Friday, May 31, 2019

Bass Snatchers On Whitefish Chain Tomorrow

Tomorrow begins the 12th year of me fishing with the Baxter Bass Snatchers Bass Club. It's amazing how time flies.  Back in 2010, we opened up on Whitefish as well.  We were much farther along in 2010 and that tournament took place on June 5th. My boater is Alan Steinbauer and neither one of us pre-fished.  He's got a bunch of spots and the Whitefish Chain is loaded with bass, so I am sure we will catch our share.  Who knows if we will catch anything for size.  We probably aren't going to try for smallies much.  I better catch a limit and if I can manage to get up to a two-pound average I should be able to have a pretty good finish.

Here are the rods I'm Bringing
Tatula 7'1" MH (Jig/Swimbait)
Mojo 7' MHM (Chatterbait)
Avid 7' H (T-Rig)
Avid 7' M (Senko/Fluke)
Avid 6'8" (Topwater/Jerkbait/Swimbait)
Avid 6'8" (Topwater/Swimbait)
Crucial 6'10" MH (Spinnerbait)
Legend Xtreme 6'8" (Light T-Rig)

Techna AV 6' (Fluke) Dock Rod

Late Rod Add:
Tatula 7' MHM (Big Topwater)

Monday, May 27, 2019

Fishing With The Nieces And Sophia

The girls were able to bring in a few sunnies and perch throughout the day.  The made a livewell out of little float tube.  They had it full of fish when Todd and I got back from our evening trip.  This was all on Sunday Memorial Day Weekend.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

BOOM! Had a 100 Fish Day

19" at the Dam in the morning

19" at the GOMH in the Evening

13-inch Crappie on the Junebug Craw Tube

No giants, but a solid 6 fish bag
Morning Trip in the Trophy:
56 Bass (Meeting my 50 bass in a day goal) 
9 Pike
10.8 Fish Caught Per Hour

Evening at the GOMH:
35 Bass
3 Pike
1 Crappie
13 Fish Caught Per Hour

104 Fish Caught for the Day
91 Bass Caught for the Day

One of the crazy things.  3 guys from Arizona were there most of the afternoon busting them there as well.  If it wasn't for the rain I would have been at the GOMH earlier.  This day is what can happen when the lake is really on pre-spawn.  Just didn't get any giants.  I think the big ones I got in the evening were males.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Opener #3 (Sun & Mon)

26" Speed Shad 3.5"

22" X-Rap Shad Shallow

21.75" X-Rap Shad Shallow

By the stinger 19.5" Rage Swimmer

15.75" Shower Blows (1st Top OTY)
8:00-10:00PM GOMH SW NE
58℉, Partly Cloudy, 0-4mph SW, High Water

Surprisingly nobody was there when I arrived tonight.  I went down on the SW side and picked up a couple of quick jumpers on the Vet Chatterjig then nothing so I went to the NE side.  Nothing much was happening there until about 8:40 when there was some boiling, so I put on the Shower Blows and landed my first topwater fish of the year.  John W. showed up as I was bringing it in.  He went to the NW side.  I commenced to whacking them for about 20 minutes then the action quit.  John said he got a bunch of jumpers this afternoon including a few good ones.  Neither one of us got a golden.  As I was loading up Lantern Man showed up.  We talked for a minute then I was off for Mille Lacs.

10:30PM-3:00AM North Eddy's Jetty
42-34℉, Partly Cloudy, 0-4mph SW

Nobody was at Mille Lacs when I arrived, so I went to the North Harbor Mouth.  When I put my tackle bag down, my Vikings sweatshirt fell in the lake, doh!.  By the time I was ready to start casting a local had shown up and took the Center Jetty.  I started with the Rage Swimmer and quickly had a fish on by the stinger hook.  A sign that the fish weren't going to be as aggressive tonight.  I walked down the Jetty and had fish following me in, but not hitting.   I sight fished with the X-Rap and got a couple of 22" fish doing that.  The other guy got an over and keeper, so he left. I went to the Grass Pig and had fish nipping at it pulling the plastic down.  Lantern Man showed up as I was going to get some more swimbaits from the car.  He had some Storm Swimbaits with him. I put on a 3.5" Speed Shad and was pretty much immediately hooked up with a 26-incher.  Lantern Man was impressed.  I then got a 21.75" and Lantern Man got a keeper, so he left.  I got three more eyes on the Speed Shad and lost a couple before I just ran out of energy and had to go home.  I also lost a Speed Shad in the rocks off the NW corner.  I broke the selfie stick, doh!

8 eye's, not a bad night when they really weren't all that aggressive.

Opener Report 2 (Sat & Sun)

Piggie on the Rage Swimmer at Mille Lacs

20.5" Grass Pig
What we had for dinner

8:00-9:30 GOMH NE
57-52℉, Partly Cloudy, 3 mph

We had crappies for dinner then I headed to the GOMH.  There were people on all three sides.  A lady down on the Sw side caught a golden while I was watching.  The guy on the NE side left, so I quickly took the spot.  The first cast under the bridge I got gold on the Grass Pig.  A kid who fishes with Chad Grisby and money tournaments went down on the NW side.  He caught a 30+ walleye out of Platte Lake.  I caught a couple jumpin' bullheads when we talked.  They left and I had to take the walleye back as not to have it in my car when I was at Mille Lacs.

Before leaving in the morning

11:00PM-5:00AM North Jetty
41-45℉, Partly Cloudy, Light SSE winds
Swimbaits and Shad Shallow

Two guys were there when I arrived, but they left after about 20 minutes. I had caught one by the time they left.  The fish were on swimbaits.  I was getting them on a Grass Pig to start, then I switched to a Rage Swimmer and got the biggest one of the night so I stayed with that for a while.  The action was pretty steady until the moon went down.  I was just about to leave when I discovered they would take the Shad Shallow so I stayed nearly to sunrise.

19 Eyes

16.75" Hack JIg/Chigger Craw

May 12th Sunday
6:00-7:00AM GOMH SW
49-44℉, Mostly Sunny, 3mph SW
3 Jumpers

Nobody was at the GOMH.  A kid was fishing out of a small aluminum.  I got 3 decent sized jumpers and missed some bites.
Probably a bass/walleye mix
I wasn't real good about weighing everything yet.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Opener 2019

25" X-Rap (Big Fish of the night)

24.5" X-Rap Shallow Shad (Lure saver fish)

24.75" Jerk Shad (1st Fish of 2019)

20.5" Grass Pig

16" Jerk Shad
12:00-3:40AM Eddy's Jetty
40℉, Clear moon till about 2:40 or so, 2-6mph SW, High Water
When I arrived at the Jetty, the North Harbor Mouth was taken and the NW corner was open so I went there.  I could see multiple eye' swimming around. Instead of casting right away I decided to watch the first casts of the 5 guys to the South of me.  A couple seconds in and a guy on the Center Jetty was hooked up, a good sign.  I quickly switched from the Rippin Rap to the Swimbait, to the Jerk Shad.  I saw a few more fish get caught prompting quick changes.  Got a 24.75 on the first cast with the Crackle Jerk Shad.  About 15 minutes later I got a 16-incher.  I switched lures a few times.  I got two (24,25) nice ones on a pearl X-Rap.  They wanted it extremely slow.  I switched to X-Rap  Shad Shallow and got 17" and 24.5" that freed the bait when I was trying to free it from the rocks.   Snagged snagged snagged then the rod was almost ripped out of my hands when the 24.5" grabbed it.  I was very thankful that fish saved my lure.  As the moon was going down I got on last smaller fish on the Jerk Shad. I also had one last bite that didn't hook up on the Jerk Shad.  It seemed like I would get a bite every 15 to 20 minutes. for the first hour and a half.  The other guys picked up a fish occasionally.  As not much was going on I made the call the head to the GOMH at 3:40AM.

4:15-7:15AM GOMH NE
40-52℉, Partly Cloudy, 4-6mph SSE, High rising water

Wheelhouse Guy arrived just a few minutes before me and was down on the SW side.  He was all by himself at that point.  We talked for a couple of minutes then I went down on the NE side.  I got 20.5" golden on my third cast into the tube on the Grass Pig.  I thought this might be good, but that was the only golden bite I got. I gave the fish to WHG.  I was just about to head to the Trophy when I started getting jumpers on the Crackle Jerk Shad.  I also got some jumpers on the Brovarney Jig with Grass Pig Jr. trailer.  After the second boat came through the action stopped. It was awfully sunny out.  Other than a few of WHG family, nobody showed up until I was packing up to leave.  WHG lost a good pike and brought me a banana.

Not a great start, but it was solid.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

My Plan of Attack for the 2019 Opener

It is right now 12:03AM 48 hours before the MN Fishing Opener and I have a pretty clear plan of attack in mind for how I am going to go about the first day.  Due to the snow storm, we are right now in the midst of experiencing and the wind forecast for Saturday I am pretty much writing off bass fishing.  Wind and cool/ cold water equal no bueno in my experience for bass.  I think the conditions might be setting up for me to take advantage of walldogs, so that is what I am going to focus my energy on the first day.

The Plan:
Of course, I will be fishing on Mille Lacs at midnight which is now a longstanding tradition.  Hopefully, Eddy's isn't full of people because that is my first choice.  I think I'll plan on leaving the house a little after 11PM. That should give me time to assess the situation and possibly give me the opportunity to pick my spot.  Ideally, no one will be there and I can fish free as a bird wandering the North Jetty at will.  Who knows how having a one fish limit will affect angler interest. I'm betting there will be others there fishing at midnight.  Therefore, I want to get the NW corner.  If I don't get that. There is the Harbor Mouth and Standing Rock.  Less appealing is the Center and South Jetty, but beggars can't be choosers. I better bring the long net, just in case I get stuck on Center.

I am going to start with a Rippin' Rap.  If that doesn't work I'll go to a swimbait, then to suspending jerkbaits.  If they are there they should bite on one of those three.  I think I am also going to bring along some Shad Raps, Flicker Shads, and a hair jig.

Success or lack of it depends on what I do next.  At 3:30AM I will make the call to stay or go.  Three and half hours of straight casting is a long time especially if I"m not getting bit.  If I'm feeling good and catching fish I might choose to go until dawn.  Chances are better that I will be looking for a break and change of scenery so I may head home to give a quick blog and get a bite to eat before heading to the Grumpy Old Man Hole.  If I'm there before 5AM hopefully there is an open side.  If not I may head back to Mille Lacs (unlikely), go to the Trophy (also unlikely), stay at the bridge and watch what happens (unlikely if the wind is blowing).  I probably will just go back home if there is nowhere to fish and return sometime in the afternoon after the wind has kicked up and it's warmed up.

With the forecasted South wind, I think I may be able to pull out some daytime gold out of the GOMH.  Then from there, it's most likely back to Mille Lacs for Round 2 after dark.

That's my plan.   

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Winner! Winner! Finally In 2019 I'm A Winner!

The month of April had come and gone and I hadn't won anything yet.  No giveaway's, no Fantasy Fishing prizes, nothing.  My luck changed this week when I won the Bass Boat Central opt-in Fantasy League for the Elite Series at Lake Fork.  So basically I think I'm a few bucks up on what I paid out while participating in this league for the past 3 years or so.

Fishing Goal Reached! 

Saturday, May 04, 2019

First Trophy Trip 2019

Calm at least for a bit

15.75" X-Rap size 6 (Firetiger)

Safely returned
I departed the Grumpy Old Man Hole at 6PM in hopes I would be able to recreate the magic of yesteryear at the mouth of the Platte River in Lake Sullivan.  To do that, I would need the assistance of a boat obviously.  By the time I had loaded up and was underway the wind had calmed down significantly just like it was forecast to do.  The water temp was 52℉, which was right but the fish just weren't there other than a few straggler bass.  I went a little way up the river, but that was unproductive.  I got surprised when a front quickly blew over bringing some rain.  But that made the bow light work, so I can't complain.  I ran the hay flat looking for fish with my Go For Wild Headlamp. Unfortunately, the water isn't as clear as it could be and there was some ripple as well.  I mostly spied shiners and a few small sunnies.  Lantern Man was at the bridge and had only gotten one silver bullhead.  I was starting to get cold so I called it a night at 10PM.