The first of my BFL tournaments for this season has passed and it was a good learning experience for me and despite not cashing a check, I took several positives from the day. I had a great time on the Mississippi River all week and look forward to my next tournament down there.
The first positive and in my mind is very important is that throughout prefishing I kept my nose to the grind stone and looked for the areas that had the quality fish that were needed to do well in a 3-fish limit tournament.
A 4.7 lb. Mississippi River smallie

A 4.7 lb. Mississippi River smallie

I focused primarily on largemouth, but did find a few big smallies, which is always fun to tangle with! My main pattern for this tournament was fishing Snag Proof Frogs around matted vegetation and lily pads. I definitely put countless miles on my Minn Kota Fortrex trolling motor as I had to cover a lot of water to find the right water and size of fish I was looking, but once I did the fish were bunch up, so I would drop my Minn Kota Talon, so I could fish for them effectively.
Getting the bass out of the heavy vegetation was key, as I knew the big bites would be limited so I put my Wright & McGill Tessera Series Frog Rod and Seaguar Kanzen 60 lb. braided line to test and it performed flawless for me.
I finished the tournament with 7 lb. 15 oz., which put me in 49th place out of 110 and I can say that I capitalized on the opportunities I had and stuck to my game plan and put myself in the position to do well. My co angler did manage to get a 4 lb. fish to bite that I worked a long time on, so I was happy for him, but at the same time, that fish would’ve moved up into the top ten, but hey that is fishing and some days you get the bite and other days you don’t.
Following the BFL, I headed back to MN so I could fish the third Big Bass Bonanza event of the year on Lake Minnewaska. As I said above, some days you get the bites and some days you don’t, well Sunday started out slow and looked to be a grind it out day of fishing. 
But then Nick hooked up with a big largemouth, which jolted our confidence. We then went to plan B to target smallmouth and the lights came on and things started to click. We used a variety of soft plastic baits on Trokar Extra Wide Gap hooks and because of the finicky bites, we used 15 lb. test Seaguar TATSU Fluorocarbon line.
Once we had established our pattern, we used the Lakemaster chip in the Humminbird Electronics to help identify other potential fish holding areas; this helped us make better use of our day.
2nd Place Lake Minnewaska with 25.25 lb's

2nd Place Lake Minnewaska with 25.25 lb's

Our 8-fish limit comprised of seven smallmouths and a 4.79 lb. kicker largemouth that took big bass honors and our limit weighted 25.25 lb’s, and put us in 2nd place! This was a great feeling to cap off the weekend and help us gain some valuable points in the year end standings as we head to the final event of the year on August 26th on the Horseshoe Chain.
Well, I’m back off to the lake this week for the Denny’s Wednesday nighter and then head down to La Crosse next week for the Everstart, please be sure to check out my new website for daily updates,