As at I look at my Bass Snatcher results from 2008 through 2015 there can be no doubt about it. My first 4 years in the Club my finishes got progressively better each year. Then I had my stroke in late 2011 and the bottom fell out in my finishes, especially after the 2012 season. The fact that I didn't fish much out of a boat the past 3 years has got to be one factor, but I think a small one.
The biggest thing is I don't think I'm nearly as locked in mentally as I used to be. Just as I find it hard to collect my thoughts for writing this blog, I find it hard to collect my thoughts to make adjustments on the water. I also don't care about my results as much. I want to catch fish the way I want to catch them and am not listening to what the fish want as much as I used too.
But the thing is I don't feel like my abilities have suffered as much as my results are showing. I am frustrated by the way this year ended, not even getting close to a limit in two consecutive tournaments for the second year in a row. Last year it happened in the middle of the year, but I snapped out of it posting respectable finishes in the last two. I definitely have a bad taste in my mouth in how the last four tournaments turned out this year that is going to be with me for a long time.
My Boater Guy came in 3rd Place and sealed Club Mr. Bass/AOY Honors
Conditions: Mostly sunny, wind out of the ESE 5 to 15mph, temps from the low 40's getting to low 60's. About 4-5 foot of visibility in some of the bays less in others.
The Day: We headed up to the North end of the eastern most bay. It's a slop area where we got bites in pre-fish. Guy was punching and I was throwing a frog and toad. Guy missed one or two hits, before we left after about trying for half an hour. We went to the southern end of the same bay where there is some slop and reeds. I broke off my Horny Toad when I got hung up on a reed. I think guy got his first bass and a pike out on the weedline. I got a pike on a Craw Fatty just before we left to fish some docks.
Guy got one out of a dock and I missed one. Next we went to a weed hump up in the area by where we started. I think Guy got a bass and I got a 16" and a 15.75" on the Craw Fatty. Next we went back to where we started and Guy caught a good one immediately punching. I think he ended up getting his limit and culling once before we left. We went back to the spot where I broke off the Horny Toad and I spotted it, so I got it back. We tried a bunch of spots and didn't get anything but break offs. We ended up going back to the area with the reeds where I caught my pike and I got another one, could have been the same fish. Then we went back up to where we started with about an hour and a half left. Guy got a cull and I got a 13" on the Horny Toad. I think getting that fish in amped me up a little to much an I sailed my next cast onto a beaver dam where I got hung up and had to break off. We tried some other spots, I did had one hit on the Horny Toad in some pads but it didn't hook up and then the day was done.
Results:My 3 bass weighed 5lbs 6oz, which garnered me 11th Place out of a field of 14. First Place went to Bill Ludenia with 15-10 and Lunker was caught by Chuck Johansen with a 4-10 fish. Guy's 3rd Place limit went 13-7, just an ounce shy of Johansen. It was a tough day with only 6 guys getting a limit. Well at least I beat my 3 fish limit I got here in 2009, which was 4-2. If we never fish Cedar Lake again, I'll be fine with that.
My Thoughts on the 2015 season: I didn't get my revenge on any lake, but Farm Island. It was the second time I missed two tournaments in a year; The other time was in 2012 with back issues. Missing the tournament at Woman Lake really sucked. Missing what would have been a hot, humid, and miserable day on Rush Lake not so much. It was my worst year for number of fish weighed (16), weight (28.31lbs), and points accumulated (101), which was down 9 places from 2012. However, I finished 16th out of 41 guys in the Club this year, which was better than 2012 when I finished in 18th Place.
It was a tough year for fishing in the Club as a whole. For the first time since I've been in the Club we didn't have a single Snatcher go 6 for 36 getting a limit in each tournament. In the final four tournaments of the year Woman, Rush, Mission, and Cedar more than half the field failed to come in with a limit. Hopefully the poor fishing in the last two thirds of the season is a fluke of the lakes chosen and days fished and not a trend. Participation was down with Cedar Lake being the smallest field I've fished against.
Guy, my boater for this tournament, kicked my butt again; It's the third year in a row I've drawn him with the same result. A lot of guys struggled. I only weighed in 3 bass today, same as the only other tournament I fished on Cedar Lake. I think I had more weight this time, but I'm not sure. I also caught two small pike. Guy got 3rd Place and sealed up club Mr. Bass/Angler of the Year. I probably had the bites to get a limit, but my Texas rigging skills on a weed line aren't what they used to be. I had fun, just wish the wind would have been half as strong.
Unless I finish in the Top 3 or get Lunker tomorrow the 2015 season will go down as my worst year in the Baxter Bass Snatcher Bass Fishing Club. Unfortunately I missed two tournaments with health issues. I don't care where I finish tomorrow. I just want to get a limit of bass and catch as many fish, not necessarily bass, as I can. The weather has cooled down this week and we are in a stable pattern, so the fish should be biting unlike two weeks ago when the cold front shut the fish down. Looks like it's going to be a cold morning, I better find myself some gloves.
Here are the 3 baits I chose from LiveTarget for being the top team in their group for the final B.A.S.S. event of the year at Sturgeon Bay. I got the hollow body frog, the wakebait, and Baitball Popper. I think I had a hit on the wakebait tonight but I didn't hook up