BASSMASTER Weekend Series Tournament

Lake Vermillion , Cook, MN

My wife Bri and I, as well as the two dogs, Kairo and Madison, headed up north for a semi relaxing week. Bri’s family has a cabin in the McGregor area and the lake is full of trophy largemouth’s. After much relaxing I decided to launch the boat and go fishing for just a half an hour or so, and make sure the boat was running good before leaving the next day for Lake Vermillion.

As usual the boat ran spectacular, largely in part because the guys at Mobile Marine Pros, make well sure that it is in it’s optimum running condition. I fished some reeds and only managed to catch one bass in that half hour but she weighed all of 5 pounds. She fell victim to an 1/2 oz. Amp Lures Killa Buzz (Black Ninja).

I woke early Thursday morning to be sure I made it up to Vermillion by the still early a.m. Vermillion is a great lake full of smallmouth and largemouth bass. These bass are fortunate in that they are not sought after nearly as much as the walleye, crappie, pike, and muskie are.

After launching I started on a nice shallow stretch that I have never fished before. It was chuck full of reeds and laydowns. On my third flip of a good ole’ trusty 3/8 oz. Tru Tungsten Jig (green pumpkin/brown), I stuck a beautiful 4 1/2 pound largemouth. That is what you like to see when your fishing a lake your not used to fishing. I managed to pull on a few fish that seemed of good size and decided to waypoint the area on my Lowrance LCX 37c, and venture out to see what else this 50,000 acre lake had to offer.

I started fishing looking for some good smallmouths and was instantly attracted to the islands. I mean how could I not? There is over 365 of them. I managed to catch mid range smallies all over the shallow areas, but couldn’t seem to get a deep bite going. I do know that traditionally on this lake if you can tune into the cisco bite, you will find big packs of three and four pound smallmouth’s. Although for me I couldn’t seem to get that bite going. It was hard to leave the shallow’s. I was catching crawfish left and right. I’ve never eaten crawfish before but I could have had a good ole southern boil with all the craw’s I was catching. They were everywhere!

Needless to say, but I opted to use crawfish imitating baits most of the day. I managed to catch a lot of smallies, they seemed to be all over the place. Reeds, docks, islands, humps, reefs, it really didn’t matter, the key was finding the good ones. I got off the water kind of early on Thursday. The wind was blowing hard and I noticed around four o clock in the afternoon that my trolling motor batteries were loosing some serious juice. Being that I have a MinnKota 101 lb. Pro, this should not be an issue. I new I better get off the water and go get my batteries checked and as you can imagine I ended up leaving the marina with three brand new group 29 Interstate Deep cells and even made plans to buy a new Interstate cranking battery once I got back to the cities.

Friday morning I awoke to cool temps, overcast skies, and some good rain. I decided to try the other side of the lake and thought it would be best to pull my boat and launch once I got there. Conserving on the gas. The morning bite was pretty good and I managed to find some deeper smallies, that were of better size. I also pulled on lots of fish and checked a good largemouth area that my wife Bri and I found a couple years ago while on vacation. Soon enough I was rained off the water. Leaving for registration I was pretty confident in my patterns and new that getting bit shouldn’t be that difficult and felt that I had some good water to catch a winning bag.

Tournament morning I had a late boat draw and decided to start fishing some of the largemouth areas that were producing for me. I pulled into the area and instantly noticed all the good anglers that were also fishing that particular that area. Not just any anglers either some of the better hooks fishing this event. Looks like there are no secrets here. I fit myself into rotation and was quickly awarded with a nice largemouth just shy of four pounds. I missed another bite and then decided to go hit some of my smallie areas hoping to get a quick limit. No such luck. The smallies were there, but they were just pecking my offering. I decided to make a long run to some of my largemouth areas, figuring that with the overcast skies they would be better targets. The run was a windy and rainy one, that took about 40 minutes. Although I did make one pit stop on an area that I was catching good smallies and instead of a brown fish, I was awarded with a nice 3 pound largemouth. This assured me that I was doing the right thing, so I quickly got back at it. I ended up making one more pit stop and again was awarded with a solid 3 pound largie. This one was sitting in a clump of pads and bit my TT jig.

I got into my better area and on the first cast I boated another three pound largemouth on a Scum Frog (Black), underneath some hangdown trees and around some floating vegetation. I caught a couple one and two pound fish but nothing else so I decided to find some similar areas and power fish them quick, figuring they would all hold a good fish. My next stop I caught a quick couple three pounders, next area same, and the next again the same. Awesome fishing but all were about the same size. Next thing I knew time was running low and I had to get back to weigh in.

I arrived pretty confident I had a good bag. I knew it wasn’t winning but I figured I had a good chance of cashing a check. I hit the scales at 15.12 lbs. and walked away with 15th place. No money but a strong finish none the less. With that 15th place finnish I was able to claim sole possession of 3rd in the overall Angler of the Year race in the Pro Division, with only one tournament to go, a two day championship on Lake Minnetonka.

Up next is the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation State Championship, held in Wabasha, on the Mississippi River Pools 4 and 5. I’ve had some past success on the river in the past this time of year, and I’m hoping that will help out for me this time. I’m spending all next week going back and fourth to the river in preparation. I would love to make the top 12 and get a berth into the 2009 B.A.S.S. Federation Divisional Championship. Wish me luck!!

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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