Tag Archives: Finesse Fishing

Classic Bass Champions Tour 2017 Mille Lacs Bass Fishing Tournament Recap – June 10, 2017

Sorry, this blog is about a month overdue.  First off, the inaugural Classic Bass Champions Tour event was AMAZING!  Classic Bass put on a great event and fishing an MLF (Major League Fishing) style tournament is a completely different kind of pressure over traditional 5 best bass style tournaments.  It was also no coincidence they chose Mille Lacs Lake which was also recently recognized the worlds Best Bass Fishing Lake for 2017 by Bassmasters Magazine!

If you have never seen an MLF event on TV or on the Web, basically every legal keeper bass you catch counts, it is weighed by an in boat judge (thanks to Prior Lake HS Bass Club) and there is a live scoreboard all day through an app on your phone.   The other really unique thing about this event, it was an invite only event, so to participate, you had to be selected.

Photo Highlights from Event

It was on honor just to be selected and I was super excited to fish against this field.  You can see the results and field list here.  I was able to get about 3 days of practice in for this event.  My strategy was to check several parts of the lake so I would be prepared to fish multiple areas since they were likely to section up the lake for our event and to prepare for the wind.  I also wanted to have baits I felt confident in so I wasn’t second guessing baits when I was looking for fish fast during the event.  Because of the high winds and rough water, I didn’t set up my GoPro during the tournament, but you can check out my practice video which is very similar to how I caught them during the actual event.

The event ended up being split into morning and afternoon sessions, where we had to fish the East side of the lake during the first 4 hours and then after lunch (Thank Rocky Reef Resort for Lunch), we fished the west side of the lake for the final 4 hours.

The split caught me a little off guard based on the wind forecast, I made a big run across the lake only to find the area I planned to fish was completely blown out, I only caught two tiny keepers before getting tired of taking waves over the bow and stern of my boat.  So I ducked into the closest protected water I could find and I hunkered down and made the best I could out of that area that I didn’t even practice.  It turned out to be pretty productive, I was able to catch like 18 or 20 fish for about 43lbs which was good enough to be 3rd out of 24 for the first half.  Here is an Instagram Video of the trip back to Rocky Reef at the end of the first half, water was a little rough.

In the second half, I got off to a slow start with only one 2lb fish in like 90 minutes.  Finally, I got into an area where I got around some fish and it was calm enough to properly fish them, I made a big surge late to make it back to 3rd after falling out of the top 6 cut.  Making the top 6 has qualified me for the Tournament of Champions where I get to fish for a Brand New Skeeter Boat in September.  Watch this post tourney interview from Classic Bass as well for details on my day.

I boated smallies on tubes, speed craws, drop shot, hair jigs, but in the end, it was a Menace Grub rigged on an 1/8oz BassTEK Tungsten Agitator head that caught about 80% of my keepers during the event.  I fished this on a Dobyns 702SF rod, 12lb Braid w/ 8lb Fluorocarbon Leader.

Smallie Candy!

On the horizon, I am fishing the MN TBF TOC on Pokegama and back to Mille Lacs for the Minnesota BASS Nation TOC, so stay tuned for more posts and videos.

Rich

How to Rig a “Stupid Tube”

I have had many people leave messages both on my blogs and forumHow do you rig the “Stupid Tube”?

The Stupid Tube was made famous when Federation Nation angler Terry McWilliams from Indiana made the Bassmaster Classic through the Federation Nation ranks, largely on the fish he caught on his “Stupid Tube”.  It got the name, because anglers back home always asked if he was catching fish on “That Stupid Tube” he so often used to beat them with.  See article on Terry here.

The only real difference between a Stupid Tube and a normal tube jig, is the way you rig it.  The stupid tube still used a tube jig head or similar jig head, but you kind of rig in a hybrid between a texas rig, normal tube rig and a shakey head!  Below are picture diagrams of how to rig your own “Stupid Tube”.  The reason the stupid tube rig is so deadly, you get a similar erratic fall and action as an exposed tube jig, but its virtually weedless and still gets great hook ups on fish!

Start out with your favorite 3-4″ Tube, and either a tube jig head, shakey head jig or even a ball head jig.  The jig shown here is a Picasso Shakedown Head and a 3-1/2″ Strike King Coffee Tube.  My new jig head of choice is the BassTEK Tungsten Agitator Finesse Head.

To start, grab a jig head & a Tube!
To start, grab a jig head & a Tube!

Start by inserting the hook point into the hollow end of the tube

Stupid Tube Rigging
Important to have a jig head with a wide gap hook

Run is all the way up and poke it out through the tube wall near the head, about wear a texas rig hook would come out, about a 1/4″ from the nose of the bait.  You will find where you like it for your jig with a little practice.

Rigging a Stupid Tube
This is by far the trickiest part to master

Pull the hook out, so the head fits snug up in the nose of the tube & then poke the eye of your jig head out the other side of the tube, so you can tie your line there

The Perfect Stupid Tube Rig
Almost there….

Then bring the hook back into the tube body and out the other side like a texas rig and then skin hook the tip of the hook back into the tube wall so it covers the point of the hook (Texposed).  This keeps the hook from catching on snags & weeds, but only takes a little pressure to stick a fish!

Fully Rigged Stupid Tube
Just add water & catch’em!

Experiment with different jig heads, weights, hook & tube sizes to fit your needs, just be sure your hook has enough throat to stick the fish and let tube collapse on the hook set.  This bait comes through cover and skips great.  Another big advantage over texas rigging your tube is that texas rigging tends to tear up tubes real bad after just a few fish.  You usually can catch a limit or more before you need to replace your tube with this rig.  So rig a handful up the night before and you should be set for the day!

June 1, 2015 – Update
Just to refresh this post and keep it up to date, few things to add.  I still use this rig all the time for both smallmouth bass and largemouth both.  Details on my setup, usually I fish this with 12lb Fluorocarbon, Dobyns DX743C baitcasting rod, and the jig head is usually a 3/16oz BassTEK Agitator Finesse Head.

Rich
RichLindgren.com