Sunday, April 19, 2015

Equipment Check

I took advantage of a small window of nice weather this weekend to continue to hone my equipment. I made a quick trip to Union Grove Lake to fine tune some rod/reel combos and continue to see what the bass are doing currently.  Any time that you can get on the water and catch bass it will lead to more success later, especially in the spring time.

The few hours I was on the lake brought several different wind changes, the only thing that didn't change was that the wind blew 15-20 mph all day.  This led me to really give the Minn Kota trolling motor and Talons a major work out.  The big tournament season starts next weekend and equipment failure cannot be an option. The Talons continue to impress me, with whitecaps on the water, a quick push on the remote and the anchors lock you down in seconds.  They are a game changer.

It is always good to give your boat a rigorous test in the spring to make sure your batteries are still good and can keep a full charge.  The wind also allowed me to dial in the Quantum PT rod and reel combos.  The more wind, the more challenging it is to make long casts.  This is a challenge each spring to get the reels tuned to my specifics.  I was able to get a few more combos ready for the upcoming tournament season.

Between the rod and reels, trolling motor, and Talon I was able to catch quite a few bass.  The bass were shallow and eating craws, so a Hot Rod Baits tube and big craw did most of the damage.  As the sun got up around noon a few fish were fooled by a crankbait too.  All in all about 2 dozen bass and 4 at the keeper size were caught.  A great short trip to Union Grove Lake and a true test of the equipment that is ready for another tournament season.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Time Seminar

Each year the Iowa State Bass Fishing Club invites me over to speak about various topics.  This group is quite an assembly of college kids, many of them fishing tournaments all over the Midwest on the FLW College Fishing Series.  It's a great group of young men and women and they are always eager to try and pick up a pointer or two from the experiences I have had in my fishing adventures.

This past week I was on campus to talk a little about tournament fishing and about the spawn in Iowa.  I gave a few facts, some reasons why fishing is difficult during the spawning season and what adjustments to make when the spawn causes tough fishing.  It's a privilege to speak to the next generation of bass tournament anglers and I sure hope they all picked up a few pointers to help them catch some more fish and understand the great products I stand behind.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

First Tournament of the Year

Saturday started the bass tournament season for me.  Hot Rod Baits hosts a "Frosty Rods" tournament each year in early April.  Once again the event was scheduled at Rock Creek Lake.  This lake brings anglers from all over the state in search of the big bass that live there.  Each and every spring anglers bring in some the biggest bass of the year at this lake.  This years tournament wasn't much different than years in the past.  The big fish showed up again.

This year I partnered up with long-time friend Dave Jordan.  As we loaded the frost covered boat in the morning we knew that the early bite probably wouldn't be that great, so we didn't get too concerned after the first three hours of fishing without a bite.  That was the first half of the tournament, we still had half left.  The water warmed up to about 53 degrees and around the noon mark we started to catch some bass.  We caught all our fish in depths under 6 feet of water, and each fish was caught on a Hot Rod Baits Big Daddy in the Bruizer color.  We worked well as a team and tried many different techniques including; crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, tubes and craws.  It didn't' seem to matter what we threw at them, for some reason they were only biting on the Big Daddy.  After catching a few smaller bass, we were relieved when I swung a 15 1/8 inch keeper in the boat around noon.  It wasn't much but it gave us the confidence to keep pressing on and keep throwing the big daddy.

We kept pressing on and soon after the first keeper I was able to catch our biggest which weighed exactly 4 pounds.  The wind was steady all day and often had gusts up towards 25mph, we put the Minn Kota Talons anchoring system to work often to fish key shallow water areas.  We kept at it, and with about 30 minutes to go we had our third keeper in the boat and we were feeling pretty good.  Once again, the Big Daddy pitched in shallow water on a Quantum Accurist 7 foot 6 inch combo got the job done.  We ended up in 2nd place with 8.57 pounds, which is a great way to begin the year of competitive bass fishing.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Biggest of the far

The last day of March proved to be a great beginning to some big fish in 2015!  This one topped out at 5 pounds 10 ounces.  It was released back into Rock Creek Lake to catch another day. With any luck I will catch a few more like this in April.