Sunday, April 22, 2012

My biggest fish EVER

This past Saturday I was fishing at Brushy Creek Lake during a bass tournament.  The morning started very slow, until I got a small tap on my bass jig and trailer.  I set the hook and immediately tell my partner "this is a big fish!".  I gave my reel a couple turns to bring the fish away from the trees and it took off towards deeper water.  At that point I said, "this is no bass".  I was disappointed, but now my curiosity took over, was it a big walleye?  A big muskie?
It took me several tries to gill-grab him,
but mission accomplished!
I kept fighting the fish, and soon it showed itself, a BIG MUSKIE!  I quickly said, "get a camera" to my partner Doug.  I didn't know if we would see it again or not, so wanted a picture just in case.  I loosened the drag a bit on my QuantumPT Accurist reel and fought the fish for approximately 5 minutes.  Up and down, up and down it came.  It took about 4 or 5 tries, but finally I was able to get a hold of the giant fish and bring it on board. 

We clicked a few pictures for the memory, and to make some guesses as to how long it was.  It would have measured about 40-45 inches.  I soon got ahold of my friend Thomas Allen, who is a muskie fanatic, and asked how much a fish like that would weigh, he said anywhere in the range for 20-24 pounds.
A fish I will never forget.

Equipment used:

Rod- Quantum "Biffle Stick" 7-foot, 6-inches in length

Reel- Quantum Accurist PT

Line- 15 pound test Berkely Big Game

First tournament of 2012

I teamed up with fellow angler Doug Chaloupek yesterday to take on the bass at Brushy Creek.  I had a game plan form the weekend before, but you never know how that is going to play out a week later. 
We followed the game plan and had two nice keepers.  In the particular tournament we were fishing a team can weigh in three keepers, so we had to find one more to give ourselves a chance.  We made one last move in the final hour and it paid off for us.  We caught our last keeper on a shallow hump that completed our limit. 
To say the least, fishing was very hard today, probably the toughest day on this lake ever for me.  We ended up tied for 5th place out of 15 teams.  A good start towards our goal of being towards the top of the leader board at the end of the year.  There are 4 more tournaments left on this schedule, and if we can stay in the top five, we will be right in the mix of things at the end of the year.  I also want to thank Doug for catching a nice walleye...which will be my dinner tonight!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


This Saturday marks my first bass tournament of the year, and to say I am ready is an understatement.  I "practiced" at Brushy Creek last weekend with friend, Ken Lunsford.  I have know Ken for years, and knew he was a good angler, but we have never went fishing together.  We have swapped dozens of stories over email and in conversations, and it felt like I knew exactly what kind of angler he was. 

Last weekend proved that to be just right about Ken, he is a good angler and a fun person to fish with.  He accompanied me to Brushy Creek in search of some clues as to where the bass were in the lake and just how far along they were on the spring bass schedule.  Well, it didn't take us both very long to figure out that Brushy Creek had a curve ball planned for us.  CLEAR, and that is an understatement.  We could the floor of the lake in 12 feet of water at times.  Neither of us planned on that or event figured it would be that clear.  We were also surprised at the few number of bass we caught.  I think the final number was around 7 or 8 bass.  Four of them being chunky keepers and topping out at 3.5 pounds.  The quality of fish were very nice to see, however the numbers shocked us. 

Ken helped me develop a plan for this weekend's tournament, will that plan work out?  There is only one way to find out...GO FISHING!

Somewhere on this map lives the winning bass for Saturday's tournament. 
I hope to find those fish and bring them to the weigh-in.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fool's Day

Made it out today with good buddy, Dave Jordan.  I had two goals today on the water; first and foremost, testing out my new MinnKota Fortrex 101, the second, getting some Pine Lake bass to bite.

All anglers in the Marshalltown area have been fishing Rock Creek, Union Grove, and Hickory Grove Lakes, no one had any information on the Pine Lakes.  Well, this made me curious, so off we headed to the north.  Dave and I decided to start on Lower Pine Lake, and give it an hour or so and if nothing was cooperating, we would pack up and travel a mile north to Upper Pine Lake.  We never left Lower Pine Lake, we figured them out.  It wasn't automatic, that is for sure.  We wasted, or shall I say experimented for about an hour before we started getting consistent bites. 

Basically, if you have a slow bait in less than 4 feet of water, you would get bites.  We caught many fish, including the biggest of the day, a 3.75# bass in less than 1 foot of water.  Fish were holding tight to the bank, laydown logs, and overhanging bushes.  In all we caught 9 keepers (15 + inchers) and 6 smaller ones on this short trip.  All bass came on jigs with bright blue Hot Rod Baits jig chunks or Hot Rod Baits tubes.  A great day for the Pine Lakes Chain, that is for sure. 

Now on to goal #1 for the day.  The installation of the 36-volt MinnKota was easier than I expected and I was able to do all the work the past few weeks.  Today was the test.  As a teacher during the week, I often struggle with grades for students and their work, however I can only give this trolling motor an A!!!  What a machine, we used it for a solid 5 hours, it is a trolling motor lake only, so it never had a break.  One thing I did learn, when you turn the dial up to the maximum better have yourself planted!  I love it.