Wednesday, July 27, 2011
BASS Tournament, Lake Minnetonka
I started the day on the lake fishing one of the various channels. Channel fishing on the lake is kind of tricky with the regulations, and from what I understand, it is legal as long as you don't impede boat traffic. This area proved successful in allowing me to catch a quick limit. I was actually hoping for a 4-5 pound fish out of there, but it just didn't happen. With the first part of my game plan successful, I moved to my second spot.
In my second area, I started fishing shallow areas around docks and emergent vegetation. I caught a nice 3.5 pounder under a dock using a Berkley Chigger Craw, texas rigged with a 1/4 ounce tungsten weight. I hooked the fish near the back of the throat and I could tell that it wasn't going to be a good day for this fish. The bay I was fishing was shallow and the surface temperature was over 80 degrees. Not ideal conditions for keeping a fish alive. I was prepared with ice so I could carefully watch the water temperature and drop the temperature if needed by a degree or two.
After moving a few more spots, I head to a weedline that I had success in the past. I had two hours left and I had about 8-9 pounds in the livewell, which seems to be my typical weight on Minnetonka. In this new area, I started casting a senko in 5-6 feet of water, away from docks and basically in the middle of a weedline. I made two or three passes in this area and caught a few more fish around 3 pounds, allowing me to cull a few more times. I was impressed with my late rally. Unfortunately, I had a dead fish in my livewell since about 10 am, so I knew I was in for a 4 ounce penalty.
At the weigh-in, it seemed as if no one had a really stellar outing. After everyone weighed their fish, I was tied for 1st. Then we subtracted my 4 ounce penalty and that brought me down into a tie for 2nd. Since I was now tied for 2nd, the tie breaker was whoever had the biggest fish. The other guy had a bigger fish so that bumped me down to 3rd place overall. I was very disappointed, but sometimes that is the name of the game. My overall weight prior to the penalty was 13 pounds, 12 ounces. This was my best Minnetonka performance in my BASS club, so there is a positive side to this story.
I would like to also make another observation about the day. My dad and I were fishing this tournament together again, but against each other as usual. When I started catching my bigger fish on a senko, dad switched over to a senko as well. He couldn't get a bite to save him. He even came up to the front of the boat to cast in the same angle as me. The main difference in our setups was that I was using 6 pound fluorocarbon and he was using 8 pound fluorocarbon. I am assuming that the difference was the rate at which the bait was falling, but one can only really speculate. This is quite interesting, as it is tough to change your line at a second's notice. A spare spool perhaps? I might need to get a few just in case he starts catching them on 8 pound line...