I was able to get out for about 5 hours on Monday morning with my Dad. We hit a lake that we have a tournament coming up on in the metro area, although we would be fishing against each other, his boat was in the shop, I thought he should get a look at the lake and it's always good to get out with my dad. We don't fish as much now that we both have boats. It was pretty overcast, windy and misty when we started the day.
I started out with a swimbait in the main lake, looking for some big bites, after 20 minutes, that didn't really pan out, so we headed to look for some shallow fish around emerging vegetation. It did not take long to start putting bass in the boat, many of them were chunky 14-16" fish. We kept hopping around trying to expand on these fish and looking for a bigger bite. Well, we kept getting bit, but nothing over 3lbs for most of the day and all are fish came on light weight or weightless soft plastics fished really slow. I tried several reaction baits with no avail. Based on Saturday's trip and water temp, it was obvious that some fish would be spawning, but with the weather, trying to look at them would be near impossible.
Not long before we headed in, I did pop a 3lb 12oz pre-spawn fish on a beaver. My best 5 would have been 13-14lbs, not bad, but not great for this lake. Hoping to dial in a few more big bites come tournament time!
Overall we caught around 30 fish between us in a hald day of fishing!
Satruday finally came and now has went. Over all it was a good day, once I got boat back on trailer and put the plug in.... After the plug incident, club tourney partner Rick and I were fishing by 7am, early morning water temps were around 59 degrees. I started out throwing a 5" Optimum BLT Swimbait, I caught one decent fish on that and Rick picked one up on a spinnerbait.
My 3rd fish came on a 3/8oz jig, pictured below. Weighed 4lbs 3oz on my new handheld scale. Quite obvious she was still beautiful, fat and pre-spawn.
We kept hunting and pecking around, picking up a few fish here and there. Saw a few fish cruising and a few on beds, I did catch one of a bed, just to get a little practice in case some are still there during next week's tournament, I caught a 3-5 of a bed just to prove I could, the rest I kind of left alone.
We had lulls and stretches of good fishing, fish did seem to be grouped a little. I caught good fish tubes and ring frys as well. All in all, we caught about 20 fish or so and I capped the 5 hour day off with the 4-11 beauty below.
All in all a pretty good day, would've been fun to stay out for a few more hours, either way I feel good about next weekend's tournament. I hope to get out tomorrow morning as well. How did the rest of my fellow Minnesotans do this weekend?
Following up club tourney #1, the very next day we had our 2nd club tourney of 2011. We launched out of Colvill Park in Red Wing and we could fish all of Pool 4 and bottom of Pool 3. I had not fished this water since last year and never really fished with water has high as it was on tournament day. Based on my past experience and familiarity with the water closer to Wabasha, I decided to make the 25 mile run and just go fishing down there.
It did not take long for my partner Kory and I to start plucking fish from dead end cuts with rock and wood cover. We hopped around, checking spots that I thought would have the right stuff, most of them panned out, with each of catching a pretty decent 4 fish limit, bot having 1 kicker smallie to go with solid largemouth. I caught all mine on a 4" tube and a 3/8oz jig fished on 17-20lb fluorocarbon on heavy action Dobyns Rods, while Korey got all his on a Tube Craw.
The wind managed to kick up in the afternoon, making for an adventurous return to Red Wing and we drove right into a thunderstorm with driving rain and hail. We made it safely back to Colvill Marina, just in time to catch a few small keepers that we threw back.
In the end I took 2nd with 12.22lbs for 4 fish and Korey got 4th with 11.26lbs, my big smallie was 3.49lbs. We easily had the largest combined weight but a few guys found some really nice smallies up near Red Wing to beat us out. Still a decent tourney, but as Ricky Bobby says "if you are not first, you're last!"
After two tourneys, I am less then a .5lbs out of first in overall standings. I look to keep up the strong weights on my next 2 tourneys on Medicine & O'Dowd that will be first weekend in June. Learn more about Gopher Bassmaters @ www.GopherBass.com
More Bass Bloggin @ Rich's Bassin' Blog
My first tourney of the season was this past Saturday; with the super high water this spring and all the travel I have been doing, there wasn't much time for practice. I did get out for about 3 hours the Wednesday evening prior, but all that was accomplished was looking at new water that wasn't productive, checking water levels and falling out of boat reaching for trolling motor right before heading home and losing my favorite sandals in the mucky bottom of a backwater. But watch for a blog post on how to dry a cell phone out in the near future.
That being said, I and my partner had a game plan for tournament day, we were dedicating our entire day to two backwater areas targeting primarily largemouth. We started on a rip rap bank where I caught a nice 15.5" smallmouth on an Ima Shaker crankbait in Bluegil color and 2 more keepers on a black tube. Shortly after, Steve caught a small largemouth keeper on a white swim jig.
We then spent the rest of the day in a larger backwater area largely flipping tubes, jigs & beavers to shallow wooden cover on rocky banks. My primary baits came down to a 3/8oz Tungsten jig and a black 4" tube on a 3/16oz weight fished on 17-20lb fluorocarbon on heavy action Dobyns Rods.
All in all i caught about 12 keepers throughout the day, because its catch and release, we did a paper tourney, my best 5 fish measured/weighed 15.44lbs (18", 17.5", 17.25", 16.5" 16"). My partner got 4 keepers and had his 5th fish on several times. I also lost one kicker fish, stupid mistake rushing her and trying to swing her in, she hit on the edge of the gunnel and flopped the wrong way.
18" = 3.64lbs Bass shown above
In the end, I ended up 4th out of 26 anglers, very solid, but I always want to win and stings when you drop a difference maker fish on a dumb decision. I feel that most of these fish were trying to spawn as the water was around 63-64 degrees and were a few days past the full moon. So fishing slow and deliberate around key areas seem to be the ticket.
Also of note, my Akinetix Moisture wicking Polo and under shirt were a perfect combo for this rainy day, it dried in just a few moments, so no matter if your rain suit fails or you get caught without it, you fish comfortably!
But no time to worry about spilled milk, had to get home get the batteries charged and ready for tournament #2 on Sunday out of Red Wing and haven't been there in a year.....
More Bass Bloggin @ Rich's Bassin' Blog
Been doing a bit of river fishing lately. One thing has become apparent in this low to mid 50 degree water; the IMA Shaker with it's flat sides and more subtle action is out producing the new highly touted IMA Square Bill designed by Elite Series Bass Pro Bill Lowen.
Pictured above is the nicest bass I caught the other day, but put a bunch in the boat on an IMA Shaker thrown on 12lb Fluoro on my brand new Dobyns 684 CB Crankbait Rod, pretty sweet rod for jerkbaits and light wooden baits like the Shaker, Rapala Shad Raps and several other baits.
Both great baits, but this time of year, its hard to beat the profile and action of the Shaker, so my advice, while the traditional Square Bills are getting all the headlines right now, if you live up north, stick with the Shaker for a few more weeks. Then when water hits 60 degrees and up, pick that Square Bill up and do work!
As you can see, they were eating the SHAKER!
More Bass Bloggin @ Rich's Bassin' Blog