Early last week I had a crazy idea in my head, one of those last minute nagging ideas, that I wanted to fish a bass tournament instead of hang around the house for the weekend. I only have a few open weekends and May 30th and 31st was one of them. The Bassmaster Weekend Series was to hold a tournament on the Mississippi River Pools 3, 4, 5 and the St. Croix River, so I called their office to see if I could get in.
There was still plenty of spots to fill in the tournament, but there was many more boaters than non-boaters, so I signed up as a non-boater. I told my team tournament partner Steve Crotteau and good friend Preston Johnson that I was signed up and they took the plunge and signed up as well!
Saturday afternoon we packed 30 plus rods and too much tackle into my Suburban and headed to Evert's Resort
in Hagar City, WI, for registration and a 7pm pre-tournament meeting. Evert's
is on the north end of Pool 4 and it is a great venue for a tournament. Dean Marshall is the resort manager and he is an incredible host, and an accomplished fisherman.
During the 7pm meeting, I met my boater for Sunday's tournament, Gary Myers. Gary let me know were were going to fish the St. Croix river north of Hudson.
Sunday morning I met Gary at the landing at 3:45 am - our boat number for take-off was 5, so were were in the first flight scheduled to take off at 5am.
It is right around 35 miles to Hudson from Evert's Resort
, but with needing to lock through to Pool 3 and 4 long no-wake areas to go through, we knew it would be an hour and 45 minutes to get to Gary's fishing area.
We got to the lock by 5:10 and there was a barge locking up so the gates were closed. We started fishing while waiting for the lock, and within 10 minutes I caught a 15" smallmouth. At 5:56 am we were through the lock and heading north.
Through the course of the day, we caught numerous fish, but most were short of the 14" minimum size. When it was all said and done, I did catch a limit of smallmouth (3 fish limit for co-angler and 5 fish limit for boaters) - my weight was 5.88 lbs which was good enough for 15th place out of 81 co-anglers and the tournament paid back 15 places, so I got a check.
Gary was a great guy to spend the day fishing with - he is the kind of person you feel like you have known your whole life.
Extreme word of caution - be very, very careful running on Pool 4 right now - the river stage is very low - as many as 13 of the boats that were in this tournament ended up getting beached high and dry on a sandbar in the Wisconsin Channel just south of Evert's
For full results, click HERE
The baits I used in this tournament were:Super K Swim Jigs
Get Bit Baits Tubes
Special thanks to Grafe Auction Company