Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bay Lake Bass Snatcher Tournament

Todd Berghuis and a loon
Conditions-  Mostly sunny, cold and windy in the morning out of the NNE, the breeze dying down a bit, and it warmed to the high 50's.

The Day:
It was cold in the morning, I did layer up properly and stayed warm except for my left hand which I had to stop fishing with a couple of times to put in my pocket to warm up.  We agreed to start on a deeper spot where we got a double on in practice.  This spot was exposed to the brunt of the wind and the fish weren't there.   My boater Todd got a couple pike and an Ok sized bass and I got a pike on a craw tube.  After about an hour we moved shallow.

I got a pike then a small keeper (12.5") on a black/blue D & M Piranha with a sapphire blue Chigger Craw.  We then moved to another shallow bay where that loon came to see what we were up too.  Todd got two small keepers.  I switched up to a bluegill color D & M Piranha with a swimbait trailer.  Very quickly I got a small keeper (12.25") casting out, then one that felt better than it was (13.75") right up next to shore.  We worked back over this area two more times.  I got a pike on the D & M and Todd got another keeper or two.  We worked into a small marina and I got a quality fish (15.75) off a pontoon with a white Zoom Horny Toad.

We then made a move to a boat channel.  As we were entering it I got my best fish of the day (15.9") off of the first dock in the entrance.  Todd caught one of his better fish in the channel and I got my limit fish (12.5") and missed one on a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke.

We made a long move to another shallow bay.  Todd got a fish to cull and I ran the trolling motor for about 10 minutes while he got his fish figured out.  Shortly after he regained control of the trolling motor I saw a 15.5" bass take a shot at my Piranha.  I caught it.

We tried our starting spot and didn't get anything but a pike or two.  We then went back to the bay with the loon.  I had a hit on the the D & M that ran towards me and got off.  I think I got my next cull (14.5") on a Zoom Super Fluke.  Todd got a couple that didn't help him.  We got to a calm area and I got my last cull (13.25") on a Reaction Innovations Vixen.  We made one last move to the bay where I got my biggest fish in pre-fish, but didn't get anything.  And then the day was over.

Results:  My six fish weighed 10lbs even and was good for 18th place out of 30 anglers.  My boaters limit went for 10lbs 15ozs and put him in 11th place.  The winner was Nate Steinbauer with 14lbs 2ozs who caught the Lunker at 4lbs 2ozs.

My Thoughts:  I could have done without the cold front and a little less wind.  Apparently the bite turned on in the later part of the after noon, but we really struggled the last two hours.  Fish just didn't move up in the bay we chose to fish unfortunately.  Todd was really enjoyable to fish with and was very concerned that I get my limit, which I fortunately got in the 1st half of the day.

My #yearofrevenge starts at the next Tournament at Farm Island Lake.

Friday, May 29, 2015

I Caught Fish Anyways, And Got My Phantom Back

Loon on the South side of the Inlet on Sullivan
Conditions: Cloudy, light rain, wind out of the North Northwest, temps from the low 60's falling into the mid 50's.

I started at the inlet again.  I did get this one on the Outkast Beaver.
14.5" Outkast Beaver
I had other bites, but they would pick it up and let go right away.  I then went to culvert, there was only a small pike there.  The GOMH next.  I had a couple different toothy's bite at the Pure Poison and a 21.25 took the Fluke under the bridge NE.  I also got a toothy next to the cattails on the SW side on the Lunkerhunt Frog.

I then went to Bulldog, where I talked to some panfishermen at Holy Family.  He got a bowfin there a couple of days ago.  I didn't get anything at the access.

I decided to give Rock a try.  There was one trailer in the lot.  I had a pike do a somersault and steal my old beat up older chart/firetiger Stanley Phantom at the start of a long cast.  I put on the newer one.  About 5 minutes later I spotted the Phantom floating within casting distance on a long cast.  I tried to get it, and then I caught what I believe was the same fish.

 By the time I got it released the Phantom drifted farther away.  Then the boat full of pike fishermen came in and they retrieved it for me.   I got out of their way and went to Peavy where I got a small bass on the Pure Poison.  The wind picked up and I left to get my tackle ready for tomorrows tournament on Bay Lake.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Made the Right Calls Again Tonight

19" Outcast Beaver
Conditions: Mostly sunny, comfortable, breeze out of the South, mosquito's not to bad.  Was a warm day with temps in the low 80's.

I had to get out in this beautiful weather.  I made the call to go to the inlet on Sullivan first even though I hadn't caught anything there this year yet..  Despite getting stuck behind a Schwans truck on the dirt road it proved to be the right call.  I started out throwing a Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog.  I missed a good fish on that.   I'm pretty sure it was a bass.  Then I went to fishing the culvert with the Outkast Beaver.  I caught the 19" sow on the first cast.  One fish makes the whole trip worth it.  I caught a 14.25", then I had another good fish tail walk in the Culvert mouth and get off.  I would say it was 18"-19".

I then headed to the Platte River Culvert.  I had what I think was a big dogfish blow up on the Lunkerhunt frog down river a ways.  I then skipped the GOMH, where nobody was fishing and bypassed the access at Bulldog where a family was packing and went to the Holy Family access.  There I caught a dink on the Lunkerhunt frog.  A couple casts later I saw a wake coming for it.  I let it sit and the dog bit.
23" Lunkerhunt Lunker frog in "Croaker" color
 Another fish that made the drive worth it.  I stopped at the access on my way back to the GOMH and got a good one on a black/blue craw tube.
15.75" Craw tube b/b
At the GOMH the rowdy bullhead fishermen that likes to bass fish was just getting started fishing for bullheads with a kid.  The lure that was left the other night wasn't his.  I didn't get a bite.  They had a fish break off as they tried to lift it up to the bridge.  He thought it was a golden bullhead.  A little later he hooked into a 16" jumper that went in the pail.  He said any bigger and he throws 'em back, so there is that.  He lamented the fact that fishing for them isn't what it was a couple of years ago.  I view that as largely due to the earlier ice off, low water this year, and the lack of stable weather.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sometimes You Make the Right Call

19" Terminator Jig w/ Powerbait Thief trailer

Conditions: Partly cloudy, warm day, but cooled in the mid 60's after a thunderstorm passed just to the South, no wind.

I thought about taking out the Slop Slip tonight but then we had a thunderstorm threatening around 5:30PM so I nixed that idea.  I almost didn't go at all, but I'm glad I did.

My first stop was at Bulldog.  The 5 bass (17.5,17,16.25,14.25,12.5) I caught were stacked up right in the last of the outflow area before the carp gate and they liked the Terminator Jig with a Powerbait Thief trailer.  Here are the 17's and the jig.
17.5" Post-Spawn

17" Still Pre-Spawn
A boat that had been trolling for pike came in to load, so I headed to Holy Family; nothing going there.  I stopped back at the access briefly.  Then I made the call to by-pass the GOMH and go to the Platte River Culvert.  I pitched the jig in on the West side of the North culvert and the slob waked and then baked it.
The mosquito's were getting bad so I headed to the GOMH.  There was something busting minnows under the bridge, but I couldn't catch it.  Surprisingly the skeeters weren't that bad at the GOMH.  It was a nice night and the loons were calling and owls hooting, but my back was bugging me, so I didn't keep trying to catch that fish.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bay Lake Pre-Fish Tuesday May 26th

Conditions- Overcast, little wind, mid 60's to high 50's

My boater Todd Berghuis and I got out to pre-fish Bay lake for a few hours on the Tuesday before tournament day.  We started out in a small slop bay over by the resort.  As we entered the bay I caught my best fish of the day on a bluegill D & M Piranha with a green pumpkin swimbait.
16" D & M Piranha bluegill
We both missed a couple of fish as well.  We got by the beaver dam and Todd got a good fish and I got a Rock Bass on a Grass Pig.  We worked the point on the outside of the bay and didn't get anything.

We then moved to a near by point that extends well into the lake.  First I got a pike, the some rock bass on silver and white D & M Piranha.  Then we doubled on 15 inch fish and got out of there.  We went to the point where Roger got his big fish at the last tournament and didn't get anything.  Then we went to a shallow bay where the cover wasn't up yet and Todd got a couple of small bass.  We then went to a point where a couple of fish slashed at my Phantom but didn't hook up.  We then tried another point same story.  Then we went to another shallow bay that had a few more pads up than we had seen in the other one.  I got a couple of small bass and one good one a bluegill KVD Sexy Dawg.  Also got a couple small hammerhandles.  Then we wen to a reed point that was very underdeveloped.  Didn't get anything there, but as we moved into the bay there were signs of fish.  We talked to a nice guy who was fishing the culvert pipes.  I was hungry and we were done.

Tuesday Morning at the GOMH

19" Storm Short Wart
Conditions- I bit of mist, cloudy, light wind out of the N, 53 degrees

I arrived hoping to get into a golden bullhead or two.  When it got light enough for me to confidently cast to the near wall on the NE side that dude smacked me on the second cast.
Shortly after that I got this toothy on the Short Wart as well.
19" Storm Short Wart
I didn't catch any jumpin bullheads this morning.  However, I did get a bass at the culvert;  I also missed something a couple of times.  Nothing at the Inlet
16" Terminator Jig w/Thief trailer

Monday, May 25, 2015

Bowfin at Bulldog

20" Stanley Phantom
Rock Lake 7:45-8:10PM
Bulldog Lake 8:20-9:15 PM
GOMH 9:30-10PM

I ended up putting the Armilo on a TD-S because the two Fuego's I have in reserve have issues with the breaks.  I'll be sending 3 reels in to get checked out I guess.

Rock was a bust as usual now. I might of had one bite.  I quickly bailed.

A guy was bringing in a fish a Bulldog, so I went to the Holy Family access.  Right away a fish popped it's head up.  Dogfish didn't even enter my mind.  I had a fish swirl on the Phantom as I was navigating it through some pads.  A couple casts later I got the little puppy at the start of my retrieve.

After that I had a pike hit the Grass Pig and not hook up.  That pike hit the GP four more times biting off the tail, then completely wrecking it.  I cast the Outkast Beaver and the pike took that.
21.5" Outkast Beaver
I had a fish on it the pads briefly on the OB as well, but it got off.

I headed to the GOMH.  The rowdy bullhead fishermen who likes to catch bass was there.  He had gotten a couple bass tonight and a pike.  Nothing was going for me.  The water was up about 4 more inches.  I guess we'll see if it makes a difference.  Somebody left an unopened can of root beer, which I took and a Chatterbait stickbait lure.

Bass Opener Score Card
Bass 2
Pike 3
Dogfish 1

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bulldog, Jenny's, GOMH this Afternoon in the Rain

15.75" Grass Pig
3:15-4:15PM Bulldog
4:35-5:15PM Jenny's
5:25-6:25PM GOMH

Conditions- Mid 60's, light wind out of the E NE, light rain

I didn't want my tackle soaked so I didn't take the Slop Slip out this afternnon.  I was disappointed with the casting distance performance on my TD-Z with the Armilo line.  I think it was mostly the reel.  I'm going to have to get it serviced to get the performance it's capable of giving.  I got a pike at access at Bulldog on an Outkast Beaver (not called a beaver and they no longer offer them).  I went to the Holy Family access and the bass smoked the Grass Pig as I was bringing it through some pads.  Can't fish that way on an open jig head.

I tried going to Rock, but there were people fishing there.  I decided to give Jenny's a try.  The wind made seeing the rice tough.  Still I got at least 5 good hits but I didn't catch anything on the Grass Pig and Spro frog.  I'm guessing they were pike.

At the GOMH, I got 21" toothy on the bubblegum Ebay chatterjig on the NE side.  I think I also had a bite on the Grass Pig.  Had a small toothy follow the Grass Pig in on the SE side.  There was a guy with two gals fishing for orange's on the SW side.  He got a small toothy.  I got hungry, so I went home.

1 Bass
2 Pike

So now I'm at 2 Bass and 2 Pike for Bass Opener weekend.

I decided not to go to Mille Lacs tonight, all my minnows were dead.

2 Hours for 1 Bass On a Tomato at Peavy

14.25" H20 XPress Jerk Shad in "tomato" color
Conditions- Overcast, slight breeze out of the East, low 60's.

It was a clown show for me again this morning.  Instead of getting up to go fishing at 4AM, I went back to bed.  I woke up at 7:30AM and didn't leave the house until 2 hours later.  Couldn't find the swimbait hooks, which were in deed in the bag I took fishing on Clown Show Night.  I decided not to take the Slop Slip because it could start raining anytime.  I left the house at 9:30 and decided I'd hit Peavy Lake first.  Hey I got a bass.  I also lost one of my bubblegum Ebay chatterjigs on a backlash at the spool.  Just got the one bite.  This spot has potential, how is it that I just discovered the lake has a dock.  Instead of going on to the GOMH, I decided to go home and spool up the Sunline Armilo on the TD-Z and Avid 6'8"M.  It's 2:30PM now and I'll be heading to the GOMH to fish in the light rain in a few minutes.

1 Bass

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Skunked On Bass Opener

To be fair, I didn't put much effort into catching a fish today.  I set my alarm for 4AM, but when I got up I didn't feel like going so I went back to sleep.  I didn't get up until after 1PM.  I wrote a blog post over at the Log Blog titled Clown Show Catches Some Fish Anyway about my fishing trip last night.  After delivering fish to Jenny at around 5PM in mom's convertible with top down I stopped by the GOMH to see what was up.  Just a couple people fishing for sunnies and a pretty good wind blowing out of the SSW.

The forecast was calling for the wind to diminish by 9PM.  Because of the forecast I made a bad decision to try fishing the Inlet on Sullivan instead of taking the Slop Slip to Bulldog.  Conditions were perfect by the time I headed out at around 8PM.  The Inlet was a total bust.  I did have a pike miss my jig at the culvert and I bypassed the GOMH to head to Bulldog.  The access at Bulldog was full of fishermen and I didn't get a bite at Holy Family access.  Back at the GOMH it was dead and then dark.  The rowdy bullhead fishermen were there.  The bass fishermen did miss a couple of topwater hits at Peavy Lake today.

Between the low water and the crazy up and down weather this year my average fish caught per outing in May this year is now down to only 5 fish per outing;  It was 11.6 last year for May and 14.9 in May 2013.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Clown Show Catches Some Fish Anyway

The "Slop Slip" 
Conditions-Sunny, warm, light wind out of the E SE turning calm.

I dug my 10' Coleman Crawdad the Slop Slip out of the backyard and put it in at Bulldog Lake.  My tackle selection wasn't well thought out.  I didn't bring a hollow body frog rod or any weedless swimbait hooks.  Only pike wanted the Horny Toad.  I missed about my first 6 bites and dubbed what I was doing a "clown show".  Finally I got one on a Swamp Gas Grass Pig.
15.5 Grass Pig
I got into an area where I saw a couple of fish boil and got a good bite on a H2O Xpress Slush Minnow prop bait.
The fish tangled the flag so a car won't run into it because it hangs out the back of the Expedition.  I stupidly didn't put it in the boat.  Clown show, luckily I still landed it.
Where the bass were.
I had a really nice pike, I'd say 35" or so, follow my Horny Toad in.  I got one last bass (14.5") on the Terminator Jig with a Thief trailer.  The fish weren't nearly as active on the surface as last night

Another Beautiful Morning at the GOMH

Muskrat swims across the channel markers

My favorite this morning

No fish at this point, but a couple topwater hits
4:45-7:30AM GOMH
7:40-8:30AM Bulldog
8:40-9:00AM Peavy

Condtions- Cool 38 degrees to start, I wore my long johns, clear, and calm

No goldens this morning even though I was there early enough this morning.  Had a couple toothy's unsuccessfully try to steal a Phantom and a couple jumpers not get it.
17.5" Ebay Chatterjig w/Fluke trailer
 I got this rather unhealthy looking 17 incher on my bubblegum colored chatterjig just before I moved to the South side.  On the South side I got a couple of 13's on a Terminator Jig with Powerbait Thief trailer and a Chigger Craw.  Nobody showed up to fish the whole time I was there.  Missed a hit or two subsurface at Bulldog and possibly one at Peavy as well.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Perfect Night For Topwater

15" Stanley Phantom
7:30-8:05PM Rock Lake
8:15-9:35PM Bulldog Lake
10:00-10:45PM GOMH

Conditions- Sunny, clear, warm, wind dying to nothing

Somebody was at Bulldog, so I went to Rock Lake first.  One trailer in the lot and a car from a kayak fisherman. I didn't catch anything but had my Fluke tail get bit off on my Ebay Chatter Jig.  A kid fishing from shore caught a good size Perch by the over hanging tree to the South.  I left when the boat was coming in.

Bulldog was now open, but nothing there.  Stuff was getting hit on top, so I decided to try up at the Holy Family access.  I was throwing the H2O XPress Slush Minnow that I just got in the mail today. A nice fish crushed it and I was bringing it in when it came off.
Looks like I need to upgrade the hooks for this bait.  I also had a fish boil on a Horny Toad.  I didn't think to throw back with a Phantom, which I could of cast that far, duh!  I did throw a jig and didn't get hit.  I went back to the access.  It just wasn't happening and it was fairly dark now.  I thought conditions were perfect and I was gonna get skunked, when the 15" lit up my Phantom.  I might have had one more hit as well.

I arrived at the GOMH and one car was there.  It was one of the rowdy bullhead fisherman and possibly his girlfriend.  They were fishing for silvers and had gotten one.  They were tangled up, so I got my lantern to help them.  He was looking forward to Saturday, so he could throw his bass topwaters which he showed me;  It was an impressive collection.  He wasn't aware of the early catch and release season.  I informed him about it.  He asked me about Indians netting P/S.  The more I think about it, the more I am doubtful it happened.  Their nets would be full of hammerhandles and bass, not what Indians are looking for.

I didn't get a hit and left when I realized how late it was.  The channel buoy's were put in Platte Lake today.

Typical Morning at the GOMH

17.75" Chigger Craw
Conditions- Warmer than yesterday, started in the low mid 40's got to 56 or so, little wind, sunny.

I started out on the Platte side, no golden's home.  Just like yesterday I got two jumpers just as the sun was rising on a white Stanley Phantom.
13" Stanley Phantom
After that action was done I went to the SW side.  I got 3 jumpers on the white D & M Piranha.   I got 5 jumpers on a green pumpkin Chigger Craw and 1 toothy.  Size was smaller than yesterday for the jumpers with a number of 13 inch fish..

My six biggest went 17.75, 16, 15.75, 15, 14.25, 14.25.

I went to Bulldog and kissed goodbye to a blue, silver, white Stanley Phantom.  That's two Phantom's gone in two days, I broke one yesterday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Devin's Birthday, Bullheads, and Bulldog

16.5" D & M Piranha
Conditions- Started very cool 32 degrees getting up to 50, sunny, no wind.

I started out taking pictures because it was such a beautiful morning with the steam rising off the lake.

I started of the bullheads with my 2nd annual dedication of my first fish of the day to my niece Devin on her birthday, last year I was a day late and lower tech.  I got the fish on the D & M Baits Piranha Swim Jig.
Muskrat swims across prompting me to put on a Phantom for pictures
The Stanley Phantom
Since I had the Phantom on I thought I'd throw it for a while, even though I thought it was probably to cold to get a hit on topwater.
15" Stanley Phantom
I was proven wrong and got two bullheads on it just as and just after the sun was breaking the horizon.  After casting 10 minutes with no bites I headed to the SW side.

I got my biggest jumpin' bullhead of the morning on the Piranha right away.
17.25" D & M Piranha
    I missed an absolute pig on a chigger craw.  It jumped twice, then got off tail walking just as I thought I had it right next to the rocks.  I would say it was at least 19 inches.  I caught a few toothy's on the Chigger Craw and 1 on the Piranha.  I also got a couple nice jumpers on an orange craw tube.  Unfortunately I hit the bridge a little to hard with a white Stanley Phantom on this cold morning and broke it.
  I have at least one more that color.

I ended with 8 jumpers landed and 4 tooth's.

I went to Bulldog for a few minutes and pulled this thick 17 incher.
17" Chigger Craw
My biggest 6 for the morning where 17.25, 17, 16.5, 16.25, 15.75, 15.75.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rock, Bulldog, and GOMH Again Tonight

17.5" Chigger Craw
7:40-8:30PM Rock Lake got nothing again.
8:40-9:30PM Bulldog
9:45-11:30PM GOMH

Conditions- Cool low 50's falling into mid 40's, light to no wind out of the NW, mostly sunny

I got out a little earlier tonight, therefore I left Rock earlier.  I started out throwing the new Slush Daddy prop bait.  As Grumpy Old Man Willard was pulling up a good fish swirled on it, but didn't get it.  I kept throwing the Slush Daddy for 5 more minutes as Willard and I talked.  I then switched to the breen Chigger Craw and threw it right to where the fish showed itself and the 17.5" inhaled it.  I caught 3 more bass (12", 15.75", 15") on the Chigger Craw before a Pike bit me off.  It was getting dark so Willard left.  I got a 14.75" on the black/blue craw tube.  I then went back to throwing the Slush Daddy and this fish crushed it.
Slush Daddy
17" H2O Slush Daddy
After trying for about 10 more minutes I headed to the GOMH.  I was surprised there were two cars there as Willard said nobody had been there tonight.  Turns out it was the Meat Guy and his lady.  I went down on the NE side and started casting for golden's which I got.
19.25" Grass Pig
I went up and put it in the car, then went over to discover who the fishermen were.  They had been getting some smaller silvers.  A car pulled up, so I quickly went and grabbed my tackle bag and went back to the NE side.  Turns out it was Lantern Man just checking to see if anything was going.  I had another bite, but it got off.  I think it was a jumper because about 10 seconds after it got off a fish jumped out of the water in the same general area.  I put on a crankbait and pretty much immediately cast it into the bridge giving myself a minor backlash.  I didn't learn my lesson and on the very next cast gave myself a major backlash.  I spent 20 minutes trying to get it out, before deciding to bring it home.  I tied a Speed Clip onto my St. Croix Legend Xtreme, which is the rod I was using for the Chigger Craw that got bit off.    I tried for like 20 minutes and gave up.  Meat Guy wasn't having any luck either.

It took me about half an hour at home to get the backlash out.