Mid-August brought one of the most challenging tournaments I have fished in a while. The MN BASS Nation TOC was being held on Island Lake Reservoir north of Duluth, MN. Island Lake for a large tournament comes with a handful of challenges. For starters, it is one of the smaller venues we fish TOCs on, it also has a fairly low population of bass per acre compared to most of our fisheries resulting to a fishery that doesn’t respond well to heavy fishing pressure of a large tournament.
Coming into this tournament, I had very little experience on the lake, I did not pre-practice on the lake and I just practiced for 3 of the 4 official practice days. Watch my official practice video below for all the details.
Coming out of practice, I had a few deals that I thought I could get bit doing. Topwater over rocky shoals, finesse tactics around grass and then a quirky specific dock pattern.
As the tournament unfolded, it became very apparent that 2 of those 3 things evaporated on me. Watch my day 1 tourney recap to see how that unfolded.
Going into day 2, I had a great shot at winning my first BASS Nation title. I ground & gave it all I had, but came up just a bit short. Congrats to Brent Haimes.
Lastly, if you play fantasy fishing, make sure to watch my final recap of the season for the Bassmater AOY Championship on Lake St Clair.
Coming soon recaps of my TBF Semi Nationals out of La Crosse, WI!
After a long break, the Bassmaster Elite Series is back to business & fishing this weekend on famed Lake Guntersville. Still, some time to get your Fantasy Team picks in, so check out my latest Fantasy Fishing Edge video to gain some insight to set your team and WIN!
This blog always seems to fall to a lower priority than my YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Definitely consider following me on any of those platforms to stay more plugged into my fishing activities and catch any fishing tips & nuggets that I pass on through those channels.
I am not giving up on the blog and for now, I am going to leave you with a few of my recent Bass Fishing YouTube videos. I am definitely putting more of my energy into my YouTube content as its something I really enjoy, but the downside it is time-intensive labor of love to produce high-quality original content in video format.
Recorded the Fantasy Fishing Insider podcast earlier this morning, hopefully it edits and drops in time for all of you to listen in, but if not, here are my picks.
Last Saturday was so beautiful, had to get out on Pool 2 if only for a few hours. Tried some new water, for the most part unproductive, caught a few fish though.
I am also excited for the Minnesota Bass Expo this weekend, looks like it is going to be a really cool show, check out the list of vendors. I will be there from 4-8pm on Friday, probably find me walking around or hanging near the TBF or Kruger Farms booth. FYI – Kruger Farms had some killer deals at the Northwest Sportshow, do yourself a favor and stop by their Bass Expo booth, they might surprise you, plus they should have some Dobyns Rods on display if you have not checked them out yet.
Don’t forget about the Aquateko contest, you still got 12 days to enter that contest for free tackle!
Last but not least, I did another quick video showing my system for organizing and storing my soft plastics for bass fishing. Check out the video.
Since my office bracket had Missouri over Florida State, I am not talking about the NCAA basketball tournament. The madness that is going on for me, is frantically preparing my boat for the early open water this year, listing more stuff in my Bass
Store, because I have been on a tackle organization kick and trying to keep momentum going after picking winners in the last two fantasy fishing events.
So this week, the Elite Series is on the Big O. If you have not checked out BassRankings.com, its a great new site for doing Fantasy Fishing research and keeping up with which pros are fishing the best!
So here are my picks:
As always, check out our podcast page to get more insight to these picks and some of my runner up choices for each bucket and my co-hosts picks (use their picks at your own risk). Good stuff can be found at BassUtopia.com as well!
Sure this is an exciting week because of March Madness, but what has me all geeked out right now is the warm weather in Minnesota, on the bring of open water bass fishing in March and the Bassmaster Elite Series starting tomorrow on the St. John’s River. So here are my picks, listen to the podcast to get the 411 and the logic.
Mean while, I need to remember to call tomorrow and check if my hot foot will be done so I can pick my boat up before the weekend! I did fill out a few NCAA brackets, but I spent more time thinking about my Fantasy Fishing lineup.
Still need to get caught up on the latest Major League Fishing episode.
I did get out fishing for a few hours on the Minnesota Bass Closer, it was hard to leave the laptop and all the Bassmater Classic coverage, but I decided catching was better then watching. Air temperatures were tolerable, but the wind was ridiculous. I did catch 7 smallmouth pretty darn quick on a homemade smallie beaver bait on a 1/8oz shakey head.
Then the bite just died on me, I switched to a jerkbait and only mustered one follow. Next up was an Ima Square Bill and that produced 3 nice chunky smallmouth to round out the trip. It is always nice to catch a few open water winter bass to keep the cabin fever at a minimum. On a positive note, it was 55 degrees and in all likely hood I will be fishing the Mississippi River in March and catching a few bass out of my boat.
I continue to be tuning into Major League Fishing every week, and it continues to be a solid product. This week in the first Sudden Death Elimination round, 6 anglers fished for two spots, the first two to get to 40lbs moved on, the rest eliminated. Spoiler Alert: Cream rose to the top, KVD & Ehrler advanced. KVD DOMINATED!
FLW Hartwell tournament starts on Thursday, still time to lock in a Fantasy Fishing roster or make last minute adjustments. Below is my roster, soon a Podcast will post here, breaking it all down!
While a February Bassmaster Classic almost assures it will never be in my back yard, I do admit it if fun to look forward to this time of year. Today was the last official day of practice for the 49 anglers, tomorrow is media day and the tournament action starts Friday morning Hopefully we do not have the fog delays that plagued the 2011 Bassmaster Classic.
For those that have been part of my Fantasy Fishing leagues in the past, I have joined forces with Bass Utopia. So join the Bass Utopia League, they will be doling out the prizes, I think the winner of Classic week will be winning a Abu Garcia Veritas flipping stick!!!! So be sure to join the group, play every week and you could be a winner!
If you need help picking a lineup, check out our Fantasy Fishing Insider podcast. Too lazy for that, check out my starting lineup for this year’s Classic. I will be posting my lineups here all season long, but you will have to tune into the podcast to get the logic and details.
Along with the Classic, comes the itch to start buying tackle and gear, so to make room, I have been adding things to my eBay store this week, so check it out for some bargains!
Also, quick report on the 2nd Elimination Round from Major League Fishing, it may have been more exciting then the first show. Couple of notables: Alabama Rig or Meat Rake was a factor again
IKE goes psycho, big surprise???
Jerkbait is a major player again
Flipping Bite is found
Anticipation grows for the next episode, waiting a week between episodes has been only downside thus far…
After a very busy winter, I was able to sneak away from the house to chase some open water bass with some good bassin’ buds. A place that I have fished a few times before in the winter, but a first for several of the others. The fishing started decent but was not as hot as I had seen it before.
We all caught fish on several lures from flukes, to jigs, swim jigs and chatterbaits, but as the day went on the swimbait bite started to dominate. It was clear the swimbait would elicit strikes form better quality bass that would pass on most normal offerings. For the most part we fished a range of 6-8″ swimbaits in slow to moderate sink rates and had to fish them quite slow.
The patience and persistence paid off in the from of several 3-5lb fish for all those that stuck with the swimbaits. I have done a fair amount of dabbling with swimbaits and caught fish here and there, but this is probably the first time I felt the swimbait was the predominant bite. It was very addictive, as these fish keyed on the vibrations of these swimbaits until well after sunset. My Dobyns 795 Mike Long swimbait rod finally got a well deserved work out!
If you haven’t made your picks yet for FLW Tour on Hartwell, better get on it, they start fishing in the morning. Gonna try pasting my picks from FLW site, see how it works below. Prizes for Beaver & St. Johns will ship soon, still trying to get a hold of Harris Chain winner….
Listen to the Fantasy Fishing podcast here, special guest this week is Brett Ehrler, he talks about his preference on drop shot setups, his practice & favorite RoboWorm colors…
Anybody of my fellow Minnesotans excited for next week’s Northwest Sportshow? I think I am actually going there this year with a purpose, camera & video camera in hand, try to do some blog recaps on what is cool & new this year!
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