Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Late January at the Grumpy Old Man Hole


Jan 25th, 2022

Dec 26th, 2020

Jan 28th, 2021
Appearances might be deceiving with all the snow we have had this year; even with all the extreme cold we have had in January, the ice is only about 16-inches thick.  It looks like February will start on the cool end of things, but not cold cold like it can be. I will hopefully be able to take advantage of the warmer stretch we are having to close out in January. Looking forward to Spring.

Monday, January 24, 2022

My Thoughts On the Tentative Snatcher Schedule

June 4th: Farm Island
Farm Island is a lake that has been good to me the last 3 times I have been on it. Hoping the rice will be laid flat and bass in it.

June  25th: Thunder
I was not able to fish this lake the only time the Snatchers had a tournament on it back in 2017. There were three 4lbers caught that day. The wild card for me is if I draw a smallmouth fisherman and they are on beJul 16th

July 16th: Woman
Another lake I was unable to fish the only time the Snatchers have fished it since I joined the club. I did get to pre-fish it a couple of times in 2015. Another lake where who I draw and what they choose to go after is a big wild card. Woman has giant smallmouth and largemouAug 27thample rice and reeds.  

Aug 27: Gull River
Giant bass live here.

Sept 17th: Gull Lake
From what I can tell the size and numbers in this system have been in the upswing the past few years. I hope it hasn't peaked yet.

Oct. 1st: South Long
Like the lake and it's only a half hour away.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Snatcher's Wish List for 2022

Yes Please! (Away):
Pokegama (Rapids)
Rush (Ottertail)
FishHook (Park Rapids)
Little Boy/Wabedo
Le Homme Dieu

Yes Please! (Local):
Farm Island 
South Long

Crow Wing River
Mississippi River (Brainerd or Zebulon Pike)

Please, NO!
Cedar (Aiken)

Indifferent About:
Birch (Hackensack)

Friday, January 14, 2022

Hmmm, Trout


Trout Finder Tool

The DNR's latest email alerted me to their trout finder tool, where I discovered a lake stocked with rainbow trout less than an hour from me. I just may have to give it a shot if the DNR confirms it was stocked this Fall. Trout fishing is a blast, and they are tasty.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

BP's Crappie Ice Fishing Strategy For The Lazy

Step 1: Find a lake loaded with crappies with minimal ice fishing pressure.

Step 2: Find out where a  school of crappies locates itself at dusk.

Step 3: Drill two holes. Set a five-gallon bucket upside down between the two holes and put your fish finder on top of the bucket.

Step 4: Put a bobbered minnow down on a line connected to a larger glow spoon with a dropper to a Glow Demon Jig.

Step 5: Jig whatever you want in the other hole. I recommend carrying a few rods and experimenting.

Step 6: Whack the crap out of them for as long as the bite lasts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Goodbye Coach


How apropos, Coach Zim in black

It is no secret that I am and forever will be a big fan of Mike Zimmer. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond his control got the better of him, I believe.  

Here are the top 4 reasons I believe we missed the playoffs this year.

1. Too much lost time by our top playmakers. The only one healthy for every game was Jefferson.

2. Zim hired the wrong Offensive Coordinator. I think Kubiak had potential, but he just didn't have a knack for outwitting his Defensive opponent often enough. If Kubiak was slightly more competent at the chess match of play-calling, the Vikes are in the playoffs.

3. The Defense just didn't come through in the clutch a the end of halves and games. I think this was in large part due to Reason 1. Barr, Hunter, Kendricks, Peterson, and Griffen's absences were lethal to this team. There is no way around it. If your playmakers aren't in, they can't make plays.

4. The scheduling gods were against us this year. When you play a team has a significant impact on their chances of victory. 

I don't believe the headwinds that Coach Zim faced the past couple of seasons would have been overcome by any coach. Despite the tough losses of personal and on the field we were in every game, but one. Zimmer did his job, the players failed him. 

Hopefully, the Wilf's will be as wise in hiring a new coach as when they selected Zimmer.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Resolution for 2022

 BP's 2022 New Year's Resolution

In 2022 I intend to put a pretty strict leash on the Bait Monkey. If on eBay some Mad Maxx Frogs, Gen 1 Tatula Frog Rods, LiveTarget Wake Gills, River2Sea Bubble Walkers, or River2Sea Bully Wa 2's come up for auction or Buy it now at a reasonable price, I'll jump all over those; anything else I'll have to think long and hard about. I want to add to my stockpile of Ultimate Jerk Shad's if they ever go on sale this year. The only new product that I want to try is the blaze-colored Berkley Stunna's, maybe a couple of other colors, but I'm not going to pay full price. I'll probably put in an order for some Parasite Clips. I will also replenish bullet weights and worm hooks if needed.

OK, thanks to Bass Blaster, I saw those new Z-Man  Mini-Max Chatterbait. A downsized Chatter with premium hook and components got to get me some of those.

Update: If I can get a Gen 2 Tatula 7'4"HG for around a hundred bucks, I am in. Also, after dealing with spring bobbers vs. the Meat Stick in January, I hope to pick up a couple of more Meat Sticks. Also, investing in a hard rod case if I come across one to protect those Meat Sticks is something I am keeping an eye out for.


Saturday, January 08, 2022

Fake News From Wired2Fish


The nastiest winter weather in my neck of the woods means either ice fishing in a blizzard with heavy snow accumulation or when wind chills are dangerous outside. I ain't got time for that!

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Sunday, January 02, 2022

2021 Year In Review (By The Numbers) And Report Card


In 2021 I set records for the number of fish caught in a year (3938), the number of days fished (242), the number of trips taken (330), and fish caught per hour (4.96). However, my bass numbers were down 113 fish from 2020. I had a record number of trips I rated as Great (74) and Good (190), and I only had (16) Trips rated as Poor, down from (33) poor trips last year. Not a lot of skunks were had this year (17). 

2021 was the Year of Ice Fishing Where Crappie Catches Were King
2021 started with me on the same old suck truck for ice fishing success. But then I got my new Fish Trap, Smitty Sled, and broke through on a school of fish on Rock Lake in January, and my fishing numbers were on fire for about a month. I ended the year on two fifty fish nights on Bulldog. If it wasn't for the snow and me getting sick, I probably would have reached the 5 Fish Per Hour and 4,000 Fish in a year milestones. I caught a record number of crappies in 2021 (834).
Ice Fishing Grade: B+
Crappie Fishing Grade: A

2021 Bass Fishing:
I would describe bass fishing in 2021 as solid but challenging. No matter how tough the fishing was, I always seemed to boat one or two, but man, did we have to work for bites. I fear that the bass population in Platte/Sullivan is decreasing. I never really whacked them once non-stop in 2021. If there are schools out there, they were not shallow in 2021. Hopefully, it is just a shallow water and baitfish issue that will work out if water levels and temps are more normal in 2022. We got a good number of 4's and 5's this year between the brothers and me.
Bass Fishing Grade: B-
Bass Size Grade: B+

Tournament Fishing in 2021:
Overall it was a tough tournament season for me, but I got lucky with Platte/Sullivan for the blind draw, doubly fortunate to get Darien Kiefer as a boater, and the rest is history.

Whitefish Lake: 13th Place (Saved by a rally in the final hour and a half)
North Long: 20th Place (Didn't fish well at all)
FishTrap Lake: 8th Place (Rallied in the final hour and a half)
Edward Lake: 15th Place (I sucked, Beau caught 'em fine)
Leech Lake: Skunked
Blind at Platte/Sullivan: 1st Place, Lunker, and Top Co-Angler
Serpent Lake Challenge Cup: (Snatchers came in last, my head wasn't in it)
Tournament Season Grade: A-
Tournament Performance Grade: C
Sure I sucked for the most part, but I got a W, so it's all good. 

2021 Walleye Fishing:
Ouch, this wasn't expected. Walleye fishing crashed back to historical norms after the last few boom years. Low water on Mille Lacs this Fall is the primary driver of the decline.
Walleye Fishing Grade: C

2021 Grumpy Old Man Hole (GOMH) Fishing:
Low water and lack of baitfish made fishing the GOMH the toughest in memory. Thank God for the Trophy.
GOMH Grade: C-

2021 Pike Fishing:
The great thing about the drought and early high water temps was that it through the pike in Platte Lake for a loop. I only lost about 10 frogs this year. Last year I lost two dozen at least. I also caught some tanks.
Pike Grade: A

2021 Bowfin Fishing:
I landed a 3 this year, including one tank on August 8th fishing with Steve.
Bowfin Grade: B+

2021 Smallmouth & Tulibee Fishing:
Didn't catch either one in 2021. Straight up F's Homey!
Smallmouth Grade: F
Tullibee Grade: F

2021 Fishing Grade: B