The first official meeting for the 2014 season was held last night as the board members (outgoing and incoming) got together to transition from 2013 to 2014. Briefcases and paperwork were transferred in preparation for the club meeting next week which is always a highly anticipated one. We will be setting the tournament format and revisiting tourney rules and the new board members will officially begin their new posts. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 13th @7pm. Please note that we WILL NOT BE MEETING AT ART MOEHN, and the new venue will be posted here and in the newsletter as soon as it becomes available.
The club will be looking for a future permanent home to hold our meetings so if anyone has a good idea, please bring it to the meeting next week. We may temporarily meet at a club members house for the December meeting until our new location has been determined but that will be announced in the next few days.
Club dues will also be due by the January meeting so if anyone wants to attend and vote for lakes, you must be a paid 2014 member. This will all be stated in the newsletter and I’m sure the new editor, Jim Vanaken, will do a fine job relaying all the info. This is a time when bass fishing is the farthest thing from anyones mind but the first few meetings are when the serious groundwork is laid for the upcoming season. If you want your voice to be heard then you should be present and cast your vote because everyones participation is important.
For those that are still thinking bass fishing, there are many sales going on and some great deals can be found. Knutsons will begin their Christmas sale this coming Friday (Dec. 6th) and almost everything in the store is discounted. Cabelas and Bass Pro have free shipping as well, and many online retailers have holiday pricing so keep your eyes open. For the real die hards, the water is still open and should be so through the weekend. A few ice shanties were out last weekend but the latest warm-up have opened things up again. The fish should be highly concentrated this time of year and if you find one you can probably load the boat.
More info on the upcoming meeting will be posted soon but the date and time are going to remain the same. We should have a temporary site by this weekend so stay tuned.
With my work shift being Sunday through Thursday, I usually have a free day on Friday now that the kids are back in school. Not wanting to pass up a free fishing day, I usually hit the lake as soon as the kids are dropped off and my wife leaves for work. Fortunately, Jim VanAken is now retired and has Fridays open as well so lately we’ve been having a two boat tournament once a week. Since both of us are fairly cheap, the standard bet is a pop and since we both drink Mountain Dew we’ve named our weekly contests the Mountain Dew Challenge.
You’d think that fishing for a $2 pop would be fairly laid back but I fish as hard as I would for a club event and I’m sure Jimmy V does the same. He won the first event but I came back to win the next two. Scott Hartman got in on the Dew Challenge two weeks ago and won his debut which didn’t sit very well with me. I’m not sure he’ll be invited back. All kidding aside, it’s a way to keep the competitive fishing going for a while longer and gives one angler bragging rights for a week which is almost as good as slamming the grand prize.
We’ve been fairly fortunate lately with mild temps and when Scott won two weeks back he weighed-in nearly 15 pounds. But the weather has gotten colder this week and when the Dew Challenge got underway today, the water temps maxed out at 40 degrees. Needless to say we ended in a fishless tie but we still hold out hopes that it wasn’t our last event.
The funnest part of fishing late in the fall like this is that you can catch fish doing things you can’t normally get away with. Swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits can be fished fairly easily now that the weeds are dying off. And the big fish are biting now which is usually the case late in the year. Scott caught a 5.5 lb largemouth two weeks back and I got a 4.8 pounder last Friday. We hope to fish until hard water hits which may be fairly early this year by the looks of the forecast. I’ll keep posting reports as long as we can get out.
The 2013 season is officially over and as usual we had a great time at the season ending banquet. Mark Dereadt took home most of the hardware this year, winning the AOY trophy and the Classic title but many members took home prizes. Art and Connie Honsinger weren’t far behind Mark, taking home three first place trophies which included the “Open” championship. The food was great and Scott and Melissa did a great job buying raffle prizes this year.
Speaking of prizes, special thanks go to Art and Connie Honsinger for donating a $400 Cabelas gift certificate to the club. It was a very generous act and really doesn’t surprise anyone if you know the Honsingers. What was a surprise was the gift certificates that were raffled off to members in a special drawing. These prizes included free entries into 2014 club tournaments and cool SCMBC coffee mugs. This was something new and everyone seemed to like it.
Art Honsinger was the MC again this year and did an admirable job. And Mark Dereadt took a few minutes to thank his lovely wife Patty for letting him fish this year and giving him encouragement when they weren’t biting. Let’s hope she hands out that cell phone number for everyone next year!
Overall, Davis’ was a great venue for our Banquet and everyone had a good time. It’s a perfect way to end the season and a lot of chatter about 2014 was already starting. The December meeting marks the kickoff for next year and many are already looking forward to it. Thanks again to Melissa, Scott and everyone else who had a hand in such a great event. See everyone next month.
Just a reminder that the 2013 SCMBC annual awards banquet will be held this Friday at Davis’ Restaurant in Vandercook Lake. The “happy hour” starts at 6pm and dinner is at 7pm. Those still interested in attending can contact Melissa Rice but do it quickly. I know there will be some great prizes to be given away and the food is always great. Hope to see everyone there and I’ll post some pictures from the party next week.
The day after Halloween is usually for raking leaves and stealing Reeses candy bars from your kids’ bags, but not usually bass fishing. But when bass fishing is your passion then I guess it’s a no-brainer. Jim Vanaken and I got out for a few hours today, November 1st, and wanted to see if the bass were still biting. I took the kids to school, raided their trick or treat bags and headed for the lake. This time of year you don’t know what to expect but we had a fairly mild weather week and we hoped the winds would subside enough to let us do our thing. Mother nature hooked us up and the bass didn’t know what hit them.
Just like last week, I found a decent stretch where the fish were grouped up pretty good and I put 3 keepers in the livewell within the first 15 minutes, all on a crankbait. The wind was blowing right onto a good stretch of rip-rap with deep water close by and a Strike King Series 1 plug in the Sexy Shad color was what they wanted. With water temps in the high 40′s and a slight drizzle you would think the fish would start getting deep but evidently that wasn’t the case just yet. As a matter of fact, I was able to add a few more good fish on a jig by fishing shallow docks and quickly had a sizable limit.
The bays and cuts didn’t seem to hold many fish so I began concentrating on main lake points and weedbeds. The milfoil beds still held crisp green weeds and once you found one you would catch fish almost immediately. It ended up being a decent day with air temps hovering around 50 degrees and when the winds died down it was rather pleasant. It helps when you’re catching fish and at the end of the day my best 5 fish went 17+ pounds. How’s that for extending the season!
Cranking is awesome this time of year because when the weeds start dying off, you can throw the treble hook baits without getting hung up every cast. The best way to fish them, at least on this day was to find the good green weeds, crank your bait down into them and after a slight pause, rip the bait free. A lot of bites came when the bait started tipping the weeds but several came on the rip. The good think about the Series 1 bait is that I could crank it on gravel banks and it would deflect off the rocks. But it didn’t get too deep where it would bog down in the weeds when I got out on the weedlines. Once the fish start getting a little deeper I may need a deeper diver but it’s not needed just yet. I hope to keep the good fishing going and have a goal of fishing into December this year. Reports to follow.
I was able to get out last Friday, October 25th for a little bassin’ and they were actually biting pretty good. Water temps were between 46-50 degrees with air temps pretty similar. It was a cold morning but when they’re biting it doesn’t seem to matter. I ended up catching about 25 fish with a dozen or so being legal size. I got two in the 3 pound category on jigs but the majority of the bites came on a small Strike King Series 1 crankbait in the sexy shad color. The bays and cuts were a little colder than the main lake water and most of the fish came at the mouths of those same backwater areas. Bass will gang up this time of year and I actually found a good school on a small point. I bet I caught 15 fish off that one point and got 5 on 5 casts once I figured out where they were. It was a great day and shows what fishing can be like this time of year.
Unfortunately I decided to fish a tournament on Kent Lake the following day and saw the other side of fall fishing. The side that has colder temps, high winds and uncooperative bass. I’m not sure what happened overnight but the fishing was horrible. Granted it was on a different lake, one that I had never fished in the late fall but I thought the hot bite would continue. I was wrong as I never brought a fish into the boat and my partner only caught a small one. When you get skunked like that it can be a humbling experience but one I’m going to try and learn from.
Normally this time of year i’ll throw jerkbaits, crankbaits and jigs and that’s what I had tied on at Kent but I noticed several guys out deep jigging silver buddies and other blade type baits. This is a good late fall and early season tactic and although I didn’t stick around for the weigh-in, i’d bet this is how the tournament was won. Needless to say, I went home Saturday night and watched YouTube videos on blade bait fishing. That might be a bait that i’ll experiment with this fall since the weather is still fairly mild. I’ll get out several more times between now and the holidays and will be sure to post on any noteworthy outings.
Fall fishing is one of the best times of the year to be on the water for many reasons in my opinion. First off, you usually have the lake to yourself, the weather has cooled considerably and the fish are up shallow and biting. Now that hasn’t really been the case this year as we haven’t had that big cold front and the water is still fairly warm. Jim Vanaken and I were out about a week ago and the water temps were in the mid-60′s, still not cold enough. We caught a few but when I think of fall fishing I think of water in the high 50′s and air temps around the same.
Some of my biggest fish and largest limits have come during the month of October. I once caught a 24+ pound limit of smallmouth all on a topwater. The fish get shallow because that’s where the bait goes and they feel the need to start feeding up for the long winter ahead. Most of the good weeds start to die off this time of year and they say once you find some green ones you’ll find the fish. I’ve done it and that’s exactly the case.
But fall has it’s downfalls as well. It seems like it is always windy and it is a transition period much like the spring so the fish go into a funk if it gets too cold too fast. Much like the spring, the fishing sometimes is a timing deal. Get out on the right day and you wack em’ but at times it’s hard to catch a fish. Much was the case last week when Jim and I struggled to get any decent bites but fellow club member Mike Maske went out two days later and clobbered them good in two foot of water on spinnerbaits.
Unfortunately the summer patterns have held strong for most of October this year and many fish are still out deeper and relating to weedlines. There is a big cold front moving in this week and water that was 64 degrees last Friday will probably be closer to 50 degrees next weekend. My advice is to go whenever you can which is always my motto and hope the fish are not shut down too much. I dress warm and look for good weeds and cover lots of water with shallow diving crankbaits. I can usually throw them now that the weeds are sparse and will even mix in a buzzbait if it’s not too windy. I will also throw a jig this time of year around any hard cover like docks and rip-rap. And I never go out without a suspending jerkbait, especially if there are smallies around. I plan on getting out until the ice forms so hopefully I’ll have a few more good reports to post before ice fishing.
With a few board positions coming available, there was a pretty decent turnout at last weeks meeting. Scott Hartman saw his term end as tournament director and will be replaced by Jerry Smith next year. Kathy Maurer will be the new Treasurer, taking over for Trish Rice and Jim VanAken will be the Newsletter Director. Kathy had been in charge of the newsletter lately but volunteered to take over for Trish, allowing the opening for Jimmy V. All of the positions will become official at the banquet next month and the 2014 season is beginning to take shape.
All banquet money is due already so if anyone still wants to participate they might be able to do so by contacting Melissa Rice. The banquet is Friday, November 8th at Davis’ Restaurant in Vandercook.