Lake Waconia, Waconia, MN
I have been looking forward to this year’s Fall Classic for quite a while now. It’s a true “just for fun” tournament, that has absolutely no meaning except pure bragging rights and of course a few dollars for the top dogs. The name of the game is that you get randomly paired with another member of the Gopher Bassmasters and compete as a team, trying to best the field with the biggest 6 fish limit. Also every member of Gopher votes for a lake that he would like to fish. The top nominations are put to a random draw, with this years pick being Lake Waconia. There is also no prefishing allowed. This posed to be a little difficult being that I have never been to this lake before.
I drew Cody Seiben, a member of our junior club, but don’t let that fool you, this kid’s one heck of a good stick, with already an impressive tournament resume under his belt. Lucky for me he had been to this lake a couple times in the past and new of some pretty good areas for us to start.
At take off we headed straight to a shallow weedy flat that we thought had to hold some nice Fall time bass. I started by throwing a 3/8 oz. Amp Lures Killa Buzz (Ninja Black) and was quickly rewarded with a quality 15″ largemouth. After a dozen or so more casts with the buzzbait with no more bites I picked up a 3/8 oz. Tru Tungsten Jig (Green Pumpkin/Brown), with a 2.75″ Yum Chunk (Green Pumpkin) and started fan casting it across the flat. I managed to catch a couple more bass going about 13-14 inches. Cody was pulling a topwater frog across some floating vegetation, when suddenly he was blown up by a big bass that managed to quickly come unbuttoned. I picked up my Scum Frog (Black) and also started throwing it across the veggies and was awarded with another bass about 13 inches. We tried working some boat docks in the area but nothing was going. I came to a nice wind blown section of reeds that sat right off the end of a point and started swimming my jig threw them and managed to catch two more small bass to fill our limit.
We worked some more boat docks and after again no bites, I decided to head for some deeper water in search of some bigger bass to start the culling game. I found a nice point that had a great weedline full of milfoil and coontail and started throwing both a 3/8 oz. Tru Tungsten Jig and a 1/2 oz. Tru Tungsten Jig on the deep weedline in about 8 – 12 feet. Cody and I both got a couple real quality like bites but were unable to hook up. A little frustrated we left and headed back to our weed flat. This time we pulled back in about 5 feet and started throwing everything but the kitchen sink trying to find some good bites. I was throwing a Biovex Amp Shallow Crank (Bluegill) and an Amp Lures Musashi Spinnerbait (Sweetfish), but only managed to catch a couple short fish. Cody started tossing a jig and quickly set into a good fish but again it managed to come loose. Seeing this I grabbed my Tru Tungsten Jig and quickly set on a nice 14″ bass culling out our almost 12 incher. Giving up on the reaction bite I started throwing a 7″ Berkley Power Worm (Motor Oil) with a 1/4 oz. Tru Tungsten Slip Sinker (Green Pumpkin), and on the very first catch I hooked up on a real nice bass but my line managed to wrap around the tip of my Carrot Stix and the bass came off. I continued to throw the worm for a good half hour but no more takers.
With only ten minutes to go I started aimlessly throwing my Scum Frog to any sort of vegetation that I could see and all off a sudden a real nice bass jumps out at kermit, missing it all together. I put my trolling motor on 100 and got over to the area and started pitching a Berkley Chigger Craw (Black Neon) with a 1/2 oz. Tru Tungsten Flippin’ Weight (Black). On the third flip, with only minutes to get back to weigh in, the bass bit, and I flipped in a quality 3 1/2 pound bass into the boat culling out a small 13″ bass.
With only minutes to spare, we raced to the weigh in. There were some nice bags weighed in and some not so great, which was expected given there was no pre fishing. The team of Ryan Brant and John Haynes won the tournament with an impressive 6 fish limit weighing 17.82 lbs. Second place went to the team of Dave Cindrich and Jason Elmes with a weight of 15.60, and Cody and I took third place with 13.66 and a much needed pay day!
Next on the agenda is the anxiously awaited BASSMASTER Weekend Series Championship on Lake Minnetonka. This two day event has a lot riding on it. I’m currently sitting in third place in the Angler of the Year points with this one event to go. Also I would like to bank a nice paycheck to take down with me to the Divisional Championship on Kentucky Lake, KY. Not to mention, I spend a lot of time fishing Minnetonka and a good showing would mean a lot to me personally. I’m going against some of Minnesota’s best anglers on one of Minnesota’s best fisheries, it’s setting up to be a great event. I can’t wait!!!!