Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Bulldog- A small pike followed the spinnerbait in on my first cast but I couldn't get it to hit and so it was on to Rock.
Rock 1- As I pulled up at the ramp a boat was coming in. They were running around in my casting area so I nixed Rock until later.
Jenny's- I had a fish swirl at my bait and miss. I couldn't get it to hit again.
Lake Place- It was thundering and threatening rain when I arrived at our lake place on Platte. I was working the "lost jig" through the weeds and had a miss, I worked the area hard but couldn't get a follow up. As I worked a little more West I got a strike from a 14.5" bass right next to shore. I cast over the same water and had a miss. I kept working the spot and was rewarded with a 13" bass. It started to rain hard and I went up to the car to wait it out. After the rain I brought down a white Outkast swim jig, a pumpkin Terminator JigNpig, and the "lost jig."
I started off throwing the white swim jig and was rewarded with a 14" bass. On the very next cast over the exact same spot I had another bass annihilate the swim jig. This bass put up quite a fight and measured in at 19." All of these bass came within 10 feet of shore. I worked the white swim jig with no more luck, so I switched up to the jig and pig and had a fish bite off one of the legs in the area the last two bass came from. I started working the white swim jig again and got the attention of a small pike. After repeated casts I caught it. The pike bit off the tip of the grub tail, but there was still plenty of tail and it had good action.
I started working my way towards Jim's and was rewarded with another 14" bass on the white swim jig. Then I caught a pike. I started throwing the "lost jig" and got a 15" bass quite a ways farther out than any I had caught yet. I switched back to the white swim jig and got another northern.
I moved over to Jim's dock and got a 12" bass out from under it on the white swim jig. I then got the biggest northern of the day to the West of Jim's dock. I threw a bunch of casts from Jim's dock and did miss a bite casting towards our place. That was it, 7 bass and 4 pike.
Rock- I got a small pike on a black spinnerbait.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Anyway after we got the boat in the garage I headed down to the lake front with the "lost jig". Today was absolutely gorgeous weather about 70 and dead calm. As I was casting my way across the shore line I came through a pocket in the weeds and seemed to spook something. I threw back and it struck and missed. I figured it had to be a pike. I let the pocket settle and kept working my way west. After about 4 minutes I tried the pocket again and had a wake follow then hit the jig. Much to my surprize it was not a pike but a 17" bass, kind of skinny though for this time of year. As I worked my way to Jim's dock I got a hammer handle. And fishing off Jim's dock casting West parallel to shore. About half way out on the dock I got another Pike. I thought for sure this fish was going to be a bass.
I did also fish at Jenny's but didn't get any hits.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Rock- Small Pike and 14" bass on the "lost jig." I might have had a hit on the black spinnerbait too.
Jenny's- 15"bass on the "lost jig"
GOMH- Nothing. The barrier was no longer in place at the new bridge. I was able to get out on some rip rap on the SE side. You have to watch your backcast, but it's a great spot to fish from. If they add a bunch of rip rap, it will make the GOMH much more fishable; If this will happen I don't know. I do think it will be hard for Lee Ander to fish because I don't really think there is a good place to sit down at the moment.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Rock- I had a fish on my very first cast with the lost swim jig but it got off. A little while later I had the grub tail eaten off the lost swim jig. I managed to get a small pike on a black spinnerbait single Indiana blade.
Jenny's- I got a small pike on the lost swim jig.
GOMH- It was fairly dark and the North wind made making out the paths through the weeds difficult. Nothing.
I may get the trophy out to Peavy tomorrow.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I worked my way over to the two isolated reed islands. I was tossing a heavy All-Terrain Scott Martin's Grassmaster with a beaver trailer when I got a hit that I didn't really feel, but I set the hook and ended up with a 15inch bass. I worked both reed islands with no more hits. Next I worked my way back to the backside of the reeds where I missed those two bites. I tried the frog and the jignbeaver but nothing worked. I then worked my way North and got a small Northern. I worked the North shore as it started to get overcast and more windy out of the North. I worked my way around the North Point and into the North bay with no takers on Frogs and spinnerbaits.
Next I worked the pocket just East of the Middle Point with nothing to show. I worked my way out onto the point as was rewarded with a small pike. It was quite cloudy and cooling down in that wind. I worked my way over to the sunken island and got a pike off the South End. Fishing was tough I was getting cold and I had enough, so I headed in around 6:30pm before it was even really getting dark. I should have made one more run at the reeds North of the access because it was calm and that was where the fish activity was earlier, Oh well.
Rock has been a stingy bass fishery this year, I have caught plenty of pike though.
Jenny's- Small pike on the lost swim jig.
GOMH- That's right the Grumpy Old Man Hole, well kind of. The new bridge is still under construction so I could not fish at the channel. But the way they have widened the road casting to the North on Platte Lake looked promising and it was. I got a small bass and 2 or 3 pike. I also had a pike swat at a Sizmic Toad a couple of times.
Word is the bridge will be finished in a couple of weeks.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
We left the house around 5:30pm to go get Pete's boat at the lake place. Pete had a bunch of stuff that needed to be moved out of the boat and as always there was preparation to be done. We didn't make it to the lake until around 8pm.
We got the boat in the water and Pete realized that he had made a mistake while putting together the fuel line earlier. After some deliberation and jerry rigging Pete was able to make things work and the big motor fired. While Pete was messing around a boat came in that had been fishing Indian Point since before dusk and they were skunked. They did say a boat was trolling for Ski's and landed 2, muskies or pike I assume. They said the wave action on Indian was pretty significant with the South wind. Pete was not happy that the wind weather forecast and the actual wind speed did not seem to be matching up.
It was probably a little after 9pm when we made it out of the boat harbor and into the lake. There were 4 or 5 boats trolling in Casino Access Bay and I am not sure if there were any boats left up at Indian. Once we got out of the narrow boat channel and into deeper water we started heading North. I thought we were going to troll super shallow so I put on a small pink X-Rap. We trolled around Sherman's Point with nothing to show and so Pete wanted to try deeper, so we put on Shad Raps and tried 15-20ft all through Wigwam bay making our way slowly North. Pete was marking fish deeper than the Shad Raps were probably running so we switched to Wally Divers. We got North of Wigwam still out deep. Pete brought his line in to discover that it was fouled with weeds and caught up with my line. We were fishing with rods in the rod holders so who knows how long that had been going on. Pete broke his line and managed to get my Fireline untangled all the while we were drifting farther out with the SW wind.
Once we were set to fish again Pete noticed we had made significant progress out towards Sherman's Flat and so he wanted to give that a try. I can't say I was enthusiastic about the choice, but the waves were not that bad and I wasn't super cold so I didn't object. I suppose we must have wasted an hour or so trolling in that adventure.
Next Pete wanted to try about 10ft over rocks much closer in towards shore. I think we might have trolled South for a little bit at that point, but this didn't last long because Pete didn't like trying to navigate with his back to shore. We headed North and closer to shore. At some point Pete asked me to take over and he went up front to take a nap. I paralleled the shoreline in 6-10ft of water, mostly 8 feet. Nothing and we made our way farther North.
Eventually we started working our way around Seguiche Point into the Southern slope of St. Alban's bay. This was around the time the nearly full moon finally came out from behind the clouds for a while. We got into an area with some weeds and I had a good strike in 10ft of water. Later I was to discover that the belly treble on my Frenzy Crankbait had one hook totally broken off hook and another that had opened up quite a bit. Earlier this summer Pete was talking down the hooks they put on Frenzy lures and in this case he was sure right. I have never had a problem with the hooks they put on Frenzy Poppers. A little while later I might have had another bite, but it might have been weeds. With me driving we worked our way past Terry's Boat Harbor and a little ways North up St. Albans Bay before I gave up, the clouds had come back and were thicker at this point. It was coming up on 5am and I had pretty much had more than enough.
Pete fired up the big motor and we made a run back to Sherman's Point. I was lucky and the chop wasn't that bad and so the ride was not nearly as sucky as it could have been. We stopped at Sherman's Point and started trolling South back to the access. At this point we were the only boat in the bay. It started getting a little lighter out and we tried shallow and out to about 15 feet. We were just about to start turning in at the access when Pete shouted fish on. I couldn't believe it but Pete had a chunky 26.5 walleye on his shallow diving crank over 13ft of water. This stroke of luck kept us out on the water for at least another hour and a half. At least I got a show from some Loons and seagulls. About the time Pete caught his fish, the wind shifted out of the NW and started blowing 10-15. Even though the electric trolling motor was about dead we managed to hold in the narrow boat channel and make it in around 8am.
That is right 11 hours in the boat with Pete for 1 fish and 1 miss.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I got the battery hooked up and much to my disappointment the battery meter on the trolling motor showed a low charge and I didn't bring the other battery with. Conditions were sunny but there was a pretty good wind blowing out of the SW. I noticed at the access that the water seemed more turbid than the past couple of days. I was hoping that didn't mean turnover which makes the bite tough. We did get quite a bit of rain this week so maybe the cloudy color was due to that.
Before launching I made some casts at the access. I had something swirl at a white/chart Rapala Subwalk but it didn't hook up and that was it so I launched the boat. The first order of business was to make sure the motor would run, it did, and drive the boat at full throttle for a little while since it has been awhile since the boat was out last time. After running the boat I settled in just South of the Access. The wind was out of the west so the shoreline was protected and calm. I worked my way North all the way past the reed bed without a hit.
Fishing Fall memories I decided to give the two isolated reed clumps at the mouth of the Rock Platte River Outlet (RPRO) a try. The wind was rocking this spot pretty good but the trolling motor managed to make headway against it. At the South reed clump there was some matted weeds, so I pitched my green pumpkin jignpig in there and I felt a pick up and set the hook. It turned out to be a fat 18.5 inch bass. Not thinking I only measured it, because this looked to be a 4lb+ fish. I didn't get anything at the North Clump. I worked my way back to the South clump and had a fish follow but I don't know if it was a small bass or pike.
I then worked my way towards the bullrush line towards shore. I had a pike come out of the water missing the Sizmic Toad in the pads. I then started working my way South and the trolling motor battery was really hurting at this point. As I got to where the bullrushes and reeds met I had a fish steal one of the legs on the Sizmic Toad. I tried working the toad and a Spro Bronzeye Frog in the reeds but came up empty.
I decided I would try my luck in the wind at the sunken island. You can tell right where the Island is this year because there is emergent vegetation, rice I think, on the top of it. I have never really fished the sunken island much so I spent some time riding around it and looking at the Fish locater. The SW wind set up nicely to run the S side of the sunken island. On pretty much my first cast I hooked up and so I threw out a marker. Unfortunately it was a 24.5 pike not a big bass. At this point I was throwing a black 1/2oz spinnerbait with a fairly big Indiana blade. As I got to the East side of the Island I got another hit and this time it was a slightly bigger pike than the last one. I made another drift pass on the South side and didn't get anything. Then I tried the North side getting nothing. This time I stayed on the drift and worked the point, but that didn't turn up anything. I ran up to make another pass on the South side, this time throwing a Big T which is a spinnerbait that weighs at least and ounce. I managed to get a 22 inch pike on that pass. I think I made one more pass on the South side before I decided to move on.
Fishing Fall memories I wanted to try a spot where the weedline meets with a flat on the SE end of the lake. As I was working my way along I think I missed a strike on the 1/2oz black spinnerbait. As I got onto the flat I was casting out into the lake across the flat and hooked into a 20+ inch Pike. I worked the flat but nothing was going. The wind died down and I worked my way over to the West shore so it was totally calm. I started working a white Sizmic Toad shallow by some reeds and pads I had a blow up and hooked it; This fish was a nice 17inch largemouth. I cast back over the same spot with the Sizmic and something boiled at it but didn't hook up on the edge of the pads. I tried and tried to get that fish to hit again, but it didn't work. I made my way west as the sun went down without any luck.
I headed back out to the sunken island and hooked into a 20 or so inch pike on the 1/2oz black spinnerbait. As it started to get dark I ran to the two reed clumps at the RPRO. No luck. I worked my way South to the access without any luck. It was fairly dark by the time I loaded the boat, fortunately no mosquito's.
I think the lake might have turned over because the bass were just not active.
I had a very small bass (under 10 inches) bite at the grub on a swim jig and that was it for Bulldog.
I think I caught a small bass right away. I fan casted the area once with the black spinnerbait with a big Indiana blade and came up with nothing. For some reason I did not change up right away and was rewarded when a fish thumped it good. I could tell it was a nice fish before it burried me in the weeds. I was able to pull it in with a clump of coontail and it turned out to be my first 19+ bass of the season. It went 19.5 inches and it was a thick fish.
I kept casting the black spinnerbait and was rewarded with 20+ inch pike.
Platte Lake Jenny's
Jenny's area was quite a bit deader than yesterday. Over at the neighbor to the West I got a 14inch bass on a Spro Bronzeye Frog and had what was probably a pike swat at the Spro a couple of times.
Platte Lake Property
On my very first cast I had a small pike just nail the Sizmic Toad and I was able to land it. It just shredded the toads back but it was still useable. I worked my way over to Jim's dock. Before getting out on the dock I made a cast to parallel the dock on the west side and a fish blew up on the Sezmic Toad hard but didn't hook up. I threw at the spot several more times and raised the fish once but it didn't hook up. It was probably a medium to small pike.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I have really had the itch to go out fishing since the Fall Outing but the past couple of days have been awfully windy and it rained Sunday. I had some errands to run today and I figured I might as well try some shore fishing since I had to go to Bear Trax (local hardware store where my mom gets the daily paper).
My first stop was at the boat access at Bulldog lake. I threw out a black spinnerbait with a single Colorado blade and started to retrieve it when a fish swirled on it hard about half way in and my spinnerbait was gone. This pike sawed through 30lb Power Pro and I think the pike must have hit at the front of the lure. I can't remember ever having a pike do this to me with a spinnerbait tied on braid. I didn't have my spinnerbait box with so I put that rod in the car and started throwing a white Zoom Horny Toad. Nothing went for the toad so I switched to a green pumpkin jigNpig. On one of my cast I felt a thump and set the hook into a good fish. It was such a good fish that it actually pulled the drag significantly 3 or 4 times. It was obvious that I was hooked into a good pike and I was just hoping my line would hold. I managed to beach the beast. Luckily I brought along a pair of Rapala Needlenose pliars and a 24inch Rapala ruler just in case. I got the jig out of the fishes mouth and measured it using the ruler and pliers. The fish went 34 inches and it was thick. My guess is that it was just shy of 10lbs. I made several more casts with the jig and either spooked a fish or had a swirl as I came through some pads. After about 20 minutes I gave up and went to spot #2.
The wind was blowing hard into the access at Rock Lake and much to my disappointment the dock was no longer in the water. The JigNpig was the only lure I had with me that had any shot of a fish so I through that. I was jigging it close to the landing and had something move off with the jig, so I set the hook into a little 10 inch largemouth. I started swimming the jig more and was rewarded with a 14" bass. As I was hoping the jig close to ramp I had a small pike pick it up, but it came off as I lifted it out of the water. I made many more casts and then decided to move on.
Platte Lake Jenny's shoreline
Since Jenny's is on the SE shore I was protected from the SE wind, it actually seemed calm. On my first cast I got a pike on the white Zoom Horny Toad. A few cast later I got a 12 inch bass on the toad. I worked the Horny Toad a bit longer but didn't get anymore hits. I decided to throw a Spro Bronzeye for the distance I could get with casts plus it's ability to come through the thicker emergent vegetation. I moved down to Jenny's neighbor to the west. I thought I saw signs of a fish in an open pocket close to shore so I brought the frog along and was working it slow when something just exploded on the frog, but I came up empty. I tried working the pocket some more but could not get a follow up. I started casting further out and actually had two bites from what I am pretty sure were smaller pike. I then caught a 22 inch pike. I made some more casts and while I was working through the open pocket close to shore I had another explosion. At first I thought it was a nice bass, but it turned out to be a 26 inch pike. I threw to a lane/corner in the weeds and caused a commotion. I threw repeatedly to the spot and worked the frog and was eventually rewarded with a 15" bass. I made a long cast to the west and had a fish miss the frog. I threw back and was rewarded with a 27 inch pike. My poor Spro Bronzeye was getting pretty beaten up at this point. I had pretty much worked the area hard so it was on to my last stop.
The lake property on Platte Lake
I made a bunch of casts with the Spro Frog and had a miss from a small pike. I worked my way down towards Jim's and on one of my last casts I was rewarded with a 14" bass. The Spro had pretty much had it at this point. I'll have to see if Mend-It will heal the wounds as good on a Spro as it does with Snagproof.
All in all I was quite pleased with the shore action.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
On Tuesday August 12th Lakeview Community Church went on it's second Eddy's Mille Lacs Launch of the year. We did not have the # of people nor the food of the first launch trip the church did this year. At 6pm we headed south of Eddy's and fished off of Rocky Reef. It did not take long and my bobber went down. I set the hook into a medium sized perch. Several other perch were caught before the first walleye came on board. We were not getting to much walleye action in our first spot so we adjusted to a little deeper water. This was a good move as more perch and walleye were landed at the second spot. Here I landed my first walleye of the night and it was a keeper. I started to let Kaitlyn Hayes select my leechs after I told her what I wanted in a leech and she did an excellent job at getting my kind of leech. I had been getting some perch action when my bobber went down and set the hook. I tried to reel in but nothing was happening. My drag was not set right and the spool was spinning with the line roller. I got that squared away and landed this 23inch walleye:
Our captain made the decision to head back north before dark and it turned out to be a pretty good decision. My bobber went down a bunch of times and I lost a few leeches along with catching another perch or two. My line was drifting toward the back of the launch when my bobber went down and I set into a good fish, which turned out to be this 24+ inch walleye:
I don't remember how many walleye's and keepers were caught but there was a fair number of cigars and medium sized perch, a few keepers, and a fair number of fish that had to go back. I don't think I have had my bobber go down so many times on a launch trip as happened on this one. I am sure not all of my misses were perch. I don't remember if I caught one cigar walleye or not and I landed 4-6 perch.
Dad and I Wendesday September 17, 2008
On this launch trip we headed a long ways to the South. We fished Anderson's Reef SW of Spirit Island. This guy Joe and his new bride were sitting in the back of the launch with us; Joe was a 1988 graduate of Bloomington Jefferson High School ( I graduated from Bloomington Kennedy in 1988)
Someone got a keeper right away at our first spot, and maybe a couple more were caught before we moved. The newly wed bride had a fish break her line in the first spot. A few small perch were also caught in the first spot.
The second spot gave up 1 or 2 fish and we made one final move before dark. We never fished deeper than 14' and we didn't really have to adjust our bobbers once they were set at the first stop. It was getting fairly dark and my bobber finally went down. I connected and landed a nice 17inch keeper walleye. I think the newly weds both got a fish each with one of them being a keeper. Since we had to make such a long ride back our trip ended before 9:30pm which was OK cause the action got very slow once it was dark. I think the launch got a total of 4 keepers (2 of which went to us) about 4 overs, and maybe 6 cigars. It was slow compared with the August launch trip, but when I get a fish I can't complain. I think both dad and I missed one bite a piece.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
On my way to the lake in the morning, I missed a right turn and was headed North on the wrong road. I kind of sensed something may be wrong and I kept looking for a sign to tell me if I was on 3 or not. I finally got to a road identification sign and I was on 4, not 3. I immediately turned around and sped back the way I had come. When I got to 3 there were two bass boats that pulled in just in front of me and sure enough, they were Bass Snatchers, so I got to the access without any more problems. I met my partner Dennis Lothspeich and got my rods and tackle loaded into his boat. Dennis and I got the boat launched into a fairly heavy fog. It had gotten down below freezing this morning and that combined with the warm water made a world of white.
Due to the fog, Dennis decided to start on a weed point right at our blast off point in front of the public access on Upper Mission. As we were waiting for blast off the Lowrance was marking fish activity on the point. I thought maybe blastoff would be delayed because of the fog, but Dennis said: "not in this club." Before blastoff they made the announcement that it was idle speed only until the fog cleared. The boats had to gather closer in for the blast off.
I think Dennis just put the trolling motor in the water and started moving us toward the weed point. By the time it was our turn we were pretty much on the spot and started casting. On his second cast, Dennis tied into a good fish on a jignpig. He got her up and into the net and it was the days big bass at 4lbs3ozs. Dennis had an awesome head start on sewing up the title "Mr. Bass", which goes to the top placing fisherman for the year. Another boat started just to the East of us and they landed a fish right away too. I was throwing a black single Colorado blade spinnerbait at first but then switched to a black/blue jignpig. I don't remember if Dennis got one more fish off the spot or not, but I didn't get anything.
After about 45 minutes of working the weed point the fog had cleared a little and so Dennis ran us to the spot we would have started on if not for the fog. This spot was on the East side of a lake and was a weedline outside of some reeds and adjacent to a weed flat. It didn't take long and Dennis landed another keeper. Shortly after that, I got my first keeper on the black spinnerbait. I believe Dennis landed another keeper. I switched my jignpig to green pumpkin like his and also tried some topwater because we did see some activity on the surface. I did miss a hit on the Jignpig and on the spinnerbait. Eventually, we worked our way South onto the weed flat and Dennis picked up two good fish on a white spinnerbait. I got a little discouraged because my spinnerbait didn't come up with anything.
The fog was totally gone now and we had been fishing this second area for about an hour, so we headed back to our first spot. I think Dennis picked up his limit fish quickly on the weed point and I got my second keeper on the green pumpkin JigNpig. I was very glad at this point to see that I could come up with a jignpig fish. We worked our way West to towards an area where another boat (Chuck Steinbauer my North Long Partner) started. I believe Dennis picked up a couple more keepers along the way. As we approached the spot Dennis was really high on Mark Munson my Serpent Lake Partner beat us to it. I did catch a pike in front of them.
It was around 10:30am and so Dennis made a planned run down to Lower Mission Lake. Dennis had a stretch of water he was quite confident in and so we went there. I had something bump the spinnerbait good but not hook up. A little while later I caught a pike. Dennis was a little discouraged that we didn't get a bass on the first pass and took us back the way we came on a second pass, still no bass.
Next, we headed to a sunken island that has some awesome looking coontail clumps on it. The book says that bass and coontail in the Fall go together like pigs and mud. As we were just getting started on this spot Dennis told me that this area didn't hold any bass for him in prefishing but it was full of pike. Almost immediately after he said that I picked up my 3rd pike, and it was a nice one, on the black spinnerbait. We worked the whole sunken island with the beautiful coontail and came up with nothing.
Dennis made the decision around 11:30 to head back to Upper Mission. The first spot we went to was by another club boat. They were working the reeds and we saw them catch a fish. Dennis had us work the outside weedline but we came up with nothing. It was sunny and around noon when Dennis pulled up and went back to the 2nd spot we went to in the morning.
I believe Dennis landed a pike then had a couple of bite offs. I may have caught a pike to, but don't remember. Dennis did get a bass or two on the jignpig before we moved up on the flat. With the sun up Dennis figured the flat would turn on but it didn't. I tried the black spinnerbait, a Red Eye Shad, Rattletraps, Baby Minus Ones, Spro shallow runners all to no avail. It was now about 12:30pm and I only had those two fish in the box so I was off the pace to get my limit for the day and I could feel the pressure start. We worked a long way down the flat when Dennis finally hooked up with a spinnerbait fish. I took the front of the boat when he went to cull and immediately hooked up with a 12inch squeaker that barely made the line. Another boat came along and told us that the fish were biting in the reeds. We decided to work our way back North on the flat and I threw a buzzbait but it just was not happening. We headed back to our starting spot.
As we worked the weed point I got a thump on the jignpig and landed a solid bass. We started working our way West and I was rewarded with 2 more keeper bass on the black spinnerbait, so I did have my limit by about 1:30pm and I was relieved, though I did want to get rid of that 12incher just in case. It didn't take long and the 12 incher was gone in favor of a totally safe 13inch fish.
We moved to a spot that Dennis said used to hold big fish but doesn't anymore, but still usually holds fish. I got one bass on the black spinnerbait that culled up slightly, then Dennis got a bass on the jig. I got another hit and the bass came up to jump, when it did my line went slack and I reeled in with nothing but the knot. Apparently, my spinnerbait must have broken in two. I did have one more spinnerbait just like the one I broke so I tied it on.
As we both had our limits and were in need of bigger fish Dennis decided to head back to the lower lake on the area that he had confidence in. Once again we did nothing on this spot, not even a bite. We then went up and worked some docks, reeds, and pads. Dennis saw a 2lber swimming around in the reeds but we didn't get any bass. I had a good strike on the 1/2oz black spinnerbait and it was a pike that was over 5lbs. Instead of having Dennis net it I was going to try and handle it boat side which was a mistake because I ended up with the spinnerbait breaking in two. That was my last 1/2oz black spinnerbait. I put on a 3/8oz black spinnerbait.
We stopped working the shore we were on and tried the area close to the channel on the North side of Lower Mission. I got a couple of keepers that didn't help and I think Dennis got a pike and one that didn't help.
Next, we worked the reeds on the West end of Upper Long. My 3/8oz spinnerbait was not heavy enough to work in these thick reeds so I switched to a double Colorado blade 1/2oz spinnerbait. While I was getting it unstuck from some reeds the top blade and swivel came off of the wire. I then switched up to a jignpig, then a Zoom Horny Toad. I got another keeper that didn't help on the Horny Toad. Soon we came to a weed flat without reeds and I switched back to the black spinnerbait. I got a fish but I don't remember if it was a pike or a little bass.
Time was now running short, so we headed back to the reed line just West of the access. We worked that for a while with no success so we called it quits.
My 6 fish weighed 10lbs 3ozs which was only good enough for 20th out of 25, but I didn't care because I got that limit. Dennis ended up with 15lbs 4ozs and came in 3rd place thus winning Mr. Bass honors with ease. Even so, Dennis did not get a limit in all 6 tournaments, missing a limit at Serpent by one fish. There were 23 limits caught by the 25 anglers and the top two weights came from the same boat, 19lbs12ozs, and 15lbs 6ozs. So everyone pretty much got clobbered by Jake Hughes. Four other anglers this year caught a limit in all 6 tournaments, so the five of us that did it set a new club record for # of guys doing it in one year.
Friday, October 03, 2008
On Thursday October 2nd I got to spend a few hours on Lake Minnewashta in SW metro fishing with BP (fuel) Fishing Pro Jim Moynagh. Jim Moynagh has won over a million dollars as a professional bass fisherman and is the most successful bass fisherman Minnesocold has ever produced on the elite levels of bass fishing tours.
Our day fishing:
We met at the Lake Miniwashta Regional Park a little before 10am and were on the water and fishing by 10:30am. We took a short boat ride down the shoreline so we could start fishing the deep edge of a milfoil covered weed flat. Jim chose to throw a Salmo Boxer Crankbait in a color that looked to be sort of bright orange.
The Boxer is a buoyant fairly large and fat crankbait and the one Jim was using dived to about 5-7' and had a straight rather than the bended lip. Jim is sponsored by Salmo.
It was just a few casts for Jim and it was "fish on." He landed a healthy 3lb plus bass. A great way to start the day. I started off using a black single Colorado blade spinnerbait with a rattle. I believe I caught the 2nd and 3rd fish but they turned out to be hammer handle pike. The wind was blowing straight onto the flat we were fishing and Jim got the 2nd bass of the day on the Salmo, it was another solid 3lb fish.
I had some items that I wanted to ask Jim about and I was more concerned about hearing the answers than fishing and that is my excuse for missing about 3 or 4 solid bites on the spinnerbait. I will do a separate blog on the topics that Jim and I spoke about while on the boat.
The fishing wasn't fast and it wasn't real slow. As we approached a point that comes off of the flat Jim tied into a solid fish, which turned out to be this 4lb bass:
Sorry about the Picture quality, it was a camera phone picture.
Jim managed to land a second bass off this point off the flat and I was getting nothing on the spinnerbait so I switched to a jignpig and did get a hit on that, but I missed it. Jim also switched up to a jigNpig missed a bite then connected with a pike. There were a lot of baitfish on this point and Jim had high hopes we would hit a good school but all we got were those two bass and a pike. Eventually we kept heading down the flat towards the access we launched at. Jim resumed throwing the Salmo Boxer. I think he landed a pike or two and I switched up to a Strike King Red Eye shad without any luck, than switched to a rattletrap that was similar in color to the Salmo Boxer that Jim was throwing. We were just about straight out from the access when I got a hit and landed a solid 2lb bass. As I was reeling in Jim hooked into another bass that was close to if not over 3lbs. I got my fish out from the boat and Jim got his close into the boat. Jim remarked that this goes to show that the fish are scattered and not bunched up in schools. We worked this area thoroughly but didn't get another fish. As we worked our way North, I think Jim got one or two more nice bass on the boxer and a pike, but I wasn't getting anything.
We tried retracing our steps and went back south, but we didn't have much action except for maybe Jim catching a pike. At this point we had about an hour and a half before I wanted to be off the water, so Jim suggested we try some pads and docks on the South end of the lake. It was pretty sunny and Jim thought the fish might want so shade.
I started throwing Snagproof frog and Zoom Horny Toad over the pads. I had a pike jump over the Horny Toad, had a small fish strike at the Snagproof frog, and had another small fish hit at the Horny Toad but not hook up. I mostly was leaving the docks we came across to Jim. He was throwing a wacky rigged All-Terrain Tackle Terrain Stick; I am unsure of the color.
We were seeing a lot of sunfish up shallow but almost no bass to speak of until Jim spotted a good fish that was just sitting out in the open in a hole in the weeds quite a ways out from the closest dock. The fish didn't even look at the Terrain Stick, but when I put the Horny Toad down there it inhaled the white toad. I set the hook and came up with absolutely nothing. Jim threw the Terrain stick back at it and this time the fish quickly inhaled it and Jim had yet another 3lb bass.
We kept working our way down the bank and Jim started pulling a few 12" to 14" bass off the docks. I started throwing a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke at the docks and missed my first pick up. I think I had one more shot at a fish underneath a boat lift, but I got hung up and had to break off. We came to the end of the bays docks and it was time to head in.
I think Jim out-fished me on bass about 10 to 1. Regardless of my lack of luck, it was a fun day on the water.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
(Art Halverson with a 31.5 Town Line Pike)
Thursday Sept 25th
I did not fish on my way up to Lutherdell Bible Camp on Boy Lake. I did see Dave Lindmarks truck and the GEM Pontoon trailer at Mule Lake. I didn't see it, but Cyberfish's red car was there too. Dave got one 19inch smallie and they caught several small pike and medium sized largemouth and Mike had a nice walleye break him off. When I got to the camp, Pastor Mike Pilla and a group of Teen Challenge guys went out on Boy; They got several little pike and a bass or two. Lowell and Gary had been up North for a few days at Broadwater Lodge on Woman Lake; They fished Woman and Mule with a few fish caught but nothing spectacular to report. Gary Schensted and Doug Bartz had spent the past several days hunting Muskie at Mantrap Lake lake near Park Rapids; They had seen a few Ski's but had not caught any. This day I was surprised to learn that almost no one had any plans of hitting Leech, which I figured would be a big draw. Also as it turns out we had plenty of boats so I did not need to take my boat out at all.
Friday Sept 26th
In the morning I was paired with GEM Camp Director Dave Lindmark and Fishers of Men Club Member Art Halverson. We were going to fish out of the GEM Pontoon and decided to head to Mule Lake. The Tournament for this day was to be total inches of your biggest Pike, Muskie, Bass, and Walleye and Mule Lake has all four species. There was also a $5 per person side pot you could get in that would pay down 3 places. I said that today I was donating, but that tomorrow I would be a threat. When we arrived at the Lake a little after 10am it was slightly overcast with a 10mph SE wind. Several other Fishers of Men boats also went to Mule. We started out by heading South, to work the area where Dave caught his big smallie the day before. On the way South we saw Gary Ellis and Mike Thompson land a fish and John Cummins and Gordy Merck net a fish.
We started shallow and Dave was soon rewarded with a small bass on a tube. I started off throwing a Strike King Red eye shad and caught a couple of small pike on that. Art was throwing a spinnerbait and chatterbait and caught some small pike and maybe a small largemouth or two. I tried topwater with a Frenzy Popper and got a couple of small bass. The weeds we were working looked really good but just didn't seem to be holding quality fish, so we moved to the West side of the lake starting at the Public Access heading North.
I hauled in a couple of small pike on the Red Eye Shad and got a 14" largemouth on a black single Colorado blade spinnerbait while the bait was falling. As we moved North Dave started getting a few Larry's on the deep weedlines with a Ring-N Tube. I was not getting much action so I switched to a tube. Dave continued to catch fish while I and Art struggled. I did manage to get one small larry on the tube before we made it to the Mule Lake narrows. As you go East into the narrows the lake becomes one big weedy shallow flat on the North East end of the lake where there are two main bays.
Around the time we entered the narrows things started to look quite dark to the North and the wind seemed to die off. After we passed the narrows I started throwing the Red Eye Shad and I landed a good bass and a few small pike. Dave continued to have success on the tube although he started to break off on a few fish. At one point Dave broke off on something like 5 fish in a row. The skies continued to get darker. I saw a school of largemouth with one smallie among them between the old access and Smallmouth Point. As we approached Smallmouth Point I spotted a 17-18 inch smallie swimming along. I think Dave got a couple of largemouths on the tube off Smallmouth Point and Art had a tremendous blow up on a Popper and caught a medium sized largemouth.
Conditions were getting right for topwater with the approaching storm and lack of wind, so I put on a Bullfrog color Frenzy Popper. All the other boats got off the lake when it looked like it was going to storm and the thunder was rumbling. Topwater was a good choice as I started nailing some fish. As we made our way into the far NE bay I got a 16.5" Larry which was my big bass of the day. We worked our way from the West shore of the bay across to the East shore of the bay to some laydown trees. I was catching bass consistently right in the middle of the bay. The bass had definitely turned on. Dave was still getting a few on the tube and Art got a fish or two but I had the hot hand.
It really started to look like we were going to get stormed on and there was plenty of thunder, but all the lightening was to our North. We had about an hour left and we decided to motor back to Smallmouth point and work our way to the Narrows. As we got to Smallmouth Point the wind came up out of the NW and it started to sprinkle, but this didn't last long and soon it was clearing up a little and calm again but looking dark to the North and West. As we worked our way to the narrows the fish shut down a bit and the hot hand once again was Dave with the tubes. I did get a couple of fish on topwater and Art landed a nice one on a small Chatterbait. We worked our way around the North Narrows Point and then it was 5:30pm and time to go. As we loaded up it got quite windy and dark but it didn't rain until we got North of Longville and it was pouring out when we got to camp.
We did not get a single smallie; Lindmark's and my big bass were only 16.5" and we both had a pike just over 20 inches.
Fishers of Men Club President John Cummins won the days tournament because he caught a largemouth, pike, and walleye. His fish were not very big but having that walleye clinched it for him. He gave the rod he won to one of the Teen Challenge guys. Gary Ellis got 2nd with the biggest bass, a 19.5" smallie, and the biggest pike of the day all from Mule Lake. Lowell Borgen came in 3rd but I don't know the size of the fish; I think he fished on Mule. Although I was down the standings I was 3rd place in the money pot and got my $5 back plus a dollar. Mike "Cyberfish" Thompson got a 19" smallie.
Saturday September 27th
Saturday was the big tournament day, because the person who caught the most inches of 3 bass and 3 northerns would be 2008 Fally Walleye winner. Fally Walleye is annual trophy that the top 3 finishers at the Fall Outing get to write their names on and the top fisherman gets to take home. In years past the race to be on Fally Walleye has combined both fishing days of the Fall Outing, but Lowell Borgen who was in charge decided to do things differently this year, so only this one day would count. Once again this day there was an optional $5 money pot which I got into.
Some people changed partners but once again it was me, Dave Lindmark, and Art Halverson in the GEM pontoon. We elected to go to Town Line Lake because it has above average size northerns and some nice bass as well. Town Line is a shallow weedy lake with lots of cabbage, bullrushes, and some slop. The weather was clear to partly cloudy with winds from 5-15mph out of the NW, there was more wind early and in the middle of the day than at the end of the day. It was definitely post-frontal conditions so we were a little unsure of how good the bite might be.
We started off in a good sized bay on the North side of lake. It did not take long and Art had himself a 20+ inch pike on a white spinnerbait. Art ended up getting cut by the pikes teeth and bleeding quite a bit. Both Dave and I were throwing spinnerbaits as well. Dave missed a fish then caught his first fish of the day. I think Art caught another fish and I kind of came to the conclusion that the black single Colorado blade spinnerbait I was throwing was not what they wanted, so I switched to a white and red buzzbait. By this time we were drifting with the wind. Shortly after making the switch a 22 inch Pike attacked my buzzbait. I think I caught one more pike and then we moved to the South shore to work the Rope Swing area.
I continued to throw the buzzbait and was rewarded with a nice bass. There was a good sized tree branch in the water and I had Dave work us towards it. I missed what was probably a small bass on the branch, when Art tied into a 31.5 inch Pike. As we worked our way to the Rope Swing Point I missed a couple of blow ups on the buzzbait. I think Dave may have gotten another pike. As we rounded Rope Swing Point I thought there was something trailing the buzzbait so I paused it for a second and then pumped it and I was hit by a nice pike. I managed to land it and it was 30 inches. Shortly after this fish I think I landed another Pike. We decided to head back over the area we had just gone over. It had become kind of clear at this point that the fish were in the thicker area's of cabbage.
On our return trip we landed some good pike and some nice bass. I think I got a 17 inch bass on this pass and Dave and Art got good ones too. At some point we decided to make a third pass on the Rope Swing Point. Action was not fast but it was consistent especially for me and the buzzbait. I added a 26 inch Pike at some point. On this pass around the point we went further South/West by a dock with a pontoon. The buzzbait got creamed by a 15 inch bass and right after that from the exact same area I had another even bigger bass strike the buzzbait. As this fish was coming in it made a hard charge around the back of the pontoon. Instead of asking for Art to net it, I tried to lift the fish out of the water a little bit so Art could lip it. I could not really see the fish and what I was doing and the fish shook and got off. I was quite unhappy that I lost a 16 to 17 inch fish by being kind of careless. We kept working our way SW and soon Lowell was coming close from the West and Gary Ellis was following in behind us. We decided to give this area a rest and headed to the NE corner of the lake.
In the NE corner of Town Line Lake there is an old Beaver Dam that holds bass and so we went to give it a shot. I switched up to a jig and casted into a spot with a few lily pads where there was a beaver path so the water is slightly deeper. I jigged it once and felt a pick up, so I set the hook and it was fish on. It jumped and it was a good one. I was relieved when we got it in the net. Art thought it was a 20incher, I thought it was 19", but it was only 18.5" but had we had a scale to weigh it I am sure it would have been over 4lbs because it was a full bodied fish. I tried to coax another fish but the water level was a little to shallow and weed choked and nothing else was there.
We started working our way West and Dave got a small bass on a popper. We some good looking water but it was not holding fish in the mid-day sun. We were over a pretty bare area and I decided to go back to the buzzbait and was immediately rewarded with a 25.5 inch Pike. This water didn't look so great and that one fish was all we got so we decided to run to a point on the North end in the middle section of the lake. Art got a couple of pike and Dave got a small bass on the popper, but for the most part this area just didn't look fishy, so we headed back to work the Rope Swing Point.
As we were working our way down the shoreline I backlashed and my line broke at the spool. I could see my line so we were able to go and retrieve my buzzbait that was catching so many fish. I retied but something happened on my very next cast and the line broke about half way up the rod. This time there was no long tail of line and the buzzbait was lost. What a bummer. I borrowed a buzzbait from Dave and did get a few pike on it, but no more bass. We worked the South shore for the rest of the day getting a few more pike. We quit around 10 to 6pm.
As it turned out this was my day and I wrapped up Fally Walleye along with winning the day 2 money pot and a rod and reel. My prediction was right on that I would be a contender on Saturday. Lowell Borgan got 2nd and Pastor Dave Kruger got 3rd to fill out the Fally Walleye honorees. They were both fish Town Line as well. I think Dave Lindmark got 4th, Art got 5th, and Gary Ellis got 6th, so Town Line was definitely the place to be.
A number of the other boats went to Mule and some nice smallmouth were caught on minnows. I think Gary Schensted got one that was 19" or bigger.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
At blast off we were boat #11 out of 12 and when it was our turn we headed East down the lake as fast as the boat would go and that was pretty fast. We ended up stopping on the Eastern Edge of a weed flat on the North side of the lake where Mark had gotten a big bass once upon a time, as we were getting into position another Bass Snatcher boat came into the same general area.
I started off throwing a pumpkinseed swim jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer and I was quickly rewarded with a fish on. It turned out to be the first of many pikes that I would catch this day. Mark started out with a spinnerbait but quickly put that down for a buzzbait in the calm conditions we were in. It didn't take long until Mark was rewarded with a nice bass. I switched to a white single spin Colorado blade spinnerbait and caught a rock bass, then a pike, then a 11 inch bass. As we worked our way west on the flat Mark caught another nice bass on the buzzbait. That was enough to convince me to go to topwater and I put on a Purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. I think Mark got another nice bass and shortly after that, I caught my first keeper of the day which was a solid 16" fish. Conditions just seemed to be perfect for topwater and anticipation of a strike was high. Mark caught a couple of more fish on the buzzbait to my nothing, so I was thinking maybe they wanted a more active bait, so I switched to a white spook. The fish did seem to like the spook better than the popper. I had a pike launch itself after the spook and miss it. Then a couple of casts later something hit at the spook and missed, then hit at it again and missed, I paused the bait then started it up again and this time the fish got it and I was rewarded with another 16" bass. Mark caught a couple of more bass on the buzzbait and reached his 6 fish limit. I caught a couple of short basses which was a bit frustrating cause a spook is supposed to be a big fish bait. After much walking the dog I did get a 14" keeper.
The wind came up and the surface bite died. Mark started throwing a white spinnerbait and started getting a few bass and pike. I tried the swim jig and the white spinnerbait. I backlashed and broke my line at the spool sending the white spinnerbait into the distance. Easy come, easy Go! I tied on another white single Colorado blade spinnerbait and got back after it. That was not getting any hits so I decided to tie on a black spinnerbait with a much bigger Colorado blade. I caught a pike very quickly on that.
We headed back across the flat to our starting spot and I nailed a couple more pike on the black spinnerbait and also had a couple of hits that did not hook up. We were working the middle of the flat and I was throwing out to deeper water when I got a solid hook up which turned out to be a nice 16" bass. A little while later doing the same thing I nailed yet another nice 16" largemouth. Things seemed to shut down after that and I was not even getting bit by pike anymore. Still, the good fish I got on the black spinnerbait gave me a lot of confidence to keep throwing it and persistence paid off as I landed my limit fish sometime around 11am. My limit fish was just a 13 incher. It was really nice to have a limit since my partner Mark's expectations coming in were quite low.
Things stayed kind of slow on another pass across the flat. Mark switched up to a jig and pig and got a bass on that. I think I landed a pike or two and then switched up to a jig and pig to give my back a break from the relentless casting and retrieving. I had a solid pick up on the jig and landed a 14" inch fish so I culled up a little. Not long after catching that fish Mark suggested that we hit some docks in search of a kicker.
We started off on some of the docks on the flat that we had been fishing all morning. As we were moving along we came to a short wooden single dock that looked like nothing. Mark cast at the dock and got a strike but didn't hook up. I made a cast at the front of the dock and saw the bass that Mark missed swim away from the dock then start to circle back in the direction of my Super Fluke. While I couldn't tell completely it looked like the fish picked up the Fluke and so I set the hook and sure enough, the rod doubled up. I didn't realize it when I saw it swimming, but as soon as I hooked up it became apparent this was a bigger fish. It put up a good fight and didn't go into the net easy, but I did land the 4lb 2oz beauty which turned out to be the tournament big bass by an ounce. Sometimes you just get a bit lucky and things go your way. This success motivated us to run the lake and hit docks for a while.
We got a few keepers and several shorts on docks, but nothing that would help. Eventually, we moved to the South side of the lake and started hitting docks there. The Southside docks were pretty dead and we eventually headed out over a flat. I got a small pike, then tied into a good fish that I was hoping was a bass. It was a bass but not as big a fish as the fight it put up. The fish was 15.25 and I ended up throwing it back, which was a mistake because I still had a 14" fish in the well but I could not find it thanks to the fact that I got mixed up when a couple of my clip-on cull tags came off of the fish. Mark has a walleye boat with one main non-divided livewell, so with 11 fish in there it was easy for me to not come up with the 14 incher after a bit of a search. I figured I had just measured wrong but at the end of the day sorting it was pretty obvious I had a 14" fish.
We headed back to the flat we started on and I caught yet another 15" bass that would have helped, but once again I did not find that 14" fish and so I let a bigger fish go. We worked the flat and caught a few more pikes. With about 30 minutes left we headed back to the launch area and tried a weedy point but didn't get anything. We headed in about 10 minutes early.
Mark thought I had his bag beat by 2-4lbs, but it turned out that he beat me by 10ozs, so I ended up in 3rd place overall at 14lbs 6ozs. First place was 17lbs 6ozs. I got plaques for Lunker and 3rd Place. It's hard to say whether or not my culling screw up cost me the 2nd place or not, Mark figured it probably did. Oh well, one place is no big deal, I am just glad it was me that got the big one.
The other rookie in the club this year did not fish for his second tournament in a row, so I locked up rookie of the year honors by just showing up.
Our last tournament is Oct 4th on Upper and Lower Mission lakes in Crow Wing County. Mark says they are great bass fisheries.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
It was still pretty dark when I arrived at the public access a little before 6AM. It was cloudy, cool but not cold, and quite windy, which had everyone a bit put off. I brought a raincoat but didn't have a bib. I was surprised that my partner Chuck's boat is one of the smaller tiller model Rangers. I had just assumed being the hardcore bass fisherman that this guy is that he would have a pretty good sized rocket ship. The boat has a non-divided main live well and a bait well, so it is actually more of a walleye rig. When we got out on the water we discovered his aerator pump wasn't working, so he kept his fish in the bait well and I had to continuously scoop fresh water into the main livewell where my fish were throughout the day. It worked out as all my fish were alive at weigh in. The tournament blast off was at 7AM and we headed for the big water in the middle basin of North Long. North Long runs pretty much East to West and has 3 pretty round bays and is not small with almost 6000 acres of water. The way the wind was blowing I thought it would be much rougher once we got into the middle basin but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
We started on a mid-lake hump where my partner had found a school of big fish. Neither of us got a bite. We then moved to another hump close by that already had a boat on it. We saw them land one fish as they were drifting their way slowly with the anchor down. We didn't get anything but weeds.
Next, we headed to a fairly protected shoreline to try some reeds. Almost right away I lost a small fish on a swim jig and that was all we got there. Next, we moved out to the weedline and on our second stop started getting some action with the noise of Brainerd International Raceway in the background. I got my first fish on a pumpkinseed Monsoor swim jig with Zoom Speed Craw Trailer. I think I next caught one or two shorts. My partner was landing keepers on a Texas rigged craw tube and I made the switch to a black/blue JigNpig. I caught two nice keepers on my first two casts. After that, the fish seemed to shut off. The wind seemed to increase while we were on that weedline. I would say it was gusting over 30.
We then hit a couple of weedline spots on the North End of the middle basin. My partner filled out his limit and I got two more keepers plus about 4 shorts on the swim jig.
Next, we headed out to the humps we started on. The clouds had started to break up and the wind came down to about 15mph instead of 20-30mph. My partner landed his best fish of the day on the first hump, but that was it. Eventually, I filled my limit and got my first cull. We then ran back to the weedline where we had caught the bulk of our fish but didn't get anything except one short for me. I don't remember where we went next, but we got nothing there. We then headed to a cabbage weed bed on the southern part of the middle basin. I caught a couple of shorts on the swim jig and Chuck got his craw tube bit off by a pike.
With about an hour left with the sun completely out and the wind died down we tried a nice looking steep break on the North end of the middle basin without any luck. Next, we headed into Merrifield Bay (the east basin) and went dock fishing. My partner was skipping a jigNpig under the docks with a baitcaster and he was sure good at it with extremely accurate casts. Meanwhile, I was struggling to get accustomed to my new St. Croix Avid Spinning rod rigged with a bass tube jig. Chuck managed to cull up slightly a couple of times and caught a couple of fish that would have helped me. On one of the docks, I made a bad cast got hung up and broke off. This allowed me to switch up to a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke which I am much more comfortable throwing around docks because the hook is not exposed. Chuck let me get the first crack at a likely looking spot and I caught yet another short. We kept moving around hitting docks. We came to a spot where there was a boat lift about 35 feet out from the end of a dock. Chuck had a fish pick up his bait and spit it, while I was casting into the shadow made by the lift. After a couple of jerks of the Fluke, I had on a 16.5" which was my big fish of the day. It was also the last fish of the day for us.
My partner weighed a respectable 13-7 which was only good enough for 7th. My partner had won the two previous club tournaments at North Long in 2006 and 2004 with weights in the 14's. The winning weight on this day was 15-11 with 2 other bags in the 15's and 2 bags in the high 14's.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear 11lbs 01oz with a big fish of 2lbs 9ozs. I thought I had somewhere just under 10lbs. From past history, I figured that 11lbs would get me a solid finish in the middle of the pack, instead on this day it was only good enough for 17th out of 24.
As I said before this is starting to get a little bit frustrating. I am catching fish from the back of the boat, but the size of fish I am catching just isn't cutting it compared to everyone else. This tournament I caught all but 1 fish on a bass jig which is known to be a bigger fish bait, but I caught my big fish of the day on a Super Fluke.
I now have a 15th, 16th, 17th, and 23rd place finishes. This tournament moved me ahead of the other club rookie, who didn't fish North Long. I am currently in 17th place and well back of 16th place and that is out of 22 people that have fished a minimum of 3 out of the 4 tournaments. (Place is figured out with the lowest score thrown out so only 3 tournaments at this point count for a person's points.)
Our 5th tournament is not until September 20th at Serpent Lake and the last tournament of the year is October 4 at Mission.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Today I was the putz holding things up. It was a bit on the warm side and I didn't want to head out in the heat. We ended up waiting till after dinner and we did not get on Sullivan Lake until after 8PM. Conditions were ideal. It was calm and overcast and things had cooled down into the high 70's.
I started us off on a reed bank that has been productive for Pike and Bass in the past. It was dead (Pete might have missed one hit and I had a weak surface strike on the black/yellow head Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog) although we really didn't get to fish some of the prime stuff because Pete was not really able to fish the heavier cover.
The sun was starting to get low so we headed over to the GOMH and I got a look at the bridge construction for the 1st time. It looked like they dammed up the channel and it also looked like there was a lot of work to be done. The rumor is that they are supposed to finish the project in late August. I have never seen so many lilly pads in the SW GOMH bay. I fished the frog and Pete fished a buzzbait and skitter pop. He was having major casting accuracy problems with the skitter pop. I managed to get a 14" Larry back in the slop and I missed one real good hit. Once again this was an area that used to be a consistant producer of more action than we saw. With the Sun basically down we headed to the PRO river mouth. The River doesn't seem to be flowing as strong as usual and the area has more vegitation than I remember it having in the past. My plan was to let Pete have things all to himself, but Pete's casting problems were keeping him from working the water so I decided to fish. I hit the prime stuff at the river mouth and didn't get any blow ups. I did get a 13.5" in some more marginal water. Pete decided to switch to a frog and we worked our way inside the river. I missed one blow up and that was it. Much to my astonishment the river mouth was a dud too.
We motored out of the river mouth and stopped at a good looking area about 50 yards out from the PRO river mouth. Pete had a blow up that didn't hook up while I was busy doing boat control as the wind had kicked up pretty good out of the SE. It was a wet ride back in.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Pete was sound asleep when I got to the "Lake Place" and it took about half an hour for him to get up. Once he did, he decided that we would put the Trophy on his car and I would bring the Explorer to Dad and Pete also wanted to organize and put a bunch of stuff away in his car and the garage. As I drove to Jenny's Dad was walking back on the road and was almost to the Lake Place. I gave Dad the Explorer and walked back to the Lake Place. I grabbed my frog rod out of the boat and went down front to throw a few casts. No luck.
I headed back up and not to suprizingly Pete was not ready to go for about another half an hour. It was after 8PM when we arrived at the Rock Lake public access. Much to our surprize when we were getting the boat ready to go in the water another boat showed up wanting to put in. This made sure we got the boat off the trailer about 10 minutes quicker than we would have other wise.
Once we were on the water the plan was to use the trolling motor and fish starting at the access and go North. Unfortunatly the trolling motor didn't run. The battery meter in the trolling motor wasn't getting any juice. We tried to clean off the contacts but that didn't do any good. It was as if the battery had completely died. While Pete was working on the battery I fired up the gas motor and we decided to go out and fish without a trolling motor.
Near the access I caught a 14.5" Larry on a black/yellow head Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog. As the sun went down we hit several good looking area's North of the access. Pete missed a couple of hits on a Chart/red Skitter Pop. It got dark in a hurry and we headed in. We maybe got to fish for 25 minutes.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Pete woke me up at about 3:30PM and asked me if I wanted to go fishing. I wasn't enthusiastic about it but I said OK. Then Pete informed me we would be going to fish Smallmouth on the Mississippi with his friend Greg Jones from Mid-West Outdoors. This perked me up quite a bit and we were out the door around 4PM.
We met Greg in St. Cloud around 5PM and headed North. Greg is a Salesmen, Editor, and TV guy with Mid-West outdoors and he is also a Mississippi River Rat. His command of the river was impressive as we ran the river at full speed even though the area we were to fish has a lot of shallow stretches. I saw a couple of eagles and a bi-plane.
I started out with a Frenzy Rattlebait, Pete tried a Strike King Rocket Shad, and Greg had on a small white buzzbait. Greg started getting some hits on the buzzbait and I switched to a swim jig. Greg kept showing us we were around fish and so I switched pretty quick to a purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. It didn't take long and I was catching fish. I think my 3rd fish was a small pike. Basically we drifted down the river until it got to dark to fish. The fish were not suicidal but the action was pretty steady. I got the biggest smallie at just under 19 inches and that was the only one we got over 18." There was a good mix of fish between 10" and 17" plus Pete got a nice Pike. I think all but 1 fish were on topwater. I swear I casted that Popper straight into the big fishes mouth cause I didn't see it hit the water and there was no swirl but the fish was on immediately.
I had a lot of fun. Greg is a really good guy and even had an interesting story about seeing a UFO on the river that looked like a flying telephone pole. Someone was with him so he has a witness. Unfortunatly they didn't get close enough to find out what they were actually seeing but it was flying and it was big.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The access we went out of is on the NW end of the lake and we headquartered out of a public beach just North of there that is right by where the Mississippi flows into Pokegama lake. Our plan was to head up the river and try to catch some big fish, but if that wasn't working to go back down into the lake and fish cabbage.
We were boat #2 out of the gate and boat #2 heading into the river. By the time we got to the spot where you can run the river at full speed, we were the #1 boat. We ran all the way past the Hwy 6 bridge to a spot Bill calls "Dogfish Corner". We started out pitching jigs and I got messed with by a small pike. I also threw some slop frogs and Zoom Horny Toads having a small pike strike on the toad. We got nothing on this spot and so we headed up the river some more to another great looking area with rice, rushes, and wood, but we could not get anything. We then made our way back down the river. The story from all the river boats was slow fishing. A few guys had some small fish. We stopped at the Hwy 6 bridge and I caught a small pike there.
Bill got his first bass in some reeds on Jay Gould Lake (at least I think that is where we were). We then headed to the lake to fish weedline/weedbeds. Bill quickly landed two keepers before I got number 1 on a watermelon tube. I don't remember if I got another keeper bass on the tube before I had a pike break it off. I put on what turned out to be a grey tube, I thought these tubes were watermelon too, but it was just the green packaging. I may have got 1 more bass off of this first spot in the lake.
Next, we hit some reeds and I missed a couple of hits on topwater. We then went to another cabbage weedline spot and Bill filled out his limit while I got to fish #4. It started to sprinkle while we were on this spot and it continued to lightly rain until the last half hour of the tournament. We headed in to try some slop and I got #5 on a Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog. Next, we worked some rushes and reeds and I got my limit fish on the Bobby's Perfect Frog.
Now with two limits in the well, it was decision time and we decided that our best shot for kickers was in the river and so we made our way back there. We started working the Power Plant area and I missed a bite that I probably should have caught on the Horny Toad as that I saw the fish wake towards the bait before it hit. It could have been a dogfish though. We turned a corner and started working into the wind. After quite a while of fishing, Bill landed a nice dark mid 3lb fish. A little while later he got some pike. Bill was pitching a jig into the weed edge and I was casting out the front of the boat parallel with the weed edge. A fish showed itself and so I was careful to cover the spot and I was rewarded with a 17.5" largemouth. We worked our way down the stretch several hundred more yards, then we turned around to hit it again. Now with the wind at my back, I was really able to cover the water. I was distracted by a boat running the river and took my eye off the Horny Toad and I missed a hit. A little while later I got a solid strike and landed another 17.5" in largemouth. That was the last fish of the day. I think if we would have gotten another hour in the river I could have caught some more nice fish.
I ended up with my best weight of the year so far with 6 fish for 12lbs 8ozs. I tied with a guy for weight and big fish and lost the coin flip tiebreak, so I ended up in 15th out of 25 guys. My partner Bill was 13th with 13lbs 5 ozs. Winning weight was 20lbs 3ozs and he spent the whole day in the river and didn't catch his limit fish until the last 1/2 hour. The guy in 2nd also fished the river all day. Big fish was 5lbs 10oz and there was one other 5lber caught.
Overall I had a really enjoyable time. It was nice that the cool overcast and rain kept the horse and deer flies away because I hear they can get quite bad in the river.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Tonight Dad and I went out on a Launch on Mille Lacs out of Eddy's Resort. The night was windy and a bit cool. Dad and I got the back of the boat which was packed with about 17 people. We ran up by Indian Point and fished in area's where the wind maybe wasn't quite as bad. Dad spent much of the night talking to Karen, or maybe it was Carol, who was from Cambriage and comes up to the Casino to gamble and fish by herself cause her husband doesn't care for it. I helped her get set up and she did catch a small walleye. A few weeks ago she got a 28inch walleye on an Eddy's launch. The guy next to me in the back of the boat caught a 24.5" Northern and a 23.5" walleye both of which had to go back due to Mille Lacs size regulations.
Dad and I both missed bites a couple of times. Dad caught a cigar walleye and I caught the only keeper for the whole launch (14inches.) The boat caught about 8 fish total and I think we did better than the other launch that was out. All in all it was a good time with Dad.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Right away Pete got an eater eye. A little while later Pete hooked up again, but as I was reeling in my line it somehow got caught up in Pete's. Pete managed to hand line it in. The fish was right at 18 inches so it had to go back. On the next trolling pass Pete and I both missed bites and then went a very long time without anything. Finally as we were back up on Sherman's point I got a 16" or so smallie. We trolled around to the North side of Sherman's where Pete hooked into a 24" eye. There was some weather coming in from the NW so we decided to troll our way back South. While still on the North side of Sherman's I popped a 15" smallmouth. Once we got to the South side of Sherman's Pete tied into a big fish. The wind was blowing pretty good and the boat turned funny and once again my line got caught in Pete's. I got the two lines separated quickly by cutting my line, but Pete was already trying to bring it in by hand and the fish got off. Pete was pretty frustrated and I felt bad.
The wind kicked up even more and it started to sprinkle, so Pete fired up the gas motor and we headed in sometime after 3am.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
We started in the West lake around an Island where Barry had found a bunch of bedding smallmouth a few days ago. I started with topwater and right away had a fish show behind the bait but it never committed. This happened twice in the first 5 minutes. The smallies had vacated the beds in this area and so we moved a little farther North on the Island. Barry caught a nice fish on a crank, but that was all we got. Next, we headed to the Upper East lake to Barry's "Honey Hole." It was a weed patch where Barry found a school of good fish pre-fishing. Barry managed to get two smaller fish on a tube.
Next, we worked a thickly weeded bullrush island. I went to use my telescoping 7'3" St. Criox Avid Flippen stick, but I had a hard time getting the rod to pull out. As I eventually got it to move a couple of maggots came up with the blank. Apparently, a fly got in there and laid some eggs making the two parts of the rod blank stick together. I did get the rod extended but didn't catch a thing.
We moved across the lake to a point with some reeds on the inside turn and I got a 13.25" and a pumpkin Monsoor swim jig with pumpkin Zoom Speed Craw trailer. From there we moved back to the West lake Island where we started and where Barry got his first fish. I got a 13.25" largemouth on a white X-Rap and jumped off a fish that was a bit bigger and also had a follow from a good fish (smallmouth???). We switched to the Island Barry's Son-in-law Joe was fishing and fished around it. We kind of wandered into the other boats hot area where Barry and I both caught a fish. The fish for me was yet another 13.25" on the white X-Rap.
Next, we fished the Eastern edge of the Island we started on. This spot featured bullrushes and reeds along a steep drop. Barry had seen lots of fish cruising this run while prefishing. I fished the area with the swim jig and started off by catching a dink and having a few small fish pull on the speed craw. As we were going along Barry got a couple of dinks and a couple of Rock Bass. I saw a largemouth that was at least two pounds pull the speed craw right off the jig, bummer.
Next, I think we went back to the East lake and didn't get a thing but one for me that was 11.75." We went back to the West Lake and fished around Joe's Island maybe catching a rock bass or two. We then headed to a weedline spot where Barry jerked up 2 keepers and then I got a 12.25" on a white Strike King Zero (Senko) fished on a mushroom head jig. We drifted the spot again with Barry getting another keeper and me landing one that was 14.25" on the Zero. We did another couple of passes but only got Rock Bass. From there we went to fish another similar weedline but another boat was on it. The days big bass, 4lbs 1oz, was caught by that boat on that spot.
Once again we headed to Joe's Island and tried to fish deep. I caught a rock bass. From there we went to the East side of our starting Island where the bullrushes and reeds were. We just about had fished the whole stretch when I got my limit fish, a 14.50" largie on the swim jig by reeds and rocks.
It was getting to be late in the day and we headed back to the East lake to try the "Honey Hole" one last time. We bounced around a couple of new spots then hit the reed patch by the Rock Tavern where we were going to have the weigh in. The reeds were a perfect match for a Horny Toad, so I started throwing it. I had a little fish hit it and managed to resist the urge to set the hook. I was working the toad through the reeds when I had a solid blow up from another 13.25" that culled out my 12 incher. I got one more good blow up on the Toad but failed to hook up and that was the end of our day. I was pleased to have gotten a limit, even if it was small.
I ended up with 7lbs 8ozs with a big fish of 1lb 9ozs which stuck me in 23rd out of 24 anglers. The only guy I beat was my Farm Island partner Herman who only brought in 3 fish. My partner Barry came in 20th, which shows me that our areas were holding below average fish this day.
The winner had a 15lb 6oz bag of smallmouth that he pretty much sight fished near shallow rocks. Our boat didn't land a single smallie all day, but Barry might have jumped one off near the end of the day. A couple of people reported catching dozens and dozens of 12-14 inch largemouth so the fish were schooled up in some places. Unfortunately, the schools that were on Barry's spots moved. Overall I had a fun day and the heat didn't get to be too bad.
After the tournament, we went to the Rock Tavern where I got to know Joe who grew up in Little Falls and sounds like he is a die-hard Mississippi smallmouth angler. He showed me a couple of his smallmouth tricks.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Pete came up on Tuesday 6/17 and we fished the night shift on 6/18 and 6/19. Pete brought up his new (used) Lund Boat and worked on it all day Wednesday. We did not get out of the door until well after 9PM. The plan was to troll or bobber fish but we forgot the leeches, so bobber fishing was out. And on the way to the ramp Pete informs me that he did not bring the power cord for his depth finder. I didn't know how in the world we were going to troll blind to the bottom, but Pete informed me that he has a GPS with the Lakemaster chip and that should do the job. I was quite skeptical and a little afraid for Pete's prop, but the thing worked great. On both nights we fished Sherman's Point till at least 7am. On Wed/Thur we fished all around the point, while on Thur/Fri we stayed on the South side. We caught fish in anywhere from 4 to 10 feet of water on little minnow crankbaits. We did not catch a single bigger walleye in the protected slot and we missed several bites both nights.
For the eye's it seemed like the inside line was better and for smallies the outside line was better.
On Wed/Thur I got 3 smallies including a 18.75" casting with a pink #10 husky jerk after sunrise. I also caught 3 eater eye's and 1 crappie. Pete got 1 eater eye, 2 cigars, 3 smallies, and 1 rock bass.
On Thur/Fri we got out later and didn't stay out as long. Pete had the hot hand catching 5 eyes, 3 rock bass, and 2 smallies, while I got 1 eye, 2 smallies, and 1 rock bass.
Katie Hayes caught the 2nd Walleye of the day and it was a keeper. The protected slot on ML this year is 18" to 28".
We fished on Eddy's Flagship which is the biggest launch on Mille Lacs. I think we had 26 people total.
I had a bite right away when I was rigging up Dad's rod. Unluckly there was no slack in the line so when I picked up the rod it pulled the hook right away from the fish. We really didn't have anymore action until after 8PM. One of the lady's went to use the restroom and she got a bite when she was in the facilities. Another person ended up reeling in her fish, but she got to keep it. The youngest fisherperson, Katie Hayes, caught the 2nd fish. Dad caught 2 walleye's that were to small and Don Weinmeister caught 3 eye's. The boat got around 4 keepers, 6 that were to small, and 3 that were to big. I ended up with the skunk.
Even though we took this launch in the middle of June, we were fishing the exact same spot we fished the 1st launch Dad and I went on last year on May 16th.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Once again my plan tonight was docks, but this time in Sullivan. Now it had been sunny out for a good part of the day, but by the time I launched it was overcast. I started at the first dock South of the access heading South. I did not get a hit until I was around the point into "Old Cabin Bay" and I missed it. My first fish was a rock bass on the bubbleguy Super Fluke. I missed another bite and saw three small keepers swimming around one dock. I also learned that Strike King Zero's which have been in the water a while become lighter and on a small hook will float.
I managed to pick up 2 or 3 dinks between docks, before I got to the Prime-Time docks. A guy came out and started fishing off one of the prime docks. I got a couple of dinks off the prime docks on the Fluke. Towards the end of the prime run I got a 14" off of a boat lift on a Chart/Black Chart 3X Craw Terminator Jig.
From there I headed into Platte to fish the North and West sides of Channel Inn Bay where I knew there was some fish. I started out in the emerging reeds with a buzzbait in the wind but that wasn't happening. Once I got to the point where it was calmer I started throwing a pumpkin Horny Toad. It was not long and I lost a leg, but shortly after that I nailed a 14" bass. While I was waiting for the Super Glue to cure I had a miss on the River2Sea Bully Wa Frog black/chart nose. I threw back to the spot and was rewarded with a 15" bass. At the NW cut I got a 16.5" on the pumpkin Horny Toad. Working South on the West shore I got a hammer handle and a 15" on the Horny Toad. It was comming up on 9PM so I headed to the PRO.
I had a few weak hits at the PRO on the Frenzy Popper and Horny Toad but nothing hooked up. I headed out at 9:15pm to beat the Tourny guys in since the PRO was being a bust.
I ended up with 10 or so bass with about half being dinks and 1 Pike.
The Tourny guys all seemed to do alright and most beat what I caught for the night. The biggest bass was 18.5" with one other at 18" and about 3 that were 17+, lots of little pike, a few 8" sunfish, 1 small walleye, and a 26" and 27" dogfish. I talked to the guy who got the big bass and he got it on a spinnerbait. It was a good night to be throwing a spinnerbait with the breeze and overcast.