Wow, what an up and down weather pattern we've had here in the Midwest over the last couple weeks, one day it is 90 degrees and the next it is 60. This coupled with Noah's Ark like rains, have made fishing on the Mississippi River very interesting, good, but interesting.
I made the first trip down to the cabin two weeks ago to fish a club open tournament with my brother, this was the first time we were able to fish together this year and first time for my new boat getting wet on my home water, needless to say I was pretty excited on my trip south.
At this point the river was still above it's typical summer level and at it's highest point for the year. This coupled with muddy water, made searching out clean water vital to having a good tournament. So throughout practice we covered a lot of water to find clean water, getting bites wasn't our first concern, just clean water. Once we found clean or should I say cleaner water, the fish bit, but there was a handful of small buck bass and pike that were more willing to eat our offerings then the key tournament bass we were in search of.
On tournament day, we had two backwater areas that had clean water, baitfish and what we were hoping was bigger bass in them. I relied heavily on my Minn Kota Talon in this event, as we had 20 to 30 mile per hour winds and having good boat control was very important as I had to make several flips or casts to the cover to get the bass to bite.
We relied on two offerings throughout the day, an RC Tackle Swim Jig and flipping a variety of Texas-rigged soft plastics. Even though we weren't able to load the boat with any big bass, we did manage one 3 lb. fish to help anchor our 16.55 lb. 8-fish limit. This actually put us in 17th place out of 60 teams, earning us a small check, which is never a bad thing!
My Texas-rig set up ended up putting over half of our limit in the boat and I feel that the gear I used helped me be successful with it as I was flipping in very thick cover. My Wright & McGill Micro Guide Heavy Cover 7'6" Rod and Victory reel spooled with 20 lb. Seaguar TATSU, helped me not lose a single fish all day.
Only a few short days back in MN and I was heading back south to the cabin for a long Memorial Day weekend and lower water levels. These lower water levels would help concentrate the bass more and put them in their typical post spawn feeding areas.
The weather throughout the weekend was again ever so changing, which had me relying on my ScoutLook Weather app on my phone constantly. This helped me stay ahead of the storms and with their Fish Log app, so I can keep track of my catches and the weather conditions when I caught them.
The bass were on the feed and we were able to catch them just how I like to, with topwaters! In open water areas where the bass were pushing shad up against rock and current, we would use poppers and in the backwaters, we used Snag Proof Frogs and RC Tackle Swim Jigs.
I had to make extremely long casts with my popper and the Seaguar Senshi monofilament allowed me to make those casts and had just the right amount of stretch in it as a bass would inhale my bait. With Memorial Day comes the kick off to summer, so from here on out, you'll be seeing (well reading) a lot about my time on the water.