2018 BLOGS

The Last One

Posted on September 28th, 2018

That's it the last major tournament for me in 2018 is in the books. It was definitely a memorable adventure to Houghton Lake and a place I would like to go back to someday. Everyone was faced with challenging conditions up there, as we faced a 30 degree temperature drop on tournament morning. It was a refreshing taste of fall, but I don't think it helped the bite any. Congrats to the winners for figuring out the right bites in a brutal tournament like this!

I knew right from the get go I was going to have my work cut out for me. My only experience on the lake was an NBAA classic in the spring a decade or more ago. I knew what I was doing then wouldn't play and I didn't make it up there to pre practice. That ended up being a really poor decision because we were faced with sustained 30 mph winds on our official practice day.

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Multi Species

Posted on September 7th, 2018

I've only got a couple tournament blogs left for this season. Seems crazy it is almost over but it means we've got a lot of other fun things about to kick off. We've got White Lake D&R, Grand Traverse Bay, Muskegon Salmon, as well as some other important news packed into this one. It's probably not going to be short, so here it goes.

The last regular season D&R Tournament was on White Lake and Shaun and I had really been looking forward to this one.  Practice seemed to confirm that we should be looking forward to it as well. We didn't have anything really good to go on but we had seen enough of the right kind of fish that we knew it could be good. Plus we had the flipping sticks and heavy weights ready to go, that always gives us some added confidence.

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13 and change

Posted on August 10th, 2018

A lot has happened since the last blog, 4 separate events actually. So unfortunately I won't have enough space to get into every little detail. I will do my best to remember the important ones though. A few of them weren't the typical events we have around here so that at least made things interesting.
                Taking it from the top, Shaun and I had the D&R Muskegon event. It was going to be good opportunity to get things back on track and get things rolling in the right direction. That plan became a little more complicated when I visited the lake to get some practice in. All the things I normally like to do were  garbage except for one little flash of greatness. Even then that was fishing a favorite area with a much more finesse approach. That isn't really how Shaun and I like to do things, but the fish get what the fish want whether we like it or not.

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Grand River 2018

Posted on July 24th, 2018

Seems crazy we are at the halfway point of tournament season right now. Summer is going by in the blink of an eye. One thing that is consistent about summer is there is always at least one Grand River tournament. It always ends up being one of the most challenging tournaments for Shaun and I. It seems every time we think we have something figured out there it changes, not to mention the river is always in a state of change. I don't know if we will ever truly dial it in like some others have but one thing is for sure, we are going to keep trying.

After our miserable performance at Charlevoix we were pretty determined to rebound at this D&R tournament. I had one look of the river during a weeknight tournament and was blown away at just how much water was out there. There were so many more places fish could hide and while I think it can make fishing more challenging right now I think it will be a great thing for the fishery in the future.

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Righting the Ship

Posted on July 9th, 2018

If you have been following along this season, you know it's been off to a rough start. Definitely was one of the biggest "slumps" I've been through in recent memory. Lots of disastrous and potentially confidence crushing events. Things that can really throw your whole game off and get you on the track of over thinking everything instead just fishing on instinct. It definitely is an easy trap to fall into when things don't well a few tournaments in a row.  

Avoiding that trap throughout a stretch of tournaments or maybe just throughout the day in an individual tournament can be so tough. The only way to get out of it is just to keep working and continue to trust in the decisions you've been making. Things can snowball in the right direction just as quickly as they can unravel in the wrong direction. I know it's tough because there's a million things to consider going into tournament day and the competition factor just escalates things more. But always trust in instincts no matter how silly or random they might be. I'm starting to right the ship although it's not quite there yet, I'm hoping for one of those tournament days that makes it seem easy to come along soon.

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Charlevoix Spawn

Posted on June 14th, 2018

It's never fun to write these after a bad tournament, but I'm here to tell a story good, bad, or indifferent. I've had enough bad tournaments to know that there's no point to letting it get to you. Take what lessons you can from it and move on to the next one. I will say this ones got me wound up, disappointed, and embarrassed. Knowing I've got wait a whole year to maybe get another crack at it only makes it worse.

The tournament I'm talking about is the D&R Sports Charlevoix tournament and here's how it went down. Shaun and I got up there late for practice, Amanda had to work out of town so I had to get Mabel to daycare. We got on the water sometime between 10 and 11, it didn't take long to realize there were a lot less beds than we expected to see. We were all in on the sight fishing program that was for sure. Visibility wasn't great that first day but we found some good ones. No giants but several over 4 and quite a few heavy 3's. Nothing to feel confident in but at least we had a start. That would play out the next day too, we found the fish to do well but nothing great. We spent some time trying to unlock a prespawn bite and catch one of those big females that were cruising around. We did discover we could get some bites on a jerkbait, but it was nothing real consistent.

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Dropping Bombs

Posted on June 3rd, 2018

Well opening weekend has come and gone. After a long spring of anticipation building for the real deal, some walked away satisfied and others did not. I settled down nicely into that not satisfied category, in fact it was a downright disappointing disaster.

I absolutely love a sight fishing tournament and there was no question that would be the deal at the West Michigan Bass Tom Cook Memorial Day Open. There have been few sight fishing tournaments I've ever really struggled in. I've had mentally exhausting days before but I've always gotten them in the end, this one would be different. Shaun and I had a good run of fish lined up, enough that we should finish well .But we also knew we would need to find a new one, a female, or catch another big one just fishing to win. We had a full moon going on and things were right to come across a female. So we figured that was our best bet to find a difference maker. First we would have to snatch the sight fish we knew about.

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It's Catching not Fishing

Posted on May 13th, 2018

Normally I would never say that, well unless maybe I was talking about ice fishing at times. But seriously is prespawn Lake St. Clair even real? Because after our trip there this week it certainly doesn't feel like it. The weather lined up and Dave, Kyle, and I made the trip from the west side to St. Clair. It's always a very long day coming from the west side, but if you are into catching it can be well worth it.
It's too bad Lake St. Clair is surrounded by Metro Detroit. That unfortunately makes the whole trip a hassle. But we did fair much better than several of my buddies who also made the trip the week before. We had no traffic or mechanical issues which is always a major positive. I will say that is my last single day trip over there, it's multiple days or I'm taking the relaxing and shorter drive to northern Michigan instead.
We are very fortunate to have a fishery like St. Clair. I didn't have the highest expectations since the last time we went we caught 205. How could it get any better than that right? Well I was wrong, it was crazy again. I don't think there are many other places in the world where you can catch 225 fish and a bunch ranging from 4 to just under 6 pounds and literally have accomplished nothing (and feel like you didn't really catch them that good). Generally if a bunch of fish over 4lbs come aboard the boat in a days time I feel like I've done something.  This place is almost artificial there are so many smallies eager to eat. I will say we had to make some very important adjustments to catch that many and were running a very specific pattern.

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Make It Stop

Posted on April 17th, 2018

Alright this is getting ridiculous, it's mid April and I'm sitting home during an ice storm instead of fishing. The conditions actually aren't that bad for fishing, but the roads are an absolute mess, so here I sit. I did however get lots of important fishing related things done this weekend so it wasn't a total loss. Amanda and I also made some ribs with one of the Reel n Smoke grilling kits. So simple and so amazing, it was a good project for a lazy weekend. I've still got quite a bit of stuff to accomplish today, it won't be snow blowing like the rest of the neighborhood is doing right now though ( I refuse to do snow removal in April).

I did manage to make it out for a few hours last week though. I went to a new body of water and was for sure surprised at where most of the fish were positioned. They were much shallower than I would have thought and biting reaction baits pretty well. The water temp didn't really indicate that they were going to be shallow, I did have the wind in my favor though. It definitely seemed like they were getting antsy to move on up and start cruising the shallows.

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Shakedown Cruise

Posted on March 29th, 2018

The boat is home and it is time to get the party started. After a couple weeks of snow every other day I finally got a window to go pick it up right before the Grand Rapids show. I got hit with some nasty bug while I was there that I am just getting over. So I've yet to get out on the water but let's hope this is the week!
We had a successful show last week in Grand Rapids for Minn Kota and Humminbird. Show numbers were down overall but we had a ton of people in our booth. It seemed like the crowd who only stops by because of the bright lights was missing. But the people who really wanted to get some more info about our units turned out big time. It was great to see all the interest in SOLIX, I'll be running 2 of them this year and I highly recommend them. They offer quite a few advantages for people who are really going to get in depth with their electronics. So it was great to be able to spend a bunch of time talking about them. However it wasn't fun feeling like death all weekend from whatever plague I caught. It actually was a miserable week immediately following and ruined my plans of getting down to the ClearH2O open house on Saturday. I know I missed a few people at the show but it was good to catch up with a bunch of friends.

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Fading Fast

Posted on February 22nd, 2018

It's 50 degrees, pouring down rain, and the ice is on the way to being unsafe as I'm typing this. I'm not even going to pretend that I'm happy about it. I had big dreams for March ice fishing, but unless things hold up north those thoughts are fading fast. The good news is we aren't far from getting the boats out. But before we get to any of that, I've got to wrap up what went down on the hardwater.

This year was nothing short of amazing for the perch fishery on Muskegon Lake. There are some strong year classes of Lake Michigan fish that are driving this fishery. There are so many of them it can be challenging at times. There have been so many instances of catching good ones on every drop that the thought of moving if things aren't absolutely perfect is always on my mind. We like to call it "getting greedy", sometimes it pays off sometimes it does not. But the numbers of fish on the Humminbird was just crazy. I think we have a few great years ahead of us.

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Perching

Posted on January 31st, 2018

We are back from the show! We had a good time at the show and got to introduce a lot of people to the FishSens underwater cameras. I also got to see a lot of friends I don't normally see in the offseason, which is always one of the best parts of the show. A few of them walked away with FishSens SondeCAMs too. I am really looking forward to seeing what kind of footage they record with their new underwater cameras. As a side note though, look for some promo codes in the coming months from us.

I mentioned in my last blog that I was finally going to get out perch fishing. I got out a day or two before the fishing show and although I wasn't expecting much, after about 8 holes I found out one of my areas was holding the mega school. It was ridiculous, especially for an evening bite. My buddy and I both got limits of really nice fish in no time. One of the important things to finding this area was looking at contours. Last year while I was out there with my Humminbird Fishsmart app with the Muskegon Lake map, the area became pretty obvious and was holding some giants. Then the ice went away and I never got to test it's true potential. Mapping on that big water is so critical since you can't just cut ice everywhere. If I am going to go out there and drill 100 holes, the more precise I can make them the better. I'm using my Helix 7 with the Lakemaster chip for mapping out there now, so things are even easier and more convenient.

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Back To It

Posted on January 10th, 2018

Things always seem to slow down during hunting season and the holidays with the family. Things are a little more relaxed but it's time to get back to it. We are swinging right into show season this weekend with the Novi Ultimate fishing show.
                FishSens will be back at the show this year so please stop by and take a minute to check out our American  made underwater cameras. We will also have show special pricing on them so if you are thinking about one this year, this is the time. It is shaping up to an exciting year with FishSens as we have a brand manager in the picture now. Be on the lookout for an expanded presence in the market and some new products coming.

I'm especially looking forward to it because I will be out of the house. I have been crushed by the flu the last 3 days. What was scheduled to be a free for all weekend of perching on Muskegon turned into laying on the bathroom floor and eating saltines for several hours a day.

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