Friday, December 27, 2019

2019 Lure Of The Year: Tru-Tungsten Mad Maxx Frog

Grapes of Wrath
311 Fish Caught
6.26lbs/20.25 (Big Sexy)
August 2nd, 2019

It was a landslide victory this year for the Mad Maxx Frog.  Not only did it account for the most fish, but also my biggest bass of the year.

Bass Pundit's Lure Of The Decade: The Craw Tube

When I joined the Baxter Bass Snatcher back in 2008 I noticed that a lot of the guys were into the Lake Fork Craw Tube, a lure with which I was personally unfamiliar.  Me being the hardheaded knucklehead that I am didn't try using them myself until 2010 when Guy Henkensiefken was kicking my butt with them during a tournament on Rabbit Lake and insisted I use one of his baits.  He also gave me a lesson on how he fishes them.  After that tournament, I bought some for myself and have been using them ever since.  They have without a doubt been my most consistent producer this decade and that is why I am naming it Lure of the Decade.  Guy saved Lake Fork Craw Tubes for tournament day and generics for fun fishing.  Lake Fork discontinued making craw tubes sometime mid-decade.

1st Runner Up: Tru-Tungsten Mad Maxx Frog

Tru-Tungsten went out of business in 2011, which is really too bad because they were a company that made a quality product.  I scored a bunch of their Mad Maxx Frogs when they were closed out by an online retailer.  I wish I had bought more because I am almost out of them now thanks to toothy critters.  They do come up occasionally on eBay, but usually, for a price I won't pay.

Honorable Mentions:

The Berkley Havoc Grass Pig: Caught my personal best largemouth on this lure in 2014 and really really caught the fire out of them on it in 2013 when the GOMH was loaded with fish form Opener well into June:  It was my top producer in 2013.

   The Stanley Phantom:  Caught the fire out them on this lure in 2013.

Chatterjigs: D & M Baits Piranha's, Pure Poison's, and assorted other chatterjigs have been among my most consistent producers this decade.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

I Disagree With This Headline

Kirk Cousin's play was not high on the list of why the Vikings lost to the Packers on Monday night football.  Adam Thielen dropped a perfectly thrown ball that he is normally money on.  Instead of a momentum building big play on third down, Kirk is credited with an incomplete pass and the team has to punt.  The gadget play with Diggs throwing the ball to Kirk was there and Diggs missed a wide-open Cousins.  We had the Packers defense fooled and let them off the hook;  This missed opportunity as a momentum shifter cannot be overlooked.  We didn't score another point.  The running game was almost non-existent probably due to bad Offensive Line play.  The Offensive Line flat outplayed poorly with multiple sacks and pressures with only 3 or 4 guys rushing.  Kirk had that 4th quarter touchdown pass taken away due to one of our linemen getting beat and having to hold.  On the interception, Diggs has got to make a better play on the ball either not allowing the interception to take place or making the tackle and thus not allowing any kind of return.  The Offensive staff clearly got beat by Green Bay's Defensive staff.  The team failed Kirk way more than the other way around.     

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Is This Really True?

From a Matthew Coller article at SKOR North.

From my understanding, the Vikes being the two seed takes a lot more to happen than that.  Right now the Pack, Saints, 49ers, and Seattle are all a game up on the Vikes.  It's as if Coller forgot about the Saints entirely.  As I said in my previous Vikings blog, the Pack losing next week to the Lions is extremely unlikely.  The Pack owns the tiebreaker. 

Thankfully, the people at Bring Me The News wrote an article spelling out how things have to break down for the Vikes to land in the 1 through 3 seed.

All three are extremely unlikely scenarios predicated on a Packers loss or tie to the Lions.

If I haven't said it here on the blog before, I am going to say it right now for the record.  I think it's a travesty that teams with the best records don't necessarily get a home playoff game.  It would be one thing if Division winners and wildcard teams had records that are tied.  Then OK, give the game to the Division winner.  But if the wildcard team has a game or more on the Division winner it just isn't right for them not to be rewarded with home-field advantage.  Hopefully, the NFL will eventually set that right.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Vikings Week 16 Outlook: Blah And Bah Humbug

It's Cheese week and I should be exited.  I assume the Rams are going to lose to the 49ers on Saturday thus the Vikes will be assured of a playoff birth as a wildcard.  With the Packers playing the Lions in the final game of the year the chances of the Vikes winning the Division are pretty much nil.  So really the Vikes don't have much to play for this week.  While the Pack is playing for a first-round bye.  It's as if the football gods are once again smiling down on the Packers franchise this year.   If the Vikes do beat Green Bay this week it's only a pyrrhic victory to me unless the Vikes make it farther in the playoffs than the Packers.  The Packers beating the Bears last week took all the wind out of my sails as far as enthusiasm for the Vikes playoff chances.  I suppose my blahs are nothing a Packer beatdown on Monday Night Football wouldn't cure. SKOL! 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Vikings Week 15 Outlook: Let The Chips Fall Where They May

There is a lot on the line this week in the NFC North.  Da Bears play the Cheese in Lambert at noon.  A Pack victory probably means they win the Division and Da Bears would be eliminated from the playoffs.  The Bears seem to have hit their stride and it is my belief that the Pack are pretenders this year.  I think we may see a Bears upset at Lambert.   May it be so.

A Pack loss opens the Door for the Vikes to win the Division provided they can get a victory against the Chargers in L.A. this week.  The Vikes should be able to beat the Chargers if the Vikes play reasonably well on both sides of the ball.  I think the Vikes will do that. 

If the Pack do beat the Bears, that isn't the end of the world for the Vikes provided the Vikes don't have an end of the year collapse like they did last year.  The Vikes should make the playoffs and a Pack victory this week most likely means the Vikes will face the Pack in Lambert in the first round of the playoffs. So let the chips fall where they may I think the Vikes have a better team than the Packers.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Vikings Week 14 Outlook: Thumbs Up

First my thoughts on the Loss at Seattle.  What a disastrous 3rd Quarter and start of the fourth.  I wonder how the game would have turned out had Rhodes not gotten that unnecessary roughness penalty.  The team lost the plot there for a while after that mistake. I am impressed that the Vikes/Cousins fought back as effectively as they did.  It's quite astonishing that we actually had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter.  It's a shame they couldn't finish the job, what a missed opportunity.

I am pretty sure the team is going to be in a surly mood come Sunday at home.  The Lions will have the advantage of a long week for them and a short week for us. That shouldn't matter that much.  The Lions undrafted rookie QB is starting his second game.  I am sure the Lions are going to want to run the ball as much as possible.  The Vikes D has to be embarrassed about how many yards they gave up on the ground in Seattle, so good luck with that Detroit.  Zimm vs. a rookie QB.  This one could get ugly in a good way.  I highly doubt the Lions will be able to come in and pull what Denver did.  Last week the Lions allowed Trubisky to throw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.  But I think the Vikes need to get the running game re-established.  Pound the rock boys, SKOL!

(I also think if Dalvin isn't 100% healthy than they should sit him for this one.)


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Vikings Week 13 Outlook: Apprehensive

This week's game is a huge opportunity.  Beating one of the best teams in football at their place on Monday Night Football would be really nice to see.  I am not getting my hopes up to high.  Russell Wilson is a magician and Kirk's record in big spot games is spotty at best.  It is possible that Zimmer and Stefanski/Kubiak will come up with a stellar game plan.  I certainly expect the Vikes to show more life coming out of the bye than the Cheese did last week.  If the Vikes are good enough to beat Seattle this week I think that will pretty much guarantee us a playoff spot.  It would be a great first step toward winning the Division.  A loss isn't the end of the world provided the team stays healthy, but it would obviously put the team in a more difficult spot. Every game the Vikings play from now on is big.  It has been an exciting season so far and I hope it continues with a strong Vikings efforts every game.  Skol! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Dude Wipes Dude and Brandon Palaniuk Returning To The Elites

After one year on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour two of the biggest names in bass fishing are going back to B.A.S.S..  This may or may not be an ominous sign for Boyd Duckett and the boys over at MLF.  Who knows how the MLF FLW take over is going to work out in the long run.  I think going back to B.A.S.S. is the smart bet.  When I lost Outdoor Channel last Spring when we switched to Direct TV my interest level in MLF nose-dived.  In fact, it wasn't until I was doing this post that I looked up The Bass Pro Tour on Discovery Channel which we do have.  I now have the DVR set to record.  I got to do something with my time this winter because with these back to back Thanksgiving week snowstorms it looks like my ice fishing got done before I could even get started.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Forgotten Frenzy Popper

So I was reading through some old Bass Pundit Blog posts this morning from November 2009 when I came across the one when I talked about the Frenzy Popper being discontinued.  That got me to thinking.  Did I even catch a fish on one this year? 

So I went and checked on Fish Swami to get the answer.  The answer was no I did not.  I was a little shocked by that.  How could it be that I didn't even catch a single fish on a lure I just adore.  I then opened the database query to include all the years down to 2012 when I first started recording my catches with Fish Swami.  I was really shocked by that result.  I figured I had gotten fish every year but  2019 on the Frenzy Popper.   Boy was I wrong.  Here is the result:
 I've only caught 1 fish on the lure in the last 5 years.  Egads!

This proves for a fact that my memory and recall isn't the greatest.  I was totally oblivious to just how neglected the Frenzy Popper has been in my fishing the last few years.  I will have to rectify that situation in 2020.  In fact, I'm going to set a goal of catching at least 25 fish on the Frenzy Popper in 2020.  I caught more than that on the lure in one trip during The Great GOMH Whackfest of 2009.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Trophy Put Into Storage This Week

Dad and I finally got around to putting the Trophy away for the winter this week.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Boom! And Just Like That Bass Pundit Became 15 Years Old

Well, my blogging here at the mothership was down a few more tics yet again this year. A new record low, in fact. I guess I was preoccupied with other things.  But I am still at it and will persist.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Vikings Week 11 Outlook: A Little Bit of Concern

This is a game the Vikes should win.   Denver coming off the bye is probably going to have a few tricks up their sleeve.  Beating us at home would be a real feather in their cap and I expect we will see their best effort and that's what worries me.  Our guys better not have one foot already in the bye when they step on the field tomorrow.  I expect it to be a dogfight. If we don't turn the ball over I think it will be a Vikes victory.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Vikings Week 10 Outlook: I've Got A Feeling

I believe the team and Cousins are pretty pissed off about losing to the Chief's.  I have a feeling that they are going to take that frustration out on the Cowboys.  Feeling pretty good about a win this week. 

Monday, November 04, 2019

What A Bummer Game Man!

"This week's game in Kansas City is quite important for the team to put in a quality performance. I am not a believer in this team just yet.  The O-line has something to prove after last week's game.  I don't trust Cousins to come through when we need him.   And the play by the Defense this year has been mildly disappointing.  I want to see my team beat two quality opponents in the next two weeks on the road."

Instead of a quality performance, I got a wildly erratic one that resulted in a loss.  The Vikings were like Jekyll and Hyde in this one.  It made for an exciting game.  I had a feeling coming in that whether or not Mahomes played that the chances of the Chiefs losing another game in Kansas City were pretty slim.  The Vikes almost pulled it off.  I've got to give the Chief's coaches and players credit; they took some haymakers from the Vikes and managed enough big plays to win in the end.

Kirk was at times brilliant, at other times terrible, and at other times boneheaded (sliding before he got the first down).

The O-Line was at times brilliant, at other times terrible,  and at other times unlucky (the call that went against Bradford for being downfield when he really wasn't).

The O-Coordinator lost the plot at the end of the game going away from the run after it had finally started working well.  I was in disbelief over the play calling on our final two drives.  Run the damn ball when taking time off the clock is called for.  Hopefully, this is a lesson learned for Stefanski.

The Defense was just plain snakebitten.  The ball on the ground twice in the closing minutes with the Chief's recovering it both times after brilliant calls by Zimmer.  That long completion on third down when Everson hit Moore's arm. Dats Amazin good fortune for the Chiefs!  Any of those plays go our way and it's probably a Vikings victory.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Vikings Outlook for Week 9: It Gets Serious Now

The 49ers are undefeated. The Sea Chickens have the same record as the Vikes and the Rams are a game back. The Saints have one loss and Brees is back. The Packers have one loss and just beat the Chiefs, this week's Vikes opponent.  This week's game in Kansas City is quite important for the team to put in a quality performance.  I am not a believer in this team just yet.  The O-line has something to prove after last week's game.  I don't trust Cousins to come through when we need him.   And the play by the Defense this year has been mildly disappointing.  I want to see my team beat two quality opponents in the next two weeks on the road.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Trophy Out For 2019

I held out as long as I dare hoping some warm weather might show up, but it was not to be.  The Trophy is out for 2019.  One more night in the water and it would probably have been a lot tougher breaking her out.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Vikings Outlook After Week 7: Some Optimism Is In Order

I didn't get around to my post week 6 outlook.  I was guardedly optimistic that after the throat punch the Lions got in there loss to the Pack on Monday Night Football would land us a win and it did.  Bravo Vikes!  The O-Line looks like they are coming together nicely and the O is hitting on all cylinders. It's hard to know whether or not Cuzzbuzz is coming into his own or whether this is the same ole say ole of Kirk beating up on inferior competition.  The Lions flat out got ripped off in Lambert last week and that crowd in Detroit was rocking giving the game a playoff feel. 

The Vikes versus the Skins at home should be a win.  But it is a primetime game, a Cousins bugaboo, and we got beat by the Bills at home last year. You can't take anything for granted in the NFL.  Keenum will give us his best shot, but I think the D has something to prove as they can't be happy with their performance versus the Lions.

Outlook: Thumbs Up! 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Challenge Cup On Platte/Sullivan Tomorrow

I would have been fishing two tournaments this weekend, but the cold/windy weather on Saturday resulted in the Snatchers Mini-Bucks being canceled.  The Challenge Cup will be held on Platte/Sullivan on Sunday.  The Challenge Cup is a tournament between the 3 Brainerd area bass clubs. Unfortunately, due to Pete coming up this week I was unable to get any pre-fishing in by myself.  My boater will be Arnie Farber from the Brainerd Lakes Bassmasters.  Apparently, he didn't have a particularly good pre-fish or maybe he was sandbagging to Tuma.  If we are on nothing I've got a few ideas on where we might be able to catch some fish.

Rods I'm Bringing:
7'4" H Zillion (Jig)
7'4" H Tatula XL (Spinnerbait)
7'4" H Tatula (Swimbait)
7'2" H Tatula (Jig)
7'2" MH Tatula (Chatterjig)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube)
7' MH Mojo (Chatterjig)
7' M Avid (Senko)

Friday, October 11, 2019

Vikings Outlook After Week 5: Still Concerned

The Vikes took a step forward on the road offensively against the Giants, which is a good sign.  This week get a little stiffer test versus the Eagles at home.  If we see continued improvement on both sides of the ball that should equal a win.  Hopefully, Wentz will be running for his life. 

Saturday, October 05, 2019

In The Mail Today From All-Terrain Tackle

All-Terrain Tackle sent me a jig assortment for my fantasy team coming in first in their group for the Elite Angler Of Year tournament.

Thank You All-Terrain

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

My Snatcher Tournament On Leech Lake

2/11 Evergreen Soft Shell Frog

Sarah getting prepared to teach Chuck Steinbauer how it's done.

Beau Wins 4th Co-Angler Challenge of the Year.

Tuma Wins and Got Lunker As Well
Conditions: 37-57℉, Sunny turning mostly Cloudy around 2PM, 0-4mph NE

The Day:
I forgot to bring my sunglasses. Fortunately, my boater had an extra pair in his glove box. Also, drawing a partner with dual consoles was nice, so I didn't freeze on the ride to Boy Bay. We started in the reeds on the North end of Bear Island. I got the first bite of the day on a junebug Craw Tube, but it got off. I thought it was a bass, but my line was frayed, so it could be a pike. I got two other bites in the reeds. The first one dropped it immediately, and the second had me into a reed before I could set the hook. I wasn't able to get either fish to hit again. After an hour of that, we headed for some rice.

We started shallow, working our way along the rice line to deeper rice. Ruff had a couple fish strike at his frog but not hook up. The second fish was 2/3lb bass that jumped completely out of the water but didn't get the frog. Once we got to the deeper rice, Paul put the first small keeper in the boat on a craw tube. I think slightly before that, Dennis showed up and started fishing about 50 yards up or so in the direction we were heading. I took that as a positive sign. Paul got the second fish of the day as well. He only got one more non-keeper for the rest of the day. He had about the same number of bites as me. Over the next couple of hours, I managed to get 4 keepers in the boat on the junebug Craw Tube. I missed a couple of bites on a frog and a few on the Craw Tube. By noon my upper back was sore.

At About 1:30PM, we left the rice for the northern Shoreline of Boy, where we fished a couple of docks, some rushes which transitioned into rice. We didn't get anything. So we went in search of reed beds on that northern shore. Ruff got his short there. After an hour of fishing time, we returned to the rice, and Dennis was there again. We put into the rice about 50 yards away. Paul missed a fish, and I got a keeper on a Green Pumpkin/Brown craw tube. Shortly after that, Dennis motored in much closer to us and informed us we came right in on the juice. He also reported his non-boater Snatcher rookie Jon Notsch was kicking his ass. I asked Dennis what size weight they were using. He was using 1oz and said Jon used a 1/2oz, but Jon said he was now using 1oz as well. I ended up getting bit off, so I switched back to the junebug Craw Tube and upgraded to a 1/2oz weight: I had been using 5/16th. We motored back on the other side of Dennis, and I quickly got my limit fish in the boat. I got a fish that wouldn't help and got bit off two more times. With 20 minutes left, I got two culls on an Evergreen Frog, including my big fish of the day.

The Results: My bass weighed 11/04, putting me in 10th Place out of 20 anglers. 1st Place and Lunker were caught by Keith Tuma (20/02) (4/01). The Co-Angler Challenge was won by Beau Bacon for 4th time this year with a 3rd Place finish out of Tim Benson's boat. Three anglers blanked, and only 8 limits were caught. Tough bite.

I ended up in 9th Place for the year.

My Thoughts: I didn't fish particularly efficiently because I struggled with casting accuracy all day, thanks to a poor night's rest and the long day I spent on the water on Thursday. Other than that, I fished well. We spent at least half the day where there were no fish.   Once again, a kicker fish eluded me.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

So Close!

I didn't really follow the Elite Series or any form of Professional Fishing this year.  Thankfully I managed to put together two pretty good line ups for fantasy fishing this year.  The one for Elite Series AOY tournament was probably my best ever.

I picked Seth because it's a smallmouth fishery, duh!  The same goes for Gussy.  I didn't even realize Wendlandt was fishing the Elite Series until I saw his name at the penultimate event, so I picked him for that one.  He didn't do great, but I decided to stick with him.  Jamie Hartman is just a solid angler and always worthy of being picked.

"Big money, small town boy makes sense
So I'm pushin' all my chips on my man Cliff Prince"

Jamie Hartman caught a monster bag on Day 2.  Unfortunately, he was unable to do the same on Day 3 and so my line-up was unable to take the top spot.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Vikings Outlook After Week 4: A Bit Concerned

Seeing as how Chicago was the only team in the Division to win this week our loss to the Bears isn't the end of the world as we are only a game back.  The team just couldn't get out of its own way yesterday.  The penalty on the play Trubisky got injured and fumbled.  The multiple holding penalties and fumbles just doomed us on offense.  The missed bomb to Theilen when Kirk wasn't pressured on the first drive of the game.  Losing Trubisky may have been a stroke of good luck for Da Bears.  I've got to give the Bears credit for shutting our running game down and holding the ball for so long in the first half.  Starting the second half with a pass play was a poor strategic choice in my opinion.  I thought the Vikes gave up on the run to easy in this one.  Well, that is now water under the bridge.  We have got a rookie quarterback to beat next week.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Snatcher Tournament on Leech Lake Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the final Baxter Bass Snatchers tournament of the year on Leech Lake.  I wasn't able to get out to pre-fish.  My boater got out for a little while this week, so we aren't going in totally blind.  The forecast is calling for almost no wind and a sub 40-degree morning with temps only reaching the mid 50's.  Hopefully, the fish will be biting and not shut down.

Here are the Rods I'm Bringing:
7'6" MH LTB (Tokyo Rig Craw Tube)
7'4" XH Zillion (Frog)
7'4" H Tatula (Frog, Chatterjig)
7'4" H Avid X (Swimbait, Toads, Buzzbait)
7'4" H Zillion (Jigs)
7'2" H Tatula (Jigs)
7' H Avid (Texas Rig)
7' M Avid (Neko Rig)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Vikings Outlook After Week 3: Fingers Crossed Thumbs Up

This weeks game in Chicago is of mucho importance if we are going to compete for the Division Title.  Da Bears are playing on a short week, so they will probably be more vulnerable than the Packers were with an extended week of preparation.  If the Vikes don't turn the ball over I think we've got a pretty good chance.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Vikings Outlook After Week 2: Still Thumbs Up!

The Defense had a bad quarter and Cousins performance was atrocious for the most part.  Losing the second game of the season in Green Bay 21-16 does not give me a reason to panic.  The penalty call on the Diggs touchdown was bogus and without it, I don't think Diggs takes his helmet off.    The Defensive performance in the final 3 quarters was steller.  Our running game is solid.  Sure it's tough losing a game that was there for the taking, but it isn't the end of the world.  Cousins play is what it is, which is wildly inconsistent and generally below average when facing good opponents.  On Sunday his play was just flat out poor and it cost us the win.  Hopefully, the coaching staff can find a way to get into Cousins's head and get him to perform better when the lights are brightest.  I don't see us losing versus the Raiders at home and the Bears game is definitely winnable if we can eliminate the turnovers.  My outlook for the team is still positive.

Monday, September 16, 2019

I reached My Goal of 1,500 Bass Caught For the Year

If the weather is good I have an outside shot at getting to 2,000 for the year. 

I don't think I'm going to make it to a 1,000 Pike which was my goal for them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Vikings Outlook After Week One: Thumbs Up

There are no if's and's or but's about it the Vikes looked like a much-improved team in week one.  Dalvin looked like he is a force to be reconned with.  And the D,  love those turnovers.  Keep it up, boys.