Monday night bass tournaments

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Andrew R
ANDREW
RAGAS

Andrew's Adventures

A Quick Weekend Up North

Tue, July 16, 2013

Over the weekend I was back up north again….. at this point in 2013, what else is new with me? Right…..

Ten days after my first mechanical breakdown in six years took place, the purpose of this weekend was to get my boat fixed with a new control and throttle cable. At 630am Friday morning, I took it into my friends shop in Lac Du Flambeau, Val’s Auto Marine, and it was fixed in less than 90 minutes. The damage wasn’t bad, all for $150. I swear my boat starts and runs better now than it ever did before.

As it usually goes for me during the month of July, the fishing was bad, but could have been terrible. In the last ten days, water temperatures have drastically climbed up into the high 70’s, (72-75 in AM / 75-79 in PM). This week will only add on to this and possibly take temps to the low 80’s at some places as it’s going to be hot for the remainder of this week. In addition, all fish species with the exception of largemouth bass have retreated deep. I wouldn’t say this is the reason why I normally take the month off and enjoy other summertime activities, but normally it’s because of the heat, number of tourists, and moron pleasure boaters. Until the end of this month, there will be no fishing for me.

With my dad in my boat with me this weekend, and having been tired out by the muskies since early June, I wanted to resume my big bass fishing duties again.

With the hot and humid weekend we had, our best odds for fishing were early mornings, evenings and nights.

Friday evening from 6-10pm, we struggled mightily on one of my favorite 900 acre action lakes. A typical outing usually produces 20 to 50 fish. We only caught four while throwing the kitchen sink at them. Here is dad with some LazerTrokar lovin’.

Water temperatures here were unbelievably warm for this lake type: Max depth 100 feet, it has trout, and a transparency of 20+ feet. The lake was off. Could the next day be any better?

I was going to wake up at 4am Saturday but I overslept until 11am. Functioning on less than 4hrs of sleep during the preceding 36+ hours caught up to me.

After some home improvement projects during the day, we went back out to a different lake in the evening. We fished from 530pm until 9pm. With high hopes and zero fish in the boat until 8pm, Saturday night was a dud. Two dinks were caught on this favorite action/trophy lake of mine on crankbaits. Dad caught nothing. I barely did either.

Not wanting to return to Chicago with a dud of a weekend under my belt I forced myself to wake up at 4am Sunday morning for a solo outing. I rarely wake up to fish early mornings unless I am traveling great distances to fish somewhere (30+ miles away). Locally, on a lake ten minutes away from the house, I’ll never do this. But for the remainder of this summer I think this will have to become a new daily routine.

From 430am until it was time to leave at 9am, I found action from both smallmouths and largemouths. The LMB’s were shallow in weeds while the SMB’s were all predominantly deep. Despite the rapidly warming surface and air temperatures, fish were very active. An assortment of topwaters (walk the dogs - Rapala Skitter Walks), jig worms (Bearpaw’s Handpoured Baits) and tube jigs caught everything. There was a lot of surface activity taking place throughout the morning, with several large smallies observed going airborne and busting baitfish across the surface. Some of them had to have been at least 5 pounds. Considering I was working an expansive 1,600 acre lake, I couldn’t be everywhere at once so they were difficult to get to.

By the time my morning had to be cut short (Since when? I never fish with a time schedule!), a ‘too little-too late’ type of deal took place. At 8am I found the hawg pen of smallmouth bass using an expansive midlake rock and sunken island complex that dropped to 45-60ft on all sides. Finally, Ms. Smallmouth and friends obliged I found the hungry wolfpack of nice ones suspended in 20-30 feet of water chasing schools of baitfish (smelt, ciscoes, etc). It was fun following my contours on the GPS, recording routes, and watching the screens all lit up with life. It was like a video game. But then at 9am I ran out of time and had to go home.

From this deep water, a Northland Mimic Minnow jig and 4 inch Trigger-X Minnow got bit and caught this nice one.

I will revisit this lake again two weeks from now, and try this deep water bite once again. It was fun, and one of the rare first times I’ve ever done it successfully on this lake. I wish I took a few screenshots of the Lowrance units. As soon as I got to the spot and quickly scanned it through the screen was showing traveling packs of smallies clear as day. Amazing sight. I knew they weren’t walleyes because these fish were suspended about 5ft off the bottom, with some trailing baitfish within 10 feet from the surface.

Until the end of the month, not much fishing is planned for me. King salmon up in Milwaukee is a possibility but there hasn’t been any substantial summer run of fish yet. Otherwise, I’ve got my first week of August muskie trip back to Lake of the Woods to look forward to, and two weeks of more up north adventures to look forward to in between there beginning August 26th that will take me through August 17th.

I can’t wait until I get to bass fish again.

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