Monday, October 20, 2008

Shore Today

I wasn't going to go but then sometime after 5pm I changed my mind and headed out.

Bulldog- Nothing

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

The Trophy at Rock

I tore myself away from the wild Vikes/Bears game at half time and took the Trophy (that's my boat) out to Rock lake. It was sunny calm and about 65 degrees which had the Asian lady beetles out in force. Visions of schools of big bass were dancing in my head as I shoved off by 2pm. I started on the trolling motor working North to the Rock Platte River Outlet Mouth (RPROM). I was trying different baits: Subwalks, Spinnerbaits, Poppers, Spro Frogs and JigNpig. I could see fish activity on the surface and missed a hit on a spinnerbait right away. I didn't get another bite until I was toward the end of the reeds when I missed two good strikes on the Spro frog in the reeds. I don't think they were big fish but it was a hopeful sign.

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.

Shore 10/18/2008

Bulldog- Nothing

Rock- Nothing

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

Mille Lacs Fall Trolling 10/14 into 15 with Pete

I really don't even know why I am bothering to blog about this all night fishing trip because it is one I would just as easy rather forget.

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

Out in the Trophy on Rock

I arrived at access at Rock around 3pm and was surprised to see a boat trailer and a car. The guy with the car was fishing off the access for Sunfish. He said he was catching them at first, but since 1pm they had shut down. As I was getting the boat ready to launch he left.

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.

Shore Again 10/7/08

I had a very small bass (under 10 inches) bite at the grub on a swim jig and that was it for Bulldog.

Rock Lake:
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

Shore Nuff

Monday October 6th

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.

Rock Lake
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

A Couple of Eddy's Launch Trips

Lakeview Church 8/12/2008
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

Snatcher Mission Lakes

I had one goal going into this tournament and that was to catch my 6 fish limit so I would have caught a limit in all 6 tournaments on the schedule. Accomplishing this goal would be a mark of distinction especially fishing from the back of the boat. Up until this year in the 31-year history of the Baxter Bass Snatcher Club, a total of only 7 different anglers had ever caught a limit in every tournament in a season and those 7 did it only 16 times. I was pretty hungry to achieve this goal and at 1pm with only 2 keepers in the well, I began to feel the pressure. Did I rally or fall flat? Read On

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

A Day on the Lake with Jim Moynagh

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.