|Tuma's 27lbs 4oz is a new Snatcher Record|
|3/5 Yum Dinger (Gum/Orange)|
|14/2 My Best Ever Whitefish Weight|
|13.55lbs What My Scale Says I Had|
Boater: Dwight "Hammer" Hammermeister (3rd Time I've fished a tournament with him)
Conditions: 72-96℉, Mostly Sunny to Mostly Cloudy, 0-4mph SW
The Day: We started off on the Southside of Lower Whitefish, where smallmouth spawn and Dwight had a bunch of beds GPSed. . Dennis was sitting there when we arrived. A good sign. About 10 minutes in, Dwight had his first smallie in the boat. He was sight fishing. I started throwing topwater because there was some activity on the surface, but I didn't get a hit. Dwight put 3 or 4 smallmouths in the boat pretty quickly, and Dennis had his limit in the first half hour. I got a hit from something small on the
Crackle Jerk Shad that came off about halfway back to the boat. I put on a Bluegill KVD Jerkbait and got a couple pike and a perch on that. After about an hour, Dennis left. Dwight got his fourth and fifth fish off of some deeper beds, both quality fish. I eventually tried throwing a Ned rig to bedders but didn't have any takers. The wind put a ripple on the water, so we got out of there around 9AM. We went to a nearby point where we could see largemouth swimming around, but I couldn't get any to bite other than one small fish that I threw back that I didn't bother to measure even though it was close to 12-inches.
By 9:30, we headed to Berth to fish docks. We spent an hour and a half in there with only one fish for Dwight to show for it. We headed to the Pike River Inlet area, and I finally got on the board with a quality frog fish, but that was the only bite we got there. So next, we headed up to Arrowhead to see if maybe the slop was going there. Dwight got a frog fish in the first 10 minutes, then nothing. I switched to a swimbait and got a 13-incher on that, but that was the only bite. I tried a swim jig and missed a bite that felt pikey on that. With two hours left, we headed back to the starting spot in the hopes that Dwight could upgrade with a smallie and contend for the win. However, Dennis was sitting there again. We went to a nearby secondary area. I ended up picking a solid 2.5lb largie off of a dock just letting the Dinger sit on the bottom. With that clue, we headed to some nearby isolated docks in search of my limit. I lost a really good fish right away but quickly rebounded with a two-pounder and two more keepers. I ended up culling twice, including one off the last dock we fished in a Hay Lake.
Results: My fish weighed 14/2 which put me in 13th Place. Dwight had 19/1, which was only good enough for 8th😲. Keith Tuma blew the field away and the previous Club Record Bag taking 1st Place with 27/4 and Lunker with a 5/3 smallmouth. Dennis got 2nd with 21/10. I guess the key for Keith recognized that the big smallies were still pre-spawn; thus, he was looking for cruisers, not bedders. His Co-Angler Dave Smith also had a 20lb bag.
My Thoughts: I came in expecting the fishing to be pretty good, and it was, for the most part. I did, after all, catch one of my biggest bags as a Snatcher and my biggest of the 6 tournaments I've fished there. It just took me forever to get on the same page as the fish, which was frustrating. Thankfully the heat really didn't bother me, and I was comfortable all day.
Congrats to Tuma; that was impressive.