Gopher B.A.S.S. Federation Club Tournament

Bone Lake, Luck, WI

Today was the first tournament of the 2008 Gopher Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Federation season. Our first tournament was held on Bone Lake in Luck, WI. Bone is known for it’s excellent muskie fishing but also has a very good bass population as well. I had prefished this lake on Wednesday with new Gopher member Matt and we did pretty well. I had found an area that was holding some nice fish around the three pound range holding up under boat docks. I was pitching a 3/8 oz Tru Tungsten Jig (Green Pumpkin Brown), with a 2.75″ Yum Chunk (Green Pumpkin) into all the small areas within the dock. After setting on a few nice ones I continued to run that area and pulled on what felt to be some real quality fish. I tried to get this pattern to hold up all over the luck but only managed to get minimal success. It was something about this area, I’m thinking it had a lot to do with that it was on a semi flat with some nice early vegetation coming up, but more importantly the bottom was made up of pea gravel. We also were able to find a couple nice early weedlines that were holding fish, although none that we caught were over 15 inches, however there were numbers of fish holding up there.

Right at take off I decided I would go straight to my set of decks. It didn’t take two skips and I set on pretty nice 15 1/2 inch largemouth. Decision time. Tournament rules in the state of Wisconsin is that a bass has to be at least 14″ to keep and there is no culling allowed. Which meant I had to gamble. Throw the bass back and gamble that I’ll catch bigger and possibly risk catching not another one? I opted to put the first one in the box and get the skunk out of the boat. Two flips later and I set the hook on what appeared to be a HOG! 10 seconds later and a nice 40″ muskie surfaced from under a dock. Pretty cool but not the right kind. He was still fun though. As the morning went on I was having no problem catching bass, the only problem was their size. Since I was catching so many I kept throwing them back banking on that I was going to catch some bigger ones. I even threw back one that was just over 16″. As noon passed I started to get antsy and started keeping anything over 14″ to make sure I still came in with a nice limit.

As the afternoon wore on I decided I would try to work my deeper weedline to see if maybe the bigger ones that I was catching in practice had decided to move out a bit. Again it was quantity over quality though. On the weedline I was having most of my bites come on reaction style baits. I caught a few on a Strike King Red Eye Shad (Bluegill), but most of my fish fell victim to the Amp Lures Midshooter (Bluegill) or a Amp Lures 3/8 oz. Musashi Spinnerbait (Sweetfish). The funny thing was that I also caught another muskie over 40″ on the Musashi Spinnerbait as well. And they say the muskie is the fish of 10,000 casts!

At the end of the day I weighed in four fish for 8.7 pounds. Keep in mind the tournament had a four fish limit. My weight was good enough for seventh place. I was definitely hoping to start out the season with a little better finish but all in all I was happy. I fished real well but I just never got the big bites I needed. My next tournament is at Deer Lake, hopefully I’ll get those big bites there!

Welcome to JoshDouglasFishing.com! A site dedicated to my avid fishing career. Join me as I share my honest approach to chasing a childhood dream full of obstacles, failures and successes, while traveling across the nation competing and advancing to the sports highest levels. I’ll share all that I learn from new tips and techniques as well as the hottest tackle and equipment. Join me as I document the everyday rigors of tournament bass fishing from the business as a whole, to the practice and all the way to the weigh-in stage!

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