Sunday, January 31, 2021

February Will Be Getting Off To A Cold Start

 I suppose things could change by next weekend. This last cold snap was warmer than predicted on the high end.

St. Croix is Releasing A New Bass Rod on Monday

This should be interesting. I am in the market for a 6 something inch medium-heavy spinning rod for dock fishing. What ya got for me cheeseheads?

Friday, January 29, 2021

Snatcher's 2021 Schedule (Tentative), My Thoughts

I am reasonably pleased with the exception of the first and last tournaments. Whitefish beat out Platte/Sullivan in a close vote. I don't care for blind tournaments because the chance of getting out to pre-fish with my boater is about nill. All the rest of the lakes were in my suggestions. 

Here are my thoughts on the individual lakes:

Whitefish  Chain:  This will be the 6th time I will be fishing a Snatchers Tournament on Whitefish. I've fished with Chuck Steinbauer 6/5/10, Dave Branum 7/15/12, Herman 9/21/14, Mark Munson 9/24/16, and Al Steinbauer 6/1/2019.  Could be a tough one if my boater has smallies on beds and that is all we do. Confidence in catching a limit provided that isn't the case, 100%; Whitefish is a bass factory

North Long: This will be my 6th Snatcher Tournament on North Long (2 of these were Mini-Bucks. I missed the one in 2012 due to back problems. I've never been on the lake this early in the year. Getting as limit shouldn't be an issue I would think.

Fishtrap:  I think there is a high chance Fishtrap won't make the final cut as we only have one away tournament at the moment. I think there is a strong possibility we will go to Pokegama instead. If it does stay on Fishtrap I like the lake. It is a very versatile fishery with good deep and shallow bites. This will be only my second tournament on the lake. I think getting a limit is more likely than not.

Edward: This will be my second tournament on Edward. I was very impressed with the lake in 2018 when we fished it in mid-July. We had 23 limits get caught the last time. I am optimistic about getting a limit.

Leech: This will be my 5th Snatcher Tournament on Leech. This is the time of the year where it could be a wreck fest in the rice and reeds. If that is the case I like my chances of a high finish provided I draw the right boater.

Blind: Possible lakes: Cullen, Alexander, Bordon, Farm Island, Bay, Platte/Sullivan, Pelican, Bay, Gull River, Missippi River/Rice Lake, Rabbit, Mille Lacs, and Fishtrap, if it gets switched out. Having Platte/Sullivan in a blind tournament at this time of the year would be a huge advantage for my boater and I. I have the lake dialed. That doesn't mean they will bite, but I know where the big ones live. Would expect a minimum of a 16lb bag if the wind is favorable.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Low Water & Lack Of Current=?

Today at the GOMH


It is interesting we had a later ice up this winter and it has been milder, but because of low water and presumably no current the GOMH is frozen up this year. It will be interesting to see how ice-out progresses this year. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

I Am Shocked the Pack Got GOATed @ Lambert


I figured the Pack had it made for a trip to the Super Bowl this year. The finally secured home-field advantage and Erin was playing at the top of his game. Well Tom Brady had a vote. Neither QB played particularly inspired football. Congrats to the Buc's and good luck, your going to need it.

Friday, January 22, 2021



First Trip With The New Trap Legend XL


Didn't get skunked!

Mucho Leg Room
5:15-6:15PM Platte Lake Public Access
15℉, MC, 0-3mph NW

I got 3lb Suffix put on the Genz rod and got my stuff in the Kia and headed over to the Lake Place to pick up the Fish Trap at 4:15PM. Got the Trap loaded and then realized I didn't take the keys with me. Fortunately, I left the car running. I went and got the keys. I got to the access a little before 5PM. I ended up setting up out a little deeper than I would have preferred. The Fish Trap is taller than I am. Fits all of my stuff just fine. I am impressed. I started with my jacket off and can put it back on while standing upright inside the Trap. The only thing I don't care for is far up off the ice I am sitting, neck and shoulder strain may be a thing. I think I'll try putting a third five-gallon bucket in the trap and try propping up the Vex on that. I need to switch over the rod holders.    

The bib's cell phone pocket is convenient. The full leg zipper is nice.  

I caught the one small crappie and had a few more sniffers. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

Fishing Goals Achieved (And Not) in 2020

Fishing Goals in 2020

Goals achieved in bold green
Goals not achieved in red
Partly achieved in purple
Commentary in blue
Fishing Buddies: 

1. Fish with Dad
2. Fish with Mike Thompson
3. Fish with Jim Bonin

4. Fish with  Mike "Spike" Miller
5. Fish with Jeff and Renee
6. Fish with Todd, Isabelle, and Mallory
7. Fish with Peter W.
8. Fish with Matt W.
9. Fish with Dave Lindmark
10. Fish with Steve and Devin
11. Take Corey Hicks frog fishing.
12. Fish with Kane Phongsavat
13. Fish with Rick Nichols
14. Fish with Pete
15. Fish with SarahJean Fishing on the river (I discovered my waders leak badly, so I've got an excuse on this one)
16. Fish With Josh Abrahamson & Ashley Just
17. Fish with Eric Aske
18. Fish with Jaimen Abrahamson

Dream Fishing Buddies:
1. Fish with Josh Douglas
2. Fish with Al Lindner
3. Fish With Nattie Up North

Bass Snatcher Goals:  Same Goals as 2019

Bass Snatcher Goals:
1.  Get "Wood" in at least one tournament. (1st-3rd Place Finish or Lunker or Co-Angler Challenge)Missed a great opportunity at Rush Lake.
2. Win my 1st tournament. (My best finish to date is 2nd Place.)
3. Get "Lunker" in a tournament.   (Preferably one over 5-8 to win the revolving big bass pot.)
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.  I may look into bribing Dennis) Chuck sat out 2020
5. Finish in the Top 10 at the end of the year. (Finished 6th) Only made it because of Snatcher Chuck's health issues.
6. Catch a limit at every tournament of the year.  (I've done this twice, but in 2012 I only fished 4 out of the 6 tournaments due to a bad back.) Missed a limit in a record 3 tournaments in a year and caught my fewest fish in a full season (25).
7. Pre-fish with at least 3 boaters. Pre-fished every tournament for the first time.
8. List the Rods I'm bringing for each tournament before the tournament.
9.  Win the Co-Angler Challenge at least twice Didn't do it once, came in 2nd twice.
10. Make the Challenge Cup Team

Technique & Tackle Goals:
1. Win something in Fantasy Fishing or Facebook giveaways/contests. Bupkis!  Nada! Zili!ch
2. Catch a fish on % of Mystery Tackle Box Lures (Holdover from 2017)
    2a. 1st Box 100% (5 Lures, 2 Lures to go)
    2b. 2nd Box 60% (3 out of 5, only more lure, and I've got this one)
3. Catch a fish on % of Lucky Tackle Box Lures (Holdover from 2017/18)
   3a. 1st Box 100%  (6 Lures, 3 Lures left to go.)
   3b. 2nd Box 100% (6 Lures)
   3c.  3rd Box 75% (4 Lures)
4. Catch a bass on the Salmo Bass Bug (Holdover from 2017) Caught pike on it again. Officaly calling this bait a dud for bass.
5.  Officially Open the Tackle Warehouse this year. (Opened 4/2/2020)
6. Experiment with the Ned Rig to see if it's something for me. (Holdover from 2018) Thumbs up on the Ned Rig.

1. Blog about anytime I reach a goal.
2. Record all fishing trips at Fish Swami I skipped at least a couple of really short skunks

3. Fish at least 150 days and blog about them 230 days in 2020

Fish Goals:
1. Catch* 3,000 Fish (2,945 caught in 2019) Made it just barely.
2. Average 5 fish caught per hour. (4.40 in 2019, 4.07 in 2018, 3.99 in 2017, 4.08 in 2016, 3.62 in 2015, 3.55 in 2014, 4.41 in 2013, 4.31 in 2012, 2.77 in 2011) 3.92 I was in the mid to high 4's for most of the summer.
3. Have a 100 fish day. Came up just short with 94 on May 22nd.

1. Catch a new personal best. (Currently 14.25")
2. Catch* over 50 this year. (Caught 58 in 2019) 217 in 220

1. Win my 3rd Minnesota Bowfin Club Grand Championship
2. Catch an MN State Record fish. (11-4  or 35" x 20")
3. Catch a new personal best.
4. Get the Minnesota Bowfin Club Grand Championship stuff done in a timely manner this year. Didn't do anything with MBC it in 2020

1. Catch* over 1,000 this year. (Caught 813 in 2019) 927 Pike Caught this year, which is a record amount.
2. Catch a 38" or over/personal best.

1. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Largemouth
2. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Smallmouth
3. Catch* over 1,500 bass this year. (Caught 1,685 in 2019) Only 1,293
4. Catch* at least 25 smallies.  (I caught 4 last year) Caught 4 Smallies this year
5. Catch a 25lb 6 Fish Bag 23.01 lbs on August 26th
6. Have a 50 bass day (51 Bass May 22nd)

1. Catch at least 50. (Caught 258 in 2018) 202 Eyes in 2020

2. Catch 30"/10lber or new personal best. (28.5 is my current PB)

* Catch is anything I deem it to be including follows by pike or smallmouth (while pre-fishing), a pike missing my lure, fish viewed on the Aqua View, and fish that get off before I have them in hand that I can positively identify.  And fish caught by people I am guiding or boater during pre-fish.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Bass Snatcher Tournament Wishlist Lakes

 Because of COVID, we are submitting our lake choices by email this year and will have a video conference for the first meeting.  We can select 3 lakes per tournament.

1. Platte/Sullivan, Edward, North Long
2. Platte/Sullivan, Edward, NorthLong
3. Woman, Pokegama, Fishhook
4. Platte Sullivan, Edward, Fish Trap
5. Platte Sullivan, Edward, Fish Trap
6. Leech, Pokegama, Fishhook

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

1st Fish of 2021

8" Glow Demon/Minnow

4:00-6:00PM 13' Platte Lake Access
33℉,  PC, 

Headed straight out from the access. There was one truck off to the East of the access. Didn't mark anything in the first set of holes. Marked stuff in the second set of holes. Couldn't feel the bites or wasn't patient enough. Got one crip on the Demon/minnow. And had the bobber taken down a couple times. I suck. Not enough visibility for the camera.

1 Crip

Friday, January 01, 2021

2020 Year In Review and Report Card


I dealt with the stress of 2020 by going fishing for a record 234 days last year. I fished 233 days in 2016. I fell behind bogging about my trips a number of times throughout the year, so as of right now I only have 212 blogs published at the Log Blog. I got skunked a record 30 times and my fish caught per hour was 3.88, dipping below 4FPH for the first time in three years. I caught an astounding 392 less bass in 2020 than I did in 2019; However, I did catch 114 more pike for a record 927 pike caught in a year. My sunfish and crappie numbers were way up over 2019, but not nearly enough to surpass 2017 when I caught nearly 3,200 fish. I caught a little over 3000 fish this year. My walleye numbers were down slightly (-56) and I did catch 3 smallies this year at Mille Lacs.

Bass Fishing in 2020: I would have to chalk up some of my lack of bass numbers this year to motor issues. Some of it to low water at the GOMH. Some of it to weed killing in Platte/Sullivan. Some of it to my insistence on throwing the frog; I just couldn't put it down this year. Some of it to the early transition to eyes at Eddy's because of the cold weather and October snowstorms. It also seemed the bite was incredibly inconsistent in 2020. It seemed like my fishing pressure really affected the bass this year more than usual. Also tried and true spots like Green Cabin Bay, Chuck's Point, NW Juice, and the Melon Patch were mostly empty. Everywhere else was sporadic except for the Sullivan Platte River Outlet with Intersection Juice. Overall it was a good, but not a great year for me bass fishing. Grade: B Tournaments in 2020: Inconsistency was the word for 2020 as I yo-yoed between good and poor performances.

Serpent Lake 6th Place
Mission Lake 16th Place, 2 Fish Shy of a Limit
Rush Lake 4th Place Little Boy 8th Place, 4 Fish shy of a limit, lost 2 fish
Gull Lake 7th Place Cedar Lake 12th Place only caught 1 Fish North Long Mini-Bucks 2nd Place and Big Bass thanks to Beau Bordon Challenge Cup, I only caught 2 keepers and the Snatchers finished in last. In addition to the inconsistency, it was a disappointing year for me. I didn't win the Co-Angler pot once. I broke the Tatula Frog Rod at Rush Lake and probably should have finished in 2nd at that tournament and I backed into the Club Super 6 due to Chuck Steinbauer's health issues. Would have much rather had Chuck there competing for another Mr. Bass crown which he was on track to do when his season was cut short.
Grade: C Walleye Fishing in 2020: It could be that low water is the main culprit for my numbers falling this year. I caught less fish at the GOMH and Mille Lacs where I put my time in. The size was definitely down this Fall at Mille Lacs. From what I"ve read it seems that that the older fish in Mille Lacs had a significant die-off this year. Grade: B GOMH Fishing in 2020: Water levels were good to start the year, but by Opener they were low and never recovered resulting in sub-par fishing. The increase in fishing pressure that I thought would happen because of covid never really materialized. Grade: C- Crappie Fishing in 2020: Inconsistency was the word on crappies this year for me. I never really got into a pile of them. Grade: C Pike in 2020: Stole a record number of lures. I fear that their numbers are increasing and bass numbers are declining in Platte/Sullivan. I caught and saw some quality.
Grade: C+ Dogfish in 2020: I didn't catch a single one in 2020. I am pretty sure I lost a few though. Jaimen put one in the trophy. Grade: D

Ice Fishing in 2020: On the disappointing end of things. I can't seem to find the mojo to find them or catch them. I road the suck truck in 2020. Grade: C-

2020 Overall Grade: B-