Sunday, May 31, 2015

Snatcher Bay Lake Quick Report

Sunrise Wigwam Bay Mille Lacs Lake May 30th
It was downright cold in the morning out in the wind where we were fishing.  Good thing I thought to bring my stocking cap and wore plenty of layers.  Fishing was OK, my boater and I both had 10lb limits. Neither of us got an above average size fish for the lake.  I missed a few bites, but nothing I can say for sure that would have helped me.  I caught 9 keepers total and 3 pike.  I got one of my better fish on a Horny Toad and I also got my first fish ever on a Vixen; It was the first time I ever threw it.  I'm guessing I came in around 20th out of 30 people fishing.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bass Snatcher 1st Tournament Tomorrow at Bay Lake

We will be on the shores of Bay Lake at Ruttger's Resort, not a gravel parking lot.  I really wish this cold front wouldn't have hit.  We were all set up for a smash fest and now who knows what kind of a bite we will have.  Bay has plenty of fish, so I hope getting a limit won't be to difficult.  Bay has been good to me the three times I have fished on it.  Hopefully that continues.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Skunked On Bass Opener

To be fair, I didn't put much effort into catching a fish today.  I set my alarm for 4AM, but when I got up I didn't feel like going so I went back to sleep.  I didn't get up until after 1PM.  I wrote a blog post over at the Log Blog titled Clown Show Catches Some Fish Anyway about my fishing trip last night.  After delivering fish to Jenny at around 5PM in mom's convertible with top down I stopped by the GOMH to see what was up.  Just a couple people fishing for sunnies and a pretty good wind blowing out of the SSW.

The forecast was calling for the wind to diminish by 9PM.  Because of the forecast I made a bad decision to try fishing the Inlet on Sullivan instead of taking the Slop Slip to Bulldog.  Conditions were perfect by the time I headed out at around 8PM.  The Inlet was a total bust.  I did have a pike miss my jig at the culvert and I bypassed the GOMH to head to Bulldog.  The access at Bulldog was full of fishermen and I didn't get a bite at Holy Family access.  Back at the GOMH it was dead and then dark.  The rowdy bullhead fishermen were there.  The bass fishermen did miss a couple of topwater hits at Peavy Lake today.

Between the low water and the crazy up and down weather this year my average fish caught per outing in May this year is now down to only 5 fish per outing;  It was 11.6 last year for May and 14.9 in May 2013.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What I Really Want To Know Is...

Dennis Anderson wrote a column for today's Star Tribune on the early catch and release bass season.  You can tell Dennis is not a dedicated bass fishermen by his closing question;  "If bass won’t be hurt by an early two-week catch-and-release season, could they also sustain a two-week harvest season at that time, which would mean opening bass fishing each year in Minnesota with the northern pike and walleye seasons?"

I know of very few bass fishermen that would have asked that as a closing question.  We don't want bass season opened up to catch and keep with the walleye and pike.  The thought of limit's of bass going home with meat fishermen out for panfish, walleye, and pike is enough to make some of us want to toss our cookies (and maybe a few bricks) in Dennis Anderson's general direction.    

What I really want to know is why it is ever illegal in MN to fish for bass with catch and immediate release?  If your unfamiliar with MN fishing regulations than you might not know that bass have three season; closed to all fishing, immediate catch and release, and open to be kept.  That is right, in MN there is a season in which we are forbidden by law from intentionally attempting to catch bass so we can immediately release them.  Michigan was once like MN is now, with the three seasons.  They experimented with an immediate catch and release season and just this year passed a law making the closed season always open to catch and immediate release fishing (CIR).   My hope is that in a year or two we will follow Michigan's lead and no longer make catch and release fishing for bass illegal for part of the year. Immediate catch and release fishing for bass should always be legal, except in waters with a smallmouth bass population that needs protection.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mille Lacs Regs This Year

Mille Lacs Score!!!

19.5" D & M Piranha
From last night
6:10-6:40 Rock
6:45-6:55 Bulldog
7:00-7:20 GOMH
7:35-7:40 Cemetery Jetty
7:50-10PM Eddy's Jetty

Conditions- Drizzle/light rain, overcast, 51 degrees, wind dying down pretty much by the time I got to Eddy's Jetty.

Rock, Bulldog, and the GOMH didn't give me a bite.  So as was my plan I headed to Mille Lacs.  Cemetery Jetty is gone, taken out by the DNR.  With the way the wind had been blowing SE all day it was impossible to tell what potential it has.  Wading maybe???  I only threw a few casts.  I shouldn't have worn long johns as after walking out to CJ, I was roasting.

I got to Eddy's and started throwing a D & M Piranha from the center jetty.  I got up on the rocks throwing SE and I thought I had something nip at it.  About 6 casts later the Mojo loaded up at the end of a long cast.  It was a total football pre-spawn smallie.

19.5" D & M Piranha
Next I got this one, once again on a long cast.

17" Red Eye  Shad
The fish actually fought me into the North harbor, I hooked it out front of the South harbor.

It got dark so I switched to a minnow under a bobber.  I almost got a crawfish from my sinking line.  Sure enough I got a hit and I stuck it.

24.5"  minnow red hook chart bead.
I immediately got a wind knot, so that was it for the minnow.  Didn't get anything on a Grass Pig or Rapala.
My weapons for tonight.

Cemetery Jetty Is Done For

Apparently they took out Cemetery Jetty this year.  I'll have to stop by and look and see if it's still a good fishing spot.

Update-  Yeah they took it apart alright.  I'll have to get out there with waders and maybe the float tube and see if any reef got left.  I don't feel terrible about it because of the tree growth I was no longer able to fish off the tip of the jetty anyway.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

1st Topwater Fish Of the Year

18" Big Head, Little Body on the Stanley Phantom
7:40-9:10PM Rock Lake
9:20-9:50PM Bulldog Lake
10:00 to 10:45 GOMH
Conditions: Mostly Sunny, Cool, No wind

I didn't plan on catching topwater fish tonight as it only got to 52 degrees today,  but after hearing something get hit on the surface for about the 5th time, I thought what the heck I've got my Phantom's in the car and rest is history.

I got out a little later tonight thanks to a call from Pete and me eating ice cream.  I didn't get the boat ready today because I got tired around 1PM and I slept until 4PM.  I decided to hit Rock Lake first again tonight.
Mr. Beaver swimming North
When I arrived and was doing my stretching I noticed Mr. Beaver down the shoreline.  I didn't grab my camera quick enough and he slipped into the water.  I started out throwing a D & M Piranha that I don't think I'd even thrown before.  I had a hit on the first cast but didn't hook up.  I fan cast from North to South,  when I got to almost as far to the South I would be willing throw it was fish on.
14.5 D & M Piranha w/chart twister tail
On my very next cast to the same general area I got another bigger one.

I thought school maybe, but those were the only two I got.  Next I went to the H2P XPress Jerk Shad, nothing on the chrome, but I got a hammerhandle on the chart shad.
20" H2O XPress Ultimate Jerk Shad
Then I started throwing a craw tube.  That's when stuff started getting hit on the surface.  Two fish swirls in close succession to my South with the closest being just out of casting range convinced me to give the Phantom a shot.  I tried to the South first with no luck.  I made a long cast to the North about even with where I was standing on the dock parallel to the shoreline.  When I was letting it sit on the initial cast the 18" blew up on it.  I could tell it was a good fish because I got a good look at it when it struck.  The fish ran straight for me and I had to reel furiously to keep up.  I was a little disappointed that it's body wasn't filled out.  I had another fish blow up and miss to the South as I was retrieving.  I let it set and it came back and smacked it.

16" Stanley Phantom
That was my last bite at Rock.

I missed a good fish at Bulldog again tonight on a craw tube.  I pretty sure I had it hooked, a dogfish maybe???   I didn't hook up on a couple of other bites on the CT.  I switched to a Chigger Craw and got a 14.5" on that as well as missing a couple of bites.

Peter was the only person at the GOMH.  Willard and another GOM had been up there tonight.  He wasn't having any luck, not even bullhead bullheads.  No current, no fish, no good.  I didn't get a bite either.  Didn't see any activity with the spotlight.  That sucks!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Opener Round 2: Mille Lacs, GOMH

My Weapons of Choice This Morning
3:15-5:45AM Mille Lacs
6:35-7:20AM GOMH
Conditions- Windier than yesterday and building even more towards sunrise.  Out of the ESE.  Colder than yesterday with temps down into the high 30's, mostly overcast.

I didn't wake up until midnight and didn't get headed to Mille Lacs until almost 3AM.  When I got there I was disappointed to find the wind no the same as yesterday.  I worked at the center Jetty where I fished yesterday for half an hour or so, before making the move to fish off of the corner of the North jetty.   I got one bite for sure and I landed it.
24" Husky Jerk
I got the firetiger Rippin Rap I got the fish on yesterday stuck in the rocks.  I ended up passing my rod along the the two trees and went down the shoreline a little and freed it.  As I was pulling it in it got stuck in a tree branch, which I was able to pull within reach and get it back.

I left just after sunrise, the wind was really picking up.

On the way home I decided to stop the Grumpy Old Man Hole.  I was pleased that no one was there.  I figured I would get a few fish.  I was wrong.  Didn't even get a bite, not a friggen bite.  The low water, combined with all the pressure/traffic it got yesterday was apparently to much.  I wonder how long it's going to be screwed up there.  I got to get my boat in the water now, for sure.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

BP's Opinion: That Was Not MN Bass Opener

A lot of my Facebook friends had posts talking about yesterday as "Bass Opener" here in MN.  I beg to differ with that opinion.  BASS SEASON IS STILL CLOSED, we are just allowed to legally intentionally fish for them with the tackle of our choice and release them.  I know giving people the impression that they can go out and keep bass right now was not there intention, but that is the impression I fear the average casual fisherman will get.   Bass Opener isn't until Memorial Day weekend same as usual.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

MN Fishing Opener Round 1: Eddy's Jetty, GOMH, Bulldog

Eddy's Jetty at 10 to midnight
12:00-2:40AM Eddy's Jetty
4:45-5:45AM GOMH
6:00-6:30AM Bulldog

Conditions- Clear sky, windy out of the NE perfect for fishing at Eddy's, Cool temps in the low 40's to Upper 30's.

I arrived at Eddy's Jetty a little early because I didn't know what I would find or if I could even fish there.  They had no trespassing signs up when we stopped by on Tuesday and there was still a lot of work that needed to be done.  I talked to someone who works there on the phone who said it would be open, but I wasn't so sure.  Well the no trespassing signs were down, but the piles of docks were still in the same place.  I walked out on the North Jetty all the way to the harbor mouth and decided I would start on the center jetty's North dock.  It's a good thing I brought my long net because I would need it if I caught fish off of that dock.  I got my stuff out and started casting a Havoc Grass Pig, then I realized it wasn't midnight yet, so I held up for the last 3 minutes.  I cast the Pig for 20 minutes with no hits, so I decided to throw a 1/2 oz firetiger Rippin Rap because it would throw into the wind well.  I was just thinking to myself what perfect conditions I had when I ripped the rap and a fish nailed it.
22.5" Firetiger Rippin Rap

  I decided it  looked small enough, so I just grabbed my line and lifted it in.  When it was flopping around on the dock the hook came out.  Lucky I landed it.  I took the pictures then released it back to the lake because it was in the protected slot.  We can only keep one walleye in Mille Lacs this year and it has to be between 19 and 21 inches.

I resumed throwing the rap ripping it back.  After about 10 minutes with noting I decided to just do a straight retrieve and one immediately jumped on it.

It was a bigger fish so I netted it.  After I released it I had another one on within two minutes using the same retrieve.

This dude went 25.5 and was the biggest of the night.
While I was getting the fish released a boat came into the South harbor with 4 guys in it.  I guess the lake was a little to rough for them.  The forecast said light winds until about 3AM.  But it was blowing pretty good when I got there and was steadily increasing.  The moon had come up now and I tried a few different baits.  Also a couple of those guys went on the North jetty to the harbor mouth, so my casting area shrunk.  It took about 40 minutes for me to hit on something a walleye wanted.
23" X-Rap Shad Shallow
I just lifted this one up as well.  I ended up switching back to the firetiger Rippin Rap and had another eye grab it on a straight retrieve.  I had one of the guys that was working on his boat take a picture for me.
24" Rippin Rap
My last fish of the night just crushed the Shad Shallow when I paused it.
23" X-Rap Shad Shallow
I caught that fish at 2:10AM.  I made the call to wrap it up at 2:40AM.  I think the guys with the boat caught 1 cigar.  I was satisfied with the six I got.  Six hits, six fish landed; It doesn't usually happen that way.

I went home Facebooked and put a report on In Depth Outdoors Forums.

I headed out the door to hit the Grumpy Old Man Hole at about 4:10AM.  The Expedition didn't want to start.  I jumped it off of my boat starting battery.  I was at the GOMH by 4:30.  There were two trucks there and 3 people fishing on the SW side.  They said they had only been there a little while and hadn't gotten anything.  I decided to take the NE side.  Nothing was happening and no activity in the tunnel.  At about 5AM I decided that cold wind blowing in put me in danger of a skunk, so I moved to the SE side.   I had been there about 5 minutes when a guy brought in a keeper golden bullhead.  They then got a couple jumpers.  Three guys came down and crowded me pretty good.  I did get a bite and landed it.
14.5" black/blue craw tube
I decided to pull the plug just as the sunrise was happening.
    I headed to Bulldog and managed to get a hammer handle and a bass.
19" craw tube
14.75" breen Chigger Craw
I headed to Rock Lake at 6:30, but there was one trailer there already and another boat was putting in.  I decided to call it a morning at that point.

Friday, May 08, 2015

2015 Bass Pundit's MN Fishing Opener Outlook

May 17th 2014 Eddy's Jetty at Mille Lacs Lake Sunset
Having to go in and get my ICD checked in the cities on Tuesday made for a long day and has kicked my butt for the last couple of days.  I didn't fish either Wed. or Thur. and I feel very unprepared for Opener at this point.  I'm not gonna sweat it though.  I've decided to let getting my boat The Trophy wait until early next week.  I could do it later this morning, but if I run into any issues at all, and when aren't there issues, I really will run into the risk of being unprepared.  I really should of had that situation squared away before this week, but I chose to fish instead of mess with the boat on all the nice days we had.

As it stands I plan to fish midnight at Mille Lacs off of Eddy's Jetty.  If that is unavailable,  I will put on my waders and go where I've gone the previous two years.  I will make a call sometime between 2 to 4AM whether or not I will stay or go home and get ready for sun up at the GOMH.  I'm thinking there is a 90% probability that I will be at the GOMH pre-sunrise.  I would really have to be whacking the eyes, to not be at the GOMH pre-sunrise fishing for bullheads and doggies.   I'm guessing that I will have to pick one side (N or S) or the other, but I'm hoping the cool temps might discourage some early risers  How the fish bite and the amount of fishermen that come out will determine how long I stay at the Grumpy Old Man Hole.  I may hit the Rock Dock and or Bulldog as well.  It looks like it's going to be a half way descent day on Saturday, so I may just have to let other people fish.

I don't expect golden bullheads to be a player at the GOMH, but toothy's and jumpers should.  I don't plan on having rods rigged for silvers.  I've caught plenty of them this year already.  As for eye's at midnight at Mille Lacs, my expectations are not high due to the forecast low wind conditions.  But the fish have surprised me before.

I would think I'd be a little more gung ho over the bass opening for catch and release, but I'm not all charged up about it for some reason.  Probably has to do with me not having the boat ready to go or the fact that I've already caught some donkey's this year already.

I will report on the days fishing here as well as at the Fishing Log Blog of coarse.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015


I haven't been posting here, but have been at my Fishing Log Blog.  Click and check out what I've been doing at the Grumpy Old Man Hole.