Saturday, January 28, 2017

FYI- FLW Fantasy Fishing Is Up And Running

First tournament of the year starts next week on Thursday at Lake Guntersville.  I'm meh on the changes on the website.  Some things I like, some not so much.  I do like the fact that we only have to pick 8 anglers with the same $200 system with anglers priced around the same as last year.  A lot more flexibility in picking rosters now with two less anglers to pick.

FLW Fantasy

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1st Ice Fishing Trip of 2017(1-22-17)

17.5" VMC Fly Jig w/Maki Jamei and maggie
9:00AM-1:30PM Rock Lake My Spot 14'-17'
Conditions: 34 degrees, Cloudy and fog in the morning, light W wind, sloppy and wet on the ice
Sloppy and Wet
With the warm weather we have been having my motivation meter finally started ticking up and so today was the day I put it all together and got out.  There wasn't much going on at Rock Lake and two parties pulled their permanents off of the lake today.  I'm taking that to mean the bite hasn't been very good out there this winter compared to other area lakes.

I had a thought before I started drilling holes that since I didn't have any minnows all I needed was a single hole instead of my usual double.  I found one open hole in the area but that was it.  I didn't really look to hard to see if there were any others.  I think I drilled 6.  I started in the farthest North.  And my first fish for 2017 was a...
1st Fish of 2017
Bluegill on a VMC Tungsten Fly Jig w/white Maki Jamei with a spike
All I got in the first hole was sunfish and they were finicky.  My line on the VMC Fly's rod was getting caught on the spool where I tied to the backing.  I took the time to get the not put at the very bottom of the spool where it is less likely to catch.  Turns out that was a good thing I did that.  

In the second hole I busted the bass first thing after not getting a hit with fish down it on the Rippin' Rap.
17.5" VMC Fly w/Maki Jamei and spike

Not where it was actually hooked
The way the bass ran I thought I had a decent sized pike on.  I was pleasantly surprised it was a bass seeing as how I didn't catch a single one out there last winter.  That fish made my trip.

I also caught some perch.
7.5" Rippin' Rap
This was the only bite I had on the Rippin Rap.

I was satisfied I knocked the rust off and packed up at 1:30PM.  I should have moved around more quickly and drilled a few more holes.

1 Bass
6 Perch
12 Sunfish

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My First Mystery Tackle Box

The box actually arrived about 3 weeks back and I just haven't felt like blogging about it until now.  Here is a list of the things that was in it.
 The Lucky Craft Moonsault: It's supposed to be a lipped bait that performs a lot like a lipless one.  I guess I'll see how well that works out.  I see they are on sale right now at Cabela's for $6.99 where they retail for $16.99.

The Ima Pinjack: Another 6-8' running crankbait that is supposed to come through weeds fairly well.  The trick with this on is to back off rather than ripping the lure when you hit a weed.

Nichols Saber Swim Jig:  It's a swim jig with gimmick for locking plastics in place with a toothpick.

Netbait Paca Slim: Sort of similar to a Chigger Craw

Savage Gear Armor Tube Worm:  Has a nylon mesh that is supposed to make the bait last a lot longer than your average Senko.

VMC Wacky Weedless Jig:  It is what it is.  I've never used a wacky jig before.

I believe I should be able to catch fish on 100% of the lures that came in this box this year provided I think to put them on.

I can't say I am blown away by the value in this box do to the Moonsault being a lure I can get new for more than 50% off retail and the fact that they only gave me two of the VMC jigs.
I don't see anything in here being something I would buy for myself with the exception of the wacky jigs.  But who knows maybe something will jump out at me and prove itself to me.  I'll keep an open mind.

Right now I grade this box out as a C-.

Hopefully I'll be more impressed with the next one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

BASS Fantasy Bass Fishing is Open Now

Sign up here, but the first tournament is a month away.  If you like to play fantasy sports I recommend you give it a try.  You don't have to know much about fishing to be successful.  Pretty much any angler can do well in a given tournament or bomb for that matter.  Last year I pretty much sucked at picking my teams most of the time.  (David Walker, I'm looking at you.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Baxter Bass Snatcher History Made in 2017

For the 1st time in the 41 year history of the club we will have a female member.  I wasn't at the December meeting when it was discussed.  Since it was decided to accept her in December nothing was said about it at the January meeting and she wasn't at the meeting (at least I don't think she was.)  I only learned about it because they sent out a list of paid members and there was a Sarah on it as a new member.

So while we won't have female President in 2017, that doesn't mean there wasn't any great leap forwards for the progress of women this year.  Welcome to the club Sarah!

I Am All For Panfish Protection

Star Tribune Headline
For this article.

I am all for whatever it takes to increase panfish size in this state.

Monday, January 09, 2017

What I Caught Eye's and Pike On In 2016

It was good year for Walter and me with 42 fish caught.

I caught Pike on 45 Lures in 2016
It was a banner year for me on the hammer handle factory that is Platte/Sullivan with 488 pike considered caught by me.  I am especially lenient in what I consider a caught pike because I don't want them stealing my lures. Just seeing one come after a lure is enough for me to count it.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

What I Caught My Bass On In 2016

Largemouth: 52 Different Lures Used
I caught a total 764 largemouth in 2016.  My catch rates for them this year were nothing to write home about yet again.  The most I caught in a single day was a pretty pathetic 16 fish.  Even when I was on 'em I wasn't really on them to good in 2016.  I'm setting an ambitious goal for catching a thousand largies in 2017.

Smallmouth: 5 Different Lures
Smallmouth at Eddy's Jetty has always been a hit and miss proposition.  This year I got a few hits which is always good.

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016 Fishing Goals Achieved (And Not)

Goals Achieved in the Black or Link
Goals Unachieved in the Red
Partially Achieved in Purple 
Commentary in the Blue 

Bass Snatcher Goals:
1.  Get "Wood" in at least one tournament. (1st-3rd Place Finish or Lunker) Nope! 12th Place was my best finish. Ugh!
2. Win my 1st tournament.  Not even close!
3. Get "Lunker" in a tournament. 3.13lbs was as big as I could muster.
4. Get paired with Chuck Fields. (He usually only fishes a couple of tournaments a year so chances of it ever happening are not very good.) Nope, All repeat partners for me this year.
5. Finish in the Top 10 at the end of the year.  (Something I haven't done since 2011) 12th Place.  Finished behind two guys that spotted me a whole tournament worth of points.
6. Catch a limit at every tournament of the year. Didn't get limit in 4 out of 6 of the tournaments that is a personal worst.
It was another tough year for me out of the back of the boat as a Bass Snatcher. 

Technique & Tackle Goals:
1. Catch some fish on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper. 11 Largie, 4 Smallie, 4 Pike
2. Catch fish on my wake baits. 4 Livetarget, 2 H2O X-Press
3.  Throw a football head jig at the GOMH. Too much gunk on bottom by the time bass season opened.
4. Get out in the Trophy. Done!
5. Win something in Fantasy Fishing or Facebook giveaway/contest. Done x 3!
6. Catch fish on a Lucky Craft Gunfish 117 Fished it a few times, don't remember if I had any bites.  Not really that impressed with the bait.

Fish Goals:
1.  Catch a 14" or bigger. (This has been a goal of mine for a long time predating the blog.) Pow!
2. Catch* over 300 this year. Bam!

1. Win my 3rd Minnesota Bowfin Club Grand Championship
2. Catch a MN State Record fish. (11-4  or 35" x 20")

1. Catch* over 150 this year. (I caught 205 last year.) Smashed it with 488 Pike. 
2. Catch a 38" or over.

1. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Largemouth
2. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Smallmouth Caught a personal best 20.5"
3. Catch* over 500 bass this year. (I caught only 450 last year.) 788 Bass this year
4. Catch* at least 5 smallies.  (I caught 10 last year) 24 Smallies this year

1. Blog about anytime I reach a goal.
2. Blog the BASS Elite AOY on Mille Lacs Lake. 
I could have done a better job of both of these goals.

Over all I'm very satisfied with the goals I achieved in 2016, minus the fiasco that was my Snatchers season.  I should have my 2017 Goals blogged by February.