Lakes Area Bassmasters kicked off our 2010-2011 season with a trip to Clearwater Lake near Annandale, MN. With reports of big fish and a healthy fishery, I think we all were excited to get out of the city and start the season out right. Since this was my first experience on this lake, I was looking forward to fishing a new body of water and figuring out these fish. The lake map looked intimidating at first glance, but I was eager to tackle the lake and pull together a good finish.
After only one fish on our initial spot, we headed to a channel to try an adjacent lake. On the way back to the other lake, I flipped my chigger craw with a 1/2 oz Tru-Tungsten weight and 3/0 Gamakatsu hook between the channel bordering lily pads and caught my second keeper. Further along, as I was ducking under the bridge, I flipped my bait on the backside of a bridge piling and snagged my third keeper of the day. Soon after, the clouds gave way to rain and we were quick to grab the rain gear and continue on our way.
In the adjacent lake, I finished out my limit and my dad had four solid keepers. From the look of things, Dad had me beat with his 4 fish, so I knew I had to step up my game and start culling. We headed back to Clearwater and started to fish the many reed areas that lined the lake. We were soon catching many fish, and I starting culling the 13 and 14 inchers out of the box fairly quickly. Heavy winds kept the boat cruising along the reeds, and when I caught a fish, the boat was soon to stray from our path as I was determining if it was a culling fish. We continued along, and I desperately was fishing for a kicker fish.
As the day continued, we fished various deep weedlines and headed back to our first point. Dad lost a nice fish at the boat that would have increased his weight by a few pounds. As weigh in came closer, both of us were up in spirits, as we both had our limits and had a great day catching fish. At weigh in, Dad ended up with 10.3 pounds for a middle of the pack finish, and I took home third place with a solid 12 pound bag. First place was 15 pounds, all of which were caught on frogs in the pads. It is always a great day when you can catch many fish, regardless of the weather.
Tetonka is our second stop of the new season so stay tuned for my next tournament update.
Also, on September 9th and 10th, I will be competing in the MN Bassmaster State Tournament held this year on Lake Minnetonka. The blastoff and weigh in will be held at Lord Fletcher's, so if you are in the neighborhood, come out to the lake and see some great bass that will be caught during the two days of competitive fishing. Over 140 anglers will be fishing for 12 spots to next year's divisional tournament.
Thanks for reading!