Searching for my Mojo

Denny’s Super 30 &
Minnetonka Classic

Lake Minnetonka, Mound, MN

Usually I recap in detail each tournament I compete in no matter how good or bad it turned out. I rarely discuss anything about Lake Minnetonka though besides the very basics because it’s my home water, the competition is just too stiff and I always seem to have another event out there right around the corner. As this still holds true, my latest week of fishing out there is nothing to brag about and I definitely didn’t unlock any tried and true spring Tonka secrets, so here we go.

I teamed up with a good buddy this year, Paul Coffey. Paul has been fishing with myself, Ryan Brant and Corey Brant for the past couple years now and instead of the Brant’s and I splitting up all the Tonka events between the three of us we decided it was time to make two teams and fish them all. We still work very close and keep an open book with everything we find since we have all worked equally as hard out there for the past three years that there’s no reason to stop the learning curve. It’s important to see both teams succeed.

The first event was the Denny’s Super 30. I had spent a few days out on the water patterning moving fish. I found them on beds, inside weedlines, in the thick weeds, pads, laydowns, deep, shallow, you name it. They were everywhere but the overall lack of big ones was discerning as I just couldn’t seem to get enough big bites and out there you need numerous big bites just to compete. In the end, Paul and I had a plan to just junk fish our way to a healthy limit. I always want to win but with not having more than a few days of experience ever on Minnetonka in the Spring, my main focus was on just saving face in the points race. I’ve won my fair share of money out there in the Summer and Fall and have a lot better feel for what it takes to bring in a winning sack. If we could get through this first one without falling on our faces than we’d have a descent shot at the Team of the Year going forward the rest of the season.

When the tournament ended we managed to not fall flat on our faces but we didn’t turn any heads either. We weighed in 8 bass for 18.85 pounds for a very mediocre 26th place finish. Not what I was looking for but still in the hunt for the Team of the Year.

Next up was the Minnetonka Classic and though this marks the 20 or 30 something annual, I’ve only fished it once before a couple years back and managed to cash a check for 14th place. I was thinking this time that Paul and I could do much better giving all the time we spent on the water preparing for the Denny’s. The weather seemed to change by the day and I really started getting confused. I was guessing that the fish were coming to me so I stayed deep, in hindsight I probably should have went ultra shallow. Either way in the end we ended with somewhere above the teams that chose not to weigh in and under the teams that did well. I always weigh and usually am pretty geared up to do so but I’ve always been one to take it on the chin and bring the fish to the scales regardless. It’s embarrassing to not have a sack at the scales and that feeling will stay with me as I use it as added motivation in the upcoming weeks. In the end we zigged when we should have zagged and we ran when we should have stopped. Basically I don’t know exactly what went wrong but we just weren’t getting the quality bites we needed at all. You fish to learn and learn to compete.

I’m down but far from out. In this sport you take the good with the bad and need to have a short memory. If you win, you need to enjoy it but forget it the next day because someone else will rise to the occasion next week and you need to stay sharp. If you suck, learn from it and get over it because tomorrow’s a new day and you can’t dwell on it. Big bass are always only one cast away.

For now it’s back to the drawing board, Bri and I as well as the pups are soon heading up to her family cabin for a little fun in the sun, some awesome bass fishing and possibly a beer or two around the campfire. After all, this is what it’s all about!

See you on the water!

Welcome to! 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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