My goal on day 2 was basically to repeat day 1, I figured that if I caught a 10lb limit every day, that would keep me moving up. My 2nd day partner was Robert Sullivan from Iowa, he had 2 keepers on Day 1, so he was up for letting me fish my fish, as long as we saved a little time for one key bank that he wanted to work.
We were boat #36 out of 48, yet had no problem getting into my area first. The bites were a little slower this morning. I caught a couple short fish early and my partner had one that looked like it would have kept jump off. I then got on a little run and caught 3 keepers by about 8am. Here is how the flurry went down. I caught the first one on a dock piling (baby Brushhog) where there was some clumped weeds where a rock bank transitioned to a sea wall. The bite was kind of weird and I suspected there was another fish there by the way that fish bit. So I quickly pitched back and caught a 13″ fish. I threw back in several more times, but nothing. We worked down, when I turned around, I switched to a 3/8oz Black Blue Tru Tungsten Jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer. About 5 pitches later I caught a 14″ barely keeper, I made the decision to box that fish. As I worked back to that same pillar, I caught a nice 15″ keeper off it on the jig to give me 3 keepers. I then worked on trying to expand my area and caught some 13″ fish. I then stopped on some docks outside of the cove that had a little wind on them and caught a nice 2.5lb fish on the jig. That gave me 4 fish at 9:30am.
We then decided we would head up the north end of Winnebago and fish some grass lines that we had both prefished around the mouth of the south Fox river by the lighthouse with swim jigs. We worked it over pretty good, I may have had one bump but that was it. We then worked a few GPS points I had on lighthouse reef for smallies, we each caught some shorts. We then tried a shallow part of the Reef that Robert had caught fish in practice, still nothing. It was almost noon, so we agreed that I could hit some isolated trees and docks on the way back to his bank in the Fox river down in Oskosh. The first dock & tree produced nothing. On the 3rd stop, I threw my baby brushhog under a dock that I had caught a good fish back on Sunday and was rewarded with a nice 3lb largie to round out my limit.
Talking to John Stewart about catching my fish on a Tru-Tungsten Jig on Day 2
Robert spent 2 hours working his bank in the Fox river, it looked like great flipping water, it was hard to sit and watch. He caught one that almost measured, and lost one other good bite. He wanted to make sure I got my fish weighed, so we headed back a little earlier, which I appreciated. My day 2 weight was 11lbs 5oz. That propelled me from 21st to 6th overall and to 2nd on my team, a little over 2lbs back. I was in a great position to make Nationals with a single day to go. I drew a local Wisconsin angler for day 3. Chris Johnson had a very nice 14lb bag of smallies on Day 2 and was 3rd on his team. After the weigh-in, we talked briefly and agreed to work together to both of our benefits on day 3. Also, our MN team moved into 2nd place, so there was a nice buzz around our team meeting that night. It felt good to execute my game plan two days in a row and be in contention and so far I had fished clean and not lost any bites.