December Bassin’

Some guys end the bass season when our tournament calendar ends in late September, just before it starts getting a little chilly.  Some of the die hards will fish through the fall and keep the boat out until gun season opens up and try to capitalize on the fall feeding frenzy.  But then there a few of us who refuse to put the boat away until the waters have frozen over and I’d have to put myself and fellow club member Jim Vanaken into that select category.

Jimmy V and I set personal records by actually getting the boat out on December 13th and doing a little bass fishing down on lake Erie.  We fished a small warm water discharge river near Monroe and despite the cold air temps (high 30′s), the water was in the 50′s and the fish were biting.  We didn’t slaughter them but caught about 9 or so and both of us got 4 pounders which made the cold boat ride worth it.   Our best five went around 16 pounds which is great for anytime of the year let alone a month when we’re usually ice fishing.

Jim used his signature wacky rigged senko for most of his fish while all mine came on a silver buddy that I ripped off the bottom.  We also caught several bonus fish, carp, drum and even a gar pike which made the trip that much more exciting.  The forecast doesn’t look too promising for any more outings so that may have been it but we had a blast and i’ll be OK with that.  It’s a long time until spring and our little voyage might be just enough to last me until then hopefully.

The club will meet in January on Wednesday the 7th so keep that on the calendar because it’s a big event.  It’s our lake selection meeting and should be well attended so start planning on where everyone wants to fish and remember, if you don’t vote then you may not get your lake on the schedule!  Hope to see everyone there.

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Tourney Format

After a long debate, the 2015 tournament schedule took a big step towards completion at the December club meeting last Thursday.  Several motions were made and discussed and ultimately rejected until the club came to a consensus and it will look unlike anything we’ve ever had at SCMBC.  Here is the format:

-(2 tournaments) out of town weekend event, no mileage restrictions

-(1 tourney) on any lake within 110 miles of Jackson

-(1 tourney) on any lake within 60 miles of Jackson.  This will be a two day cumulative weight event taking place on one weekend

-(4 tourneys) on any lake within 60 miles of Jackson

To make it simple, we will fish 8 tournaments but will actually fish 9 days with the cumulative weight 2 day event.  This is something new to the club and a wrinkle that had been talked about for years but is finally on the schedule.  Many big events are multiple day tourneys and it will be intriguing to see how this plays out at our club level.

The two day, two tournament out-of-towner is something SCMBC has done for years and something most look forward to fishing every season.  We’ve been all over the state on previous events but have kept it local as well so it will be interesting once the lakes are selected at the January meeting.

Having 5 tournaments within an hours drive was something the club looked to do to keep costs down and there are many staples that will fall under the mileage restrictions.  Wamplers, Center, Devils, Ovid, Kent and Goguac are all candidates.  There has also been talk of trying to get the Lansing Grand River and Bruin Chain locations on the 2015 schedule but we have a few weeks to research our venues.

It was a great meeting with a good turnout so 2015 looks like it’s off to a good start.  Start the lake research and we’ll do it again in a few weeks!

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Club News

Most in the bass club aren’t really focused on fishing right now but there are many things happening in the fishing industry.  First off, there are huge sales going on this coming week so keep your eyes peeled for deals.  Tackle Warehouse, Bass Pro Shops and even Cabelas have sales going on, in the stores and online.  Tackle Warehouse will be offering 20% off it’s online tackle offerings starting Black Friday and there are very few places you can find tackle cheaper.  Check your tackle and with it’s free shipping on orders over $50 incentive, it’s hard to beat.

The club will hold it’s first 2015 meeting in December and we will begin to build the new schedule as we vote on the tourney format.  It’s a great time to talk some fishing during the winter season and take your mind off the busy holiday season for a few minutes.

And lastly, there is still some open water and biting bass somewhere.  If the boats aren’t put away already, there are some hogs putting on the feedbag so dress up and head out one more time.  I know a few in the club are still planning on going and would love to share their stories at the next club meeting.  Hope to see everyone there.

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Club Banquet 2014

The club officially ended it’s 2014 campaign with the annual banquet held at Steaks Eatery in Jackson.  Jim Rice took home his 8th Angler of the Year jacket as well as several first place trophies and if that wasn’t enough, some more fishing tackle.  He wasn’t the only one taking hardware and gear home as most of the members won something which is why everyone looks forward to the event every season.  It’s a little depressing seeing the season come to a close but it’s a great time and a tradition that should continue for years.

Melissa Rice did a great job organizing the dinner and it ran flawlessly, and special thanks to Kathy Maurer for helping with everything.  Scott Hartman was the unofficial head of the trophy committee and did an outstanding job as usual.  And the MC for the night was Art Honsinger who seems like he was born for that job.  Everything went well and the club just wanted to thank all of those who made it that way.

The Basscasters will begin looking forward to the 2015 season when they gather at the December meeting on the 4th at the Legion Hall at @7pm.  On the itinerary will be the format for next season which is basically how many tourneys and mileage restrictions for the upcoming season.  We usually have one of the biggest turnouts for the December and January meetings and club dues are usually paid then as well.

But before we start a new season it’s always good to look back on 2014 and reflect on what a great club and great members we have around us.  Let’s hope 2015 can compare and I’m sure many are looking forward to it already!

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2014 Stats

Here are a few interesting stats from the SCMBC 2014 season:

Number of participants in each club tournament:

-Cadillac  (14 entries)

-Mitchell (12)

-Michigan Center (14)

-Crystal (16)

-Ovid (17)

-St. Clair #1 (18)

-Kent (16)

-Wixom #1 (15)

-Wixom #2 (9)

-St. Clair #2 (18)

Here are the number of limits caught at each event:

Cadillac  (6 limits)

Mitchell  (6)

Michigan Center  (1)

Crystal  (3)

Lake Ovid  (3)

St. Clair #1  (12)

Kent  (8)

Wixom #1  (7)

Wixom #2  (3)

St. Clair #2  (11)

Biggest bass of the year:

1.  Bill Maurer  5.74 lbs (Wixom)

2.  Jerry Smith  4.88 lbs (St. Clair)

3.   Matt Zelenka  4.86 lbs (Lake Ovid)

4.  Jim Rice  4.66 lbs (Lake Ovid)

5.  Mike Maske  4.64 lbs (Kent Lake)

Biggest Limits weighed-in for 2014:

1)  17.63 lbs  Jerry Smith  (St. Clair)

2)  17.27 lbs  Jim Rice  (Lake Ovid)

3)  16.27 lbs  Scott Rice  (Kent Lake)

4)  16.18 lbs  Bill Maurer  (Wixom)

5)  15.28 lbs  Neil Johnson  (St. Clair)

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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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