Thursday, June 23, 2016

GOMH & South Long Tournament June 19th

5:15-5:45AM GOMH NE
Conditions: 68 degrees, S wind, Partly cloudy

With the 8AM start I had time to stop by the Grumpy Old Man Hole before heading off to South Long.  I caught 3 small jumpin' bullheads on a white Strike King Spinnerbait.
10" Strike King Double Colorado Blades


7:45AM-3:45PM South Long Lake
Conditions: 70-88 degrees, Windy to Extremely Windy out of the SSW, Mostly Sunny turning cloudy in the last hour or so.

The Day:  Our first stop was the points on the South side of the Channel into the South bay.  We worked our way NE than North after we went around the second point.  We didn't get anything on the points and were heading North to the docks.  I was throwing the Whopper Plopper across the channel towards the lake side of the other point.  The Plopper was almost back to the boat when a 14.25" hit it.  First keeper of the morning.

We worked our way North into the reeds and rice.  My boater Tony got a couple of squeakers and I got one (13") as well on a Horny Toad.  I missed a hit in the rice along the back edge of the reed. We working the shallow side of another reed bed when a fish missed the Horny Toad.  I cast back and got a 14" fish.  Tony saw a descent size fish jump and worked himself into position to get it.  It took some casting, but eventually he got it to hit.  It was a solid fish.

We worked the reed beds and Tony got his limit.  I wasn't getting any hits on the Horny Toad or a frog, so I started throwing a white Grass Pig on a weighted swimbait hook.  I got a 14.25", then I lost a fish at least that size when it got hung up on the very last reed before it was in the clear.  I then got a 13.95" bass and then lost the next one that hit me in the reeds.  We went and fished a dock.  I threw my fluke to a clump of rice and good fish jumped all over it, but I botched the hook set.  I couldn't get the fish to hit again.  We went back into the reeds. I think I missed two more hits in the reeds before I finally got my limit fish, a 12.5" squeaker.  We were a little over 2 hours into the tournament at this point and the wind was really starting to come up.

I think the next fish in the boat was Tony's big bass, a solid 3lber.  We decided to go back and start all over in the reeds.  As we were coming to another reed bed I made a fairly long cast with my craw tube and 15 incher picked it up.  That was my big bass of the day and the only one I would get on the craw tube.  I did also get a rock bass and a green sunfish on the craw tube that I thought for sure was going to be a bass by the way it hit.
Took a picture of the little guy.
      We went for a long stretch without getting anything.  Eventually we started getting fish again.  I culled out my second fish with a 13.5".  Don't remember what I caught it on, the swimbait maybe.  I started throwing the double Colorado blade Strike King Spinnerbait and I caught a pike, then a rock bass, then a 12", then my final cull of the day with a 14" on it.

With a little more than an hour left it seemed like the wind was quieting down, so we ran up the lake to the other spot we got fish while pre-fishing.  That was a mistake as it was still whipping around up there.  We tried it for about half an hour then headed for the SE shoreline which was still in the wind.  I looked in the well and one of Tony's fish had expired.  After getting nothing there for 10 minutes we called it quits.  I don't remember exactly when, but shortly after Tony pointed the boat towards weigh-in we hit something, spun the hub, and bent up the prop pretty bad.  We waved down Guy who towed us to weigh in.

Results:  My limit weighed 8lbs 10ozs, which put me in 16th Place out of 21 anglers.  Tony's fish weighed 13-14, but the 2oz penalty cost him 3rd Place because Guy with whom he was now tied had the Lunker for the day at 4-7.  Chuck Steinbauer was the tournament winner with 16-2.

My Thoughts:  Tony's boat control in that nasty wind was excellent.  With a little better luck in landing the fish that bit I may have had a shot at being in the Top 10.  Lost fish are part of the deal in the reeds.  I did beat my weight by 14ozs from the tournament we had on South Long on 6/21/09, but my place of finish is one place worse this time.

In AOY I'm 4 points ahead of where I was at this point last year.  I finished in front of the two guys that were behind me at Birch. Unfortunately I didn't manage to finish in front of anyone who was in front of me either, other than two guys who did not fish this tournament.  I am going to have to fish better if I'm going to make my goal of finishing in the Top 10 for the year.

Getting towed to the landing by Bailey

Next Tournament: Fishhook Lake at Park Rapids on July 16th.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

South Long Quick Report

Picked up the craw tube just like a bass.

Bill Bailey towing us back to the ramp
It was on ok tournament for me.  I got a limit in the first 3 hours and I beat the weight I had in the 2009 tournament at this same time of the year.  My first fish came on the Whopper Plopper.  Lost a couple of fish that would have helped me a little bit, but that's life in the reeds.    I didn't really notice the heat  in large part due to my white Columbia Performance Fishing Gear hoodie and the wind.  It blew as expected.  Nearly had my hat blown off multiple times.  My boater Tony's boat control was excellent.  Unfortunately Tony hit something as we were about to take off to head to the weigh in.  He spun the hub and badly messed up his prop.  I'm not sure if we were DQed or not for being late to the weigh in.  Tony had a fairly good bag. If our weights count, not sure where mine stacks up as we left the weigh in early.  It was a long tow into the wind to get back to the ramp.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Bass Snatcher Tournament On South Long Tomorow

Wicked Warm and Windy is the forecast for the day and we get more of it because we are starting at 8 and ending at 4.  Not a big fan of 8AM starts for local tournaments.

Maybe it won't seem as hot in the wind.

I don't know what my boater feels about fishing in the wind.  Maybe because it's a fairly narrow lake that sits down in a valley and is surrounded by trees it won't seem as bad if the wind isn't at the perfect angle to blow right down the lake; Which could unfortunately happen with the way the lake sits.

I really hope the conditions don't get me or my boater frustrated.  I need to catch a limit.  I am going to catch a limit.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Trophy Is In the Water

Sullivan Lake West Access
After 2 years off the Trophy is back in the water.  The point of this trip was to go fishing, not to run the boat.  Dad did take a battery off of one of his tractors, so I could use the Johnson.  I forgot to put Sea Foam in the gas, doh!  I couldn't get gas to go through the first fuel line I tried.  That wasted about 10 minutes.  I got the motor to start but it wouldn't stay running.  For some reason it doesn't seem to be taking gas unless I force it by pushing on the bulb.  After 45 minutes of messing around.  I put the trolling motor down and went fishing.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Not The Morning I Expected, But It's All Good (PB SMB)

20.5" Whopper Plopper (Bone)
4:30-6:30AM GOMH NE SE
7:00-9:00AM Mille Lacs Eddy's Jetty N

After last night's trip to the Grumpy Old Man Hole, I was quite confident when I headed out this morning.  I was a little stunned when forty minutes into fishing the NE side I hadn't even had a sniff and a panfish fisherman showed up and took the SW side.  I switched to the SE side where I have to cast to my right/backhand to get under the bridge.  Also, the casting angles aren't nearly as good because of the way the vegetation and rocks are.  I had one toothy swipe at my Chigger Craw.  After about 20 minutes nothing was happening so I went back to the NE side.  I saw a 17" toothy and sub 10" jumper.  I threw a Spro Frog in the rice, not even a hit, and nothing under the bridge either.  I packed up to leave at 6:30 having not caught anything.

I pointed the KIA towards Mille Lacs, hoping that the rumors I'd been hearing about the smallies going on topwater would work out for me.  With smallmouth, I never know if they are going to be at my main shore fishing spot or not.  I found out on my first cast.
12.5" Whopper Plopper
Yeah, it was a small fish, but it hit topwater and got the skunk off.  About 15 minutes later I got another one.
14.5" Whopper Plopper
About 15 minutes later I got the big one.  I was really hoping it was gonna go 21 inches.  I couldn't decide what I wanted to do to land it as it was to the North of the harbor mouth.  I was unable to steer it into the harbor, so I ended up shimming down a large semi slippery slab where I was able to grab the fish.
 I couldn't see the screen to know I had taken a bad picture and the camera went on the fritz.  A lady and her husband were down front and offered to take a picture for me.  I got the camera to work right again and got the one good pic and one's better than none.  I had to hold the fish upright for about a minute before it swam off.

Clouds moved in and I think I got one hit on the loon colored Plopper that didn't hook up.  At 9AM it started thundering and threatening rain so I left.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

My Full Recap June 4th Snatcher Tourny at Birch Lake (Hackensack)

Tournament Winner the humble Dennis Lothspeich in his new ride.
Conditions: 65-55 degrees, Cloudy with some rain, Windy for most of the day out of the NW

Not The Day I Was Looking For:
We blasted off at about a quarter to 8AM.  We went to the channel that separates the two basins.  I quickly had a fish on my D & M Baits Piranha bluegill color, but it was a pike.  As we were fishing through the channel I had the Grass Pig's tail get bit off.  As we worked our way North out of the Western side of the channel I got a 12.75" keeper on a black/blue Piranha with a Chigger Craw trailer.  We kept moving North.  I got a 11" on the Chigger Craw.  The wind came up and it started raining.

We moved to the South side of the Island and fished around the rock point.  As we were working the windward side coming up on Paul and Hammer my boater Darren stuck the Lunker of the Day.  That was the only fish we got in that area.  We worked around the West side of the Island where I got a pike on an Okeechobee Craw Craw Fatty.   We started down the East side and Darren missed a hit.  I quickly landed a 14.75" in the same general area on the Craw Fatty.  We pulled a little more off shore and I got a 14.25" and a 16.75" (2-6) also on the Craw Fatty.  Darren picked up a couple of fish as well on Craw Tubes.  I landed a short and a couple of pike and missed some hits.  Darren got his limit.  The action slowed.  Darren switched to a Senko.  He had a mule on, but his drag was too loose.  He tightened it up to much and the fish broke him off as it jumped just out of reach of the net.

That kind of wrecked the mood in the boat as Darren was pissed off and I wasn't getting bit out there in the wind and rain.  Also my upper back really started to be a pain.  Darren did get another good fish on the Senko and maybe one or two more fish on it.  I tried an Strike King Ocho and a couple of crankbaits.  We finally bailed on the place with about an hour and a half left.

We tried a point where we had gotten a fish in prefish.  Didn't get anything there.  We moved in to try a few docks.  I got a bad wind knot that put my Fluke Rod out of commission.  That truly sapped my confidence.  We tried another point where I got a pike on the bluegill Piranha.  Darren got a fish that didn't help him.  We worked some slop not getting a hit.

We hit the channel on the way in.  I got a rock bass on the Craw Fatty and Darren got a small upgrade, but then he culled two fish leaving him one short of a limit.  That error ended up costing him two places in the final standings.

Results: My 4 fish weighed 6lbs 9ozs and put me in 13th out of 15 anglers.  Darren came in 6th Place with 12-6.  Dennis Lothspeich as noted above was the winner and his fish weighed 14-9, beating Guy Henkensiefkin by 2 ozs. and Chuck Steinbauer by 3ozs

My Thoughts:  Bottom line I didn't fish very well or intelligently.  I skipped right past the Chigger Craw I had on to put on the Ocho.  We were fishing a spot that was ideal for a football head jig.  It didn't even enter my mind.  I should have thrown a jerkbait as well.  I allowed myself to get frustrated and mentally spun out.

I think it really would have helped if we would have had a marker buoy or two out.  We were fishing far enough off shore and a school of fish was definitely there.  Not having a marker buoy made us far less efficient.   I was out there throwing blind.  

I give myself a D for for that disappointing and depressing finish.  I now haven't caught a limit in 3 straight tournaments.

Next Tournament South Long  

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Birch Quick Report

A disappointing start to the tournament season for me as I fell two fish shy of a limit.  It was also disappointing because my boater Darrin had the fish on to win, but didn't due to equipment and execution issues.  At least he got Lunker for the day.  I forgot to get a picture of him with it.

My mental and physical game were both off of where they needed to be.  I should have been able to get a limit. On the bright side at least I didn't get bit off by a pike.  I did have to retie about 5 times though.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Snatcher Tournament Season Starts Tomorrow at Birch Lake (Hackensack)

Provided that I can catch a keeper I will get good points for this tournament as there are only 15 guys fishing.  My boater Darren and I are a little befuddled on what the fish are up too.  Most of them have to be post spawn at this point.  Have no clue what the cool weather, clouds and NW wind will do for the bite.  The fish could be shut off like they were when we pre-fished on Tues.  Or they could really be on the chew as Birch has fairly clear water.  I brought almost all moving baits for pre-fish and the fish weren't having it, except the pike.  I'll have all kinds of plastics at my disposal tomorrow.

The big question is how many tungsten sinkers am I gonna lose if the bite is off and I have to fish slow?  I think Darren got bit off about 6 times on Tuesday.

Update: Forecast changed, same winds but now it's going to be sunny with temps getting to the low 70's.