Last Sunday I fished a tournament out of Winona to hoping to qualify for the MN TBF TOC so that I have that option in late September when the time comes. It was an interesting format that it was a team tournament where the captain qualified as a boater and the partner qualified as a non-boater for the TOC.
I met my partner Cade early Saturday morning so that we could get a full day of practice and scouting in before Sunday’s tournament. We found quality bass early on the main river and then moved our way back in to the backwaters as the day went on. We found some good quality fish in practice, but there were some really slow periods and tough stretches with out hardly any bites to show for it.
By far the highlight of the day was a 4.09lb largie that I plucked from a thick mat punching an Evolve Kompak craw. I am continued to be impressed how my Dobyns DX795 FLIP over powers fish even in the thickest mats. We didn’t linger in this spot much longer, as we knew this would be an area to spend considerable time in during the tournament.
We drew out in the middle of the field, but we were able to reach our main river rock and sand spot before any competitors, but unfortunately there was plenty of recreational competition. I manage a small keeper largemouth on a popper and Cade got a close to 3lb smallie on a swim jig. We hit a few more spots and we put a few more keepers in the boat, from there we started to work further back of the main channel. We picked off largemouth on swim jigs, flipping and frogs but not quite the size we knew we needed.
With about 3 hours to go, we headed back to the area where the big fish came from in practice. We slowly worked the area, Cade frogged and I flipped, and we managed the key bites to fill out our bag including a close to 4lb fish that I was able to catch flipping the edges. The frog definitely caught the numbers and some good quality, but by splitting duties in a team format, we maximized our area.
We ended up with 5 fish for 14.95lbs, which was a solid 3rd place finish which qualified us and got us in the money, not a bad weekend on the river. Much better then my last trip to Winona!
My next tourney will either be the Prairie BFL or the BASS Nation TOC. Stay tuned, still plenty of fishing left this year!