Wixom Lake coughed up the clubs’ biggest bass in 2013 and last weekend it looked like 2014 will be a repeat. Bill Maurer hauled in a 5.74 pounder en route to a 16+ pound limit and his second win of the season. He caught the brute in a large cut by flipping a senko near a pontoon boat which was also his strategy for most of the day.
Maurer had a small limit with less than an hour to go in the derby when he entered the cut on the river system. The bite had been slow but Bill is a grinder and knew the fish was a big one when he set the hook. He followed that up with a 4 1/2 pound smallmouth under a pontoon about 5 minutes later. How’s that for a 7 pound upgrade at 2:30!
Bill and really most of the top finishers threw weightless stickbaits either on weedlines or to docks. There was a big weed kill days before the tournament which made fishing a little tougher and small limits were abundant. Jim Rice took second and followed that up with a win on day two which puts him in control of the AOY race.
The club will have it’s 10th and final event the first Sunday in September on Lake St. Clair.
1. Jim Rice (5 fish) 10.09 lbs
2. Scott Rice (5) 9.4
3. Connie Honsinger (5) 8.22
4. Mark Dereadt (3) 8.27
5. Leo Knox (4) 8.03
6. Bill Maurer (4) 7.93
7. Art Honsinger (3) 7.55
8. Roy Albert (2) 4.44
9. Melissa Rice (1) 2.19
Big Bass #1: Bill Maurer 3.08 lbs
Big Bass #2: Art Honsinger 3.05
1. Bill Maurer (5fish) 16.18 lbs
2. Jim Rice (5) 11.21
3. Roy Albert (5) 10.47
4. Jeff Taylor (5) 10.19
5. Ethan Angstman (5) 9.41
6. Mark Dereadt (5) 8.85
7. Scott Rice (5) 8.40
8. Leo Knox (4) 7.12
9. Jim Vanaken (4) 6.60
10. Trish Rice (3) 6.38
11. Art Honsinger (1) 3.63
12. Jerry Smith (2) 3.35
13. Connie Honsinger (1) 3.00
14. Melissa Rice 0.00
15. Matt Zelenka 0.00
Big Bass #1: Bill Maurer 5.74 lbs
Big Bass #2: Art Honsinger 3.63 lbs
Just a quick reminder that the club will have a two day, two tournament weekend up at Wixom Lake this Saturday and Sunday. We will be fishing different sides of the lake each day and it will be event #8 and #9 on the SCMBC Trail. The AOY race is still in question and many are still in play for “Classic” berths. The lake has long been a club favorite and it has a reputation for big fish, both smallmouth and largemouth. It lived up to it’s big fish billing last season, serving up the clubs’ biggest bass of 2013 which was just under 5 pounds. And at a large local tournament last weekend the winning angler brought in a whopping 23 pound limit, anchored by a 7.3 lb largemouth! Man I can’t wait to get up there.
The easiest way to the Wixom DNR launch is to take 127 north and get on 10 east towards Midland. I take exit 109 which is hwy 18 and head north up to Curtis Rd. Take curtis road to the east which will take you into the town of Edenville where you head north on hwy 30. This will take you over the bridge between the two lakes and will connect with Dundas rd, site of the launch. Travel time from Jackson is just over 2 hours.
Once summer gets going and the water warms, bass will move out deep and become much harder to catch. They do however tend to school up and if you can find them, the action can be non-stop but finding them is always the trick. It doesn’t happen very often, especially in a tournament situation but that’s exactly what Scott Rice found last weekend on Kent Lake and he won in a “blow-out”. Many struggled to find bigger fish and getting a five fish limit that weighed ten pounds was a chore for everyone else. But Scott brought in 5 fish that each went 3 pounds plus and a limit that went over the 16 pound mark. He found a school of big ones and exploited it and actually quit fishing towards the end of the day, that’s how good it was as he became the first multiple event winner this season in the club.
Scott’s hot spot was a small ditch that ran between a larger weed bed and served as a funnel for the big fish. Rice threw a wacky rigged 5″ senko to catch the schoolers and culled several times during the day. The line was also critical as his boating partner Melissa could only get 3 small keepers throwing the same bait to the same area. Melissa was using braid which is much more visible in the clear water and Scott’s line was not. Small things like that can make a big difference and it definitely did last Sunday.
-8 of the 16 anglers brought limits to the scales
-Mike Maske had the big bass at 4.64 pounds, the 3rd biggest caught all season
-Only Mike and Scott caught a fish bigger than 3 pound
-Scott’s win moved him into 2nd place for the AOY race
Kent Lake (August, 10th 2014)
1. Scott Rice (5 Fish) 16.27 lbs
2. Leo Knox (5) 10.84
3. Mark Dereadt (5) 10.01
4. Art Honsinger (5) 9.88
5. Tim Chapman (5) 9.31
6. Roy Albert (5) 8.89
7. Bill Maurer (4) 8.47
8. Jim Rice (5) 8.17
9. Jim Vanaken (5) 7.52
10. Mike Maske (2) 5.88
11. Melissa Rice (3) 5.35
12. Ethan Angstman (3) 5.03
13. Jerry Smith (3) 4.68
14. Trish Rice (2) 2.87
15. Connie Honsinger 0.00
15. Matt Zelenka 0.00
Big Bass #1: Mike Maske 4.64
Big Bass #2: Scott Rice 3.79
Jim Vanaken and I were on Kent a few days ago and all I can say is it looks alot different than it did in June 2013. The water is much higher but there are a lot more weed mats, especially in the eastern end of the lake. The puffy, carpet type weed (I believe it’s starry stonewart) is everywhere and it’s more prevalent than I ever remember it being on Kent. This stuff chokes out all life and makes a lot of water unfishable. From a distance it looks to be nice, fish holding weed but you cannot penetrate it and it shrinks the lake considerably. The western end of the lake is pretty open and weeds aren’t that big of a deal but Jimmy V and I had trouble getting bites, especially keeper fish.
Overall, the lake should fish fairly tough but most do this time of year. The weather will be fairly stable which is a change for us but it is August and traditionally the fishing is tough anywhere. It’s still a good lake and some decent fish will be caught but I wouldn’t expect tons of limits to come to the scales.
The easiest way to Kent is to take M-14 off of I-94 and then travel north on U.S.-23 to I-96. Take I-96 for a few miles east and then get off on exit 153 at the Kent Lake rd exit. At the light take a quick left and you’ll be in the park. The launch will be on your left after you pass the guard stations.
Saying the weather affected the St. Clair tournament would be an accurate statement since the weights were lower than usual at the club outing last weekend. But the weather has been bad for most events this season and someone usually goes out and catches them anyway. It only took 13.4 pounds to win on LSC this time around and Scott Hartman became the sixth different winner on the club circuit this season, and he also took home big bass honors in doing so. Scott shared a little info with me and here’s how he did it.
Most of the big prestigious tourneys on LSC this season have been won out in deep water in the middle of the lake near the shipping channel. Scott knew this and spent a whole day of practice trying to locate the deep smallies in the 14-17FOW range. He caught a few good ones but due to high winds, was unable to locate a good school and figured the bite would be somewhat random come game day. The big schools can show up and 17-20 pounds can come in a hurry but it would be a long boat ride and coming in empty handed would also be part of the gamble. Scott has a few dependable spots near the marinas in the Gross Pointe area and decided to hit those first on tournament day. If they produced a few fish, he then would run out deep and try to upgrade which is easier once a few are in the livewell.
Calm seas greeted the club Sunday morning but rain and wind were in the forecast. Scott’s plan on fishing the seawalls near the marinas went according to plan as he had three decent keepers in the livewell before 11am. With the fronts we had been experiencing and the calm water, Hartman opted for a finesse approach and threw a small craw type plastic on an 1/8th ounce head for finicky biters. If not for a lost 4 pounder, he may had blown the field away but decided that he needed a few kicker fish and headed out deep.
The winds picked up and his boat ride was tough but it calmed down just as he started fishing. That may be the reason he was unable to connect with any bigger fish but did get one keeper in the boat to give him 4 total but it was too slow for his liking. Back to the marina’s he went and he started to concentrate on the rock outcroppings that ran off the seawalls into the 7-10 fow range. The wind was blowing now and his pattern got stronger as fish #5 came in the boat about 1pm and it was a 3.7 pounder, the biggest of the day for Scott and the entire field. He caught a few more small keepers and only got about 7 on the day but it was enough to hold off the former Michigan Junior club champion Neil Johnson by two ounces. It was Hartman’s 3rd win in his club career and certainly not his last.
-The 18 anglers marked the biggest turn out of the season
-Four ounces separated places 1 through 4
-12 of the 18 anglers weighed-in limits
-Melissa Rice climbed into the top 8 classic spots with her 4th place finish