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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pretty Night For A Paddle on Bulldog Lake

On my way back to the Holy Family Access
7:50-9:30PM
Conditions:  Mostly sunny, 70 degrees, slight wind out of the South diminishing to nothing

I decided to take the Slop Slip to Bulldog for a quick trip tonight because of the light winds.  I figured fish would still be where they were last week on Thurs.  There were, but they weren't as aggressive.  I had two or three fish that I missed the hookset on and another 5 to 7 that didn't get the frog.  It was such a nice night with the loons calling as I paddled back that getting skunked didn't matter.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Good Night On The Slop Slip On Bulldog (Thursday Night)

Headed North
5:00-9:30PM
Conditions: Temps in the low 70's, mostly sunny, wind out of the NNE dying down to nothing.

I put in at Holy Family Access and headed North into the wind.  I missed my first bite in the open area in the reeds past the dock with a pontoon.  I got my first bass out of the pads behind the reeds.
14.5" Sweet Revenge Mad Maxx
I traded of 14.5" and 13.5" fish on the Mad Maxx and I got a 12.5" on the Hack Attack Jig with a breen Chigger Craw trailer.  Then I got this beast.

28.5" Mad Maxx
I got into a good area for prime time.
15.5" Out of shallow slop
16" Mad Maxx
I caught about 10 fish and missed 4 or 5 bites.  On my way back in I missed one, then got my biggest of the night, a real chunk.
17.5" Mad Maxx
I was off the water by 9:35PM

I ended with
15 bass
1 Pike

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Winner Winner Shadow Rap For Dinner!!!

I won a prize in B.A.S.S. Fantasy Fishing game in one of my leagues (Group: Fishing All The Time).  I was the top finisher at the Guntersville event.  Always great to win something.  I should have gone to Mille Lacs and tried out the Shadow Rap tonight, but I went to the Grumpy Old Man Hole instead.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Measure Of Revenge at Farm Island Lake

"Sweet Revenge" color Mad Maxx frog
Conditions: Mostly Sunny, Wind out of the E ESE and ENE 5 to 15mph, Temps from high 50's to mid 70's

The Day:  We were a bit surprised to have the whole SW slop bay to ourselves in the morning.  We spent all day there fishing the shallow rice and pads with Tru-Tungsten Mad Maxx Frogs.  My boater Roger and I both mostly threw "Sweet Revenge", but I threw "Big Sexy" in the afternoon as well hoping it might get me a big bite.  Only 3 other boats came in there the whole day and they didn't stay long.  The fish bit throughout the day with only one about an hour long dry spell  from about 9-10AM.  I got the first bite of the morning about 5 minutes in, but it was a pike.  There was a lot of baitfish activity right away in the morning before the wind came up.  Roger was up two to nothing when I got my biggest bass of the day, a 16.25" about half an hour in.  As we were drifting across the flat Roger asked me if we should drift closer to shore.  I told him I thought the fish could be anywhere.  About 5 minutes later I herd a whooosh.  A big bass had annihilated Rogers frog.  I turned my head and informed Roger about the situation as he was watching my frog at the time.  Roger got it in and it was 4lb 5oz and to tied "Lunker of the Tournament."  Roger had his limit before I got another fish.  I just wasn't getting hit.  Roger had his limit in the first hour and a half.  We had to use my push pole a couple of times.  Roger had culled two times when I got on a hot streak and landed 5 fish to Rogers none (14", 14.75", 13.5", 15.25, and 15.9").  Roger was getting bites, but missing them.  I had my limit by 11AM.  I got a 15.5 to cull out the 13.5" and then caught a couple more pike, five 12inch fish, and 14.5", which I culled out for 14.75" fish.  We had lots of short strikes and a few bad hooksets cost me some fish I probably should of had.  I had three bites on the Havoc Pit Boss but I missed all of them.  I also fished the Fluke and Horny Toad but didn't get a bite on either one of those.

Results:  My six fish weighed 11lbs 7ozs and put me in 15th Place out of 27 fishing.  Roger's fish were 16lbs and netted him 3rd Place, with the 4lb 5oz Lunker.  The winner was Guy Henkensiefken with 16-8 edging out Keith Tuma by three ounces, two of which were for a dead fish penalty.

Thoughts: Frustrating, but fun day.  Here's my theory on why Roger kicked my butt. I believe the decision to switch out my Team Daiwa-S103 with a 6:1 ratio the day before for the 9:1 ratio Revo Rocket was a critical mistake. I couldn't slow down enough with the Rocket to give the frog the look they wanted. I was trying to match Roger's retrieve, but it just wasn't happening for me when I did that.   Roger had quite a few more bites than me, but we caught about the same amount of fish.  I definitely caught more 12" fish than Roger.  That and Roger was just lucky to land casts next to bigger fish that were able to take the frog well enough to be hooked.

It really would have helped if Roger would have had a small anchor to put down when we were drifting through good water.  That would have saved Roger some frustration of dealing with the rice as well.

How much can a guy complain on a day where he caught 17 fish and set the hook on at least that many more.  The fish bit all day and I fished one of my favorite ways.  Amazingly I didn't get a single hit while walking my frog when I had the opportunities to do that in holes in the weeds.

I saw one 5lb dogfish and an 8lb carp.

Next Tournament: Woman Lake July 18th

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Snatcher Farm Island Quick Report

"Sweet Revenge" Color Tru-Tungsten Frog
Well it wasn't quite sweet revenge for me today, but it was my best tournament in terms of weight by 2lbs and number of fish caught at Farm Island Lake.  I believe the decision to switch out my Team Daiwa-S103 for the Revo Rocket was a critical mistake.  My boater Roger was getting more bites than me and the only difference that I can figure was that I couldn't slow down enough with the Rocket to give the frog the look they wanted.  I still had plenty of bites, but the fish weren't as big.  I was trying to match the retrieve, but it just wasn't happening for me when I did that.  I would often have to coax a fish that I already knew was there.  Roger rarely did that.  The fish bit pretty much all day and I got to fish one of my favorite ways.  It was a fun, but frustrating day for me.    

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bass Snatcher #yearofrevenge Starts Tomorrow at Farm Island Lake

Why is it my #yearofrevenge?

Farm Island Lake- Bottom 5 finish with 3 dead fish penalties
Woman Lake- Skunked while helping Jim Smith pre-fish last year
Rush Lake-  2nd to last place with 1 bass caught.
Cedar Lake- Bottom 5 finish with only 3 fish weighed
Mission Lakes-  3 tournaments fished with a 2nd to last place finish, bottom 5 finish, and didn't even get a limit in the Challenge Cup.

I've got a bone to pick with these last five lakes on the Snatcher docket.

My boater Roger and I had a pretty descent pre-fish last Saturday.  Will our pattern hold up?  I really hope so because due to wind we weren't able to establish a back up.  I really hope the fish are active in the morning on our first stop and we can just camp there for most of the day.  I am ready, let's go!


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

My Snatcher Tournament at Bay Lake May 30th

Todd Berghuis and a loon
6:50AM-3:00PM
Conditions-  Mostly sunny, cold and windy in the morning out of the NNE, the breeze dying down a bit, and it warmed to the high 50's.

The Day:
It was cold in the morning, I did layer up properly and stayed warm except for my left hand which I had to stop fishing with a couple of times to put in my pocket to warm up.  We agreed to start on a deeper spot where we got a double on in practice.  This spot was exposed to the brunt of the wind and the fish weren't there.   My boater Todd got a couple pike and an Ok sized bass and I got a pike on a craw tube.  After about an hour we moved shallow.

I got a pike then a small keeper (12.5") on a black/blue D & M Piranha with a sapphire blue Chigger Craw.  We then moved to another shallow bay where that loon came to see what we were up too.  Todd got two small keepers.  I switched up to a bluegill color D & M Piranha with a swimbait trailer.  Very quickly I got a small keeper (12.25") casting out, then one that felt better than it was (13.75") right up next to shore.  We worked back over this area two more times.  I got a pike on the D & M and Todd got another keeper or two.  We worked into a small marina and I got a quality fish (15.75) off a pontoon with a white Zoom Horny Toad.

We then made a move to a boat channel.  As we were entering it I got my best fish of the day (15.9") off of the first dock in the entrance.  Todd caught one of his better fish in the channel and I got my limit fish (12.5") and missed one on a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke.

We made a long move to another shallow bay.  Todd got a fish to cull and I ran the trolling motor for about 10 minutes while he got his fish figured out.  Shortly after he regained control of the trolling motor I saw a 15.5" bass take a shot at my Piranha.  I caught it.

We tried our starting spot and didn't get anything but a pike or two.  We then went back to the bay with the loon.  I had a hit on the the D & M that ran towards me and got off.  I think I got my next cull (14.5") on a Zoom Super Fluke.  Todd got a couple that didn't help him.  We got to a calm area and I got my last cull (13.25") on a Reaction Innovations Vixen.  We made one last move to the bay where I got my biggest fish in pre-fish, but didn't get anything.  And then the day was over.

Results:  My six fish weighed 10lbs even and was good for 18th place out of 30 anglers.  My boaters limit went for 10lbs 15ozs and put him in 11th place.  The winner was Nate Steinbauer with 14lbs 2ozs who caught the Lunker at 4lbs 2ozs.

My Thoughts:  I could have done without the cold front and a little less wind.  Apparently the bite turned on in the later part of the after noon, but we really struggled the last two hours.  Fish just didn't move up in the bay we chose to fish unfortunately.  Todd was really enjoyable to fish with and was very concerned that I get my limit, which I fortunately got in the 1st half of the day.

My #yearofrevenge starts at the next Tournament at Farm Island Lake.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Snatcher Bay Lake Quick Report

Sunrise Wigwam Bay Mille Lacs Lake May 30th
It was downright cold in the morning out in the wind where we were fishing.  Good thing I thought to bring my stocking cap and wore plenty of layers.  Fishing was OK, my boater and I both had 10lb limits. Neither of us got an above average size fish for the lake.  I missed a few bites, but nothing I can say for sure that would have helped me.  I caught 9 keepers total and 3 pike.  I got one of my better fish on a Horny Toad and I also got my first fish ever on a Vixen; It was the first time I ever threw it.  I'm guessing I came in around 20th out of 30 people fishing.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bass Snatcher 1st Tournament Tomorrow at Bay Lake


We will be on the shores of Bay Lake at Ruttger's Resort, not a gravel parking lot.  I really wish this cold front wouldn't have hit.  We were all set up for a smash fest and now who knows what kind of a bite we will have.  Bay has plenty of fish, so I hope getting a limit won't be to difficult.  Bay has been good to me the three times I have fished on it.  Hopefully that continues.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Skunked On Bass Opener

To be fair, I didn't put much effort into catching a fish today.  I set my alarm for 4AM, but when I got up I didn't feel like going so I went back to sleep.  I didn't get up until after 1PM.  I wrote a blog post over at the Log Blog titled Clown Show Catches Some Fish Anyway about my fishing trip last night.  After delivering fish to Jenny at around 5PM in mom's convertible with top down I stopped by the GOMH to see what was up.  Just a couple people fishing for sunnies and a pretty good wind blowing out of the SSW.

The forecast was calling for the wind to diminish by 9PM.  Because of the forecast I made a bad decision to try fishing the Inlet on Sullivan instead of taking the Slop Slip to Bulldog.  Conditions were perfect by the time I headed out at around 8PM.  The Inlet was a total bust.  I did have a pike miss my jig at the culvert and I bypassed the GOMH to head to Bulldog.  The access at Bulldog was full of fishermen and I didn't get a bite at Holy Family access.  Back at the GOMH it was dead and then dark.  The rowdy bullhead fishermen were there.  The bass fishermen did miss a couple of topwater hits at Peavy Lake today.

Between the low water and the crazy up and down weather this year my average fish caught per outing in May this year is now down to only 5 fish per outing;  It was 11.6 last year for May and 14.9 in May 2013.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What I Really Want To Know Is...

Dennis Anderson wrote a column for today's Star Tribune on the early catch and release bass season.  You can tell Dennis is not a dedicated bass fishermen by his closing question;  "If bass won’t be hurt by an early two-week catch-and-release season, could they also sustain a two-week harvest season at that time, which would mean opening bass fishing each year in Minnesota with the northern pike and walleye seasons?"

I know of very few bass fishermen that would have asked that as a closing question.  We don't want bass season opened up to catch and keep with the walleye and pike.  The thought of limit's of bass going home with meat fishermen out for panfish, walleye, and pike is enough to make some of us want to toss our cookies (and maybe a few bricks) in Dennis Anderson's general direction.    

What I really want to know is why it is ever illegal in MN to fish for bass with catch and immediate release?  If your unfamiliar with MN fishing regulations than you might not know that bass have three season; closed to all fishing, immediate catch and release, and open to be kept.  That is right, in MN there is a season in which we are forbidden by law from intentionally attempting to catch bass so we can immediately release them.  Michigan was once like MN is now, with the three seasons.  They experimented with an immediate catch and release season and just this year passed a law making the closed season always open to catch and immediate release fishing (CIR).   My hope is that in a year or two we will follow Michigan's lead and no longer make catch and release fishing for bass illegal for part of the year. Immediate catch and release fishing for bass should always be legal, except in waters with a smallmouth bass population that needs protection.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mille Lacs Regs This Year


Mille Lacs Score!!!

19.5" D & M Piranha
From last night
6:10-6:40 Rock
6:45-6:55 Bulldog
7:00-7:20 GOMH
7:35-7:40 Cemetery Jetty
7:50-10PM Eddy's Jetty

Conditions- Drizzle/light rain, overcast, 51 degrees, wind dying down pretty much by the time I got to Eddy's Jetty.

Rock, Bulldog, and the GOMH didn't give me a bite.  So as was my plan I headed to Mille Lacs.  Cemetery Jetty is gone, taken out by the DNR.  With the way the wind had been blowing SE all day it was impossible to tell what potential it has.  Wading maybe???  I only threw a few casts.  I shouldn't have worn long johns as after walking out to CJ, I was roasting.

I got to Eddy's and started throwing a D & M Piranha from the center jetty.  I got up on the rocks throwing SE and I thought I had something nip at it.  About 6 casts later the Mojo loaded up at the end of a long cast.  It was a total football pre-spawn smallie.

19.5" D & M Piranha
Next I got this one, once again on a long cast.

17" Red Eye  Shad
The fish actually fought me into the North harbor, I hooked it out front of the South harbor.

It got dark so I switched to a minnow under a bobber.  I almost got a crawfish from my sinking line.  Sure enough I got a hit and I stuck it.


24.5"  minnow red hook chart bead.
I immediately got a wind knot, so that was it for the minnow.  Didn't get anything on a Grass Pig or Rapala.
My weapons for tonight.

Cemetery Jetty Is Done For

Apparently they took out Cemetery Jetty this year.  I'll have to stop by and look and see if it's still a good fishing spot.

Update-  Yeah they took it apart alright.  I'll have to get out there with waders and maybe the float tube and see if any reef got left.  I don't feel terrible about it because of the tree growth I was no longer able to fish off the tip of the jetty anyway.