On Sunday, September 13th, my tournament partner Steve Crotteau and I fished an open tournament on Long Lake in Washburn County Wisconsin. The Long Lake Fall Classic is limited to 40 boats and is a very popular event that has been held for many years.
I can honestly say that this was the first time of the year that I saw water temperatures exceeding 70 degrees when launching the boat in the morning on our northern lakes. Maybe summer is finally here!
Pre-fishing was tough for us for this event, and reports from other fisherman were consistent with our findings - the bite was off.
We were boat 16 in the first flight and took off at 6:30 am. We got to our first spot and on the second cast caught a 2.5 lb largemouth followed quickly by a 3.5 lb and 2.25 lb smallmouth. At 6:42 am we had 3 keepers in the boat and were feeling pretty good. Then depression set in! In the next hour we caught several short fish and rock bass but no more keepers.
The next 3 hours we hopped around to 10+ waypoints but just could not get the laremouth going. At noon we committed to smallmouth and started fished our smallie spots on deeper, off-shore rock. We picked up 3 more smallmouth in the next 2.5 hours of hump jumping and we also had a 2.5 lb smallmouth come unbuttoned at the boat.
As we headed back to Props Sports Bar and Grill for weigh in, we noticed some boats were loading prior to the first flight check-in of 2:30 pm which would indicate a tough day.
At the tanks, our 6 fish (2 fish short of the tournament limit of 8 fish) weighed 13.66 lbs. When it was all said and done, we ended up finishing in 7th place and we did cash a check.
With a dead calm, sunny, 80 degree day, we maybe should have abandoned the largemouth bite earlier, but we felt that with the number of spots we had out there, any one of them could have been stacked with fish and it is hard to let go of that mentality. Too often a bite is slow on several spots and you get to a spot that is stacked with the mother load of good fish.
We were happy to leave with a top 10 and a check for our efforts.
Bait choices for this tournament were:
Super K football jigs in 1/2 ounce
Super K K-Plunk jigs in 1/2 ounce
Carolina Rigged soft plastics
Drop-shot rigs with soft plastics.
A special thanks to all of our sponsors!!
Grafe Auction Company
Props Sports Bar and Grill
Hauck Power Sports
Skeeter Boat Center
Super K Jigs
A&J Landscape and Maintenance