Elite Encounter

The following is a guest article written by club member Jim Vanaken who spent a day visiting with BASS Elite Series pro Chap Pipkens:

Like most of our club members, If I’m not fishing, I’m talking about fishing. I had and opportunity this week that does not come along to often. Access to an Elite angler for several hours.. My daughter who works for Douglas J Salons in Lansing. And they sponsor Elite Pro Chad Pipkens. Who had just won the Bassmaster Northern Open. This got him a slot in the classic that will be held on Lake Hartwell in February. During the tournament Chad had a little bet with the M.C. that if he won Chad would get a Mohawk hair cut. Then it went one step further and a purple dye job was added. Chad being a man of his word, spent Monday afternoon getting his hair cut and dyed. There were several media people their to film and document the deed. It was a lot of fun to see this all unfold right in front of me. During this event Chad and I had some time to discuss the Northern Open win, And his season as a whole. We discussed some of his tournaments and the techniques he fished. We also discussed some of the road issues he encountered this season. Also during the filming secession, I met Chad’s parents and had a real good discussion with them about there year. They are Chad biggest supporters and they are so proud of there son. The sparkle in there eyes was worth the trip to Lansing to see. When leaving Chad in the Douglas J parking lot, I wished him well. And told him that I would be cheering for him.
If you would like to see more. BassMaster.com has a pictorial of the event.
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Art is Classic Champ

Everyone has a lake that they seem to do well on and whether it’s confidence or just plain knowing how to fish it, we always seem to catch em’ on our favorite lakes.  When the Classic qualifiers turn in their votes on which lake we will fish that championship day, most pick a lake they have had success on and figure it gives them an edge on winning the title.  Art Honsinger is no different and when Michigan Center Lake was selected for the 2014 Classic, there was little doubt who turned in that vote.  Art has done extremely well on the 840 acre impoundment in eastern Jackson county, including a win last year at the club event and also at the 2013 Spring Open.  If Art ever had confidence in a body of water it was Michigan Center and he parlayed that confidence into his first Classic win and also captured second big bass in doing so.

The fishing wasn’t fast and furious that day but the sun was shining and the 7 qualifiers had the water to ourselves.  Although Art only brought in two legal bass, they were both solid fish and on a day when only 8 legal fish came to the scales, it was more than enough.  Art excels in tough events since he is an extremely good finesse fisherman and a guy who can fish a senko and grub with the best of them.  Art is one of the nicest guys in the club and has served as president for several  years and nobody was sorry to see him take home the championship trophy.  We have not received the details of his win but guaranteed it included some sort of senko or grub, dead sticked off a weedline.  Great job Art.

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Number 8

Once again Jim Rice took home the South Central Michigan Basscasters Angler of the Year award for 2014.  It marks the 8th time the accomplished angler has taken home the award, a feat that probably won’t be equaled anytime soon.  Jim won two events this season and finished in the top 5 in six of ten events and never lower than 8th.

Jim has become famous for his finesse style of fishing with grubs and senkos, but many don’t know that power fishing is something he can do equally as well.  He proved that at Ovid when buzzbaits and flipping were techniques he employed while smashing 17 pounds of largemouth and winning in a landslide.  It just proves his versatility and probably has something to do with the 8 trophies on the mantle.  Great job once again Jim!

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Classic 2014 Results

1.   Art Honsinger  (3 fish)  4.10 lbs

2.   Bill Maurer  (1)  3.01

3.   Jim Rice  (2)  2.94

4.   Leo Knox  (1)  2.64

5.   Jerry Smith  (1)  2.57

6.   Mark Dereadt  0.00

7.   Roy Albert  0.00

8.   Scott Rice  0.00

Big Bass #1:  Bill Maurer  3.01 lbs

Big Bass #2:  Leo Knox  2.64 lbs

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Classic Weekend

Just a reminder that the club will be having our annual Championship, otherwise known as the “Classic” this coming weekend.  The 8 qualifiers are Scott and Jim Rice, Bill Maurer, Mark Dereadt, Roy Albert Leo Knox, Art Honsinger and Jerry Smith.  We will vote on a lake the morning of the event and have an eight boat tourney to decide the club champion.  It’s kind of cool having a small event like that and there is usually some decent prize money to fish for.  Congrats to all who made it and we will be meeting at Denny’s restaurant on Airport Rd. at around 5:30 Sunday morning.  See everyone there.

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Fall Open Results

1.   Rice/Pritchard  (5 fish)  15.50 lbs

2.   Wyant/Sherwood  (5 fish)  10.82 lbs

3.   McCaleb/Grunner  (4 fish)  9.71 lbs

4.   Smith/Hamlin  (5 fish)  9.19 lbs

5.   Miller/Miller  (5 fish)  8.44 lbs

Big Bass #1:  Rumsey/Shirey  4.74 lbs

Big Bass #2:  Rodriguez/Burgess  4.08 lbs

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Fall Open is here

The SCMBC Fall Open is this coming Saturday for all who are interested.  You can call Jerry Smith the clubs’ tourney director or print off an application form from the “opens” tab at the top of the page.  The tournament will once again be held on Wamplers Lake in Brooklyn and is a team event.  You do not have to be a club member to fish, this is an open tournament for anyone who wants to fish.  The gates are scheduled to open at 8am and we will be checking in teams before that outside of the entrance to the park.  We will try and begin the event as close to 8 as possible but all will be dependent on when they decide to open the gates.

The starting order will be determined by when we receive each paid entry so get them in if you plan to fish.  The weather is projected to be great with highs in the upper 70′s and rain being only a slight chance.  Hope to see everyone there, they should be biting.

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LSC Patterns

The club finished up the regular season last weekend on Lake St. Clair and once again, LSC showed why it’s the best smallmouth fishery in the state.  17.63 pounds won and it took 14 pounds just to get a paycheck.  I was lucky enough to find a school of fish and caught enough to hold off Russ Bissell and Neil Johnson for the win.  I was out of contention for the Angler of the Year title and took a “swing for the fences” approach and it paid off, kind of.

Practice:

Most of my information leading up to the tourney told me I had to be out deep, 16-18 fow since the fish had not moved shallow yet for the fall feeding frenzy.  I practiced out deep and caught some good quality fish, but they were hard to get and 7-8 bites a day were the norm.  It isn’t fun fishing that way but I wasn’t looking to catch 20 fish, I wanted 20 pounds.  I marked a few spots where we caught some decent fish in 16 feet of water and decided to spend most of the day dragging drop shots rigs and tubes out there looking for a big limit.  And as usual, things didn’t go as planned but in a good way for once.

Tourney Day:

Fishing deep is quite boring and I thought I could catch a few smaller keepers up shallow first thing in the morning before heading out to the main lake.  I had a few weed beds marked up near the Harley Ensign launch and figured I’d buzz in there and throw spinnerbaits and power fish for about an hour just in case a few fish were biting shallow.  The first spot was a trench about 100 yards long with weeds surrounding it, nothing spectacular and not a place I really did well on before but it was the first coordinate I came to.  Sometimes you need a little luck in tournaments and on a spot where I hoped to catch a small keeper or two, ended up coughing up the mother load.  Two hours later my boating partner Mike Maske and I had put over 30 pounds of smallmouth in the livewell and never left 6 foot of water!

Mike was throwing a chartreuse spinnerbait and had a limit in about 45 minutes.  I couldn’t get bit consistently on the blades so switched to a Zoom Super Fluke in chartreuse pearl color and within 3 casts slammed the hook on a fish just under 5 pounds that would take the big bass honors.  The next 2 hours were pretty fast and furious on the fluke and spinnerbait and we culled several times each.  We estimated landing about 25 fish out of that weed bed by 9am before we headed for new water.  It’s easy to look for bigger fish when you already had double digit limits swimming in the live wells.

We eventually went out deep for a few hours but only caught one fish, one that upgraded my limit by about a 1/2 pound but that was it.  Thank god we checked the shallow stuff because it would have been a long day out in the deep water.  We couldn’t get anything going anywhere else up shallow after the initial flurry but were pumped up about our day regardless.  Mike ended up taking fourth and probably caught more fish than I did and we both had an awesome day which for me lately had been hard to come by.

Twelve of the 18 competitors weighed-in limits and it also matched the biggest club turnout of the season (tying with the first St. Clair event).  Jim Rice took fifth and also took home the AOY title, his 7th I believe.  Good job Jim.  We also handed out 8 invitations to the “Classic” which is essentially the club championship.  The 8 invitees are Jim Rice, Scott Rice, Mark Dereadt, Bill Maurer, Roy Albert, Jerry Smith, Art Honsinger and Leo Knox.  Congrats to everyone.

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