Monday, February 29, 2016

Sod Off Leap Year

Because of today, Leap Day, the first Saturday in May isn't until the 7th.  Thus the MN Fishing Opener isn't until the absolute latest date it can be instead of the absolute earliest it can be.  We lose a whole week.  What a frickin' rip off!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 When Will I See The Driveway? #2

I thought I'd be able to see a little more than I can right now due to the temps we had yesterday.  If the extended forecast is correct the driveway should be ice free sometime next week.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

1st Open Water Bullhead of the Year

19" STX
Conditions: 54 degrees, light S wind, mostly sunny, water level is really low.

My Fish Trap doesn't fit in the Kia Soul but my long rods do, so I went to the Grumpy Old Man Hole to try a little open water fishing.  I didn't expect to catch anything, but you never know at the GOMH.  I fished the SW side with a blue/silver STX and didn't see any signs of life.  I then fished the area with a bluegill D & M Piranha.  Still nothing.  Then I tried a chartreuse/white STX and a fish swiped and missed.  I let it sit for about 5 seconds then twitched it a couple of times and BAM! Fish On!  A 19" toothy bullhead is my first open water fish of the year on February 27th; The earliest first open water fish since moving North in 2003.  I fished a few more lures on the SW side and then tried the NE side where there wasn't very much open water.  Nothing on the NE side.

Fishing Season ends tomorrow for pike, bass, and walleye, so I may give the GOMH one last shot tomorrow, if it gets above freezing.  I might go ice fishing tomorrow as well.
All the open water I had on the Sullivan side.

Friday, February 26, 2016

2016 When Will I See The Driveway? #1

I may be jumping gun with my count down this year, but with the rain and warm temps we got last weekend the driveway is showing itself already and it's suppose to make it to 50 degrees or more tomorrow.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bass Snatchers Schedule for 2016

The Baxter Bass Snatchers have sort of finalized our schedule for this year.  It's only "sort of" because the DNR would throw a wrench in our plans if they switched the first two weeks to immediate catch and release only from the catch and keep regulation they had last year on Mille Lacs.

Here are my thoughts on the lakes we are fishing this year.

May 21st Mille Lacs Lake:  This would be the first time in the 39 year history of the club that we will fish the lake for a tournament.  We are planning to go out of Cove Bay so hopefully wind won't be bad out of the North.  If the wind is bad we could switch to Sunday the 22nd.  I really hope DNR doesn't switch the regulations and shut us down, although I suppose if we have to go to an alternative date later in the year we could still fish Mille Lacs.  I have fished Mille Lacs a fair amount and caught some big fish which are pretty much everywhere for smallies and I've gotten some big largemouth as well.  Really looking forward to this one.

June 11th South Long Lake:  Unfortunately we nixed Platte/Sullivan on this date because another circuit was fishing the lakes that day, well maybe next year.  I've fished South Long four times for two tournaments.  I'm guessing that the lake is going to set up more like the first tournament in 2009 than the pre-spawn tournament we had in 2013 with the late Spring that year.  The two things I don't like about this lake is the access which has limited parking and maneuvering space and our 8AM start time is only going to make congestion there worse.  Also the 8AM start makes a morning topwater bite less likely.  My best finish here was 5th Place.

July 16th Fishhook Lake (Park Rapids):   This will be my second tournament on this lake with the club.  Had a great time the first time and hope the numbers and size structure of the fish is about the same.  I had 13/7 and came in 13th Place with a 4/5 kicker which was the third biggest fish caught that day.  The lake has a small smallmouth population, not sure if they are known to get big like the largemouth do.

Aug. 6th Pokegama (Grand Rapids):  I've fished this lake 3 times for 2 tournaments with the club.  The third big fish lake of the year with Smallmouth and Largemouth.  Love it!  My best finish here was 15th Place with a 12/8 bag in 2008, my first year in the club.

Aug. 20th Rabbit Lakes: This will be my third tournament on these lakes with the club and my fourth tournament overall.  I don't care for the fact it's an 8AM start.  Maybe I'll catch an elusive Rabbit Lake smallmouth.  My best finish was 3rd Place at an Excel Singles.

Sept 24th Whitefish Chain:  This will be my fourth tournament here with the club and fifth overall. Like Pokegama there is a bunch of water I've never seen or fished.  Hopefully a Fall topwater bite will be going this day.  My best finish was a 10th Place in early June.

Hopefully I will be healthy enough to fish every tournament this year.  Last year I missed two do to illness.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bass Fishing In the Blogosphere Is Dying

The Final Post at Big Indiana Bass
I was vaguely aware of this fact do to all of the MN Bass Fishing Bloggers that had stopped or mostly stopped their blogging.  I haven't tended to my other blog rolls much over that last few years to realize how bad it's gotten.  I really should do something about weeding out all the blogs that no longer exist.

Friday, February 12, 2016

FYI to FLW Fantasy Bass Players

Tackle Warehouse must have deleted their legacy League and started a new one.  I just discovered it.  I could have sworn the Tackle Warehouse League was there when I registered, but when I went to look for it this morning it was gone from my list of leagues.  I re-registered, but don't know if my score from the 1st tournament will be counted or not.  As of right now my score is not in the list for Lake Okeechobee.  I will not be happy if that is the case.  I recommend you check and make sure you are in the Tackle Warehouse League ASAP.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

1st Feb. Ice Fishing Trip In Years

Because it was something I didn't do last year.  This report is from Feb. 6th.
20.5" VMC Tubby Jig w/maggies and Gulp Minnow
Conditions: Temp 33 degrees, mostly cloudy to cloudy, some sleet, windy out of the South

I got out a little later than I would have liked.  I picked up some minnows at Bear Trax and drove out onto the ice.  Someone had been fishing in my area earlier in the day, but was gone by the time I got there.  I drilled a couple holes in 16 feet.  Then drilled holes up by the maidencaine.  I didn't bring the camera with me.  Going shallow was a waste.  At about 5:15PM I went to the deeper holes and spent the rest of my night there.  I caught a crappie first on the VMC Tubby Jig with maggots and Gulp Minnow.
8.5" VMC Tubby Jig
  Then I got the pike.  Then it was crappies coming in pretty consistently on the VMC Jig.  I had a couple of minnows stolen before I got any crappies on them.  It started sleeting around 6:30PM so I put the ION in the truck.  I had a mark come through at about 8 feet.  I thought it was going to be a bullhead, but it was this chub of a sunfish.

Almost 8" VMC Jig
The minnow got hot and I landed the biggest crappie of the night on it.
10.5" Glow Demon w/minnow
I ended up with 10 crappies on the Glow Demon with a minnow and 13 on the VMC with maggies.  Most fish were right about 9 inches with one potato chip.  I may get out before sunrise tomorrow.

23 Crappies
1 Sunfish
1 Pike

Wednesday, February 03, 2016