Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata, MN
I’ve been really excited about this tournament for some time now, that I did everything imaginable to get ready for it. I found time to practice and put in hard work 8 of the past 14 days. I knew that because of my 49th place disaster last month, I would have to finish at least in the top 3 to have a legitimate chance at making the shootout. Even more importantly, I consider Minnetonka my home lake and would love to notch a win here in such a big event. It would just mean a ton to me personally. I’ve only been fishing the lake for 3 years but since then I have put in my fair share. In my defense Minnetonka can be real addicting, it’s got some really nice fish in it, four pounders are the norm here.
**From left to right: A few pics from practice of me rigging up some tackle.
At take off I was pretty confident. I had a good practice and was really on some nice fish. The fishing wasn’t fast but the quality was there, when I’d get bit it was a good one. I was able to put together around 15 or so spots that where more than productive in the weeks heading in but the problem was that I couldn’t pattern when they would be there. I would check them periodically through practice and found that one day they would bite in the morning and the next day not until late afternoon. So my plan was to milk run these spots and at least try to fish everything twice. The bad part was that I was on the move a lot but the good part was that every cast I made I knew I had a legitimate chance to catch a four pounder. It’s not every tournament a guy gets that opportunity.
The tournament started out great with a quick limit and a nice nearly 4 pound largemouth hitting the livewell. I decided to go check a small isolated spot that I knew had great potential. It didn’t take but a minute and I hooked into a solid 5 pound fish just to have it come to the surface and spit my bait. It got off!! Man, I can’t even begin to explain how much that hurts when that happens.
As the afternoon wore on the fishing really started to slow and I just wasn’t able to get enough of the big bites that I needed to put together a winning bag. In the end I weighed a limit of 6 bass for a total weight of 12.93 lbs and a disappointing 28th place finish. Although it wasn’t the outcome I was looking for, I was still somewhat happy in that I worked very hard and was extremely prepared for this tournament. Frankly I just didn’t get the bites needed, but I put myself in the best position to win. If I can continue to prepare for all my other tournaments like I did this one, I’ll have a very highlighted future. It’s going to take a ton of self determination, but that’s the challenge I live for.
A sincere congratulations to my two real good buddies and my team tournament partners, Ryan and Corey Brant, who after a very successful year both found themselves on the top of the Angler of the Year points. Ryan finished 1st on the Pro side and Corey ran away with the honors on the Am side and now the brothers are paired together in next week’s Shoot Out. Way to go guys!