Category Archives: Tournament Info

Crystal Lake – PrePractice

My partner (John) for the Crystal Lake club tournament decided to head out on Memorial Day for a little pre-practice/fun fishing.  We fished from 6am – 2pm, we started in a shallow bay with topwater, no luck on Lucky Craft Splash-Tail or 1/4oz Buzzbait.  I then switched to a watermelon Zoom Super Fluke because of the large amount of small bluegills spawning in the shallows.  I quickly caught a nice 2lb keeper on the edge of a dock.  After that I threw a brown/purple Swim Jig, I quickly caught 2 bass and got bit off by a northern.  Through the rest of the day, most of the fish we caught were relation inside weed edges and pockets.  Some were guarding fry, couple were on beds, most were just cruising.  We also picked up a few under trees and around docks, but most fish were just along the inside edge or in a pocket.  John caught all his fish on a texas-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog (watermelon/red) with a small pegged sinker.  I caught fish on  LFT Ring Frys, LFT Twitch Worm (watermelon) on Shakey Head, and a LFT Craw Tube (Bull Bream).  I also had my first fish on a Pumpkin/Gold Rad Lures Chatterbait, too bad it was a small pike.  I also had a 2lb bass on that spit the hook    All in all it was a pretty solid day, caught 15 keeper bass between us with the biggest being about 4lb and most around 2lb.  I plan to practice Friday and Saturday for this Sunday’s Bassmaster Weekend Series on Le Homme Deu Chain.

Tight Lines,

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Lake Wapogasset – Club Tournament #2 – May 21,2006

After stewing about my disappointing finish at Deer Lake, I was fired up to get revenge on the fish and the rest of the club.  I knew from prefishing that Wapogasset would be a few degrees warmer and a little farther along in the seasonal pattern.  I had a plan to start fishing staging fish in some cabbage that was 3-8ft deep that was just outside of some spawning flats, but in the back of my mind I thought shallow fish could still play a big role.  The previous Sunday we caught several keepers on lipless cranks and spinnerbaits in this cabbage area.

Chong & I arrived first in this area only to have another boat shut down just a little ways down the cabbage line.  I started out with a Rayburn Red Xcalibur Xr50 Lipless Crankbait and Chong with his lucky chartreuse spinnerbait.  We had no luck, so I tried a Husky Jerk , Spinnerbait, & a Parrot DT4 with no luck.  The other boat had no action either and they even tried bouncing plastics on the bottom.  So I started easing up into the shallow flat and noticed several male bass cruising and actually positioned on beds.  I tried fishing them for a little while with a Baby Ring Fry , but only had one small pick-up and I do not think many of these fish would make the 14″ minimum.  So I decided to head to the north end of the lake where there is a bit more color to the water and the water is a little warmer.

We fished the cabbage line into the cove and only picked up one 12″ bass on a spinnerbait.  We started poking around the docks and the inside cabbage line with soft plastics.  I was throwing a weightless green-pumpkin Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry with a spinning rod with 10# Gamma Edge Flourocarbon and Chong has 4″ Black Senko .  I quickly spotted a few bass on beds and caught 1 keeper and a short, after the previous day I put that 14.25″ keeper right in the livewell.  We continued through these docks and sandy inside areas and I got two more keepers and we each missed a nice keeper that we had on.  As we fished down the docks, we met another club boat and he had one fish, so we turned around and fished back and I got a 15″ fish that I put in the livewell.  At this time I decided to switch to the full size Lake Fork Ring Fry on a baitcaster to try to get a bigger bite, because I only could keep one more fish and it was a no cull tournament.

I then caught a 15.75″ keeper that I reluctantly threw back at 11:10am, cause I had visions of getting a kicker at some point.  Shortly after that, I caught and threw back another 14″ and Chong got a nice keeper under a dock.  We decided to let this area rest and return in the afternoon.  We hit a set of docks across the way where I had nice fish that I missed because I did not realize the slack I had in my line as the fish swam through the weeds, probably around 3lbs.  I though I had missed my kicker opportunity.  We then hit other docks on the east side of the lake, things had slowed and we each caught a few short fish.

Finally we started coming up the docks that we had met the other boat on and I hooked a nice fish under a pontoon that was on a lift with a tail weighted Ring Fry, it was 4.5lbs and that finished out my limit.  I spent the rest of the time driving Chong around the docks and shallows trying to get him fish.  I spotted a few keepers on beds that he hooked, but they managed to get off.  Final weight was 11.4lbs, 1st place & big fish, could have been better if not for no cull rule as I threw back a nice fish to get the 4.5 and I stopped fishing 1.5 hrs early.  Only one other limit was brought to the scales, but nobody was skunked.  Unfortunately the other limit came from my father who took first on Deer.  So I sit in 2nd by about 3.2 after 2 tournaments with 6 to go, very manageable.

Now I need to concentrate on Le Homme Deu for the first Bassmasters Weekend Series Tournament…..

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Deer Lake – Club Tournament #1 – May 20, 2006

Well, I did get off work and get out on the water for a couple hours the evening before the tournament.  That may have been my biggest mistake.  I got there at 3:30pm and it was warm & sunny and the shallows were crawling with life and nice bass all the way around the lake.  I threw around some docks and pulled on a few fish and two of them hooked themselves.  One on a Baby Ring Fry and the other on a white wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worm .  I also spotted several nice fish in a tree that I saw nice fish hanging around last weekend when I was prefishing.  So my thinking was, I would start at that tree and then work shallow areas during the tournament, figuring that even though things may be slow during the morning, as the sun rose and everything warmed, things would pick up.  It would just be a waiting game of sorts.

Well John & started at the tree, fish around the perimeter and worked our way in making long casts, with no bites.  After 20 minutes we slowly trolled up to the tree and there they were, several quality 2-4lb bass just milling around.  Never could get them to bite.  So we decided we would revisit these fish again later.  We then hit a small weed flat with reaction type baits (chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits & lipless cranks) only 1 small bass.  We then started to hit pockets of shoreline & docks that I had success yesterday, but all we could manage was a handful of short bass.  It was pretty apparent that fish may have pulled back a bit and clouds straited to roll in and wind picked up.  So I decided to head for the far east end where there is a small shallow boat channel, the evening before I noticed several nice bass in there.  I decided to start on the docks just outside of the channel, figuring the fish may have pulled out on to that structure overnight.  We whacked the bass on those docks, on average 2-3 bas per dock, but the largest we landed was about 13 7/8″, and I broke off on one that felt like a quality fish.  We then moved into the channel itself while the sun was still shining, and there were no quality biting fish to be found.  We then continued to hit wood & docks the rest of the day, bouncing around, we managed one keeper fish each.  John got a nice fish on a green-pumpkin Jiggerbait (chatterbait knock-off found on eBay) around some submerged wood and I managed a small keeper off a dock with Fork Secret Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry , I also broke off 2 more times on docks.  We hit some wind swept points and cabbage, with no luck.

We then decided to hit that large tree one last time.  I made a long cast with a LFT Ring Fry and had a good pick-up and I reared back and the fish bit my worm in half.  So I quick re-rigged and tossed back in there, I lifted, felt good weight and broke off on 17lb Gamma.  I could not believe it, I had just retied about 10 casts ago.  This just was not my day.  I rigged up again, fished around the tree, had another good bite and somehow missed that one too.  John that got a nice 2.3lb fish  on a green pumpkin tube.  We only had a few minutes left so we eased up to the tree and sure enough there was still 2-3 nice fish swimming around that we could not get too bite.

It turns out that one guy got 3 keepers fishing a watermelon red flake Fluke on a drop-shot and John was the only other guy to have more than 1 keeper.  3 out of 12 guys came in with zilch.  Everyone caught a ton of fish from 1ft to 14ft, but very few keeper bites.  I really think if I had not been there the night before, I would have not got hung up on fishing shallow and probably would have finessed some baits though the deep cabbage and probably done a little better.  That being said, I believe I had the bites to win, I just did not convert.

On that note, Congrats to Peter T. on his Bassmasters Memorial Major victory and check back tomorrow to see how I got revenge on Wapogasset.


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Bassmsater Weekend Series – North Star Division

Hey All,

One more posting today, before I head to the lake.  The Bassmasters Weekend Series here in MN this summer, still has openings.  You can fish your way to the Bassmasters Classic!   There is also a higher need for non-boaters (co-anglers), so if you are interested check it out @  It is a great way to participate in tournaments and learn a ton by fishing as a non-boater.

Plus there are some incentives discounts for Federation Members & B.A.S.S. Life Members, you get $20 off the enty fee per tournamentClick here for schedule and I hope to see you at the first tournament – Le Homme Deu Chain.

Tight Lines,

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Deer Lake & Wapogasset Club Tournament Preview

After last weekends outing on Deer & Wapogasset, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what to do for the staging pre-spawn fish.  My plan is to try to get out of work early and head over to Deer Lake to cruise around the shallows and get a feel for how far the fish have progressed since last weekend. 

Because we are fishing these two tournaments “No Cull”, it changes how I may go about things.  I feel pretty confident I could start out with Jerkbaits & lipless cranks and get a limit in the morning.  If I do that and females make themselves easy pickings in the afternoon, then I am hosed because I am stuck with a livewell full and I cannot cull them out.  So if the water looks right, I may just start the morning looking for bigger fish.

Although traditionally our May club tournaments are pretty stingy, so I may put the first few keepers in the box regardless of size.  I have been burned before by throwing keepers back.  I feel there is a pretty solid chance there will be some fish ready to spawn by tomorrow afternoon.  I think it got warm enough 2 weeks ago that they are itching to get’r done.  Plus I think the water actually may be a coulple feet down then our surface temp’s are telling us.

Check back early next week for results & details as I will not have internet to doing any Blogging this weekend.


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Wapogasset Prefishing

Well I had so much fun fishing on Saturday in the cold rain that my partner & I headed for Wapogasset.  We were on the lake a little earlier, probably around 7:30am.  Only 3 boats at the access, not much for company on the lake.  Once again, I was too lazy to study the map, we started off cruising around the lake. The water was 52-53 degrees in the morning.  The biggest difference from Deer Lake was the greater presence of cabbage and other submergent vegetation.

The first place we actually put the trolling motor down was in a little boat channel on the east side of the lake.  It was pretty shallow and actually colder than the main lake.  It was chock full of small bluegills, crappie, and fingerling bass.  Also there were a few pike and I did spot one loner keeper bass in there.  Not very promising, but could have some merit next weekend if the weather warms, i just wished it were a little deeper. 

We started covering more water with the outboard and headed for BearTrap Lake which is connected by a channel to Wappo.  On average the water was about 1 degree warmer in Bear Trap.  We hit a few docks with plastics and I fished a Perch colored Husky Jerk  between them and over the inside weed edge., not much luck just a few short bass on a Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry.  I then hit a shallow main lake shoal on the outside of a cove with a Husky JerkGlass Shad Rap (Perch) but has no action.  We then stopped at some docks farther in the pocket, I saw one nice bass cruising and several empty beds.  Not sure if fish had moved up and then pulled off because of the cold snap or if some fish had already spawned.  I did not really notice any empty beds on Deer Lake.  In the back of the cove I picked a nice keeper on the Baby Ring Fry off a dock.  We had seen enough of Bear Trap so we went back to Wappogasset.

We started in a pocket on the east side that we had liked the looks of earlier when we were driving around.  We backed off and fished the cabbage edges in 4-7 feet, we caught several keepers on spinnerbaits (chart) & lipless cranks (crawdad).  I caught 3 bass in 4 casts with my crankbait and then a northern at it     Rather than beat on those fish we headed to the far north end, we saw about a 3lb bass locked on a nest, I made a few pitches just to get a feel for her attitude, she was definitely catchable, but figured it did no good to catch her today and that she would be gone by next weekend.   We then moved out to the weed edge in this area and replicated our success from the previous cove on a 1/4oz Rat-L-Trap (chart crawdad) and the double willow spinnerbait. 

We also idled up the inlet on the NW corner, it did not look very promising so we checked one more cover before we had to head home early for Mother’s Day events.  I came away pretty confident in the weed areas that we found and I have a pretty solid idea of what shallow areas will produce if the weather warms the water enough.  Based on what the fish are doing on Saturday at Deer Lake, I will determine where I will start and what fish I will target.


Deer Lake Prefishing

My partner & I braved the cold & rainy weather today so we would not be completely unprepared for our club tournament next weekend.  We arrived at Deer Lake at about 7:45am and were on the lake by 8am.  Unfortunately I did not put any map study time into this trip and never had been on Deer before.  So the first bit of agenda was to take a cruise around the lake and get the lay of the land.   Main lake water temps were about 51-52F, which dropped from the reported 55-57 last weekend.

So I cruised around the lake, map in hand, slowed down in a few places and circled a few areas that good looking depth changes and contours.  I did notice that there is not a lot of early weed growth on this lake.  So we started in area outside of a shallow spawning area that some good weed growth.  I caught a quick fish on a Rapala Glass Shad Rap (Perch) and then hat a few hits on my Husky Jerk .  My partner had several hits on a Rattlin Rogue but nothing hooked up.  We tried some chatterbaits, lipless cranks, shakey heads, mojo rigs, and Gambler Swim Blades in this area as well, no more fish.

I went up into the shallow area to look it over, banking that it will be warmer next weekend and figured the fish would be using it then.  We were surprised to see some nice bass relating to wood in very shallow water.  We then covered the weed flat with Swim Jigs & Chatterbaits, I caught a few small bass & a northern, while my partner lost his $10 Chatterbait to a 3ft Musky

We followed the weed edge out of the cove and I picked up a keeper fish on a XR-10 Rapala X-Rap in a clown color.  Though he only had the very rear hook, which leads me to believe he really did not want it that bad.  We then shifted in to fish some wood where I got a 12″ bass on a texas rigged green pumpkin Baby Brush Hog .  We continued the day fishing in & out in areas that looked to have the most potential for next weekend.  We picked up a fish here and there on soft plastics and X-raps, most of my bites came on a Pumpkin Melon Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry Side Note: the shallow boat canal on the far east end of the lake was loaded with nice crappie & gills.   People were getting nice 10-12″ crappies from there docks.  Tomorrow, my partner for Wapogasset will head over there to practice up for Sunday’s tournament.