Friday, September 30, 2022

Snatcher South Long Preview: The Plan and Rods I'm Bringing

 The Plan: Be a good net man so Snatcher Fields captures his 2nd Mr. Bass Title (Snatcher AOY), Plan A is to start on the deep weed edge and only move shallow if it isn't happening. May or may not start with a buzzbait. We are the last boat out and South Long isn't very big, so who knows what will be available for our first spot.

Rods I'm Bringing: 

7'4" H Tatula (Topwater) 
7'4" H Tatula (Chatter, Topwater, Cranks)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube)
7' MH Mojo (Chatter)
6'9" H Tatula Elite (Jigs) (Braid)
6'8" M Avid (Topwater)
6'6" MH GLX (Jigs, Swimbait)

6'6" M GLX (Neko, Ned)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Vikes Victory, SKOL!

 Irv Smith Jr. is a buzzkill with his momentum-killing drops. The Vikes got lucky that the Lions once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The Vikes really needed to pull this one out, and they did.

On to London, Here, Here, Woof, Woof. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Blast From My Past: The 2003 MN Pro/Am Leech Lake

 I had my heart attack on March 14th, 2003. I think by the end of the month, the decision was made for me to move up north to live with my parents as I recovered and discovered just how badly my heart muscle was damaged; initial indications weren't encouraging. I started my cardiac rehab at the Onamia Hospital, which went well despite my heart pumping at a significantly reduced capacity. I had gained enough endurance back that I decided to see if the MN Pro/Am was still looking for amateurs at the last minute in early June. Turns out they didn't have a partner for Joel Stokka, so I jumped at the chance. Joel and I pre-fished the day before the tournament, and he was kind enough to put me up for the night at his place in Walker. While we were pre-fishing, I learned about bass fishing on Leech Lake, the Minnesota Bowfin Club, and the Baxter Bass Snatchers, his bass club at the time. At the rules meeting, I met Snatcher and Minnesota Bowfin Club President Chuck Fields. We planned to frog fish in Sucker Bay, and frog fish we did. It was a fun experience, and I am so glad I jumped on the chance. We came in 54th Place and were one fish short of a limit. I was just a tadpole as a frog fisherman back then. The frogging craze ushered in by Dean Rojas wasn't until a few years later. Oh, to go back in time with the equipment and knowledge I have now.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Monday Night Meltdown In Philly

 24-7, neither team scores in the 2nd half and Kirk threw 3 Int's in the 2nd Half. The D and Special Teams gave the Offense opportunities, but it was the bad Kirk Show Tonight. On to the Lions.


Saturday, September 17, 2022

Bass Snatchers Gull Lake Tournament


3-Time Champ Chuck Fields
(18/13) (5/04)

Conditions: Heavy Overcast with some fog until about Noon, then partly cloudy. Wind: Calm to 4mph from all directions.

The Day: 
At blast off, we headed North to a fairly good size sunken island. Chuck made a self-described rookie move and accidentally ran us right over the juice. About a half-hour in, Chuck put the first bass in the boat. A solid keeper that may have been culled out by the end of the day. About 15-minutes later, I got the skunk out of the boat with my big fish of the day (3/10) on a craw tube. Chuck handed me the net with the fish in it. I went to step down off the back casting deck and got punched hard just under my nose by the net's hoop. Hurt like a son of a gun, and I was surprised I wasn't bleeding. The area is still tender more than a week later. A couple minutes later, Chuck had a 4lber jump him off about 10 feet from the boat just after I grabbed the net. I think Chuck caught one more fish on that jig but lost 3 or 4 more, so he cut it off and gave it to me. Chuck got his second keeper in the boat about an hour in. I wasn't getting any bites on the craw tube, so I decided to see if maybe they would hit topwater as there was some surface activity. I think I missed my first 5 or 6 bites; I think they were little bass. After a miss, I finally hooked into a boil, and it was a good fish (2.46). I got one short, and then the topwater bite shut off.

I think we moved, and I got a 2.25lber that clocked my Strike King Buzz Toad Buzzbait with Z-Man ToadZ. We moved again. Chuck filled his limit. I started throwing a jig and caught 3 pretty quickly. Chuck said I would be an idiot if I were to fish any else but a jig the rest of the day. We tried one more crowded spot on the North End, then headed East, but Snatcher Ludenia was on the juice, so we headed south to try a short stretch of docks. Chuck lost a good one that he very well might have caught later in the day one dock over. We ran back north to the starting spot. I got a pike on the buzzbait. I don't remember if Chuck caught anything. We moved a couple of times. I had a fish miss the buzzbait, fired a cast right back, and got my final cull of the day. We would have had a double, but Chuck lost the one he had on, which he didn't think would have helped him. I think I got a fish or two that didn't help on a jig. We returned to that spot on the East side of the lake, and Ludenia was there again. We went south and fished docks for the final couple of hours. Chuck lost a couple more toads. Culled up a couple of times. I got a few that didn't help my cause. Chuck hit the jackpot on one of the final few docks, finally getting a 4lber in the boat. 

Results: My fish weighed 15/02, which was only good enough for 10th Place. Chuck Fields won his third tournament of the year with 18/13  and caught 5/04 Lunker. Snatcher Nate came in 2nd with 18/7. And Snatcher Dennis got 3rd with 18/05. Hammer was the Co-Angler Challenge Winner with a 17/11 bag out of Snatcher Dennis's boat, which broke down at their first stop on the North end of the lake.

My Thoughts: Basically, all the boaters but one really sacked 'em, and so did Hammer. Whaddya gonna do. I don't think I lost anything that hurt me. All of my fish were over 2lbs. Going to need a high finish and for a couple guys to stumble if I am going to make the Top 10 this year. 



Friday, September 16, 2022

Snatcher Gull Lake Preview: My Plan And The Rods I'm Bringing

 The Plan: First thing I'm throwing is topwater. If they don't go in that a Chatterbait. That doesn't play then a craw tube. Next Is a jig and finally a Ned Rig. If none of that catches anything I've got Dingers and a few other ideas. Gull is full of nice bass right now, hoping to catch a 13lb limit minimum.

Tatula 7'4" H (Topwater)
Tatula 7'4" H (Chatters and possibly Plugs or Cranks)
Avid 7" H (Texas Rig)
Tatula Elite 6'9" (Jigs) Braid
GLX 6'6" MH  (Jigs)
Avid 6'8 Medium (Topwater)

GLX 6'6" M (Ned)
Abu 6'6" MH (Fluke)

Oops, I realized I forgot to hit publish. I did give every rod a shot.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Props to MLF On Not Giving Out DQ's For Breaking Irrelevant MN Laws


MN has a law making it illegal for a fisherman to use two lines simultaneously. We also have a law that limits the number of hooks that can be used depending on the rigging method. The motivation behind those laws is so the unwashed masses and slobs don't end up killing fish. Professional bass fisherman on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro tour doing their craft is about as far from a slob fisherman as it gets. The law shouldn't be applied against fishermen that are the least likely to kill their catch by virtue of the fisherman's skill combined with instant catch and release format. But the Online Game Wardens had their hackles up this week because a few MLF Anglers were on camera this week with two lines in the water, and another angler had an illegal two Fluke rig set up. Those who were angered by this saw to it that citations were issued by the DNR. But that isn't good enough for some Online Wardens; they want to be able to put  Wheelers Angler Of The Year Trophy on their mantle by way of disqualification.

One of the reasons why the Pros broke away from BASS was its ham-fisted manner of leveling penalties that didn't fit the infraction. Major League Fishing is angler owned, so they make the rules. Their collective wisdom decided that a DQ would not be the proper punishment in this case. I 100% stand behind Major League Fishings' decision in this case. Wheeler earned that Trophy, and it should not be taken away for breaking a law that has no business being applied to a Professional Bass Fisherman in the first place, so says the Bass Pundit.       

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Vikings 1-0

 Congrats to Coach KOC on his first NFL victory. Vikes got a huge lucky break when that rookie WR dropped a sure touchdown on the Pack's first possession. The Pack are notoriously slow starters, but I think they have to worry about the same thing the Vikes do; Both QB's took a lot of hits.

On to Philly, Skol!

It's Game Day! Will A A Ron Steal Our Lunch $ Again?


Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Can KOC Coach? Can KOC Win?

 Count me in the doubter's camp. After every loss, I am posting one of these:

And after every win, one of these:

I think we are gonna see a lot of Zim in black this season. I hope I am completely wrong and we are a playoff team.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Bass Snatcher Tournament At Rabbit Lakes


Snatcher Dennis Gets The W


Snatcher Notsch Gets the $ (Lunker and Co-angler)

Conditions: I arrived at the access just in time to do my stretching outside. I got back inside the car, and it wasn't more than a couple minutes before the thunderstorm hit. It stopped raining at about 6:30 or so. Conditions during the tournament were cloudy to mostly cloudy, 67-77℉, And mostly very windy out of the SE with a little break in the afternoon when the winds settled down under 5MPH.

The Day: We fished on the pit side all but for about 20-minutes. It was windy right from the get, and our first spot didn't go. We didn't stay long. Next, we hit some reeds on the East side of the lake. I had a swim jig get bit off right away. I would lose 3 jigs and 6 Texas Rigs on the day, dang pike. I put the first bass in the boat, pitching a brown/orange Hack Jig in the reeds. We then worked a weedline. I had a 30-inch pike break me off. It put on quite a show before it did.

I then caught a couple dinks on a spinnerbait, and Baily got a few keepers throwing a Senko on docks. Bill started getting better bites fishing a swimbait on the weedline, filled his limit, and started culling. We ran west, and I picked up a line burner on the Billy Goat Grub in some reeds. We worked our way back to the weedline, and I finally put a craw tube on (watermelon/red). I missed a bunch of bites, caught a few dinks, and had two keepers, including my big. The wind slacked off, so we went over by the East Island, and I got a bass throwing the Billy Goat to the cattail island. The wind came up. Bill got two good culls, and I got my last fish of the day on a black/blue Hack Jig. We moved to one more spot on the pit side, then went to the lake for about 15-minutes. I fished in the access area as well, and that was it.

Results: My limit weighed 10/6 minus 2oz dead penalty, so 10/4, which put me in 12th Place. Snatcher Dennis won with 16/12. Snatcher Fields got 2nd with 15/14, and Snatcher Darren 3rd with 15/02. Lunker was 3/13 and caught by the top Co-Angler, Snatcher Notsch, who had a 12/8 bag. 12 of the 17 anglers had limits.

My Thoughts: I figured with conditions being what they were, the fish would be on fire, but the weights in this one tell a different story. The weights last time had 14lb bags down to 10th Place; this tournament, there were only 3 bags over 14lbs. I gambled on a big worm on my Texas Rig rod to start and lost. When I finally put a craw tube on around 11AM, I got bit immediately. It took me a while to get comfortable with the craw tube; I missed quite a few bites. Not my greatest tournament execution-wise. I will have to step it up in the final two tournaments to have any hope of finishing in the Top 10 for the season.


Friday, August 26, 2022

Snatcher Rabbit Lakes Preview: The Plan and Rods I'm Bringing

 The Plan: I did not be getting out to pre-fish. Snatcher Bailey usually brings in a quality limit on this lake. I am really hoping the overcast and wind have the fish up and chasing, making for easy pickings to get a limit. If that is the case, I have some lures that catch bigs. 

Rods I'm Bringing:
Tatula 7'4" H  (Frogs,Toads, Buzzbait)
Tatula 7'4" H (Chatterbait, Topwater)
Avid 7' H (Texas Rig)
Tatula Elite 6'9" H (Jig) (Braid)
GLX 6'6" MH (Jigs) (FC)
Avid 6'8" M (Topwater)

GLX 6'6" M (Ned Rig, Neko)

Pundit Picks: Final Fantasy Bass Fishing Roster of 2022


Almost picked Taku in Bucket A but went with the rookie instead. Hellabass talked me into Kuphall in Bucket B, which was stacked with the guys I was planning to put on my roster. Hoping the Cade connection will pay off for Martin. "Big money, small-town boy makes sense, So I'm pushin' all my chips on my man Cliff Prince."  And a tip from Hellabass made me go with my boy Aoki, who made my win last week possible with his dismal finish to bump off a couple of my competitors that would have had me if Daisuke had finished Top 25.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Winner, Winner, I Am Getting Some Hooks From Omnia For Dinner

 My team for Lake Oahe was Gussy, Seth, The Sleepy Assassin,  Mueller, and Redwine. Thankfully, although not an incredible roster, it was enough to win the group for this tournament in the Bass Boat Central small-stakes group I have been a part of for the last few years.  One more chance to win more money this week with the Elite finally on the Mississippi. 

Drats! Omnia is currently out of the hooks I need.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Austin Felix Brings Home A Blue Trophy To MN!


Congratulations, to Austin Felix for winning at Lake Oahe!

And thank you to him and Seth, who led my fantasy team to the promised land in my $ league.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

My Snatcher Season At The Half Way Point


I got off to a less than mediocre start on Farm Island. Didn't fish clean on Thunder, most likely costing me a top 10 finish. Then I struggled to generate bites on the Crow River. So I have dug a hole for myself that will take a really strong finish to land me into the Top 10 at year's end. I think I am going to need at least two guys currently in the Top 10 to only fish 4 tournaments this year, and even then I think my chances are well under 50%.   


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Snatcher Gull/Crow Wing River Tournament


Chuck Fields wins 2nd Consecutive Tournament.

Sara & Herman with "Lunker Wood"

Sara with her 6lb Lunker & a 3/03

4/02 on Big Bite BFE

Pike on the Berkley Fusion19 Jig/KVD Shiner

What I caught fish on

Conditions: Periods of clouds and sun, 70's to upper 80's, a bit humid, light winds

The Day:
I was so disappointed that my Tackle Warehouse order did not arrive on Friday, but such is life. We blasted off as boat #4 and headed West, getting passed by Snatcher Dennis as we headed up river. Our first and second spots were slop areas on adjacent sides of the river, and we didn't get a bite at either place in about an hour of fishing. So we headed up river farther, and Bill got a quality smallmouth right away on a popper. He then got a rock bass and a couple of non-keeper smallmouths. I got a pike on a lipless Frenzy and a rock bass on a Jackhammer. I also had something that felt quality on for a few seconds on our second pass down by where Bill got the smallie.
From there, we headed up in sight of the bridge, and Bill popped a nice large on his first pitch. I think I got a pike and rock bass, and Bill got a couple of non-keeper smallies and rockies. I think we moved down the river just a little way. Bill got a nice smallie throwing a Senko by the shore and a fourth nice keeper smallmouth in the middle of the river. We pulled in behind Snatcher Al, where Bill got his first keeper; Bill got a non-keeper smallmouth.  We went down river a little way, and I got the big pike which put up a good battle. I took my time with it, and Bill eventually netted it and took pictures. I wasn't too pleased because the day was more than half over, and I didn't have a bass in the boat yet. We worked a shaded bank and didn't get anything. So next, we headed back to where the river narrows to the East of the public access. And started working our way West fishing wood. Bill got his 5th keeper pretty quickly. We continued working wood. Finally, I got a keeper in the boat out of some weeds and wood, and it was a good one, 4lbs.
There was a slop area just upriver from where I got my fish, and in the next 10-minutes, I had my bag for the day, catching two quick fish on a frog. We then went back up river to our second stop working that slop bay better than we did the first time. I got one 11-inch largemouth on a frog. Then we crossed the river expanding on our first area of the morning. Bill had to miss 5 or 6 bites on his frog before he finally got his limit fish in the boat, which was a quality largemouth. I think he then caught one that didn't help him. For the final 20-minutes, we worked the slop area by the access. I had a fish boil on my frog but did not get it and didn't try again. And then the day was done.

Results: My 3 fish weighed 7/13, which put me in 13th Place out of 17 Anglers, two of which blanked. Chuck Fields made it back-to-back wins with a 17/01 bag, and my boater Snatcher Ludenia made it back-to-back as runner-up with a 16/12. Lunker went to Snatcher Sara with a 6lb Pig.

Thoughts: I should have thought more about what it would take to catch some smallmouth. I should have thrown a football jig and brought some swing heads and square bills. I really think my lack of forethought cost me a limit. At a minimum, I should have been able to catch at least one smallmouth.  Not getting to pre-fish this one cost me.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Snatcher Gull River Preview: My Plan and Rods I'm Bringing

The Plan: It is tournament week, and this Saturday, we will be fishing the Gull/Crow Wing River. This will be the second time the Snatchers have fished it since I joined the club. The previous tournament was in mid-August of 2019. Unfortunately, I was unable to pre-fish. On the good side, I drew Snatcher Ludenia, who knows just about every fishery we go to well. He has a track record of bringing in limits here but on the small side. I am on the hunt for giants and bringing the heavy artillery. I am guessing Bill will be pitching a jig. If I can get hits on a frog/toad,, I will do a lot of that.

Update: So I talked to my boater, and it sounds like we will be fishing for smallmouth most of the time.  Made some adjustments. Unfortunately, a shipment of baits from Tackle Warehouse that was supposed to arrive on Thursday got delayed and didn't make it. Bummer!

Rods I am bringing:
7'4" H Zillion (Jig)
7'4'' H Tatula (Frog)
7'4" H Tatula (Swim Jig)
7'4" H Tatula G2 (Toad, Buzzbait)
7'4" H Tatula Glass G2 (Chatter, Topwater, Lipless)
7' H Avid (Craw Tube, BFE)
6'10" MH Tatula G2 (Swim/Skip Jig)
6'8" Avid M (Spinnerbait, Topwater)

Friday, July 01, 2022

June 2022 Fishing Drops Off


I knew the hot bite in May wasn't going to last. I am pleased to say the fishing in June wasn't a complete train wreck as I feared. Didn't get skunked once, and the golden bullhead fishing was good. My first tournament of the year wasn't good, but I bounced back with an OK finish in the second one, aided by a smaller field. It truly is amazing how differently the weed composition is on Platte/Sullivan from one year to the next. The weed growth should finally fill in for the year in the next week or so. If I am lucky, the fish will group up. Fishing could actually improve in July. That never has happened, but here is hope. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Snatcher Thunder Lake Tournament


Chuck Fields with the W and Lunker,
with Co-Angler Snatcher Sarah.

3/8 Herb's Dilly Buzzbait (Yellow Frog)

Conditions: Rain intermittently in the morning with the sun coming out in the afternoon. Wind: 3-8mph

The Day: It started raining as we were waiting to blast off. We headed to our first spot, and Hammer was amazed no one went North along with us. We started off in the best cabbage Hammer had found in his prefish. About 45-minutes in, he got the skunk out of the boat on a craw tube. We worked around a point of reeds, and he got a second bite. I started throwing a buzzbait into the reeds as we worked outside the reed line. I missed my first bite, which was a small fish. I then got two bass in the boat lickety-split. So we drifted into the reeds, and I got my big fish of the day. As we worked inside the reeds, I got fish four and five along with missing a couple. Hammer had a couple fish blow up on his buzzbait, but they got off. Snatcher Chuck and Nate showed up.  Chuck and Nate doubled up on a spot I had my eye on.  I got my limit fish, which was a line burner. The topwater bite quit. I got a couple of fish on the Brovarney/Rage Bug combo with both fish throwing my Rage Bug, rats. Hammer was having a rough time getting his bites in the boat, losing a good one on a jig or craw tube. I also got a case of the misses in the same area not hooking up with 2 or 3 that hit the buzzbait; partly my fault for making ill-considered casts. 

We then went to some docks on the west side of the bay, but nothing there. Hammer borrowed a spinnerbait from me, and we returned to the reeds. Snatcher Bailey and Metalhead were in the area this time. Hammer was getting bit on the spinnerbait and me on the buzzbait and Jig, with both of us catching most of the bites but dropping a few as well. It rained pretty good when we were in the reeds that second time. We then went back to the West side of the bay, where it was calm and worked reeds along the shoreline. I was unaware they were there because they only stood about a foot above the water. I got my frog game on catching several pound and a half to pound and three-quarters cookie cutters. Hammer was throwing a Sprinker Frog and having a rough go keeping them pinned. We got over by Smitty and Mick, where I had a Platte Lake Special miss Little Alan, but it wouldn't hit it again.

We then headed south to try Hammers Smallie areas. He got a couple of largemouths, and I maybe had a small smallie take a shot at the 130 Plopper. For the final hour and a half, we went back North trying the cabbage one more time with nothing happening. I got a minor upgrade pitching the Brovarney to some pads in the reeds. We ended back on the West side of that Northern bay. I checked my fish before we headed out and was dismayed to discover my big fish, which was swimming just fine when I culled  20-minutes prior, was now dead, bummer.

Results: My fish weighed 12/8 with the dead fish penalty, and I finished in 11th Place. Snatcher Fields won it with 19/10, and he got Lunker with a 4/3 smallie; at least that was what I think it was. Snatcher Darren won the Co-Angler Challenge/Cash in a close race, with his 4-pounda putting him over the top.

 I just didn't get enough of my bites in the boat. Probably could have had a 14 to15ish bag if I did. I wish I had known those reeds were along the shoreline the first time we went there. We should have given them a try.  

Friday, June 24, 2022

Snatcher Thunder Lake Preview: Plan and Rods

 The Plan: I was not able to pre-fish for this tournament and I've never been on the lake. My boater Dwight "Hammer" Hammermeister did get out for a day. He said they got about 10 bass, two of which were smallmouth. He and his bunky finished in 3rd and 4th the last tournament on this lake, but that was on Sept 9th. Basically, it sounds like we are going to wing it and hope something sticks.

Rods I'm Bringing: 
Tatula 7'4" H (Frog, Buzzbait)
Tatula 7'4" H (Chatterbait, Topwater)
Avid 7' H (Craw Tube)
Avid 7' M (Spinnerbait, Neko)
Tatula 6'10" MH (Swim Jig)
Avid 6'8" M (Topwater, Jerkbait,)

Veritas 6'6" MH (Dock Rod/Fluke,Dinger)
GLX 782 6'6" M (Ned Rig)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Shimano SLX 7'5" H Rod Quick Review

I have had my eye on the Shimano SLX 7'5" H rod for quite a while and last week one came up on eBay for a deal I just couldn't refuse, so I bought it.

Here are my impressions:
I would rate this rod as extra heavy, rather than heavy. It is definitely closer to my XH Zillion than my H Tatula's. It is noticeably more stiff than the Tatula's. Haven't had any blow-ups on the frog yet; I have only fished with it for about 15-minutes. I'll probably update the review after I catch a few fish.