Saturday, August 16, 2014

Snatcher Fishtrap Lake (Blind)

Note: Written way after the original tournament date.

I'll admit that I got a bit depressed after my finishes so far this year.   I needed an attitude adjustment to get up for this tournament.  My boater in this one, Guy Henkensiefken, asked me while we were out on the water why I wasn't doing my tournament recap blogs.  That is the reason why I have dragged my feet in writing them so long.

This was the 2nd year in a row I drew Guy for the "Blind" tournament and this is the third time I've fished with him (Rabbit Lake '10, Cullen Chain '13).  After last years tournament he gave me an assignment of coming up with 20 things to talk about in the boat.  I came up with 1, Christian Ponder lol.

Conditions: Very similar to Pelican Lake but not as cool in the morning and a little cloudier and more humid, breaking into sun.  Very little wind.

Highlights from the Day:  

We had a kind of late boat draw, I don't remember if Guy got to go to his starting spot or not.  We started in a spot with two other boats close by.  In the calm conditions I started out throwing the chrome sexy shad KVD Sexy Dawg.  I'm pretty sure I put the first fish in the boat, a 14 incher.  I think I had one other fish not get it.  Guy got a couple of descent fish.  It started clouding up and looked like it might storm for a while.  We moved spots and I got one just over 15" on a black Sexy Dawg.  That was it for my topwater fish.  I don't know why they weren't going as conditions seemed perfect.  I did miss a couple on frogs in the pads later in the day.  I got a 12.25, 3x 13.75", and 14.25" and one hammer handle on a breen Chigger Craw on various weedlines.  My lunker, a 2/12, was my last fish of the day caught out of some pads on a green pumpkin Strike King Hack Attack Jig with Chigger Craw tailer.  I think Guy got a nice one out of the same patch of pads earlier in the day.

Results: My 6 went for 9/13 putting me in 11th Place out of 20 anglers.  This was my highest finish of the year.  Guy's bag of 14/13 put him in 5th place.  The tournament winner was Tim Benson with 17/6.  Chuck Steinbauer got Lunker with a 4/3.

My Thoughts: Man did it get hot out with no wind.  At least the beat down Guy gave me wasn't as bad as last year.

Guy's Parting Thought (Paraphrased):  "The days in this club when I could come in with 14 or 15lbs and expect to contend for the win are over, you've really got to catch them now."  A comment that proved less than prophetic because at the last tournament of the year on Whitefish the winning weight was bellow average at only 12/11.    


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Bass Snatcher Pelican Lake Tournament

Waiting to Blast Off
Note:  This being written more than half a year later so the details may be a bit sketchy.

Conditions: Cool in the morning (54 degrees) getting to 82 degrees, very little wind, and hazy sunshine for most of the day.

I think my sleep schedule was messed up for this tournament.  I either woke up super early or didn't get any sleep at all.  I ended up arriving at the ramp in Jones Bay at least an hour before sunrise.  I was the first one there, but not by as much as I thought I would be.  My boater for this one was Roger Ubl who has many years of experience on Pelican Lake.  Unfortunately I was unable to get out to pre-fish with him.  He told me he wasn't getting a lot of bites, but the one's he were getting were nice one's.

The Day:  I brought my Ipod to wear during the run, set to my Tournament Playlist I had been listing to all morning.  As the picture shows it was a beautiful morning.  We blasted off at around 6:50am.  The run North listening to tunes as the guys raced up the lake was one of my highlights of the year.  We went to a hump or maybe humps quite a ways off the SE of Gooseberry Island.

On the way North I saw fish breaking on top and conditions were perfect for topwater, so I started by throwing a Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg in chrome sexy shad.  Sure enough within my first 10 casts I had a quality fish come up and blast it.  Unfortunately, after being hooked briefly it jumped way out of the water and flipped me off.  I'd say it was at least 18 inches.  A few casts later I hooked and caught a 14.75" largie.  Unfortunately that was it for my topwater bites for the day despite the fact we were around fish busting on the surface for most of the morning and for the last hour of the day as well.  I think Roger got a couple on some kind of plastic and I got a 16.5" on a Blue Bruiser Lake Fork Craw Tube.  Roger was really disappointed with the size of the fish we got here.

After about an hour to hour and a half we left and went off the western tip of Gooseberry Is.  Dang breaking fish that were either out of range or wouldn't hit what I was throwing.  Roger managed a few on the worm he was throwing.  I managed to get a small hammer handle on small Bomber Fat-Free Shad and a 17.25" bass on a breen Chigger Craw.  We went to a weedline off the SW side of Gooseberry and I got another 17.25" on the Chigger Craw.  That was it for my fish for the day.

We ended up going and fishing some cabbage beds, going back to our starting spot, and some deep weedlines.  I tried every rod in the boat including a Carolina Rig, which is something I rarely throw.  I had some bites from sunfish but that was it.  Roger managed to get a respectable limit by the end of the day.

Results:  My 4 fish weighed 10lbs 1oz, which put me in 21st Place out of 26 anglers.  My lunker went 3lbs even.   Rogers 6 weighed just under 14lbs, which only put him in 15th Place; I guess the  quality fish were snapping this day.  The winner was Chuck Steinbauer with 19/1 and his son Nate got "Lunker" at 4/10.

My Thoughts:   Getting that first bass in the boat would have been nice.  I was really wiped out by the end of this one, but I didn't really let it effect my fishing.  I felt like I fished strong for most of the day.  I just don't think we ever found a good school of fish.  The weights were way up from the tournament we had back in 2009 when I took 4th Place with 14lbs even.  If I had it to do over again I wouldn't have thrown a Carolina Rig and a lot less topwater.  Fishing with Roger and hearing his stories is always enjoyable.