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.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Holmer Dropping Bombs Breaks 30lb Barrier

He didn't quite hit 7 again, but it's very close. Also adds a 5+ and that makes him the first to ever eclipse the 6lb average mark. Jason Holmer of Minnesota Bass Fishing Blog, can he be stopped?

The story of these two lunkers here...

6.87lbs West Metro Lake Football Jig
5.37lbs West Metro Lake Football Jig


Total= 5 for 30.36lbs

See what the other MN Bass Fishing Bloggers are landing at my Derby Blog...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

GOMH Derby Fluke

This afternoon I wanted to get out to throw a Zoom Super Fluke and get more experience with the Trokar Flippen Hook. I headed out to the GOMH at about 5PM and started on the NE side. My first offering was the bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke and I caught a 12" jumpin bullhead right away. A little bit after that I missed a bite, which tore the nose up on the Fluke, so I had to go to the car to get another. I then started throwing up under the bridge and missed a couple of hits. Finally on the 3rd try I hooked up and it was a good one.

She went 19.5". Unfortunately when I pulled the hook out I stuck myself pretty good in the finger and started bleeding pretty good. I had to run up to the car to see if I could find a band aid or napkin. While I was doing that a lady showed up to fish. Before I could get back to fishing two boats also went under the bridge. The lady was after sunfish and she fished off to the NW side so I was still able to cast under the bridge. Unfortunately I think the boats spooked the fish I think that were there. Eventually I did pull a 14" jumpin bullhead. I tried the Crawtube and missed one hit. Then I worked the pads and slop with a Grass Pig and Mad Maxx, but didn't get anything. The lady hooked into a 13" class bass and was bringing it up onto the bridge when her line broke and the fish got away. I went and fished the SE side and got a 13" on the Fluke which I gave to the lady. I missed another hit. A thunderstorm started moving in so I left around 7PM.

MN Bass Fishing Blogger Josh Douglas With Big Win

Blogger Josh Douglas of who aspires to be Full-Time Professional Tournament Bass Fishermen pulled off a big win yesterday on Lake Minnetonka with the North American Bass Circuit with a massive 23 and a half pound 5 fish bag. Minnetonka is MN's premier bass tournament lake and this tournament brought out most of the Tonka big guns. For instance I know Matt Peters fished it as well as the Capra's, Ravlings, and many others. 44 Boats fished it. The full results are here. Josh fished with partner Corey Brant.

Congratulations Josh!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bass Snatchers Fish Hook Pre-fish(short)

I got out on Thursday August 18th with my boater Chuck Steinbauer to pre-fish Fish Hook Lake in Park Rapids in anticipation of our August 27th Tournament. We hit the water about 7AM, which is an hour before tournament start time. The weather was cloudy and calm in the morning. About 9AM the wind really came up and we had periods of sun and clouds. We went right to Chuck's best spot and he had a bass on in no time but it wasn't that big and on this lake you need size. Chuck was disappointed that the cabbage weed on this spot seemed. We bounced a few spots before getting on something at gave up a few fish. On this spot one of the bass had a crawfish in it's gullet, so I got to see at least one of the crawfish colors. The rest of the day we bounced around and tried a few different things catching a few fish here and there. We didn't really find any good concentrations. Size wasn't bad and these fish are well fed chunks. I caught a total of 11 bass and 1 pike. Only 1 of the bass was under 14 inches. Chuck caught a few more than me, but our best 6 were pretty similar. We got off the water after 4PM, so it was a long day on the water. There is a small chance I will get out and pre-fish one more time, but Chuck almost certainly will.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

GOMH Morning Fun

I got out to the Grumpy Old Man Hole about 6:30AM and no current was moving. The water is even higher than last week and there is a sign as you go into Sullivan that asks for No Wake in Sullivan. I don't know if the lakes are all No Wake now or not. I started out fishing with a Think Tank Triggerfish on the NE side and I got this 14.75".

That was the only one I could get on topwater and really it wasn't a topwater fish as I caught it working the bait sub-surface. I then switched to a green pumpkin Lake Fork Crawtube and got a couple of more jumpin bullheads. I went to the SW side and got a jumpin bullhead on the Strike King Pure Poison and a couple on the Crawtube. I then went back to the NW side and didn't get anything. I went to the NE side and made a couple of casts with a Zoom Horny Toad to guage my distance. I then switched reels and gained 10 to 15 feet. On one of my casts this 15.5" just smoked the Horny Toad.

A few casts later I broke my line on the cast. I tied on a yellow Horny Toad. I threw some casts with the Mad Maxx Frog and even had a good hit, but I didn't hook up.

I then went to Jenny's and caught a small pike on the Horny Toad. I think I have caught every hit I've had on the Horny Toad with the 7'3"MH St. Criox Legend Tournament Bass Carolina Rig Rod and now that I'm getting better casting distance, this is a combo I'm thinking about for the rod replacement I'll be doing.

Same Old Same Old (Minus the 7lb kicker)

The Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2011 has a new leader. Derby standings are updated and new posts will be going up all week. Lots of big bags this year.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Congratulations Scott Roland Martin

FLW likes to hype the Forrest Wood Cup as greatest title in Professional Bass Fishing. Honestly, I don't know that it is even the greatest bass fishing title within in the FLW Organization. I think winning the FLW Angler of the Year title is actually more impressive and has a better pedigree in terms of past Champions. What the Forrest Wood Cup has undoubtly been is the single richest payout in profesional Bass Fishing. There is no doubt that it is one of the major Championships of the sport. Yesterday bass fishing legend Roland Martin's son Scott won the Forrest Wood Cup giving him the major tour tournament championship title his dad was never able to win.

Congratulations Scott and the whole Martin Family!!!

I wish I would have been able to watch the weigh-in, but I had important family stuff to do today so I missed it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Of These Days...

I will get around to updating the Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2011. I've got a cull that I've been sitting on for a couple of weeks. 5Bass has added major upgradeage, Ikeslayer culled, I've got fish to add for Josh Douglas and 2 Time Defending Champ Jason Holmer has stepped into the ring. I also have the downlow on some fish for B3, even though he isn't blogging. One of these days...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

MN Bass Fishing Blogger Headed to Fedration Nation National Tournament

Current Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2011 leader Andy Nitchals of MN bass fishing blog Andy's Bass Blog just finished in 1st Place for the MN team at the 2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Northern Divisional at the Mississippi River - Ft. Madison, IA, Aug 10 - 12, 2011. The 1st Place Finish means Andy will represent MN at the 2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship Nov. 3-5, 2011, on the Ouachita River out of Monroe, La. If Andy can be the top angler in his division in that tournament, he will earn a birth to the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River.

I think the odds are probably against Andy making the classic as I don't think he's a river rat. In the Divisional on the Mississippi he finished in 11th Place.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Fuego GOMH

I couldn't resist bidding on a couple of Team Daiwa Fuego reels that were spelled Diawa in their listings. The sellers error was my gain as I picked them up for an excellent price. I was the only bidder on both. They arrived yesterday and I had to try them out this morning.

Yes the new reels performed well and I landed some jumpin bullheads

I got 6x 14's"
4x 13's"
2x 12's"
1x 11.5"

3 were caught on a black/blue Strike King Pure Poison with beat up black/blue Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty trailer.
The other 10 went to a green pumpkin Lake Fork Crawtube, pushing the Crawtube into the #1 spot for my bass catchers this year.

I got fish on the South and North sides. I missed a few hits as well.

BP On Successful Shore Fishing

I received a comment from blog reader Cory asking about bank/shore fishing that I would like to respond too. Here is what Cory wrote:
So I've noticed that often hit several spots when you head out to fish. Are you fishing all of these spots from the bank?

I don't own a boat, so all of my fishing is done from the bank. Any bass fishing tips you can offer to us bank fishers that might help with landing a few more?!?

Yes Cory, a lot of the time I am hitting spots on the bank, especially this year.

As far as tips go, I think I have to start with something basic and that is the L of the In-Fisherman F+L+P= Fishing Success formula. The L stands for Location. If you are going to have success fishing from shore, you need to do the leg work of finding productive spots, the more spots the better. This may or may not be easy to do. I am lucky in that I have access to some pretty good bass fishing spots from shore. Not all spots are created equal and some spots were much more productive the last few years than they have been this year, Eddy's Jetty for smallmouth specifically. While Eddy's Jetty hasn't been so good this year, I started fishing another spot, the Shakopee Bridge, which is on the way to the Eddy's Jetty that I just ignorned before and this new spot has paid off well.

Another thing I think that is important with shore fishing is timing. When I think of timing there are 3 different aspects of it: Seasonal Prime Timing, Daily Prime Timing and Fishing Pressure Timing.

Seasonal Prime Timing- Is all about being aware of at what point in the year your shore fishing spot will be at it's best and worst. A shore spot may only be productive for a limited period of time. Thus it is important that you find out when that prime time is and take advantage of it.

Daily Prime Timing- Is all about hitting your shore spots at a time of day that have the most chance of being productive. That may mean getting out early, fishing at dusk, or at night. If you are lucky, you might have access to spots that can be good at any time of day, but usually dawn and dusk will be best in the summer time.

Fishing Pressure Prime Timing- How much fishing pressure your spots will get is usually going to be beyond your control. Hit this one wrong and there may be nothing for you to catch, because someone beat you to it. Still, even though a spot is getting pressure it still might be worth a stop. This is another one where the early bird may get the worm or the person that plays the Daily Prime Timing right.

One last tip: If it's feaseable bring multiple rods or presentations to try. One thing may work and another not. Or maybe trying different things will catch additional fish. I will shore fish at times with 6-8 rods. If you've got em', use em'.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Last Stop Saved From Skunk

Tonight I wanted to try hitting a new spot, but first it was old one's. I was under way just after 7PM.

GOMH-People there fishing, didn't stop.

Jenny's- Skunk

Bulldog- Skunk

Whitefish Outlet Culvert- Skunk

Whitefish Outlet at 169 Bridge- Skunk

Shakopee Bridge- People fishing so I went to Subway.

When I got done eating my Subway it was getting dark fast. I elected to try back at the Shakopee Bridge. I got chewed by mosquito's, but my Crawtube also got chewed by this 16.5" largie.

I did have a couple of other hits that didn't hook up. After it got sufficiently dark I decided to leave. I decided not to hit Eddy's Jetty as the skeeters probably would have been pretty bad there too and I didn't have a headlamp.

Friday, August 05, 2011

August Morning At The GOMH

I was up at daybreak, so I decided to do some fishing. So off I headed to the Grumpy Old Man Hole. I started out throwing the Think Tank Lures Triggerfish on the NE side.


I got 2 13inchers on the Triggerfish and I missed one hit.

Next I threw a white Zoom Horny Toad. I had to work it subsurface to get the 13 incher I got on that. I also had a fish swirl on it subsurface.

I tried the Dagored, Kelly J, and Kelly J Jr. I switched to a green pumpkin Crawtube and got an 11", 12", and 13"

John W. showed up and told me he got 8 last night including a couple of 21's. Translated he caught a couple of bigger bullheads, who knows how big.

He managed to pull in 3 jumpin bullheads with his tube, which he kept.

I tried the South side but didn't get anything. Also skunked at Jenny's.


The cat is now somewhat out of the bag on the newest idea in Professional Tournament Bass Fishermen called MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING™. . The Outdoor Channel along with some of the biggest names in the sport are putting together what they hope will be a made for TV League that has "more emphasis on personalities, the struggles, the strategies, the conflicts and the emotions of the anglers."

The League will start out with 24 anglers. Brent Ehler is the only true FLW guy, which I am sure pisses off David Dudley to no end. Retired Tour Pro Marty Stone is in the mix. Probably most notably absent is Gerald Swindle or Rick Clunn. The big Kahuna KVD IS one of the guys. All of the Pro's are big names within the sport with Jason Quinn probably being the least accomplished of the bunch.

Some of the features:
Surprise Venue
No Pre-fish
No GPS waypoints until the competition starts
No limit on the number of fish that can be weighed
Real-Time Leaderboard in all boats

The timeline is as follows:
A weeklong event – the MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING CHALLENGE CUP - will be held later this year. The event will be broken down into episodes and aired in the second quarter of 2012 on the Outdoor Channel.

I think it unfortunate that we are going to have to wait so long to see the finished product. I would much prefer it start right after the holiday's at the start of 2012.

It will be interesting to see how it all works out. I plan to watch.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Baxter Bass Snatchers Mississippi River(Lum Park) July 31st

(Tournament Winner Dennis Lothspeich 18lbs)

Conditions- Temps started in the high 60's and went up to the low 80's. Sun and light winds.

I believe we blasted off around 10 to 7AM and my boater Paul and I headed upriver. On the way we got passed by 2 or 3 boats. Thankfully none of them were headed to our starting spot. Our starting spot was a fair sized backwater lake with clear water and excellent looking weeds where we had a few bites in pre-fish. We started at the mouth of the lake in the river and worked our way in. It didn't take long and I was casting to the area I had a blow up on my hookless spook during pre-fish. Unfortunately nobody was home. We worked our way North against the East bank in excellent looking rice with pads. After about 20 minutes of working the East bank. I started throwing the big sexy Mad Maxx frog to the West out where there were some small pad clumps with submergent weeds that reached the surface. As I was pulling onto a pad clump I had a fish boil on the frog. When I came off the pads, there was no follow up so I reeled in and cast back to the spot. This time after I came off the pads something hit the frog but didn't take it. I let the frog sit than slowly started working it and this time the fish came up and took down the frog. I got a fairly good hooksett and felt the weight of the fish, but then my frog came flying back at me. I don't know if it was a bass or not, but missing my first bite was not a good way to start the day.

Eventually we started running away from the East bank and started fishing to the West while moving South. Man was this some prime looking water. On one of my casts to this fabulous looking stuff a 18" Largie that went 3lbs 10ozs smashed my rainforest yellow Spro Bronzeye Frog. Man was I glad to have her in the boat. Not only would I not skunk, but I had a quality fish. As we worked our way South and started moving to along out from the South Bank I started throwing a yellow Zoom Horny Toad. On a cast back out to the North to some isolated pads with submergent weeds that were to the surface I had a bass blow up the toad. I set the hook and my telescopic 7'3" St. Croix Avid broke in two at the telescoping point about 9 inches above the reel. Holding just the rod handle with the rest of the rod in the lake, I just continued to crank and was pleasantly surprised when a 14.25" largemouth was still attached to my hook in a mess of weeds. Breaking the rod really sux as it's one of my favorites and they no longer make that model. I had 2 of them, so now only 1 is left.

We worked our way back towards the mouth of the lake and my boater Paul had a blow up on his frog out by the river. The fish didn't get the frog, so I told him to cast back and see if it would hit it again. He cast back and sure enough he had another hit and this time he hooked up. In the process of catching the fish and getting it in the well we drifted out to where the lake mouth met the river. I cast a green pumpkin Lake Fork Craw tube upriver to a small point in the rice and sure enough I had a hit. I laid the wood and brought another 14.25" into the boat. We kind of sat there and worked the area and then started moving up river to the North. I had what I think was a pike flash at my Crawtube, but it didn't get it. Subsequent casts didn't produce any bites. We kept moving North in the river pitching to the rice wall. After doing that and not getting anything in about 20 minutes we switched to the opposite shore which is a big rice island. As we were making our way to the head of the island, I had a bite, but it was a rock bass.

At the head of the island we met another club boat and they only had 1 bass at that point. We moved up river aways and fished the West rice line down to up river of another backwater. Once we got about 25 yards past the mouth of the backwater, we fired up the big motor to run back to the mouth. We had a couple of bites in this backwater in prefish. Even though there was baitfish activity, we didn't have any luck and we headed out after covering about 50 yards.

We went back to our starting spot and basically ran the exact same loop. We got into the same general area where I had lost that first fish, but the boat was now West of the isolated pad clumps. I was throwing a white Zoom Horny Toad and had a bite in close to the boat. The fish pulled on the Toad but didn't hook up. I pitched the toad back into a weed opening and let it sink. As I was kind of working the Toad in place, something came and took the Toad. I set the hook, but didn't hook up and the Toad was pretty ripped up. Probably a pike, but who knows. I quickly got the Toad re-rigged and threw back into the weed opening. Nothing. We worked through the great looking stuff and as we were working off the South bank. I caught a pike casting out to isolated pads just like with my 2nd bass. Just a bit after I got the pike, Paul caught a small bass.

Eventually we worked our way back out to the mouth. We were sitting in the mouth when I had a bite. I had the fish on long enough to see it was a pike before it got off. I was pitching into the rice right behind the boat, when I saw my line jump. I thought for sure it would be a bass, but I pulled out about an 16 inch pike.

Next we headed to the spot where another boat started on the East side of the rice island we fished before. Another club boat was working the East bank on the channel of the river. They had 2 fish and 1 fish. One of the guys said he had caught 5 or maybe it was 6 species of fish. We worked our way up the East bank of the island, so we were casting West. I had a bite, but came up empty on the hooksett. I pitched the Crawtube back to the spot and it hit it again. This time I hooked up. Dogfish!!! As I was playing it next to the boat and it got off. Up river a little ways I got snagged and had to break off. I started pitching a small Gander Mountain green with multicolored fleck beaver. As we got up toward the head of the island I had a hit and set the hook. The tails of my beaver were gone. I tried pitching back to the spot tailless but didn't get anything. At the top of the Island we were able to talk with the boat we met at the top of the island before as these guys were working up the West side of the river. I think they had 2 fish a piece and had lost some fish.

There was about an hour and a half left at this point and as it seemed the main river rice just wasn't being productive so we headed up to Little Rabbit Lake. As we were taking the channel in, another club boat followed right in behind us. They were sitting at 4 and 0 with the 4 being smallies that they went way up river for in the morning. They started fishing a point and so we went to the next point down the lake. I had re-rigged a green pumpkin Crawtube and started throwing that. As we worked the point I got a few bites, including one that was very promising, but every hooksett came up empty. After we got around the point we moved to another weedline. It was pretty dead until we got to another little point. I had a bite and set the hook catching yet another little pike. With about 10 minutes left to fish we went and hit some slop, which was fruitless.

We got back with about 5 minutes to spare.

Results- My 3 bass went 6lbs 9ozs, but I had a 2oz dead fish penalty. Without the penalty I would have been 10th, but I dropped to 11th out of 24. 11th Place wasn't a bad finish as I placed ahead of all 3 guys that I am in competition with for the final two spots in Top 6 for the end of the year standings race.

The winning bag of 18lbs came from way up river and consisted of 5 smalls and 1 Larry. The 2nd (16-8) and 3rd Place (16-7) anglers reportedly stayed in Rice Lake and just whacked the snot out em' on weedlines with Crawtubes. 5 limits were caught, which is actually pretty good and there were 3 bags with 5 fish and 2 bags with 4. I was the only 3 fish bag, 8 guys had 2 fish, 3 guys had 1, and there were 2skunks. 6 of the Top 10 anglers came from the same 3 boats.

Analysis- I knew going in this one was probably going to be tough and every fish was critical. Losing that first bite in the morning was unfortunate, but it might not have even been a bass. I may have had the bites to get a limit, but probably not. The fish dying on me was just bad luck as it was a bleeder. Actually my big fish was also a bleeder that I didn't think was going to make it, but at the end of the day that fish was in great shape. I wish we would have had more time in Little Rabbit as a limit came out of there. I also found myself wishing I had a Zoom Super Fluke to try in the weed pockets of the lake where we caught our fish. After I broke the rod, I put a Horny Toad on my dipper rod. I could have put the dipper on my Herb's Dilly rod, but as it was I didn't throw a dipper at all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Jenny's- 5 Fish Limit

Tonight I headed out a little after 8PM to do some fishing. I was going to stop at the Bulldog access first, but there were people there swimming, so I went to the Holy Family access, which was a bust.

Next I headed to Jenny's and started chucking a white Zoom Horny Toad. On about my 10th cast I pulled a 12.25" largie from the same spot I got the one last night. About 5 casts later I pulled another 12.25" from the same spot. About 3 casts after that a 14.50" annihilated the Horny Toad. After quite a few more casts with nothing, I switched to Mad Maxx to hit some of the farther holes in the grass, but that didn't get anything.

I headed over to Jenny's neighbors and got a 15" on the Horny Toad. I worked the water over there hard but didn't get anymore bites. It was getting pretty dark and the skeeters were coming out, but I decided to give Jenny's one more try. On my "last cast" I pulled another 12" bass on the Horny Toad.

Smaller Than It Looks

Last night I hit up Jenny's at Sunset. I started out throwing a white Zoom Horny Toad and got this 14.25" Larry. A few casts later I had another hit, but I broke the line at the reel on the hookset. I was able to reach the line, but the fish was gone. Still I got my hook and Horny Toad back. I made a few casts with a big sexy Mad Maxx frog and had a small pike come flying out of the water on it, but miss the lure. I went over to Jenny's neighbors and had a hit on the Horny Toad. The line broke at the Toad, so it was probably a pike. Even though it looked good with duckweed and rice, I didn't get any more hits throwing Mad Maxx. The skeeters got to bad and so I quit.