Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tackle Update: New Baits from Biovex

As an aficionado of well made, high end tackle, I pay attention to detail when I see new baits hit the market. I'm not always convinced of the baits that hit the mainstream, in fact there has got to be something that attracts me to the bait. This is why I'm so excited about some of the new products that have been released by one of Japan's industry leaders, Biovex.

First off, I'd like to introduce the new Biovex Amp Wake, a top of the line wakebait that has a sick action when pulled across the top of the water. Sure the bait is appealing to the eye, but it's the aggressive action that the bait omits just under the surface that's the real appeal. This Wake has been a staple for me from the postspawn through the end of Fall. It's a big fish bait that provides big time action.

Next is the Biovex Amp Stay 80SP, a suspending jerkbait that is the perfect size and action for any bass whether it be spotted, smallmouth or largemouth. I've had the best luck with this bait catching cold water smallmouth bass. The Stay 80SP, is a non intimidating bait that hovers in place yet imparts an erratic action when worked appropriately or can be fished with a mellow retrieve when the bite is really tough. Again the size of the 80SP is perfect in my eyes at seducing wary fish.

Last but not least, is the Biovex Amp Deep Runner, a deep running crankbait that has a tight wiggle, is realistic as can be and runs to deep depths. I've always been a HUGE fan of the Biovex Midrunner and this is that bait on steroids! On light line this bait will easily hit 15 feet and hits it quick. It's big lip ricochets off cover with perfection and the size off the bait is very appetizing for large bass. I just got a box of these in the mail and already have been using these as a one, two punch with a football jig to entice deep largemouths. The Deep Runner is already a staple in my tackle box.

I'm very lucky to be sponsored by Biovex as their baits are not yet available to the U.S. market. I've been hearing some rumors from the Biovex camp that there may be a big announcement coming some time in the future. That's exciting news considering I've been working with them on designing some new baits that I know are going to be a huge hit. Keep checking in.

I'm also proud to say that both Bri and I have been involved in some of the marketing for the company over in Japan. Here's an ad from one of Japan's largest bass magazine's, Rod and Reel magazine.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cabela's Kids Fishing Event

Today I got the honor of representing myself, Tru Tungsten and the rest of my sponsors by helping out at the Cabela's Kids Fishing Event. At first I didn't really know what to expect from this and actually had a little bit of anxiety toward it. This definitely struck me as odd because I've done numerous fishing events and have never had a problem, in fact I'm actually pretty good at them. My years of experience in the hospitality industry as well as my true love for fishing makes gabbing about it quite easy, though the idea of entertaining children was actually a little intimidating. Not all these kids get the opportunity to get out and fish and I really wanted to be sure they had an awesome time. They are the next generation of our sport and enthusiasm starts now.

The Cabela's, located in Owatonna, MN, has two private ponds that are stocked with both bluegills and largemouth bass. Cabela's provided all the rods, reels, tackle and bait as well as a free lunch for all the children and family. My job was to walk around the ponds and help out in any way I could, mostly by taking fish off, retying rigs, untangling lines and of course putting nightcrawlers on hooks.

I couldn't believe how many kids showed for this opportunity and better yet just how many fish were caught. I'm talking more slab sunnies than I could imagine and one little girl even caught close to a 3 pound largemouth bass, her first to say the least.

I stayed more than busy and really truly enjoyed myself. There is nothing better than watching kids become hooked on fishing right in front of my eyes. So much of my fishing career is selfish and all about me and how I can be better. It is far more rewarding watching kids fall in love with fishing than to cash a check at a big tournament. It reminded me of when I was a kid and how much I purely loved fishing before the money, sponsors and reputation got involved. To be honest it was humbling and I am very blessed I got the opportunity to be involved. Hats off to Cabela's for providing this free event, here's a company that truly cares and stops at nothing to give back to the outdoors.

Next year when this event comes around again, I'll be sure to do a better job of notifying my followers on my site, via Star Tribune's Outdoor Page and both Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Denny's Super 30

Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata, MN

Pressure's on! It's time to make it or break it out on Lake Minnetonka this time of year. Going into this event we found ourselves sitting in good position in the team of the year points with a respectable 9th. With only 2 more tourneys left before the Shootout, it's time to prove your in for the long haul. The top 14 teams qualify for the year end championship and let me be the first to tell you the competition is stiff, all 51 teams can and will sack 'em and it's important your one of the teams consistently bagging 'em up.

Ryan and I are the two up for this go round and practice went great. I mean it when I say it we probably had the best practice we have ever had. Not only did we get bites in all the places we wanted to get bites we also never burned a single fish. We were able to pull on every bite, never sacrificing a good one.

We had a early boat draw and decided to start in an area that usually has done us well and things really didn't start all that great. I caught a couple right away but nothing to get your blood flowing, my biggest was probably 3 pounds.

We went on to fill a limit right away but size was embarrassing to say the least, I mean we had like squeakers in the boat, babies to say the least. Finally we had a decision to make whether to stay and pound it out or head to the other side and start banging out on some water and kind of sling from our hip. I made a suggestion that we stop by an area that had been good to me first and then we'll make the journey. This proved to be worth the stop because it didn't take minutes and Ryan was at war with what ended up being a 5.25 pound giant. There's is nothing more gratifying then culling a 5 pounder out for a 12 inch dink.

Minutes later and I was wrestling with a giant and again we made a sick cull with a 4 pounder and got rid of another little bumper baby. Sticking with this pattern, Ryan suggested an area that was very similar and again another cull. We finished the day by running these areas making a few culls here and there and in the end finished up with a solid 12th place and moved up to a two way tie for 8th place in the Team of the Year standings with only 1 more event left.

We still had a couple small fish in our limit and yet again were oh so close to pulling a top 3, still in the end we're getting so close we can taste it. We just got to keep putting in the work and we'll reap the reward soon enough.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Silverado Pro Tour

Green Lake, Spicer, MN

This was a tournament that proved to be a learning lesson from the very get go. I've had some past experience on Green and really thought I'd have an ace in the hole for this event before I even got there. This probably proved to be my biggest mistake.

Last year I finished with a very respectable 14th place while fishing the Silverado in early June. The obvious bite was a spawning bite and the vast majority of the fish were up on spawning flats. I also found great success fishing deep, very deep. Being that this tournament was mid summer, I thought this would be the ticket to cashing a much needed check and turning my luck in this years Silverado events.

Throughout practice I tried like hell to make the deep bite work and really wasn't getting the bites I thought I would, though when I did get bit it was a giant 4 plus pound smallie.

This caused a good deal of confusion in that I kind of adopted a mentality that all I needed was 6 bites all day and since the quality was there I could easily weigh over 20 pounds. As practiced continued though I realized that there would be a better than not chance that I may not even get 6 bites all day. This was obviously a problem.

Everyday of practice I was able to catch a couple quality fish but patterning them was horrible. I'd catch one out of 30 feet on a dropshot, then I'd catch one out of 2 feet on a spinnerbait. In 3 days of practice I caught roughly 10 smallies going over 3 1/2 pounds and all on different baits out of different depths.

Though I was a bit confused onto what, when, where and how I was going to catch 20 pounds, I knew I was around the fish to do it and just planned to junk fish all day.

To make a long depressing story short, we managed to drop two giant smallmouths in the morning that really hurt. My Am partner Brian Brecka put on a clinic thereafter and really stepped up putting a couple in the box and giving us a shot to still put together a solid limit.

As the day wore on I was able to start making some big culls and caught our biggest bass on a Biovex Midrunner Crankbait and then followed that up with a nice largemouth on a flippin' bite as well as another lunker smallie on a tube over a rock pile.

In the end we weighed in with 6 bass totaling 15.75 pounds, only good enough for a very disappointing 30th place. It's really tough when I think of what could of been had we landed those two doozer smallies right away in the morning that got off at the boat. We would have weighed in around 20 pounds and cashed a check as well as moved up greatly in the points with only one tournament to go. With that said though I was still so off in the big picture, most guys whacked the crap out of them and probably threw back 18 to 19 pounds. I was so close, yet so far away.

I'm more than upset with the outcome, this one really hurt. I missed the ticket all together and also missed the opportunity to still put together a bag. It's disheartening to say the least. I've been tournament fishing hard for 3 years now and have always had good success. This year has been horrible, bad practices, bad decision making and bad execution along with bad luck have all combined to have me on the outside looking in. Not a position I'm used to and definitely not a position I will get used to. A little humiliation can be a good thing and will provide the extra motivation necessary to get back on top. Now the only way I make the Shootout on Lake Minnetonka is to win at the last event at the Horseshoe Chain. I'll never turn down a challenge and am excited at the opportunity.

Up next though, it's time for the Denny's Super 30 on Lake Minnetonka where we're currently sitting 9th in the Team of the Year points race with 2 events remaining. The top 14 teams qualify for the end of the year Shootout. Time to turn this year around, starting now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Weekend to Remember

This past weekend, Bri and I along with our good friends Matt and Luanne, went up to Bri's family cabin for a fun and relaxing weekend on the water. As I said in my last post, Bri's cabin is seriously one of my favorite places in the world. The fishing is fantastic but just being off the beaten path and away from the everyday hustle and bustle of the city is a treat all of it's own. Anyone who knows us knows that sure we grew up in the city but our heart is in the country and we're doing everything it takes to make the permanent move. I know I'm fortunate to get to many different lake destinations throughout the year but there's something a bit more satisfying enjoying it with my family and good friends without all pressures of tournament fishing.

We were blessed with beautiful weather that gave way to clear nights with plenty of shooting stars to wish on, while we kicked it around a campfire, enjoying good conversation and roasting delicious pudgy pies. Ahh, pudgy pies, something I have never heard of that will now be a staple for me while sitting around a fire. I'm not sure whether to hate Matt and Lou or love them for it?

Some other highlights from our trip was climbing to the top of the ranger station overlooking the entire area. It's really a breathtaking view all the way up there and never seems to get old. During a good old booze cruise, we also managed to breakdown in the pontoon on the complete other side of the lake, we couldn't of been any further from the cabin! After trying like hell to paddle with zero success, finally a couple came to our rescue and towed us all the way back. Thank God for them two, otherwise we may still of been out there.

The fishing was good though it started slow. Matt and I started by fishing reeds with really nothing to show for it. We then went even shallower and started throwing around some topwater frogs through all the cover. The action was better here but still not what I was accustomed to on the lake. There was a lot of fish in these areas but they just weren't wanting to eat the frog. I think we hooked maybe one for every five blowups. They were just smacking the bait, more pestered by it.

My wheels starting turning and I decided it was time to check another area of the lake. We were finding some action shallow just not with total success yet it was still good enough that I couldn't get myself to completely abandon the shallows and head for deep water. So instead I picked a area of the lake that had a lot of boat docks but also had some mixed floating vegetation between them. I figured worst case that if we still couldn't get bit real good on the pads that maybe we could bust a couple under docks.

It didn't take but the first dock and I knew the answer to the question was found, I caught three good ones under one dock. We continued on that pattern and I don't think I ever picked up my frog rod again, I just kept slinging jigs under docks and just kept catching fish after fish. The jig we were using was the one and only Tru Tungsten Jig, is there really any other kind?

Matt, who loves to fish more than anything but just doesn't have the time to fish as much as most the people that get in the boat with me, hadn't ever skipped a bait under a dock before, let alone a jig on heavy baitcasting gear. Between raising two kids and running his own auto garage, Gustavson Repair, it's hard to get the time to learn such an advanced technique. You think I'd be easy on him and rig up a spinning rod with a senko on it but where's the glory in that? If your going to learn something, learn it the right way from the beginning. Instead I handed him the exact same setup and was more than impressed at his determination to conquer it.

In fact it didn't take to long at all and wouldn't you know it he sets and lands a nice bass from under a dock on a jig. Not only was it his first dock fish but it was his first jig fish! It took me a long time to catch my first jig fish and he does it in less than an hour and under a boat dock! That's sick!

After an awesome trip we capped it off with a night out a Zorba's, yeah that's right, Zorba's with a Z. Though come Sunday morning I think we all mutually agreed that Zorba's was probably the worst idea of the weekend. We were all a bit on the slower side if you know what I mean?

I gotta say that this past weekend was just what I needed, time with my beautiful wife, two dogs and some of our very best friends! I feel relaxed and recharged and chomping at the bit to get back on the water and put my game face on! The Silverado Tour hits Green Lake baby! I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Favorite Place in the World

I went from counting down the weeks, to counting down the days and now we're getting close to counting down the hours. Soon Bri and I, along with two of our good friends Matt and Luanne, will be heading up north to one of my favorite places for both fishing and relaxing, Bri's cabin in McGregor, MN.

The cabin is just awesome and we're all in need of some good fun including bar-b-queuing, sitting around the fire and tipping a couple back. The best part is the fishing is untapped! No one is fishing bass on this lake and the bass grow big, real big! In fact, I caught my Minnesota big bass at a lake just down the road tipping the scale at a whopping 7 lbs. 6 oz!

I'm hoping my new G Loomis Swimbait Rod will be in before I go as I plan to chuck the old shoe (Weedless Huddleston) to bass that I guarantee have never seen one before and also plan to power up the Humminbird Side Imager on a lake that has never been scanned for it's hidden rockpiles. I'm 100% confident that we'll have plenty of pictures and video to show off our weekend's results!

I've been passing the time by spending some time on the water locally. I've been doing some guide trips as well as getting out and doing some camera work. This past weekend we spent out on one of my favorite bodies of water fishing deep structure with my go to favorite bait, the Picasso Fantasy Football Jig. The fish were movie stars as they were more than happy to make their appearances for the video camera. Keep checking in as the video should be up and ready to be viewed very soon.

If anyone is interested in getting in the boat with me for a guided trip contact me sooner than later. The summer largemouth bite is on and the fall smallmouth bite is right around the corner! In fact, last week I did a corporate guide trip for a company out of Wisconsin. Instead of a company golf tournament, it was a company bass tournament. Not only did my boat catch fish, they won the whole tournament! What a outing! These guys really worked me, they had me running from front to back taking off fish and snapping photos. It was just awesome!!

Well, all for now! I got lots to do before I head up for a weekend of partying and setting hooks on donkey largemouth! When I get back it's back to business and preparing for the next Silverado Pro Tour stop at Green Lake, in Spicer, MN. Talk about a smallie haven!! I'm more than excited! I can already hear my drag spinning!

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