Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Review: Rapala Fishing Frenzy Video Game for the Wii

It's that time of the year again where the weather is turning more and more hostile towards getting out fishing; Soon the ice will be covering Minnesocold lakes. What does one do to scratch that fishing itch?

One thing that I found that works is playing fishing video games and that is where the Rapala Fishing Frenzy video game for Wii comes in to play.

The Rapala Fishing Frenzy video game for Wii was designed by Activision in consultation with the people at Rapala to provide a enjoyable angling experience when you can't be on the water or a fun substitute for actual fishing for gamers. As you see in the picture above the game comes with a special Wii controller and nunchuck holder that simulates using an actual fishing rod. You can play the game with or without the fishing rod holder. Using the rod is OK and adds something to the game, but I think it is easier to play the game without the fishing rod holder.

I have found that the game is quite challenging and is good for many hours of video angling enjoyment. The game is centered around the pursuit of various types of gamefish. You can practice your skills in an "Open" mode and also fish in challenges/tournaments where you are trying to reach a goal in a set amount of time. One thing I like about the game is that you are awarded for a progression of achievement. By catching fish you get stuff added to a "Anglers Den."
By achieving challenges you get bonuses such as a wider selection of lures or getting the option of fishing more lakes.

Learning to cast is a bit tricky so here is the secret: The toggle on the nunchuck needs to be pushed towards the top of the nunchuck, then you simply lift and "throw" the wii controllers like you were using an actual fishing rod. It is important to master the skill of long casts because the longer the cast the more likely you will be able to "set the hook" into a fish.

One good thing about the game is that when a fish bites you use the controllers to "set the hook" just like you do in reel fishing. In addition to that as you are reeling in the fish you can and need to perform maneuvers and "combo's" with the controllers that will help you in the game. I was surprised by how active you have to be to play this fishing game well.

Being that the game is tied in with Rapala, you have a wide assortment of Rapala lures to choose from to fool the fish. I was surprised that they included Rapala Jigging Raps in the lure selection because I consider it to be an ice fishing lure. One thing that could have made the game better would have been realistic sound effects for the Rapala Skitter Pop and Rapala Skitter Prop. For surface lures they also offer the Rapala Skitter Walk.

As you can see from this still shot the graphics are pretty good.

The one thing that really bugged me about the game is that fish lengths and weights don't match up to reality. The fish weights are much heavier than a fish of a given length would ever be.

I would rate the Rapala Fishing Frenzy video game for Wii as a 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New York Times covers Illinois High School Bass Tournaments

Illinois, the first state to organize tournament bass fishing at the high school level, has set state finals for May 2009. Teenagers like Bathon, a junior at Pinckneyville Community High School in the seat of Perry County, have started joining teams to fish in the inaugural season of formal statewide competition. Classified as an activity alongside chess, debate, journalism, music and spirit, bass fishing has drawn interest from coaches and administrators across the state.

“We were looking at other activities we could offer students in our schools to hit a different student instead of just the typical athlete,” said Dave Gannaway, the assistant executive director of the Illinois High School Association. “It gives them something to look forward to.”

Read the whole thing (Even an all girls school is signed up)...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bass Snatchers Mission Lakes Oct 4th

I had one goal going into this tournament and that was to catch my 6 fish limit, so I would have caught a limit in all 6 tournaments on the schedule. Accomplishing this goal would be a mark of distinction especially fishing from the back of the boat. Up until this year in the 31 year history of the Baxter Bass Snatcher Club a total of only 7 different anglers had ever caught a limit in every tournament in a season and those 7 did it only 16 times. I was pretty hungry to achieve this goal and at 1pm with only 2 keepers in the well I began to feel the pressure. Did I rally or fall flat? Full Story at the BP Tourny HQ...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Minnesocold BassNblog and more

Aj Rods & Tackle Blog: This blog is mostly being done by Isaac "Ikeslayer" Karow who is in the BP Derby and a regular at Bass Forum. The blog looks really good so far.

The Wired Angler: I found this blog thanks to Hellabass and it's a good one if you are into swimbaits. At first glance it looks like this blog is a lot about tackle and fish catching technology. This post (1st post) will get you up to speed.

A Couple BP fishing reports

Shore Again 10/7/08

Out in the Trophy on Rock

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Boat Conversations with FLW Tour BP Fishing Pro Jim Moynagh

In case you did not know, I went fishing with BP (fuel) Fishing Pro Jim Moynagh from Carver MN. We fished lake Minnewashta for about 5 hours. This blog is about the conversation we had on the boat, which was basically me asking questions about things I was curious about. Here is some of what we discussed:

FLW $1.7 million plus Fantasy Bass Fishing Game:
Jim thought it was just fantastic and thought it will probably help the anglers out down the line. He thought the payoff would probably come in the next few years. He did not have any knowledge as to whether the prize structure will be significantly reduced in 2009.

The 2009 FLW Tour Schedule:
The 2009 FLW Tour features 3 bodies of water (Norman, Kentucky Lake, Champlain), half the tour schedule, that Jim has a history of success on. I wanted to know if Jim was especially looking forward to 2009. He took a measured approach saying he really does not get excited anymore about having certain lakes on the schedule. He has had enough tournaments that he was really looking forward to and then bombed out on to get over confident or excited about anything.

FLW Field Size Cut for 2009
Jim was not super enthusiastic about the cut in field size, like you might think he would be. He is really concerned about the entry fees going up and the prize money staying level or even going backward a bit. It seemed to me that he would not mind 200 boat fields if the purses were increased.

Training Regime
I think it really helps a professional bass fisherman to be in good physical and fishing condition. Jim does work out on a regular basis, sometimes even during a tournament if he can swing it, doing a combination of strength training and cardio. He believes that there is no substitute for time on the water for being on top of your game. Jim absolutely loves to fish and said he is known for being a guy that puts in long days.

Tournament Formatting FLW Tour vs. FLW Series
Jim says he likes to get a guaranteed 3 days to fish which is what the FLW Series offers. As far as weights being set to zero, it doesn't really matter to him.

Alliances, Rivals, Respect:
Jim is kind of a loan ranger and does not team up and collaborate with any of the other competitors on tour. He said he really does not have a nemesis on tour and has the utmost respect for all the anglers that he fishes against.

Jim said he thought all Bass Pro's including himself would prefer to be the only fisherman in the boat during a tournament. However he thought that Co-Anglers were a big help to keep the integrity of the sport intact. He brought up a article by BassFan with Rick Clunn and said he basically agrees with everything Clunn said. He said most Co-anglers are great to fish with and has had only a few that caused problems.

Jim had a story about a co-angler that made a cast that connected with a Canadian goose as 3 of them were flying bye. The Co was fishing with a Chatterbait, at the height of the Chatterbait craze when they were scarce, and it was his only one. Jim said the hooked flying Goose broke the line without even breaking stride and boy was that Co-angler mad to loose his Chatterbait.

The Bubblegum Super Fluke:
Jim asked me about the type of fishing that I prefer to do and one of the things I brought up was that I have a lot of confidence in a bubblegum colored Zoom Super Fluke. This remark brought a smile to Jim's face. He said he doesn't usually fish with flukes, but he did absolutely get schooled by a Co-angler on Lake Champlain that was using a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke.

Favorite Kind of Fishing:
Jim's favorite fish is the smallmouth bass and he is a happy camper if he can get away with fishing them on topwater or with jerkbaits.

Favorite Body of Water:
Jim said his favorite kind of fishing is successful at Rainy Lake and he has had a lot of tournament success on Rainy with the big smallies, so that is the lake he likes best.

Secret to the Fort Francis Canadian Bass Championship:
The Fort Francis Canadian Bass Championship is a 100+ boat field tournament on Rainy Lake that Jim has won 4 times (08,07,99,98) placed 2nd twice (00,97) and 3rd once (02). Jim said he wishes he knew what the secret was and could bottle it for other lakes. He said it just seems like at times on Rainy it seems like he can do no wrong, his decisions just always seem to be the right ones.

This year an off year for him on the Minnesocold tournament scene:
Jim said he has fished fewer tournaments in Minnesota this year than he ever has since he began tournament fishing when he turned 18 years old. He didn't really have a reason why that I can remember.

He said he hasn't even been on Lake Minnetonka once this year.

His future in the sport:
Jim wants to continue tournament fishing on the professional level for the forseeable future. He is very concerned about the rising costs that professional fishing is experiencing. I got the impression that as long as he is successful and remains competitive that he will continue to fish, but that he fears the rising costs and a couple of bad years could end up forcing him out.

We did talk about more than this but this is all I am going to blog about. Jim is a genuine and humble guy that is a credit to the sport.

Launch Trips now blogged

A couple of Eddy's Launch trips with Dad that I haven't blogged about until now...

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Day on the Lake with BP Bass Pro Jim Moynagh

On Thursday October 2nd I got to spend a few hours on Lake Minnewashta in SW metro fishing with BP (fuel) Fishing Pro Jim Moynagh. Jim Moynagh has won over a million dollars as a professional bass fisherman and is the most successful bass fisherman Minnesocold has ever produced on the elite levels of bass fishing tours.

Our day fishing:
We met at the Lake Miniwashta Regional Park a little before 10am and were on the water and fishing by 10:30am. We took a short boat ride down the shoreline so we could start fishing the deep edge of a milfoil covered weed flat. Jim chose to throw a Salmo Boxer Crankbait in a color that looked to be sort of bright orange.

The Boxer is a buoyant fairly large and fat crankbait and the one Jim was using dived to about 5-7' and had a straight rather than the bended lip. Jim is sponsored by Salmo.
It was just a few casts for Jim and it was "fish on." He landed a healthy 3lb plus bass. A great way to start the day. I started off using a black single Colorado blade spinnerbait with a rattle. I believe I caught the 2nd and 3rd fish but they turned out to be hammer handle pike. The wind was blowing straight onto the flat we were fishing and Jim got the 2nd bass of the day on the Salmo, it was another solid 3lb fish.

I had some items that I wanted to ask Jim about and I was more concerned about hearing the answers than fishing and that is my excuse for missing about 3 or 4 solid bites on the spinnerbait. I will do a separate blog on the topics that Jim and I spoke about while on the boat.

The fishing wasn't fast and it wasn't real slow. As we approached a point that comes off of the flat Jim tied into a solid fish, which turned out to be this 4lb bass:

Sorry about the Picture quality, it was a camera phone picture.

Jim managed to land a second bass off this point off the flat and I was getting nothing on the spinnerbait so I switched to a jignpig and did get a hit on that, but I missed it. Jim also switched up to a jigNpig missed a bite then connected with a pike. There were a lot of baitfish on this point and Jim had high hopes we would hit a good school but all we got were those two bass and a pike. Eventually we kept heading down the flat towards the access we launched at. Jim resumed throwing the Salmo Boxer. I think he landed a pike or two and I switched up to a Strike King Red Eye shad without any luck, than switched to a rattletrap that was similar in color to the Salmo Boxer that Jim was throwing. We were just about straight out from the access when I got a hit and landed a solid 2lb bass. As I was reeling in Jim hooked into another bass that was close to if not over 3lbs. I got my fish out from the boat and Jim got his close into the boat. Jim remarked that this goes to show that the fish are scattered and not bunched up in schools. We worked this area thoroughly but didn't get another fish. As we worked our way North, I think Jim got one or two more nice bass on the boxer and a pike, but I wasn't getting anything.

We tried retracing our steps and went back south, but we didn't have much action except for maybe Jim catching a pike. At this point we had about an hour and a half before I wanted to be off the water, so Jim suggested we try some pads and docks on the South end of the lake. It was pretty sunny and Jim thought the fish might want so shade.

I started throwing Snagproof frog and Zoom Horny Toad over the pads. I had a pike jump over the Horny Toad, had a small fish strike at the Snagproof frog, and had another small fish hit at the Horny Toad but not hook up. I mostly was leaving the docks we came across to Jim. He was throwing a wacky rigged All-Terrain Tackle Terrain Stick; I am unsure of the color.

We were seeing a lot of sunfish up shallow but almost no bass to speak of until Jim spotted a good fish that was just sitting out in the open in a hole in the weeds quite a ways out from the closest dock. The fish didn't even look at the Terrain Stick, but when I put the Horny Toad down there it inhaled the white toad. I set the hook and came up with absolutely nothing. Jim threw the Terrain stick back at it and this time the fish quickly inhaled it and Jim had yet another 3lb bass.

We kept working our way down the bank and Jim started pulling a few 12" to 14" bass off the docks. I started throwing a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke at the docks and missed my first pick up. I think I had one more shot at a fish underneath a boat lift, but I got hung up and had to break off. We came to the end of the bays docks and it was time to head in.

I think Jim out-fished me on bass about 10 to 1. Regardless of my lack of luck, it was a fun day on the water.

Bass Snatchers Mission Lake Preview

Tomorrow is the last Baxter Bass Snatcher Club tournament of the year and it is on Upper and Lower Mission Lakes just North of Brainerd. For the 6th time this season the tournament is on a lake on which I have no prior experience. The lakes are suppose to be pretty decent for quantity and quality bass. My partner Dennis is currently in the lead to be the Anger of the Year of club "Mr. Bass." Dennis has achieved this honor 3 other times (97,03,06). He prefished the lake 2 times and is generally optimistic about things and believes we should both be able to catch a limit.

My one and only goal for this tournament is to get my 6 fish limit. If I do that than I will be one of 8 anglers that have ever achieved this goal in the 31 year history of the Baxter Bass Snatcher Club. In those 31 years a person catching a limit in all 6 tournaments during a season has been achieved only 16 times. There are 5 of us who have a shot at this achievement going into Mission and the other 4 guys have done it at least once.

Mission Lake apparently is a diverse fishery where the bass hang out in the slop, extensive reeds, weed flats, weed lines, and docks. From what I understand the Upper Mission Lake has more water clarity than the lower lake, but generally they are both fairly clear. Dennis says we will probably spend most of our time on the deep weed edge and on the flats. He doesn't want to go into the reeds or slop and at this time of the year the dock fishing opportunities will be limited. I plan on throwing a spinnerbait a lot, a jigNpig some, maybe a buzzbait, and rattlebaits. I am really hoping that the fish will be active and the horizontal presentations will rule.

It is supposed to be a cool but sunny morning with temps rising to 60 or so with light 5 to 10mph SE winds. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Opportunity Knocked

Last week I got an email from Ashley Moss who is the person that handles the FLW BP (fuel) Fishing Team. She had read my blog and was aware that I have talked about Minnesocold FLW BP (fuel) Pro Angler Jim Moynagh. She wanted to know if I would be interested in fishing with Jim and then blogging about it. How could I refuse this chance? Jim Moynagh is the most successful Pro Bass Angler Minnesocold has ever produced.

We are going fishing tommorrow at Lake Miniwashta in the West Metro.

To learn more about BP Pro Angler Jim Moynagh check out this Profile done by a couple of years ago.

Here is a You Tube of Jim talking about Flashers:

To find out about FLW sponsor BP Fuel click here.

Fishers of Men Fishing Club Fall Outing

Full fishing report at the BP Fishing Log Blog...