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Monday, November 12, 2018

Ice Fishing Goals for 2018-19

Last year was my first attempt at putting together ice fishing goals at this blog. Basically, I published the blog then pretty much completely forgot about it.  I only achieved 4 or 5 out of the 20 Goals I made.  Coming up with realistic fishing goals is difficult because so much of it is weather dependent.  Also, I don't know where I will be fishing.  Last year I thought I was going to do most of my fishing at Rock Lake, but because the starter went out on the Expedition I didn't fish there once.  I debated just not doing goals this year, but what harm is there in doing it.  So here are my goals for the winter of 2018-19.

Tackle Goals:
1. Have my tackle ready to go by November 24th.

Fishing Buddies:
1. Fish with at least 2 others this winter.

1.  Record all fishing trips at Fish Swami
2. Blog all Trips at the Fishing Log Blog

Fishing Goals:
1.  Catch at least 300 fish.
2. Catch at least 12 fish per outing.

1. Catch at least 200.

1. Catch at least 100.

1. Catch at least 1. (Didn't catch any last winter)

1. Catch at least 1. (Didn't catch any last winter)

1. Catch at least 1. (Didn't catch any last winter)
2. Fish Mille Lacs at least 3 times.

1. Catch at least 1.  (Haven't caught 1 in years)

1. Mille Lacs
2. Bulldog
3. Rock Lake

Saturday, November 10, 2018

How Long Until Safe Ice In The Platte/Sullivan Area

This was the question I asked here at the blog last year on November 2nd.  My guess last year was for safe ice to be available on November 11th.  I was probably wrong by a day or two and didn't take my first ice fishing trip last year until Nov. 30th.  The lakes last year locked up on November 10th.  It wouldn't surprise me if they are locked up by the end of today as well. (I am writing this at 12:30AM).   If that happens I wouldn't be surprised if we have safe fishable ice on Bulldog and Platte Lake on Tuesday the 13th with the way the forecast looks.  May or may not did out the Fish Trap this weekend.  I'd say it's 60/40 against me trying to get out ice fishing next week.  If it does warm up next Wed  & Thurs I am 80/20  about giving the Jetty a chance provided it isn't locked up.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Jay Yelas, What Happened To Him?

I don't think it wrong to say Jay Yelas was at one time a superstar in the sport.  Classic Champion with multiple Anger of the Year titles, the last of which occurred in 2007.  He has only made the Forrest Wood Cup once in the last five years.  It seems like he rarely even finished in the Top 50 for the last few years.  I see that he accepted an invitation to fish in the Elite Series.  No question the right move for him.  I hope this restarts his career.  He was sinking down into to total irrelevance over at FLW.  Not that total irrelevance is a bad place to be if he's happy with it, but I bet he's not.

Good Luck Jay! 

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Trophy Is Out For 2018!

And in storage for the 2018-19 winter.
I would rate the fishing this year out of the boat as fair to good.  The bite was more inconsistent than I would have liked and treble hooked topwater baits just weren't happening this year for me at all.  The toad bite was pretty mediocre as well.  The sucky weather in September sure didn't help things.  Frog fishing was solid. I've never caught so many frog fish in my life.

Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour, My Thoughts:

Putting my pundit cap on and weighing in on the coming Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour.  I don't see how this idea will be sustainable.  I hope I'm wrong and this turns out to be a fantastic success, but I just don't see it.  FLW and B.A.S.S. are not what they once were not by choice, but because it's what the market dictated.  Tournament bass fishing is a niche sport with limited appeal.  I don't think the MLF BPT changes that reality.  I will be shocked if it does.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

October Gold Rush

In case you were unaware, the past few years Mile Lacs has been closed to walleye fishing in October. I respected the DNR's wishes on the matter and didn't fish for them even though I wanted too.  This year thanks to the increasing health of the fishery the walleye fishing is open to catch and release fishing from 6AM to 10PM.  I took full advantage of that in October because the bite has been consistent and rather good. I fished the Lake for 17 days over 20 trips and only got skunked twice.  I caught 167 eyes for the month, which has to make it my most successful month of walleye fishing ever.  All of the fish were caught from shore off of Eddy's Jetty.  That's right, no boat needed.  One thing I've learned in fishing is that when you get on a solid bite, run it for all it's worth because there might not be a tomorrow.  I don't know how long the weather will allow things to continue, but I pretty much guarantee my case of gold fever is going to extend into ice season.
   You can read about all my October trips over at the Fishing Log Blog.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Challenge Cup Farm Island Quick Report

3lber caught on craw tube (B/B) in the closing minutes
I'm exhausted.  Range won the Cup this year, but it wasn't by much.  Snatcher Tuma had the top weight of the day.  I had a really fun time fishing with Snatcher Smitty brother Range Emmett.  That last late cull for me allowed me to edge out Emmett who also had a good upgrade just prior to me catching that last fish.   

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Snatcher Washburn Lake Quick Report

8lbs 9ozs Hack Jig/Craw Fatty
It didn't have to happen, but it happened; I didn't land a single bass in today's tournament on Washburn Lake.  I lost two bass on the way to the boat, but one of those might not have been 12-inches.  I did catch several pike.  Hopefully, the Challenge Cup at Farm Island Lake will go better for me.

Challenge Cup Farm Island Lake Preview

The Challenge Cup is a tournament between the Baxter Bass Snatcher, Range Bassmasters, and Brainerd Lakes Bassmasters. Each club is supposed to provide three boaters and three non-boaters.  The Snatcher's boaters this year are Chuck Steinbauer, Keith Tuma, and Jim "Smitty" Smith.  I am in Emmett Smith's boat from the Range Club.

My goal in this one is to be the top finishing non-boater

Here are the rods I'm bringing:
Rods I'm Bringing:
7'4" H Tatula XT (Buzzbait)
7'4" H Zillion (Jig) (Braid)
7'2" H Tatula (Jig) (FC)
7'1" MH Tatula (Swimbait/Traps/Swim Jig)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube)
7' MH Mojo (Chatterjig/Traps/Cranks)
6'10" MH Crucial (Spinnerbait)

Friday, October 05, 2018

Last Snatcher Tournament At Washburn Lake Preview

I forgot to publish this yesterday.
The final Snatcher Tournament of the year is tomorrow on Washburn Lake.  This will be my second tournament on the lake; Snatchers fished it in late August in 2010.  I finished 4th at that tournament.  My boater got out there for a few hours while I was fishing the "Mini-Bucks" last Saturday.  He said he got plenty of fish, but no size.  It will be interesting to see what the fish are up to with the cool/cold weather we have been having for the last two weeks.  I suspect the fish should be adjusted to it.  There are only 14 guys fishing this one.

Rods I'm Bringing:
7'4" H Tatula XT (Buzzbait)
7'4" H Zillion (Jig) (Braid)
7'2" H Tatula (Jig) (FC)
7'1" MH Tatula (Swimbait/Traps)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube)
7' MH Mojo (Chatterjig/Traps/Cranks)
6'10" MH Crucial (Spinnerbait)
6'6" M GLX Spin (Ned Rig)

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

September 2018 Was Kind of a Disappointment

I came into last month excited by the possibilities.  Then the windy weather and slow fishing got to me as the fall topwater bite never materialized.  I did catch some good size fish, but overall I consider the month to have been a bust.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Mini-Bucks Tournament on Mission Lakes Tomorrow

This is an annual tournament between guys in the Baxter Bass Snatchers that has been going on for quite a few years.  This will be my third year fishing it as Chuck Steinbauer's partner.  The lake is broken down into as many sections as boat's fishing.  Each team starts in a different numbered hole.  We fish about an hour in each hole and then go to the next one in line until we have fished them all.  I've fished Mission in the fall when it's been tough and when it's been OK.  Hard to say what this cold weather tonight will do to the bite.

Here are the rods I'm Bringing:
7'4" H Tatula (Buzzbait/Frogs)
7'4" H Zillion (Jig)(Braided Line)
7'3" MH LTB (Horny Toad)
7'2" H Tatula (Jig) (FC Line)
7'1" MH (Swimbait)
7' H Avid (Crawtube)
7' MHM Mojo (Chatterjig)
6'10" MH Crucial (Spinnerbait)

And a last-second addition while I was composing this list:
6'6" M GLX Spin (Ned Rig)   

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Birch Lake Bass Snatcher Tournament Sept.15th Full Report

I drove up to Snatcher Darren's Place and rode up with him.  When we arrived at Leech it was blowing to beat the band out of the NNE when we arrived at 6:30AM.  Not a good thing when we were launching out of Horseshoe Bay.  The wind didn't die down and the tournament director switched us to the alternate lake at about ten to 8:00AM.  So off we went to Birch Lake.  My boater Alan had only fished the lake twice when the club fished here for the first tournament of the year in 2016.  I fished the lake twice in 2016 and twice in 2011 when we fished there on Oct 1st.

The Day:
I think we blasted off by 8:40AM.  Alan and I were boat number 1.  Alan made the decision that we would run to the farthest west bay in the lake; It's a pad lined slop bay.  Al got two quick small bass in the boat; One kept, one short.  I missed a bite in the pads and had a pike hook up on the frog over open water where I saw a fish bust.  We got into the open area in the bay.  I hooked up with a bass near a pad patch that was out in the open on a black/red Terminator Frog.  Immediately after I set the hook so did Al so we got a double.  My bass was my biggest of the day (2/10) and Al's was just a keeper.  I think Al got 2 more keepers in there.  We then went across to an adjacent point and didn't get anything.  So we headed a little farther East and tried some docks and wood on the north shoreline.  I got a pike on a dock.  We worked our way out on a point and I got a 2lber there on a green pumpkin Jackhammer.  Other than a couple pike that was all we got.  Next, we headed to the south end of the western basin and started working the weed flat.  I put on a junebug Jackhammer and was quickly rewarded with a small keeper.  We went up and worked the pads for a little bit and tried some reeds to the west not getting anything but a few pike.  I then suggested we try the channel between the lake.  I got a very small keeper out of the reeds on the southeast shoreline.  We didn't get anything in the channel.

Next, we headed to where the river goes to Ten Mile Lake.  I had a fish hit, hook up, hang me in some cabbage and get off.  As I was reeling in I saw a 2lber following my Jackhammer so I killed it and the fish smashed it.  I didn't get another bite until we were across the other side of the bay when a 14-incher hit my bone Sprinker Frog in some reeds.  That was my last landed bass of the day.  We went back to the bay we started in and Al got his biggest bass off the day in the pads.  We worked around the southside pads of the little island. I had a couple of fish hit my Terminator Frog, but I didn't hook up.  Probably just small bass like Al was catching.   Then we tried the south side of the big island and all I could get was pike.  And just like that, the day was over.

My fish weighed 10lbs 1oz which put me in 14th Place out of 18 anglers.  Al had 2 more ounces than me and finished 13th.  Keith Tuma won it 19/3 and had a 4/04 for the tournament "Lunker".  Dwight Hammermeister, who was in Tuma's boat, came in 2nd and won the Co-Angler Challenge.

This finish makes me finishing in the club Super 6 highly unlikely, but I'm pretty much guaranteed I will reach my goal of finishing in the Top 10

My Thoughts:
My mental state wasn't optimal.  I hadn't fished since Monday and I was 100% sure we were going to be fishing Leech Lake and had prepared myself for a tough bite there.  My head just wasn't in the game like it needed to be.  It didn't help that the fish never really clued us in.  It didn't help that I didn't have rods and tackle along that would have diversified my fishing options.  I think we probably should have tried a few more docks and definitely fished the eastern basin.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Snatcher Birch Lake Quick Report

To much dismay and consternation the weather report at Leech Lake this morning was wrong.  When we arrived at Horseshoe Bay Resort this morning the wind was blowing about 15mph out of the NE.  The worst possible direction.  We ended up going to the alternate lake, Birch in Hackensack.  This move was totally unexpected.  Both Al and I managed to scratch out a ten pound limit and finish somewhere in the back half of the 18 angler field. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

My Snatcher Leech Lake Preview

What will Leech Lake give us?  Looks like fairly East light winds, but with the possibility of thunderstorms to start the day.  I don't know whether or not we are on anything from our pre-fish.  The size we caught was OK, but we didn't get a lot of bites.  That may be do to fishing under unfavorable conditions.  I think the bite should be better tournament day.  I haven't gone fishing since Monday due to the all wind we've been having.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some sleep tonight and will be well rested for my 3AM wake up.

Rods I'm Bringing:
7'6" MH Mod LTB (Heavy Jig)
7'4" H Zillon (Jig)
7'4" XH Zillion (Frog)
7'4" H Tatula XT  (Frog/Buzzbait)
7'4" H Avid-X (Sprinker Frog)
7'3" MH LTB (Horny Toad)
7'3" MH Lamiglas (Swimbait)
7' H Avid (Crawtube)

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Football Season Starts Today

All the experts seem to agree that Vikings have one of the best teams in the NFL.  Hear are my  questions coming into the season.

Will our O-Line hold up?  They could take a half step backward from last year and I think we would still be OK. 

Will the Defense take a step back or step forward? It's going to be tough for the D to improve off of last year.  But I think that could actually be the case.  The D wasn't that great at causing turnovers last year.

Is DeFilippo up to the job?  Hopefully­čĄ×

Will Cousin's be the man to bring us a Super Bowl Title?  Kirk, we would like that!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

September Has Arrived

And just like that summer gone.  Football season is about to start and hopefully I will start to figure out where the bass are in Platte Lake.  For the most part I struggled in August especially toward the end of the month as the Melon Patch, 17" Hole/Big Rice Point, and Green Cabin Bay dried up.  Sure I was catching some fish and some good one's, but the fish were going away from me all month and not reloading.  I suppose I don't help myself by being so frog focused.

 Hopefully, the topwater bite will turn on.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best I would rate this summer's topwater fishing this way:
7 for June
8 for July
6 for August