First off, I’d like to thank the good Lord for the early spring season as winter is long gone! The best part is, this weeks most recent warm spell pushed 70 degree weather into the Twin Cities and opened all the major lakes, freeing them from their depressing layers of ice. This is exactly the fix this bassaholic was jonesing for.
I was able to get out to Bryant Lake Wednesday morning for a few hour run around. Bass fishing season is closed here in Minnesota until May, with the exception of the Mississippi River and some other less known bodies of water. With fishing being a none issue on this day, I took every opportunity to make sure my boat was up to par and the rest of the time I spent learning my new Humminbird 998. At first, I got all worked up, but like anything new it just takes time. I had to remind myself of the day I couldn’t fish a jig, I never fished them much and had no confidence, though with a little time and determination I started building that confidence and now you can’t peel a jig rod out of my hand. In fact, I’m more confident with a jig than I am with any other lure ever made. The Humminbird is to be no different, I’m determined and though getting off the water that day I was still a bit discouraged, I know it’ll take time and what’s better than spending my spare time learning how to better find fish? Bring it on!
Friday and Saturday where even better in that I got to hit one of my favorite bodies of water with two of my real good buddies, Chris Campbell and Eric Aske. These two have been buddies of mine for a long time and I really enjoy being able to get out and stick toads with these two any chance I get, it really reminds me why I love bass fishing. With my hectic tournament schedule, I don’t get the chance to get out on the water enough with these two fools, so I really cherish every time I get the opportunity. Don’t let me fool you though, there’s nothing charismatic about these guys, they can fish with the best of them but they’re absolute clowns, we have a riot in the boat! My stomach still hurts from all the laughing!
The water was surprisingly warm when we arrived and I spent the morning again screwing with my Humminbird. I can now say, it’s awesome and I can’t wait to get out on the lakes and really start putting in the work. I was able to really pick apart the water and find things that would have taken so long with standard sonar. It shows weeds, rocks, bridge pilings and wing dams perfectly, this should be one of my best tools for years to come.
Once I had both Chris and Eric sold on the benefits of side imaging, it was time to go hog hunting. The bite started a bit slow, but like any other prespawn spring pattern we had to search out the warmest possible water and as soon as we found it, we got bit. Most the bass where on the small side but again, when it comes to spring fishing, all the bass move shallow, it’s really the only time of year that you can catch a half pound bass and then haul off and boat a five pound giant. Which is exactly what happened, as we worked toward the back of a flat we came to a very small, shallow cove. I fired my spinner to the back and instantly hooked up with a peanut, probably the smallest bass I’ve ever caught, seriously the thing was meant for an aquarium. As I was trying to get the little guy off my hook, Chris fired into the exact same spot and all hell broke loose. In the end Chris landed what ended up being his biggest bass ever, 7.4 pounds. Congrats Buddy!
Saturday was a bit different in that the weather changed and made the shallows cool rather dramatically. Again the fishing started slow but as the afternoon wore on the shallows again started to produce. The fish overall where much smaller, where Friday we where catching 3 pounders with relative ease, Saturday was producing their babies. Eric had an idea to try a smaller flat that he’d done well in the past. The fishing wasn’t much better and as we where talking about leaving his crankbait rod loaded up on another toad. After a good fight he landed a absolute whopper going 6.3 pounds! Man the fishing is good right now!
This brings me to another topic. I spent Easter morning with my wife Bri dropping off my guide brochures to all the major hotels around the metro, before enjoying the rest of the afternoon with our families. I’ve already been booking trips and am expecting even more now. If you have any desire to hit the water please contact me as soon as possible and reserve your dates. Maybe we can get you the bass of your life!
After an awesome weekend it’s back to work. I need to start preparing for my upcoming tournament on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this event because the bass grow big and the timing should be perfect for busting a nice bag. I do have some experience on Grand though I’ve always been there in late March and early April, this tournament isn’t until the 17th of April which is giving me mixed feelings. I’m not exactly sure what the fishing will bring, in the past I’ve done well by fishing staging areas and catching big females that are on the verge of moving up to spawn. I’m hoping that these areas will still produce, though I’m expecting some spawning activities to be in the mix as well. Hopefully if this is the case, the post spawn fish will also pull back to these areas and I’ll be able to capitalize on them as well. If this doesn’t hold up I’m all in on throwing reaction baits looking for pods of good fish. I want to be sure to not just show up and fish memories and instead focus on the moment and use my past knowledge of the lake to assist me in finding where they are. Either way, I’m confident and that’s all I can hope for before a big tournament. I’m quickly learning that there’s not another more critical tool in a bass fisherman’s arsenal than confidence. It’s a mental game, your lost without it!
I’m planning on heading out to some lakes here in the metro this week, since the bass season is closed up here, I’m going to devote the entire time at working with my Humminbird. Might as well find a few money making spots since I can’t fish and instead pay my dues. See you on the water!