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WIGuide

Finally Finished in the Money

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Yesterday morning, I was mentally preparing for a tough day of fishing knowing the lake we were headed for is normally a tough one. Normally, it's not too hard to get bites, but the size is always the issue. The DNR has gone as far as removing the size limit for bass just to reduce the population in order to allow fish to grow (our club still maintains a 14" minimum). Don't get me wrong there are some big'uns in there, but they are pretty hard to come by and weights there usually reflect that. The lake or chain or lakes rather are fairly unique and almost overwhelming at times due to the sheer amount of grass and the lack of anything else. I would estimate that 85% of the shoreline of the entire deal is covered in grass flats that extend out between 50 and 125 yards. Almost all of these flats grow up within a foot of the surface, with some patches reaching the surface. 

 

The weather forecast was shockingly good, with overcast skies supposed to be holding throughout the majority of the day with chances of scattered showers. Winds were fairly light (3-10) and coming out of the south-west. It was just gloomy enough to keep most recreation pressure off the lake. Despite that, a local perch jerker was sitting right where I wanted to start things off so I moved up to fish a large weed point. To cover water and hopefully call up any early aggressive fish, I was throwing a rattlin' spook and dad was using his tried and true wacky worm. It didn't take long to put a couple in the boat after doubling back to expand on the area where we caught the first few fish, Dad had switched to a wake bait and pulled in one more fish that was about 1/8" shy of making the well before the sun came out and the bite died. We ran through a few more spots fairly quickly; a stretch of docks, a fairly steeply sloped point, some shallow cabbage beds, and a shallow mat of lily pads with trash grass that filled in the holes making a canopy. All of which held fish, but they were all tiny. We decided to move out to the deeper weed edge and hit that with a combination of creature bait and wacky worm and moved up in size and picked off two more keepers and some others that were at least close.  Around 11:30 we headed over to another deeper weed line thinking we could replicate the pattern. The spot I pulled up on had some weird stringy type of grass I'm not fond of since it doesn't create shade and it tangles in your trolling motor prop like nobody's business. I kicked my trolling motor up to move up to some better grass quicker and picked up my jig. A few seconds after I stood back up I saw a thick patch of coontail moss so I let off the tm and dropped my jig down a hole almost right off the edge of the boat. I let it fall all the way to the bottom and let it sit for a second and my line just tightened up. I laid the wood to it and flipped it up in the boat, keeper number 5. Dad and I boated 4 or 5 more fish in that small little patch about 2 1/2 times the size of the boat.  We ran back to where we started knowing there was some coontail in about the same depth of water (5-7') and sure enough, caught a few more legals, all about the same size. I had moved to a bigger creature bait hoping to pick up a bigger fish. We made another move back to the deep weed edge we fished earlier, but found a few boats around it so we ran to another spot I knew had some coontail, but it must have been just a little too shallow because we didn't even get bit. With about an hour left in the day we went back to the first coontail bed in hopes more fish may have moved in or it had settled enough to catch whatever else was there. Three pitches in a row I caught 3 more but they were all dinks, and then I hear dad yell "NET!" from the back of the boat. I turn around and see his rod doubled over thinking he's got the keeper we need, and that's when I see it shoot out of the grass...it's a 32 or 33" northern! I hear a noise up front and the rod I set down to pick up the net is starting to slide out of the boat, so I jump back up there to pick up my rod and there's no resistance, apparently a northern grabbed that one too and cut me off (someone really needs to invent braid cutters made of northern teeth as they would be the best on the market haha). We ran back to the lake with the landing in it, and fished a deeper section of grass with little patches of coontail mixed in, caught 3 in the last 15 minutes none even close to being keepers. 

 

In the end, we had caught over two limits of legal's and probably 25-30 fish total. Our keepers were all within a few oz of one another, so we were just missing 1 or 2 keeper bites that would have moved us up enough to win it. Ended up taking 3rd of 25 boats with 12.31lbs, missing out on 2nd by about 2/10ths of a pound and about 2 lbs out of first. Tournaments on most lakes in the area it usually takes 15 to 17 lbs to win so you can see how this body of water fishes. It was nice to put some money back in our pockets and build some momentum going into the second half of the season. Above all it was fun, and a great day spent with dad out on the water making memories. 

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Solid Day ~ 

Congrats

A-Jay

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Love it when a plan comes together ;)

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WTG.  Nice write up on your tourney day.  Congrats to both of you.

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Very nice....I too love fishing with my son on Tuesday nights.

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that's a big CONGRAT'S!! nice day, and to do it with dad even better

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You call that a tough lake in Wisconsin?  I finished in 11th in the state championship tournament with only 5.03 pounds lol, that's what we call a tough lake.  Only two teams had a limit.

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Congratulations!!

That's Great!

 

 

 

 

Mike

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Well done! What tournament group do you fish with? Ever fish around Fond du Lac or Oshkosh?

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Way to go.

Congrats!

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On 7/11/2017 at 11:33 PM, IndianaFinesse said:

You call that a tough lake in Wisconsin?  I finished in 11th in the state championship tournament with only 5.03 pounds lol, that's what we call a tough lake.  Only two teams had a limit.

Haha well the challenge with this lake isn't catching fish, what makes it tough is catching a fish 14" and over. We had a good day, got on the right pattern, and it worked for us. The last tourney we fished there a few years ago, we fished shallow, we fished deep, we fished everything in between. We caught somewhere between 35 and 40 fish and only two were legals.  I've fished in some derbies like you were in where actually getting the bites is the issue, and those are terrible! 

 

15 hours ago, shimmy said:

Well done! What tournament group do you fish with? Ever fish around Fond du Lac or Oshkosh?

Thanks, we fish with the Chippewa Valley Bass Attack. It's based out of Eau Claire, but a lot of our tournaments are held up north of there. We have a few over on the river, usually start there and this year we end in LAX with a two day. I haven't fished over in that area before, but I'm moving over to Oshkosh in a few months to hopefully finish up some schooling while my gf finishes hers. The only problem is the boat is going to have to stay at home :/ 

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Nice day and great writeup, thanks for posting.

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On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 11:59 AM, WIGuide said:

Haha well the challenge with this lake isn't catching fish, what makes it tough is catching a fish 14" and over. We had a good day, got on the right pattern, and it worked for us. The last tourney we fished there a few years ago, we fished shallow, we fished deep, we fished everything in between. We caught somewhere between 35 and 40 fish and only two were legals.  I've fished in some derbies like you were in where actually getting the bites is the issue, and those are terrible! 

 

Thanks, we fish with the Chippewa Valley Bass Attack. It's based out of Eau Claire, but a lot of our tournaments are held up north of there. We have a few over on the river, usually start there and this year we end in LAX with a two day. I haven't fished over in that area before, but I'm moving over to Oshkosh in a few months to hopefully finish up some schooling while my gf finishes hers. The only problem is the boat is going to have to stay at home :/ 

Terrible to hear about the boat. I work up in the Oshkosh prison each day so we will be close by. My boat, in theory, should get completed within the next few months. When it does, you are welcome to join me as i try to learn some of the good lakes within an hour of Fondy.

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On 7/15/2017 at 9:30 AM, shimmy said:

Terrible to hear about the boat. I work up in the Oshkosh prison each day so we will be close by. My boat, in theory, should get completed within the next few months. When it does, you are welcome to join me as i try to learn some of the good lakes within an hour of Fondy.

Let me know when it is, I'll have to join you as I'm sure fishing withdrawals are going to be too much to bear. 

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