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.