Tuesday, August 25, 2015

12-Mile Lake Revenge

This past weekend my bass club, the Tri-County Bass Club had a tournament at 12-Mile lake near Creston, Iowa.  I have only fished one other club event this year, but I was looking forward to this one for a specific reason.  Back in April I participated in a tournament at the same lake and only managed one keeper.  It burns me  every time I think about it so I wanted revenge.
It is always fun to fish tournaments in the club, it's a group of guys that are great to hang around, and they are very competitive.  It is a fun atmosphere, however it is all business on tournament day.  I knew I had to be at my best to compete with this group as most of them put a day of practice on the lake Saturday.  I chose to hit a lake in the near vicinity to see the recent conditions and the mood of the bass on Saturday and devise a plan for the tournament on Sunday.  My strategy worked well as the bass were in the same mood at 12-mile as they were on the smaller lake I fished on Saturday.
My plan was to stay shallow and fish quickly around cover, weeds or laydown logs.  The day started fast as I had my 3 bass limit only 24 minutes into the tournament.  I was able to cull up two of the smaller keepers by 7am and my plan was working well.  The wind decided to whip down the lake for most of the day at about 20-mph.  It was so refreshing to know that my Minn Kota Fortrex 101 trolling motor would not run out of power and whenever I needed to stop and fish an area thoroughly I would just drop the Minn Kota Talons.  Yes, 20+ mph winds and the Talons kept me still, yet again they continue to amaze me.  While fishing for a few hours in the morning with keepers the coming aboard using a swimjig with an Optimum Baits Double Diamond trailer it became a battle to catch a bigger fish.  I slung my Quantum EXO rod and reel combo for about 7 hours that day and am glad that the combo is so light yet powerful enough to haul in fish after fish around the cover.  As time passed, I assumed that most anglers were having similar success and the bass decided to eat up on this particular day.  I was able to catch 11 keepers that day and my weight for the best three was 7.79 pounds.  That was good enough for 5th place and only 0.03 pounds away from 3rd place.  It was a good finish and I was able to get a little revenge on 12-Mile Lake.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It's not ALWAYS about catching fish

A recent trip with my kids reminded me that every trip out fishing doesn't have to be about catching fish.  Sure it can make things much better, but they had other things on their minds this day.  We took the boat over to Otter Creek Lake in search of Yellow Bass, which are a blast to catch.  After catching a few fish each though, the kids turned this fishing trip into a fun trip.  For whatever reason their focus turned to the fish in the livewell, the minnow bucket, snacks and their cold drinks.  They were enjoying the warm August day on a lake, and I was too...isn't that what it is all about anyway???  It sure is, sometimes I just have to have my kids remind of this.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dead of Summer Bass Fishing

Every year when August rolls around my bass brain says it's time to switch gears to a finesse style of fishing.  My favorite approach is a shakey head bait.  My choice of plastic is a 4-inch finesse Hot Rod Baits worm.  Another great presentation is a drop-shot rig.  I prefer a small straight worm for this presentation.  Both work well in the heat of the summer when all else fails.
As pictured I rig this with a Quantum Tour Tactical Medium/Hvy Spinning rod (6ft 10in) spooled up with a Kinetic size 20 reel.  This combo is balanced very well and is very sensitive with enough backbone to haul in heavy bass.  The combo along with the finesse baits make it a perfect fit for the dog days of summer.  I have had some great luck lately fishing deeper drop-offs near shallow points and flats.  Deeper is better, however you must pay attention to the thermocline, if you see that there is no reason to fish below it as the fish will most likely not be in a feeding mood.
Experimenting with colors, finding that "right spot" while using the proper rod/reel setup you will continue to catch during these tough hot days of summer.