Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata, MN
Today was my first event on Lake Minnetonka as my team tournament partners for these events, Ryan and Corey Brant took the first one in early Spring. They were good enough for a rock solid 10th place finish and with this years Team of the Year money being so lucrative, this was a huge start. We’ve never started out this good in the past and historically the early season tournaments aren’t our best showings bit somehow someway we always manage to fight our way to the top through the heart of the summer and into the fall and find ourselves in the top 12 come end of the year shoot-out time.
We seem to have a better handle on the lake come summer and fall but this year we put in some hard fought hours better understanding where these bass are in this odd post spawn transition. I literally found myself on the water every available second the last few days leading up to this tournament. Through a lot of trail and error I was able to figure out a couple things and felt I had enough numbers that my only concern was quality bites. In hindsight, this was probably a good problem to have being that we usually have quality but seem to never have the quantity and always seem to have a teeter totter bag, five giants and 3 rats.
Paired with me was the younger Brant, Corey aka Core Dogg. Corey coming off a quality smallie tournament on Green Lake were he and his brother Ryan finished 4th, was chomping at the bit to get out and cash another check. We all fish a lot of tournaments all over but to a lot of die hard Minnesota bass anglers the Denny’s Minnetonka tournaments are really a big deal, it’s truly the best of the best and the anticipation for these events is honestly very high.
Unfortunately we were boat 50 out of 51, sucks but to be quite honest this was the tournament for this to happen, we really didn’t have any one place we needed to go. I really don’t like to get into details on patterns and tactics on Lake Minnetonka but I will say it was a fun day all together. We caught a ton of fish and a limit was no problem, it was pure pandemonium for a little while, one would set the hook and drop one in the livewell and the other would then set the hook and do the same. We were rotating perfectly for about two hours. The only issue was that we had a limit of two pound bass but we had both landed a nice three to three and a half pounder.
We started looking for kicker fish and really found it to be a challenge, we made a few small culls for around one or two ounces at a crack until Corey busted a nice 4.6 lb largemouth and now we knew we were right there. We still had a couple hours in our day and knew we needed one more to be right there and two more to bust the top three.
We ran as much high percentage big bass spots as we could squeeze in but it wasn’t till about five minutes remaining that I popped a real good bass that surged us up about a pound in a half. We made some last second desperation casts but in the end was one fish away yet again. We weighed in with 24.1 pounds good enough for 9th place. The good start should find us in 2nd or 3rd in the Team of the Year race heading into the summer. In that aspect, neither of us could ask for better. It’s setting up to be a fun season on Lake Minnetonka!
See you on the water!