I made it up to the Le Homme Dieu Chain in Alexandria, MN. Being that I had never fished this chain before, I put in a lot of extra preparation and research. I knew who and what weights had won in past years. I knew this chain was notorious for its massive weedlines and clear water. I also did some serious map work to better acquaint myself with this body of water. I obviously take my tournaments very seriously but these BASSMASTER Weekend Series tournaments I take especially serious. Besides the guaranteed five grand their giving out for first place, there’s also the fact that I can qualify for regionals on Kentucky Lake, TN. Doing well at the regional tournament can put you into contention for the BASSMASTERS Classic or maybe even the Elite Series. Also Tennessee is where my wife Bri and I want to soon move. Tennessee is a beautiful area and better yet it’s smack dab in the heart of bass fishing. I love tournament fishing and guiding. Here I’m restricted to six months fishing and six months of ice covered hog heavens. Also being that I plan to start fishing more tournaments at the national level, it will put us in a more central location. And in addition, on the record, Bri and I hate winter! So doing well at the first event of the series is on high priority for me.
Arriving at Le Homme Dieu I decided to launch on the North end of Lake Carlos and instantly starting moving water with a 3/8 oz. Amp Lures Musashi Spinnerbait (Sweetfish). I was targeting some wind blown reeds and was catching fish left and right but none of substantial size. This chain is known for its numbers of bass but lacks a little on the size. Not that there isn’t any brutes but they’re a little harder to track down. I also caught a couple in between boat docks in about 3 feet of water on a 5″ Basstrix Paddle Tail Tube (Chartreuse Blue), rigged with a 5/0 Gamakatsu 1/8 oz weighted wide gap hook. I expected the bite on these swimbaits to be a massive explosion but was surprised to find it kind of like a worm bite. I would be reeling in slow and suddenly feel a slight “tick” in the line and the hook set was awesome. I searched out some other areas and found fish that didn’t carry much weight and I missed a couple around boat docks with a 3/8 oz. Ten K Jig (green pumpkin). I noticed that because of our extremely late Spring this year the weedline hasn’t had the weather to really bloom. I tried fishing some of the areas that looked good on the map but only caught small ones and really felt that the weedline may actually not be the ticket this year. I noticed the water temp was in the mid 60’s but remembered when I was doing some internet research a day or two before that the lake was only in the very high 50’s then. So I figured that the majority of the fish were still well in the pre spawn pattern. Knowing that since the water was very clear the shallower water would warm the quickest and decided to head there. I threw a lot of baits but caught some quality fish under boat docks and tree laydowns on the jig. They were few and far between but at the end of the day my best five would have weighed over 17 lbs. Looking back as far as I could only a handful of people have needed more than that to win a tournament here. This was by no means tournament conditions but it definitely gave me some confidence to build on.
Since I’m on this topic, last week I did a Pod Cast interview on tournament preparation and practice for Bass Fishing in the Midwest and it should be airing soon. I will post links to it as soon as it is available. Check back soon!