Wednesday, March 29, 2023

GOMH Locked Up Again


 
Flurries Today
Dropped by the GOMH tonight on my way home from running an errand for Steve to Brainerd. With temperatures near zero last night and tonight, the GOMH has locked up again and is making ice. Right now, things are only ahead of 2013 and 2014. But this weekend brings hope, and I'm also hoping the snow forecast for next week only pans out to be 4" or less. There is a lot of snow around. I am optimistic that we will not have an April that mirrors 2013 or 2018 when the ice wasn't off Platte until May.


  


Monday, March 27, 2023

2023 When Will I See My Driveway? #1

I originally wasn't going to start this year's count down to when I will be able to see the driveway until later in the week after the cold weather passed, but the rents were out tonight; there are a few patches of ground showing on the upper driveway, so I thought what the heck. This is the latest I have ever started with the question. The previous late start was on 3/26/13. It looks to me like there isn't much room for melting in the next couple of weeks between the lack of sun and cool temps. I'll be happy to see the full driveway by the 10th of April, but I think it may take longer. 

Where the car sits

 
A few open spots along the southside

All snow on the end of the driveway.




Sunday, March 26, 2023

GOMH Yesterday and Today

 

Yesterday
The Sullivan Sign was back up. Didn't even notice it as I took a quick pick, then was on my way to Brainerd for the Snatchers Banquet.

Slightly more open today


A little bit of bare ground on the hillside
Dead fish & fish struggling to breathe at the surface.
Something I've never witnessed here and an ominous sign.

It's gonna be a while before the North side of the bridge is snow free.

Hopefully, open water here by April 1st



Baxter Bass Snatcher's 2022 Mr & Mrs. Bass Were Crowned


 The Snatchers had our annual banquet on Saturday.  The highlight of the evening was Mrs. Bass getting her crown from Mr. Bass, Snatcher Fields. 

Congrats To Gussy Bassmaster Classic Champion

Score 1 for Team Maple Leaf
Photo: James Overstreet

 Two 3lb smallies were just enough to hold off the field and take the win on a very-tough Tennessee River. The 18-inch minimum size for smallmouth undoubtedly had an impact on a lot of anglers.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Bass Fishing Has A New Unofficial Commissioner

 

Office Of The Unofficial Bass Angling Commissioner

I'm guessing this is a Twitter Account that is linked to Blogger. I hope the guy has a long tenure and is not just a flash in the pan.

Tough Day 1 For My FBF Squad. Updated: Final Place


 
Day 1 don't mean jack squat, but not the start, but not the start I want to see. And, of course, Cheese Prodigy, who I switched out, had the 5th best bag of the day. I am not panicking, though. All of my guys are capable of putting 15lbs on the scales tomorrow and making the 25 cut. They just have to keep their heads and fish smart. I will be glued to the coverage tomorrow from start to finish. 

I think 19/8 makes the cut, so
BP needs 13/5
Walters needs 12/5
Ole Bob needs 9/8
Luke needs 14/6
Tristan needs 15/9


Palmer's 40 pt bonus for the tournament, big bass, saved my bacon from disaster. On to Lake Murray.

Thoughts On The 2023 Baxter Bass Snatcher Tournaments


 
Bay Lake: May not return until after 11PM due to being down in the cities on Saturday. Hope I don't run out of energy. Hope to pre-fish it at least one time with Roger Ubl, maybe a second time with my boater. 

Tournaments Fished: 3 (12,15,18)
Best Finish: 2nd (6/2/12) Roger Ubl (Boater)
Best Limit: 15/11 (6/2/12) Roger Ubl (Boater)
Biggest Bass: 3/2 (6/2/12) Roger Ubl (Boater)

North Long: I just want to catch a limit. Haven't done that the last two times we have fished here. Also hope to pre-fish this one with Roger and maybe my boater as well.

Tournaments Fished: 3 (08,17,21) 2 Snatcher Mini-Bucks
Best Finish: 17th (8/23/08) Chuck Steinbauer (Boater)
Best Limit: 11/1 (8/23/08) Chuck Steinbauer (Boater)
Biggest Bass: 2/9 (In both 08 and 21) Chuck and Nate Steinbauer (Boaters)

Alexander: I like the lake. Will smallies be hitting topwater? I should rig up a wacky rig on a rocket bobber.

Tournaments Fished: 2 (14,19)
Best Finish: 18th Place (6/29/19) Tim Benson (Boater)
Best Limit: 10/1 (6/7/14) Chuck Johansen (Boater)
Biggest Bass: 2/3 (6/7/14) Chuck Johansen (Boater)

MN B.A.S.S. Nation State Championship Leech Lake Aug. 2-4.: I have been thinking about going to a BASS Nation State Championship for a long time, and it's probably now or never. I hope I don't get paired with guys using forward-facing and chasing smallies, but I will come prepared if I do. I pray we get favorable weather.

Tournaments Fished: 5 (09,12,14,19,21)
Best Finish: 10th Place (9/28/19) Paul Ruff (Boater)
Best Limit: 16/11 (6/30/12) Darrien Keifer (Boater)
Biggest Bass: 3/14 (6/30/12) Darrien Keifer (Boater)

Blind: I don't think there are any conflicts on Platte/Sullivan that day that will get it thrown out of the drawing. It would be nice to draw P/S to save me driving time, and I'm usually somewhat dialed in at that time of year.  I also wouldn't mind Edward, Fishtrap, Serpent, The Cullen Chain, or the Mississippi. Not so hot on Mission, Pelican, or Cedar.

The Poke: It's about time the Snatcher's returned to The Poke; it's been 7 years since we last had it on our schedule. I've never fished it in the Fall.

Tournaments Fished: 3 (08,12,16)
Best Finish: 13th Place, but only 14 guys went North for this one (8/6/16) Bill Bailey (Boater)
Best Limit: 12/8 (7/19/08) Bill Ludenia (Boater)
Biggest Bass: 3/7 (7/19/08) Bill Ludenia (Boater)

Whitefish Chain: Hopefully, it isn't windy, cold, and raining because The Chain is a fish factory. Wouldn't mind a little rain to keep boat traffic down.

Tournament Fished: 6 Snatcher Tournaments (10,12,14,16,19,21) and 1 Excel (04)
Best Finish: 10th Place (6/5/10) Chuck Steinbauer (Boater)
Best Limit: 14/02 (6/5/21) Hammer (Boater)
Biggest Bass: 3/5 (6/5/21) Hammer (Boater)

Thursday, March 23, 2023

My Bassmaster Classic Fantasy Squads

 

I tweaked my roster in the final hours after seeing the Prodigy from Cheeseland talk about his prefish. I gave him a second look and discovered this will be his first Classic. His report and the fact that he is a Classic rookie spooked me. I almost went with the Golden Ram, but his Classic performances haven't been particularly noteful, while Palmers has a much better average finish and one Super 6.

My first two Drain the Lake rosters were underwhelming. Gonna need big scores and several tournament winners if I am going to go anywhere in this game.


 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

GOMH Today


Unfortunately, the cold air won the battle last night. Yesterday's forecast called for warmer air to settle in around midnight and for us to get some rain. It wasn't supposed to get cooler than 34 degrees today. The warm air never made it this far North; we got 2 to 4" of snow and only got to 33 degrees today. There was a little bit of open water when I went by the Grumpy Old Man Hole this afternoon. It looks like we are in for a slow thaw which is OK with me.  It will be interesting to see how quickly the GOMH area and Platte Lake open up this year. I'll get out ice fishing again next week. I may or may not start when will I see my driveway this weekend.



Sunday, March 19, 2023

MLF Douglas & Cherokee Fantasy Picks

 Getting these picks out a little late. MLF didn't have their act together, assigning picks to the days they are fishing. I only had 3 guys fishing on the first day, as you can see below. Hopefully, it doesn't matter and all my picks advance.



Penultimate Day of Winter @GOMH



That is ice, not open water. I am guessing once it opens up again, it will be forward progress until ice-out by day's end until the ice is totally gone. 



 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Added A Tackle Goal For 2023


 I have resolved to catch 5 bass on a Jitterbug this year. I don't know if I will buy a new one or go with my small collection. I bought a couple off eBay several years back, but I don't think I ever used them because they struck me as poorly made-Chinese junk. I'm pretty sure I can catch five bass at the Grumpy Old Man Hole this Spring, so I will add a bait or two in the topwater boxes I bring.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Spring Watch! Episode 4, 2023

 With this latest cold dip and last weekend's snow things have taken a step or two back. More winter coming this weekend. It does kind of look like there may be a slight bump up in temps to close out the month. There is a lot of snow to be melted from all directions, so it's possible we may not see 50℉ this month.  I hope to start the countdown to "When Will I See My Driveway?" by this time next week and have the backyard snow blown out by the end of next week. 



Monday, March 13, 2023

GOMH March 13th

Frozen back up thanks to the snow and cold this weekend. It didn't get to 30℉ today.
 
One guy fishing on Sully.
Kaylee along for the ride

Looks like one more weekend of winter, then hopefully Spring, but not too fast. There is a lot of snow to melt. Will start when will I see my driveway next week, most likely.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

GOMH Today

 

Definitely moving water and a little bit of sun doing work in between snow days. Looks like more of the same for at least another week. It will be interesting to see if things progress or stay status quo.

 

Monday, March 06, 2023

Youtube Channel, The Nature of Fishing

 Thanks to Bass Boat Central forums, I just discovered a fantastic largemouth bass fishing channel on YouTube named The Nature of Fishing. The content is top-tier and a bit of a throwback to old-school In-Fisherman type teaching. Excellent stuff!



Sunday, March 05, 2023

Platte Lake Ice Out Prediction For 2023 (Updated)

No more spitballing; it's March and time for BP to give his official ice-out prediction for Platte Lake. Right now, we have a lot of snow to melt and seem to be heading into a slightly cooler-than-normal weather pattern. The average temp right now in this area is 33℉ and raises 1℉ every couple of days. On the 19th of the month, two weeks from today, the average high temp reaches 40℉. With the forecast being what it is, we are looking like a slow thaw this year. It would take a major warm-up to reach my February Spitball of April 8th. I don't think that is going to happen. There is open water at the Grumpy Old Man Hole, which wasn't the case last year until after March 20th.

I predict the ice will be off Platte Lake on April 17th, 2023 

2022 Prediction April 17th, Ice Off April 24th
2021 PredictionApril 13th, Ice Off on March 29th
2020 Prediction April 8th, Nailed it! 
2019 Prediction May 9th Ice Off Date April 20th 
2018 Prediciton April 22nd Ice Off Date May 2nd 
2017 Prediction March 29th Ice Off Date April 1st 
2016 No Prediction Ice was off on March 23rd
2015 Prediction April 20th Ice Out Date April 3rd

The extended forecast (Updated below)


I wonder why they now say 30's instead of 20's next weekend.


  

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Tuma Rallies!


Snatcher Tuma more than doubled his Day 1 weight catching 22/12 and jumped up well over 100 places in the standings to finish in 25th Place in the first Bassmaster Open Elite Qualifier of 2023.

Way to get it done, Keith! 

Friday, March 03, 2023

Fishing Goals 2023

 

New goals in orange and italics

Fishing Buddies: 
1. Fish with Dad
2. Fish with Mike Thompson
3. Fish with Jim Bonin
4.  Fish With Pat Woodgate
5. Fish with Jeff and Renee
6. Fish with Todd, Isabelle, and Mallory
7.  Fish with Kane Phongsavat
8. Fish with Jaimen Abrahamson
9. Fish with Dave Lindmark
10. Fish with Steve and Devin
11. Take Corey Hicks frog fishing.
12. Fish with Jamar at Eddy's
13. Fish with Eric Aske
14. Fish with Pete
15. Fish with Kiefer for crappies this spring. 

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 2020)
1.  Win my 2nd club tournament. 
2. Get "Wood" in at least one tournament. (1st-3rd Place Finish or Lunker or Co-Angler Challenge) 
3. Get "Lunker" in a tournament.   (Preferably one over 5-8 to win the revolving big bass pot.)
4. Finish in the Top 10 at the end of the year. 
5. 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.)
6. Pre-fish with at least 3 boaters. (Farm, Gull, S. Long)
7. List the Rods I'm bringing for each tournament before the tournament.
8.  Win the Co-Angler Challenge at least twice
9. Make the Challenge Cup Team
10. Finish higher than Tuma in a Tournament (He is the only long-term Snatcher I have not beaten on tournament day. He beat me on the tie-breaker on Whitefish Chain his rookie year in the club. That is the closest I have gotten)
11. Give each boater I fish a lure from my collection.
12. Catch a 20+ Bag and make the Club's list of Top 25 Biggest Bags 
13. Fish the BASS Nation State Championship on Leech as a  Co-Angler
14. Pre-fish at least two tournaments with Roger Ubl
15. Set Personal Bests on each lake for Bag Size, Big Bass, and Place of Finish


Technique, Equipment, & Tackle Goals:
1. Win something in Fantasy Fishing or Facebook giveaways/contests.
2. Officially Open the Tackle Warehouse.
3. Give Away some of my tackle
4. Catch 25 fish on a Frenzy Popper
5. Catch 25 fish on a Stanley Phantom
6. Catch bass cranking deep in Sullivan Lake
7. Sell some of my tackle
8.  Keep a Lures Lost List
9 Catch a bass, pike, and walleye on a Hot-N-Tot
10. Dedicate a rod to plastic worms (non-Senko)
11. Catch 30 fish on a prop bait and throw them during the post-spawn.
12. Catch 5 bass on a Jitterbug.
13. Experiment with a Rocket Bobber and Wacky Rig

Lures Lost In 2023:


 Blogging:
1. Blog about it when I achieve a goal most of the time
2. Record all fishing trips at Fish Swami
3. Fish at least 200 days and blog about them
4. Get unblogged trips from 2021 and 2022 at Fish Swami blogged at the Log Blog

Fish Catching Goals:
1. Catch* 3,500 Fish (3,900+ caught in 2021)
2. Have a 100-fish day.
3. Catch Devin's Birthday Bullhead On May 20th
4. Catch A Fish Every Month
­čŚ╣January
­čŚ╣February
­čŚ╣March

Crappie:
1. Catch a new personal best.(14.75/1.80lb on 5/9/22)
2. Catch* over 500 Crappies this year.
3. Catch my personal best number of crappies.

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.

Pike:
1. Catch* over 1,000 this year. (Caught 968 in 2021)
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. (Caught 1,785 in 2021)
4. Catch* at least 10 smallies.  (Caught 2 in 2022)
5. Catch a 25lb 6 Fish Bag
6. Have a 50 bass day 
7. Catch over 500 bass on Frogs/Toads
8. Catch 5 bass over  5lbs/20-inches (0 in 2022)
9. Catch 25 bass over 4lbs/19-inches (39 in 2022)
10. Get Steve and Todd at least one 4lber
11. Get Belle, Mallory, and Devin a frog fish.

Walleye:
1. Catch at least 100. 
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 black.

New for 2021 in italics.

Yikes! TW Tour Fantasy Clarks Hill

I did not pay attention to who did and didn't make the cut on my fantasy roster. Yikes is right. Only Moynagh,Wheeler, and Weaver made the cut.  Somehow I'm still ahead of Hellabass in points for TW.








 

Thursday, March 02, 2023

2023 Mille lacs Walleye Regs Announced

 Here is the DNR Press Release for this season's walleye regulations on Mille Lacs Lake. It would have been nice if they included last year's harvest numbers. I'm pretty sure both sides were under the quota, with MN anglers being significantly under.  The lake is full of bait, leading to a slow bite for the eyeballs.

Update: in 2022, the harvest numbers were 15k of the 80k allowed.

2021 53k of 87K allowed
2020 66k of 87K allowed

Walleye fishing scheduled to be open all summer on Mille Lacs Lake

​No July closure or live bait ban planned; harvest adjustments possible if conditions warrant

State-licensed anglers will have the opportunity to harvest a walleye 21-23 inches in length or greater than 28 inches throughout the 2023 open water season on Mille Lacs Lake. A lower walleye harvest this winter and an improving walleye population are combining to allow this year’s more liberal regulations.

“We are pleased to see improvements in both the growth of adult walleye and survival of young walleye in Mille Lacs,” said Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Those factors create the opportunity for anglers to have a continuous harvest season in 2023.”

Walleye regulations will apply from the walleye opener on Saturday, May 13, until the end of the open-water season on Thursday, Nov. 30. Unlike recent years, there is no planned closure to walleye fishing or ban on using live bait during the first two weeks in July.

On opening weekend, fishing will be allowed 24 hours a day. Beginning Monday, May 15, the night fishing closure takes effect, and fishing hours on Mille Lacs Lake will be6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for all species. From Saturday, June 3, through Thursday, Nov. 30, muskellunge and northern pike anglers using artificial lures or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches are exempt from the night fishing closure. Starting Friday, Sept. 1, the night fishing closure is relaxed, with angling hours being 6 a.m. to midnight.

“As always, we will monitor the factors that determine the state’s walleye take throughout the open water season,” Parsons said. “If conditions warrant, we will adjust regulations, either to allow additional opportunity if harvest is especially low like it was in 2022 or tighten regulations if harvest exceeds our projections.”

The DNR and the eight Ojibwe bands that have treaty fishing rights under the 1837 treaty agreed Mille Lacs could sustain a state harvest of up to 100,300 pounds of walleye this year, an increase of 20,000 pounds from 2022. Adult walleye grew well in 2022, and year classes of younger walleye in the lake have the potential to contribute to the fishery in the future. Harvest levels are set annually, and may be lower or higher in subsequent years.

“The lake has been in a state of change since the 1990s. As the water started to clear, we began seeing warmer water temperatures. Change continues with the introduction of invasive species such as zebra mussel and spiny water flea,” Parsons said. “We will continue to monitor the lake to see how ongoing changes will influence the fishery.”

This year’s winter walleye harvest was 4,300 pounds. Lower catch rates for anglers due to abundant forage in the lake combined with poor ice conditions in the early season were responsible for this winter’s lower harvest. That drop in walleye take gave the DNR more flexibility to implement open water harvest opportunities this coming season.

The northern pike population in Mille Lacs is healthy, and harvest of fish under 30 inches is encouraged for anglers looking for another option to bring home a meal of fish. Mille Lacs is also home to a smallmouth bass population that opens to catch and release angling on May 13, with harvest of fish less than 17 inches allowed starting on Saturday, May 27. 

“Our goal with regulations for all species is to offer fishing opportunities while also keeping in mind the long-term sustainability of the lake,” Parsons said.

More information about fishing regulations on Mille Lacs Lake, ongoing DNR management and research, citizen engagement and Mille Lacs area recreation opportunities is available on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/millelacslake).


Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Barriers To Women In Fishing? My Response

 

I am a first-wave feminist when it comes to women and fishing. I support fisherwomen and am proud of my track record on the subject. I think I have a pretty good grasp of the realities that women face in the world of fishing. This infographic was shared by a lady angler Facebook friend of mine. I think the way it frames things needs to be challenged.  I did not do so on the lady's post because I enjoy her posts, and I don't want to run the risk of being unfriended. 

My Response To Takemefishing.org and their framing in this infographic.

I take issue with the premise that the so-called "barriers" that women face are unique to women, or even barriers for that matter. The arguments don't even support the premises. Therefore the framing is the usual gobbledegook we find in diversity, equity, and inclusion nonsense.

What women face are not barriers but realities that may or may not be unique to them as individual women.

From the top:
Female anglers face adversity, resistance, disrespect, and under-representation from the industry and fellow anglers.

Yes, and none of that is unique to women. Men face adversity, resistance, disrespect, and under-representation from the industry and fellow anglers. That is the way the world works for good and ill. It is reality. I'm unclear how it can be changed very much without creating equal amounts of adversity, resistance, disrespect,  and under-representation. Trade-offs are always involved in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion. There will always be those with advantages and those with disadvantages. There will always be winners and losers, those who have and have not.

On to rebutting the so-called barriers bullet point by bullet point.

Barrier #1 Stereotypes (Think they probably mean Negative Stereotyping.)
  • A majority of female anglers do not "feel" stereotyped. What does how someone feels have to do with reality? All anglers are stereotyped in one way or another, both positively and negatively. Why somebody lets that bother them to any great degree is beyond me. Overcome ladies
  • 80% of women think of a guy when they think of someone who fishes. Is that supposed to be a problem? What is the ideal % answer? Isn't the relevant question, how many women know a female angler?
  • So once again, we are dealing with how a minority of women feel about being respected by the broader angling community, but a larger minority feels disrespected than feels stereotyped. Respect from the broader angling community, what is that exactly? Is it something to which everyone is equally entitled, or is it earned? I think the correct answer is both. There is a base level of respect to which all people are entitled as human beings. There is also a level or type of respect that can only be earned. Another rabbit hole of complexity is that this point deals with the "broader angling community." 
  • 1/3rd of female anglers have been joked at or mocked by the guys about enjoying fishing. I wonder how many of the women surveyed had been joked at or mocked by females because of their love for fishing. The world of men is populated with A-holes, and how and why men treat women the way they do is a complex minefield.  
Barrier #2 Unwelcoming Retail Environment-Not Going to touch on this one; I'm not in retail and will not be an apologist for it as an industry.

Barrier #3 Lack of Community

  • 25% of Lapsed anglers have no one to go fishing with. Unclear if this was women-specific. Lapsed anglers need to take accountability for finding fishing buddies. I suggest they join a local fishing club, Facebook group/groups, or message board. If none exist, start one. How people choose to spend their free time is up to them.
  • Safety while fishing solo is of equal concern for men and women, lapsed angler or not. Use the brain you were given to minimize the risk. Whether or not you assume the risk to go catch some fish is up to you as an individual. The world can become a dangerous place in the blink of an eye; that is reality.
  • To the 40% of women who want a woman's fishing club to help them fish more often but don't have one. Have they even looked for one? What is preventing them from starting their own? Take accountability
Barrier #4 Boat Struggles

  • Who isn't turned off by a disgusting floating outhouse or porta-potty? Woman up or don't go.
  • 25% of women wish... Are you serious? I wish I had a wish-granting genie. My departed Grandma Maas used to say, "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride."  As for the specific concerns addressed in the two wishes. If you are physically unable to handle your equipment, find someone who is, or don't go fishing. Accountability. As far as boating safety courses, aren't they already offered? And why would they need to be women-specific? Have you tried Youtube or Googling the subject? Take Accountability


Spring Watch Episode 3, 2023

Definitely not an early start to Spring this year. If this forecast holds, I will not start the When Will I See My Driveway? Posts until the second half of the month. Ice out date on Platte Lake now looks to be somewhere in the mid to upper teens in April. 
 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

End of February At The GOMH


Just a little bit of open water under and out from the bridge to end the month. It will be a while before I break out the long rods.