Gopher B.A.S.S. Federation Tournament

Medicine Lake, Plymouth, MN

I’ve lived in the Twin Cities most of my life and fished most every lake in my immediate area with one exception, Medicine Lake in Plymouth, MN. I guess whenever I travel to the North West Suburbs I just assume launch the Ranger on good ole’ Lake Minnetonka. Maybe I should reconsider from time to time.

I’m usually fishing Lake Minnetonka this time of year with a three man team in myself, Ryan and Corey Brant. Being that I was wrapped up in a few things this Spring when it came time to divide up the “Tonka” schedule I opted to sit back the first few events out there so that I could take care of some other obligations and set it up to not miss a single other event out there the remaining of the season.

This strategy also made way for me to jump in to some good ole’ Gopher Bassmaster Events and since I had always wanted to fish Medicine I figured this would be the added motivation to get out there.

I always heard very good things about this body of water so I was eager to take a couple days to check it out before the event so I wasn’t running around blind. I was able to get out with my lovely wife Bri on Monday afternoon for a few hours and then again Wednesday morning for another rendezvous. Basically practice was as good as I could expect and as good as I heard it would be. I managed to bag up close to twenty pounds both days and still pulled on a bunch that I never felt needed to get hooked. The bite was good shallow, boat docks and sight fishing. I really couldn’t ask for a better scenario unless I could get freak nasty on ’em out on rock points. Unfortunately I never did find that bite but it would of made it a little cooler.

I was mainly using a few different rigged soft plastics with Trokar Hooks and Lazer Tungsten Weights. With all the panfish activity going on I also managed a few really big bites on the new Biovex Wake.

Tourney day I was last boat to take off and found a few competitors already occupying some rows of boat docks that I had pulled on what I thought to be nice fish. My first few stops provided me with nothing but a bit of anxiety, the boat docks weren’t coughing up a single bite and the bass I had marked on beds seemed to already have moved off.

After two hours without a keeper bite and an attitude that needed a serious adjustment I decided to stick to the plan I had developed and just start looking for productive water. That’s exactly when things started looking up. I figured the stretches I was working earlier in the week probably were getting more daily sunlight and therefor were most likely further ahead then other areas of the lake. So I set out and was rewarded quickly. With the sun getting higher I started seeing fish locked on beds in other areas of the lake. Even though they were on the smaller side I decided I best starting putting fish in the box.

First bass I spotted on a bed I was able to catch rather quickly, nothing to write home about but a bass is a bass. I kept working the bank and skipping docks but mainly kept my eyes peeled for active beds. I came across a nice cruiser and initially tossed a weightless Lake Fork Tackle Ring Fry at it and it just spooked out of sight. I made a Hail Mary type cast in the direction it was darting and wouldn’t you know, “tick”, I set the hook and just like that added a nice 3 pound bass to the box.

The remaining stretch I was able to limit out rather quickly all by sight fishing off of beds though still no quality at all, seriously I’m talking peanuts. I recalled a stretch of docks that sat right off an immediate quick drop and remember thinking to myself that come summer these docks would be insane. Thinking maybe these docks would hold a pissy rehabilitating female I set out and was surprised by what I found, quality largemouth locked and loaded on beds. The first one I came across looked to be about a 4 pounder and it didn’t take much work at all to coax a bite. The remainder of the day I worked over bedding fish and was able to just find the time to cull out every last small one.

Headed back to weigh-in I new the bite had to of been tough on some but also new the potential of big bass in this lake could make for a big sack. I weighed in at 15.98 lbs. and managed to hold the lead until of course the very last boat, my buddy Rich Lindgren tipped the scale with an even more impressive 16.2 pounds, edging me out by only 2 ounces.

The competitor in me was obviously upset and to be edged out in the very end by a good friend whom we’ve always had added competition made it burn just a bit more, but with that said I had one of the better tournaments of my life and flat out had one of the best days on the water I’ve ever had. I’ve obviously caught plenty of bigger sacks in my day but never had I been so successful bed fishing an entire event like that. Every fish I saw and needed I eventually was able to coax into biting. I always thought sight fishing was my worst weakness but after this past year of actually putting in the time I can honestly say it’s one of my strongest suits.

So far this season has been everything I was looking for, a fun, competitive and a educational year before upping the ante next year on the national circuits. Up next, Lake O’Dowd. A true gem.

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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