From Minnesocold, Bass Fishing Blog Capitol of the World!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Ironman With Chuck Steinbauer on Mission Lakes

I'm going to be fishing the Ironman fruit jar tournament On Mission Lakes  put on my Bass Snatcher Jim "Smitty" Smith.  I assume it is a 5 fish limit.  It's supposed to be stormy and windy.  Could turn the fish on at Mission.

The rods I'm bringing:
7'6"H LTB (1oz Jig)
7'4" H Zillion (1/2 Jig)
7'2" H Tatula (3/8 Jig)
7'4" Tatula (Frog)
7'3" MH LTB (Horny Toad)
7'3" H Lamiglass (Mag Fluke)
7'2" MH Tatula (Bladed Jig, Lipless, Wakebait, Topwater)
7'1" MH Tatula (Swim Jig/Swimbait/Spinnerbait)
7' H Avid (Craw)


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

200 Days On the Water This Year

Today will mark my 200th day fishing for the year. Last year I reached this milestone on October 7th. 

Here is the break down for my blogging at the Fishing Log Blog this year compared to last year.

Sometimes I have more than one blog per day, that's how I have blogged 207 times for 199 days fished.  Depending on what the weather does, I expect that when all is said and done that I will fish more days this year than I did last year (233).

My numbers of fish caught is up drastically from last year.
The increase is due mainly to me fishing out of the Trophy more this year which equaled longer and more successful trips.  3.85 hours per day this year compared to 3.21 hours per day fished last year.  I didn't take my first trip in the Trophy.  But it's not all due to the Trophy, which I didn't start using until May 13th this year.

I should reach my goal of catching 3,000 fish for the year sometime late this month.

Monday, October 16, 2017

I Like My Vikings Chances Now

Mike Zimmer's Defense is must watch TV.

It would have been interesting to see how the Packers game turned out had Rodgers not gotten injured.  But ole A Rog did get injured.  I am so sad about that I could almost cry, Not!

With #12 out of the picture it looks like the Vikes now have to be favorites to win the Division.  With the way our D is coming together the MN Vikings are a team nobody is gonna want to face.

Outlook: Thumbs Up!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lucky Tackle Box #1 (Breast Cancer Awareness)

I have been given the opportunity to blog about a Lucky Tackle Box for the next 3 months a box comes out.

Apparently they don't have video's up for this months box on YouTube yet.  Maybe they will have them when you read this blog.

Biwaa Fishing Performance Seven 4":  Swimbaits are something I have limited experience with.  From the retail price, $22.99, I am guessing this is a quality bait.  I hope a pike doesn't steal it from me.
Glo-Pro Lures Soft Body Lipless Crankbait: This is a unique lure.  It has a rubbery body with a pouch where you can put a glow stick, it comes with two glow sticks.  Because of the soft rubbery body it doesn't have any rattle to it.  A rattle would fit in the glow stick pouch.  I'll be interested to see how effective this bait is;  Color me skeptical.
 Smart Baits Gifted Grub:  I guess this grub changes color between chartreuse or red depending on water temperature.  Seems gimmicky, but sometimes gimmicks work.
Big Bite Baits Real Deal Craw:  I'll try this bait Texas rigged and as a jig trailer.  It looks like the claws will come off easily.

Update:  The claws are tougher than they look.  Didn't have a single claw get torn off.  I was really impressed with this bait on a Texas Rig.
Mustad 3/0 Mega Bite Breast ancer Awareness Hooks: Can never have enough 3/0 Mustad Hooks.
Xcite Baits XB-1:  Squarebill cranks are just something I don't throw a lot.  The weeds in Platte Lake just don't set up well for throwing them.  I should be able to catch a fish or two at the Grumpy Old Man Hole though.

Jenko Fishing Magnum Hair Jig: Hair jigs are a lure type I have vert very little experience with.  Will be interesting to see how well it works for me.

I think they are all lures I will be able to catch fish on, but I don't anticipate any of them becoming a go to lure for me.

I give this box a B- on first impressions. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Snatchers Challenge Cup Victory (Full Report)

The View from the Public Access this morning
The Challenge Cup is a tournament that pits the three Brainerd lakes area bass clubs against one another.  Each team gets 3 Boaters and 3 Non-Boaters
8:00-4:00PM Lower South Long Lake
Conditions: 50-62℉, Partly Cloudy to Mostly Sunny,  Pretty calm in the morning turning breezy out of the NNW by 11AM.  Water Level High and rising
Water Temp: Low 60's I think
3.17lb/3lbs 7ozs Piranha/Craw Fatty
Before the Tournament:
When I was putting stuff in the car somehow my sunglasses fell off my head.  I didn't realize it until I was half way to South Long.  I had an extra pair in the car, so there was no need to go back.  I found out when I got home that I had backed over the pair that fell off my head; My favorite pair of Fitovers.
Daggum it!
I was kind of surprised that most boats were in the water when I arrived.  Range Bassmasters Bill Bongs, who was my boater, boat was parked just to the left of the ramp (first boat in the picture).  Bill Bongs is really good fisherman and even better guy.

The Day:
I think we were the 8th boat of 9 to launch.  We headed to weedline just off of the reeds/cane in the North middle section of the lake.  About 5 minutes into the day Bill put the first keeper in the boat on a spinnerbait.  We both had several fish bump our lures and not hook up.  I think we had just started to work our way back over the water we had just fished when I got my big bass of the day (3.17lb) on the junebug colored D & M Baits Piranha with blue/black Craw Fatty trailer. I think we both then caught a pike.  Bill got himself another keeper just after I had a bass flash at the Piranha and not get it.  I threw back to the area with a junebug Lake Fork Craw Tube and had 2.04lber get it.  I think Bill got one more pike and we got out of there.

We headed up to the NE end of the lake.  I'm pretty sure we were fishing the same spot Chuck and I fished on Tuesday where I caught one on the Piranha.  I elected to start out throwing the craw tube and that was a good call because almost immediately it was fish on for me (2.05).  I then lost a really good one on the way to the boat.  I was just thinking in my head it could be a 4lber when it came off.  I then got a 2.46lber, before Bill finally got in on the action.  He had himself a little flurry and I got my limit fish (2.49lb).  Bill noticed a guy fishing in a white Nitro, not one of tournament guys, down the way a hundred yards or so pull in several bass including a really nice one.  I caught a couple more bass that didn't help me and I think Bill filled out his limit and maybe culled a time or two before we left.  But  I could be wrong on that.  The wind came up before we left.

We next headed to the South side of the large reed island in the middle South of the lake.  Bill got the first fish and I got one that didn't help on the Piranha.  I got one that didn't help on the Craw Tube.  Bill started whacking them on a jig.  I couldn't get bit for the longest time.  When I finally did it didn't help.  We finally got out of that wind and Bill headed us to the SW end right to the area where Chuck and I got into them on Tuesday.  Nothing was home.  We moved in closer to the reeds and Bill caught one on a spinnerbait.  I had us go in and try the pads.  We spooked a pretty good size fish that didn't seem to be relating to anything.  Maybe it was a fish that followed one of our baits into the open, who knows.

We then headed back towards our starting spot, but there were boats in the area so we just headed up to our second spot.  We put down off to the South of the point.  We had just started fishing when Snatcher Chuck showed up and started fishing right on the point.  But nobody was home.  We worked our way North along the weedline toward the spot where the Nitro was.  Chuck left.  I don't remember who got the first fish, but we found a pod of them.  I culled twice with a 1.86lber then a 2.66lber on the Craw Tube.  Bill got himself a really good cull or two as well.  I think I caught a dink for my final fish of the day.

Snatcher Keith Tuma 1st Place & The Challenge Cup Trophy
1st Place Bass Snatchers & Keith Tuma
2nd Place Range Bassmasters & Bill Bongs
3rd Brainerd Lakes & Snatcher Chuck
I heard that the Range Team was given to much weight and the Brainerd Lakes Bassmasters not enough.  I don't know of that is the case or not.  What I do know is that the Snatchers Won and Snatcher Keith Tuma caught a heck of a bag for that lake (20/10) and Big Bass (4/7).  I came in 5th Place out of 18 anglers.  

My Thoughts:
I reached my goal of being the top non-boater in the field with 15/12.  That is in no small part due to the unselfish nature of Bill Bongs who seemed perfectly delighted I was catching good fish.  Who knows if that one  I lost was a big as I thought it might be, I had shot at big bass and placing in the Top 3.  A great way to end my tournament season. 

Despite It All I'm Happy For You A.P.

In case some of my readers are not aware, I was a huge fan of Adrian Peterson.  So much so that I actually got his jersey.  Then came the incident where he physically abused his child.  I thought the NFL punishment ended up being unfair to the whole Vikings organization.  Peterson getting injured last year was a major bummer and the way the season ended was downright pitiful.  How Peterson treated the organization that stood by him through all that was another disappointment to me, but I was still sad to see him go.   The Saints were obviously not the best of landing spots for him.  I am glad that he is now with the Arizona Cardinals where we will get to see just what Adrian has left in the tank if anything.

And as long as I'm blogging about football, I might as well give me thoughts on the Vikings season so far.  It was a real downer losing Dalvin Cook for the season.  Having that kid in the backfield was pure excitement.   Both A.P. and Robert Smith came back from serious knee injuries to have solid careers with the Vikings.  Hopefully he's a quick healer like A.P. . 

And then there is Sam Bradford's knee and psychological state.  That poor guy just can't catch a break. Who knows whether or not he will take another snap for the Vikes. 

Because of both injuries above I am not real high on the Vikings chances this season.  However, I believe the Vikes still have a shot at making the playoffs.  Our Defense is playing well and our O-line play has definitely improved.  If we can somehow beat the Packers this week.  My confidence meter will go way up.   

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Snatchers Reign Victorious at the 2017 Challenge Cup!!!

It was a very good day on South Long Lake for me and my bass club, the Baxter Bass Snatchers.  Our team won.  I am pretty sure I had the top weight as a non-boater.  And Snatcher Keith Tuma caught a 20+ lb bag for the win and the trophy.  My boater Range Bassmasters Bill Bongs got 2nd and Snatcher Chuck Steinbauer got 3rd Place.   I'll have a full report on the day sometime later this week.

Our Team was made up of Keith Tuma, Charles Steinbauer, and Tim Benson as boaters and myself, Bill Bailey, and Alan Steinbauer as non-boaters.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

North Long Mini-Bucks Quick Report

It was a tough bite out on North Long today.  Chuck only caught one bass over 2lbs and I didn't catch anything over 1.75lbs.  All the fish in our 10lb Bag (5 fish) were caught by Chuck.  I did catch a keeper size bass in all of the holes, but the first one.  I caught 7 or 8 bass over 12 inches total.  Chuck caught about 12 keepers total.  The tournament was won by Tom "Swannie" Swanson and Keith Tuma with a 13.5lb bag.  Guy and Hammer got 2nd Place falling .09lb behind the leaders.  The Henkensiefken boys came in 3rd and got big bass with a 3.50lber.  We got 4th because Ruff and Ludenia elected not to weigh their fish.   I'll have a full report when I get around to it hopefully later this week.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Preview For "Mini Bucks" @ North Long & Challenge Cup @ South Long

I've got two bonus tournaments that I am going to be fishing this weekend.  The first is the "Mini-Bucks" tournament on North Long Lake with Chuck Steinbauer on Saturday.  It is a five boat team tournament modeled on the old Bassmaster Mega-Bucks where a lake is divided into zones that the competitors fish for a period of time then move on to the next one and so on until we have fished each zone.  One team in a zone at a time.  Chuck knows North Long very well and the first tournament I fished with him back in 2008 was on the lake.

My goals are to contribute at least 1 fish to our bag and finish in the money (1st or 2nd)

The tournament on Sunday is the Challenge Cup on South Long Lake which pits the Snatchers vs. the Range Bassmasters and possibly the Brainerd Lakes Bassmasters as well.  It will be 6 boats or 9 boats depending on whether or not the Brainerd Lakes club is fishing.   Each club gets  3 boaters and 3 non-boaters.   I was a last minute add when one of our guys couldn't make it.  I am fishing in Range Bassmaster Bill Bongs boat.  I am entitled to half the time in the front of the boat.

My goals are to beat out all the other non-boaters and for the Snatchers to take the cup.  Catching big bass of the tournament would be good too.­čĄ×

Rods I'm Going to bring
6' M Techna AV (Spin) Dock (Fluke/Senko)
7'4" XH Zillion (Frog)
7'6" H LTB (1oz Jig)
7'4" H Zillion (1/2oz Jig)
7'3" MH LTB (Horny Toad)
7'2" H Tatula (3/8 Jig)
7'2" MH Tatula (Spinnerbait, Bladed Jig, Lipless)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube)
6'8" M Avid (Jerkbait/topwater) Probably won't bring this rod to South Long.

Update Sat: I'm not bringing the Techna AV to South Long.  I am bringing the 6'8" Avid.

Update Sat:  Also I switched the reel out on the 7'2" MH Tatula for the forgotten rod this year, my 7' MHM Mojo Bass.  The Mojo is quite a bit lighter in is only slightly less heavy in the punch it packs.  After throwing the Tatula for a good part of the day on Saturday I thought using the Mojo was the better choice

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Snatchers Little Boy/Wabedo Full Report

2/13 Hack Jig/Craw Fatty
Conditions: 63-66℉, Cloudy to Mostly Cloudy some light rain, Light Wind SSW to WNW.  I think the water level had come up some from the day we pre-fished.
Water Temp: Mid 60's

The Day:  For the last part of my drive up it was thunder and rain.  I loaded my stuff in the boat in the rain.  I believe the rain quit by the time we blasted off.  We headed North to the inlet.  Within the first 15 minutes we both had a two plus pound keeper in the boat.  I got mine throwing a 1oz Hack Attack Jig along the thick inner reed wall.  The fish really smacked it.  I think Alan then got a fish he culled out later in the sparser reeds.  I had a fish hit my frog and not get it along a cattail wall.  I kept casting back with a black blue Lake Fork Craw Tube and eventually a 1.63lb bass hit it.  I then got a 1.38lb pitching the 1oz Hack Jig in the deeper reeds.  We got over by the closest dock.  I pitched the Hack Jig into the boat lift and caught my biggest bass of the day (2/13).  I had to play it up and over the boat lift frame.  It was barely hooked in it's upper lip.

We then moved to the West side of the upper lake to some reeds, pads, and rice.  While I was putting together my Double Magnum Fluke Alan caught two quality fish on a spinnerbait.  I was fishing again and Alan got at least two more fish before I got bit again.  Alan had just caught a fish in a boat lane.  I cast my Terminator Frog across the boat lane and a 2lber grabbed it.  I then rolled two small fish on the hookset.  I got a 1.78lb fish on the Frog.  I missed a couple of bites.  who knows if they would have helped.  We started  working our way South.  I culled my two smallest with a 2.53 and a 2.31 on the frog.  Alan caught his big bass (4/10) in the pads and reeds on a swimbait.  I thought it was only a high 3lb fish.  I caught a fish or two that didn't help me on the frog.  We got over to where Chuck and Nate were fishing and got out of there.

I think we then went farther south to an area where we got some fish during pre-fish.  Same kind of stuff: reeds, pads, and rice.  I think Alan got maybe one that helped himself and I got one or two that didn't and missed a coupe of hits on the frog.  I think the one's I missed were probably pike.

We went to a weedline spot off of some reeds.  I missed a bite, before getting one that didn't help me on the Craw Tube.  I then missed a couple of bites.  The second one I got a great hookset on and it felt like a really good fish and then it just came off.  The same thing then happened to Alan a couple of times.

We then went back and re-fished our second spot.  I think Alan got one or two more culls and I got one that didn't help.  There was now just a couple hours left.  We went to make a move and the starting battery didn't have enough juice and Alan couldn't get it to jump.  While Al was messing around with the batteries I missed a hit on the craw tube.  We decided to throw traps over the large weed flat/point we were on.  Alan had a big something get off and caught a small bass and I got a pike.  We then headed off at full speed for Little Boy Resort.
   It started to sprinkle a little bit.  We fished a little bit along the way.  Alan picked up a small smallie of a dock.  I think that was the last fish landed for the day.
Alan with the 1st Place "Wood_
Results: My fish weighed 14bs 7ozs, which put me in 10th Place out of 21 anglers. Alan's fish weighed 19/06, which put him easily in 1st Place.  2nd Place was Keith Tuma with 16/3 and Darrin Kiefer got 3rd with 15/14 beating Bill Ludenia on the tie breaker by an ounce on his big fish.   Tyler Czech had a 5lb Lunker.
What my scale said I had

Thoughts:  With the weights packed so tightly above me losing the last couple of hours because of the dead battery probably cost me a higher finish.  After the way the last couple of years ended for me I can't complain too much though.  At least I was culling fish and I got a front row seat to see how it was won.

To make the Top 10 in Angler of the Year I needed to finish in 2nd Place.  I ended up in 13th Place for the year.  I fished much better this year and got to fish with 4 boaters I'd never fished with before.  All in all it was a good year for me even if I didn't reach any of my goals in terms of finishes.  I had the smallmouth on at the Mississippi that would have gotten me "wood" had I landed it.  Oh well, those are the breaks.  On to next year.

Congratulations to Dennis Lothspeich on being Mr. Bass for 2017!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Little Boy/Wabedo Quick Report

Alan Steinbauer took 1st Place with 19+lbs
Had a pretty good day on the water, other than the starting battery dying with two hours left.  Alan couldn't get it jumped, so we trolling motored back to Little Boy Resort.  I weighed 14lbs 7ozs, which I think put me in about 7th Place or so.  The only rod I didn't use was the Horny Toad rod.  I probably should have thrown the Horny Toad some.  They seemed to really like a moving presentation today.   Full report later this week when I get the full results.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Snatcher Little Boy/Wabedo Preview

Tomorrow is my last chance to achieve any of the goals I set for my Snatcher Tournaments back in March.   To make the Top 10 at the end of the year is probably going to require me achieving the goal of a Top 3 finish as well.  Not being able to fish at Thunder Lake probably killed my chances because of the total bomb at North Long.  All I can do is fish hard all day, hope I get the right bites, and am able to land them.  The fish might be chomping­čĄ×.  I like the fact that my boater Alan Steinbauer has a Phoenix boat.  It's wide open layout on the passenger side has plenty of room for me to bring a few extra rods.  

Here's what I'm bringing:
7'6" H LTB (1oz Jig)
7'4" H Tatula (Frog)
7'4" XH Zillion (Frog)
7'4" H Avid X (Sprinker Frog)
7'4" H Zilion  (1/2oz Jig)
7'3" MH LTB (Toads)
7'3" H Lamiglas (Mag Fluke/ Swimbait/Swim jig)
7'2" H Tatula (3/8oz Jig)
7'2" MH Tatula (Topwater/Wake/Chatter Jig)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube)
6'10" MH Crucial (Buzzbait/Spinnerbait/Topwater)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Winner Winner 13 Fishing Hat for Dinner

This is the second time I have won a contest from 13 Fishing.  The first time was when I won a Muse Gold Rod in a caption the picture contest.  This time I guessed the crayons.  I am not that disappointed abut not winning the reel, as I have plenty of reels, but will wear the hat all the time.

Winning this means I have achieved yet another goal this year.

And speaking of achieved goals for 2017.
I caught my 1,000th bass sometime this past month.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

About That Blogging the Elites AOY Goal

Not looking good at this point for reaching the goal.  I am pre-fishing for the last Snatcher tournament of the year today up at Little Boy/Wabedo.  That is 2 hours North of me.  I am probably going to be worn out Friday.  Maybe I'll make it over for the stuff on Saturday. On Sunday, the Vikes play at noon and I'll probably want to go fishing after the game is over.  Oh well.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Football Season Is Here, SKOL!!!

I like pretty much everyone else here in purple country didn't know what to expect when they kicked off on Monday Night Football.  Now that the game is over I am impressed along with the rest of the Vikings faithful.

Sure the Saints might have the worst defense in the league, but for a least one game our offense kicked butt.  I'll take it.

Next week against the Steelers in Pittsburgh our O-Line will get a much more serious test.  Hopefully Bradford, Cook, and Co. come ready to play and put more points on the board.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Two 4lbers Last Night

4.23lbs/18.66" Terminator Frog
4.67lbs/19.75" Terminator Frog
A little camera trickery makes the first fish seem bigger.  It definitely was fatter.  Had the 19.75" been similarly built it would have been over 5lbs easy.  I also lost a big one between catching these two fish.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thinking Vikings Football

I am not ready to drink purple Kool Aid yet for this year.  The performance in the 3rd pre-season game by our 1st unit was pretty dreadful on both sides of the ball. Hopefully it was just an off night indicative of nothing.  I am hoping Zimmer plays our O-Line starters for the whole first half of the final pre-season game.

I think the offense will be better this year, but how much better is a big ? in my mind.  I think that our D got worn down last year with all the time they had play and our O's inability to score touchdowns.  I don't know how much improvement we need to see to make us a playoff team.  We could be in the mix for a Division title, but then again maybe not.  We will see.

Excitement Level:  Muted for now.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

How I Am Doing On My Fishing Goals for 2017

Bold means the goal has been achieved
Green means I am on pace to achieve the goal.
Red means I failed to achieve the goal.

I really need to get cracking on getting out fishing with the fishing buddies.

Fishing Buddies:
1. Fish with Dad at least 5 times.
2. Fish with Mike Thompson
3. Fish with Jim Bonin
4. Fish with  Mike "Spike" Miller
5. Fish with Jeff and Renee
6. Fish with Todd and the girls several times
7. Take Peter W. out in the Trophy at least once.
8. Take Matt W. out in the Trophy at least once.
9. Fish with Dave Lindmark
10. Fish with Christopher Glaze
Dream Fishing Buddies:
1. Fish with Josh Douglas
2. Fish with Al Lindner

Bass Snatcher Goals:
1.  Get "Wood" in at least one tournament. (1st-3rd Place Finish or Lunker)
2. Win my 1st tournament. (My best finish to date is 2nd Place.)
3. Get "Lunker" in a tournament.   (Preferably one over 5-8 to win the revolving big bass pot that I'm now entered in thanks to somebody finally winning it last year.  With 3 big bass lakes on the schedule there is a shot.)
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.)
5. Finish in the Top 10 at the end of the year.  (Something I haven't done since 2011)
6. Catch a limit at every tournament of the year.  (I've done this twice, but in 2012 I only fished 4 out of the 6 tournaments due to a bad back.)
7. Pre-fish with at least 3 boaters.
8. List the Rods I'm bringing for each tournament before the tournament.

Technique & Tackle Goals:
1. Win something in Fantasy Fishing or Facebook giveaway/contest.
2. Catch fish on a Lucky Craft Gunfish 117
3. Catch a fish on % of Mystery Tackle Box Lures
    3a. 1st Box 100% (5 out of 5)
    3b. 2nd Box 60% (3 out of 5)
    3c. 3rd Box 110 % (6 out of 6)
4. Catch a fish on the Rapala BX Waking Minnow
5. Catch a bass on the Salmo Bass Bug
6. Get my brother Todd set up with a Frog rod.
7.  Officially Open the Tackle Warehouse this year. (I never did that in 2016)

1. Blog about anytime I reach a goal.
2. Record all fishing trips at Fish Swami
3. Fish at least 150 days and blog about them
4. Do a better job of blogging when the Elites come for the AOY this year on Mille Lacs.

Fish Goals:
1. Catch Devin's birthday bullhead on May 20th.
2. Average 5 fish caught per hour. (4.08 in 2016, 3.62 in 2015, 3.55 in 2014, 4.41 in 2013, 4.31 in 2012, 2.77 in 2011)
3. Catch 3,000 Fish

1. Catch a new personal best. (Currently 14.25")
2. Catch* over 300 this year. (Caught 306 in 2016)

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

1. Catch* over 200 this year. (Caught 488 in 2016)
2. Catch a 38" or over/personal best.

1. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Largemouth
2. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Smallmouth
3. Catch* over 1,000 bass this year. (Caught 764 in 2016)
4. Catch* at least 25 smallies.  (I caught 24 last year)

1. Catch at least 30. (Caught 42 in 2016)
2. Catch 30" or new personal best. (28.5 is current PB)

* Catch is anything I deem it to be including follows by pike or smallmouth (while pre-fishing), a pike missing my lure, fish seen on the Aqua View, and fish that get off before I have them in hand that I can positively identify.

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Snatchers Gull Lake Tournament Full Report

Conditions: 52-76℉, Sunny to partly cloudy, Calm or very light E wind
Water Temp: 72-76℉

The Day:  
Not sure exactly what time we blasted off at.  We didn't run very far.  I started off throwing the Whopper Plopper.  After about 15 minutes my boater Mick got himself a decent bass on a craw tube.  I immediately put down the Plopper because there hadn't been a hint of activity on the surface and picked up the Legend Xtreme with a blue/black Chigger Craw on it.  About 5 minutes later I had my first bass in the boat, a 13.3 incher.  Mick then got another decent one and I got a 13.5".  Mick then caught 17 incher and a couple more good one's in pretty short order.  I got a dink next to a dock as we worked our way back over where we had fished.  My blue/black Chigger Craw was trashed so I put on a breen one.  There started to be some surface activity so I started  throwing the Plopper again.  Mick caught his limit fish about an hour and 20 minutes in.  I put the Plopper back down pretty quickly.  I think Mick culled once and I got my big fish of the day, a 15.25"on the Chigger Craw.  I was throwing both the Chigger Craw and a craw tube as well.  I had several fish pick them up and drop it immediately.  Also plenty of bites from sunfish.  The area seemed to go dead, so we headed North to his big fish area.

There were lots of sunfish swimming around, so tried the LiveTarget Sunfish Wake bait.  I saw some boils on the surface so I also tried a bluegill Shower Blows 105 for a while.  Mick started catching some bass but they didn't help him, maybe he culled once or twice.

Mick gave me a red shad craw tube.  I threw it for about 10 minutes without a hit and went to a black/red fleck Chigger Craw.  Mick caught another bass and asked me why I wasn't throwing the craw tube.  He had a good point.  I switched from a 3/8 to 3/16 weight with the craw tube.  While I was fishing the Chigger Craw and the craw tube once again I was having fish pick it up and drop it.  I tried letting it sit or giggling it in place, but they wouldn't come back for it.

It was now a little after 11AM and we headed South.  I don't know which bay we were in but Bill Bailey and Alan Steinbauer were both fishing really close to where we pulled in.  Mick had a small keeper on before I even had my line in the water.  Alan's boat left pretty quickly and we headed that way.  Mick caught another bass that didn't help him.  We went right into the thick coontail and Mick was showing me how he fishes for them in the Fall.  He pulled in a small keeper on his first or second drop.  He then caught another one pretty quickly.  I think I then missed a hit and Mick caught another one.  I missed a couple more bites, but finally hooked up on won just over 13 inches.  Mick sat down and ate a sandwich.  I think I missed one more hit, before me left for the next spot.

The next spot was reed island.  I had a fish just hammer the craw tube after it landed, but when I set the hook there was nothing there.  Might have been a pike.  We fished the area for about half an hour and didn't get anything, so off we headed to what must be eastern most southern bay and fished off of a point.  I got my last fish of the day (13.75) there and missed a couple of hits as well.

We went in and tried some docks.  Didn't get anything.  With about 40 minutes left we headed back to our starting spot and didn't get anything.

Results:  My 5 fish weighed 7lbs 6ozs, which put me in 18th Place out of 22 anglers. Mick's fished weighed 14/1 and put him in 7th Place.  Keith Tuma won his second in a row with 18/11.  Chuck Steinbauer had a 4/5 big bass.

My Thoughts:  Mick probably caught 4 fish to my one.  He had me around fish all day and even gave me the color that was working.  By the time I figured out I needed to grind with craw tube it was too late.  My mental focus was good all day.  Disappointing to not get a limit, but I had a good time.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Gull Lake Quick Report

I was to worn out yesterday to write this blog.

I was right about my boater Mick being over due for a good day on Gull Lake.   He caught 14 pounds and probably landed 15 plus keepers for the day.  My day wasn't nearly as good.  I came up one fish short of a limit and all but one of my fish was under 13 inches.  I had a lot of hits where a fish would pick up the bait and spit it immediately. Could figure out a way to get them to pick it up again.  Letting it sit and shaking it in place didn't seem to work.  There were a lot of sunfish around to so some of the bites I thought were bass were probably those as well.  I really should have had a limit.  It looks like not getting my limit cost me two places minimum.  It just wasn't my day.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Snatchers Gull Lake Preview

For the 3rd tournament in a row I have been paired with a boater I had never fished with before.  This time it's with Michael "Mick" Ziebell.  Mick has been in the club for 31 years now.  He has fished a lot of tournaments on Gull over the years, but has never done particularly well on the lake.  I would say he is overdue for a good finish on the lake.  I didn't get out to pre-fish, but Mick got out a few times and caught some fish.  It looks like light winds for the day and partly cloudy sky's.  Lord, please let them bite on topwater.

Here's the Rods I'm bringing with:

7'4" Tatula Frog Rod
7'2" Tatula MH Topwater & Wakebait
7'2" Tatula Jig n Craw
7' Avid Heavy Craw Tubes
6'8" Legend Xtreme Chigger Craw/Jig Worm
6'8" Avid Topwater
6'6" MH Loomis Swim Jig/Chatter Jig
6' Dock Rod Fluke/Senko

We have got 22 anglers fishing.  If I can get 10-11lbs and be somewhere in the Top 15 I'll take it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My Snatcher Season at the Mid Way Point

One year ago today I did a blog on this subject.  I've got some free time right now, so I thought I would do one for this year as well.

I finally got out of the rut I was in of poor finishes at Platte/Sullivan to start the year off the year with a Top 10 finish.  A small field and good draw almost resulted in me "getting wood" at the Mississippi River with a 4th Place finish.  An unlucky boat draw for North Long resulted in me getting second to last out of 24 anglers.  That kind of finish still could have happened had I drawn another boater, but I doubt it.

So here I sit in 6th Place at the mid way point of the season despite the bomb at North Long.  Pretty much the fate of my season rides on the result of the next tournament on Gull Lake August 12th.  A Top 10 finish there and  I should still be sitting in very good shape.  If I totally crater at Gull Lake then I might not fish Thunder.  I really want to fish Thunder.

Bring on the 2nd Half!  

Friday, July 21, 2017

The North Long Disaster, Full Report

1lb 10ozs Lake Fork Craw Tube (Grn Pumkin/Brown)
6:45-2:50PM North Long Lake we fished all 3 Bays
Conditions: 60-83℉, Partly to Mostly Sunny, Wind All Day out of multiple directions

I came into this tournament without a care in the world.  I was not prepared mentally for how difficult catching fish might prove.  After the pre-fish I was sure we were gonna catch a limit a piece.  Boy was I wrong.  Normally, I am content to let my boater call all the shots for the day and am loathe to offer suggestions.  I need to recognize instances where I need to be more assertive.  This tournament was probably one of those instances, but I can't say with any confidence that the results would have been much different.  I really don't know the lake having only fished it 3 times now with this tournament day included.

The Day:
I had thought to myself that starting where we caught multiple fish and then quickly left in 371 Bay should be our start spot.  Checkbook suggested we start in the reeds where we got fish in Merrifield Bay.  No problem.  Fish for 30 minutes, if we don't get a bite get out of there and go to 371.  That is pretty much the way it played out.

When we got to 371 Bay a boat was anchored maybe 50 yards to the NE of the juice from pre-fish.  We were there maybe 15 minutes and Checkbook got bit off.  I don't remember if I had gone to the front of the boat or not when I caught my only bass of the day on a Lake Fork Craw Tube.  I threw out a marker buoy and went and got the fish weighed and put a cull tag in.  By the time I was ready to fish again Checkbook was retied and back on the trolling motor.  Over the next hour or so I missed a couple of hits and got a pike.  I think Checkbook caught a pike.  The boat that was anchored finally left.  Checkbook wanted to leave as well.  I thought we should fish toward where the boat was anchored, but didn't speak up.

We went to the reeds in 371 that I had a blow up in during pre-fish.  Checkbook got his lone keeper there on a jig.

Next we headed to the main lake.  We apparently just missed fishing a spot that had a bunch of small keepers on it.  We didn't find the weeds.  I suggested we try some docks.  We went to either a resort or marina not sure which.  Didn't get anything there.  We fished some reeds nothing.  Tried another spot close by. Nothing.  We headed back to Merrifield Bay and fished the steep break on the North Shore narrows into the bay.  A good looking spot, but we didn't get a hit other than me getting bit off once.

Next we tried some reeds on the South shoreline, nothing.  We tried some docks.  I think Checkbook got a rock bass.  We tried some more reeds and some great looking shallow slop along the cattail shoreline.  Not a sign of a fish.  It was now about 2PM and both us were pretty frustrated.  I think I pulled the plug on where we were fishing maybe a bit to quickly as we were approaching some good looking water with some cain and thicker reeds, but I really wanted to get back to that weedline spot on 371 and that is where we went and  spent the rest of the day.  We caught several pike there and both got bit off in the final hour.  I also missed a few hits that might have been bass.  I later learned that a lot of the bass bites felt like panfish and you really had to coax them into taking it.  Or it could be that panfish were playing with a bait until a bass came to investigate.  Whatever, the day was over and we didn't figure that part of the puzzle out.

Results: My fish weighed 1lb 10ozs, which put me in 23rd Place out of 24 anglers with Checkbook  taking last.  Keith Tuma won by more than a pound and a half with 17/09 and with 4/05 Lunker.

My Thoughts:  I didn't really get spun out.  It's just that everything we tried didn't work.  If anything I was to casual believing we would eventually find and catch some bass. Looking back at my tournament results in July I haven't caught a limit in the month since 2012, ouch.  This finish pretty much forces my hand.  If I want any shot at making the Super 6 at the end of the year I'm going to have to fish Thunder Lake and miss my oldest brothers wedding ceremony.  A disaster on this level next month at Gull will make that decision a moot point.

Next Tournament: Gull Lake August 12th