Friday, July 30, 2010

Annual Mississipi Trip w/Pete & Greg Jones of Mid-West Outdoors

Pete is friends with Greg Jones who is an editor and sometime TV personality with Mid-West Outdoors Magazine and Mid-West Outdoors TV. This is the third year in a row where Pete and I went fishing with Greg to help him pre-fish for the St. Stephens Lions Smallmouth Tournament. Last year I got to go out two different times. Greg is an expert in navigating this particular stretch of river which has many treacherous areas.

Originally the plan was to meet around 5PM at the County Park Access South of Rice. I arrived at the Park around 4:30PM and did some fishing from shore. On my 2nd or 3rd cast I hooked up with this 12" smallie on a spinnerbait.

About 20 minutes later I caught a 9" smallie on a frog pattern Rapala Skitter Prop. With this success I thought fishing was going to be good. There was a lot of weeds washing down the river, which was up and running pretty good due to recent rains. FYI- The day was kind of cool (70's) and overcast.

At about 5:30PM Pete showed up to tell me we were launching out of the Royalton Access, so I quickly got in the truck and headed North. We basically started drifting down river right from the campground access. It didn't take long and Pete was hooked with a good smallie which bit a Heddon Torpedo. Pete was unhappy with my attempted net job, even though it was him who was failing to bring the fish into be netted at a proper angle, so he took the net and netted it himself. I made a cast close to the same area with a bullfrog Berkley Frenzy Popper and got a hit from a good fish but it came off after about 4 seconds. Greg thought it was a good fish. Pete started throwing a spinnerbait and caught a fish or two and was getting bites, while Greg got his first fish on a jig. I tried throwing my Mille Lacs Smallie Special spinnerbait but it wasn't getting anything. Pete was getting bites and bumps on the spinnerbait and catching a few decent but not big fish. I think Greg got a fish or two but I don't remember on what. Eventually I borrowed a spinnerbait from Greg because it was obvious my spinnerbait wasn't drawing strikes. I managed to catch two dinks. Pete got this one, which was the biggest of the night.

I proceeded to have a muskie smash and steal Greg's spinnerbait, so I borrowed another one. I got this 15.5" fish on that spinnerbait and it was my biggest of the night.
It would also be my last spinnerbait fish.

We made a run up the river farther North than we had previously gone the past two years. As it started getting dark a the surface bite started picking up and I caught a couple of 13" smallies on the purple Berkley Frenzy Popper in addition to missing several bites. Greg and Pete were getting fish too. It was pretty dark when I had a good fish hit the Frenzy Popper. It fought on the surface at the beginning of the battle and then dogged as it got by the boat. Turned out to be about a 4lb Channel Cat. We stopped fishing shortly after that because it had just gotten too dark.

Pete caught the most and biggest smallmouth, and I caught the least smallmouth, but my cat was the big fish of the trip and boy did it put up a good fight.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

1 Topwater Mille Lacs Smallie

Tonight Pete and I headed to Eddy's Jetty around 7PM. Conditions were calm and overcast which you would think would make for perfect topwater conditions. As it was I got this 15" on a gold Berkley Frenzy Popper and that was the only bite either of us got on anything.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shore Mille Laction & Jenny's

Today I had to go to Onamia so I figured I'd hit up the Eddy's Jetty and try for some smallies. When I arrived at Eddy's around 5:30PM there was a little wind coming in out of the NE but not too bad. I started on the South Jetty and on my 3rd cast this 17.75" sally sacked the spinnerbait.

That was the only hit on the South Jetty, and after working through several lures I went to the North Jetty.

On the North Jetty I got a 14" just South of the Corner on the spinnerbait. Just a little North of the North harbor mouth I tied into another around 14" then I lost one about the same size and then a bigger one as I was trying to figure out where to go to land it. I think I had one more hit that didn't hook up on the spinnerbait. I tried some topwater and didn't get any hits, so I tried a tube on a Title Shot Jig and I had a good fish on that got off about half way in. I went back to the spinnerbait and caught one that was probably 14.5" then I got a 15.75" on the tube. I left around 8:15PM. My upper back got quite sore, so I need to head to the Chiropractor on Friday.

I had to stop at the lake place to check and see if there was water in the boat, and of coarse I fished off the dock and off Jim's dock. Didn't get any hits. There was a little bit of light left so I hit up Jenny's and I got a 14" largemouth on a Vikings (purple and yellow) Snagproof Tournament Frog. I kept the bass and gave it to our renter John who loves to eat bass.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rabbit Lake Pre-fish

Today was my best day on the water as a Baxter Bass Snatcher. Too bad for me it wasn't tournament day because I would most likely have been a contender for the win. I am pretty sure I had 16lbs+ anchored by the fat 19.25" in the picture (thank goodness my boater had a camera phone as I left my camera in the car).

My boater Guy was fun to fish with and he knows the lake well. I think it was a productive pre-fish, but you never really know until tournament day. We found multiple patterns and locations. Guy was telling me there is an old club saying that "it's fun to catch fish, but it's even funner catching fish in the tournament." Meaning, what you do in pre-fish doesn't mean squat if you burn your fish. Hopefully we didn't do that too bad as we tried to lay off them once located. As for my part I took advantage of conditions, and found something nice size fish were on today; Whether that pattern holds for tournament day will most likely be dictated by weather conditions.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Off the Dock

Tonight I went over to our place on Platte Lake to get some tackle for Saturday's Cass Lake Tournament and naturally I did a little fishing. I fished from about 8:35 to 9PM. I only threw a white Spro Bronzeye Frog. I started out casting along our dock and didn't get anything, so I went out on the dock and on a cast out front of Sherman's Dock (East) I had something nip at the frog in open water right before the rice. I cast back and got another boil, this time in the rice and I thought it might be a bigger fish from the disturbance it created. Actually I thought it might be a dogfish. I cast back a couple more times without results so I started fan casting.

I got the first fish which was about 14.5" casting almost straight out in the rice next to the boat path which is weed free. I worked my way fan casting all the way west, and then I cast back at Sherman's slowly walking the frog. Sure enough the 17.75" blasted it this time and so I got a picture.

As I was about done, I was slowly walking the frog back in the boat path and I caught a little hammer handle.

Note: I fished off the dock a few night's ago and didn't record the trip cause I didn't bring a camera. That night I got a 13+ inch bass and 26" pike out of the slop, both on the white Spro.