Monday, January 25, 2016

Big Creek Lake Tournament

This past weekend marked the first ice fishing tournament of the year for me.  For the third year in a row my partner Mark Anderson and I will be competing on the Team Extreme Ice Fishing trail.  This circuit was set to start the season at Okoboji in early January, but Mother Nature did not provide enough ice and it was canceled.  The next event is at Brushy Creek and the National tournament is in mid-March in Minnesota.
This weeks challenge was Big Creek Lake on the north side of Des Moines.  This is a large lake for Iowa, and has a lot of deeper water, brushpiles, drop-offs, and old river channels to keep anglers in search of panfish all year long.  The lake has a great population of bluegill, but in the past few years the crappies are hard to find.  We once again found this to be fact during practice time on the lake the past week.  Mark and I had fished the lake numerous days prior to the tournament and just couldn't find more than one or two crappies hanging together.  We knew it was going to be difficult to catch our goal of 8 crappies for the tournament but knew that we would have to catch some to win the event. On the other hand, bluegills was the other target for the day, we could weigh in 8 of those for our total of 16 fish.  Both of us found numerous brushpiles that were holding quality bluegills, we were very confident we could catch nice gills and fairly quickly too.
Tournament day began at 8am and we were off to look for crappies.  We tried several areas, deep trees, drop-offs, channel swings, and nothing, not a bite, not a fish.  We decided to get to some bluegill areas and gather in our 8 gills.  With our Vexilar FLX-28's in hand we proceeded to do this as we though, our first brushpile we visited we caught fish after fish and have 8 nice bluegills with most at or above the 9-inch mark.  We went to one other pile Mark added a couple more big gills, now we have all our gills at or above the 9-inch mark.  We were very satisfied with this and we started back to some crappie terrain.  We different areas, and repeated some areas of the morning search too, I ended up hooking one crappie and we ended the day with 8 great gills and 1 crappie, far short of our 8 and 8 goal.
A look at the quality of bluegills 
at Big Creek Lake
It was a great day of fishing, especially for bluegills but the Big Creek crappies haunted most teams this day.  We ended up in 3rd place for the event weighing in 4.87 pounds and a nice check for our troubles.  1st place had 6.92 pounds and had 5 crappies, a well-earned win.  In a few weeks we will back at it on Brushy Creek, another great lake in Central Iowa to chase bluegills and crappies.  Check out Team Extreme for a great tournament experience, their many sponsors make it well worth becoming a member and allows for great prizes at events.  They run a top-notch event and the cash payouts and sponsor prizes are second to none.  Check them out on the web, or drop me a email with any questions you have.  Team Extreme Ice Fishing Tournaments Results

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