Le Homme Dieu Chain, Alexandria, MN
Today was the second stop of the Silverado Tour held on the Le Homme Dieu Chain, in Northwestern Minnesota. After a solid sixth place finish here last year in the BASSMASTER Weekend Series event, I was more than eager to get back up there and try to do even better.
During practice I was having no problem catching fish and was able to catch them both deep and shallow. Big fish where few and far between though and I could tell right away that it wasn’t going to take a giant sack to win this event. In fact, I figured everyone was catching them and it would take about a two and a half pound average to be at the top. If I could manage to put a true four pounder in the boat and a bunch of two’s, I would be in great shape.
It wasn’t until the day or two before the tournament when I was out practicing with my wife Bri that I found a couple areas that where holding some quality Le Homme Dieu keepers. I was getting plenty of good bites and even hooked up with a solid four pounder and Bri managed to boat a nice three pound largemouth on a Biovex Stangun Omega Spinnerbait (Bluegill). I knew if I was lucky enough to get an early boat draw, I would be in the driver seat the rest of the day. I don’t want to get into to many specifics on the bite but let’s just say my number one pattern fit right into my wheel house.
The unfortunate part was that my confidence quickly took a blow when I found out at registration the night before the tourney that I drew boat 49 out of 49. I was dead last to go at take off. Usually I wouldn’t be so bummed about this but the way the lake was fishing, I knew that the areas I wanted to fish weren’t any secret and was certain that I was going to have sloppy seconds once I finally managed to get there. Despite all this, I knew this area was holding winners and was still committed to getting there.
After take off I quickly discovered that I wasn’t getting left sloppy seconds at all, no it was more like thirds or fourths. I did manage to put a few keepers in the boat, but we’re talking about text book peanuts here, aka dinks, going all of 12.5 inches. With my mind starting to scramble a bit I just started running to all kinds of water, anywhere that I had gotten good bites during practice. I caught fish all day, some pretty good ones and even made plenty of culls, but in the end I still had three 13.5 inch bass in the well and knew that wouldn’t be enough to get a check. I weighed in at a not so hefty 10.66 pounds, only good enough for 25th place.
I hold myself to such a high level that I couldn’t help but be disappointed in the outcome, though I know I did with what I could. I’m probably fortunate to finish as high as I did. On the upside I only dropped three spots in the Angler of the Year points race and am currently sitting 19th with 2 events left. With the top 14 getting invited to compete for a brand new Ranger Boat in the Silverado Shoot Out, it’s more than important that I finish strong the rest of the way.
Looking ahead I get only a day or two off and I’ll be headed down to the Wisconsin/Iowa border to compete in the third stop of BASSMASTER Weekend Series going out of Prairie Du Chein, WI. Being that I’ve never been there before I have no idea of what to expect. I’d like to say that I’m just fishing this one for the points but the competitive side in me won’t settle for much less than the win. I guess that’s why I live for this, wish me luck!