Saturday, June 25, 2005

Lobster Lake Pre-Fish and Tourney Recap

Pre-Fish June 24th- My research indicated that this was a Sylvia/Twin like fishery with clear water, lots of bass, but difficult to catch bass with any size. I got a late start and was not on the water until about 10am. Talked with Jack Kiffe briefly at the ramp.

Started out by running around the whole lake for a quick look at everything. The lake reminded me a lot of Clearwater in Wright County with lots of reed beds and bullrushes along with some good dock runs, and slop, there is also some good wood in the water. The day started out sunny and hot with only a little bit of wind. I started out by putting a tube through matted weeds and getting fish, mostly 12's except for a 4lb dogfish. Was observing lots of sunnies and carp.

I then went to Fluke weed flats and inside weedlines. I got a couple of nicer fish. I threw a topwater popper and got lots of little dudes. Threw in the slop and got a couple of blow ups. Started pitching a jig on rushes, reeds, slop and wood and got more bites mostly small. At some point it started clouding up pretty good. I hit some dock areas and got more dinks mostly. Ran into, Koronis partner, Nick Graupe and John Larson for some small talk as it was sprinkling a little bit. They reported lots of dinks deep or shallow.

A little while after talking with Nick and John, I found a little something by catching 3 quality mid 2 to almost 3lb fish in as many casts and went up to figure out why they were there and there WAS a reason. I just wish I hadn't hooked em to find this out. I decided this would be my starting spot.

I then went to check a similar area and had a muskie or pike steal a topwater frog but there wasn't much here except little bass. As the sun went down I did some fun fishing with the popper and some topwater frogs in the reeds. I had a quality bass jump me off in the reeds. As it got dark I went back to the launch and set up the boat which was my motel room and that worked out great.

Pre-fish Analysis- I like the lake and Sylvia/Twin knowledge experience would be a definite advantage. The key would not be just getting a limit (getting a limit would be easy, I succeeded at catching keepers every way I fished) or needing a BIG limit (getting a 3lb plus average probably is a very long shot), but finding a limit of 2lb fish and finding any fish 3lbs or more would be a big deal.

Tournament Day:
Think I had a take-off number in the low teens. Not that it mattered even with boat 1 my run was long enough that almost any boat was gonna beat me to my starting spot if they wanted. I was happy to see that no one was anywhere near that part of the bay where my "something" was. I started out catching fish immediately on flukes and a popper. Within 15 minutes I had 5 fish in the well but they were all disappointing 12-13.5 inchers. Finally I got a solid hit on a jig but it turned out to be a 2.5lb pike that only fought like a solid bass. I hadn't even seen a pike the day before and so I was disappointed. Left this spot with 5 dinks in the well.

I then headed for quick stab at a reed point, nothing. Then to where I lost the big one in the reeds, nothing. On to the far east side, tried this good looking deal but it didn't have anything. Fluked an inside weedline and filled my limit also had a walleye follow of all things. Decided to keep on the inside weedline in the other direction and I ended up missing a solid fish somehow, but I changed to the "Smoke" fluke and luckily I think I hooked it, a 15"er. I didn't get anymore and headed to the outlet were I got a bunch of little one's.

I then headed back to my morning spot and culled up 2 fish with 1 being another quality fish at or around 2lbs. I stopped by some wood in the slop and missed an opportunity for something that MAY have been a good fish because I wasn't paying attention like I should have been while pitching a tube into holes. I then tried around some docks and wood but didn't get anything there.

I then went to area I pitched mats and tried that but nothing really was going on. I did eventually manage a couple of culls with on 14+ fish off some slop. When into the last 2 hours I headed back to my starting spot and got another quality 14+ fish. I then ran for the NE "Claw" but screwed up and was in NW "Claw" so I decided to run that slop quickly and managed to luck into a 14+ bass. I got another solid strike which turned out to be a 4lb pike, doggone it. I then headed to the NE "Claw" which looked awesome with the wind blowing in stained water and carp playing playing but all I managed was few dinks. I then spotted something that I had not noticed in my lake scouting. Time was running short and I wanted to get back to my starting spot one more time and so I didn't have a chance to explore. I ran to my morning spot and got yet another good cull out of it. I had to quickly head off to the weigh in spot on the East side. I figured I had the 2lb average I wanted and had a solid shot at fishing in the money, I figured I was 1 quality 3lb+ bite out of the win.

I was disappointed that my cookie cutter bag of 14.5 to 15.75" limit was only good for 11lbs 5ozs. I thought I was much closer to 12lbs than that or even over 12lbs, Damn skinny fish! My big bass 15.75inches was only like 2-6. I ended up in 7th Place just 2lbs even out of 1st, 14oz's out of 2nd, and 7oz's out of the money in 4th. Dropping to 7th place was an Ouch! cause I thought my bag was better.

After the tournament I decided to check out that little deal I spotted there at the end. It took a bit of effort on my part to figure it out but when I did immediately I was greeted by my first 3lb Lobster bass and then another and then another within 12 casts. If I had found this in pre-fish, I would have won going away, darn it. I ended up with 4 at least as big as anything I had in the tournament and a shot at a big dogfish too. If only...

I guess one can only hope that Lobster is drawn as a TOC lake and the two things that I have there hold up as that they are not quite the same but similar.

After Thoughts: Frustration! On my starting spot, I burned some of it's better fish in finding it and not thoroughly scouting enough left a gold mine untapped when I really should have found it. I could have had a 15+lb limit, but that's the way it goes.

Looks like Clearwater, fishes like Sylvia Twin.

#1: Missing what I missed in my pre-tournament and pre-fish scouting.
#2: Lack of concentration and good technique for a moment that may have cost me a good fish.
#3: Catching that 3rd fish in a row in the same spot pre-fishing, two in a row should have told me something was up and I should have checked it out a little closer.

Stats: Lobster Lake
TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 1.89Lbs
BBP: .000
TDWA: 11.31Lbs

For Season Stats and Next Tournament See Horseshoe Chain Above...

(TLA-Tournament Limit Average, LCP-Limit Catch Percentage, FWA-Fish Weight Average, BBP-Big Bass Percentage, TDWA-Total Daily Weight Average)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Erskine Lake

My final night trip to Rock may have produced a couple of doggy strikes and follows, but all I caught was Bass. So the one pictured below is my entry.

Last night I fished Erskine in open water for the 1st and last time. I caught a few bass and I'm sure it has a Toad or two, but I'd much rather fish Rock, Platte/Sullivan, Bulldog, Long, or even Peavy. The one good thing was that I got to work on flipping and pitching to wood which should help me at Horseshoe Chain.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Platte Lake 20 Incher

Posted by Hello
Ahh finally one of them Platte/Sullivan toads decided to eat my lure. I got it off a dock in Platte. The Docks were not really going all that well. I fished a bunch of docks and got the "Twenty" yes but beyond that I only got two 15's and missed one nice fish at the boat (17-19er). Also had a 5lb pike eat my jig and got a couple of other hammerhandles.

As it got dark I tried some slop and got a 17" a couple of pike and had a few misses.

It was a beautiful day. I didn't get out until after 4PM and then I had to come back when Lilah fell in the water and while fishing her out my line caught on the trolling motor. Would have been a great day to chase smallies on Mille Lacs , oh well.

Here's the Twenty next to a 17" which is a low 3lb fish.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

June 6th Mille Lacs/June 7th Platte

Monday June 6th:
Heard about a hot smallie bite on Mille Lacs and headed out at 3:30PM to Cove Public Access. Decided to try largemouth 1st right by access. Missed several fish, caught zero. Moved to fish docks and caught a Rocky. Moved to Reeds, saw doggy no bites. Moved to Isaty's Reef, saw nothing. Moved into Isaty's Marina mouth nothing. Sun was going down 9PM decided to beat the 10PM traffic and get to ramp early; Big Mistake.

I get to access park at dock and go to car. 1 boat at ramp, 1 boat waiting. If you don't know Cove P.A. has 1 main ramp and a smaller ramp that boats like mine can land and launch at just fine. I pulled out a little bit and was gonna wait until the waiting boat was in place at the ramp before pulling out and into the 2nd ramp. As the boat that was loading was just about to pull forward, a guy who was at the dock runs to his truck jumps in and starts backing towards the ramp area right behind the guy that was waiting and now backing into the ramp. This yahoo ends up backing right in front of me and so I roll down the window and tell him I was next in line. He says to me, "Settle down" and continues backing up and then add's "I was before you."BS it's who is in their truck and established position with "in line" with the truck that determines who gets the ramp when, not who landed the boat first. He proceeds to back right in front of the second ramp and block the space, get out of his truck and run down to the main dock.

I was mystified by this moron, what was he doing now? So I get out of my truck and go to look for him. The guy loading his boat was quick and started pulling up from the ramp and Moron Man comes hustling off of the docks towards his truck. I point out to him that he was blocking an access, the access I was gonna use. Moron Man says, well why didn't you park your boat over there? I didn't even bother to answer that when I pulled up to the dock not a single boat was on the ramp and only when I was tying up did a trailer back down. Anyway you don't block access to an access, WHAT A FRIGGEN MORON!

As Mr. Moron is backing in I pull out and put my trailer in the water. As I get my boat I notice that the 3 people with Mr. Moron are doing nothing to help him load the boat, What is with that. I get my boat and pull it out just after Mr. Moron pulls his boat out and pull into the spot I had parked in for getting the cover on and boat ready for trailering.

I get out of the truck and start preparing things when the guy next to me starts pulling his truck out; it was getting quite dark at this point. As he started turning his trailer around my trailer I noticed it would be close, but he was going slow and it looked like he had room if he was being careful. He kept movingly slowly and was almost past the end of my trailer when he cut the wheel sharper sped up and ended up clipping my back tail light. The light holder bent and the lights still worked but he broke the side red light shield along with part of the black plastic light housing. The guy and his friends were very apologetic and rectified the situation immediately. Personally, I hold Mr. Moron responsible because if he was not such a TOTAL MORON I would have been gone by then.

Tuesday June 7th:
Went down to watch thunderstorm pass to the North. Caught some nice Gills and Pumpkinseeds off the dock. Was quite windy out of W SW.

5PM Eventually went out in boat to fish docks and in North Bay. Started on Rock Inlet Bay Point Docks, missed a good bite, got a nasty backlash that took a while to work out, caught a small bass, then had to run home cause nature was calling. Wind had shifted to NE and it was cooling down.

Had dinner, went out to PRO Bay North and went in by Pontoons going West. Got a couple as I headed to the PRO. At Pro got a bunch of bites, working into river as it got dark and missed one.

I'll be back out in a little bit.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Koronis/Rice Pre-fish and Tourney Recap

Posted by Hello

Pre-Fish:The Plan was to Pre-fish Rice on Thursday and Koronis/Mud on Friday. I just could not get things together Thursday and at 1PM I decided it was too late to go and have a productive day and so I went to Rock lake by me instead which I thought resembled some area's of Rice and the river. I got my Snagproof and HT game on with numerous bass, the biggest being a 19"+. I was hoping for a big doggy , but got none.

Friday: I got out when I wanted but detoured in St. Cloud at the Verizon store and Sportsman Warehouse (Nice Store and Snagproof Pro Tournament Frogs for $5.99). I was on the Lake around 11:30 and proceeded to eliminate lots of water and find some potential spots. I caught a couple of nice 5lb Pike, several 2-3lb and smaller bass and had a couple of hints of possibly some bigger fish. It rained but not really hard enough for me to put the rain gear on. For the most part I was trying not to hook fish. Lots of Milfoil and CurlyLeafPond Crap in Rice. Towards the end of the day I took a river tour down to Mud within sight of the Koronis Bridge. I managed to get a few biters in the river and then ran up the river in the dark. Headed into Paynesville to get my gear set up and slept at a Way side Rest.

Tournament Day:
Dropped the boat at Camp Koronis and headed to the Koronis Access to meet my partner for this one Nick Graupe. He spent Fri. pre-fishing but wasn't sure he found anything. His best area didn't have the smallies yet and he found only a few fish on beds. We cruised out to flat and started with topwater. I landed about a 12" right away that I didn't even bother to measure and threw back. Dale and Roger had also pulled onto the same flat and Roger nailed a nice smallie on topwater right away. After about 45min with neither us or them getting anything we headed to Island 3 where there were some beds. Nick had a blow up and I followed with a wacky Senko and got a pick up; I set the hook, and got back a hook because it must have only taken one end. A little ways down I got an 11" smallie. Of all the smallies on the lake I had to catch two dinks.

We then headed to the river to the area that I had found that happened to also be what Nick found. Nick missed the first few hits but then put a 14" in the boat. We worked around the whole area and caught a few more. Nick on topwater and me on my secret bait. I had a good one smash it out of a hole in the grass that I'd gotten a smaller one out of the day before. We then ran a long run of unproductive water, it started to rain and headed back into Koronis.

Nick started getting bit by some nice largemouth but they kept flipping us off. He lost a solid 3lber about 1 foot before it was in the net. Nick was getting quite frustrated. He lost one fish when the hook or split ring broke off. I think Nick landed our limit fish and then I got our first culling on a Lucky Craft Sammy. A short time later I had a large Smallie come up under the Sammy but it didn't take it; It was a big dude. We may have gotten one or two more on the stretch before it got slow.

We headed to a stretch of water across the bay which was similar and where I had found some smaller smallies pre-fishing a couple of years back. Nick got a rock bass. It started pouring hard and I decided to put on that bright colored Bullfrog Frenzy Pop and work the flat by casting out towards the lake. Almost immediately I hooked into that Smallie in the pics. I didn't know it was a good one until it jumped cause it took it fairly light and was swimming at the boat, but there was little doubt after that first jump what kind of fish it was. It went airborne 2 or 3 more times and we landed the bronze beauty that went 4lbs even (Last year I had two 4-2's and lost a bigger one). I was surprised it went 4 cause it was only a little over 18" inches long, can you say "CHUNK." We didn't get another strike in that area.

We then went back to the stretch where Nick missed those fish and I saw the Smallie. We managed to cull out our 3 bass that were 14.25inches. With about 1/2hour left we headed to our starting spot. I had a good blow up on Spook but it didn't hook up and was probably only slapping at it. Time was up and we headed in.

Nick and I both guessed we had 15 something and Nick thought it would be good enough for 6th. As it turns out we were just shy of 17 with 16lbs13oz. We came in 6th Place.

Here's our two Best.
Posted by Hello

Congratulations to Craig Sanders and Roger Ellwein
for their win and Craig for getting Big Bass.

BP's Note: This was Craig's 1st Team Bass Win and probably Rogers as well. At my very first Team Bass tournament I teamed up with Craig and we had a fun time even though our results were not great. Craig is a really nice guy and loves to fish tournaments and it was great to see him come out on top. At the dock I watched him pulling fish some nice fish out of the well. I asked him if he thought they 20 and he said more like 15-16 and I guarantee he wasn't sandbagging me, he was truly shocked they had what they had. That a Boy Craig!

For Koronis
TLA: 1.000
LCP: 1.000
FWA: 2.80Lbs
BBP: .166
TDWA: 16.81Lbs

For Season
TLA: .500
LCP: .500
FWA: 2.83lbs
BBP: .143
TDWA: 9.91Lbs

After Thoughts: Had a good day on the water with Nick and it's hard to be disappointed with a nearly 17lb bag when not everything was going our way. It's interesting to see how different fishing styles work out as that I would have fished the day probably much differently than we did as a team.

Mistakes: Most of what we did worked or could have worked to a great degree, so it's really hard to find anything glaring like at Bone. Probably one of my bigger ones was not throwing that bright colored bullfrog Frenzy Pop sooner. Maybe that smallie that looked at the Sammy would have crushed the Frenzy. Who knows.

The only thing I can really come up with was that after we got a limit we could have spent more time trying to dig up big smallies, but as it was we culled up several largemouth and probably gained more than a pound on those last 3 keeper Largemouth, would we have tied into a couple of smallies is an unknown and what we did worked.

Parting Thoughts: 6th place points should be good for help in the end of the year standings. I love the rain, baby. Man did catching that Smallie make my day! It was a leaper.

Next Tournament:See below Range Bassmasters

Next Team Bass June 25th @ Lobster.