Monday, May 31, 2010

Bass Openers Last Stand

Since Bass Opener is always on Memorial Day Weekend I consider the MN Bass Opener to be a 3-day affair.

Today I slept in and didn't start fishing until about 5PM and I fished the whole time on Platte. The day was mostly sunny but had turned to partly sunny by the time I went fishing. When I first got out winds were out of the WSW at about 7MPH, eventually it got calm for about 1/2 an hour, then a 5MPH SE wind started up. Water Temps were 69-71.

My first stop was the Channel Inn Bay North Point reed bed. With my success there Sat. morning I figured this was a place I could pick up a few fish and I was right. My first bass took a Zoom Horny Toad that had sunk sub-surface. I had a fish on and didn't set the hook. The fish let go and then the Toad got picked right back up and I set the hook into a 13incher. I was having problems with the trolling motor not working at low speeds and the wind was such that I had to set up outside the reeds anchor and then fan cast back into the reeds. I caught a few bass and pike on swim jigs doing this. The biggest was this scrawny 15.75"
The wind died and I proceeded to get a couple more bass and a pike on the watermelon red Horny Toad.

A little after 7PM I made the move to the North side of The Big West Bay where the big maidencaine bed is. I started at the tip of the maidencaine bed fishing with the Horny Toad, eventually I switched up to a clown Spro Bronzeye Frog. A fish gave itself away in close to the maidencaine bed. I pitched into the hole with a red/black Terminator Top Secret Jig w/junebug Zoom Speed Craw and was surprised when I brought in a pike. Pretty much parked in the same spot casting out away from the maidencaine bed into the rice, sparce reeds and sparse pads I got a 15" bass on the Spro. I worked down a little ways casting out again when I got a small blow up that missed the frog. I cast back and this time it ate it. I set the hook and my 40lb Power Pro snapped with a crack somewhere along the rod. Since I had a lot of line lost I figured I just might be able to catch my line. While I was moving in that direction the fish jumped trying to spit the hook. Sure enough I spotted the line but it started racing away from me. I had the trolling motor on high and eventually I caught the line and the fish was still on. Hand-lining a bass through rice isn't easy, but I got this 16" in the boat.
I don't know why the line broke where it did, I'm going to have to give the rod guides a close inspection. By the time I was ready to fish again I had drifted well off the maidencaine onto the rice flat with sparse pad fields. I decided to keep throwing the Spro and drift with the wind. I got a couple of smaller bass doing that.

At one point a fish gave away it's location and I cast to the spot and something bumped the brown Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog I was throwing. I cast back again and it bumped it again. I cast back a third time and this time got a 13" bass. I put down the anchor so I could fan cast the area. On one of my casts when the frog was getting close to the boat something that seemed to be big charged at the frog but swirled away at the last second. I made repeated casts but couldn't get anything to hit.

Since the sun was starting to get low on the horizon, I decided I better start heading back towards the maidencaine bed to where there is some bullrushes and reeds. Unfortunately in the previous half hour a boat with three people had anchored and moved several times in that area in close to the bullrushes where I was going. By the time I got to the bullrushes that boat had left the area. I managed to get a few bass on the Horny Toad from the bullrushes or reeds including this 15" fish.

It was starting to get dark so I decided to work the maidencaine on my way out. I had a 14 inch class bass hit the Horny Toad and I fought it to the boat where it jumped and got off and that was my last fish of the night.

4.5 hours fished
16 Bass
3 Pike
Best 5 (16,15.75,15,15,14)

For the Memorial Day Bass Opener weekend I landed 74 bass total.

Holmer Throws Down!!!

I guess somebody was ready for the Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2010 to start.
We are one day into the season and Jason Holmer of Minnesota Bass Fishing Blog already bested the big bass (which was his) of last years Derby. This one went 7lbs 3ozs

Details of the catch here... He caught it from the same lake as last years big fish.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Smallmouth Bass Mille Lac-TION

It was around 7PM when I headed out the door to go to Mille Lacs to try for some smallies. I stopped at Subway and ate, then it was off to Eddy's Jetty. When I arrived their were 2 guys fishing on the South Jetty, which is where I got most of my smallies last year. The center Jetty was also taken so I headed to the corner of the North Jetty.

BAM!!! It didn't take long. First cast with a wht/chart with wht&chart willow leaf blade spinnerbait and I connected with this 17.5" beauty

A couple casts later, BAM 19.25"!!!

Action stopped on the spinnerbait, so I picked up a blue/pink Monsoor Swim Jig with pink 5" Action Plastics Mag Grub and BAM, 18"!!!

I went back to the spinnerbait and had a hit but after a couple of seconds the fish was gone and so was my spinnerbait. I'm not sure if it was a Norman Speed Clip malfunction (Note to self, don't use Speed Clips with spinnerbaits) or if the spinnerbait broke.

Tried using the blue/pink Monsoor Jig some more without luck, so I switched up to a wht/chart Monsoor Swim Jig with pearl 5" Action Plastics Mag Grub. I quickly caught these two swimmers on that.

The 1st one is 12 and the 2nd one is 13"

Next came a long lull where I tried a Subwalk, SK Sexy Swimmer, Storm Kicken Stick, and a old school Frenzy jerkbait (had a hit on the Frenzy that didn't hook up). Nature was calling so I went to the porta john and then I headed to the South Jetty but didn't get a sniff there. I decided to go back to the North Jetty and try Berkley Frenzy Poppers, but it was a bit windy and the fish didn't want topwater. I then tried the Frenzy Jerkbait Again, a couple of X-Rap Shallow Shad, and a couple X-Rap jerkbaits. No luck so I went back to the swim jigs and on the wht/chart I connected with this 18.25"

The bugs were starting to get bad, so I left at about 9:30PM.

Not bad for some shore fishin'!!!

Bass Fishing Day 2

Once again today I was up early to get it AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNN. I started fishing by 6AM and didn't come off the water until nearly 4PM. It was overcast the whole time, starting with a somewhat light SE breeze that switched around to the SW and picked up to about 10mph. The action was slow but steady and I pretty much caught a few fish everywhere I went.

I tried to start out with a little topwater but that didn't happen. Then I tried some docks and that really didn't happen either. My first fish of the morning was a pike. I got my first bass shallow in between a dock and this 12 inch fish was quickly followed with a 14" and both fell to a Zoom Super Fluke.

(First Fish of the Day)

Next I made a move from the North side of Cabin Bay to the South side of cabin bay where the weeds are quite a bit more prevalent. I missed a couple of good bites on the Horny Toad and caught a little pike on it. Covered a lot of rice. Finally I got a got a good hook up on a brown Bobby's Perfect frog and it was my biggest bass of the season so far at 16"
I worked the rice and reeds some more but only got another pike to show for it.

My next move was to go to Loon Sex Bay and fish Loon Sex Point. I got a 13 incher right away on a Zoom Horny Toad. Farther down by the last dock before LSP I cast the Horny Toad in very shallow to a rice and reed mix and a good fish gobbled it up.
The fish was 16.5" but weighed 3lbs, so I got my first Derby Fish. On my way back up to LSP I got a couple more bass including a 16.25" and I missed a couple of quality bites that very well could have been bigger fish. After I worked off the point I headed into the bowels of Loon Sex Bay and into the rice, that paid off with only a couple of fish. Next I worked the North shore of LSB and got a couple of bass doing that and then it was into the rice again with pretty much nothing to show for it. I went back and worked LSP one more time and got a couple of fish out of it.

My next stop was somewhere I have almost never fished which is the reeds on SE side of the big Island. Someone told me they saw lots of bass beds there last year and I thought I would check it out. I got 15" on my very first cast with a Zoom Super Fluke. I popped a few more bass fluking the reeds.

After that I headed to more reeds, ones that were in the wind on the North Side of Plattes Big Central Bay. I control drifted with the wind and took several passes. The first was with a blue/pink Monsoor Swim Jig with pink 5" Action Plastic Mag Grub and I got a pike and little bass on this. Next pass I used a char/wht Monsoor Swim Jig with pearl 5" Action Plastic Mag Grub and I got a couple of pike and a nice bass. I started the next pass with a blk/blue Strike King Pure Poison Chatterjig but aborted that about a quarter of the way into the pass for spinnerbaits. I caught a good pike on a wht Strike King Burner Spinnerbait and got another good one but as I was lifting it into the boat the fish shook violently and opened up my Norman Speed Clip and just like that the spinnerbait was gone. I put on a sexy shad Strike King Premier Plus Spinnerbait and got a couple of Pike on that.

Next I started working a white spook and had several pike miss it. I got closer to shore and some rice and got a bass. I worked that North shore line with the spook and a Frenzy Popper but that just wasn't happening, so I switched to a Fluke and that disappointingly only gave up 1 fish. I don't know why the bass just weren't loaded in on that North shore. Finally I had enough and headed in.

19 Bass (9@14" or bigger)
Best 5 (16.5,16.25,16,15,15)
10 Pike
0 Lost Swim Jigs (That Cortland Toothy Critter saved me a couple of swim jigs today)

Heading to Mille Lacs to see if I can't shore fish me some Smallies.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

2010 Bass Opener Part 2

Tonight I didn't get out on the water until after 7:30 and I fished until around 9:15PM so I was out close to an hour and a half. The plan was to drift through a large reed bed and throw swim jigs. Things started out real slow. I started with a blue/pink Monsoor Swim Jig with electric blue 5" Action Plastics Mag Grub, but apparently the fish just didn't want it like they did this morning. I didn't start catching fish until I switched to a wht/chart Monsoor Swim Jig with 5" pearl Action Plastics Mag Grub. My first two fish were pike.

My first bass was this 14"

When I got to the other end of the reed bed I had gotten 3 bass (14",13",14") and 4 pike. I decided to work my way back through the reed bed and I picked up 1 more pike on the swim jig and 2 bass (14.25", 14") on a buzz legless Zoom Horny Toad.

I did miss a few bites but don't know if any of them were big fish.

5 bass
5 Pike
1.5 hours

2010 Bass Opener Part 1

28 Bass (11 to 15 inches)
3 Pike
6 hours (5:30-11:30AM)

I was underway a little later than I thought I should be by about 15 minutes, but it didn't matter the Sullivan Platte River Outlet(PRO) river mouth was all mine for the taking and I had it for a good half hour plus until a couple of more boats showed up. I started out the morning casting the purple Berkley Frenzy Popper, but that only lasted a couple of casts. I managed to miss my first two hits.

This was my first bass of the morning:
It had given it's position away in the rice and I missed it the first time it struck, but got it with a yellow Zoom Horny Toad on a follow up cast. The fish was 12".

My next few fish came to the South of the river mouth on an unusual inside weedline on a olive/brown Lethal Weapon 2 Swim Jig with Watermelon Seed 5" Action Plastics Mag Grub. The inside weedline is unusual because normally the weeds (rice & pads)) grow tight to the shore there. Eventually I moved into the river and that is when 2 boats showed up and went right past me fishing all the way as they went. About 30 feet into the river I sat down in a productive spot and proceeded to whack a number of fish on Zoom Super Flukes and the purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. It seemed like a little better quality came on the popper.
This bass was 14.75" and came on the BFP. I did work my way down to the first bend in the river but it was slow so I headed out.

Next I was going to try and drift the North end of the PRO but I quickly discovered the rice is ultra thick this year. I was even having a hard time fishing Spro Bronzeye and Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog in the stuff and I dare not stray from the boat lanes that were in the stuff already. I got 1 bass on a Super Fluke before I decided this was a battle not worth fighting.

Next I headed in Platte and Channel Inn Bay. I worked some awesome looking water North of the Grumpy Old Man Hole. But my only bite came from under a pontoon and the fish hung me up and got off. It felt like a good one.

Next I tried working the NW shore of Channel Inn Bay but the usually productive water was dead and some of it didn't look very good either. Eventually I worked my way out to the point and into the reeds and I started banging fish on a blue/pink Monsoor Swim Jig with electric blue Action Plastics 5" Mag Grub. The first fish to hit in this spot was my biggest of the morning at 15."
I had what looked to be a bigger bass swipe at the swim jig close to the boat. I worked the area hard and couldn't get it to bite again. Eventually the bite on the reed point shut down.

I decided to head to the NW corner of the lake where I thought the wind in the reeds might have the bass active. All I caught on a long drift pass was 1 bass and 1 pike and I think I missed a couple of other hits. There was some awesome looking water in that NW corner and I am a bit surprised that all I caught out of it was 1 small pike. It was now after 11AM and I decided fishing was kind of tough in the bright sunshine so I decided to pack it in.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bass Opener Eve

We are just about an hour out from May 29th, which is the day Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass start their statewide open season here in Minnesocold. All my gear is ready to go. I will have 15 rods in the boat with me in the morning.

The Plan: First stop will be the Platte River Outlet(PRO) river mouth. In 3 of the previous 5 years I have been beaten to the PRO river mouth and one of those years I didn't go out in the boat for Bass Opener. Hopefully I will be the first one there and my first throw of the season will be with a purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. I will probably quickly be throwing a spook, Zoom Horny Toad, swim jigs, Zoom Super Fluke, and X-Rap and maybe a hard swimbait as well.

The wind is suppose to be blowing out of the SE so I may go into the Platte River or if that is occupied I will probably run up to the intersection and drift with the wind through the PRO.

That's how I plan to start. Will probably be in by noon. Is supposed to be sunny, windy, and warm.

Platte Dock, Bulldog, GOMH

Platte Dock:Tonight just after 7PM I headed over to our lake place to get my gear ready to go for tomorrow morning. Naturally I had to throw a few casts off the dock. Casting over towards our jerk neighbors dock I got these two fish.

I had a few other good bites casting that direction but didn't hook up. I think several of the bites were from a pike because the Zoom Super Flukes were getting all ripped up. I also caught another 14" or so inch bass casting towards our cool neighbors dock.

I arrived at Bulldog right about 9PM and immediately landed 3 small bass on a couple of different swim jigs.

A little surprising that there was no one fishing at the bridge when I arrived. In the 15 minutes I fished I landed 4 jumpin bullheads. This one was the 1st and biggest.
The 4 jb's were caught on 2 different swim jigs.

Yes the Derby IS BACK!

For the past two years I have done a for fun Bass Fishing Derby at a dedicated Bass Pundit Blog Franchise Empire blog: Once again this year I am having the derby and it is entitled: Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2010

Last year the focus was on getting the Minnesota Bass Fishing Bloggers in the competition as a way to help promote their blogs. I want that to be the case for this year as well, but I am also opening up participation to Bass Pundit readers that fish here in Minnesocold.

The Derby starts May 29th and runs through Nov 15th.

Full Rules Here...

I try to make the Derby as hassle free as possible, so it is 100% on the honor system with no pictures required (though pictures make for better blogging of the event).

Any questions?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mille Lacs Eddy's Jetty Tonight with Pete

Originally I was going to go out in the boat pike fishing on Platte tonight, but at 6:30PM Pete called and wanted to meet me at Mille Lacs. I thought the wind was blowing out of the SW, so I was willing to give it a try.

This is what I saw when I got to Eddy's Jetty at 8PM
Great for smallmouth fishing, not so great for walleyes. Before Pete got there at 9PM I had a couple of quick mini-bites from who knows what. After Pete arrived I caught a perch. Finally the last half hour primetime hit and I got 3 bites and Pete got 1, but we didn't hook into anything. The bugs weren't too bad, which is good.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Evening GOMH & Bulldog

Today we put the dock in at the lake place and I observed bass spawning. 3 big one's actually.

Tonight I got out just before 8PM and headed to the GOMH. Once again it was swim jigs with 3 rods rigged up with them.

I started out by catching 3 jumpin bullheads and a toothy bullhead on the SE side along with several missed bites.

I got 2 jumpin bullheads on the NW side. I fished there cause there was a guy catching orange bullheads on the NE side. When he left I moved over to the NE side and got another jumpin bullhead. I went back to the SE side for one more crack and got a jumpin bullhead on my last cast.

Next it was on to Bulldog where I caught 3 bass and missed about that many bites. It was getting dark and the mosquito's were getting thick so I headed in around 9:30PM.

3 More Days...

Including today, there are only 3 more days until the MN statewide Bass Fishing Opener.

We had ice off the area lakes in late March, a warm April, and then a cool start to May, but over the last 2 weeks it has warmed up pretty good with record high temps the previous couple of days. The full moon is tomorrow and the water temps are right for the spawn to be taking place even as I write this blog. I am guessing most of the spawning will be done come Saturday and the bite might be on the tough side around here.

As of right now I anticipate throwing swim jigs, weedless topwaters, and weightless texas rigged plastics fairly shallow.

Morning GOMH & Bulldog

This morning from about 5:45AM to 6:45AM I took a quick shore fishing trip. First spot was the "Grumpy Old Man Hole" and I caught 4 jumpin bullheads and missed a couple of more of them along with 2 toothy bullheads that I had hooked up but got off. All the fish came from the SE side and disappointingly I got nothing on the NE side. I saw a big carp swimming by on the NE side. I got fish on both the olive/brown Lethal Weapon 2 Swim jig with bit off partial tail watermelonseed 3" grub by Action Plastics and wht/chart Monsoor Swim Jig with blk/red Zoom Speed Craw.

Next I headed to Bulldog where I got a couple of bites but only landed a single 13" bass.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eddy's Launch with Dad & Pete/ Don's Dock Evening

Yesterday Pete found out that Eddy's is offering a good deal 7 days a week on their morning fishing launch trips; Cost is just $20 per person, normal launch price is $35. Pete and I made reservations and Dad decided he wanted to come along as well. It turned out the 2 others that were supposed to go on the launch didn't show, so it was just us 3 and the captain.

We started out corking over towards Rocky Reef, but that was mostly done to give our Captain Tom the time to rig up rods for drift fishing. When Tom has only a few people on the launch and wind conditions are right he likes to take the customers drifting. While we were bobbered I did have a fish mouthing my leech but it never took the bobber down for more than a few seconds. After about a half hour of that it was time to drift and we headed towards Spirit Island.

On the very first drift I missed a bite and then caught this 15" keeper.
On the second drift I caught a 2nd keeper which Tom has with the first on the stringer and Dad got a 22".

On the next drift I caught a 26.25" that put up a fun battle and Dad got a 24.5" and even Captain Tom got in on the action with a 18.5" eye.

On our second to last drift Tom caught a big rock that we thought was a fish and Dad and I missed bites. Our last drift came up empty, but I might have had a bite. Pete got skunked.

Don's Dock
At about 8PM Pete and I headed to Don W. for some dock fishing. Pete likes to visit with Don and I don't have to deal with the boat, so it's a win/win. I had a pike jump me off on a swim jig and I got 3 crappies and lots of bites on a Panfish Chatterbait. Pete caught some small sunfish and Don got a couple crappies and sunfish.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mille Lacs Morning w/Pete/ Platte with Pete Evening

I think Pete and I not getting out until 9AM probably cost us because by the time we got to Mille Lacs there was little wind and it was blowing out of the SW thus making the Eddy's Jetty protected water. It was warm with an occasional breeze picking up and it was overcast most of the time, but fishing was slow. Pete messed around with a few perch in the harbor while I fished quite a bit farther out from the harbor mouths, we were on the center Jetty.

The first time my bobber went down I caught nothing. The second time it went down I wasn't paying attention, but it didn't cost me this brute smallmouth.

The pig was 20.25" and the biggest bass I've caught in several years. It hit on a leech below a bobber with a glow bead and pink hook.

I had a few bites from some perch and maybe a couple of other bites from real fish, but I didn't connect when I had the chance. Boats coming in were pretty much all singing the blues. We left about 2PM, so we were there for a chunk of the day.

With Pete@Platte:
After napping for the afternoon Pete and I arrived at Platte to do some boat fishing a little after 7PM. Thunderstorms were rumbling to the East and South, but we stayed dry. Basically I put the trolling motor down and we worked East towards Jenny's. The pike were far more active tonight and Pete caught 7 to my 5 or 6. I got 2 on a wht/chart Monsoor Swim Jig with pearl 4" Action Plastics Grub and the others were caught on a Storm Kickin' Stick Swimbait. Pete got his on a buzzbait. We both missed several bites and we didn't get a single bass.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mille Lacs Tonight

Pete is now back from Guard Training. We decided to head to Mille Lacs because conditions were supposed to be right to get fish off Eddy's Jetty. Unfortunately due to Pete and I taking a nap we were not on our way until right around 8PM. It would have been nice to be on the Jetty at 7PM because conditions were indeed good.

While Pete was running an errand my bobber went down, but I missed it. Had a few nibblers and finally my bobber went down good again and I tied into this 22" protected slot fish.
Pete and I both had some nibblers on occasion. Around 9:35PM Pete's bobber went down and he had what looked to be a good keeper walleye on, but his drag was set to light and it got off. I had one more good bite but set into nothing but air.

Conditions being what they were I would have thought the bite would have been a bit better. I don't know if some of the bites we got were perch messing with us or eye's that didn't want to commit.

Mille Lacs in the early Afternoon

I had to pick up pills in Onamia today and it was overcast with a SE wind so I thought Eddy's Jetty might be worth a shot for walter. I arrived at Eddy's around 11AM and the wind just wasn't doing much, but it was over cast. A breeze started up and it started to rain and then out of nowhere there were gail force winds out of the SE. I got a bad tangle in my line that was unfix-able in the wind, plus it got so windy it was unfish-able. I went to Reeds to get new line for the reel and I figured by the time I was done with that the wind might settle down some and it did.

When I arrived at Eddy's again around 12:30PM conditions were perfect. 10MPH SE wind with rollers coming in and the water was all stirred up from the heavy winds and it was overcast. My first bite was this perch.
I got a few more bites but didn't hook up until my bobber shot down and I set the hook into this 24" walleye.

I thought the fishing was probably going to be pretty good, but unfortunately the conditions slowly deteriorated with the wind going down, the sun coming out, and the water clearing up. I got a couple of more perch and a few bites, but I doubt they were walleyes.

Morning GOMH, Bulldog, Rock

Grumpy Old Man Hole:

I got 12 jumpin bullheads and the 6 toothy bullheads in pictures. All on swim jigs. I probably missed 2 or 3 more pike. The last 2 were the biggest.
Bulldog Lake:

I think the same pike got caught twice. Had to take a picture of the dink. Caught 11 bass from 8" to 13" on Bulldog on Swim Jigs. Missed a few hits.

I also fished the Rock Dock and caught one small bass on my first cast with a swim jig.