Sunday, May 31, 2009
(Grumpy Old Man Willard shows off the pike he caught on a spoon)
Today Willard, Lee Ander and Lewis were all at the Grumpy Old Man Hole.
The plan was to try a repeat of Friday night where I would catch the bullheads in a feeding frenzy before a storm came through. It didn't quite work out that way.
I think I headed out around 4PM and when I arrived the NE & NW sides were covered leaving me to fish on the South (Sullivan) side into a wind that was blowing in at 20 and gusting to 30mph. I did manage a small toothy bullhead before I lost my 3/16oz white Strike King spinnerbait to a Norman Speed Clip malfunction when I backlashed. Fishing spinnerbaits with Norman Speed Clips isn't the smartest thing in the world to do. After about 20 minutes the guy fishing the NE side left and so I snapped that casting spot up. I caught a couple of quick jumpin bullheads on the Lost Jig. At some point Lewis showed up followed closely by Willard. Action was kind of slow but I would get a bite every now and then. It sprinkled for a spell and the wind switched out of the NW at about 7mph. I hooked into a decent 22+ inch toothy bullhead and gave it to Willard. I got a bullhead on a blue Brovarney Swim Jig as I was reeling it over the rice, so I went and gave a Zoom Horny Toad a try. I had a few little bites on the Toad but nothing to set the hook into. Eventually Lee Ander showed up and it started to rain. Since I wasn't catching much I went into the truck to sit things out. After about 20 minutes the rain slowed down and Willard went fishing and got his pike. With the rain about stopped I went out and fished with the Horny Toad again not having any luck. I switched up to using the Spro Rojas Popping Frog for the 1st time. I got a few hits but only hooked up with 1 14" jumpin bullhead, most of the strikes I got were pretty weak and either from little jumper or a small toothy or two. I caught a 3rd small toother on the Lost Jig and eventually put a gold Berkley Frenzy Popper on when things got calm and I nabbed a few jumpin bullheads on that. I got hungry so I left at 8PM even though it was really nice out and I could have probably continued to catch some fish.
All in all I ended up with 12 jumpin bullheads and 3 toothy bullheads.
On to Mille Laction:
I was hungry and we didn't have anything much to eat at home so I went to the local Bar and Grill, but their restaurant was closed, so I headed to Onamia to the Cedarwood, but they were closed so I went to DQ. Since I was close to Mille Lacs I figured I would hit up the Eddy's Jetti to try and bag me a smallmouth as it got dark. The smallmouth on Mille Lacs tend to turn on at dusk and dawn. It turns out I made a good choice because I nailed a 18.75 smallie and a 17.75 smallie on a 3/16oz white/chart with chart blades Strike King spinnerbait. Unfortunately I took the camera out of the car when I went home before I went out to eat.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Tomorrow I have my first Baxter Bass Snatcher Tournament of the year, so I took a short trip this morning and then spent the rest of the morning into noon organizing my tackle to be ready to go for tomorrow. I got it in my head that I would take a trip to the GOMH tonight to see if I might be able to catch a few bullheads. A little before 5PM I noticed on the weather map that it looked like showers were closing in and I thought I better get going before the rain hits, it never did rain. I grabbed a couple of rods I will not use tomorrow along with having my rods and tackle for tomorrow in the truck.
When I arrived at the GOMH, Grumpy Old Man Lewis was there and he wasn't fishing as usual. I set up on the SE side (Sullivan Lake) with the Lost Jig and a white 3/16 Strike King spinnerbait. The wind was coming in out of the SW pretty good and current was flowing at a good clip North into Platte Lake. It wasn't long and I had my first bullhead on the Lost Jig. I followed that with several more than switched to the spinnerbait and caught a couple more, then I switched back to the Lost Jig and got a couple more then things died down, so I decided to switch to the NE side (Platte Lake). I think I had 7 jumpin bullheads at this point. As I was walking up to the road Grumpy Old Man Willard showed up. Once on the NE side I immediately started catching more bullheads on the Lost Jig. After that action slowed I switched to the spinnerbait. It wasn't long and I was up to 20 jumpin bullheads and I decided since they were going pretty good, I would try a gold Berkley Frenzy Popper. The jumpin bullheads were on that like white on rice. I was getting a hit basically every cast and I got a couple of Derby Fish (17.50"1st picture& 17.25"). Most of the fish were 12"-14" with an occasional smaller, but nothing in the 15 & 16 inch range. At some point the current switched directions and started flowing into Sullivan, the bite just kept on going. I was having a blast, I landed close to 30 fish on the popper and had numerous blow up misses. Eventually things slowed on the popper, so I went back to the Lost Jig and landed another Derby fish (17.50" 2nd picture) but things were slowing down. I got the bright idea to go to the truck and try out some of the stuff I will be throwing tomorrow. I got a couple of jumpin bullheads on the first thing I tried, then 3 boats came through and the action just stopped. I gave the SW side a shot and caught 2 small toothy bullheads on a blue Brovarney Swim Jig with junebug Zoom Speed Craw trailer. By 8PM I couldn't buy a bite and left.
I caught at least 57 jumpin bullheads and 3 toothy bullheads. It was AWWWWWWWWWWWN!!!
I think there is zero chance I would have done anything close to what I did if I had been in the boat tonight.
Due to the fact that I have a tournament tomorrow, I took a short hour and 15 minute trip this morning (8:15-9:30AM). I would have been out longer but I didn't get out of bed until an hour and a half after I had my alarm set. I basically went back and fished a stretch of water that I fished last night and like last night I was flinging a funky chicken Super Fluke. Water temp was down to 59-60 and the air temp was around 50 degrees with sun and almost no wind. I was working docks but got my first bass (13") casting out into the lake. The 17" came out from under a boat lift on a dock that had a small dogfish nesting and tons of baitfish on it. I saw 1 other small doggy on a nest.
The 17" is my first entry for the Bass Pundit Minnesocold Bass Bloggers Derby 2009 . It is sad and pathetic that it has taken me 9 days of open bass fishing to get a single 3lber.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tonight ended like last night started, missed fish and an blue/black Outkast Swim Jig lost to a pike. This is not the way I want to head into my first tournament of the year.
I started out on docks on the North end of the big middle bay on Platte. I started out by seeing lots of sunfish activity. Water temps were up from 58 yesterday to 63-64 tonight. I did get a little bit of action from small bass on the docks and in between docks either in reeds or on the inside weedline. I saw a low 20 inch dogfish on a bed. I tried to get it to take the Fluke and it bit at it but didn't suck it in.
In between a certain dock I got a decent bass then dumped one about that size of bigger, then I caught another decent bass under the dock which got caught in some fishing line that was caught in a boat propeller on a boat lift. I got the line off of the prop and the lady at the place thanked me. On the next dock I missed a good bite. Then I missed a couple of good bites on the inside weedline.
The sun was basically down, so I ran to a spot in the reeds where there is some thicker weed growth where I caught a couple of bass the other day. I am not sure if this thick patch is some maidencane or just reeds. I made a cast with the Herb's Dilly buzzbait and had something waking behind it. I let the buzzbait sink and a big dogfish whacked it and then went berserk. The dogfish went into a spin and the hooks came loose but it was lassoed. I went for the net but it made a run and got off. I am guessing it was a minimum of 26 and maybe as big as 28". I wanted that doggy. I cast a black/blue Outkast Swim Jig to the back of the weed clump and hooked into a medium small bass but as I got it to the boat it jumped and got off, not long after that I lost the jig to a pike.
I started throwing the Herb's Dilly Buzzbait in the reeds and just like last night had a fish, which I think was a big bass, just clobber it and then bury me in the reeds and get off. The reeds in this particular spot were not that thick. I think the lesson is that my medium heavy Shimano Crucial is not really heavy enough to fish the buzzbait in the reeds. When I throw the Dilly in the Reeds I'm going to need to put it on a flipping stick.
What a lousy way to end the night.
I recorded 9 bass but I think I caught more than that. Of the one's I recorded 5 were over 12" and the night's big bass was 15.5". I counted 7 missed opportunities, probably bass, and that is excluding the dogfish and pike bite off. I think I caught a pike but didn't record any, so maybe I didn't get one.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tonight I fished from 5:45 to 9:15PM sky's were cloudy all day but cleared right before I went out. There was a 10mph NE wind that diminished around 8:30PM. I spent the night on the North and Northwest end of Platte Lake. I started in reeds with a maidencane bed, worked my way into a shallow bay with sparse pads and wild rice, fished another area with reeds and maidencane, and ended in a reed bed with rice and pads on the inside edge towards shore.
Things did not start out very well for me I missed a bite, dumped a nice bass, caught a 13.25 bass, had a Outkast Swim Jig bit off, dumped another good fish, had another Outkast Swim Jig bit off, missed another bite, caught a 21.25 pike, missed another bite, then dumped another nice bass that flipped me off on a jump and missed another bite.
Things finally turned around when I caught a 13.25 bass on the blue/black Outkast Swim Jig with Junebug Zoom Speed Craw trailer. Then I nailed the 28.5" pike in the picture on a straight legged Zoom Horny Toad. I had another solid bite from a good fish on a Horny Toad but didn't get a good hookset and lost it. I switched up to a Herbs Dilly buzzbait and caught a couple of pike that way. I had a good fish just annihilate the Dilly but I lost it in the reeds. I got a couple more pike on the Outkast Swim Jig.
With the sun going down I made a move West and caught a couple more 12 inch bass; One on the Herb's Dilly and one on the Outkast. I think the last fish of the night was a 21.25 pike.
By my count I missed at least 12 solid bites with 2 of those being bite offs. I caught 4 bass and 7 pike.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Conditions: Overcast with a N NW wind 5-10mph. Time of Day: 4-9PM
Today I got my first bass before I even left the dock. For some reason when I tied on a gold Berkley Frenzy Popper I decided to try it out even though there was a pretty good cross wind and chop at the dock. On about the 3rd cast it got smoked by a preggo 16" largie. I thought for sure it was going to be a pike when it first struck.
I got the boat started and headed to Sullivan Lake to fish the Platte River Mouth and the Sullivan Platte River Outlet (SPRO) area. The river mouth did give up a couple of bass on the Frenzy Popper and I think I missed a bigger fish in the river when the popper hung up on a lone lilly pad.
Next I worked the North SPRO which is a huge weed flat with wild rice, pads, cabbage, and a little curly leaf pond weed. The rice isn't to high or thick yet so I could get away with subsurface baits. Some of the shallow area's Pete and I caught fish in on Sat. didn't give up anything. I had to move off the bank. The most productive lures were a blue/black Outkast Swim Jig with junebug Zoom Speed Craw trailer and a black/chart DM Custom Baits Piranha chatterjig. The bass seemed to be scattered on the flat and I couldn't really tell if they were relating to anything particular. There was a surprising lack of pike as I only caught 2 in a full pass and 3/4. Once I got around the North corner at the end of the pads I moved in close to shore and got some fish on a Horny Toad in the calm stuff.
I went back for a second pass into the river going into it about 1/2 way to the dam. I picked up some 11-13" bass, no pike. From there I went onto the flat for 1 more pass. Towards the end of the pass I got the 16.50" which is pictured. It took the Outkast Swim Jig.
It was after 8PM when I headed back to Platte to fish the NW end of Channel Inn Bay. I started a little south of the NW cut and was rewarded with a fat 15.5" on a Herb's Dilly Buzzbait. I didn't get anything in the cut, but got a 16" on the Herb's Dilly at the start of the reeds on the point. The wind made fishing the old reeds difficult. I had a bite on a Monsoor Swim Jig and missed it. A couple of casts later I got hung up, I don't think a fish did it, and I was putting quite a bit of pressure on the line and my 30lb Powerpro broke. Not Happy! and that's how I ended the day.
I got 2 pike, one of which was 24". I caught 24 bass with 15 of them being over 12". The biggest 5 were 16.5,16,16,15.5, and 14.75 so this was my best outing of the year so far, but still no 3lbers.
I started out by running to the back end of the bay a little East of where the shallow creek comes in. I started by throwing a yellow/brown buzzbait and was quickly rewarded with a 21.75" Pike. I switched to a Zoom Horny Toad and had a pike bite off the legs. I got a 12" bass where there is some brush in the water. In this corner I got another couple of pike including a 25.5 on the buzzbait and another bass or two. I think I also had a dogfish follow.
I worked my way North making one long drift to Loon Sex point, but like I said the pad flats were barren and the point didn't give up anything. I drove back to my starting spot and hugged the shore North getting a few bass and pike, missing some fish as well. There was a stick away from shore where I got a preggo 15" bass and a 13" may have been spawning or very late pre-spawners. As it got dark the action faded and I left.
After Pete caught a 17+ Largie in a big reed bed last night I made that my starting spot. About 1/3 to 1/2 of the reeds were exposed to the wind. Also of note is the reeds in this bed are not old growth but new growth sticking 1 to 2 feet above the water. For the most part their were not any areas where the reeds were super thick and close together although areas that seemed to hold a higher concentration of reeds seemed to hold the fish.
I started out using a 1/2oz all white Strike King spinnerbait but that didn't produce a thing. I might have gotten 1 smaller bass on a 3/16oz white Strike King Spinnerbait. The lure that did almost all the damage in the reed bed was a brown/blue Outcast Swim Jig with green Berkley Powerbait Grub trailer.
One of my first fish was this nice 26 inch Pike:
I think it was the only Pike I got in the reed bed.
This 16.5" bass was my biggest out of the Reed Bed and I think for the entire weekend:
Obviously there were some fish in the big reed bed but I didn't find any good concentration and the fishing was steady but slow. It also didn't help that I missed several bites. I did lose 1 nice bass that was hooked up and jumped.
On my first pass in the reeds I tended to stay closer to shore and on the 2nd pass I stayed towards the outside edge not getting anything.
Next I moved towards the shoreline where are cabin is starting a 1/4 mile East of our place near the dock and weeds Pete caught one of his 3lbers last night. This area was protected from the wind. I started out throwing a black/chart DM Custom Baits Piranha with watermelon Yamamoto Swim Senko as a trailer. The pike seemed to like it and I pulled in a nice one real quick then I missed a couple. I switched over to a Zoom Horny Toad and got a mix of bass and pike. When I got over by Jenny's the fish seemed to shut off and I don't think I got a bite from Jenny's to our place.
For the morning I got 5 pike and 8 bass, 6 of the bass where 13" or bigger and the other two were just under 12". One pike was 11 inches and the rest were over 22".
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Today I prefished Cedar lake West of Aiken in Aiken County for my Baxter Bass Snatchers with my boater for the tournament Adam. Cedar is a lake with lots of bays, plenty of undeveloped shoreline and varying water clarity. Most of Cedar is deep water and medium depth weed flats are seemed to be almost non-existent. Most of the time we were either in fairly shallow water or on a steep break near shore. I think we are hitting this lake a little too early because of it's depth the grass is late blooming and so cover right now is pretty scarce or last years growth.
We covered a lot of water and saw more fish than we caught which isn't saying much. We saw quite a few crappies which looked like they were bedding, but very little bass bedding activity but there were some. The sunfish seemed to be scattered and not very abundant. I also saw quite a few pike and 1 muskie.
I caught 3 small keepers and 1 dink and 2 pike. I missed several strikes on the Zoom Super Fluke which I assume probably were pike because they were swirling on it and not hooking up which is rare for bass but common for pike. I caught all the keepers on a swim jig.
Assessment: If it is a good bass lake it didn't show it today, maybe if the grass was farther along that would make a big difference as there would be some good pad and reed area's and even a little rice. We did talk to a boat that was bass fishing that said the fishing on the lake was much better yesterday, so maybe the cold night pushed em back.
For the tournament their will be heavy doses of jigs, Zoom Super Flukes, and Zoom Horny Toads. I eliminated hard jerkbaits and hard topwaters because there really won't be good water for these things. I don't anticipate using spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, or chatterjigs unless there is significant wind. There wasn't much wind today and there is a very good chance you are fishing at least semi protected water because of the many bays.
Since I got 3 keepers when we were covering and eliminating water I think there is a good chance I will get a limit, but size is a real concern.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
My first and only bass which was caught on a brown/blue Monsoor Swim Jig with Watermelon Zoom Speed Craw trailer that was soon lost to a toothy critter.
This is a quality bass Pete caught. He got 2 that were bigger including this 18 incher.
Pete's big bass pattern was a pink Terminator Spinnerbait near reeds.
Oh coarse it was Pete. Apparently his dog Sandy must have heard me pulling out of the driveway and started barking, that or she desperately needed to be let outside because of the runs. Anyway Pete was on his way with Sandy who would come along with us.
I am pretty sure we were underway to the Sullivan Platte River mouth by 5:30. As we got a clear view of the area it looked like we were going to be the boat with first crack, however, when we arrived at the mouth there was another boat already 75 yards into the river. Ohh well, beat to the spot yet again.
It didn't take long and Pete had the 1st bass on a buzzbait.
I tried a Horny Toad and Strike King Pure Poison chatterjig over some of the river mouth sweet spots but couldn't get a fish. I did hook up with my first bass when we had moved a little East of the mouth on the North Shore line.
Here is #1 for Me
I was kind of lucky to catch the 14 incher because I was using a brown/blue Monsoor Swim Jig with green pumpkin Zoom Speed Craw and I got distracted by something and let the jig fall slack. When I picked it back up there was weight on the line, so I set the hook and BAM first bass of the season. For the next several hours Pete and I worked the weed flat I call the Sullivan Platte River Outlet(SPRO). We fished from about a foot of water to maybe 5 feet deep amongst emerging pads, wild rice, some curly leaf pond weed, and cabbage. Pete's hot bait was a pink Terminator spinnerbait which caught him our biggest bass and a 27 inch pike. Pete ended up with 20 bass with one close to or maybe over 17" as the biggest.
We took the picture but didn't measure it.
As for myself I probably threw a Zoom Horny Toad most, then the Monsoor Swim Jig, then a white/silver 3/16oz Strike King Spinnerbait catching fish on all of them. It was not a good morning for big fish as my biggest bass was 15.75" and I think I got it on the Horny Toad. My biggest 5 were 15.75", 15.5", 14.5", 14.25" and 14". I caught 12 bass 12 inches or bigger, 9 bass between 10" and 11.75", one dink at 8.5" and I had 3 bass that I long lined released close enough to the boat to count. That puts my tally at 25 bass and 1 Pike.
We headed back in at 11am and the morning water temps were 60-61 degrees. Our best action was before 9:30AM.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Tonight my buddy Pete showed up around 5:30PM and we were on the water around 7:30PM. The plan was to only use the trolling motor and stay close to the cabin, basically fishing to the East past Jenny's and then back.
Even though I had a big head start in casting, Pete nailed the first two pike. Pete wanted to keep fish and kind of gave me the impression he knows how to get all the bones out of pike, turns out he really didn't (Pete says he made no such claim). When he filleted the 4 fish we kept I think he did each one a little differently depending upon what we read and saw on the internet.
I only brought 2 rods out with me and the DM Custom Baits Piranha was not stoking any action so I switched up to the brown/blue Monsoor Swim Jig with green pumpkin Zoom Speed Craw trailer. It wasn't long after I made the switch when I came up with my 1st fish which was a 12inch or so bass. I think my next fish was a pike, then I went on a streak of bass and missed bites. Just like last night we were fishing an old reed bed and over the top of young of the year short growth wild rice beds. Pete mostly caught pike on a small muskie spinnerbait called an Eagle Tail. It was a very pleasant night to fish. I think I ended up with 7 or 8 bass and 3 pike with about 7 or 8 missed bites. I think the biggest bass was 14.5." I pretty much went through what was left of the green pumpkin Zoom Speed Craw trailers, so now I am out of that color.
Pete caught about 6 pike and 2 bass and missed the biggest bass of the night.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Today I learned that that my Bass Club, the Baxter Bass Snatchers, are not getting together for Bass Opener on Platte/Sullivan lakes this year. Kind of a bummer cause I was looking forward to it.
Anyway I spent a good part of the afternoon organizing tackle for use out of "The Trophy" which is the boat I have access too. I was on the water shortly before 6:30PM and the motor started on the first pull, which was a blessing because the wind was blowing in at the Platte Lake public access and so I was able to get off the trailer and not get blown right into shore. I realised I forgot the camera before I started fishing, so no pics from tonight's voyage.
The Platte Lake public access is on the Peninsula between Channel Inn Bay to the South and the Big Western Bay to the North. I just drove down a little ways to the point and started drift fishing down the point because the wind was favorable to do that. My first fish was a largie on a DM Custom Baits Piranha chatterjig. I got this 13 incher close to a dock. I didn't get another bite until I was around the point and pretty much out of the W NW wind. My second bite was a 19 inch Pike also on the Piranha.
Around the end of the point I was fishing is a reed bed and I spent a lot of time fishing the old reeds with a brown/blue Monsoor Swim Jig with green pumpkin Zoom Speed Craw trailer and the Piranha. The fish preferred the swim jig. I caught a bunch(11) of 11" to 16.5" bass and got 4 small pike and had one jig stolen by a pike.
As the sun was going down I ventured into the North end of Channel Inn Bay and started throwing a purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. My temp gauge said 61 degrees so you would have expected this bay to be teaming with life with an aggressive topwater bite but it was pretty dead. I didn't get a bite on the popper until I approached the little cut in the NW corner of the bay; The fish was yet another under 20" pike. I cast into the cut and had something swipe at the popper. A couple casts later I think I had a dogfish follow and strike but I didn't hook up and I couldn't get it to hit on anything else.
I started throwing a white spook in hopes of getting the doggy to bite that but it didn't work, so I moved away from the cut throwing the spook. I hooked up with 3 more bass on the spook and had a couple of misses before I switched up to the Monsoor Swim Jig; I caught a couple of bass on that and had my Speed Craw claws stripped twice. I called it a night around 9:30PM.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I arrived at the GOMH around 6:20PM and talked a little with Grumpy Old Man Lee Ander, he didn't have any luck. There were people fishing the SE and NE sides so I took the SW. On my first cast I had a toothy bullhead hit the gold DM Custom Baits Piranha a couple of times but it didn't hook up. I know it was a toother because the 2nd time it hit it was right by shore and I saw it. I ended up getting 2 jumping bullheads and a toothy bullhead on a brown/purple Monsoor Swim Jig and missed a few hits. Around 7PM I switched to the NE side and caught 2 more jumpin bullheads on the Monsoor jig. One of the bullheads was pushing 17 inches and preggo. By 7:15 I was off to make other stops.
At Bulldog I cast the Monsoor Swim Jig right on top of a very good fish. It hit immediately and pulled extremely hard for the 5 seconds I had it on. The way it ran I'm guessing it was a pike. That was all for Bulldog and I gave it a good work out staying much longer than I normally do.
Next stop as usual was the Rock Dock. The wind laid down and the mosquito's came out. I missed a couple of bites on the swim jig and eventually caught a small largie on the gold DM Custom Baits Piranha. I left Rock a little after 8PM.
Next stop was Jenny's. I had something tug on the Monsoor Swim Jig Zoom Speed Craw trailer but it felt small. A couple of casts later the Swim Jig was annihilated by a 27 inch pike; After a brief but hard fight I was able to land it. I did a round of casting with the gold Piranha because I can chuck that thing 20 feet past what I can do with the Swim Jig but came up empty.
I decided to hit up our dock on Platte. I made a cast across to the neighbors dock and was bringing the swim jig across some old weed growth when a fish nailed the jig. I thought it was a good bass but it buried me in the weeds and then cut my 30lb Power Pro, so 99% chance it was a pike. I made a round of throws with the gold Piranha and missed one bite.
It was pushing 9PM and I had calls to make, but I decided to hit the GOMH up one more time. I put on a brown/blue Monsoor Swim Jig with Green Pumpkin Zoom Speed Craw trailer and went to the NE side. I got 2 jumpin bullheads and a small toothy bullhead. I called it quits at about 9:20PM.
Yesterday it was over 90 degrees in the Twin Cities. Up here just 90 miles North we didn't make it out of the low 60's and by the time I went fishing after 7PM it had dipped below 60's and by the time I quit fishing around 9PM it was down to 50 degrees with wind chill. OUCH!
I started the night by heading to the GOMH. For the 1st time in a long time no one was fishing the evening bite when I got there. I started on the SW side and missed a couple of bites. I switched to the SE side and caught the little toothy bullhead in the picture on a brown/purple Monsoor Swim Jig. A little after 8PM I headed out to make some quick stops even though the wind was out of the NE which is a sucky direction for my usual haunts except the SE side of the GOMH.
Rock Dock- Nothing
I stopped at the Platte Lake place to take a picture of the dock and I got a few casts in catching a hammer handle on my last cast with the Monsoor Swim Jig.
Next it was back to the GOMH NE side. I got a 3rd small toothy bullhead again on the Monsoor Swim Jig and 2 jumpin bullheads including a nice 16"+ male on the Monsoor Swim Jig. Tonight I had several bites that never hooked up and 1 more toothy bullhead that was bigger than the 3 I got but still not very big that got off.
Man do I hope the weather improves a bit, today was a bad joke.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Next I was off to Bulldog where I sacked this hefty 16.75 inch largie.
As you can see in the 2nd picture I caught it on a brown/purple Monsoor Swim Jig with brown grub trailer. I may have gotten one more bite, but I am not totally sure. If Bulldog gives any fish it is a bonus.
Next I headed to the Rock Dock where dinks were the order of the day.
I got 3 little bass (1 brn/prl Monsoor Swim Jig, 1 orange/chart X-Rap, 1 silver Piranha). It was getting close to 8PM when a guy and a gal came by wanting to fish, so I let them have the dock. Apparently they had hit a few spots without much luck, he said he lost a big pike at Lake Shakopee.
Next I went to Jenny's and started by throwing the Monsoor Swim Jig. I had a solid hit but it got off. A few casts later I caught a small bass. On a long cast straight out I had another bite that didn't hook up. A few casts later and I caught this pike.
The pike nicked the line and when I went to get my scissors to retry I discovered my scissors were gone; I must have put the scissors on the car bumper when I tied on the Monsoor Jig at Rock Lake yesterday. I decided to take a few more casts then go back and see if I might be able to find the scissors. I was now throwing the silver DM Custom Lures Piranha and I had a fish nail it but get off. 5 bites at Jenny's is about as good as that little shore spot gets. After a couple more casts I went to find the scissors.
I didn't have any luck finding the scissors but the guy and girl were still at Rock Lake and I asked if he had a pair of scissors so I could retie. The nicked line was 30lb braid and the line cutter on my pliers won't cut braid. He did have some scissors and while I was retying he said he caught a keeper size crappie and they saw a couple others. The guy ended up giving me the scissors because he had several of them that he bought at the dollar store. I think leaving right away and letting them fish the dock might have been a factor in his generosity. I am so glad to have a replacement pair of scissors.
Since Jenny's was so productive I made the call to hit up the shore at my parents lake place on Platte Lake. It didn't take long throwing the Monsoor Swim Jig and I was battling with a good pike that jumped 3 feet into the air. I landed it and it was just short of 24 inches. A few casts later and I was hooked up with another pike that was at least as big, maybe an inch or two bigger. I got the pike most of the way in when I saw the jig was back in the pikes mouth. Sure enough it sawed me off before I could get it on shore. I made casts down to Jim's dock with the Piranha but didn't get any more action.
It was fairly dark when I arrived at the GOMH and I gave the Piranha a try on the SE side. I got 3 bites but didn't convert any of them. I decided to quick tie on another brn/prl Monsoor Swim Jig and tipped it with a pumpkin Zoom Speed Craw. I got a couple of hits on that but didn't connect with a fish. It was dark and after 9PM when I left.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I think I missed a bite right away on a brown/purple Monsoor Swim jig with brown grub. My next round of fan casting was done with a silver DM Custom Lures Piranha chatterjig and I got a bite from a little bass. I was going to take it's picture for the Bassholes May Dink Contest because it was even smaller than one I caught earlier this month. While I was going to get the picture sheet out of the camera case I was going to dip the little guy in the water and when I did that it got off, bummer. However, I was pleased not to be skunked even if it was a dink.
After a little while Grumpy Old Man Willard showed up. I had told him I was headed to the Rock access and he was hoping to get a pike from me. Apparently he had a close call with a guy and kid riding on an ATV, if Willard hadn't have been going fairly slowly he would have hit them. I put on the "secret weapon" orange/chart X-Rap but couldn't get a sniff. I cycled through several lures snagging a small sunfish on the watermelon Dead Stick Rogue that I caught the bass at Rock on yesterday. I was just about to give up with a last round of fan casting the brown/purple Monsoor Swim Jig when I had a solid hook up. It was a hard fighting pike and I got it most of the way into the dock when it took a hard run and got off. I went to tell Willard who was in his car that I just missed catching his supper. When I was talking with Willard I noticed that the jigs hook was no longer there. Sure enough this is the 2nd Monsoor Swim Jig hook I have had fail on me this week. The first time it happened the hooks wire looked clean, but this jig definitely had some rust issues. I will now do careful hook inspections on my Monsoor Swim Jigs when I use them in tournaments. I ended up trying a couple more things then split. Willard left shortly after I misse the pike.
Next I headed to Jenny's where I threw the silver DM Custom Lures Piranha. I got smacked 3 times with a swirl on one cast but didn't hook up. I threw right back to the area and hooked up with this 22 inch pike.
I did end the day at the GOMH and Lantern Man and John W. were there. Apparently they were going to try for golden bullheads after dark. It was pretty dark when I got there and I only got 1 small jumpin bullhead on the Piranha.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Nothing at Bulldog.
At the Rock Dock I didn't have any success right away. When I arrived it was calm and the sun had come out, but that didn't last long. It clouded up and a West wind started up, still I didn't have any luck until I started twitching the orange/chart X-Rap. The first bite was this 25 inch pike.
This pike fought like a 30+ inch fish going on several hard runs. About 5 minutes later I nailed a 19" pike on the same X-Rap.
I cycled through a few more lures and got my first bass on the Dead Stick Rogue that I bought on Ebay this Winter.
I tried for about 15 more minutes and then headed to Jenny's.
I didn't get a thing at Jenny's, so I headed to the GOMH. When I arrived at the GOMH there were no shore fisherman, but a boat was sitting close in on the SE side so I started on the SW side. While the boat was still there I got a jumpin bullhead on the black/chart DM Piranha. After the boat left I got one last toothy bullhead for the day and several more jumpin bullheads. The wind really started to blow and it was 50 degrees so I gave up a little earlier than usual.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
When I arrived at Mille Lacs a little after 8PM this is what I was surprised to see:
I expected rollers out of the S SE to be beating on the Jetti. Instead the wind was out of the SW and the lake around the Jetti was pretty mild. Fishing off the Jetti can be very good when the wind is coming in, and isn't so good if the wind isn't right.
I started chucking cranks off the North corner but that didn't produce a thing. I eventually headed to the North harbor mouth from the North Jetti. I gave things a half hearted effort until about 9:30PM when it was finally pretty dark. A boat had just come into the harbor and I decided to give my clown X-Rap an erratic retrieve like I use when I fish bass. I jerked the rod about 4 times and it was fish ON! I was able to land this 16inch eater.
I went to the car to get my bucket and showed off the fish to the guy who had just come in. The 3 guys managed 2 keepers. After getting the fish in the bucket I made my way back out onto the Jetti. On pretty much my next cast I snagged up solid and lost my clown X-Rap. I was not a happy camper. I tried a few different lures but didn't get any more hits. I saw 3 eyes come off the only launch Eddy's had out. It would have been a great trip if I didn't lose the lure.
Dawn Patrol: I got up early and went to the GOMH. It was mostly jumpin bullheads up to 16inches, but I did get one 21inch toothy bullhead. I was the only one fishing.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Next I went to Jenny's. I started with the watermelon Monsoor swim jig and hauled water. Next I went to the black/chart Pirhana and I nailed a 16 bass right on the edge of a point of emergent weeds. A couple of casts later and I got a 22+" pike on the Pirhana.
It was after 8 when I hit the GOMH and only the NE side was open which was fine with me. I saw a guy on the NW side catch a 20+ inch toothy bullhead which he unfortunately threw back. I got one small jumpin bullhead on the Monsoor Swim Jig while working the NE side. Eventually I made my way to the SE side where I had a follow on the Pirhana. The water with current was covered up by people so I was done by 9PM.
I decided to try and beat the night ban to the punch and headed to Mille Lacs at 1AM. I thought the nearly full moon and clear sky's might have the eyes on the feed. When I arrived at Eddy's it was pretty much dead calm. No wind, no good! I worked the whole Jetti without any hits. I called it quits a little after 3AM.
I did not see lights for even a single boat on the lake which I think is kind of strange being that it is the last night of night fishing and conditions while cool were quite pleasant.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
As far as I am concerned the Minnesota Fishing Opener is a 2 Day affair. The Minnesota Bass Fishing Opener happens on Memorial Day weekend and is a 3 day affair. I set my alarm to get me up at 4AM for a trip to Mille Lacs, but when the time came I turned the alarm off and went back to bed.
I didn't get out fishing until 6:15PM and I started at the Rock Dock. On my first round of fan casting I caught 2 pike on the gold DM Custom Baits Pirhana chatterjig. The first pike was about 16 inches and the 2nd was about 24." The 2nd pike just thumped it as I was letting the bait fall to the bottom on the intial cast. I switched to a orange/chart. X-Rap and proceeded to miss 3 bites. I had 2 of the fish on but didn't get to see them. I went through several more baits with nothing and went back to the orange/chart. X-Rap. I made a short cast because of a backlash and was watching the lure the whole way back when a pike just blasted it 7 feet from the end of the dock. I tried a while longer but couldn't get anymore bites.
Next I went to Jenny's and did get a bite that took the tails off my Speed Craw. I threw back and it hit again but didn't hook up, probably a small pike. I tried the lake place but didn't get a hit.
Last stop was the GOMH and when I arrived no one was there, but as I was getting my gear another car pulled in. I started on the NE side with a white/red Strike King Pure Poison chatterjig and I got a 14" jumpin bullhead on that. Next I threw the watermelon Monsoor Swim Jig all along the NE shore but didn't get bit until I was almost back at the bridge by another jumpin bullhead. The light was really beginning to fade and I headed across the road to the SE side. On my very first cast I nailed a toothy bullhead right by the spot I caught one last night. That toother is gonna be in somebodies frying pan. I worked the SE shore and got 4 more jumpin bullheads including 1 that was pretty close to 16 inches. It got pretty dark so I gave up when I caught that 6th jumper.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
When I arrived at Eddy's I was kind of glad about what I saw. The wind was coming into the Jetti with some pretty big waves and the sky was pretty much clear so there was close to a full moon. I arrived just before midnight so I got my stuff together and headed off to the South Jetti as the wind was supposed to be out of the North. I started by throwing Husky Jerks and was pleasantly surprised to find out the water is deep enough so I wasn't cranking in the rocks which has been a problem on the South Jetti for a couple of years. I cycled through some dark colors and the occasional backlash before I picked a clown HJ 12. Very 1st cast I smacked a 23inch Walter. Unfortunately that was all the action I would get for quite a while.
A guy came and fished next to me and hooked into what was probably a nice muskie or pike. I saw the fish break water but didn't get a good look at it. He was using 6lb line and it stole his brand new X-Rap.
I eventually gave the North Jetti a try but the wind limited casting distance. It was also curious that I was hitting rock with some of my stick baits. After about 20 minutes of nothing I went and talked with a guy fishing the North Channel. He was fishing with 2 lines and hadn't had a bite. He said they did well last year coming out at midnight off the North Jetti. So it was this guy and his buddies that kept me off the North side last year.
Eventually I went back to the South Jetti and caught a 22" on a clown X-Rap. I tried for a little while longer but it was pretty clear that it would be a slow slog between fish and I might not catch anymore. 2 fish in 3 hours was enough and I called it quits.
I fell asleep when I got home and woke up just before 7AM so I decided a quick trip to the GOMH was in order. I headed out with 3 rods but only used 2 of them rigged with a gold chatterjig (DM Custom Baits Pirhana) and a Monsoor Swim Jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer. There were people on the SW and SE sides so I went to the NE side. I got a small jumpin bullhead on the first cast with the Pirhana. I got a small jumpin bullhead on them 2nd Cast. I caught several jumpin bullheads and missed several strikes before I switched to the Swim Jig. I got a couple of jumpin bullheads on the swim jig, then had a fish demolish the Speed Claws. I didn't have any back up jig trailers with me, Oops. I kept throwing the swim jig anyway and was rewarded with a couple of jumpers and a 22 inch toother which will be dinner for some guy who was at the bridge. I also had a number of follow from an under 20" toother. I got 10 jumpers and the 1 toothy on the NE side.
The SE side openned up so I gave that a shot. The Pirhana came up with nothing so I switched to the Swim Jig. I missed what I am guessing was a pike on a cast to the east bullrushes. A few minutes later I cast over the channel and let the jig sink to the bottom. I got a bite but lost it half way in. I cast back and got another hit, set the hook, nothing. Jigged a couple of times and got another bite, set the hook nothing. It turned out that the hook broke, bummer. At that point with no jigs or jig trailers with me I called it quits.
UPDATE: 2 More Trips
I went to the GOMH from 3:30 to 5:30PM. It was partly cloudy to cloudy with little wind. When I got there the SW and SE side were taken so I hit the NE side. I fished all along the NE shore and picked up several little bullheads including the Bassholes Dink picture fish on the gold DM Custom Baits Pirhana or a Monsoor Swim Jig with Zoom Speed Craw trailer.
Next I went to the SE shore for a little while and missed a couple of bites. The SW shore opened up so I went over there. It was really slow. I got a couple of jumpin bullheads on an X-Rap. The group fishing the SE side caught a few silver bullheads. Eventually nature called and I had to leave. I think I got 8 jumpin bullheads total.
The next trip was from 6:30 till around 9PM.
Bulldog: Stopped at the Bulldog access and caught a hammer handle on the gold DM Custom Baits Pirhana.
Rock: Didn't get any bites. Talked to a boat that came off the lake and they got a couple small pike and some small sunfish. They said the fishing was slow and they didn't catch a single bass.
Jenny's and Lake Place Platte: Nothing
GOMH: I started out on the NW side and missed a bite on the Pirhana. Next I went to the NE side and I think I missed a bite on the Monsoor Swim Jig. Next I went to the SE side and missed a couple of bites. Finally I hooked up with a small toothy bullhead on the Monsoor Swim Jig that I gave away to a guy who was fighting a cool colored dogfish. As it started getting towards dark I pulled 5 small to medium sized jumpin bullheads on the Monsoor Swim Jig. It slowed down and was getting pretty dark so I left.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Yesterday Evening Pete made the suggestion that we try Don Weinmeisters dock for a little fishing. We called Don and he said come on over, so that is where we went. Pete helped Don got the last couple of dock pieces put together and then we were fishing. There was a pretty good wind coming in out of the NW and Don said that is bad for the bite, but we caught fish. Don got some small bluegills and a bass. Pete got a couple of small bluegills, and I got 5 little bass on a 1/16oz Panfish Chatterbait. To be honest I was pleased to have caught anything.
As for myself, all I could catch was small jumpin bullheads. I used the 1/16oz Panfish Chatterbait and 1/8oz Storm Wildeye Swimbait. There was a little girl fishing that caught a 3lb+ jumpin bullhead. Also saw a dogfish brought to shore then it broke the guys line. A few orange bullheads were caught as well, but not by me.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I arrived at the camp around 3:30PM and had the boat launched by 4:30PM. There was a mix up in communication so we ended up eating camp food rather than grilling our own for dinner. After dinner I went out with Gordy and Gary Pflipsen. We fished right by the camp and I could not get a white bass to go. Gary P. caught this sunfish which was the 1st fish of the weekend.
Not long after Gary's sunfish, Gordy pulled in this nice crappie.
Gary P. got the first bass of the weekend, but it would not be in season until midnight.
I drank to much milk for dinner and had to be let off at the dock so I could use the facilities. Here is Lowell Borgen, Jim ???, and Art Halverson just off the Camp Wapogassat East dock.
Our accomodations on this outing left a little bit to be desired. Lowell had to organize his tackle while sitting on the floor. We had 9 guys at the Outing: Myself, Mike Thompson, Gordy, Gary P, Gary Ellis, Lowell, Art, Jim, and John Cummins.
Mike "Cyberfish" Thompson and I elected to not get up at dawn. I headed out in front of the camp around 7AM but didn't get a bite before breakfast at 8AM. I don't remember for sure if Gary P. and Gordy caught a fish, but the other two boats came in skunked for the morning.
Cyberfish and I headed out after breakfast and fished around the Camp in Bear Trap. I think Cyb openned things up with a 10inch "Larry." I was throwing a small Fat Free Shad crank and connected with my 1st bass of the season but it only went 12.5". My crankbait got out of tune so I switched to a little bigger Fat Free Shad in citrus shad and I got another bass. Mike got a 22 inch pike on the drop shot and a couple more small bass. Coming up on lunch time we ran across Jeff Bosshardt as he was headed to the camp for lunch. He and his partner only had a few small bass on cranks and he got those on the North end of Bear Trap by the break for the boat channel, basically what we were fishing.
After lunch it was slow and I got tired, so Mike dropped me off at the dock and I took a nap in the truck. While I was relaxing Mike just went out a little ways off the end of the West Camp dock and started blasting sunnies, crappies, and even a few largemouth (biggest 15.5"). Eventually I got up and fished off the dock, landing an under 10" bass on the Storm Wildeye Swimbait, unfortunately I didn't have my camera to take a dink picture for The Bassholes.com.
We had pizza for dinner at 5PM and the guys were pretty beat up from a rough day on the water. Winds were NW and around 20mph and it was in the low 60's and cloudy. Mike won the tournament easily thanks to the pike and crappies. I think Mike may have been the only one with more than 1 species of fish.
After dinner Mike and I started around camp and I got a couple of bass on an Outkast Money jig with a Cabela's Aqua Glow Hoochie Koochie Shad. The wind started calming down so we headed South on Bear Trap. We first went to the point with the bouy and Mike had a pike break him off. Next we went to a spot that has been productive for a variety of fish in the past. Mike caught a couple of crappies and I caught a dink bass on a Fat Free Shad. It started getting dark and I didn't have a way to hook up the stern light so we headed in.
Mike Thompson ended up getting "King Crappie" honors with a 10 incher.
I did a little fishing before brunch on Sunday off the camp dock. I missed a small pike on a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke. Brunch was at 9:30AM and everybody but Mike and I headed home. Naturally Mike and I started fishing right by the camp. He got a crappie and sunfish, but we couldn't pick up any bass. Next we headed to the North end of Wapogassat and it was just dead up there despite the fact that water temps were 53-54. We fished up there for quite a while. Mike got a sunfish, crappie, and missed a nice sized bass and I got a small pike. The water was not warming up quickly and so we gave up on the North end before 2PM. We stopped at the YMCA camp to the North of the Culvert but nothing was in there so we headed back to the South end of Bear Trap. We fished that spot that has been productive in the past and Mike caught a few crappies, but just couldn't get dialed in and it was cool and windy, so around 3PM we headed back off the camp docks. Mike caught a small mess of crappies and sunfish which he kept.
While we were anchored two loons came to visit (in the upper left corner is a loon beak and head just coming out of the water).
We fished until a little after 4PM but the bass just were not showing up, so we called it a day. We didn't land a single bass on Sunday.