn't raise a thing.  I got a rock bass on the Piranha and had a pike follow in it as well.  Art got a couple more rock bass and pretty much everybody left the area after an hour and a half.  I had a pike break off my Texas rig and the wind started up.

We moved to the NW corner of the lake and I got a pike on the Pure Poison with Swim Fluke Jr. for a trailer.  We then moved in to try a few docks.  Very fishy looking water to me.  Between two of the docks there was a tree hanging over the water and I put a cast up right by shore.  Sure enough there was a good bass sitting there that took my Fluke and I hooked it.  It went 16", I wouldn't be getting a skunk for the day.  I was feeling pretty good about that.  We came up to some slop and reeds and I missed a hit on a LiveTarget Frog.  I wasn't looking at the lure when it hit.  I did get a good hookset, just don't think the fish had the frog.

We ended up going back to our starting spot.  We started catching rock bass and I had a pike break me off again.  I think I caught the next bass, a 14.25" keeper on a craw tube.  I didn't have my wits about me, as I didn't throw out a marker buoy I brought or think to put a waypoint in the GPS.  Art inexplicably decided to move us pretty much right after I caught the fish.  Art eventually did catch himself a keeper.  I didn't even cross my mind to throw the buoy or mark a waypoint.  We caught a few more rock bass.  Then we left and tried a couple other spots getting nothing.  With about an hour and a half left in the day we went back to the starting area again.  I quickly landed a 13.75" and a 14" keeper on the craw tube and Art landed his biggest fish and had one jump him off.  Once again I didn't think to throw the marker or put in a way point.  That was the last of our action other than a few more rock bass and a couple of bites that I missed.

Results:  My four fish weighed 7lbs 8ozs which put me in 16th Place out of 18 anglers.  Art's 2 fish weighed 3/11 and put him in 17th Place.  Keith Tuma won with a modest 16/10 and Lunker went to Tim Benson with a 5/2.

My Thoughts:  Who knows if I would have thrown out the marker buoy or marked where we caught fish on the GPS would have made a difference or not.  I just wish I had thought to do it.  Catching 1 more fish would have moved me up at least 2 more spots.  Other than the brain fart on the marker buoy and GPS, I thought I took advantage of what I was presented with.  The one suggestion I gave on where to fish didn't produce anything for us.  Getting bit by rock bass kept me from getting bored and I only lost two tungsten weight's to the pike.  The day could have gone far worse.  I'm just glad I caught anything.

Next Tournament:  Lake Pokegama (Grand Rapids) Aug 6th.      

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bass Snatcher Fishook Lake Quick Report

I didn't get a limit, but I'm not really disappointed about the 4 fish I weighed.  My boater only managed to get two keepers.  Chuck Steinbauer and Jim Smith only weighed 4 fish as well.  In other words, fishing was tough.  I'll have the full report in a couple of days when I get the results.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

My June 2016: Less Larry, More Sally, More Teeth, Less Teeth

Highlight of the Month
After catching more largemouth in May of this year (181) than last year (141), I had high hopes for the fishing this June.  But we just didn't get the rain in this area of MN and my largemouth numbers caught dropped significantly. I caught 30 less largemouth this year (84) than last year (114).  Low water is a GOMH killer.  The two tournaments I fished in the month were underwhelming as far as the number of fish caught.  At least I got 10 bass at South Long; That was the most bass I caught in a day in June.

I did catch 5 smallmouth up 3 from last years total in June.

Pike numbers were not off the charts like they were in May when I caught 126 of them, but 42 is a record for June.  I have easily surpassed my goal of catching 150 pike for the year;  I am currently at 219.

After getting 31 walleyes in May, I only got 4 in June.  Last year I got 16 in May and 12 in June.

You can read about all of my fishing trips this year over at Bass Pundit's Fishing Log Blog.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

GOMH & South Long Tournament June 19th



5:15-5:45AM GOMH NE
Conditions: 68 degrees, S wind, Partly cloudy

With the 8AM start I had time to stop by the Grumpy Old Man Hole before heading off to South Long.  I caught 3 small jumpin' bullheads on a white Strike King Spinnerbait.
10" Strike King Double Colorado Blades

12.5"




7:45AM-3:45PM South Long Lake
Conditions: 70-88 degrees, Windy to Extremely Windy out of the SSW, Mostly Sunny turning cloudy in the last hour or so.

The Day:  Our first stop was the points on the South side of the Channel into the South bay.  We worked our way NE than North after we went around the second point.  We didn't get anything on the points and were heading North to the docks.  I was throwing the Whopper Plopper across the channel towards the lake side of the other point.  The Plopper was almost back to the boat when a 14.25" hit it.  First keeper of the morning.

We worked our way North into the reeds and rice.  My boater Tony got a couple of squeakers and I got one (13") as well on a Horny Toad.  I missed a hit in the rice along the back edge of the reed. We working the shallow side of another reed bed when a fish missed the Horny Toad.  I cast back and got a 14" fish.  Tony saw a descent size fish jump and worked himself into position to get it.  It took some casting, but eventually he got it to hit.  It was a solid fish.

We worked the reed beds and Tony got his limit.  I wasn't getting any hits on the Horny Toad or a frog, so I started throwing a white Grass Pig on a weighted swimbait hook.  I got a 14.25", then I lost a fish at least that size when it got hung up on the very last reed before it was in the clear.  I then got a 13.95" bass and then lost the next one that hit me in the reeds.  We went and fished a dock.  I threw my fluke to a clump of rice and good fish jumped all over it, but I botched the hook set.  I couldn't get the fish to hit again.  We went back into the reeds. I think I missed two more hits in the reeds before I finally got my limit fish, a 12.5" squeaker.  We were a little over 2 hours into the tournament at this point and the wind was really starting to come up.

I think the next fish in the boat was Tony's big bass, a solid 3lber.  We decided to go back and start all over in the reeds.  As we were coming to another reed bed I made a fairly long cast with my craw tube and 15 incher picked it up.  That was my big bass of the day and the only one I would get on the craw tube.  I did also get a rock bass and a green sunfish on the craw tube that I thought for sure was going to be a bass by the way it hit.
Took a picture of the little guy.
      We went for a long stretch without getting anything.  Eventually we started getting fish again.  I culled out my second fish with a 13.5".  Don't remember what I caught it on, the swimbait maybe.  I started throwing the double Colorado blade Strike King Spinnerbait and I caught a pike, then a rock bass, then a 12", then my final cull of the day with a 14" on it.

With a little more than an hour left it seemed like the wind was quieting down, so we ran up the lake to the other spot we got fish while pre-fishing.  That was a mistake as it was still whipping around up there.  We tried it for about half an hour then headed for the SE shoreline which was still in the wind.  I looked in the well and one of Tony's fish had expired.  After getting nothing there for 10 minutes we called it quits.  I don't remember exactly when, but shortly after Tony pointed the boat towards weigh-in we hit something, spun the hub, and bent up the prop pretty bad.  We waved down Guy who towed us to weigh in.

Results:  My limit weighed 8lbs 10ozs, which put me in 16th Place out of 21 anglers.  Tony's fish weighed 13-14, but the 2oz penalty cost him 3rd Place because Guy with whom he was now tied had the Lunker for the day at 4-7.  Chuck Steinbauer was the tournament winner with 16-2.

My Thoughts:  Tony's boat control in that nasty wind was excellent.  With a little better luck in landing the fish that bit I may have had a shot at being in the Top 10.  Lost fish are part of the deal in the reeds.  I did beat my weight by 14ozs from the tournament we had on South Long on 6/21/09, but my place of finish is one place worse this time.

In AOY I'm 4 points ahead of where I was at this point last year.  I finished in front of the two guys that were behind me at Birch. Unfortunately I didn't manage to finish in front of anyone who was in front of me either, other than two guys who did not fish this tournament.  I am going to have to fish better if I'm going to make my goal of finishing in the Top 10 for the year.

Getting towed to the landing by Bailey

Next Tournament: Fishhook Lake at Park Rapids on July 16th.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

South Long Quick Report

Picked up the craw tube just like a bass.

Bill Bailey towing us back to the ramp
It was on ok tournament for me.  I got a limit in the first 3 hours and I beat the weight I had in the 2009 tournament at this same time of the year.  My first fish came on the Whopper Plopper.  Lost a couple of fish that would have helped me a little bit, but that's life in the reeds.    I didn't really notice the heat  in large part due to my white Columbia Performance Fishing Gear hoodie and the wind.  It blew as expected.  Nearly had my hat blown off multiple times.  My boater Tony's boat control was excellent.  Unfortunately Tony hit something as we were about to take off to head to the weigh in.  He spun the hub and badly messed up his prop.  I'm not sure if we were DQed or not for being late to the weigh in.  Tony had a fairly good bag. If our weights count, not sure where mine stacks up as we left the weigh in early.  It was a long tow into the wind to get back to the ramp.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Bass Snatcher Tournament On South Long Tomorow


Wicked Warm and Windy is the forecast for the day and we get more of it because we are starting at 8 and ending at 4.  Not a big fan of 8AM starts for local tournaments.

Maybe it won't seem as hot in the wind.

I don't know what my boater feels about fishing in the wind.  Maybe because it's a fairly narrow lake that sits down in a valley and is surrounded by trees it won't seem as bad if the wind isn't at the perfect angle to blow right down the lake; Which could unfortunately happen with the way the lake sits.

I really hope the conditions don't get me or my boater frustrated.  I need to catch a limit.  I am going to catch a limit.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Trophy Is In the Water

Sullivan Lake West Access
After 2 years off the Trophy is back in the water.  The point of this trip was to go fishing, not to run the boat.  Dad did take a battery off of one of his tractors, so I could use the Johnson.  I forgot to put Sea Foam in the gas, doh!  I couldn't get gas to go through the first fuel line I tried.  That wasted about 10 minutes.  I got the motor to start but it wouldn't stay running.  For some reason it doesn't seem to be taking gas unless I force it by pushing on the bulb.  After 45 minutes of messing around.  I put the trolling motor down and went fishing.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Not The Morning I Expected, But It's All Good

20.5" Whopper Plopper
4:30-6:30AM GOMH NE SE
7:00-9:00AM Mille Lacs Eddy's Jetty N

After last nights trip to the Grumpy Old Man Hole I was quite confident when I headed out this morning.  I was a little stunned when forty minutes into fishing the NE side I hadn't even had sniff and a panfish fisherman showed up and took the SW side.  I switched to the SE side where I have to cast to my right/backhand to get under the bridge.  Also the casting angles aren't nearly as good because of the way the vegetation and rocks are.  I had one toothy swipe at my Chigger Craw.  After about 20 minutes nothing was happening so I went back to the NE side.  I saw a 17" toothy and sub 10" jumper.  I threw a Spro Frog in the rice, not even a hit and nothing under the bridge either.  I packed up to leave at 6:30 having not caught anything.

I pointed the KIA towards Mille Lacs, hoping that the rumors I'd been hearing about the smallies going on topwater would work out for me.  With smallmouth I never know if they are going to be at my main shore fishing spot or not.  I found out on my first cast.
12.5" Whopper Plopper
Yeah, it was a small fish, but it hit topwater and got the skunk off.  About 15 minutes later I got another one.
14.5" Whopper Plopper
About 15 minutes later I got the big one.  I was really hoping it was gonna go 21 inches.  I couldn't decide what I wanted to do to land it as it was to the North of the harbor mouth.  I was unable to steer it into the harbor, so I ended up shimming down a large semi slippery slab where I was able to grab the fish.
 I could't see the screen to know I had taken a bad picture and the camera went on the fritz.  A lady and her husband were down front and offered to take a picture for me.  I got the camera to work right again and got the one good pic and one's better than none.  I had to hold the fish upright for about a minute before it swam off.

Clouds moved in and I think I got one hit on the loon colored Plopper that didn't hook up.  Coming up on 9AM it started thundering and threatening rain so I left.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

My Full Recap June 4th Snatcher Tourny at Birch Lake (Hackensack)

Tournament Winner the humble Dennis Lothspeich in his new ride.
Conditions: 65-55 degrees, Cloudy with some rain, Windy for most of the day out of the NW

Not The Day I Was Looking For:
We blasted off at about a quarter to 8AM.  We went to the channel that separates the two basins.  I quickly had a fish on my D & M Baits Piranha bluegill color, but it was a pike.  As we were fishing through the channel I had the Grass Pig's tail get bit off.  As we worked our way North out of the Western side of the channel I got a 12.75" keeper on a black/blue Piranha with a Chigger Craw trailer.  We kept moving North.  I got a 11" on the Chigger Craw.  The wind came up and it started raining.

We moved to the South side of the Island and fished around the rock point.  As we were working the windward side coming up on Paul and Hammer my boater Darren stuck the Lunker of the Day.  That was the only fish we got in that area.  We worked around the West side of the Island where I got a pike on an Okeechobee Craw Craw Fatty.   We started down the East side and Darren missed a hit.  I quickly landed a 14.75" in the same general area on the Craw Fatty.  We pulled a little more off shore and I got a 14.25" and a 16.75" (2-6) also on the Craw Fatty.  Darren picked up a couple of fish as well on Craw Tubes.  I landed a short and a couple of pike and missed some hits.  Darren got his limit.  The action slowed.  Darren switched to a Senko.  He had a mule on, but his drag was too loose.  He tightened it up to much and the fish broke him off as it jumped just out of reach of the net.

That kind of wrecked the mood in the boat as Darren was pissed off and I wasn't getting bit out there in the wind and rain.  Also my upper back really started to be a pain.  Darren did get another good fish on the Senko and maybe one or two more fish on it.  I tried an Strike King Ocho and a couple of crankbaits.  We finally bailed on the place with about an hour and a half left.

We tried a point where we had gotten a fish in prefish.  Didn't get anything there.  We moved in to try a few docks.  I got a bad wind knot that put my Fluke Rod out of commission.  That truly sapped my confidence.  We tried another point where I got a pike on the bluegill Piranha.  Darren got a fish that didn't help him.  We worked some slop not getting a hit.

We hit the channel on the way in.  I got a rock bass on the Craw Fatty and Darren got a small upgrade, but then he culled two fish leaving him one short of a limit.  That error ended up costing him two places in the final standings.

Results: My 4 fish weighed 6lbs 9ozs and put me in 13th out of 15 anglers.  Darren came in 6th Place with 12-6.  Dennis Lothspeich as noted above was the winner and his fish weighed 14-9, beating Guy Henkensiefkin by 2 ozs. and Chuck Steinbauer by 3ozs

My Thoughts:  Bottom line I didn't fish very well or intelligently.  I skipped right past the Chigger Craw I had on to put on the Ocho.  We were fishing a spot that was ideal for a football head jig.  It didn't even enter my mind.  I should have thrown a jerkbait as well.  I allowed myself to get frustrated and mentally spun out.

I think it really would have helped if we would have had a marker buoy or two out.  We were fishing far enough off shore and a school of fish was definitely there.  Not having a marker buoy made us far less efficient.   I was out there throwing blind.  

I give myself a D for for that disappointing and depressing finish.  I now haven't caught a limit in 3 straight tournaments.

Next Tournament South Long  

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Birch Quick Report

A disappointing start to the tournament season for me as I fell two fish shy of a limit.  It was also disappointing because my boater Darrin had the fish on to win, but didn't due to equipment and execution issues.  At least he got Lunker for the day.  I forgot to get a picture of him with it.

My mental and physical game were both off of where they needed to be.  I should have been able to get a limit. On the bright side at least I didn't get bit off by a pike.  I did have to retie about 5 times though.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Snatcher Tournament Season Starts Tomorrow at Birch Lake (Hackensack)

Provided that I can catch a keeper I will get good points for this tournament as there are only 15 guys fishing.  My boater Darren and I are a little befuddled on what the fish are up too.  Most of them have to be post spawn at this point.  Have no clue what the cool weather, clouds and NW wind will do for the bite.  The fish could be shut off like they were when we pre-fished on Tues.  Or they could really be on the chew as Birch has fairly clear water.  I brought almost all moving baits for pre-fish and the fish weren't having it, except the pike.  I'll have all kinds of plastics at my disposal tomorrow.

The big question is how many tungsten sinkers am I gonna lose if the bite is off and I have to fish slow?  I think Darren got bit off about 6 times on Tuesday.

Update: Forecast changed, same winds but now it's going to be sunny with temps getting to the low 70's.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

2016 Bass Opener Outlook


Well it's Memorial Day Weekend.

The catch and release season has definitely taken away some of my enthusiasm for the Bass Opener.  It doesn't help that the GOMH is barely hitting on a cylinder at this point due to low water and rain is in the forecast for today.

I think I'm going to hit the Grumpy Old Man Hole for the first hour or so, then quickly try Bulldog, then Mille Lacs. I may get over to Bulldog in the Slop Slip as well.

Not sure what I'll do for Sunday and Monday

If I can get 20 bass the three day weekend I'll be tickled.

Well, I've got to grab some Storm WildEye Swimbaits out of the Tackle Warehouse and throw the Excel Rod rod in the car.  I still haven't officially opened the Tackle Warehouse this year, oh well.  Maybe this week as I've got my first tournament of the year next Saturday.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sight Fishing Smallies on Mille Lacs And A Muskie Follow (May 17th)

19.5" b/b Chigger Craw
4:00-8:00PM Mille Lacs off tip of Center Jetty
Conditions: Calm, 70 degrees, mostly sunny perfect for sight fishing.

I went to Reeds to pick up the shirt I got for entering a Facebook contest then headed to Eddy's.  Here are the rods I brought with me.
 I started out throwing topwater and was so distracted by doing that that I failed to notice what kind of visibility there was;  I could see out a 35 to 40 feet off the tip.  When I did notice I saw two big smallies and a 14-15" one.  They weren't interested in the Phantom.  So I tried a Slush Minnow.  One of the big smallies eyed it for a little bit, but never went for it.  Next I went to the Chigger Craw.  The little one showed some interest, but never went for it.  The same with one of the big ones.  Then they left after I had been fishing for them for about half an hour.  About 15 minutes later four 17 inch class smallies came swimming through from the SE to NW.  They didn't show any interest and were mildly spooked when a cast landed.  They left in about 2 minutes to the NW.  About a 15" largemouth came from the SE and swam into the North harbor.  I had my jerk bait suspending right in front of it.  But it looked at it for a little bit then continued into the harbor.  A 12-13" smallie came in from the NW and left in the same direction after getting spooked.

I didn't see anything for about half an hour and went up for one last look when three 17' class fish swam into sight from the NW.  I made a cast to them and they initially spooked, but  two of them quickly turned around to investigate.  I hadn't noticed that a 4th smallie came in with them.  I finally noticed him when it picked up the bait as a smallie I was watching went to try and steal it.  I set the hook and played the fish across the Jetty into the South harbor where I landed it.
17" Chigger Craw
When I got up on the Jetty there was a bigger fish a little bit off to my right (SE).  It was just on the edge of the rocks and the South harbor channel.  I made a cast about 10 feet to it's SE.  It spooked for about 2 feet then turned back toward the Chigger Craw when it got back within 10 feet, I hopped the craw and it sped right over and grabbed it.  She did some good head shakes on the surface, but I landed it.  It was full of spawn, probably just under 5lbs.  It is the one in the first picture.

There was nothing for quite a long time and I threw various topwater lures including the cool Salmo Bass Bug.  Which is basically a floating round rock with a lip and a single treble hook.  Darned if that little bug doesn't throw a wake and sound like a small buzzbait.  It didn't attract any bites or lookers.

What did attract a fish was a chart. 1/2oz Rippin Rap.  I could see something trailing it.  But that was no smallmouth.  It was a 40" ski and it nearly caught the Rap before I jerked it away.  The thing then stared me down.  I thought if your gonna do that then I'm going to get a picture of you and I went back to get my camera.  By the time I got back up on the rocks it was swimming off to the NW.   I put my sun glasses over the lens and this was the picture I got.
     Darn camera went on the Fritz.  By the time I got it working right the fish was gone.

I did take this next pic to show how close it came in.  I got a really good look at the fish.
One or two more small 12ish smallmouth's came through, but were spooked easily.  I packed up at 8PM because visibility was deteriorating and I wanted to get back to my area Lakes.

Here is the set up I got my fish on tonight.
TD-Z Type R
St. Croix Legend Xtreme 6'8" Medium XFast.  The rod is a medium light compared to the Avid, but quite a bit more sensitive.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Opener Gold! GOMH Not So Much

25" Rippin Rap (6) Perch
Midnight to 4AM
Conditions: 38-33 degrees, Windy out of the North, Cloudy turning partly cloudy,  it sleeted for about the first hour.
We have groppel
When I arrived at midnight and saw the conditions I thought this is something I can work with.  Waves were coming in hard out of the North.  I put on a Rippin Rap.  After one color change it was fish on.
Same fish as first picture.
I was lucky to land her as she slipped out of the net.  I dragged her on shore by the lure that was hung in the net.  Once she was just barely safe on the rocks she came off.  I decided to do the netting from the dock after that episode.  I missed the next bite I got which felt like a good one.  For the next three fish no net was needed.
13"

12.75"

13.75" Grass Pig
I decided to throw the X-Rap off of the dock and was rewarded with this 22" fish.

22" X-Rap Albino Shiner
After this next fish I was getting cold so I went to the car for a half an hour to warm up.
23" Strike King KVD Jerkbait Bluegill
After getting back from warming up I promptly backlashed cutting my line at the reel.  I quickly grabbed my Mojo Crankster and another different colored KVD Jerkbait and started casting hoping to catch my line.  I caught the biggest walleye of the night instead.
25.5"

KVD Jerkbait Strobe Shad
After not connecting with my line and not getting anymore bites on the KVD.  Some people from the resort came out and asked what I was fishing for and if I was having any luck.  I tried a few different lures finally connecting after several missed hits on an Ultimate Jerk Shad.
13.75" H2O XPress Jerk Shad
 It was coming up on 4AM and I was getting cold again, so I decided to head home, pick up some bass stuff and head to the GOMH.  That move didn't pay off.  I didn't catch anything and only saw three small toothy's get caught.  Nothing at Bulldog and Rock as well.  I called it quits at 7:00AM

I put new Fireline on the Mojo Crankbait Rod