From Minnesocold, Bass Fishing Blog Capitol of the World!

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Snatchers Rabbit Lake Tournament Aug 20th.

17.33" Craw Tube Grn pumpkin/brown
Conditons: 65-59 degrees, Cloudy to mostly cloudy, Windy to very windy N, Light to heavy rain

Pre-tournament thoughts:  Rabbit Lake has always given me fish and my boater Dennis' confidence had me pretty confident I would get a limit.  Turned out getting there was more difficult than we thought.

The Day:
The last two boats waited until 7:30 to put in, which annoyed Dennis and me as well.  Conditions were perfect and we easily could have been fishing by 7:30, but as it was we blasted off at about 7:45.  We went straight to one of Guy's spots with Dwight right behind us.  We fished it for about 20 minutes and didn't get anything.  Dwight caught a nice one, but we didn't see it.

Next we went to a spot that was protected from the wind where Dennis got some good fish pre-fishing.  I put on the small Plopper and immediately had a 11.75" bass on.  I think Dennis first fish was a pike. He then got a couple small keepers.  I had a couple fish not get the Plopper, unfortunately all I have is the one color.

Next we  headed to the wood and Dennis got a little better keeper, but that was it.  We got to the spot where I got my best fish in pre-fish and I got an even bigger one (17.66) on a Lake Fork Craw Tube.  Unfortunately that was all we got.  We followed the road out and I got a 15.33" by where I got one in pre-fish.  I also got a pike on the Craw Tube as well and Dennis got a walleye.

I think we then went to the island and didn't get anything there.  We went back to our starting spot and Dennis got a quality fish that came off just as I got the net under it.  Dennis was quite thankful.  We spent quite a while there and Dennis got one more keeper.  I just couldn't buy a bite there except a pike that bit me off.

We left to go to the numbers spot.  Dennis forgot to put the trolling motor up and we got drenched.  We had a good laugh.  I missed a hit right away on the Craw tube and Dennis had a fish on pretty quickly as well.  I think it might have been a pike.  Dennis got a keeper and then he got his big fish.  I got bit off.  I started throwing a white spinnerbait and got a pike. Then I got a 14" and 12.75" pretty quickly as we worked back over the area.  I think Dennis got a couple more keepers and missed some bites as well getting a nice walleye.

We went back to the island and I got a big dogfish.  It put up a great fight.  Unfortunately my attempt at a selfie with it failed.
Dennis got himself a cull.  A rain storm was moving in on us, so we went to our second spot.  I missed a fish on the Craw Tube right away.  Then it started raining.  I had a bass hit the Craw Tube as I was reeling it back to the boat and I landed it (14").  It started pouring.  Dennis missed a few more bites. We got out in the wind and I cast out the Craw Tube and had an over run.  When I picked the bait back up I thought I felt a fish, so I set the hook.  My line cracked as my line broke just above the rod.

We headed back to where Dennis got his big fish.  I got a nice pike on the black blue Piranha and I got a dink on the jerk shad that was only a couple inches longer than the bait.  We got up by the pads and I got 15.5" on the white spinnerbait; the fish really thumped it.  I got my limit with about 2 hours left

We went back to our starting spot and I discovered I didn't have enough line to fish on the craw tube rod.  We didn't get anything.  We went back and tried to expand on our numbers spot, but came up empty.  We finished expanding on our second spot.  Dennis had a fish that would have culled get off just before I could reach it.  My last hit didn't get the spinnerbait and the day was over.

My limit weighed 11lbs 4ozs and put me in 12th Place out of a field of 16.  Dennis was one more big fish short of contending for the win.  His 15/11 put him in 5th Place.  Dwight "Hammer" Hammermeister took his very first Bass Snatcher victory with a 16/8 limit.  Paul Ruff had a 4lb 3oz smallmouth that took Lunker.

My Thoughts:
I wish I could have gotten rid of the 12 incher.  I would have moved up 1 spot for sure and possibly 2.  I tried a number of lures that came up empty: Super Fluke, Swim Jig, Rattlin' Rap, Baby Minus One, Fat Free Shad, Chigger Craw, Jig and Chigger Craw, KVD Sexy Dog, and RI Vixen.  For whatever reason I just cannot get in sync with the fish, it's frustrating.  I should have been able to catch more than 6 keepers.  Thank goodness I chose to bring the spinnerbait rod with as it was a last minute addition.

Next tournament is at Whitefish Chain on Sept. 24th.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Snatcher Quick Report Rabbit Lake

Big Dog
I didn't quite make it to 12lbs, but I got close.  It took almost all day to land 6 keepers.  Just couldn't get rid of a 12.75". The guys caught them pretty good so I'm pretty sure I'm in the bottom quarter of the field.  I got bit off 3 times and with a couple hours left had the line break at the rod on my craw tube rod with a lot of line out; It was unusable after that.  I couldn't get a hit on the Chigger Craw.  You can't tell from the picture, but the dogfish was a brute that put up a really good fight.  I'd say it was 7 or 8 pounds.  I didn't get a length because I tried to take a selfie holding it up with pliers, but it wiggled loose and off the back of the boat.  I'll have the full tournament report sometime later this week.
Bowfin Selfie fail.

Baxter Bass Snatchers Tournament at Rabbit Lakes Today

Will I finally break out of the slump I've been in the past two seasons?  I've got a good draw and it's a lake that has been good to me in the past.  It will be interesting to see if the cool, cloudy, windy, and rainy weather turns them on or off.  With the way club tournaments have gone this year, I'm betting on turns them off.  Hopefully I'm wrong.

My goal today is first to catch a limit and then to catch 12lbs by the end of the day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

August 6th Pokegama Snatchers Tournament

2nd From Last, 2nd Place, 1st Place
Dave Smith 4lb 8oz Lunker
7:40AM-4:00PM Pokegama Lake (Grand Rapids) 14 Guys Fishing
Conditions: 76-58 degrees, Light to M NW wind, Mostly Sunny to Mostly Cloudy,  Water visibility about 5'

Pre-Tournament Thoughts: 
I was due for a good tournament finish.

The Day:
We made the long run down to Sherry Arm and started on a large sunken Island with some cabbage where Bill had gotten a nice smallie in pre-fish.  Nothing was home except a small rock bass that I got on a craw tube.  We then moved to a wind blown point.  I pulled two pike on a chart/white Strike King Spinnerbait and Bill got the first keeper of the day, a small largemouth.  I had a good sized smallmouth head butt the spinnerbait right in front of me.  Why couldn't the fish bite it instead?

About an hour and a half in we went to the slop in the South end of Sherry Arm.  Bill got a couple more small largemouth.  We then worked the W shoreline and I got a 13.5" largemouth on Sweet Revenge Mad Maxx.  It showed itself and I got it on the second cast.  A little farther down I got a 13.75" out of some bulrushes on a craw tube.

We went to another point and Bill got another small keeper largemouth.  We went back to the point where I saw the smallie.  I had a couple dink bass grab the spinnerbait and get off.  Bill caught a 3-15 smallie on a jig.  That made his day.  We went back to the sunken island and didn't get anything.  With about two hours left to go we headed back towards Tioga.

I got a 14" in some reeds with rice on the craw tube.  We went into Poole Bay.  I lost a tungsten sinker to a snag in the reeds because I didn't retie my line which had been getting frayed.  Was not to happy about that.  We then moved across to the West side of the bay to some lily pads that Bill hadn't pre-fished.  I had fish miss the Horny Toad and Bill missed what sounded like a good fish just outside of the pads on his frog.  Then his trolling motor caught a bunch of braided line with a spinnerbait attached, so we lost use of the trolling motor for the final hour.

We moved into Tioga Bay and drifted with the wind along some reeds.  I had a good fish hit the Horny Toad but it swam right at me and I couldn't keep up and it got off.  Don't know what it was because I never saw it.  I had some dink bass hit the Horny Toad and had a couple good strikes not hook up. Bill got a small cull and the day was over.

My three fish weighed 4lbs 13ozs which put in 13th Place out of 14 anglers.  Bill's fish went 11-7 and put him in 10th Place.  1st Place went to Tim Benson with 17lbs 8ozs and Dave Smith had the 4-8 Lunker.

My Thoughts:
I thought for sure I was getting last place in this one, but Art saved me from that fate.  We just weren't on anything as Bill having the smallest limit of the tournament with a 3-15 kicker proves.  I should have thrown the jerk shad some, but was to lazy to switch the spinnerbait for a speed clip.  That smallmouth bumping the spinnerbait and not eating it got in my head a little bit.  They usually crush that little spinnerbait and are hooked up solid.

Next Tournament Rabbit Lake in two weeks.    

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Pokegama Quick Report

My streak of poor tournament performances continues.  I only got 3 small keepers in this one.  Amazingly I didn't finish in last place. The day started out with a 3lb plus smallmouth head butting my spinnerbait and not hooking up.  We just weren't on anything.  I'll have my full report when I get the final results.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Pokegama Lake Snatcher Tournament Tomorrow

This will be the 3rd tournament I've fished with the Snatchers at Lake Pokegma (Grand Rapids).  I've gotten a limit each time previous and the 2012 tournament was post stroke with a bad back.  I did get out to pre-fish with my boater Bill Bailey on Wednesday.  We've got a game plan.  Hopefully it works.

It's gonna be a long day, but temps are going to be mild thankfully.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Fishing With My Brother and Nieces This Past Weekend

Hawg I got the night before they arrived, 19.9"

Brother Steve with a 16" on Mad Maxx Sweet Revenge

The only pike I could find outside of the slop
Belle and Mallory

Belle Had the hot hand

Mallory with a pumkinseed and Devin

Belle And Haley

My 19.9" Giant, it's a fish headed for 6 or 7lbs

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


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.