Lake Koronis, Paynesville, MN
Today was the third tournament of the year held at Lake Koronis, in Paynesville, MN. Koronis has an excellent population of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. After take off I headed straight for some main lake islands that I knew was the best bet for some nice smallmouth bass. I started with an Amp Lures Pop and switched back and forth with a Reaction Innovations Barely Legal Vixen, neither producing. After figuring that the topwater just wasn’t going to work for me, I quickly switched to a hand tied 5/16 oz. Jewel Jig (Brown) with a 2.75″ Guide Series Chunk (Purple). I threw that along the deep side of a rock spine and quickly caught a 14″ largemouth and a couple largies that wouldn’t bump 12″. With one fish in the livewell I continued down the spine and hooked with with a nice 3.5 lb. smallmouth on the same jig.
After spending another thirty minutes around the rocks with no fish I decided to switch it up completely and headed for some nice looking slop areas. After about an hour of slop fishing I was just about ready to head back out to the main lake when I bass exploded on my Scum Frog (Black), missing it all together. Being in this situation many times I didn’t panic. I simply waited for the ripples to stop and twitched the bait once or twice and that was all it took. The bass came back and smacked it adding about three pounds to my total weight.
I headed back out to the main lake and decided to run some boat docks that were productive during practice. They were very productive except they only produced dinks, but none the less they helped me fill my limit. Looking back, I probably spent to much time on the docks. I think it was a good call to hit them up to fill a quick limit but I probably spent two to three hours on them hoping I would hook up with one big un. I should have made a better decision when I caught a nice smallie around the rocks and a nice largemouth in the back slop areas. Instead of trying to make something happen, I should have let the lake dictate where and how to catch a better bag. With that said I finally headed back to the rock in search of another football shaped smallmouth. I switched to a YUM 3″ Tube (Green Pumpkin) and quickly hooked into another good sized smallie. Being that I forgot my landing net in the truck, I lost that fish right at the boat trying to hand land him. Bummer. Lesson learned. When fishing for smallmouth bass in particular, DON”T FORGET THE NET! They will never give up fighting.
I continued to catch smallie’s one after another mostly to small to cull. I was able to cull one and probably gained a few ounces on the deal. I also broke off another nice one, but that’s part of the game when your rocking with 8 lb. fluorocarbon around a bunch of sharp rocks. With about twenty minutes to go, I headed back to the slop and again started flinging my frog across the pads. With literally three minutes to go I hooked into another bass just shy of three pounds. I weighed in at 12.3 lbs. with a .3 dead fish penalty, which was good enough for a solid fifth place finish. Looking back I was happy with the way I fished considering I only prefished the lake for about an hour and a half. My only regret was that I wished I had studied a map a little harder and that I would have got of the boat docks after filling a limit on them.
No time to think about what if’s though. I have another tournament the next day on Green Lake, in Spicer, MN. A trophy smallmouth lake! I can’t wait!