Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The MLF Promo

To be honest up until this point I had been kind of lukewarm about Major League Fishing. Maybe it's that I haven't fished in a while, but this promo got my juices flowing. I'm pretty sure I'll do the online Pay Per View, which is suppose to be available in January. I don't know what they were thinking matching Marty Stone up with that blonde babe Sheli Sanders. Who wants to look at the Stone Pony when you can look at her instead?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mike Hart Convicted

From Mike Hart Case Closed, Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor

My Commentary: Actually it's impossible to know if justice was served in this instance. It is possible, but I think unlikely, that this was the first and only time he tried to cheat. In that case he probably got what he deserved. However if he cheated more than once and profited from it, which I think is more than likely, than justice would only be served if he got the full force hammer blow indicated in the article. I am pretty sure a $1000 bucks is pretty meaningless to this guy, really a paltry slap on the wrist. The only true punishment is the disgrace he brought upon himself and the fact that he will probably never be allowed to fish a bass tournament again. But there is one caveat to my thinking on that. Most bass tournament organizations are secular in nature and are under no obligation to be forgiving. However, I do not believe the same holds true for Christian faith based tournament organizations. With that type of tournament trail or club, if there is evidence of true repentance then I think those trails/clubs would be betraying their core principles if they did not offer forgiveness and a path to reconciliation. I think that fact puts the Christian trails in a very tough position. On the one hand I think it would be wonderful if Mike Hart could find some measure of redemption for himself, but on the other hand the guy should man up and reap what he sowed. He doesn't deserve the privilege of the pursuit of the passion because criminal fraud is just not acceptable; it should be one strike and your out. I really hope he doesn't seek out a Christian trail to fish, but I think seeking to fish in a small Christian fishing club along the lines of the Fishers of Men Fishing Club would be ok, in fact would be a good thing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jared Allen Is Justifiably Pissed

In the post game interviews Vikings Star Defensive End and one of the only good reasons to watch the team at this point was a unhappy camper in post game interviews. Apparently he was held out against his will towards the end of today's blow out loss. Jared is having a great season and is within reach of NFL and MN team sack records. YES stats and records matter or we wouldn't keep them. What in the heck was coach Frazier thinking?

Terrible! (Terrible for the player and Terrible for the franchise and fans)

I'm now starting to lean towards Frazier being fired. I'm going to have to give this some thought.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Liveblogging Vikings vs, Saints

I've got nothing better to do

End of 1st 7-3

Saints defense is looking pretty good, our offense not so much.

Fumble #2 Saints

and then a screen to Kliensauser that doesn't connect, what?

man does our offense look bad today, AP loses 6 then Ponder sacked
Offensive line playing terrible but at least Longwell hits 7-6 Saints

Note- We had yet another CB go down Asher Allen. Not good!

Wow crappy late hit call and then 2 penalty's for saints. Lots of penalties so far

rough pass int call gives Saints ball on 1 after 1st and 25

Saints 14-6

This sucks!

Saints onside kick, we are very lucky to recover. The way our O is performing can't say it was a dangerous call. Shows a total lack of respect for our team. Will our guys respond?

AP for 39. I don't think he is full speed or he would have been gone
2 crap plays with Webb, than Toby takes it for a TD 14-13
Credit to the Vikes for answering the insult

Just not getting pressure on Breeze

My prediction- we will be down 21-13 at half

Yep Saints get the TD, however there is enough time for the Vikes to get a score if we can complete a few passes. Right now Vikes are 3/8 passing for 18 yards and 10 of that was a shovel pass

1st down Ponder sacked
2nd down pass for no gain
man this is terrible
3rd 8 yard run
Saints will get ball back with under 30 left- Sheesh!
27 sec left
come on Jared level Brees

Halftime 21-13

Analysis- We are getting almost no pressure on Brees and our QB's are pressured on every play. 18 yards passing for us 247 for them.

Vikes 1st series
3 and out thanks to QB pressure and a dropped pass by Aoamashadou. Intentional grounding or he would have been sacked yet again.

Another Saints screen for big yards.
Man our pass D is bad, another Saints TD

my prediction. Vikes 1st upcoming play will be a pass
Nope I was wrong
Great Hutch is down

Have I said our O line is bad yet? This is just pathetic, Ponder just had to run for his life on a rollout pass and got creamed as he tried to throw.

And 3 plays for 53 yards and another Saints TD 35-13

Wow Ponder had time to throw the ball, but he missed on the pass. Down came the boo's. Vikes basically go 3 and out.

D Line isn't having a very good game, even with best pressure of the day can't get a sack.

3rd and 20 can vikes get stop?
Nope penalty (kind of a crap call IMO)

I don't think Sproles quite got in. Will be interesting to see what they do on replay
yep no TD
next play TD 41-13

Seriously, why does this announcer sound like he wants Ponder benched. It isn't Ponders fault he's getting no time to throw it.

why isn't the crowd booing the D fense. They Suck!
and then the D finally stops them (back up qb) and missed 50 yard fieldgoal. If your the Saints coach you can't feel good about that

Breaking news Packers down 19-7 with 5min to play

And Ponder gets a TD pass- good for him. Amazing what can happen when he gets a little bit of time and a good play call.

Yes the Vikes are getting killed by the Saints, but Da Bears are getting killed by the Seahawks in Chicago

Pack lose Pack Lose!
Ha Vikes crowd gives quite a cheer.

Ponder gets picked on last play. Pathetic effort by Aromashadou to make sure that doesn't happen.

Analysis: What can you say, the Vikes got their ass kicked. I didn't realize the Saints D was that good. They are gonna be dangerous in the Playoffs.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another Frog, Booyah! (And Another)

I see that a new hollow body frog has hit the market that I wasn't aware was coming. It's the Booyah Pad Crasher and it sells for a very reasonable $5.79 a frog at Tackle Warehouse. It only comes in a 1/2oz size and is suppose to have really soft plastic body. The frog has a drain hole so it's not very likely to sink. Not sure what kind of hooks. I think they kind of look like the Knoppers frog only not as detailed. The 3 reviews at TW were all positive, but I can't find anything at Tackle Tour or Bass Pro for reviews.

And under the frogs that I will not be trying:
This is the new Jackall Lobee Frog which goes for $12.99 at Tackle Warehouse. At that price I can't believe they are gonna sell very many

In more frog news I have been racking up the deals on Ebay with Spro's, Snag Proofs, and Zoom Horny Toads. I don't think I will every need to buy a Horny Toad again and probably am set for life on hollow bodies at this point, but at $3-$4 a frog I'll pick up as many hollow bodies as I can. Next Spring I am going to need to buy a box for Spro's and a box for Snagproofs. I'm probably going to try to sell off a bunch of the Horny Toads for $2.25 a pack (retail on Horny Toads is $3.50 a pack).

Friday, December 16, 2011


One of my Japanese Facebook Friends doesn't quite get it right.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Worst Vikings Team Ever?

Possible, but I don't think so.

The worst team in Minnesota Vikings history was the infamous Les Steckel team of 1984 that went 3-13. Currently the purple have only 2 wins with 3 games to play. I would say chances are better than not that the Vikes win at least 1 more game this season. I even think there is a chance this years club could upset the Saints in the next game and then run the table. I suppose a lot depends on what happens with AP and Ponder. Ponder clearly wasn't ready to play vs. the Lions and in my opinion should have been benched after he threw the pick 6. However, I don't blame Ponder for the 1st play fumble touchdown which was on Loadholt. I am guessing that AP will be back in the lineup vs. the Saints and barring re-injury will play the rest of the season.

This Viking squad has only been embarrassed twice this season, at Green Bay 45-7 and at Chicago 39-10 vs. a healthy Bears offense. The Vikings have pretty much been within a touchdown in the rest of the games (yes they lost by 10 in Atlanta, but the Vikes would have had another touchdown had Frazier challenged). The 1984 Vikings were blown out 6 times by at least 3 touchdowns, including a 44 point loss to the 49ers. In 1984 the NFC North wasn't one of the best divisions in the League. Clearly this team isn't 1984 bad even if they only finish with 2 wins.

Some people are calling for Leslie Frazier's head, but I am not among them. I do understand the sentiment as the level of coaching play seems to have been pretty poor this year in many aspects and respects. Still I think Frazier deserves a true full year of coaching, which he did not have this year due to the lock out.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Ponder vs. Tebow (I'll take the Christian)

I will probably start bass blogging again sometime soon, but today it's about the purple.

In today's Vikings game our rookie QB Christian Ponder faced off against Broncos 2nd Year player and first year starter Tim Tebow. If you didn't know, the Broncos won the game 35-32 on a last second field-goal that was set up when Ponder made a bad throw while in Vikings territory with over a minute to go. Ponder also threw a "Pick 6" and lost a fumble in the red zone. Still I would not even think about trading Ponder for the 6-1 miracle man Tebow.

The Broncos have a pretty good Defence while the Vikings beat up secondary is probably the worst secondary in the NFL, maybe the worst in team history. The second half performance of the Vikings Defence today was an epic embarrassment with blown coverages and missed tackles. No doubt Tebow had the easier match up today in terms of Defence faced. Consider that previous to this game Tebow had not had a game with a completion percentage over 50%, but vs. the purple it was 66.7%. Ponder had a completion percentage of 61.7% with 3 times the number of throws.

Today's game not withstanding I think Ponder has a bigger upside than Tebow; Ponder is getting better and I think has the potential to develop into an above average QB, which is something I don't know is possible with Tebow. I don't know if Ponder can become an elite Quarterback, but he is already fun to watch, which is desperately needed in this lost season.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I expected my Viking were going to lose to the Packers, but I did not expect it to be that ugly, especially in light of the fact that the Purple was coming on a bye week. It was as if none of the problems from the first half of the season were addressed and instead things went backwards. The Packers deserve a lot of credit because they are a very good football team and they were at home. However, that doesn't excuse the miscues and mistakes, which were legion particularly in the 2nd half. The Vikes were pretty darn lucky they didn't get humiliated with a shut out.

On Ponder:
Ponder is lucky he didn't give up a pick 6. I thought his overall level of play was OK, but he needs help from the Offensive Line and the Receivers. He escaped the pocket multiple times where he had ample time to throw the ball and he had to just throw it away. The receivers have got to do a better job. I also don't think the Offensive Coordinator is doing Ponder a lot of favors in terms of play calling and game planning. OCMusgrave has shown no ability to make meaningful adjustments at half time.

Just went to Wikipedia to read about Bill Musgrave. Honestly from what is written there I don't know what Leslie Frasier saw to bring the guy in for the position. He doesn't have a very good track record at all in terms of the OC position. The guy is a quarterbacks coach, not a strategist. This guy either needs to show serious improvement or be fired.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Derby Updated

Yeah it's been a while since I blogged anything and far longer than that since I updated the Derby. But I think the Derby is caught up now with 2 Days to Go. Get those entries in if you have got em'.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pondering the Future

Note-The lack of blogging lately is in no small part due to lower back problems. You can bet I would have been in early on the Alabama Rig buzz had I been able to comfortably sit at the computer.
REUTERS/Frank Polich

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say Christian Ponder got off to a great start as the Vikings starting QB, when he nearly through a TD on his first pass and soon after that found Shiancoe for 6. And all things considered he had a pretty good game. Honestly, I had no idea what we were getting in Christian Ponder. I don't follow College Football and I didn't look into him when he was drafted. In the pre-season he looked like a good athlete, but to me didn't look ready to be a NFL QB yet. After his first two appearances in the regular season, things look positive. This kid might be pretty good, which is something the Vikes need desperately in a Division with excellent QB talent. If nothing else he and Adrian Peterson give us Vikes fans something to watch for the rest of the season.

I was a little unhappy with the Vikings final drive of the game. It started with yet another special teams screw up that backed us up to the 2 yard line. We got out past the 20. After an incompletion on 1st down I really thought the Vikes needed to run the ball to get some yards as Adrian was having a very good day. We threw the ball instead and the drive ended with 3 straight incompletions. Lousy play calling added to having Percy Harvin out with an injury and with a nicked up Shiancoe it's impossible to blame Ponder for not leading a come from behind upset of the Packers.
The Vikes elected to kick, which is a call that could have gone either way facing 4th and 10, and the D gave up two rushing first downs and it was game over.

The Vikings Defence had their moments today, but they were mostly bad. However the Pack is the best offence in the NFL, so what are you gonna do?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Viking Season Almost Down the Drain

The hope was McNabb could have a good year and so would go the Vikings team. Obviously that hasn't happened. I don't think McNabb deserves too much blame for the way things have gone. I mean tonight vs. the Bears he played pretty darn good and yet it was by far the worst loss we have taken all season. To start the game our receivers couldn't catch the ball and our secondary gave up a big play that at a minimum should have been contested, instead it was an easy touchdown. Special teams play was terrible in every respect possible. Offensive line play was terrible, especially after a couple of injuries. The running game was terrible. I guess when the score ends up being 39-10 probably a lot of things are going to have been bad.

The one bright spot was the relief appearance of rookie Christian Ponder. Somehow he managed not to get sacked and he made a few good plays. In the title I didn't say the Viking season IS down the drain, because we can still beat the Packers, which at this point would be a major upset. And our back up QB's should be able to get some valuable experience now. I am sure most fans are going to want Ponder as the starter vs. Green Bay but I think Leslie should only do that if he feels Ponder gives us the best chance to beat Green Bay next week. If those injuries on our offensive line are serious than the mobile Ponder may be our best bet. However, if our offensive line play can be shored up and improved than McNabb might be best. Whatever else our running game can't be as bad as it was vs. Da Bears. The Defence is also going to seriously need to up it's game next week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bass Snatcher Win!!! The 2011 Challenge Cup@ Fishtrap Lake

(Bill Ludenia, Mark Munson, Dennis Lothspeich, Charles Steinbauer, and me. (Missing is Tony Bauer)

Well Team Baxter Bass Snatchers has done it again and won the Challenge Cup Tournament that pits the Brainerd area bass fishing clubs against one another. I fished the Challenge Cup Tournament in 2009 on Mission Lakes and 2010 on Sylvan Lake, and we won the Cup those years as well. Previously when I fished it was only the Snatchers and Range Bassmasters fishing against one another, but this year the Brainerd Lakes Bassmasters showed up to fish. The Brainerd Lakes Bassmasters had the Challenge Cup Trophy so I had never seen it before; As you can see in the picture, it's quite large.

Here is how it went down:
Baxter Bass Snatchers 66-5
Range Bassmasters 60-8
Brainerd Lakes Bassmasters 53-12

Normally each club provides 6 anglers to fish and the Challenge Cup winner is decided by the the best total team weight, but one of the other clubs was a person short; Because of that only the 5 best weights for a team counted towards each teams weight total this year. We went by the Range Bassmaster Club's rules this year and that meant a 5 fish limit. I had the Bass Snatchers worst bag, so my limit didn't count towards our winning total.

1st Place was taken by Snatcher Chuck Steinbauer with 14-14
2nd Place was Ranger Kevin Tengwall with 14-12
3rd Place was Snatcher Dennis Lothspeich with 14-8

Big Bass was 4-9.5 and caught by Ranger Mandy Uhrich who was in Brainerd Lakes Jim Eide's boat. She caught the fish around 9:30am on these Chompers Tubes:Mandy bought the tubes the day before at Gander Mountain just for this tournament. She had never used these tubes before but thought they looked good. I don't know if it was her instincts or training as a biologist but she obviously made the right call.

My Day:
The forecast was for clouds, showers and possible thunderstorms with 10-15mph winds out of the SE and temps starting in the mid-50's and getting above 70. Temps were on the money, and we had showers and clouds in the morning but around 11:30am the sun came out and never left. Wind speeds were about right, but out of the NE for most of the day.

I was suppose to be paired with Ranger Boater Brian Smude, but he dropped out so I fished with Ranger Jeremy Bjorgaard in his boat. While his boat wasn't much to look at it was actually really nice to fish out of as a non-boater. Jeremy was a really good guy and he went out of his way to try and make sure I caught fish. Still he kicked my butt pretty good with a black/blue Lake Fork Crawtube.

Jeremy had pre-fished and was pretty confident we would be on quality and numbers. Our first spot, actually the very same first spot I fished the only other time I had been on Fishtrap Lake in the Fall of 2007, was a bullrush Island on the South end of the lake. We went around the whole thing keeping our distance and Jeremy got the first keeper in the boat on a spinnerbait. After we got around the whole thing once we moved in closer so we could pitch with a vertical presentation. Jeremy confessed that he thought we would both have a limit after one pass. I started throwing a green pumpkin jig with a orange crawdad Yum Wooly Bug trailer and was rewarded with a nice 15.25 fish. That was the last fish we got on the bullrush Island. Next we went to a reed bed off the end of a point. Jeremy caught a small keeper on a blue/black crawtube which he immediately threw back. I had my green pumpkin crawtube get bit off by a pike.

Next we went to some reeds that were around an Island. I got a 14.5" bass on the jig with Wooly Bug. I missed a hit on a Herb's Dilly Buzzbait and Jeremy got a nice bass on the back side of the Island on a spinnerbait.

Next we went to another Island to an inside turn that went to a reed point. Jeremy proceeded to whack the fish, while all I could muster was a dink and 12.25" swimmer. It was kind of ugly as Jeremy must have gotten 10 good fish to my 2 and we were both throwing black/blue crawtubes.

Next we went to a weedline where Jeremy had gotten a couple of good fish in pre-fish. We were working our way up the side of a point where I told Jeremy we had caught fish the last time I was on the lake. Just about a minute later I had a hit on my spinnerbait and brought in a 12.5" swimmer. Jeremy said I pretty much called my shot.

Next we went back to our starting spot. I finished off my limit with a 14.5" on a spinnerbait and I had my green pumpkin jig bit off by a pike. I suggested we work the near by weed flat with the wind blowing on it. We were throwing spinnerbaits and I starting catching pike including a nice one we both thought was a bass at first. Jeremy got the first bass and then a couple of minutes later I got a 15.75", which was my big fish of the day. We worked up to another tournament boat and they said they hadn't gotten any bass on blades. At that point the sun came out and we headed to a weedline where Jeremy got quality fish in his pre-fish. It was dead.

We went to another weedline on the North end and that was pretty dead until we got to an inside turn and Jeremy pulled two fish in quick succession, but then that was it.

Next we headed to a saddle with a reed island. The wind was blowing in on it and it just looked prime. I got a 14.75 on a spinnerbait and I was very glad to have the 12 inchers out of the boat. On the back side of the reed island Jeremy pulled his big fish of the day on the crawtube. We worked along the back side of the saddle but nothing was home.

We went to another weedline where I missed a couple of bites on the crawtube.

Our last stop was the inside turn where Jeremy whacked them earlier in the day. I missed a bite that hit almost the second the crawtube hit the water. I decided to throw the Repo Man and I had a fish smack it, but not hook up. I threw back with a crawtube and got bit but I pooched it and that was it for the day. I think I had 9-12 or 9-14, which was on the small side for this day. Jeremy beat me by a little over 3 pounds.

As I said my weight got tossed and we won, so it's all good.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Baxter Bass Snatchers Birch(Hackensack) Oct. 1st.

Conditions: Cool and clear Morning with moderate wind out of the SE growing to 15-20mph throughout the day.

We blasted everybody off as we were last boat out and we went right to our planned starting spot, which was the weed flat to the SW of the public access. Nobody else went that way. I put on a Paycheck Baits Repo Man "drag stripper" and within the first 10 minutes I had 15" bass in the boat. Within the next 10 minutes I had number two in the boat. My boater Owen then quickly caught 2 on a spinnerbait and we thought we were on to something, but it just died. Maybe we moved off the best area a little to quick. Unfortunately the two fish I pulled from this spot in pre-fish were both 16.5".

Next we headed into the West basin to the spot where Owen got his hawg in pre-fish. I saw a lot of baitfish, but we came up empty. We worked up to the other point and I had a hit on a crawtube, but didn't hook up. I cast back and got another quick pick up and drop. The crawtube had a pretty good rip in it, so it was probably a pike. As we were working down the point along the reed line. Owen brought in a small keeper bass and then so did I (12.5")on a black spinnerbait.

Next we headed to a point farther South where I wanted to go in and work the slop. We started along the point and I pulled a pike on the spinnerbait. Owen caught a bass a few minutes later out of about the same spot. We got down into the start of the slop and there were some reeds on both sides of the boat. I made a cast with a Zoom Horny Toad out into the lake and had a fish nail it right before I was out of the reeds. Wouldn't you know it but it got hung up. I watched the fish struggling back and forth and then it pulled free. I really should have muscled that one more. It wasn't a huge bass but it was a quality one probably around 2lbs or more. I was really hoping the slop would go, but it was dead. We worked some awesome looking stuff with wind blowing on it, but there was nothing there. On a long cast out across the weed flat with the spinnerbait I had a hit and brought in one just over 14". We then worked down in the wind along the weeds. I did have a nice bass that I could have used nip at a Cordell Spot and I got a couple of pike on the spinnerbait.

We got down around the big Island and I made a cast up by a buoy and got nailed by a 14.5". It seemed like a spot were a school might stack up, but that was the only one there. As we worked back around the island I had another bass that I could have used nip at the spinnerbait and not hook up. We got around the Island to where it was calm and I started throwing the Repo Man, but there was so much debris in the water that I kept getting hung up. We got a little past the debris field and I caught a small pike, then a 12.5" squeeker bass. I was glad to have a limit.

We only had a couple of hours left and with those topwater bites I thought maybe our starting spot would go, so we went there. I worked through several topwaters and couldn't get a hit. Finally Owen pulled a quality bass on a spinnerbait and I switched. I caught a 10 inch pike. We drifted along and I had one last good hit, but it got off about half way in.

Results: I thought I had 9 something, but my fish only went 8-12, which put me in 15th which was my worst finish of the year. Owen only had 5 for 7-00 which put him in 17th place. The winner had 15-8 and a little over half the field had 10lbs or better. Obviously we missed the quality fish.

Top 6 Race- Bill Ludenia placed 6th which tied us for 6th place in end of the year points (best 5 of 6 tournaments). Bill owned the tie breaker, so I dropped to 7th and out of "the wood". It's my bad as had I not counted that live fish as dead at Cullen I would have been in 6th free and clear. Also if all 6 tournaments counted than I had one more point, one more fish, and .88lbs more than Bill, so I actually had the better year statistically. I know I deserved 6th Place and I get to fish on the Bass Snatcher Challenge Cup Team, so it's all good.

Analysis- I don't think I was necessarily doing the wrong things in this tournament. We just spent far to much time on bad water. Some of that water I don't regret trying because it really seemed fishy. Our bites were just so random that there was nothing to key on. I am still flabbergasted that I was unable to pull a few fish on topwater at the end of the day. Between tournament day and pre-fish we may have just sucked that flat dry.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Great Night at the GOMH

It has been very warm the last few days and so I wanted to get out. Couldn't last night with Dad getting home from the hospital. Today I had to go to the chiropractor again (I went yesterday) and then had to organize tackle for the Fishers of Men Fall Outing. I wasn't able to head out until well after 5PM, so I didn't take to boat but went to the GOMH with the intention of fishing there and at Jenny's.

I decided to start on the SW side and I noticed the water level was now down to about normal high. We haven't had any rain in more than a month. On my very first cast with a watermelon/red Tonka Tackle Halo Crawtube I knocked out this 15.5 jumpin bullhead.

I kept casting and on a cast across out from the bridge I had a pick up and brought in a 15" jumpin bullhead. Quite aways out on the edge of the slop something got blown up on. I thought maybe I could cast there with the Mad Maxx Frog on the Lamiglas Excel set up, but there was a bit of an incoming wind and I would have needed a tail wind to get it that far. I started casting "Big Sexy" about. On a cast across to some matted weeds I had a wake and then eruption. Nice!

It was regular big headed, but skinny 19" bullhead. It jumped several times, so I knew it was big. To bad it was so skinny. Probably went about 3.50lbs.
I went over to the SE side and tried a Zoom Horny Toad and had a big pike jump out of the water at it. I didn't want to lose the toad, so I didn't cast back.

Next I went to the NE side and started slinging the Crawtube. It took a few casts but I was rewarded with a 14.75" jumpin bullhead, then a 16" jumpin bullhead. I made a cast across to the rip rap and something took it right away. I set into a good fish.
I didn't realise how good it was until I had it out of the water. It was a filled out 19.75" and easily over 4.50lbs. Yes Derby Fish!!!

I proceeded to catch another 16" and a 14.25". I tried working a frog down the road but didn't get any hits. It might have gotten too dark.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Tournament Quick Report

The day started with 2 quick fish on topwater but the fish shrunk on me and then it was a grind. Just glad I got a limit. I think it will be my worst finish of the year and I probably got bounced out of the Top 6 as well. Full Report when I know how things shake out.

A big congratulations to Dennis Lothspeich who for the first time in his 22 years as a Baxter Bass Snatcher managed to catch his limit in all 6 Tournaments.

Also a big congratulations to Guy Henkensiefken who won his 4th Tournament of the year and easily sewed up Mr. Bass (Angler of the Year) honors.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bass Snatcher Birch Lake Preview

Barring trouble overnight with my Dad at the hospital I plan on fishing the tournament tomorrow. With Dad in the hospital I probably won't be 100% mentally, but I think lack of focus won't be a big problem.

Who knows how this one will fish. It's suppose to be kind of windy out of the South being cold in the morning and getting up to around 60°F with sun and very few clouds. It could be tough or the fish could really be on the chew and we just might not be able to find the right area's with so little experience on the lake or maybe we will really whack em'. It was pretty cool in the morning the day we pre-fished but it was foggy when we got into our morning bite and it was overcast most of the time we fished. Pre-fish went OK and I think I have a general idea about what I hope will be working. I would be really happy if I can get to 12lbs as I think that would seal my spot in the Top 6 for the year. At a minimum a limit and 10lbs probably wouldn't be to bad.

My boater has a good craft in terms of space for my rods, so I am bringing 10, which for this tournament is really nice to be able to do.

Rod Line Up:
Dock Rod bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke (spinning)
Crawtube Rod
JigNpig/Crawtube Rod
Spinnerbait Rod White
Spinnerbait Rod Black
Buzzbait Rod
Topwater/Rattlebait/Crankbait Rod
Dipper Rod
Toad Rod
Frog Rod

Thursday, September 29, 2011

4AM Wake Up Call

Not to go to a fishing tournament, but to go to the hospital in St. Cloud and see my Dad before he has triple by-pass surgery this morning. It's been a pretty stressful last couple of weeks as my Dad has gone through a series of serious health issues, this latest being the worst.

Yesterday was a really nice day and I got out for a couple of hours to try and take my mind off things. I got 7 jumpin bullheads on Crawtubes at the GOMH and pulled 3 more bass on frogs at Jenny's.

Whether or not I fish the tournament on Saturday depends on how well my Dad comes through this. If you pray, I would appreciate it.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Birch (Hackensack) Pre-fish Report

I got up to Birch Lake in Hackensack with my boater Owen on Saturday Sept 24th. We arrived at the Lake a bit before 8AM. It was a cool morning with heavy fog. Because of the fog we weren't gonna run anywhere, so we just picked a direction and went. We started off on docks, but that was a bust. I started throwing a topwater out into the lake and I was rewarded when this 16.5" busted on my lure.
That fish kind of clued us in to work on the weedflat and about 10 minutes later I got a very similar fish. At that point I switched to a buzzbait. Owen got a couple of bites on a subsurface bait. I pulled a nice bass on the buzzbait, then a small pike. I had a couple of other fish slap at the buzzbait and not get it. The fog lifted as we had pretty much worked our way across that flat. We tried some reeds for a while and I got a hit on a dipper and it bit my tail off, so it was probably a pike. One of the guys from the Bass Snatchers came by to say hello and then took off. We worked some shallow pads, reeds, and docks but nothing was going so we headed out to see if we could re-find some good weeds with a little more depth and we did. We basically drifted in the wind a long way across a weedflat. Not much happened until we started getting pushed towards a certain shore line. I pulled a small pike on a black spinnerbait. A little bit after that I threw up by some reeds and I got another hit. I could tell right away it was a good fish. It turned out to be this pike.

I went to net it and when I got it's head in the net my spinnerbait broke in two. You can see the hook end in the pike's mouth. The blade got caught in the net, so I didn't lose that which was nice.

It was cloudy at this point and wind was blowing in on this shoreline. Owen tried docks, while I casted out. That wasn't doing anything, so we shot out onto the weed flat. After about 10 minutes of that with nothing. We decided to head to the Western basin. When we got into the other lake, there was another Snatcher boat up the way, so we stopped to talk to them. They said they had gotten one good fish. We took off and went to a spot Owen thought looked good. It produced a giant.
It measured 21". I felt really bad Owen got this fish in pre-fish and not the tournament. We worked the area and didn't get any more bites.

Next we moved up shallow into some pads and reeds. We got a couple of biters but the fish were smaller than what we had been getting. After we were done in that area we did a little cruising to look around. We stopped at a spot I thought might be good. I had something hit my spinnerbait but it didn't hook up. There were weeds and a weedline so I started throwing a crawtube and something thumped it. I thought for sure it would be a pike, but it was a 17.75" largie. We worked the area but couldn't get any more bites. Owen got a call about a family emergency and so we had to leave around 2PM.

My impressions: It would be nice if topwater played on tournament day, but conditions will determine if that will go. What we found was pretty sporadic, so I don't really know what to think about it. Owen may get out to pre-fish one more day and I think that will be very helpful if he does. I half wish the pre-fish was tournament day as I was putting together what I believe would be a competitive bag. Hopefully weather will be favorable tournament day as I think the lake could fish really well under the right conditions.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The Vikes have had double digit leads going into half-time every game this season. The Viking are 0-3. This really remarkable. Losing a 20-0 lead, Really!!!

I'm not going to kill the coach for going for it on 4th down in field goal range. As far as I'm concerned that one could go either way given our history this season and the way the Lions had been moving the ball; They should have made the 1st down. Our offensive line play just isn't that good, especially when passing. Donavan McNabb isn't playing particularly well either; He missed a sure touchdown throw today. It doesn't help that receivers are dropping balls. It's hard to understand how the team can look so bad in the second half, when they have played so well in the first half. Frustrating!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pre-fish Birch Tomorrow

My last Baxter Bass Snatcher Tournament of the year is on Birch Lake at Hackensack on October 1st. I think my boater Owen usually fishes as a non-boater and he, like me, has never been on the lake. He doesn't even have a lake map. Birch is a 1,200 acre lake with good water clarity. It is basically is made up of a deep basin(NW) and a shallow basin(SE). I would assume the water isn't as clear in the shallow basin, but I don't know that for a fact. Basically, I know almost nothing about the lake and how it fishes. Apparently Owen knows somebody who has fished it, so hopefully he has a few leads on good areas. I really wish I knew which basin is better in terms of the bass population. Who knows, maybe they are about equal even though the structural makeup is completely different.

I guess I'll know a lot more after tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nate Wellman No Classic

I read someone that predicted this would happen. Wellman bowed out of the last Bassmaster Northern Open and thus is ineligible to fish the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. I think this is as it should be. On BassEast someone complained that the guy who got 2nd at the Erie Open should get the Classic birth, but personally I don't see it that way.

B.A.S.S. Press Release here...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

GOMH & Jenny's

I headed out fishing around 4:30pm today. My first stop was the GOMH it was cloudy and windy out of the S SW. Around 5:30pm it started to sprinkle then light rain and the wind really came up for about 10 minutes. It then sprinkled off and on for the rest of the night with a pretty good wind.

I started on the NE side and the first lure I tossed was the bubblegum Ebay Chatterjig and I got a 12" jumpin bullhead on that.

I fished on the SW side and broke off a toothy bullhead that hit a grass craw Tonka Tackle Halo Craw Tube. I went back to the NE side and rigged up another grass craw Crawtube and got a 11.5" jumpin bullhead on that.

I casted around with a "big sexy" Mad Maxx Frog but didn't get any hits on that. I then switched up to a yellow nose/black River2Sea Bully Wa frog and got this 15.25" jumpin bullhead on that out of the pads.
I did have another hit in the same area but it didn't hook up. I started working East casting from the road and that is when it got rainy and windy. I traveled down the road quite a ways fishing in the various openings and it all looked good because there is no rice there this year. It's just sporadic pads turning into a big field of pads at the last and biggest opening to the East. I had one slap at it and missed one good hit at the end of a long cast. I don't know why I haven't fished this stuff earlier as it looks good.

I got to Jenny's about a quarter to 7PM. Over at her neighbors I had a pike go loco over a Zoom Horny Toad but it didn't get it. The pike jumped out of the water at it 3 times. I then went to the Bully Wa and got 2 nice bass on that out of the rice on long casts. I left around a quarter after 7PM.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vikings Second 2nd Half Collapse

Two weeks into the season and the purple has held the lead at halftime twice. This week the lead was 17-0 and the Vikings are now 0-2. This really doesn't bode well for the season as we just could not afford to lose a home game. In the 2nd half there were a couple of questionable calls by the ref's that just killed the Vikings and a few Viking mistakes that were equally as damaging. I am not sure if the Bucs are a good team or not. They had 12 wins last season, but all but 1 of there wins last year were against mediocre to bad teams. The Bucs lost week 1 by 7 at home to the Detriot Lions. Today at home Detriot kicked the crap out of the KC Chiefs but it kind of looks like the Chiefs are a bad team. Detriot may very well be a pretty good team this year. The Vikes play the 2-0 Lions next week at home.

It seems clear to me that Donovan McNabb needs to pick his game up as he is missing too many throws. Offensive line play needs to be better, no doubt. On the bright side our running game has been very good both weeks and the defence is getting a few turnovers. Something is backward with the running game being so good, yet being unable to hold a lead.

Maybe it will get better next week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Don't Think So Dude! published an opinion piece by some dude named Steve Chaconas who uses the Nate Wellman scandal as a pretext to make the suggestion that the Bassmaster Classic should be an Elite Series Angler only tournament.

Here is his thesis in a nutshell:
But an even stronger argument that the Bassmaster trail is off track remains. The case is made for only Elite Series anglers to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. Allowing anglers to qualify for the sport's biggest championship from lower-level competitions only opens the door for desperation and dishonesty.

No winners of the Opens, no collegiate champion, no Federation Nation anglers, no Bassmaster Weekend Series champion. Only Elite Series anglers should be in the “Big Game."

In my opinion this is nothing but crazy talk. I don't know about the collegiate champions, winners of the Opens, and Bassmaster Weekend Series champion, but if B.A.S.S. were to take the Federation Nation anglers out of the Classic than I as a fan would be done with the Classic. No blogging about it. No caring about it. This is something I have already done with the sport of professional baseball and hockey.

As far as I'm concerned it's the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society with it's Federations that built the foundation of the sport of bass fishing and the Bassmaster Classic so it could grow into what it has become today. Cutting out the grassroots tradition of participation in the Bassmaster Classic would be a monumental mistake. I highly doubt the new owners of B.A.S.S. would even entertain the idea and Elite Series Pro's would be cutting off their nose to spite their face to suggest such a thing. However K-Pink on Facebook seems to endorse the idea. I think less of Kevin Short now than I already did and he already wasn't one of my favorite pro's to begin with because he has put his foot in his mouth in the past.

As for the Chaconas contention that "Allowing anglers to qualify for the sport's biggest championship from lower-level competitions only opens the door for desperation and dishonesty." I think the desperation part is in the equation if it is Elite Series Pro's only. There certainly have been a fair share of unfortunate instances of lack of sportsmanship in the Elite Series over the years.

The only area where I think he has a point is where it comes to dishonesty. The more people you exclude and the more you put that smaller group under the microscope the less likely you are to have people try and cut corners because they simply wouldn't be able to get away with it. But I don't think the trade off is worth sacrificing something that makes this sport go round. The Bassmater trail is not "off track"; However, implementing Steve Chaconas ideas would do just that.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Mosquito's Were Biting

It's been cold we had at least one hard freeze and I think it might have gotten to freezing last night too, but we still have lots of mosquito's flying around. Not Cool. Also not cool was my fishing trip to the GOMH tonight. I had two bites on the Berkley Havoc Lane's Grass Pig, but neither fish really got it and so I ended up with the

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Kathio State Park Dam

There is a dam on the Rum River on the South end of Ogechie Lake in Kathio State Park. I've known this dam exists, but have never tried to fish it because I didn't feel like paying the fee to get into the park. However this year with the success I have had at the Shakopee Lake bridge over the Rum I figured I better check out what I have been missing. It's $5 for a day pass and $25 for a 1 year pass; Your first $5 day pass can be applied to a year pass.

Today was cold and windy, so I wasn't going to take the boat out to Platte/Sullivan, so I figured today would be as good a day as any to check out the dam. I arrived at Kathio around 1:30PM and after paying my dues and one wrong turn I made it to the proper parking lot. It's about an 1/10th of a mile hike from the parking lot to the dam. Thanks to looking at Google Earth I was aware of this and had packed my tackle into my small bag. I brought 6 rods with me.

The wind was out of the NW which meant the dam was sort of protected a bit. The water is on the high side and flowing fast. I started out throwing topwaters but didn't get any hits. Next I put on a Strike King Pure Poison with a Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty trailer. On my very first cast I had a good fish on. What would it be? Smallie? Largie? Pike? Muskie? Walleye? Carp? Dogfish? It kind of got caught up in some grass by shore, but I was able to pull it through and it was a nice largie.

It was a hefty 18.25" and with that being the 1st cast I thought I might be in for a whackfest. However I soon discovered there were not a bunch of fish stacked up and waiting to bite. Eventually I lost the Pure Poison to a snag. I cycled through a bunch of lures over the next couple of hours without a hit. Eventually I put on a pink chatterbait knock off that I bought on Ebay a couple of years ago. I made a long cast across the river and got hit by this little pike.
A little while later it started to sprinkle and then rain, so I went and stood under a tree as I didn't have raingear with me. After about 15 minutes the rain stopped and I went back to fishing. After about 10 minutes a guy showed up to fish. Unfortunately this was his first time fishing there, so he couldn't give me any information about how the spot fishes throughout the season. After about 10 minutes it started raining bb to pea sized hail. That lasted about 5 minutes then it rained for a couple of minutes and quit. At that point I had enough as I was wet and getting cold. I left around 5PM.

On the way in and out I hit the Shakopee bridge, but it was dead except for a hit from a very small pike.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good Night At the GOMH

I headed out of the house a little before 7PM and my first stop was the Grumpy Old Man Hole. The wind was blowing pretty good out of the South. Per usual I set up on the NE side. I started out throwing something new; A watermelon/red Big Bite Baits Bio Bait Crawtube. The BBB Crawtube is made of a biodegradable plastic that has "Bio Bait" scent which is slimy and stinks. They are on sale at Tackle Warehouse for $1.99 a pack and since I was getting some other things I couldn't resist picking up a few packs at that price plus a 15% discount for Labor Day. They are 4" just like a Lake Fork Crawtube, but they are more compact and less bulky than a Lake Fork CT.

Crawtubes have been my #1 bass catcher this season and obviously I was hoping these inexpensive baits would be fish catchers. I fished for about 10 minutes without a sniff and then on a cast to the middle of the channel just out from the bridge something nailed it, but when I set the hook nothing was there. I kind of figured it was a pike, but I kept casting to the area anyway. On about the 7 cast back something picked it up and this time I hooked it and it was a good fish.

She went 18.5". GOM Willard drove up just as I was taking pictures. He congratulated me on the nice fish and told me he had gotten a couple of jumpin bullheads yesterday, but nothing that big. I let her go and resumed fishing. A couple minutes later I had another hit and brought a 14"+ jumpin bullhead in. I offered it to Willard, but he didn't want it. A couple of casts later I got an 11" jumpin bullhead. After about 5 more minutes with nothing I headed to the South side. I got a couple of nibbles, but nothing to set the hook into. By the time I got back to the NE side it was getting dark pretty quick. I decided to throw a frog and on about the 3rd cast it got belted good up in the rice. It was obviously another good fish.

Choked the "Big Sexy" Mad Maxx

This one went 18.75"

I did get one more hit on the frog in the pads, but I think it was a pike. It got dark fast and I left a little after 8PM.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jim Severson Wins MN B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Tournament of Champions

If you pay attention to the tournament bass fishing scene in MN than you are probably familiar with Jim Severson as he shows up near the top of the standings often. He pulled out the victory at the MN B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Tournament of Champions on the Whitefish Chain last week with 33.40lbs. The Federation Nation TOC is probably the biggest bass tournament in the state of MN in terms of angler participation.

From my club the Baxter Bass Snatcher the wily veteran Chuck Steinbauer made yet another State Team by finishing in 12th Place. Way to go Chuck!!!

Full Results Here(PDF)...

BassEast Interview with Joe the Co

Joe Stois is the Co-Angler at the center of the Nate Wellman controversy. He has done an audio interview with that is worth a listen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

1st Viking Blogging of 2011 Season

Not sure why I have been mum on the team up to this point. Maybe because I've been taking a wait and see attitude. I think getting Donovan was a good move for the team. Hopefully he will have a good year. But even with a good year for Donovan things might be tough for the purple in 2011. As week 1 shows, we are in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL and we don't have an easy schedule in the non-division games. Week 1 in San Diego we were simply beat by a better team and winning would have been a tall order. Still the Vikes were very much in the game and had a realistic shot at the win. It was nice to see our defence getting some turnovers, which was a problem last season. If the Vikes are going to do anything this season the defence will have to be better than they were last year, especially at creating turnovers. Not having KWill for the first two games doesn't help.

I was surprised to see AP almost had 100yards today. If for no other reason, the Vikes are worth watching because of AP. He may go down as one of the all-time great backs in NFL history if he can stay healthy and remain in peak form for a few more seasons. It's nice to see he will probably be in purple for the rest of his career. I just hope our O line play is worthy. Our O line run blocking wasn't great last season and the O line pass blocking last year was borderline poor. The first game wasn't encouraging in terms of the pass blocking, but I think San Diego has a well above average defence, but then so do the Packers, Bears, and maybe even the Lions. Hopefully Donovan's es-capability means he won't get killed.

My expectations for the season are not high. I just hope we are competitive and fun to watch.

In the BP Derby Holmer Rolls Five 6's

Jason Holmer of Minnesota Bass Fishing/Bass Utopia blog has won my MN Bass Fishing Blogger Derby the past two years running. Most likely he will win it again this year as he has shattered his All-Time Derby record bag of 28.92lbs with already 32.24lbs this year and Sept/Oct are big fish months.

See what his bag contains at my Derby Blog...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Morning Froggin'

Yesterday I got my replacement rod from St. Croix for the frog rod I broke in July (I didn't mail it until the end of last week). So this morning I wanted to go out and throw a few casts to break it in. I decided the reel I'm putting on this St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Carolina Rig Rod is better suited to a weighted hook with a dipper rather than an unweighted Zoom Horny Toad, so that is what I rigged it up with. My older LTB Carolina Rig Rod was rigged with the Horny Toad.

A little after 7AM I headed out to Jenny's. Nothing doing on the Berkley Havoc Lane's Grass Pig and the Horny Toad. The lure of last resort was a Mad Maxx Frog which I can throw out quite a bit further than the 1st two lures I tried. Getting out farther was the trick and I had a blow up which I missed. I cast out to the same general area and something exploded on it again and this time I hooked up.

It was a chunky 15.5". I did manage to get a couple of other weak hits, but didn't hook up with them. I think I left around 9AM

Friday, September 09, 2011

Derby Updated

I finally got around to updating the Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2011 blog this morning. Not much movement with the improved bags.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Good Luck Boys!!!

Today is the start of the 2-Day MN B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Tournament of Champions at the Whitefish Chain here in Central MN. I'm not sure of who all is fishing it from my Club the Baxter Bass Snatchers and MN Bass fishing bloggers. My guess is I won't be able to see the results until after it is over unless Rich Lindgren Facebook or blogs them. Maybe if I wasn't such a Putz, I would go to the Day 2 weigh-in.

Have Fun guys and Good Luck!!!

So why am I not fishing it? I thought maybe some Bass Pundit readers may wonder why I am not there. I could fish it if I wanted too, but I'm just not that interested enough to justify the expense. To fish it, I would have to become a member of the MN Federation Nation. I am not sure how much the dues are, but I think it'a around $50. If I were to fish the state TOC I would be doing it as a non-boater which makes my chances of making the State team slim and none. And even if I were to make the state team, I'm not interested in going to Divisionals. Because this is the case it just doesn't make any sense for me financially to participate. Also it's a 2 day tournament with a compressed pre-fish and those physical demands would push me to my limits in terms of physical endurance.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Elite Series Angler Nate Wellman Fined

“Bassmaster Elite Series angler Nate Wellman has been fined and placed on a one-year probation due to violation of B.A.S.S. tournament rule 3(vii), which prohibits ‘suggesting to another competitor that he violate these (B.A.S.S.) rules.’
For the story at go here...

Apparently Nate offered to buy a big fish off of his Co-angler a few times. Nate says he was joking, but apparently the Co didn't see it that way and reported the solicitation to tournament officials. Nate has offered an apology, which can be seen at the link.

Honestly, I think Nate probably got off easy on this one. He didn't deny the allegations, just gave them a different interpretation. Naturally some people are kvetching that Nate didn't get a DQ for this. In my Solomonic wisdom I do not think a DQ was called for because he won the tournament fair and square. The fine should have been at least 5 Grand IMO. I also think the Classic berth should have been stripped and vacated because I don't think probation is much of a punishment.

Update: Big Bass Specialist and Bass Blogger Jason Holmer left a comment wondering why a polygraph test wasn't given? I think that is a very valid question. I think that is in the interest B.A.S.S., the integrity of the sport, and Nate provided he really wasn't trying to cheat.

Update: Jason Holmer wrote a well thought out blog post about what he thinks should be done.

Update: BassFan now has an article that gives fuller info from Wellman, the Co-Angler, and Jerry McKinnis.

Update: BassEast has an audio interview with Joe the Co, who is at the center of this. Worth a listen.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baxter Bass Snatchers Fish Hook Lake August 27th

If this sounds like whining it is: It really bites when your best bag of the year is only good enough to be equal with your worst finish place wise of the season. The boys caught em' good in this one. New Baxter Bass Snatcher Club tournament record for average size of bags weighed (13.20lbs).

Here's how the day went.

Conditions: Mix of sun and clouds with overcast for the last couple of hours. Light winds. Cool in the morning warming up to the mid to high 70's.

Play by Play: The plan to start the day was to hit some docks that I pulled a 3+lber off of one of them in pre-fish. These docks had reeds around them that were sometimes thick and sometimes sparse. In one of the sparse area's I made a cast up by some weeds that were in the reeds and I had a pick up on my bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke, which turned out to be a 15.5" largie. In another thick area of reeds I had a fish which I'm 90% sure was a pike smack a white Berkley Havoc Grass Pig. The docks were a bust and we soon headed off to a weedline spot.

Right away at the weedline I brought in a nice 15.25" bass on a rusty Craw Tonka Tackle Halo Craw Tube. I was off to a pretty good start. As we were working our way down my boater Chuck got his first fish, which was in the same general size range of my two. I got bit off by a pike and decided to try a little lighter weight on my Texas rig Craw Tube. I got a 13.25" on that. Chuck also got another fish. With the calm to light ripple I decided to try a Berkley Frenzy Popper. That wasn't happening and while I was fooling around with that, Chuck caught his best fish of the day. Pretty soon Chuck was encouraging me, mocking me really, to keep throwing the topwater. Eventually I put down the topwater and tried a crankbait, as Chuck brought in a couple more fish. Eventually I did get back to the Crawtube but didn't get any more bites in this area.

After we fished through the area 3 times, we headed off to try some more docks, which was a bust. Eventually we got into some reeds where I think Chuck picked up his limit fish and one that went back and I got a 14.5" bass on a "big sexy" Mad Maxx Frog.

I think our next stop was Chuck's honey hole from the last club tournament on Fish Hook. I think Chuck got a rock bass. Next we headed to another weedline where I think got bit off so I changed to a black/red fleck Lake Fork Crawtube with which I had gotten some good fish in pre-fish. I stayed with the lighter bullet sinker. I got a 13.5" bass and a pike. We headed back to the first weedline we hit and I got a pike and maybe Chuck picked up a bass or two. We talked to one of the club boats, which was up working the reeds and Mark said it was slow, but he had a limit.

Next thing we did was go to the reeds. I threw a frog while Chuck threw a jig and maybe a Crawtube as well. We worked the reeds for quite a while and I don't remember if Chuck got a fish or not. I think he might have missed a bite or two. We got to an area where there was an open pocket back in the reeds and Chuck asked me if I wanted to go back in there. I said why not and so we did. I made a cast toward the far end of the pocket and a fish just lit up Mad Maxx. It jumped and we saw it was a big fish. I got it in and it had choked the frog. Here she is:
Chuck thought it might go 5. I measured it and it was something over 19 inches, but I'm not sure how long as the measuring board ended at 18inches. Turns out the fish only went 4-5, but this fish was huge for me and probably bumped me 5-7 places in the standings. That was it in those reeds.

It was sunny out so we went and re-tried the 2nd set of docks, but that was a bust again. We went back and re-hit a weedline spot that we had trouble getting on the first time because of another tournament boat. I pulled up a pike on the Crawtube and then Chuck landed several bass most of which didn't help him, but would have helped me. I think I got a 13" that didn't help me. Eventually we got up on this point and pitched into the holes in the grass that we could see, Chuck got a couple more that didn't help him.

It started to cloud up and we headed to either a marina or resort of something where there were 2 docks with lots of boats. On the very last boat on the 1st dock Chuck pulled a fish and I got a 14" on the bubblegum Super Fluke which culled the 13.25". I don't think we got anything on the 2nd dock.

Chuck remembered a reed and slop spot so we headed there next. We worked ourselves into the inside edge of the reeds and then there was a little open area before a big field of pads started. As we worked along Chuck fished the reeds with a jig or a frog and I threw my frog to the pads. Chuck pulled a fish out of the reeds, so I started working them too. I made a cast and something moved, so I just worked the frog in place for about a minute. Just as I was about to reel it in, a fish sucked in the frog and it was a 14.5". I couldn't remember if I wrote down my last cull or not, so I wasn't sure which was my smallest fish. I pulled out the two proper colored ropes and looked at the fish. They looked to be about the same size, so I threw back the one on the yellow cull tag thinking I had indeed forgotten to write down my last cull. I put the new fish in the box, then measured the fish on the orange cull tag, so I could write down the length. I was shocked to discover this fish was only 13.5" and was the one I should have culled out. It's hard to say if this error cost me because I needed 3 more ozs to move up and when I compared the 2 fish, they looked pretty even to me. Should have used Chuck's cull beam to be sure. Anyway Chuck got a good cull out of the reeds on a frog.

I think there was about an hour left and so we headed for the reeds where I had gotten my big one. I had several fish boil on the Mad Maxx, but only 1 took it and that was a small fish that I waterskied on the hookeset and it came off. Unfortunately most of the missed bites couldn't be followed up with another lure as they were at the end of long casts or in reeds to thick for anything but the frog. With about 20 minutes to go we took a 3rd pass on a certain set of docks, but they were worthless again and that was the end of our day.

Results: My 6 fish went 13-7, which put me in 12th place out of 22 anglers, which was actually a bit of a relief when I saw the official standings as I thought I was going to be 13th or 14th. The winning bag was 19-1 and big bass was 5-5. Chuck had 15-7, which only got him 6th Place.

Top 6 Race: In the race for the Top 6 at the end of the year, which was a 3 way race for the final 2 spots going into this tournament (Mark M., Bill L, and I), basically Mark guaranteed he will be there with a 3rd Place finish. I finished 4 spots in front of Bill and both of us tied our worst finishes of the year (we throw the worst tournament out so 5 of 6 count). A surprise was that another guy (Barry M.) moved into the race with his 8th Place Finish. Going into the last tournament I have 5 places on Barry and 6 places on Bill, so my lead more than doubled, but I really blew a chance to effectively close the door.

Analysis- Coming into the tournament I really wanted a Top 8 finish as I had a very good partner draw. I thought a 13lb bag would put me right there. As it turned out Fish Hook produced some of the best fishing the club has ever seen. There were four 13lb bags and mine was the lightest of them. I didn't even finish in the top half of the field. I can't be too disappointed as things could have gone far worse had I not caught the big one I did, but then again with the big fish a more competitive bag was well within reach. Chuck out fished me pretty bad in terms of number of bass caught; It was pretty close to 2-1 if not more.

One thing I'm left to wonder about is going lighter on my Texas Rig sinker with the Crawtube. The change produced a smaller grade of fish then what I got in pre-fish and my biggest Crawtube bass of the day came with the heavier weight. There were also several instances where fish picked up the Crawtube and dropped it quickly and wouldn't pick it back up again. The only fish that did that and picked it up again was a pike. The black red fleck Lake Fork Crawtube that gave me 3 nice bass in pre-fish was a bust, even though light conditions were close to the same. I never did throw a Yum Wooly Bug, which is something that produced 14.5-15.5 bass in pre-fish. I also never threw a jig.

Next Bass Snatcher Tournament: October 1st @Birch (Hackensack)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fishing with Turkey's

Pete was still around today, so we went fishing around 4PM. First we hit Bulldog at Holy Family and got nothing. Pete then suggested we try Erskine and so we went there. I didn't realize the Erskine public access is actually worth fishing. It has some nice pads right out from shore and there is quite a bit of area to fish. Anyway while we were fishing some domesticated turkeys came along and sat down right behind me. Pete was amused by this and took pictures. While the Turkeys were there I had a fish hit at my white Berkley Havoc Grass Pig twice. Somehow I didn't hook up either time. Eventually we left with the turkeys still wanting to follow us.

Next we went to Rock where Pete had 2 bites on his pink spinnerbait. The second fish got caught in the reeds and Pete's line broke. I think I had one hit on the Crawtube, but it dropped it before I could set. It started to rain.

Next we headed to Jenny's where we amazingly couldn't get hit.

Next we headed to our Lake Place where I got a 15"+ on the River2Sea Frog by a clump of pads up by shore. Didn't have the camera with. I had another fish show at the frog, but I couldn't get it to hit a second time. I think it might have been a dogfish.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kelly J Don's Dock

Pete is still here for one more night. We got out of the house at about a quarter to 8 and headed right to Don's. When we arrived Don was out on his dock per usual. He had been getting a few gills. I started out with a Crawtube, but quickly switched to a Repo Man. There was very little wind and a slight ripple on the water. Don got 2 more nice gills. I switched to a bluegill color Lucky Craft Kelly J and this bass blasted it.

I would say it was about 15.5". That was the only hit and about 5 minutes more fishing and we left cause of skeeters.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fishing with Pete & Gordy at Camp Lebanon

Pete talked me into heading out to fish with Gordy (from the Fishers of Men Fishing Club Twin Cities) today. I think we arrived at Cedar Lake in SW Morrison County a little after 4PM. The lake has fairly clear water water and it was sunny. We fished shallow in some reeds where I got this 13" largie on a big sexy color Mad Maxx frog.
We then fished up shallow along the South shore in the shade of overhanging trees. I made a good cast and was distracted by something. I felt a tug immediately looked up saw my Mad Maxx frog was gone, so I set in this 14"+ fish.

A little ways down we came to a dock where Gordy got 2 bass yesterday and he pulled out this dude on a Senko.

Gordy had a couple more bites but was unable to land the fish. I think I had a fish pick my Crawtube but before I could set it dropped it. Gordy had to go in to head home at about 6PM.

Pete and I went to the GOMH and got nothing, then to Jenny's and got nothing, then to Don's Dock where Pete got a nice 15"+ bass and small pike on his pink spinnerbait. I didn't get a hit on the Crawtube and I really wished I would have brought my topwater stuff down as it was dead calm.

Fish Hook Tournament Quick Report

It looks like I missed an opportunity to solidify myself in the Baxter Bass Snatcher Top 6 in end of the year AOY points. I hit my target weight with over 13lbs at 13lbs 7ozs, but the guys just crushed them and I may not even be in the top half of the field. I did however land in front of 1 of the guys close to me for the Top 6, so that was OK. The other guy I was close to for the Top 6 solidified himself in the Top 6 with a 2nd Place finish.

I had a 4-5 kicker or I really would have been hurting. The size from pre-fish just disappeared on me, my boater Chuck Steinbauer had a much better day and had a 15lb bag. Chuck pretty much kicked my butt after I put him down 2-0 in the morning. My first two fish were the only quality to go with the 4-5. We spent way to much time on docks which were pretty much a complete bust. It was reeds and weedlines.

19lbs won and there were 2 17lb bags.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bass Snatcher Fish Hook Lake Preview

Tomorrow the Bass Snatcher sink our hooks into Fish Hook Lake at Park Rapids MN. It's a good lake and the weather looks favorable with light to moderate wind. Weights should be pretty good. Basically I think we will be doing 3 things. Docks, Reeds, and Weedlines. It isn't the biggest lake in the world and my boater Chuck Steinbauer thinks the fish may be a beat up from the pre-fishing guys were doing. Apparently reports must have been pretty good. It's going to be a long day getting up early with a couple hours in the car to get there and weigh-in isn't until 4PM. Hopefully the bite will be best early while I am physical at my most fresh and alert. Basically I am hoping to have over 13lbs, which will probably be enough for a Top 8 finish. However if I can't get in the Top 8, if I can just beat out 2 particular guys on the day, then I should still be good. Basically there is now a 3 way race for the final 2 spots in the club Top 6 in AOY. If I can get a Top 8 that should really put some pressure on the other two if they don't have good days tomorrow.

As for my starting line up:
Dock Rod bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke (spinning)
Dipper Rod
Crawtube Rod
Beaver Rod
Topwater & Crank Rod
JigNpig Rod
Slop Frog Rod

Night on Don's Dock with Don & Pete

Went over to Don's after 7PM last night. I stuck first blood with a pike, that I thought we were giving to Don, so I put it up in his yard. Turns out Don, didn't want it, so Pete took it. Will it get cleaned or not? That is the question. Don caught a few gills and Pete got skunked. There was a nice sunset with rays coming through the clouds.

Monday, August 22, 2011

2 Trips 2 Days 3 Fish

Yesterday I headed to the Grumpy Old Man Hole around 3PM. GOM Willard was there along with another older guy. There was couple fishing the SW side and the NW side they both has a few nice orange bullheads and the guy on the NW side said he got a jumpin bullhead. I couldn't get anything. I thought I might have had something pick up the Crawtube way under the bridge, but it let go right away. The others left and I kept trying. A young lady all by herself showed up and started fishing. Neither of us got anything. I tried the SW side and there was a Rattlin Rap sitting there. I went up to the North side and asked if it was the lady's, but she said no. That is when I noticed it was cracked. No action on the South side, so I headed up to the car and started long casting to the slop from the road. The lady I gave a jumpin bullhead to the previous night showed up so I went and talked to her. She said after I left she had several bullheads bite, but was unable to catch any. She said the fish I gave her was good. Then she told me the story of "the Demon Fish" she encountered out there last year. Me and the young lady got a kick out of her story. From the description it sounded like either a pike or a dogfish. Tonight Willard told me it was a dogfish. Anyway I left and headed to Jenny's.

At Jenny's I was just about to leave when I had a blow up on "Big Sexy"

That is a Mad Maxx Frog big sexy color.

After that I headed to the Rock Dock. I was fishing a Crawtube when I got a hit and caught this little dude.

And that was it for the night.

Tonight I headed out to the GOMH a little after 7PM. As I was getting my stuff out of the truck GOM Willard showed up. The lady from the last couple of days was there as was another guy and his son fishing on the N side of the bridge. The lady says she caught a big fish last night. At first I thought it was a jumpin bullhead and I was bummed she kept it, but then it became clear it was a toothy bullhead instead, so I didn't care. I went down to the SW side, which was dead. After about half and hour I headed to the NE side. As I did the lady had a fish putting a serious bend in her pole, it ended up breaking her off. The older kid said it was a toothy bullhead. Willard came down by me and spotted a bobber that was under the water. I tried casting to it but the bobber disappeared, probably that lady's fish. We saw what we thought might be a dogfish surfacing out by the channel pads, It may also have been that lady's fish with the line stuck in the weeds causing the fish to swim at the surface. Whatever I couldn't get it to bite. I was pitching right in front of me when I had a hit on the grass craw Tonka Tackle Halo Crawtube. I set hard, but into nothing as a pike had obviously shredded my line and stole that Trokar Flippen Hook. Now I'm down to 2 hooks.

Not wanting to go back to the car to retie I started throwing the bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke. One time I pitched it out to the hole right out in front of me when something grabbed it. I thought it was going to be that pike, but when I set the hook I immediately saw it was a big bass. It stripped drag and almost got into the pads but I was just able to keep it out with the 14lb Fireline. I pulled it in to the kid who was down on the rocks and he lipped it. I figured this was the same fish I caught 2 days ago and sure enough it was the same length at 19.5"

This was the only fish I caught.