Thursday, August 25, 2011

Denny's Super 30

Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata, MN

Coming off a big win on this body of water just days ago, myself and team tournament partner Corey Brant had considerably high expectations on ourselves. We also had added motivation in that we were sitting 7th overall in the team of the year points and with the top 8 teams in line for a nice payday.

Practice went very well for me especially since I fished all new water or at least water that I hadn't used to pull off the big win with a ridiculous weight of 5 fish for 23.53 pounds. Each practice day I managed to easily catch at least 28 pounds for my best 8. If we could simply maintain that we would easily place in the money and slide up in the points.

We drew boat 30 out of 52 and decided to run to some decent water in hopes of catching a early kicker or two before running to our better stuff. Unfortunately we left these area with very little to show for it and worse yet our next few areas were all occupied by other competitors. The day continued very tough for us yet we kept our focus and slowly managed to put together a limit.

As the day progressed it was apparent that our bite was going away from us and in hindsight should have probably scrapped the game plan and instead fished more for the moment. In fact if it wasn't for my last minute flurry we could have really had a rough showing. Instead in the end we weighed in our best 8 for a disappointing 21.3 pounds. Surprisingly enough we were still good enough for a tie for 16th but our big fish knocked us down to 17th. Obviously the bite was tough on a lot of teams though the ones that did catch them knocked it out of the park. Winning weight was 8 for 34.0! Hats off gentleman. I guess it just goes to show that old 'Tonka is alive and well.

Though a disappointing performance for us, our consistency puts us in prime position as we moved up to 6th overall in the team of the year points with only one event to go. I'm very excited as well as I tend to favor the bite on Minnetonka in the late fall and this event should set up right in our wheelhouse.

Autumn is definitely starting to rear its head though my fishing schedule is getting very busy to say the least. In a week I head up to the Whitefish Chain to partake in the BASS Federation State Championship. After that I head up to Leech Lake for the North American Bass Circuit World Championship pre practice. Then head back for the final showdown of the Denny's Super 30 and then head back up to Leech to throw down for 20 grand!

As you see September will be very busy but October and November bring some of the best smallmouth action of the year! I'll be doing a lot of guiding and though I already have lots of trips in the works I still have plenty more room for more! Contact me today!

See you on the water!

Friday, August 19, 2011

North American Bass Circuit

Lake Minnetonka, Spring Park, MN

Since early Spring I've been so excited for this tournament. When I saw that Cabela's and North American Fisherman was teaming up for the North American Masters Circuit on Lake Minnetonka, I couldn't wait to send in my entry fee. This event, promising big name anglers, a big payout and a shot at the NABC World Championship held on Leech lake was enough to keep my mind spinning at the thought of winning such an event.

Teaming up with me was none other then my boy, Corey Brant and we both put in a lot of man hours trying to crack the code of these dog day summer lunkers. We managed to catch good bass all week leading up to the event but so was a lot of other anglers. Tonka has been holding up to its reputation to say the least, big bags of largemouth have been consistently coming across the scales so we knew we needed to pull out all the stops for a true run at the leaderboard.

I was a little nervous when I found out we drew boat 42, I was really hoping for a early draw especially since the return times weren't staggered. None the less we knew we had a solid game plan and plenty a spots to fish that there was no way we would get to everything anyway.

I hate that I can't get into to much detail being that we have another big event out there in just a couple days but I can say we grinded all day, literally to the very end. We caught them both deep and shallow on a multitude of different baits. It was a perfect team effort all the way by making good decisions, landing quality lunkers and some superb fish landing. So good that we took the top prize with a whopping 5 bass for 23.53 pounds!!! A giant sack to say the least and cashed a very rewarding paycheck. To be honest, the money is great but the hardware saying we bested a stacked field on that lake is truly priceless. This tournament means so much to me, we along with our other partner in crime Ryan Brant have put in countless man hours on that lake and been soooo close so many times. We've literally seen way more than our share of wins vanish at the side of the boat. This isn't my first win and I hope to have many many more but I promise I'll never let go of this one.

We also qualified for the NABC Championship held on Leech Lake, September 24th and 25th. First place prize is $20,000!!

Check out the full results here.

Up next is the Denny's Super 30 in just a few days. We find ourselves sitting in 7th place in the Team of the Year points with 2 events to go. Hopefully our pattern holds up and we can continue to move up and make our run at the team of the year.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Making Sense of the Snell Knot?

A month or so ago I received a email from friend Rich Lindgren with a link to an article titled, "Dispelling Snell Knot Theory?", by Hale White with

I quickly opened the link to see what kind of foolishness this was as I've learned from the best of the best touring pros that this knot is far better than any traditional knot that ties directly to the eye. To catch up any readers that aren't familiar with the snell knot that me get you caught up.

The snell knot is a knot that goes through the eye of a straight shank hook and then wraps and fastens around the actual shank of the hook. There is numerous reasons why anglers would choose to employ this particular knot but its greatest use would be for heavy flipping and punching. The selling points for this knot is unless you use straight shank hooks that have wielded eyes your guaranteed to loose a fish or two because the knot will eventually find its way through the seam. However the main attraction to this knot is its ability to kick the hook out when using a heavy pegged sinker.

After hearing all the buzz from pros and seeing the "kick out" myself I instantly made the switch. The snell was a bit difficult to learn to tie but like with anything practice made perfect. Soon I was teaching all my buddies how to tie the knot.

I'd say my hook up ratio did get a bit better while flipping all the milfoil that we have scattered across our Minnesota lakes, though I can honestly say that it was my worst hook up ratio out of any other form of bass fishing.

I didn't really give it anymore thought until I read Mr. White's article. I just assumed that it was a true combat style of fishing and that lost fish was part of the norm. I'm not going to get into to much detail as to why his article stuck into my brain so much as I'd prefer you visit his website and read the article for yourself, snell knot theory.

What I will tell you is what I read got my wheels spinning, which is exactly what the author wanted. Every theory made sense and in fact showed far more support for why the snell doesn't work than any so called proven facts of why it does.

This past month I ran a series of tests myself. I stopped using the snell knot and instead just tied a good ole' palomar knot directly to the eye of the Lazer Trokar Flippin' Hook (TK130), the baddest straight shank on the market. I was honestly surprised by what I found, I fish 5 days a week and my hook up ratio went up from 50% to an easy 95%. I've been using the same hook and same setup for over two years now, the only difference is the knot. Why would I take away from the advantages of the Trokar Flippin' Hook? Instead, I now will let the hook do its job, what it was made to do, kick bass ass!

As I said, I did notice a slight better hook up ratio once I started employing the snell, though in hindsight it was the switch to the straight shank hook that helped not the knot. The snell was actually working against me.

With this I leave you the same as Mr. White left me. I hope to not convince you but instead make you think, try for yourself and see what works better for you. For me it's a no brainer, the snell knot is a not!

On another note, is a new website for me and I'm very impressed with the content. It's packed with quality information that I admit can be against the grain at times but that I can't disagree with in the end. Do yourself a favor and make them one of your favorites!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tackle Update: Shimano Still Claiming the Throne

The anticipation over Shimano's release of their new line of reels at July's ICAST Show had me going stir crazy! Being a die hard Shimano guy I always get excited for them to reveal their newest technology. The rumors were flying about these new line of reels and all I heard was great reviews and lower price points. Could this really be the case? Better reels at lower prices?

After seeing them for myself I'm excited to say the rumors held up and so did the expectations. I am particularly excited about the new Shimano Sustain FG. I already have my order in on several of these in the 4000 series. This reel is packed with all the features we've come to expect from Shimano but also adds in some newer technology such as X-Ship which provides rigidity and a tremendous amount of cranking power. It also features the new Magnumlite CI4 Rotor which reduces resistance on rotation providing added smoothness. Last but not least, Shimano added Rapid Fire Drag allowing anglers to quickly adjust drag to ideal settings during the fight.

Also new to their lineup is the reconstruction of the famous Citica and Curado lines. Both the Curado G and Citica G will be offered in 5, 6 and 7 speed gear ratios and both come equipped with their new HEG Gearing technology. HEG Gearing provides extra power and torque to a line that already has the reputation for being the toughest reels on the market.

By far my most excitement comes from their new Chronarch E Series, available in either their 50 and 200 series. I already have both these reels in my arsenal and am sure to replace all my older Shimano Chronarchs with these as well. At a lowered price point of $199.99 a guy would be a fool for not picking up 1 or even 10 of them.

I think it's fair to say the king of reels has maintained their spot on top of the throne!

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