Well as of last weekend, I am pretty sure my 2012 tournament season is all wrapped up. I hope to do some fall fun fishing yet and get some filming done, been awhile since I had anything new to share on my YouTube channel.
The season ended with a big event, in which my partner and I came up short of the $20k prize. Practice on the Mississippi River was a bit tough for both Josh and myself, but we both added a few pieces everyday and found a handful of areas with quality fish. Inserted below are some of the better practice fish.
Day one of the North American Bass Circuit Championship was windy from the start, it was easy sailing from Red Wing to the mouth of the Lake Pepin, from there south to Wabasha was pretty intense with winds gusting over 20 mph from WNW. Nothing super bad, but 25 miles of rough water takes it toll on you and your equipment if you are not smart about it. Fortunately, we had one semi-protected spot on the north end of Pepin, we were able to stop in and pick up two keeper smallmouth. From there we ran to a rip rap area north of Wabasha and picked up two more smallies. We then ran within site of the Alma dam to an area that had big smallies in practice and I got our 5th keeper smallie on a jerkbait. After that, it turned into a grin, we fished a bunch of wing dams, closing dams, wood, sand drops, etc and had nothing to show for it. We were able to make a stop on Lake Pepin on the way back to get a small upgrade on Largie that Josh picked off on a jerkbait. After that, we decided to run to the top of the pool near the Red Wing dam and hit a few things, Josh did have one nice bite, but it did not hook up, so we returned to Colvill park with moments to spare and we ran out of gas idling past check-in. We ended up 18th after day 1 with 10.3lbs.
Day two was a bit less windy, but still breezy for sure, the wind had shifted more North and made our first couple stops a washout. Our fist stop in Wabasha resulted in nothing as well. Our 3rd stop quickly resulted in me rolling a big smallie on a jerkbait and Josh getting a 4.4lb smallie on a Biovex jerkbait, we saturated that area, but could not muster another bite. Around the corner I got our 2nd smallmouth on a jerkbait and the next stop I picked up a squeaker smallie on the same jerkbait. We then hit a similar mid-day lull as day one. We got into another area and Josh had a heartbreaking situation with a big fish sawing him and his high end Japanese jerkbait off on a gap in a wing dam. Shortly after that, I flipped up a chunky largemouth on a Black/Blue Big Bites Salt tube off some wood. From there, I made a on the fly decision to hit a small point that just looked right and I got out 5th smallmouth. From there, we decided to test the lake, hoping the wind would cooperate on a spot or two.
The very first spot, I almost immediately hooked up on a nice white bass, we agreed that was a positive sign on the river, meant there was food here. Turns out that sand drop was loaded with white bass, smallmouth and largemouth of all shapes and sizes and we caught fish almost every cast the last hour on jerkbaits and Red Eye Shads before having to fight the wind back to Red Wing. We ended up upgrading a few fish there, but could not get the 3lb bites we probably really needed. Man it was tough to leave biting fish like that!!!!
We made it back to Colvill Park with a few minutes to spare and a enough gas to make it all the way in. We had a better day, weighing the big fish of the tournament and over 13lbs, but we ended up out of the money in 15th place. Congrats to Brian Korfmacher and Todd Brunson, they clearly figured out something the rest of the field did not!
For those that have not fished with NABC, they run a great circuit, they did release a tentative 2013 schedule:
Chippewa Flowage – Championship
Overall, I think it is a pretty sweet schedule and will have to strongly consider fishing it in 2013!