Note: Rabbit Lake has a West Basin (lake side) and East Basin (pit side). There was an Iron mine on the pit side.
The first thing I will say is that I really could not have gotten a better boater draw for this lake. My boater Guy Henkensiefken has fished it for years and it's pretty clear from our pre-fish and tournament day, that he's got it dialed in.
We blasted off 10th out of 13 boats at around 6:45AM. Our first stop was going to be either where I caught my big fish in pre-fish or a weed hump we pulled a couple of nice fish off during pre-fish. Guy's son Adam went right to the big fish spot, so we headed to the hump.
I started off throwing a purple Berkley Frenzy Popper and I caught a 5" perch and a little sunfish and had a couple of other little ones be hooked up for a few seconds. Guy started off the day with a good fish from sub-surface. I switched up to a wacky rigged watermelon red fleck Zoom Z-Nail on an Outkast Money Jig and got a 15.75" largie on it. We worked the spot for about 45 minutes and those were the only two bites.
Next we headed to a weedline on a close by shoreline. Guy caught a fish right away. I got a 13.25" on the Z-Nail. Guy then had a keeper bass jump him off half way to the boat. I connected with a 12.10" squeaker.
Next we headed back across the lake to a spot that gave up a few fish, including a good one, in pre-fish. The spot is basically a weedline off of a small weed flat. Guy landed 2 or 3 fish in short order. I switched the Frenzy Popper out for a spook type topwater and had a fish slap at it. I think it may have been a pike, but am not sure. After working that spook for a while I switched to a frog pattern Rapala Skitter Prop because there was a bit of wind. While I was working the Skitter Prop a fish swirled but missed so I killed the lure and let it sit for about 5 seconds before twitching again. Sure enough the fish nailed it and it was a good one but it was on for only a few seconds and then the lure came flying out of it's mouth. Guy got a good look at the fish and said it was probably 17" maybe bigger. Missing this fish would really cost me.
We didn't get any more bites in this spot and Adam was still on his starting spot so we headed to the pit side. Guy picked a spot that didn't have any boats on it where he got a couple of good bites in pre-fish. Guy got a good fish in this spot, I didn't get any bites on the wacky rigged Z-Nail. We moved closer to shore and Guy got a small fish. We fished shallow for about 5 minutes and then went to a new spot.
I believe Guy caught a fish right away in this spot. I made a cast by a deadhead and my line started moving off quickly. I set the hook and my Z-Nail was gone. I cast back to the area quickly but couldn't get hit again. A couple of minutes later I got hung up on something and when I tried to free it, my line broke. Finally I caught a bass that I got to measure right at 12inches (we have a 12inch minimum size). I flipped the fish over to see if it would measure any longer and it flipped out of my hands up to the front of the boat and into the water. At this point I was not happy with how my luck had turned.
We moved to a "big fish spot" and sure enough Guy caught a good bass. We both got bit off by pike and I think Guy caught one.
Next we moved to a weedline near another Bass Snatcher boat and Guy got a couple of fish including 1 good one. I got a bit on the Z-Nail and brought in a 14.5". The other boat left and so we headed in that direction. I got a 12.75 off of a piece of wood and when we got to where the other boat was sitting I got a 15" largie to fill my limit. We then started working our way back to where we started. Club curmudgeon and very good angler Dennis Lothspeich was headed in that direction so we moved quickly to cut him off. We saw Dennis catch a fish about 10 minutes earlier and in a profanity filled tirade he let us know that was his first fish of the day. Apparently Dennis doesn't like Rabbit Lake.
Next we headed back to the lake side and tried fishing by Guy's son on the spot I got my big fish in pre-fish. We didn't get a hit so we went to our start spot. Nothing there. We then went to our 2nd stop and I got to cull the 12.10" with a 14.25" caught on a wacky rigged 7" Strike King Ocho. That was all we got on the spot so we went to the place I missed the good fish in the morning. We didn't get anything, so we headed back to the pit side.
We hit several spots on the pit side without any luck until I caught 12" bass that didn't help me on the 7" Ocho. When I got the fish the Ocho came off and Guy suggested I put an O-ring on (he has an O-ring tool). I decided to try it, but that would be my last bite of the day on the Ocho.
With about an hour left we tried a spot on the pit side where we had not been yet where Guy got a good fish in pre-fish. Guy got into a little flurry and culled up 2 or 3 times. He talked me into using the lure he was using on the same type of rigging he was using. I got a bite most likely from a pike, then I had a pike bite me off. With about half an hour left it started to rain hard. When the rain was coming Guy said, it looks like some heavy rain is coming. He put on a full rain suit, while I figured I would just put on my rain jacket and not my bibs. Wrong call it poured. The rain ended after about 10 minutes and we decided to head in about 5 minutes early because Guy had such a good bag of fish and he wanted to get a good spot to park where he could keep his livewells working until it was our time to weigh in.
I came in 11th which is slightley better than expected. I actually was 11th because of another guys dead fish penalty and I won the tie breaker. Had I caught the big one I missed, I could have been as high as 5th. Guy was in first with 15lbs 10ozs. He actually won because a guy brought 1 to many fish to the scales.
Analysis- This one is a slight downer because I could have done much better had I landed that one good fish. As it was I was stuck with a 12.75" swimmer. I really failed to capitalize on a very good boater draw.
Next Tournament: Washburn Lake August 28th.