Monday, February 28, 2022

Spring Watch 2022, Where Art Thou?

 This forecast is concerning. More snow next weekend and no warm-ups in sight. We have a ton of snow out there right now. I nearly bottomed out my auger tonight before I hit water. Any thought I had of an early ice out is now over. We may have ice up here on Easter this year, which falls on April 17th. Probably going to be a nasty water war this Spring.


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Fishing Goals For 2022, Preview 2&3


 Last year I bought myself a new Garmin Fishfinder, a Garmin 7SV. The SV stands for side-view a feature I really didn't explore much last year. This year I want to use side-imaging to help me catch fish and I also want to get better at marking weigh points when I catch fish. Unfortunately, due to the price of gas, I don't think I am going to do too much in the way of new mapping this year. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Outdoor Life Article On Hard To Catch Bass


 The Science on why bass are getting harder to catch

I think bass have been getting harder to catch on Platte/Sullivan every year since 2013 when I feel the lake's bass population was at a zenith. I think it is a combination of factors coming together to make fishing more difficult. Hopefully, we will have more normal water levels this year than last year's drought conditions.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Fishing Goals for 2022, Preview #1


 Sometime in early March, I will release my complete list of fishing goals for 2022. 

One of my goals for 2022 is to write more complete notes at Fish Swami, the online fishing log where I record all my catches. Last year, I ran out of steam on blogging my trips at the Fishing Log Blog in May, and that lack of enthusiasm for doing it remained with me for the rest of the year. I am now in the process of backfilling those missed blogs. It would be nice if I had more complete info from Fish Swami that I could just copy and paste into the blogs I am doing now.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Spring Watch 2022, Not This Week

 The forecast from the Spring Watch I did on the 11th was dead wrong for this week other than today. Instead of Spring-like weather starting today, we are getting "False Spring" today with a snowstorm and polar vortex tomorrow that is supposed to last all week. Looks like we are going to get significant snow in this area. That bites for multiple reasons.  

On the positive, I understand that Winter SW of MN has been on the mild side. They have said on the local news that the SW corner of the state doesn't have any snow right now. The snowless ground absorbs heat. Having the snow line just a couple of hundred miles away is good, giving us a few extra degrees when winds are out to the SW.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

How the 2022 New Year's Resolution Is Coming Along

 

New Year's Resolution for 2022 was to buy less fishing equipment with a few items I would make exceptions for. So far, I have pretty much stuck to the plan. To get a Mad Maxx Frog, I did have to get a few other frogs. Still, the other frogs were a Bobby's Perfect Sparrow, 2 Ish's Phatties, a KVD Sexy Frog, and a Molix that I read some good things about. I did buy a 2nd Clam Jason Mitchel Meat Stick Rod at the start of February and plan to buy another one in March if I can find one. That rod gives such an upgrade in bite detection from my old St. Croix and Genz Lighting Rod with spring bobbers. I am done with those spring bobbers. I have a bid on eBay for a Gen 2 Tatula rod that wasn't on the original list, but I want one after hearing Seth talk it up on a video. I wouldn't mind upgrading to a hard case to carry my ice fishing rods in.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

My Fantasy Squad For Harris Chain (Updated (Day 1) & ( 2)


Had to go with Cox. (Ok Day 1) (Ok Day 2, need a Top 10 for Day 4.)

Palaniuk is a stud. (Sitting in the Top 10) (Ok Day 2, need him to get back in the Top 10 for Day 4)

Kuphall is my dark horse. (Ruh Roh!) (Bust 87th Place. If he is in Bucket E I am going with him again for Santee)

Looking for a rebound from Hack. (OK Day 1) (OK Day 2, Need him to get in the Top 10 for Day 4)

Gambling with hero or zero Kennedy. (If the bigs show up on Friday, I should be fine.) (Busted and burned 85th Place)

Final Result:

Higher score than last week, but lower in the rankings. Note to self, don't gamble on two guys in a tournament.


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

In Memoriam, Gordon Merck

 

Godspeed, Gordy!
Gordy was a quiet, humble man that loved to fish that I met through the Fisher of Men Club, Twin Cities. The last time I fished with him was in 2011 on Cedar Lake, where his beloved Camp Lebanon is located. He was always trying to get us Fisher's Of Men guys to come out there and fish him. I finally did in 2011 with him and Pete. We caught fish and listened to Pete complain and make suggestions on where to go when we weren't getting bit.
Another memorable trip with Gordy was on a rainy Thursday night on Lake Minnetonka in 2006. Gordy was the only other guy to show up for this outing. We caught bass, pike, crappie, sunfish, and even a life jacket that had blown off somebody's boat that we found as we were going through a boat channel.
See ya on the other side.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Fishing Goals Achieved (And Not) in 2021

 

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 (Fished with Mike in Spirit a few times this summer. Fly free, my friend.)
5. Fish with Jeff and Renee
6. Fish with Todd, Isabelle, and Mallory (28 Trips with Todd)
7.  Fish with Kane Phongsavat
8. Fish with Jaimen Abrahamson
9. Fish with Dave Lindmark

10. Fish with Steve and Devin (28 Trips with Steve)
11. Take Corey Hicks frog fishing.
12. Fish with Jamar at Eddy's (I think fished the same night as Jamar twice, but because fishing was crap he was gone by the time I got there both times.)
13. Fish with Eric Aske
14. Fish with Pete  (Pete got up here twice this year.)
15. Fish With Josh Abrahamson & Ashley Just

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

Bass Snatcher Goals: 
1.  Win my 1st tournament. (9/26/21 Victory Achieved!)
2. Get "Wood" in at least one tournament. (Got both plaques at Platte/Sullivan)
3. Get "Lunker" in a tournament.   (5.13lber @ Platte/Sullivan biggest bass I ever landed in a tournament. Tuma edged me out for big fish for the year with a 5.19lb smallmouth)
4. Get paired with Chuck Fields. 
5. Finish in the Top 10 at the end of the year. (Pulled it out at Platte/Sullivan. Was a point behind Al who came in 9th)
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.)
7. Pre-fish with at least 3 boaters. (Edward, Leech, Serpent w/Lois and Chuck)
8. List the Rods I'm bringing for each tournament before the tournament.

9.  Win the Co-Angler Challenge at least twice. (Got it once.)
10. Make the Challenge Cup Team

Technique & Tackle Goals:
1. Win something in Fantasy Fishing or Facebook giveaways/contests.
2. Officially Open the Tackle Warehouse this year.
3. Catch Fish On 100 different Lures 
4. Catch 25 fish on a Frenzy Popper
5. Catch 25 fish on a Stanley Phantom
6. Get A Hat Sponsorship
7. Catch bass cranking deep in Sullivan Lake
8. Keep a Lures Lost List
Lures Lost In 2021:
Bear Trax Glow Demon: |||
T.H.E. Jig: ||
Craw Tube: |||| |||| |||| ||||
X-Rap 10: ||
Ultimate Jerk Shad: |
2" Storm Swim Shad: ||
eBay Chatterjig: |||
Berkley Frenzy Popper: |
Hack Attack Jig: ||
Bobby's Perfect: |||| |
Terminator Jr.: |
R2S Rover: |
All Terrain A.T. Jig: |
Terminator Frog: ||
R2S Bubble Walker: |
LiveTarget Frog: |

9. Catch a bass on every frog in my arsenal 
  1. Bobby's Perfect ๐Ÿ—น
  2. Ish's  ๐Ÿ—น
  3. Ish's Poppin  ๐Ÿ—น
  4. Snag Proof Kicker๐Ÿ—น
  5. Snag Proof Moss Master ๐Ÿ—น
  6. Snag Proof Pro Tournament ๐Ÿ—น
  7. Terminator ๐Ÿ—น
  8. Terminator Jr. ๐Ÿ—น
  9. Terminator Popper ๐Ÿ—น
  10. Teckel Sprinker  ๐Ÿ—น
  11. Teckel Whacker๐Ÿ—น
  12. Spro King Daddy ๐Ÿ—น
  13. Spro Bronzeye  ๐Ÿ—น
  14. Spro Popper ๐Ÿ—น
  15. Spro Sprinker KO ๐Ÿ—น
  16. Spro Shad Sprinker KO๐Ÿ—น
  17. R2S Bully Wa ๐Ÿ—น
  18. R2S Bully Wa 2 ๐Ÿ—น
  19. TT Mad Max ๐Ÿ—น
  20. LiveTarget Frog ((Pike got it before a bass did)
  21. Booyah Pad Crasher  ๐Ÿ—น
  22. Booyah Toad Runner  ๐Ÿ—น
  23. BD Frog๐Ÿ—น
  24. BD Frog (big)  ๐Ÿ—น
  25. Evergreen Soft Shell  ๐Ÿ—น
  26. Blitz Frog  ๐Ÿ—น
  27. Sumo Frog๐Ÿ—น
  28. Teckel Maracker ๐Ÿ—น
  29. ScumDog Walker ๐Ÿ—น
  30. SnagProof Frogzilla  ๐Ÿ—น
  31. Scum Frog Trophy   ๐Ÿ—น
  32. Snag Proof Jr.๐Ÿ—น
  33.  Paycheck Baits Transporter ๐Ÿ—น
  34. LunkerHunt Lunker Frog ๐Ÿ—น
Blogging:
1. Blog about anytime I reach a goal.
2. Record all fishing trips at Fish Swami (330 Trips, New Record!)
3. Fish at least 200 days and blog about them (I've got some work to do this winter only blogged 120 days so far)


Fish Goals:
1. Catch* 4,000 Fish (3,051 caught in 2020)
2. Average 5 fish caught per hour. (3.92 in 2020, 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. Have a 100 fish day.
4. Catch Devin's Birthday Bullhead On May 20th
5. Catch A Fish Every Month
๐Ÿ—นJanuary
๐Ÿ—นFebruary
๐Ÿ—นMarch
๐Ÿ—นApril
๐Ÿ—นMay
๐Ÿ—นJune
๐Ÿ—นJuly
๐Ÿ—น August
๐Ÿ—น September
๐Ÿ—น October
๐Ÿ—น November
๐Ÿ—น December

Crappie:
1. Catch a new personal best. (Currently 14.25")
2. Catch* over 600 this year. (Caught 834)
3. Catch my personal best number of crappies. (834 is my New Record!)

Dogfish:
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.
Still haven't announced that Cyberfish won.

Pike:
1. Catch* over 1,000 this year. (Caught 927 in 2020) 968 Pike, after mediocre summer numbers and size, came on strong in the fall.
2. Catch a 38" or over/personal best.


Bass: 
1. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Largemouth (6.5lbs/21" PB)
2. Catch a 21plus inch or 6lb Smallmouth (20.5" PB)

3. Catch* over 1,500 bass this year. Only 1,052
4. Catch* at least 25 smallies. Zero SMB caught this year
5. Catch a 25lb 6 Fish Bag. Top bag was somewhere in the low 20's. I think I had 3 of those.
6. Have a 50 bass day 27Bass on June 15th, just not a good year for numbers.
7. Catch over 500 bass on Frogs
8. Catch 5 bass over  5lbs/20-inches Think I got 3 Fives this year
9. Catch 25 bass over 4lbs/19-inches Think I got in the low or mid-teens
10. Get Steve and Todd at least one 4lber
11. Get Belle Mallory, and Devin a frog fish.

Walleye:
1. Catch at least 100. (Caught 202 in 2020) 62 Eyes, low water collapsed the Fall bite
2. Catch 30"/10lber or new personal best. (28.5 is 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.

A goal that I reached is in bold.

New for 2021 in italics.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Almost Made The Top 70%, OK I'll Take It (Updated)



 MVP was Stetson, a guy who could contend for angler of the year. I think I'm going to get off that horse at Harris Chain and go with John Cox. Am planning on rolling with Hack again.


Update: Turns out they didn't award bonus points right away. I fell to 65%.

John Crew's Takes The First Elite At The St. John's River


 John held the lead wire to wire, barely holding off a charge by MN's Bob Downey on the final day, but he did and got the W. Congrats, Mr. Crews! Should have put him on my Fantasy Team; I did for Drain The Lake and reaped the huge bonus points. 

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Spring Watch 2022, Looks Like A Longer Wait...

 ... for the first sign of Spring then what they were forecasting a couple of days ago. Almost all the 30-degree days have been wiped off the board.


February Platte Lake Ice Off Prediction


 This month has been flying by. I think we are at about peak ice this upcoming week, and I don't think it is even 20-inches thick on Bulldog. Therefore I believe ice will be out by April 1st this year. No fooling! I will be shocked if there is ice on the lake on April 1st.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Spring Watch 2022, Encouraging Sign's On the Horizon

 

I could be wrong, it could very well be this Saturday will be the last dance with Arctic Air this winter. 

Next Watch: February 20th

Cautiously Optimistic Going Into Day 2

 

Hack, Schmitt, and Prince all stumbled on Day 1, but are only a couple pounds behind the cut. I like the chances of all three bouncing back strong and making the 47 cut. Stetson Blaylock is usually solid as a rock if he starts strong, so I think the chances of him remaining in the Top 10 tomorrow are pretty good. I expect Bernie will have a similar Day 2. He can even drop a couple of pounds tomorrow and should still make the cut.

 

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

My Fantasy Roster For the St. John's Elite


 Last year my line-up was a dumpster fire because I took a lot of risks, and they all bombed. Opposite strategy this year, I'm going with known quantities with mostly high ownership percentages.

Monday, February 07, 2022

My Thoughts On The New Vikings Head Coach

 

Sean McVay And Soon T oBe Vikes HC O'Connell


A new sheriff will soon be in town after dealing with a little matter next Sunday. I didn't pay that much attention to the GM or Coach search. I don't always agree with what the Wilf's decide, but it is clear they want a Super Bowl Trophy as desperately as any fan. Time will tell if the new GM and Coach was a genius hire or failed experiment. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Captain Kirk and the rest of the roster. Will O'Connell be as brilliant and innovative as his teacher? It should make for an interesting off-season.

Welcome, to MN Coach.
Skol Vikes!!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Thank You, January!


My motto on a hot bite is to strike when the iron is hot. The bite was hot in January almost every time I went out. The minimum number of fish caught per hour during a trip last month was 6.4 fph, the only trip I took in the morning. The lowest fish per hour number for the evening trips was 11 fph. I set records for the number of crappies caught in a month and a year (865), average fish caught per hour in a month (15.74), and the average number of fish caught per trip in a month, 54.3, which blows away the previous record of 33.25, which was set last year. Crappie Minnows on a Bear Trax Glow Demon was the top producer with 379 fish. I have a minnow down at all times and when a pod comes through that wants minnows, that is all I have time to fish.

Another incredible fact about this January is that crappie were the only fish I landed all month in over 55 hours of fishing. I saw a few pike and one small sunfish on the camera and got bit off a couple of times.