Sunday June 20th was the 2nd Baxter Bass Snatcher tournament of the year and it was held on Farm Island Lake, north of Garrison Minnesota. The weather was mostly cloudy in the morning turning to mostly sunny in the afternoon. It was calm for a good part of the day and when there was wind it was under 5MPH.
Some days you got it and some days you don't. This tournament day I didn't.
Nate and I started the tournament day running to the South end of the lake to fish docks. Nate started catching fish immediately. I didn't get a bit until our 2nd stop of docks and when I set the hook my line broke at the knot and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a pike. The 2nd row of docks didn't produce any fish, so we went back to the 1st run only expanded a little.
My first bass of the day was a short from under a dock. Quickly after that one I got a 12.75" largie on the bubblegum Super Fluke from a dock. My next fish was 12.5 and came from the reeds right where my boater had pulled out a fish. I also missed another bite in that same spot after I had caught the 1st one.
Next we went to more reeds and I had a fish slap at my white Zoom Horny Toad. I cast back and it took it. Fish #3 was 13.75" and would be my biggest of the day.
Next we ran some docks and reeds on the East side of the lake, but that was unproductive, so we headed out to try what was a popular weedline area. Here I got a 13.5" and barely 12 inch squeaker on a watermelon blue fleck Strike King KVD Pro-Model Tube. My partner got his two best fish of the day here on a jig worm.
Next we ran some docks on the West side of the lake. We had a guy come out and harass us about fishing his dock. While we were fishing his dock I noticed what turned out to be a nice bass sitting out from his fishing boat lift in shallow water. At first I thought it was something on the bottom. I made a cast and the fish swam around and then to my Fluke and sucked it in. I set the hook and the lure came flying back at me. I quickly re-threaded the Fluke and cast back but the fish just swam away and disappeared. I think it was at least a 2 and a half pound fish, which would have been about a pound bigger than anything I caught.
Next we went back to the popular weedline area and I got my limit fish which was 12.75" and caught on the KVD tube. We worked the weedline for quite a while but it had gotten sunny and calm and things got real slow.
Eventually we went to the West side of the lake and worked some docks and reeds. I got a 13" and 13.75" cull in the reeds on the Super Fluke and I missed one good bite.
Next we went to some of the best looking, best fishing slop you could ever want to fish. I got a 12" that didn't help right away, but then it was nothing except one strike from a small pike. The slop bay had some size to it and with the hot sun it had warmed the water quite a bit and I ended up with 3 fish dying and my partner lost several as well.
We hit the weedline one more time without any luck and closed out in some deep reed with a bit of wind blowing on them. I got a bass that didn't help on a swim jig.
My weight came to 8lbs even and I had 6os in dead fish penalties, but that didn't cost me anything. I ended up in 23rd out of 26 anglers which pretty much equals my worst finishes of the previous 2 seasons. My boater Nate had 13lbs 7ozs with a 6oz dead fish penalty that didn't cost him either. He finished 5th. 1st Place was 15lbs 1oz and caught by the previous two years BBS "Mr. Bass," the mercurial Mr. Dennis Lothspeich.
Analysis: I wish I had this day to do over. Missed fish certainly hurt me as did a lack of preparation and imagination. In terms of preparation I really wish I would have brought a jig worm rod instead of the pitching rod that I didn't end up using. My lack of imagination has to do with my not trying to use rattlebaits, chatterjigs, and maybe trying a couple of other things on those weedline spots, also had I tried pitching a jig in the reeds, maybe I would have come out better.
Next Tournament: Cass Lake July 10th