Thursday, July 21, 2022

My Snatcher Season At The Half Way Point


I got off to a less than mediocre start on Farm Island. Didn't fish clean on Thunder, most likely costing me a top 10 finish. Then I struggled to generate bites on the Crow River. So I have dug a hole for myself that will take a really strong finish to land me into the Top 10 at year's end. I think I am going to need at least two guys currently in the Top 10 to only fish 4 tournaments this year, and even then I think my chances are well under 50%.   


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Snatcher Gull/Crow Wing River Tournament


Chuck Fields wins 2nd Consecutive Tournament.

Sara & Herman with "Lunker Wood"

Sara with her 6lb Lunker & a 3/03

4/02 on Big Bite BFE

Pike on the Berkley Fusion19 Jig/KVD Shiner

What I caught fish on

Conditions: Periods of clouds and sun, 70's to upper 80's, a bit humid, light winds

The Day:
I was so disappointed that my Tackle Warehouse order did not arrive on Friday, but such is life. We blasted off as boat #4 and headed West, getting passed by Snatcher Dennis as we headed up river. Our first and second spots were slop areas on adjacent sides of the river, and we didn't get a bite at either place in about an hour of fishing. So we headed up river farther, and Bill got a quality smallmouth right away on a popper. He then got a rock bass and a couple of non-keeper smallmouths. I got a pike on a lipless Frenzy and a rock bass on a Jackhammer. I also had something that felt quality on for a few seconds on our second pass down by where Bill got the smallie.
From there, we headed up in sight of the bridge, and Bill popped a nice large on his first pitch. I think I got a pike and rock bass, and Bill got a couple of non-keeper smallies and rockies. I think we moved down the river just a little way. Bill got a nice smallie throwing a Senko by the shore and a fourth nice keeper smallmouth in the middle of the river. We pulled in behind Snatcher Al, where Bill got his first keeper; Bill got a non-keeper smallmouth.  We went down river a little way, and I got the big pike which put up a good battle. I took my time with it, and Bill eventually netted it and took pictures. I wasn't too pleased because the day was more than half over, and I didn't have a bass in the boat yet. We worked a shaded bank and didn't get anything. So next, we headed back to where the river narrows to the East of the public access. And started working our way West fishing wood. Bill got his 5th keeper pretty quickly. We continued working wood. Finally, I got a keeper in the boat out of some weeds and wood, and it was a good one, 4lbs.
There was a slop area just upriver from where I got my fish, and in the next 10-minutes, I had my bag for the day, catching two quick fish on a frog. We then went back up river to our second stop working that slop bay better than we did the first time. I got one 11-inch largemouth on a frog. Then we crossed the river expanding on our first area of the morning. Bill had to miss 5 or 6 bites on his frog before he finally got his limit fish in the boat, which was a quality largemouth. I think he then caught one that didn't help him. For the final 20-minutes, we worked the slop area by the access. I had a fish boil on my frog but did not get it and didn't try again. And then the day was done.

Results: My 3 fish weighed 7/13, which put me in 13th Place out of 17 Anglers, two of which blanked. Chuck Fields made it back-to-back wins with a 17/01 bag, and my boater Snatcher Ludenia made it back-to-back as runner-up with a 16/12. Lunker went to Snatcher Sara with a 6lb Pig.

Thoughts: I should have thought more about what it would take to catch some smallmouth. I should have thrown a football jig and brought some swing heads and square bills. I really think my lack of forethought cost me a limit. At a minimum, I should have been able to catch at least one smallmouth.  


Friday, July 15, 2022

Snatcher Gull River Preview: My Plan and Rods I'm Bringing

The Plan: It is tournament week, and this Saturday, we will be fishing the Gull/Crow Wing River. This will be the second time the Snatchers have fished it since I joined the club. The previous tournament was in mid-August of 2019. Unfortunately, I was unable to pre-fish. On the good side, I drew Snatcher Ludenia, who knows just about every fishery we go to well. He has a track record of bringing in limits here but on the small side. I am on the hunt for giants and bringing the heavy artillery. I am guessing Bill will be pitching a jig. If I can get hits on a frog/toad,, I will do a lot of that.

Update: So I talked to my boater, and it sounds like we will be fishing for smallmouth most of the time.  Made some adjustments. Unfortunately, a shipment of baits from Tackle Warehouse that was supposed to arrive on Thursday got delayed and didn't make it. Bummer!

Rods I am bringing:
7'4" H Zillion (Jig)
7'4'' H Tatula (Frog)
7'4" H Tatula (Swim Jig)
7'4" H Tatula G2 (Toad, Buzzbait)
7'4" H Tatula Glass G2 (Chatter, Topwater, Lipless)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube, BFE)
6'10" MH Tatula G2 (Swim/Skip Jig)
6'8" Avid M (Spinnerbait, Topwater)

Friday, July 01, 2022

June 2022 Fishing Drops Off


I knew the hot bite in May wasn't going to last. I am pleased to say the fishing in June wasn't a complete train wreck as I feared. Didn't get skunked once, and the golden bullhead fishing was good. My first tournament of the year wasn't good, but I bounced back with an OK finish in the second one, aided by a smaller field. It truly is amazing how differently the weed composition is on Platte/Sullivan from one year to the next. The weed growth should finally fill in for the year in the next week or so. If I am lucky, the fish will group up. Fishing could actually improve in July. That never has happened, but here is hope. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Snatcher Thunder Lake Tournament


Chuck Fields with the W and Lunker,
with Co-Angler Snatcher Sarah.

3/8 Herb's Dilly Buzzbait (Yellow Frog)

Conditions: Rain intermittently in the morning with the sun coming out in the afternoon. Wind: 3-8mph

The Day: It started raining as we were waiting to blast off. We headed to our first spot, and Hammer was amazed no one went North along with us. We started off in the best cabbage Hammer had found in his prefish. About 45-minutes in, he got the skunk out of the boat on a craw tube. We worked around a point of reeds, and he got a second bite. I started throwing a buzzbait into the reeds as we worked outside the reed line. I missed my first bite, which was a small fish. I then got two bass in the boat lickety-split. So we drifted into the reeds, and I got my big fish of the day. As we worked inside the reeds, I got fish four and five along with missing a couple. Hammer had a couple fish blow up on his buzzbait, but they got off. Snatcher Chuck and Nate showed up.  Chuck and Nate doubled up on a spot I had my eye on.  I got my limit fish, which was a line burner. The topwater bite quit. I got a couple of fish on the Brovarney/Rage Bug combo with both fish throwing my Rage Bug, rats. Hammer was having a rough time getting his bites in the boat, losing a good one on a jig or craw tube. I also got a case of the misses in the same area not hooking up with 2 or 3 that hit the buzzbait; partly my fault for making ill-considered casts. 

We then went to some docks on the west side of the bay, but nothing there. Hammer borrowed a spinnerbait from me, and we returned to the reeds. Snatcher Bailey and Metalhead were in the area this time. Hammer was getting bit on the spinnerbait and me on the buzzbait and Jig, with both of us catching most of the bites but dropping a few as well. It rained pretty good when we were in the reeds that second time. We then went back to the West side of the bay, where it was calm and worked reeds along the shoreline. I was unaware they were there because they only stood about a foot above the water. I got my frog game on catching several pound and a half to pound and three-quarters cookie cutters. Hammer was throwing a Sprinker Frog and having a rough go keeping them pinned. We got over by Smitty and Mick, where I had a Platte Lake Special miss Little Alan, but it wouldn't hit it again.

We then headed south to try Hammers Smallie areas. He got a couple of largemouths, and I maybe had a small smallie take a shot at the 130 Plopper. For the final hour and a half, we went back North trying the cabbage one more time with nothing happening. I got a minor upgrade pitching the Brovarney to some pads in the reeds. We ended back on the West side of that Northern bay. I checked my fish before we headed out and was dismayed to discover my big fish, which was swimming just fine when I culled  20-minutes prior, was now dead, bummer.

Results: My fish weighed 12/8 with the dead fish penalty, and I finished in 11th Place. Snatcher Fields won it with 19/10, and he got Lunker with a 4/3 smallie; at least that was what I think it was. Snatcher Darren won the Co-Angler Challenge/Cash in a close race, with his 4-pounda putting him over the top.

 I just didn't get enough of my bites in the boat. Probably could have had a 14 to15ish bag if I did. I wish I had known those reeds were along the shoreline the first time we went there. We should have given them a try.  

Friday, June 24, 2022

Snatcher Thunder Lake Preview: Plan and Rods

 The Plan: I was not able to pre-fish for this tournament and I've never been on the lake. My boater Dwight "Hammer" Hammermeister did get out for a day. He said they got about 10 bass, two of which were smallmouth. He and his bunky finished in 3rd and 4th the last tournament on this lake, but that was on Sept 9th. Basically, it sounds like we are going to wing it and hope something sticks.

Rods I'm Bringing: 
Tatula 7'4" H (Frog, Buzzbait)
Tatula 7'4" H (Chatterbait, Topwater)
Avid 7' H (Craw Tube)
Avid 7' M (Spinnerbait, Neko)
Tatula 6'10" MH (Swim Jig)
Avid 6'8" M (Topwater, Jerkbait,)

Veritas 6'6" MH (Dock Rod/Fluke,Dinger)
GLX 782 6'6" M (Ned Rig)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Shimano SLX 7'5" H Rod Quick Review

I have had my eye on the Shimano SLX 7'5" H rod for quite a while and last week one came up on eBay for a deal I just couldn't refuse, so I bought it.

Here are my impressions:
I would rate this rod as extra heavy, rather than heavy. It is definitely closer to my XH Zillion than my H Tatula's. It is noticeably more stiff than the Tatula's. Haven't had any blow-ups on the frog yet; I have only fished with it for about 15-minutes. I'll probably update the review after I catch a few fish.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Major Award Arrived Today

6'6" Fenwick HMG MH

 I was skeptical with the way the outside box being so flimsy that the rod I won from Major League Fishing Fantasy Fishing was going to be in one piece, but the rod was secured to a sturdier v-shaped piece of cardboard inside the of the outer box. The rod itself itself is really nice lookig to my eye. I already have several rods that fill this niche that I already like, so I am giving the rod to Snatcher Darren as a thank you for being my boater in my first Baxter Bass Snatcher tournament win last year.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

First Frog Fish of 2022


Was caught on a Sparrow Booby's Perfect at the Platte River Mouth in Sullivan Lake. She annihilated it. I caught 3 frog fish on the night.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Snatcher Farm Island Tournament


Snatcher Dennis Took The W!

Thoughts Going In: 
Farm Island has always given me a limit. Pre-fish made me even more confident. Dennis tells me before we blast off that he did get out pre-fishing one more day, and his starting spot was full of bass; it was empty the day we pre-fished, except pike. Confidence level: High.

Conditions: Sunny, Light to Moderate SW Wind

The Day: We blasted off boat one and went to Dennis' honey hole. The problem is that it was filled with pike, just like the day we pre-fished. Dennis got bit off two or three times, and we both caught multiple slimers. Dennis did get a quality bass off a dock. After an hour and a half or so, we headed southwest. Nothing at the point where I got two fish during pre-fish. So then we headed NW. I got the skunk out of the boat using a fluke at a dock just after Dennis got bit off. From there, we headed south again, and Dennis cracked a biggun off a dock. That is what we did for most of the day, with Dennis picking off a good fish every half-hour to 45-minutes. My dock game was rusty, and there weren't many bass around. I did get my second keeper on a return trip to the starting spot. And that was all she wrote for me, two bass in the boat. I did miss a few bites on the Fluke, but those could have been rockies.

Results: My two fish put me in 19th Place. Dennis ran away with his 19/1 bag. Lunker went to Smitty with a 4/2, and Zach Noyes won his first Co-Angler Challenge, beating out The Beast Beau Bacon by an ounce.

Thoughts: We just caught "The Farm" on a tough day, as the final results show. Congratulations to Snatcher Dennis for starting off the year on the right foot. On to Thunder. 

Friday, June 03, 2022

Bass Snatcher Farm Island Tournament Plan & Rods I'm Bringing

 Plan A is to throw the Brovarney Swim Jig I have been whacking better quality fish on since the Opener. I should be in for a pretty good day if the fish are on it. Hopefully, if that doesn't go, I will figure something else out on the fly. Dennis will have us around fish. I'm shooting for at least 14lbs. My best weight at Farm Island is 14/8.

Rods I'm Bringing:
7'4" H Tatula (Buzzbait, Frog)
7'4" H Tatula (Chatterbait, Wakebait, Big Topwater)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube)
7' MH Mojo (Spinnerbaitt)
7' M Avid (Neko Rig, Paddletail)
6'10" MH Tatula 2 (Swim Jig)
6'8"M Avid (Topwater)

6'6"MH Veritas (Fluke)

Saturday, May 14, 2022

2022 MN Fishing Opener With Todd In the Evening


 Skunked (Some natives were fishing at the North Jetty when I arrived at 11:30PM and not getting anything. One small eye was swimming around and a boat was out bobber fishing and I think getting fish. I quickly bailed on the North Jetty for the South as some guys with a boat set up on Center Jetty. A little bit of activity on South, but nothing close in so I could track with the fish. I texted Brett and he told me they hammered 'em at the GOMH. I bailed at 2:15 am. I stopped at Kathio Bridge and listened to loons calling.) 


Skunked (Nobody was there when I arrived just after 4AM. Put on the rubbers and headed down on the NE side. WHG showed up as I was getting settled. There was a lot of baitfish activity, but I couldn't buy a bite. Made the executive decision to head to the Trophy at 4:30 AM)

First Legal Bass of 2022 Mini-Max (Fire Craw)

Big Bass of the Day at the GOMH

(Skies looked dark but I sent it anyway. Hit something as I was steaming toward the small Island. The motor sputtered but didn't lose much speed. Got to the River Mouth; first and only boat. Got a 10" on the Mini-Max. Started getting some fish on the SBKO. As the front approached I missed 7 or 8 bites. The front passed only raining for a couple of minutes. Got fish on jerks, chatters, craw tubes, paddletails. Seems like I would get a couple of fish then need to switch up. Wasn't real efficient with my business. The sun came out and wind came up out of the South. I made my way across the SPRO, but it was really blowing so I called it a morning.)

20Bass 3Pike 

 (Stopped at the GOMH on my way home. Nobody was there so I headed down with 3 rods. Craw tube got bit off before I could catch anything on it. Had multiple hits on the the craw, Grass Pig, and a couple of Chatters. Fish just not getting it good today. Had a lot of misses in the boat. Got my biggest of the morning in the Pirahana 2, but left the scale at the lake. Mother nature called so I bounced.)

3 Jump

(4 Rods with me, 5 casts per rod on the SW side with a few bonus casts resulted in 7 jumpers before I headed to the lake place as Todd was finishing up with the dock decking.)


Todd's first bass of 2022, 1st fish was a pike
 (Todd started off on fire at the River Mouth. I talked to Chuck Steinbauer who is coming down to fish P/S tomorrow. We worked our way East into Platte. Nothing was going on in CIB other than at the dock just beyond the Abrahamson's where Todd got a 3lber. So I jumped us back to the river mouth after nothing at the juice. We got a few more bass. Good trip. Todd was headed home before I was done loading the boat.)

Todd: 15Bass 1Pike, Me:12 Bass

Todd: 15Bass 1Pike
Me: 42 Bass 3 Pike

Total Fish: 57 Bass 4 Pike

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Trophy Into Platte Today

 Trophy in at the Lake Place, going to have to do something about the pontoon lift with the high water.

BP Story Time: MN Fishing Opener

Picture Fish Not The One In Story

 My memory is a little foggy on when this story happened. I think it was when I was in high school, but it may have been when I was in college. It may have happened the weekend between Fishing Opener and Bass Opener. 

I was fishing in the channel between West Sylvia and Sylvia for pike with spinnerbaits.  I was catching pike and bass minding my own business when some guy came out on his dock and chewed me out for fishing for bass out of season. I told him I was fishing for pike, but he wasn't having any of it. I was like, what an A-hole. Later that night, I caught a pike that maybe went 7 or 8lbs and was the biggest of my life at that point on a different spot.  A few years later, I caught 10lb pike almost right where he chewed me out on Opener setting a new personal best, and I got a 12lber there sometime in the Fall during mid-1990s.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Tackle Warehouse Opener 2022

 I could have done this sooner, and I have been in and out several times this Spring, but today is the day I am Officially Opening my Tackle Warehouse for 2022.