From Minnesocold, Bass Fishing Blog Capitol of the World!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

How Bow Dah!

19.75" VMC Fly w/Maki Jamei (purple)
4:00-7:30PM Rock Lake My Spot
Conditions: 56-40℉, Mostly Sunny, Light SW wind,  16' mostly the waypoint holes.

I drilled a total of 4 sets of holes with the one's at the waypoint being triples, instead of my usual double, so I could put the new Aqua-Vu Micro 5c down.  When I went to use the MoPod the batteries were dead, so I had to position the camera manually.  Today there was better water clarity than the first time I tried it;  On that day it was basically unusable visibility was so poor.  I had a few sunfish and perch come in at first then nothing.  I stopped looking at the camera for a minute as I straightened out some things in the Fish Trap.  Next time I looked at the camera there was a fish looking right at the camera.  It was far enough away I couldn't tell if it was a pike or a bass.  It then swam right up to the VMC Fly as I was jigging it.  It sucked it in and spit it before I could react.  I kept jigging it and it sucked it in again.  The battle was on.  I pulled out the ducer and got the camera pulled up as well.  It did get tangled in the minnow line, but I was able to land it without a problem.  She put up a great fight.
19.75" VMC Fly
I was like dang, this fish is a really good one, almost 20 inches.  Unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture of it in my measuring cradle.  I released her down a different set of holes.  I would say it went a bit shy of 4lbs.  

I went back got the lines untangled and put on a new minnow and got the camera back down the hole.  I put the Rippin' Rap down the hole for doing the camera centering.  I had it almost right on, just needed to make one little adjustment.  When I got that done, low and behold there was another good bass staring down the Rippin' Rap.  Sure enough it could't resist and took a bite. I had it hooked for about 5 seconds then it got off.  

I'm not sure if it was the same fish or not, but almost immediately after it got off a fish came through and took my minnow.  I  set the hook and the battle was on.  I thought to switch off my anti-reverse switch so I could back reel my baitcaster.  There was not going to be a repeat performance of me breaking a fish off like a couple of weeks ago.

17.75" Glow Demon w/minnow
This fish was much more chunky and I thought to get the picture in the measuring trough.

I went back to fishing.  The visibility started getting more difficult due to little things in the water, not because of lack of light.  I missed the first crappie that came through and I started catching some sunfish and perch.  Mostly I just played with sunnies because they weren't very big one's.  I did get this 7", which was my biggest for the night.
7" VMC Fly w/Jamei & spike
I finally landed my first crappie for the night. Didn't think to take a picture of it.  When it bit I thought it was a sunfish I was looking at on the camera.  Not long after that I gave up on the camera because the visibilty was so bad.
    I caught this one potato chip.  I started moving around to my other holes and picking up crappies on the Fly and the Demon.  I finally thought to take a picture of a crappie.
9.25" Demon w/minnow
I decided I was on my last minnow at 7PM.  I caught a couple crappies on the Fly before a crappie came and took the minnow; I landed that fish.  I got a couple more crappies on the Fly and then I packed up.  I think I got fish in each set of holes.  It was a bit sloppy on the ice, but not to bad.  All in all a good night on the lake.

13 Crappies
19 Sunfish
8 Perch
2 Bass

Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Eventful Valentines Day Trip To Rock

16" VMC Fly Jig w/Maki Jamei (purple) & spike
I had a close call on the way to the lake this morning with some deer.  I was really lucky to the first one crossed so far in front of the others so I slowed way down quickly.  I had to come to a complete stop to avoid hitting the second one.  There were several other deer in the ditch looking at me.  Whew!

7:15AM-1:30PM Rock Lake mostly at my spot.
Conditions: 31-28℉, Mostly Sunny, Windy to Very Windy NW, waypoint holes to 11'
When I first got out of the truck


I fished in the morning because of the forecast for high winds in the afternoon and evening.  The plan was to fish with my old Aqua-Vu so I drilled out the waypoint holes first thing.  I sent the transducer down the hole and immediately was marking fish.  I sent down a minnow on the Glow Demon and was bit immediately.  I maybe got a little anxious with the hook set and lost the fish and minnow half way up.  I quickly put on another minnow and immediately got bit again.  I landed a 9.5" crappie and thought to myself.  It's AWWWWWWWWWWN.  By the time I got the next minnow down the crappies had moved on.  That was my only crappie for the morning.  I saw one other come through on the camera.
7" Tubby Jig w/Jamei and wax
 I started getting some sunfish and also had spottail shiners nibbling at me.  The sunfish started only pecking and staring at my bait and a few perch showed up as well.  I had a pike come in a couple of different times, but it didn't show any interest in hitting my baits.

I went and drilled holes on the four hole house spot and in 11' of water.  There was nothing but perch in the four hole spot, so I moved on to the shallow spot.  I was seeing perch and had a small pike come through once again showing no interest in hitting my baits.  The wind started cranking up and I was just about to give up when a bass appeared out of nowhere (it came in from behind the camera) and came in and hit the Fly.  I set the hook and she immediately started peeling line (2lb test Gamma).  I went to pull the transducer out of the hole and the Fish Trap started moving so I had to sit down immediately.  It was a real challenge getting the transducer out of the water.  I thought the bass was possibly hung on the Aqua-Vu cable because something didn't feel right, so I pulled that up as well.  The bass finally came up the hole.
16"
I staid and fished for another hour hoping another bass might come through, but all I saw was perch.

I then decided to tow the Fish Trap just to the South of the access.  I fished there in 11' to 6' of water and didn't see any activity on the Vex.

I brought the Fish Trap back to the truck to pack up.  It was pretty warm out so I wrote in my notebook when I quit fishing  and went to put my jacket in the truck and pulled the Ipod out of my pocket so I could continue to listen to it while I broke things down.  I decided to reposition one of my pole clips, then got everything in the car.  I went to put the Ipod back in my jackets inner pocked and my cell phone wasn't there.  What?  Crap!

I went and looked around the holes I had been fishing, nothing.  I went back to the truck and my notebook wasn't in the pocket either.  I could have sworn I put it back in the pocket.  I looked around outside and didn't see anything.  I was really puzzled.  I was in a semi protected area and it wasn't really windy enough there for my notebook to get blown away.  I got in the truck to go and drive back to where I started to look for the phone.  I grabbed to inspect my jacket one more time.  That is when I realized there are interior pockets on both sides of the Ice Armor Jacket, not just one like the Arctic Armor jacket.  The phone and notebook were right where I left them. Doh!

1 Bass
2 Crappie
2 Pike
5 Spottail Shiners
12 Sunfish
14 Perch

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Disappointed In The Second Mystery Tackle Box

This Months Mystery Tackle Box
What I got
Lucky Craft D-9 Slim Shad: Of coarse they would give me the deeper diver of the two options for a Slim Shad.  I don't know that I have any use for this bait.  It dives too deep.

Nichols Mojo Jigging Spoon:  I have never been much of a spoon chucker, especially for bass.  Was so disappointed to get a spoon.  I'm giving it a try for ice fishing, maybe the pike will like it.

Lunkerhunt Hatch Spin: Tail Spinners have never really caught on here in the North country.  Who knows maybe it will be a sleeper for smallies and walleye's.  I'm also giving this lure a try ice fishing.

Buddha Baits Swagger Worm:  Basically it's a big fat Zoom Speed Worm.  I was unable to get Speed Worms to work for me a few years ago when I tried them. I'll give these a try, but not optimistic.  It will get bit at the Grumpy Old Man Hole.

V & M Baits Wild Worm: A unique shaped 8.5" worm.  I though maybe it was designed to be swam, but they say it's for a shaky head.  Whatever, it's a worm and will catch fish.

Daiichi Hooks: Not a big fan of these style of hooks.  I prefer EWG.  I'll give them a shot.

Was even less impressed with this box than I was with the first.  I'm giving it a D.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Did I Win This Aqua-VU???

So out of the blue a couple of days ago I get a couple of emails from Outdoor Insights.  I just figured it was spam and didn't think anything of it.

Then this arrived at the house today.  I have no clue how I came to be in the possession of this Aqua-Vu underwater camera with motorized camera positioning system.  I must have won it in a contest from someone, but who?  
Not going to look the gift horse in the mouth.  

Thank You Jesus!!! 

The camera and cord are tiny compared to my 25 year old Aqua-Vu.

Update: Turns out I didn't win this stuff in a contest, but it was shipped to me by accident.  They are letting me keep it.  That Mo Pod is really slick.  Definitely a nice accessory to have.

C.O. Kuske is Retiring

Congratulations Officer Kuske!

Hopefully his replacement will be equally as professional.  The guy that was here before Kuske was apparently a real piece of work and not in a good way. 

Monday, February 06, 2017

Snatcher Tournaments Set For 2017


No changes were made. Here are my thoughts on the lakes this year,

Platte/Sullivan:  For only the second time since I have been a Snatcher we will be fishing my home lakes.  Last time was back in 2011. Platte/Sullivan has a history of giving me the finger on Tournament day.  It seems like things almost always go wrong for me out there on tournament day, especially equipment issues.  I broke off a big fish on a hook set and also broke a rod at the 2011 tournament.  I also caught a 17.25" fish that day that only weighed 2/10 on that day.  Hopefully this will be the year when things line up for me out there.  Thanks to the catch and release season I should be very dialed into the fish.  I am just so stoked to be out fishing the lakes again in the Trophy after not doing that the last few years until last Fall.  I can see me being out there every day I am allowed to pre-fish; I've got two lakes to rediscover.  Hopefully the wind will die down tournament day and a topwater bite will be on.

Zebulon Pike Reservoir Mississippi River:  This will be the first time the club fishes this stretch of the mighty miss.  I've never been on this section of the river myself either.  I believe this part of the river is dominated by smallmouth.  I know some river smallmouth tricks.  Hopefully I'll draw someone who will take me pre-fishing.  Who knows maybe I'll get up the gumption   If the fish are going on topwater I could be a contender.

North Long: This will be the 3rd time the club fishes this lake since I joined the club.  I wasn't able to fish it in 2012 due to back issues.  Pretty much every boater in the club knows this lake and Gull well.  Hopefully getting a limit here won't be difficult.

Gull Lake: Ditto for what I wrote about North Long.  This will be my 2nd Snatcher tournament on the lake and my 3rd over all.

Thunder Lake: Won't make this one due to a family conflict.

Little Boy/Wabedo:  This will be the 2nd time the club visits these lakes since I've been in the club.  We fished it at the same time of year the last tournament and I did well.  The lakes set up a lot like Platte/Sullivan and because smallies are no longer eligible to be weighed I expect frogs and toads to be a big part of my game plan. I'll be looking for big fish in this one.

Other than missing Thunder, which is a lake the club has never fished a tournament on before, I'm pleased with this years slate of venues.  

Friday, February 03, 2017

Tomorrow's Snatcher Meeting

Tomorrow is the meeting where we will finalize lakes and dates for the year.  This what we have right now.
The only thing I might like to see changed is the Sept. 9th tournament going to a different day. My older brother is getting married that day, so I won't be able to fish.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

FYI- FLW Fantasy Fishing Is Up And Running

First tournament of the year starts next week on Thursday at Lake Guntersville.  I'm meh on the changes on the website.  Some things I like, some not so much.  I do like the fact that we only have to pick 8 anglers with the same $200 system with anglers priced around the same as last year.  A lot more flexibility in picking rosters now with two less anglers to pick.

FLW Fantasy

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1st Ice Fishing Trip of 2017(1-22-17)

17.5" VMC Fly Jig w/Maki Jamei and maggie
9:00AM-1:30PM Rock Lake My Spot 14'-17'
Conditions: 34 degrees, Cloudy and fog in the morning, light W wind, sloppy and wet on the ice
Sloppy and Wet
With the warm weather we have been having my motivation meter finally started ticking up and so today was the day I put it all together and got out.  There wasn't much going on at Rock Lake and two parties pulled their permanents off of the lake today.  I'm taking that to mean the bite hasn't been very good out there this winter compared to other area lakes.

I had a thought before I started drilling holes that since I didn't have any minnows all I needed was a single hole instead of my usual double.  I found one open hole in the area but that was it.  I didn't really look to hard to see if there were any others.  I think I drilled 6.  I started in the farthest North.  And my first fish for 2017 was a...
1st Fish of 2017
Bluegill on a VMC Tungsten Fly Jig w/white Maki Jamei with a spike
All I got in the first hole was sunfish and they were finicky.  My line on the VMC Fly's rod was getting caught on the spool where I tied to the backing.  I took the time to get the not put at the very bottom of the spool where it is less likely to catch.  Turns out that was a good thing I did that.  

In the second hole I busted the bass first thing after not getting a hit with fish down it on the Rippin' Rap.
17.5" VMC Fly w/Maki Jamei and spike

Not where it was actually hooked
The way the bass ran I thought I had a decent sized pike on.  I was pleasantly surprised it was a bass seeing as how I didn't catch a single one out there last winter.  That fish made my trip.

I also caught some perch.
7.5" Rippin' Rap
This was the only bite I had on the Rippin Rap.

I was satisfied I knocked the rust off and packed up at 1:30PM.  I should have moved around more quickly and drilled a few more holes.

1 Bass
6 Perch
12 Sunfish

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My First Mystery Tackle Box

The box actually arrived about 3 weeks back and I just haven't felt like blogging about it until now.  Here is a list of the things that was in it.
 The Lucky Craft Moonsault: It's supposed to be a lipped bait that performs a lot like a lipless one.  I guess I'll see how well that works out.  I see they are on sale right now at Cabela's for $6.99 where they retail for $16.99.

The Ima Pinjack: Another 6-8' running crankbait that is supposed to come through weeds fairly well.  The trick with this on is to back off rather than ripping the lure when you hit a weed.

Nichols Saber Swim Jig:  It's a swim jig with gimmick for locking plastics in place with a toothpick.

Netbait Paca Slim: Sort of similar to a Chigger Craw

Savage Gear Armor Tube Worm:  Has a nylon mesh that is supposed to make the bait last a lot longer than your average Senko.

VMC Wacky Weedless Jig:  It is what it is.  I've never used a wacky jig before.

I believe I should be able to catch fish on 100% of the lures that came in this box this year provided I think to put them on.

I can't say I am blown away by the value in this box do to the Moonsault being a lure I can get new for more than 50% off retail and the fact that they only gave me two of the VMC jigs.
I don't see anything in here being something I would buy for myself with the exception of the wacky jigs.  But who knows maybe something will jump out at me and prove itself to me.  I'll keep an open mind.

Right now I grade this box out as a C-.

Hopefully I'll be more impressed with the next one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

BASS Fantasy Bass Fishing is Open Now

Sign up here, but the first tournament is a month away.  If you like to play fantasy sports I recommend you give it a try.  You don't have to know much about fishing to be successful.  Pretty much any angler can do well in a given tournament or bomb for that matter.  Last year I pretty much sucked at picking my teams most of the time.  (David Walker, I'm looking at you.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Baxter Bass Snatcher History Made in 2017

For the 1st time in the 41 year history of the club we will have a female member.  I wasn't at the December meeting when it was discussed.  Since it was decided to accept her in December nothing was said about it at the January meeting and she wasn't at the meeting (at least I don't think she was.)  I only learned about it because they sent out a list of paid members and there was a Sarah on it as a new member.

So while we won't have female President in 2017, that doesn't mean there wasn't any great leap forwards for the progress of women this year.  Welcome to the club Sarah!

I Am All For Panfish Protection

Star Tribune Headline
For this article.

I am all for whatever it takes to increase panfish size in this state.

Monday, January 09, 2017

What I Caught Eye's and Pike On In 2016

It was good year for Walter and me with 42 fish caught.

I caught Pike on 45 Lures in 2016
It was a banner year for me on the hammer handle factory that is Platte/Sullivan with 488 pike considered caught by me.  I am especially lenient in what I consider a caught pike because I don't want them stealing my lures. Just seeing one come after a lure is enough for me to count it.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

What I Caught My Bass On In 2016

Largemouth: 52 Different Lures Used
I caught a total 764 largemouth in 2016.  My catch rates for them this year were nothing to write home about yet again.  The most I caught in a single day was a pretty pathetic 16 fish.  Even when I was on 'em I wasn't really on them to good in 2016.  I'm setting an ambitious goal for catching a thousand largies in 2017.

Smallmouth: 5 Different Lures
Smallmouth at Eddy's Jetty has always been a hit and miss proposition.  This year I got a few hits which is always good.

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016 Fishing Goals Achieved (And Not)

Goals Achieved in the Black or Link
Goals Unachieved in the Red
Partially Achieved in Purple 
Commentary in the Blue 

Bass Snatcher Goals:
1.  Get "Wood" in at least one tournament. (1st-3rd Place Finish or Lunker) Nope! 12th Place was my best finish. Ugh!
2. Win my 1st tournament.  Not even close!
3. Get "Lunker" in a tournament. 3.13lbs was as big as I could muster.
4. Get paired with Chuck Fields. (He usually only fishes a couple of tournaments a year so chances of it ever happening are not very good.) Nope, All repeat partners for me this year.
5. Finish in the Top 10 at the end of the year.  (Something I haven't done since 2011) 12th Place.  Finished behind two guys that spotted me a whole tournament worth of points.
6. Catch a limit at every tournament of the year. Didn't get limit in 4 out of 6 of the tournaments that is a personal worst.
It was another tough year for me out of the back of the boat as a Bass Snatcher. 

Technique & Tackle Goals:
1. Catch some fish on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper. 11 Largie, 4 Smallie, 4 Pike
2. Catch fish on my wake baits. 4 Livetarget, 2 H2O X-Press
3.  Throw a football head jig at the GOMH. Too much gunk on bottom by the time bass season opened.
4. Get out in the Trophy. Done!
5. Win something in Fantasy Fishing or Facebook giveaway/contest. Done x 3!
6. Catch fish on a Lucky Craft Gunfish 117 Fished it a few times, don't remember if I had any bites.  Not really that impressed with the bait.

Fish Goals:
Crappie:
1.  Catch a 14" or bigger. (This has been a goal of mine for a long time predating the blog.) Pow!
2. Catch* over 300 this year. Bam!

Dogfish:
1. Win my 3rd Minnesota Bowfin Club Grand Championship
2. Catch a MN State Record fish. (11-4  or 35" x 20")


Pike:
1. Catch* over 150 this year. (I caught 205 last year.) Smashed it with 488 Pike. 
2. Catch a 38" or over.

Bass: 
1. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Largemouth
2. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Smallmouth Caught a personal best 20.5"
3. Catch* over 500 bass this year. (I caught only 450 last year.) 788 Bass this year
4. Catch* at least 5 smallies.  (I caught 10 last year) 24 Smallies this year

Blogging:
1. Blog about anytime I reach a goal.
2. Blog the BASS Elite AOY on Mille Lacs Lake. 
I could have done a better job of both of these goals.

Over all I'm very satisfied with the goals I achieved in 2016, minus the fiasco that was my Snatchers season.  I should have my 2017 Goals blogged by February. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

My New Years Resolution for 2017

I want to be more generous with my fishing time in 2017. I wrote a little bit about this in November as well on this post:  I Guess I'm A Terrible Friend Then.

I generally enjoy fishing with other people.   I just don't do it very often.  Out of the 233 days I fished last year I fished intentionally with other people on about 10%.  That is more than I originally thought it would be, but I'd like to do more of it in 2017.  I think I'd like to see the number be between 20% and 30% for 2017.  Having the Trophy to use definitely will help with that some.

So basically if anyone reading this wants to go fishing just let me know and we'll figure out a time to get out.  My boat or yours or on the ice or at the Grumpy Old Man Hole, it's all good.  Let's go fishing in 2017.