Saturday, July 31, 2010

KVD Wins 2010 Angler of the Year

For the 2nd year in a row Skeet Reese couldn't defend what was rightfully his and was beat out by KVD for Angler of the Year.

Skeet really got screwed this year because of the amazing season he had. Last year it was a much closer call as Skeet barely had an edge over KVD going into the post-season.

Kramer Gone Fishing Blog has an excellent take...

Annual Mississippi Trip w/Pete & Greg Jones of Mid-West Outdoors

July 30, 2010
Pete is friends with Greg Jones who is an editor and sometime TV personality with Mid-West Outdoors Magazine and Mid-West Outdoors TV. This is the third year in a row where Pete and I went fishing with Greg to help him pre-fish for the St. Stephens Lions Smallmouth Tournament. Last year I got to go out two different times. Greg is an expert in navigating this particular stretch of river which has many treacherous areas.

Originally the plan was to meet around 5PM at the County Park Access South of Rice. I arrived at the Park around 4:30PM and did some fishing from shore. On my 2nd or 3rd cast I hooked up with this 12" smallie on a spinnerbait.

About 20 minutes later I caught a 9" smallie on a frog pattern Rapala Skitter Prop. With this success I thought fishing was going to be good. There was a lot of weeds washing down the river, which was up and running pretty good due to recent rains. FYI- The day was kind of cool (70's) and overcast.

At about 5:30PM Pete showed up to tell me we were launching out of the Royalton Access, so I quickly got in the truck and headed North. We basically started drifting down river right from the campground access. It didn't take long and Pete was hooked with a good smallie which bit a Heddon Torpedo. Pete was unhappy with my attempted net job, even though it was him who was failing to bring the fish into be netted at a proper angle, so he took the net and netted it himself. I made a cast close to the same area with a bullfrog Berkley Frenzy Popper and got a hit from a good fish but it came off after about 4 seconds. Greg thought it was a good fish. Pete started throwing a spinnerbait and caught a fish or two and was getting bites, while Greg got his first fish on a jig. I tried throwing my Mille Lacs Smallie Special spinnerbait but it wasn't getting anything. Pete was getting bites and bumps on the spinnerbait and catching a few decent but not big fish. I think Greg got a fish or two but I don't remember on what. Eventually I borrowed a spinnerbait from Greg because it was obvious my spinnerbait wasn't drawing strikes. I managed to catch two dinks. Pete got this one, which was the biggest of the night.

I proceeded to have a muskie smash and steal Greg's spinnerbait, so I borrowed another one. I got this 15.5" fish on that spinnerbait and it was my biggest of the night.
It would also be my last spinnerbait fish.

We made a run up the river farther North than we had previously gone the past two years. As it started getting dark a the surface bite started picking up and I caught a couple of 13" smallies on the purple Berkley Frenzy Popper in addition to missing several bites. Greg and Pete were getting fish too. It was pretty dark when I had a good fish hit the Frenzy Popper. It fought on the surface at the beginning of the battle and then dogged as it got by the boat. Turned out to be about a 4lb Channel Cat. We stopped fishing shortly after that because it had just gotten too dark.

Pete caught the most and biggest smallmouth, and I caught the least smallmouth, but my cat was the big fish of the trip and boy did it put up a good fight.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

1 Topwater Mille Lacs Smallie

Tonight Pete and I headed to Eddy's Jetty around 7PM. Conditions were calm and overcast which you would think would make for perfect topwater conditions. As it was I got this 15" on a gold Berkley Frenzy Popper and that was the only bite either of us got on anything.

A Couple Bass Fishing Blogs of note.

W2F Blog- The official blog of

Tommy Biffle- The website for Elite Series angler Tommy Biffle is a website/blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shore Mille Laction & Jenny's

Today I had to go to Onamia so I figured I'd hit up the Eddy's Jetty and try for some smallies. When I arrived at Eddy's around 5:30PM there was a little wind coming in out of the NE but not too bad. I started on the South Jetty and on my 3rd cast this 17.75" sally sacked the spinnerbait.

That was the only hit on the South Jetty, and after working through several lures I went to the North Jetty.

On the North Jetty I got a 14" just South of the Corner on the spinnerbait. Just a little North of the North harbor mouth I tied into another around 14" then I lost one about the same size and then a bigger one as I was trying to figure out where to go to land it. I think I had one more hit that didn't hook up on the spinnerbait. I tried some topwater and didn't get any hits, so I tried a tube on a Title Shot Jig and I had a good fish on that got off about half way in. I went back to the spinnerbait and caught one that was probably 14.5" then I got a 15.75" on the tube. I left around 8:15PM. My upper back got quite sore, so I need to head to the Chiropractor on Friday.

I had to stop at the lake place to check and see if there was water in the boat, and of coarse I fished off the dock and off Jim's dock. Didn't get any hits. There was a little bit of light left so I hit up Jenny's and I got a 14" largemouth on a Vikings (purple and yellow) Snagproof Tournament Frog. I kept the bass and gave it to our renter John who loves to eat bass.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Fishing I Will Be Doing

Last year on June 25th I pulled the boat out of the water to do some work on the motor and the boat never got back in the water the rest of the year. Even though the boat is in the water right now and ready for use any time I have not fished out of it since June 25th. That will probably change later this week when some more mild temps move in.

The thing is, instead of going right to the slop and docks. I think I am going to break out the crankbaits, depth finder, marker buoys, and underwater camera and see if I can't find some schools of bass off the bank on Platte and Sullivan. I have tried this type of fishing on the lakes on a very limited basis and didn't have much success but I didn't put much effort into it. This might be a total waste of time or maybe I will get lucky and find some things that are fabulous, who knows.

Update: Don't know if I will be starting this before I get to the Chiropractor.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Apparently MN tournament bass fisherman Scott Peterson caught a 5 fish limit that weighed 26.13lbs on Green lake in Chisago. I am guessing this is the Scott Peterson that has articles published in Mid-West Outdoors Magazine on a regular basis. I know he is a wizard with deep crankbaits, but I suspect he also could have been using a football head jig, or maybe a big worm.

Congratulations Scott that is amazing!!!

Update: Apparently the fish were caught on a 10" worm jigworm style/shaky head on deep rocks. Apparently they had another tournament on Green last week and didn't get a bite in the same location/locations.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quick Rabbit Lake Tournament Report

The one that got away is going to haunt me in this one. If you read my pre-fish report you know I found a big fish pattern. That pattern was topwater (Berkley Frenzy Popper or Rapala Skitter Prop) off the deep weed edge of weed flats. Today I got one hit on that pattern and it was a good one. Unfortunately the fish got off. At the end of the day my smallest bass was a 12.75incher. In losing that fish I probably lost a pound and a half maybe more. As it turned out my 6 fish went 10lbs 4ozs. There were a bunch of bags in the mid to low 11's and upper to mid 10's.

My guess is that I'll be somewhere around 15th instead of being in the top 10.

Full Report when I have the final results.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mike Hart Cheating Scandal- My Thoughts

I am not really sure if I even have a dog in this fight. On the one hand I have and do fish bass tournaments, but on the other hand I never have been very serious about it in terms of monetary investment and probably never will get to that point, so basically there is no chance that I have or will get swindled personally. Whether I have a dog or not here are my thoughts.

I think this guy Mike Hart as a bass fisherman is the worst kind of cheater you can get and is total scum for it. Not only was he into ripping off people but he did it in such a way that I think was harmful and cruel to the fish. And while I don't know the science, I would suspect stuffing ounces of lead into the bellies of bass who could possibly go on to survive for long periods of time with the lead in their belly after the deed would create a lead poisoning risk for humans who might eat the fish. I hope he gets charged for environmental damages beyond the obvious fraud involved.

My second thought on the matter is that I am pretty sure this was not the first time he has commited the fraud. Those weights looked to be specifically made for the purpose by which they were used and the system was so slick that a the Co-Angler in the boat wouldn't and didn't even notice anything suspicious. On bass fishing message boards I have seen it documented that this guy has won thousands upon thousands of dollars in tournaments over the past several years and from what I understand he has been a highly successful tournament fisherman for more than a decade. I think all of that "success" gets called into question. I think he needs to come clean about the scope of his cheating and should at a minimum pay back entry fees of all the anglers he has defrauded over the years. Short of that I hope there is enough grounds and legal standing for civil liability to force the issue if he isn't forthcoming.

My final thought is that Mike Hart seems to have been a very very good fishermen seemingly without "the need" to cheat to do well for himself. The cheating on top of that, however, would often be enough to push him over the top from an OK finish, right into where the big money comes into play because of the way tournament dollars are allocated in a top heavy manor. This gets us back to my second point in that I think he owes a lot of people their money back. I don't know Mike Hart's financial situation but I hope he can afford to be "generous" in his contrition. If not, bankruptcy isn't too large a price. You have to feel for his wife and family, but that is true for all innocent familial relations of criminals.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Co-Angler Blogger Chris Ricci Wins US Open

Congratulations to Chris!!!

Look for a recap soon at his blog The Buzzzz

Looks like Tami Curtis had a rough last day and dropped into the 90's.

Also of note is that Pro Mike Hart of of Winnetka, Calif was caught cheating. Apparently he had multiple dead fish and when they got cleaned so they could go to charity they found a lead weight in the belly of a fish. They then checked all the dead fish being cleaned and found more weights. So the next day they flagged all the fish of anglers with multiple dead fish from the day before and found more fish with lead in the belly and now there was no doubt about who was guilty. Busted!!! blog has pictures of the weight.

It looks to me like it is 2 to 3ozs but I suppose it could be as much as 4 or 5ozs. Reports are that some fish had multiple weights. The weights looked to be specially made for the purpose by which they were used. This guy Mike Hart has been nothing short of a terror on the West Coast.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rabbit Lake Pre-fish

Today was my best day on the water as a Baxter Bass Snatcher. Too bad for me it wasn't tournament day because I would most likely have been a contender for the win. I am pretty sure I had 16lbs+ anchored by the fat 19.25" in the picture (thank goodness my boater had a camera phone as I left my camera in the car).

My boater Guy was fun to fish with and he knows the lake well. I think it was a productive pre-fish, but you never really know until tournament day. We found multiple patterns and locations. Guy was telling me there is an old club saying that "it's fun to catch fish, but it's even funner catching fish in the tournament." Meaning, what you do in pre-fish doesn't mean squat if you burn your fish. Hopefully we didn't do that too bad as we tried to lay off them once located. As for my part I took advantage of conditions, and found something nice size fish were on today; Whether that pattern holds for tournament day will most likely be dictated by weather conditions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rabbit Lake Pre-fish Tomorrow

I got to get up early tomorrow morning to meet my boater Guy Henkensiefken for pre-fishing at Rabbit Lake. Guy is currently in the club lead after 3 tournaments. I pre-fished and fished a tournament in which I finished 3rd on Rabbit back in late June of 2004. For that tournament for me it was all about shallow water and what I found was really not enough to sustain 2 fishermen going for 6 bass limits. I am hoping we can find some good deep weedlines. Last year on a deep weed bite Guy and his non-boater came in 2nd and 1st at Pelican Lake. I have fished with Guy's son Adam a couple of times, but never with Guy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Derby Updated

The Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2010 is updated through today. Standings on the sidebar. Go to the blog for full information and pictures. I have fallen into 4th, but not by much. It might help if I actually went fishing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rumbling Tonight

Pete got here last night around 4PM and woke me up from my nap. He wanted to go out fishing, but I had a queezy stomach and stayed in bed. Pete left this morning.

I slept in till about 3PM. It was quite a bit cooler than the 95 predicted for today. I guess it did get to 85 today, but by the time I got outside it was in the mid 70's and thunderstorms were on their way in.

Sure enough some thunderstorms rumbled in and now we are getting a second round here after 11PM.

If tomorrow is nice, I may try to get out tomorrow afternoon.

If you are interested in some interesting bass blogging I recommend you check out this post by Chris Ricci @ The Buzz...

Friday, July 16, 2010

How About Some Fishing?

I suppose regular Bass Pundit readers have taken notice that there has been a sharp decline in my blogging fishing reports in the last several weeks. It isn't cause I'm keeping secrets. I just have not been getting out. Things are so simple in the Spring when I just grab a few rods and head out to my various shore spots. For some reason when it comes to going out in the boat I feel like it has to be a bigger production with lots of tackle and rods. Something that has sort of held me back this week, is that I have not unpacked from the Cass Lake Tournament. I will probably finally get to doing that tomorrow. It's looking very likely that I will take a fishing trip with Pete on Saturday morning. I am going to suggest a launch on Mille Lacs as the #1 option so as to avoid the issues that come up with Pete in the boat.

It looks like sometime next week I will get out for a pre-fish on Rabbit Lake, before the Bass Snatcher tournament on the 24th.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Found: Bass Fishing Blog is a bass fishing blog out of California that seems to be dedicated to trophy bass fishing. Has a lot of video content. It is worth checking out.

Tetanus Shot Yesterday

Due to the fact I often prick myself with hooks, I thought it was a good idea to get a tetanus shot. Was not sure when I had my last one.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baxter Bass Snatchers Cass Lake Chain Tournament.

This one is more of a rant than a report (at least it starts that way).

Well the results are in and I came in 2 to 3 places worse than I thought I was going finish. I placed 21st out of 25 anglers. I think this one officially qualifies as a bomb. The last two tournaments are now my worse back to back tournaments as a Bass Snatcher and they also make for my worst two finishes in a single season. Right now it feels like I am off to a terrible start, but really I am in the exact same position after 3 tournaments as I was in 2008 and last year I had just a single point more whether counting two tournaments or three. The previous two seasons I really picked it up in the last 3 tournaments of the year. I wish I could say that gives me some confidence at this point, but I'm really humbled by how poorly the last two tournaments seem to have gone.

I was actually feeling somewhat OK about Cass until I saw the final results. 5 guys caught as many fish as me (3 bass) or one less and beat my weight. Honestly I'm not sure in this one what I should have been doing differently. It looks like a good number of the boats that were fishing in this area of the Chain struggled with catching fish. Maybe a heavier Title Shot Jig Head paired on a heavier rod would have helped, but my boater was in the front of the boat with something akin to that and he only got 5 bass all day. Counting rock bass, pike, and bass I didn't catch that many less fish than my boater although he did miss a few more fish than me that hung him up in the heavy cover.

Anyway here is how the day went. The weather was bright and sunny all day (Blast off around 7:45AM) with about 5 to 8MPH wind that was less than forecast. We went North and that's all I'm going to say. Right away in the morning I made several long casts with a Zoom Horny to some wood that was up by shore. On one of the casts I let the Toad sink and I thought maybe something picked it up (kind of hard to tell cause the boat was moving). I set the hook and nothing was there. So I thought it was nothing, but a couple minutes later I noticed the Toad was missing one vibe tail and there were a couple of rips in the Toad. In other words there is a pretty good chance that nothing was actually a pike. We were working down the shoreline in a combination of mostly pads with reeds or rushes right up by shore. I think my boater missed a bite then I had a small fish hit at the Horny Toad and did not get it.

We came to a spot where there was excellent looking weed transition and my boater Jake got nailed by a nice fish and got it in. We worked down the shoreline a little bit and then doubled back. On the 3rd time back through the weed transition I got hit aways back in the reeds on a 3/8 or 1/4oz Fin-Tech Title Shot Jig Head with a blue/black Strike King Rodent (beaver type bait). The fish hung me up on the reeds and got off. My Rodent had a chunk taken out of it and was ripped up in a couple of spots which leads me to believe it was probably a pike. I didn't inspect my line and I got hung up in the reeds a little ways down and my line broke, another clue that it was probably a pike. We worked this shoreline for quite a long ways and I pulled in 2 small pike and had another 8lb class pike or muskie rise at the Rodent.

I think we fished that shoreline for a little over 2 hours before we finally made a move. There were 2 boats in where my boater Jake wanted to go into next, so we went to a large field of maidencaine that was farther East. I think I might have gotten a rock bass and a pike in the maidencaine.

It was now about 11AM and a bit of a breeze was blowing so we went to fish some wind blown reeds. I started with a spinnerbait, but that wasn't getting hit so I switched to a brownish teal Lethal Weapon 2 Swim Jig with a watermelon Zoom Speed Craw. After about 5 minutes of throwing that I got yet another small pike. On the very next cast I got the skunk out of the boat with a 13" largie. A few casts later I got hung up in some reeds. I tried to snap it free and my 30lb PowerPro broke. I had recently run into mysterious line issues with this rod. I retied another Lethal Weapon Jig and started casting again. About 5 minutes later I noticed a major fray up on the line, so I retired that combo for the day. I retied on an identical combo, which I was pitching and casting the title shot jig with. By this point in time we had gotten into some thicker reeds. I got impatient and made an ill advised cast. I got hung in the reeds bad and when I tried to pull it free my line broke. That was my last Lethal Weapon Jig, so I tied on an Outkast Swim Jig in sort of similar colors, but I didn't get any hits on it as we worked back over the reed bed. Jake wasn't getting anything so we moved to the wind blown side of another large field of maidencaine.

I went to pitching the Title Shot Jig with a Rodent and I started getting bit by rock bass. I caught several rockies and basically went through the rest of my bag of Rodents missing one fish that Jake and I think looked like a pike. At one point I got hung up in the maidencaine and broke off my last dark colored head Title Shot Jig. Jake kindly gave me some black/blue Lake Fork Craw/Tubes and I put one of those a white headed 1/4 or 3/8oz Title Shot Jig. On a cast into the maidencaine where there were some pads I had a fish that I think was a bass, but could have been a pike, strike at the lure on top when it came off a pad. The fish didn't get the bait. I cast right back to the area and let it sink but I didn't get a follow up hit. After working the area for about 5 minutes I gave up.

We ended up working around on the backside of the maidencaine field. I was casting a white Zoom Horny Toad out into some reeds with pads when I had a fish blow up on the Toad. I let the Toad sink, my line jumped and Jake said the fish took it, which I couldn't see but he could, so I set the hook and brought in a 12.25".

Eventually Jake and I worked our way back to the first maidencaine field we hit and I got a 14" bass on the Horny Toad there. Jake caught a fish right after that and we thought maybe we were finally on to something or maybe the fish were getting active, but then it went dead again.

With about an hour left of fishing we went back to the shore we started on. I got one good hit on the Horny Toad but got hung up and the fish got off. The Toad was ripped pretty good so it was probably a pike. And that was our day.

My boater Jake was 1 short of a limit with 5 fish, but he weighed 13lbs 4ozs anchored by a 4/13 that tied for tournament "Lunker," which put him in a respectable 7th. With one more fish he could have easily been in the Top 5. My 3 fish went 4lbs 2ozs.

Final Analysis: I don't know if my fishing in the back of the boat is mostly to blame, but it's becoming pretty clear I have a small fish problem. Over the last two tournaments my average fish size is an abysmal 1.35lbs per fish. That just isn't cutting it, especially combined with the fact that I couldn't catch more than 3 bass on Cass. At Farm Island I missed chances to upgrade, at Cass I don't even know if I had any chances to upgrade. At least I didn't skunk.

Next Tournament: Rabbit Lake July 24th.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cass Tournament Quick Report

If you read my preview you know I thought this tournament would turn on whether or not my boater and I could stumble across a productive area holding numbers of fish. We didn't find that; The fish we got were scattered for the most part. My boaters "ace in the hole" didn't really give very specific water, so we were pretty much flying blind. I only got 3 keepers and my boater was one short of a limit with 5, though he did have several chances for #6. It's hard for me to know how many bass bites I might have had due to pike and rock bass which were more numerous for me than largemouth.

Full report when I know the final results.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Bass Snatcher Cass Lake Chain Preview

From my research of the lake I've learned that the Cass Lake Chain can be very good if you find the right spot and very tough if you don't. I didn't pre-fish due to not feeling well and my boater flogged a lot of worthless water the day he fished. Word is that fishing has been tough for most of the guys. From what I gather there is lots of water that looks good but most of it doesn't hold fish. Hopefully my boaters ace in the hole, puts us on fish.

Our main game plan is to fish shallow heavy cover. My boater is more of a structure and weedline guy, but windy conditions the day of pre-fish kept him from exploring that option. The conventional wisdom on Cass is that most of the fish are shallow like Leech Lake.

In this one I will be relieved if I can scratch out a limit. If we can find a good area a limit should not be a problem, but that is a big "if."

Another question in this one is how well will I hold up physically. It will be a long day with an almost 3 hour drive in the morning and daytime temps in the low 80's. Last year on Leech under similar circumstances I didn't hold up to well once we got into the afternoon. I sure hope I can get to sleep at a reasonable time today.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Off the Dock

Tonight I went over to our place on Platte Lake to get some tackle for Saturday's Cass Lake Tournament and naturally I did a little fishing. I fished from about 8:35 to 9PM. I only threw a white Spro Bronzeye Frog. I started out casting along our dock and didn't get anything, so I went out on the dock and on a cast out front of Sherman's Dock (East) I had something nip at the frog in open water right before the rice. I cast back and got another boil, this time in the rice and I thought it might be a bigger fish from the disturbance it created. Actually I thought it might be a dogfish. I cast back a couple more times without results so I started fan casting.

I got the first fish which was about 14.5" casting almost straight out in the rice next to the boat path which is weed free. I worked my way fan casting all the way west, and then I cast back at Sherman's slowly walking the frog. Sure enough the 17.75" blasted it this time and so I got a picture.

As I was about done, I was slowly walking the frog back in the boat path and I caught a little hammer handle.

Note: I fished off the dock a few night's ago and didn't record the trip cause I didn't bring a camera. That night I got a 13+ inch bass and 26" pike out of the slop, both on the white Spro.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Couple Fish For the Derby

Somebody is catching fish. No word on big bass from Cyberfish, Casey or several other MN BFB's at this point. See the Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2010 blog for full details of how things are shaping up this year.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


Between the weather which was hot and windy and my not feeling well. I did not pre-fish Cass Lake. My boater did go, so hopefully he will have found some options.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Sick :(

Have had a sore throat for a couple of days and just haven't felt well so far today. Will go to the doctor tomorrow. Hopefully I will be feeling better on Saturday, so I can get some pre-fishing in on Cass Lake.