MFBA TBF Minnesota State Championship – Mississippi River

This past weekend I fished the TBF Minnesota State Championship out of Wabasha, MN on the Mississippi River.  I only had one day to practice which was the Sunday before.  During practice, I found one good group of largemouth on Lake Pepin and a couple good groups of smallmouth down in the river on main channel rock and wing dams.

On day 1 of the tournament with the wind conditions I had committed to the lake, but made a couple wing dams spots on the way.  I caught small keeper smallmouth on a sand drop and had some short strikes on my favorite Yellow Magic popper.  Enough time wasted, I headed to the lake.  My first stop produced 2 short smallies on topwater.  I then headed to my largemouth area, I quickly got a chunky bass on a Red Eye Shad.  I then started working the area with my jig and got a fish close to 3lbs, then another good’un on Tube Craw and another on a Phenix vibrating jig.  I let that spot rest, got another keeper largie on a mojo rig and then came back to the best area and got another good fish on a chigger craw.  We worked our way back down the lake and my partner got his first fish on a lipless crank.

I then went back to where I had short strikes in the river and quickly caught 2 smallmouth around 3lbs on my Yellow Magic popper.  From there we fished a few wing dams and I spent a bit of time in Indian Slough trying to find a kicker, but it never happened.  I ended up with 3 largemouth and 2 smallies for 14.72lbs and my big fish was 3.59 largemouth.  That was good enough for 2nd after day 1.

The wind had switched a little on day 2 and I did not think my best Lake Pepin area would hold up, so I scratched that and went to an old favorite area below Wabasha.  My first spot only produced a single 2lb smallie and 2 white bass on the Yellow Magic.  From there, I knew things may be tougher and I was probably going to just do some fishing today.  My 3rd spot produced another keeper smallie on the topwater and largemouth on a Chigger Craw.  We tried a few wing dams as we worked our way up river, only one miss on the popper.  I got another keeper smallie on a mojo rig off the spot that produced the big smallies on day 1.  I then headed up by Reed’s Landing and got one short.  We stopped back through the previous spot and we each got a keeper smallmouth.  It felt good to have a limit, not big, but knew it would not take much more to make the top 6.  We worked through a series of wing dams and I got another decent smallmouth.

From there I decided to run back past Indian Slough and gamble a bit to find some frog fish.  I found some what appeared to be some good looking water.  My partner had a boil on his first cast, from there, I put on a big northern clinic on frogs   On the way back out of Indian Slough, we each flipped a nice largemouth and then we hit a little main river rock at the end and that was it.  The dock talk was mixed results, some anglers did better, others struggled.

I ended up weighing 10.19lbs and held on the 5th place, which is awesome, because the top 6 boaters qualify for the 2012 TBF Northern DIvisional in Wisconsin.  This was a nice redemption after not making the BFN Northern DIvisional on Whitefish.

This weekend, have the Gopher Fall Classic, possibly the Simply Fishing fall tournament the following weekend and I think some hawg hunting tomorrow night!