The Lakes Area Bassmasters concluded their 2008 tournament schedule on the renown Lake Minnetonka. After a couple weeks to lick my wounds from the state tournament, I was excited and optimistic to finish the season strong and go out with a "bang". Our club launched out of Maxwell's Bay along with a few other clubs or tournament folks, as many bass boats filled the launch before 7am. Gumby and I were all set to fish, with gas in the boat, livewells fixed and in working order, and batteries charged. Our gameplan was to stay in the shallows the majority of the day, fishing lilypads and docks, and hopefully each of us would bring a limit to the weigh-in.
We started the day fishing some pads fairly close to the launch. Gumby started throwing a green buzzbait across a point and landed two keeper fish within 15 minutes of fishing. This would seem like a good sign. Hopefully the fish would continue to be aggressive throughout the day, as our plan was to fish a lot of frogs across various lilypad regions. We moved on from that spot and headed to the Narrows. The Narrows is a slow zone area that connects a few main lakes. It handles a lot of traffic during the day and we thought we could hit it early and try our hand at some pad fishing. We encountered many blowups with few hookups. I was also trying my hand at pitching a black and blue, 3/8ths oz jig and pig into the small pad openings with no success.
As we moved on, I wanted to find a spot I had fished the year before with some friends. It was an out of the way spot with a ton of pads and a current that ran under a culvert. As we were working the pads, I had a nice fish blow up on my Kermit and was hooked momentarily until it freed itself. A huge disappointment, but I continued to fish the same section of pads as oftentimes the same fish will continue to strike on repeated casts. Bam! It tried to eat my frog again, and again I failed to hook and land the fish. At that point my dad wanted some of the action so we both started to repeatedly work over this section. Bam! My dad rears back and hooks and successfully lands the big fish we were seeking. The fish is pictured above, a nice 3.54 lb fish, which I believe is his largest largemouth of the season. An added bonus was that this fish was the first fish he has ever caught on a frog. Although I was disappointed that I couldn't add this fish to my livewell, I was proud that he caught this elusive fish, especially on a technique that he has been trying all summer.
We ended up moving around a bit more, seeking other pads and fishing a few docks and milfoil. I ended up with 2 fish for the day, a bag weighing in at over 3 lbs. Gumby finished the day with 3 fish, good enough to earn a plaque for 4th place and a nice way to finish the season. Top weight was around 11 lbs 8 oz and big fish weighed in at a healthy 4 lbs 11 oz. That fish was awesome and really showed what Minnetonka could produce. Concensus showed that it was an overall tough day on the water, with only 3 limits brought the table. Most of the fish were caught in the pads with topwater lures. If I could do my day over again, I would have just stuck to the pads all day and really worked them over until I landed my five fish. It was a fun tournament to end the season, and my dad and I had a successful year in the fact that we fished almost all the tournaments and had a great time. I'm looking forward to next year and some new bodies of water.Only one tournament remains: Lake Waconia with Buzz for a Fisher's of Men Open event. Each tournament Buzz and I have been steadily increasing our weights. We we able to get out and prefish the lake last weekend, and we think we have a decent gameplan. This will be the pinnacle of our season and I know both of us are ready for a great showing. As I look at it, this is the main event, with all other tournaments having prepared us for this upcoming tournament on Oct. 4th. Plus, my birthday is the following day, so it would be nice to place in the money as an early birthday present to myself. I'm looking forward to wrapping up the season in style and success. Check back after the fourth for some hopefully good news with regards to this final tournament.
Team BassAckwards... "We're the one's hooked!"