My 1st Bass on Three Island Lake.
I fished all 3 days (Thur-Sat) out of the GEM pontoon with Dave Lindmark and Mike Thompson.
Day 1 Thursday Sept 24th-
I met Dave Lindmark and Mike Thompson at Lutherdell Bible Camp around 1PM. We got our stuff put in the cabin and then Dave wanted to take a nap, so I picked out a couple of rods and went to fish off the camp docks. At the last of the 3 docks, usually the best spot, I made a cast between the dock and a pontoon boat with a smoke tube and was rewarded with a 15 inch largemouth. I headed back up to the cabin pretty much as Dave was getting ready to roll. We took on a Teen Challenge graduate named Aaron, and two Fishers of Men Club boats were going to follow us. Dave had decided to go to Three Island Lake because it is close and we would be coming back for supper at 6PM. Three Island had been a good bass and pike lake for GEM this summer. It turned out to be kind of a bust for us under the sunny and calm conditions. We caught a few really small bass and a few small pike. Mike and I lamented the fact that we were going in for supper and wouldn't be on Mule Lake for the prime time evening bite.
Day 2 Friday Sept. 25th-
Since the Minnesota Teen Challenge group brought their own boats I wasn't needed for taking guys out in the camp pontoons, so I ended up in the GEM pontoon with Dave, Mike, and a Teen Challenge guy named Dave. The Day 1 Tournament allowed for the length of my best pike, bass (largie or smallie), walleye, and muskie combined. We picked Mule lake not so much for the tournament as for the opportunity to catch the largies and smallies in this bass catch and release only lake. Mule has clear water and conditions were sunny, then partly cloudy until about 3:30PM when it looked like it might rain but it never did.
We started off fishing on the South End of the lake by a downed tree. I tossed my smoke tube by the tree and missed a bite. Teen Challenge Dave cast his tube into one of the branches and we broke him off. I tied him another tube and when I casted back at the tree I got the first fish of the day, which was a rock bass. Mike Thompson worked us out onto the weed flat going East. I picked up a couple of small pike on a black spinnerbait while the other guys caught some bass on plastics. Eventually I switched up to a black/blue Strike King Pure Poison chatterjig and landed my first bass (1st picture) and this healthy 16+ incher.
A little later on I caught a 23 inch Pike on the Pure Poison.
Eventually we stopped working the SE corner of the lake because it was sunny and calm. We headed towards the access to work the West side of the lake which had some wind blowing on it. As we worked this shoreline Dave Lindmark got the only two smallmouth we would catch. I did see one nice smallmouth follow in a largie that Mike had hooked. As we worked this shore it was kind of slow but one of us would pull a fish every 10 minutes or so. Action picked up some as we got to the North end of the lake when I popped a couple and missed one on a smoke tube, while Mike got one, and Dave caught then lost one. It had clouded up at this point so the fish were probably turning on a little bit.
After another lull Mike hastily worked us towards the North Narrows Southern Point trying to get us there before the sun would pop out again. Mike got a quality hit on his popper and I threw in behind him with my smoke tube. I was reeling in quickly to make another cast when a bass swirled on the tube and missed. I let the tube sink and it was inhaled by this 17incher.
Mike thought we were going to get into a flurry but I think those were the only two fish we pulled off the Southern Point. As we were working that point the wind came up quite a bit from what it had been out of the East. As we worked our way to the North Narrows North Point I got a 16" largie that hit the tube on the drop. As we worked our way into the wind along the North point I switched up to a white/chartreuse gold bladed Strike King Pure Poison chatterjig and I immediately nailed a couple of small pike and then had a quality 28 inch class pike get hooked up and take a run but before I could get it in it pulled off. I was super disappointed because that was a money fish. I got a couple of largies on the Pure Poison, including a 15", and then the lure got bit off. It was the only white/chart gold blade that I had and my efforts to replace it were in vain as I stopped catching fish while the Dave's and Mike managed to get a few and miss a few. We worked all the North end points and went back to the North Narrows Southern Point one more time and then it was time to head in.
I had 40 inches which was 4th best for the day, but got me 3rd place in the money pool. Had I got the big pike I missed I would have been 2nd.
Day 3 Saturday Sept. 26th-
Day 3 was FallEE WallEE Trophy Day where the top 3 for the days tournament would get to put their name on the back of the plaque/trophy. The tournament would be decided by the length of one's 3 biggest bass and 3 biggest pike which is the same way things were decided last year when I got 1st Place. Because of tournament parameters the smart move was to hit Townline Lake because it has decent sized bass and an excellent average size for pike including many 30 inch class fish. Townline was where I won it last year. Today I would just be fishing with Dave Lindmark and Mike. It was fairly breezy all day out of the SW with clouds early giving way to warm sunshine in the afternoon.
I started off fishing a silver buzzbait and was rewarded with some solid pike from 24 to 26 inches. Mike Thompson started catching bass on the inside weedline with tubes, so with 3 nice pike under my belt I switched up to that. Mike was out fishing me on the bass but I managed to pick up 2 on a junebug Powerbait tube texas rigged on a jig. We got to some slop and I lost a bass on a Horny Toad but soon after that picked up my 3rd keeper bass on the Toad. Fish were in the slop but we didn't do a very good job of catching them. It's hard to say if they were mostly bass or pike. The sun came out and we decided to head back to where we started. Lindmark still didn't have a fish at this point and it was after noon. Mike and I started off working the inside weedline again and we both managed to upgrade our bass but Mike had the edge with bass while I had the bigger pike. Eventually it seemed we had run the best bass water so we headed out and tried for pike. Mike slowly started to upgrade his pike and Dave eventually got a few fish. I struggled to get bit and switched lures, eventually getting bit on a white with silver blades Terminator Spinnerbait, but after catching a couple of fish it got bit off and once again I struggled to get bit. Eventually we worked our way to the NE end of the lake where there is an abandoned beaver dam that can hold some nice bass and unfortunatley for me it was Mike who pulled a 17incher out from under the pads. I got an 18incher from the same spot the previous year.
Next we went to work the weeds off of one of the points on the North End of the Lake. We pulled a couple of pike and were working our way across the flat when I had a bruiser of a pike come out of the water while missing my spinnerbait, the fish followed to the boat before darting away. Mike Thompson threw after it and it struck at his spinnerbait and missed. Mike did a figure 8 at the boat and hooked up with the 29" inch fish which would win him his 1st FallEE WallEE title.
As time was closing in I had the brite idea to put on a Mann's Minus One crankbait and I upgraded a half inch and got a couple of other nice pike. I was kicking myself for not thinking of this lure sooner.
For the Day I got 3rd Place behind Mike who beat Lowell Borgan by a half inch. Lowell also had a 29" Pike, unbelievably from Mule Lake. However Mike forgot to get in the money pool, so I got the 2nd Place money.
So FallEE WallEE for 2009 is:
#1 Mike Thompson
#2 Lowell Borgan
#3 Dave Maas
Note: Lowell and I are both on FallEE 4 times and both during the exact same years (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009)