Monday, March 30, 2015

Fishing Class For MN Women

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     March 30, 2015
Women can learn how to catch bass, muskie from a pro
Women who want to take their fishing beyond the basics can learn from pro angler Mandy Uhrich in a class called Learn to Sport Fish, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, at Cabela’s in Rogers.
“This class for women, taught by women, is a great way to learn how to catch more than panfish this year,” said Linda Bylander, coordinator of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We’ll focus on techniques and gear selection for bass, muskellunge and other gamefish.”
The class is free and registration is requested. Women who attend have the opportunity to register for a guided bass fishing trip in the Brainerd lakes area, or a guided muskie fishing trip in the Twin Cities metro area. Those trips are in mid- to late summer, and women must attend the April 11 class to register for the guided trips.
To register for the April 11 class or for more information, contact Linda Bylander at 218-833-8628, For more information on BOW, see

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mille Lacs Trip Tonight: I Snagged Stuff

Me and my Mojo & Fuego 
Everything I threw tonight.
What I caught:
What is it?
2 sticks, a piece of wood and many zeebs
The Sunset
I also saw several eagles, some seagulls, and a flock of geese.  No fish activity this time.  I had to dodge one large iceberg that blew across where I was fishing.  I noticed the iceberg had an open hole presumably from an ice fisherman.  I flipped my spoon into the hole, just in case there was a pike underneath (lol).  It would have been nice out if it wasn't so darn windy.  Air temps were in the low to mid forties.

Snatcher Fishtrap Lake (Blind) Tournament from 8/16/14

Note: Written way after the original tournament date.

I'll admit that I got a bit depressed after my finishes so far this year.   I needed an attitude adjustment to get up for this tournament.  My boater in this one, Guy Henkensiefken, asked me while we were out on the water why I wasn't doing my tournament recap blogs.  That is the reason why I have dragged my feet in writing them so long.

This was the 2nd year in a row I drew Guy for the "Blind" tournament and this is the third time I've fished with him (Rabbit Lake '10, Cullen Chain '13).  After last years tournament he gave me an assignment of coming up with 20 things to talk about in the boat.  I came up with 1, Christian Ponder lol.

Conditions: Very similar to Pelican Lake but not as cool in the morning and a little cloudier and more humid, breaking into sun.  Very little wind.

Highlights from the Day:  

We had a kind of late boat draw, I don't remember if Guy got to go to his starting spot or not.  We started in a spot with two other boats close by.  In the calm conditions I started out throwing the chrome sexy shad KVD Sexy Dawg.  I'm pretty sure I put the first fish in the boat, a 14 incher.  I think I had one other fish not get it.  Guy got a couple of descent fish.  It started clouding up and looked like it might storm for a while.  We moved spots and I got one just over 15" on a black Sexy Dawg.  That was it for my topwater fish.  I don't know why they weren't going as conditions seemed perfect.  I did miss a couple on frogs in the pads later in the day.  I got a 12.25, 3x 13.75", and 14.25" and one hammer handle on a breen Chigger Craw on various weedlines.  My lunker, a 2/12, was my last fish of the day caught out of some pads on a green pumpkin Strike King Hack Attack Jig with Chigger Craw tailer.  I think Guy got a nice one out of the same patch of pads earlier in the day.

Results: My 6 went for 9/13 putting me in 11th Place out of 20 anglers.  This was my highest finish of the year.  Guy's bag of 14/13 put him in 5th place.  The tournament winner was Tim Benson with 17/6.  Chuck Steinbauer got Lunker with a 4/3.

My Thoughts: Man did it get hot out with no wind.  At least the beat down Guy gave me wasn't as bad as last year.

Guy's Parting Thought (Paraphrased):  "The days in this club when I could come in with 14 or 15lbs and expect to contend for the win are over, you've really got to catch them now."  A comment that proved less than prophetic because at the last tournament of the year on Whitefish the winning weight was bellow average at only 12/11.    

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Snatcher Pelican Lake Tourny from 8/2/14

Waiting to Blast Off
Note:  This being written more than half a year later so the details may be a bit sketchy.

Conditions: Cool in the morning (54 degrees) getting to 82 degrees, very little wind, and hazy sunshine for most of the day.

I think my sleep schedule was messed up for this tournament.  I either woke up super early or didn't get any sleep at all.  I ended up arriving at the ramp in Jones Bay at least an hour before sunrise.  I was the first one there, but not by as much as I thought I would be.  My boater for this one was Roger Ubl who has many years of experience on Pelican Lake.  Unfortunately I was unable to get out to pre-fish with him.  He told me he wasn't getting a lot of bites, but the one's he were getting were nice one's.

The Day:  I brought my Ipod to wear during the run, set to my Tournament Playlist I had been listing to all morning.  As the picture shows it was a beautiful morning.  We blasted off at around 6:50am.  The run North listening to tunes as the guys raced up the lake was one of my highlights of the year.  We went to a hump or maybe humps quite a ways off the SE of Gooseberry Island.

On the way North I saw fish breaking on top and conditions were perfect for topwater, so I started by throwing a Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg in chrome sexy shad.  Sure enough within my first 10 casts I had a quality fish come up and blast it.  Unfortunately, after being hooked briefly it jumped way out of the water and flipped me off.  I'd say it was at least 18 inches.  A few casts later I hooked and caught a 14.75" largie.  Unfortunately that was it for my topwater bites for the day despite the fact we were around fish busting on the surface for most of the morning and for the last hour of the day as well.  I think Roger got a couple on some kind of plastic and I got a 16.5" on a Blue Bruiser Lake Fork Craw Tube.  Roger was really disappointed with the size of the fish we got here.

After about an hour to hour and a half we left and went off the western tip of Gooseberry Is.  Dang breaking fish that were either out of range or wouldn't hit what I was throwing.  Roger managed a few on the worm he was throwing.  I managed to get a small hammer handle on small Bomber Fat-Free Shad and a 17.25" bass on a breen Chigger Craw.  We went to a weedline off the SW side of Gooseberry and I got another 17.25" on the Chigger Craw.  That was it for my fish for the day.

We ended up going and fishing some cabbage beds, going back to our starting spot, and some deep weedlines.  I tried every rod in the boat including a Carolina Rig, which is something I rarely throw.  I had some bites from sunfish but that was it.  Roger managed to get a respectable limit by the end of the day.

Results:  My 4 fish weighed 10lbs 1oz, which put me in 21st Place out of 26 anglers.  My lunker went 3lbs even.   Rogers 6 weighed just under 14lbs, which only put him in 15th Place; I guess the  quality fish were snapping this day.  The winner was Chuck Steinbauer with 19/1 and his son Nate got "Lunker" at 4/10.

My Thoughts:   Getting that first bass in the boat would have been nice.  I was really wiped out by the end of this one, but I didn't really let it effect my fishing.  I felt like I fished strong for most of the day.  I just don't think we ever found a good school of fish.  The weights were way up from the tournament we had back in 2009 when I took 4th Place with 14lbs even.  If I had it to do over again I wouldn't have thrown a Carolina Rig and a lot less topwater.  Fishing with Roger and hearing his stories is always enjoyable.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Long Awaited Leech Lake Tournament Report from 7/19/14

In line for blast off
This being written 8 months after the fact, so my details may be a bit sketchy.  I don't know when or if I will get to the last 3 tournaments last year.

I rode up with my boater Jim "Smitty" Smith.  We were supposed to have another guy from the club ride up with us, but he never showed.  We left maybe 20 minutes later then we originally planned.

67 getting up to 77 degrees We had sun and clouds off and on during the day.
Windy in the morning out of the W SW dying down a bit throughout the day.

The Day:
We blasted off around 7:45am or so and Smitty put the hammer down heading South then East.  Tuma passed us pretty early on when the water was still pretty calm.  I thought I really should have brought my Ipod to wear during the run.  Once we got far enough East it got rougher and rougher.  We passed the South end of bear Island and pulled into some reeds that were getting hit pretty well by the wind.  I might have had a bite but it was tough to tell.  We ended up not getting anything there in two passes.  We went to a reed bed that was closer to Bear Island and a little more protected.  I think Smitty got his first one of the day there, a small keeper.  We moved closer to Bear Island fishing reeds and rice that looked fishy to me;  Mostly nothing was home.  I think Jim got a couple off of keepers isolated cover.

We moved to the back side of Partridge Point and I got a 12.5 inch peanut out of reeds next to a dock on a Horny Toad.  That was it on that stretch.

It was about 10am and we made the decision to run North after hitting on last group of reeds where I had a pike hit at my Horny Toad.   Fortunately the ride wasn't nearly as rough as we expected it would be.  Still it must have taken about an hour.  We went to an area I think they call the Campground, we had good luck here in pre-fish.  I caught a 16 incher casting out towards some lilly pads off the back of the boat on the Horny Toad.  I think we both missed a couple of bites.  Smitty wanted to head North to "the juice" where I got my big one in pre-fish, but I said lets give it a little more time.  It worked out for Smitty as he got one.  Then we headed to "the juice", which was almost totally dead.  I did miss one hit.  We crossed paths with somebody Jim knows who was pre-fishing for another tournament.  They were both dumbfounded about how poor the fishing was.

We ended up going farther North and fished a point.  Smitty got a small keeper and I got a rock bass on a craw tube.  Next we went into Leech River Bay/Federal Dam and sucked eggs.  Jim maybe missed one bite.  With about an hour and a half left we bailed to go South.  The ride was a lot smoother and took may 15 to 20 minutes going hammer down most of the time.

We fished Urum Bay the rest of the time. Jim got his limit fish with about 20 minutes left.

Results:  My two fish weighed 3lbs 9ozs and put me in 28th out of 31 anglers fishing.  Jim's 12lb 14oz limit got him 12th place.  The lake was really off today.That weight would have put Jim in 27th Place the last time we fished here in 2012.  The winner was Dennis Lothspeich with 19lbs 5ozs.  Lunker went to Mick Ziebell with a 4/15.

My Thoughts:  The fishing royally sucked.  Leech kicked my butt for a third time on tournament day.

Next Tournament: Pelican Lake August 2nd

Saturday, March 21, 2015

BASS Fantasy #Fail

What in the heck is happening with my fantasy picks this year?  My best angler in this tournament is in 33rd Place and only got that because somebody got DQed allowing Tietje to fish today.  My best angler in FLW came in 31st Place.  I put extra time into researching my rosters this year.  It looks like I am sunk in both BASS and FLW for the year. #Fail

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mille Lacs- I Caught A Scale

Scale on my thumb
It was supposed to be warmer today than it was.  I was hoping it would be 55 and sunny, instead it was 45 degrees and cloudy.  Still I headed over to Mille Lacs to try for some open water pike.  When I headed out at about 6:20pm it was raining/sprinkling.  I ended up going to Garrison to get a bite to eat.  It stopped raining by the time I was done, so I headed to take a look at the inlet.  There was enough open water so I put my waders on, grabbed my rods and got in the water.  As I was walking to the inlet I spied a couple of 2-3 inch fish, I couldn't tell what they were.  I put 3 of my rods down and waded out to about 4 inches shy of the bottom of my jacket.    There was more open water than I originally realized.  I thought I would be able to cast to the farthest ice edge, but it was a good 20 yards beyond my longest cast.  I saw some fish activity along the ice edge beyond my casting distance.  I made a cast to the South and bumped a fish;  I know it was a fish because I caught a scale.  It was getting dark and I forgot to pack my headlamp.  I spooked 2 large fish as I got up by the inlet mouth.  No clue what they were.

I will probably get out there one more time before pike season closes next Sunday.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2015 I Can See The Driveway!!!

(Click to Enlarge)

The driveway is obviously not totally snow free, but I could drive a car the whole length without having to drive over any, so I'm calling it today.  I believe this is the first time the Tackle Warehouse Opener and I Can See My Driveway are on the same day.

Tackle Warehouse Opener 2015

It's over 60 degrees outside, and my parents are leaving to go see my brother Steve in Florida tomorrow;   I had to get some lures to send down to him so today was the day.  The Opener this year was much earlier than the past couple of years, especially last year, which was the latest I've ever done it.

Bait Monkey Needed Fed

I got an email last week from Outlet Bait And Tackle advertising a special they were having on a Salmo Maas Marauder for $3.19.  Maas is my last name and I have wanted one since I first found out about them in 2008, but I wasn't willing to shell out $20 to get a lure I'll probably never throw.  I had to jump on the deal.
Of coarse the monkey wouldn't let me buy just that when they were having a $1.99 sale on stuff I wanted, but don't really need.
I wish I would have bought a few more of the Reaction Strike hollow belly swimbaits.

Update 12/19/15:  The only baits here to see the water this year was the frogs and I don't think I caught anything on them.  Oh well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2015 When Will I See My Driveway? #4

No quite today.
I can see the top of the driveway.

Not quite at the turn
Not quite at down the driveway either.
Tomorrow will be the day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2015 When Will I See My Driveway? #3

How it looked tonight.

From the pole barn

I'm pretty sure it will be totally visible tomorrow.  It is supposed to be in the mid 50's again.

Monday, March 09, 2015

2015 When Will I See My Driveway? #2, Plus Bonus GOMH

I thought there would be more progress by now.  It was in the low 40's yesterday and 50 degrees today.
Kaylee and Lilah survey the scene.

I suspect I will be able to see it all on Wednesday.
I was surprised, there was no open water.  That is water on top of ice.

My ice fishing season may very well be over.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Nicole Jacobs Has A Website

Nicole is an angler from MN fishing the FLW Tour as a Co-Angler this year.  Go to the Bio at her website to learn about how she got started fishing tournaments.  I wish her the best of luck!   Being so new to tournament fishing and being on the FLW Tour she will need all the luck she can get.  She had some bad luck this week at the FLW Tour with getting sick and missed fish.  She finished 100th.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

2015 When Will I See My Driveway? #1

This will be the 5th year of me doing the "When Will I See My Driveway?" blogs.  Last year I started doing them on March 21st.  After six updates I saw my whole driveway on  April 6th.

Here are pictures I took 2 days ago.  It looked about the same this morning.
From the garage.  The big patch of driveway is from where our Expedition normally sits.

From the turn
  I predict we will be totally ice and snow free by Tuesday, 3 days from now.

Friday, March 06, 2015

FLW Fantasy Bass #Fail

I wouldn't have believed it was possible, but moving day and my line up got worse.  Well this group was one big mistake.  Nothing like knocking myself out of all the great end of the year prizes in the first tournament of the year.  #Fail indeed!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

MY FLW Day 1 Fantasy Results

Not a very good start.  But Day 1 doesn't mean jack squat, especially when the weights are as low as they are on Toho this year.

Thinking Spring, Platte Lake Ice Out Prediction

Temp as I wrote this post
I am predicting ice out for Platte Lake by April 20th.  Personally I would prefer it be a little later, say April 27th like last year.  I've never done a really early ice out prediction like this before at the blog.  Hopefully I will make this an annual tradition to go along with "When Will I See My Driveway?"

After the way the past two winters have gone, maybe I shouldn't get cocky writing this, but I'm going to anyway.  After tonight I believe the worst of the winter is over in terms of low temps and hopefully for snow as well.  The weather is supposed to get into the 30's on Friday and the long range forecast at says we're not going to look back.  From this blog to God's ears.

My first "When Will I See My Driveway?"  Post is coming by Friday.

I also predict the Tackle Warehouse Opener will be next week along with the ability to see the whole driveway.
Temp as the Sun came up this morning.