Gopher Bassmasters Mille Lacs Tourney & Photo Shoot

On Saturday I made the drive up to Onamia super early in the morning to partake in a Gopher Bassmasters club tournament.  Frankly, I had not been to Mille Lacs in over a year, this would be my only my second time on this large pond, I just using this fun tournament as an excuse to get back up there.  This was setup as a measure tournament with immediate release of the fish.

My partner Henry & I launched out of Cove Bay, I caught a nice largemouth out of the reeds on a 3/8oz BassTEK tungsten jig, but we fished a bunch more reeds and nothing else.  From there we bucked a NNE wind up to around Vineyard Bay.  We dabbled around more reed clumps until we came to a small point.   We ended up catching seven largemouth on this point area and missing a couple others.  We tried to expand on this water more and kept chasing green fish, but no bites in some really great looking water.

So I used my map chips and graphs to find a subtle area offshore.  I quickly caught a smallmouth on a jerkbait and then had a few follows.  Not long after that Henry boated his 4th fish on a tube and had a bigger fish under the one we netted, unfortunately I had a jerkbait rod in my hand and not  a drop bait when I netted it.  We stayed in this area for awhile and I managed to hook to big smallmouth only to lose them both, that seemed to kill the bite on this spot.  I tried to duplicate and find more areas like this, while we fished some very enticing looking rock structures, no smallies that we could get to bite or show themselves.

We revisited our point with the sun out and I caught two more smallmouth on soft plastics.  We then hit some docks, Rocky Reef & Izaty’s before finishing the day around the Cove Bay, I only managed one more small smallies on the jerkbait.  I was disappointed that Henry never got his 5th fish and that I did not boat the bigger smallies I had hooked.

When we returned to the meeting point, I was suprised that my 14.75lbs was good enough for second and only one angler really smacked the nicer smallmouth.  Congrats to Chong on his 19lbs of smallmouth.  My best 5:
17.5″ Largie
17.5″ Largie
16.5″ Largie
16.125″ Smallie
16.125″ Smallie

Definitely makes me want to get back up there and get revenge on some big smallmouth!

Back a few weeks ago, during final day of Elite Series in La Crosse I had the opportunity to do some photo work with Anthony Larson of Coulee Region Adventures and Desiree, who was a mentee and part of the program KAMO, (Kids And Mentor Outdoors) that Anthony is Vice President of this group.  Below are a few shots that were taken by Desiree, she did a great job and looks like she has “the eye” for photography.  Also to see all the photos, check out the full gallery.

Anthony shoots many events and professional photos in the La Crosse area, check him out, especially if you need some professional photos for a sponsor or other event.  I hope to say hi to Anthony again when I am done this week for the FLW Everstart Central event this week!