With the days of summer vastly dwindling, this past weekend was my final weekend of having back-to-back events. On Saturday, I had the Walmart BFL event on my home water of pool 10 on the Mississippi River and on Sunday the MN Pro Team Bass Event on Horseshoe Chain. In both events, I was finally able to throw a proverbial monkey off of my back!
I began pre fishing on my home waters with some pep in my step, coming off a good finish in the open tournament two weeks prior. I quickly began dissecting water and putting together several patterns that I had started to develop in the prior weeks. The water levels were low and the fishing was tougher than normal, so I knew if I could replicate my catch from the past tournament I would fare well.
My initial pattern that I started with tournament day didn’t pan out like I had hoped, fish were missing my topwater bait and the ones that would hit were small. So I pulled the plug on that and went to my comfort zone of throwing an RC Tackle Swim Jig and Snag Proof Frog around vegetation.
This change started to pay off right away and the number of times I culled up my limit kept occurring. With 30 minutes left in the day, I got one of the bigger fish I needed when a 3 lb. fish hammered my Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect Frog. As I was idling into the weigh in, I had this feeling that I had hopefully got the monkey off of my back and cashed my first check as a boater.
My fish on the scales weighed in at 11 lb. 7 oz. and had me in 12th place initially, but as I sat there waiting, I began to drop a few spots and my stomach was in knots thinking that I was going to be just out of the money like so many times before. Then it happened, the scales closed and I got the text from FLW saying I finished in 17th place….I did it, the monkey was off of my back!
Two key pieces of equipment that allowed me to fish quickly, but effectively were my Onyx Inflatable Life Jacket and my Minn Kota Talon. Being that I was fishing numerous spots, I got more fishing time in by not having to put on/take off my life jacket. The Talon allowed me to fish the key areas very slowly and effectively so I could cover every square inch of the cover I was fishing.
Going into the final MN Pro Team Event of the year on the Horseshoe Chain, Nick and I knew we needed a good finish to ensure we qualified for the big money TOC. Both Nick and I spent some time pre fishing the lake and had mixed results in different areas. This coupled with low water levels, had us feeling that if we got a limit we would be very happy and should be sitting in good shape.
Well after a HORRIBLE start to the day, Nick and I hit the reset button and went to work putting together an 8-fish limit for 19.01 lb’s, which put us in 10th place for the day. With the weight we had, we thought we would’ve been higher, but we accomplished our goal of making the year end championship by finishing the year 9th in points. The monkey was off of my back, after fishing this circuit for two years, I finally qualified for the year end championship!
Our main key to success was slowly flipping Texas-rigged soft plastics to isolated pieces of cover. I rigged a variety of creature baits on a 4/0 Lazer Trokar EWG hook and had a 3/8 oz. Lazer Sharp Tungsten sinker pegged in front of it. Neither of us lost a fish, despite being around heavy and abrasive cover and I attribute this to using 20 lb. Seaguar TATSU Fluorocarbon line.
I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend of fun fishing at the cabin over Labor Day weekend, followed by a weekend of pre-fishing on Clearwater to prepare for the MN Pro Team Championship on September 15th and 16th. I hope everyone enjoys the long holiday weekend and be safe on the water.