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Showing posts from July, 2016

Returning to Normal

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After last week's day-long charity tournament, I spent the week recovering and licking my wounds.  The winds, Mississippi river current, and Northern Pike left me quite sore.  My mind was still on my next fishing trip, this one at a slower pace.

One of my local fishing buddies and I were looking to get together and hit the water.  We discussed and planned to fish my local waters.  As mentioned in my previous posts, it has been a tough bite on my home waters this year since the re-freeze during the spawn.  However, he had fished them the week prior and said the topwater action was good the week prior.  We will meet at dawn.

In my excitement to fish with a buddy on my home water, I forget my sonar.  On the redundant trip, I notice more bass boats than usual heading towards the lake.  I opt to launch at a shallow gravel launch opposite the main launch.  My concern is confirmed when I see several bass boats huddling around the launch across the lake.  A local bass club is holding a to…

Northern Exposure

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This weekend was the Mountain State Kayak Angler's charity tournament hosted by Kayak Bass Fishing and TourneyX.  Excited for my first day-long, nationwide tournament, preparations began early in hopes to snag one of the 10 Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship qualifying spots.  The preparations began last week with a pre-fish on the Mississippi River.  I knew the Mississippi was my only chance of holding a candle to the southern competitors.  As documented in the article "Pregame", the pre-fish went well.  My location was chosen.

Preparations continued this week with a cleaning and application of UV protectant on my FeelFree Lure, which made it sparkle like new.  I also re-stocked my Lunkerhunt frog supply to have a few color options.  Lastly, I stripped my kayak down to tournament mode (removed my camera poles).  I wanted to minimize my accessories to maximize my fishing time.  I also knew some of the backwaters required a low profile navigating fallen trees.  I loa…

Pre-Game

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After fishing my home water with some new success (read about it here: http://www.smallcraftfisherman.com/2016/07/addicted-to-crank.html), I text my wife to check the weather over by the Mississippi river.  Severe storms were rolling through the area and my data connection is limited.  She confirms a chance of rain-only forecast.  Though exhausted already, I make the paddle back to the launch, load my kayak and gear, and start the 1 hour drive west towards "Vikingland", as my daughter would say.

The drive, though long is beautiful.  The river road follows the Wisconsin border along the St. Croix river until it meets with the Mississippi in Pepin, Wisconsin.  Large bluffs and scenic outlooks line the banks, making the drive enjoyable.  Staying on the Wisconsin side, I enter the sloughs of the Mississippi.  I'm not entirely sure where I'm going to fish.  With a kayak as my vessel, I drive slowly and look for the most inaccessible spots I can find.  I spot a gravel can…

Addicted to Crank

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I had the itch, the craving, the shakes.  After taking a short hiatus from fishing after my week-long fishing adventure, I was itching to hit the water again and needed a fix.  The short hiatus weakened my muscle-memorized process of loading my kayak and gear.  So I took extra time the night before to ensure I didn't forget any critical gear.  Luckily, I noticed my Kayak Bass Fishing regional tournament identifier was still for June.  In this "phwew" moment, I printed a fresh July identifier and slipped it into my TourneyTag.  I was ready for an early rise.

My alarm woke me while it was still dark outside.  I roll out of bed, get my stuff together, and jump in the car.  I head to a local gas station to get the lunch of champions (Lunchable Pizza and pre-packaged Italian sandwich).  Upon exiting the building, I realized a fatal flaw in my planning activities.  In my excitement to hit the water, I hadn't checked the local weather report in 3 days.  It was raining.

I&…

It Started with Bite Me (Bait Shop)

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I had just ended a fun week of fishing.  Though fun, it was tough.  My local waters only produced dinks.  Still fun, but no help to my standings in the Kayak Bass Fishing Regional Challenge hosted by TourneyX.com.  The sport of kayak fishing is quickly gaining popularity.  This is clear by the increased participation in the monthly regional tournament.  Given my dismal ranking, my goal was to get back into the top 10 in a final push.

I fished the Mississippi down by LaCrosse, WI with family years ago.  Often hooking some monster Northern Pike, Sheepshead, Catfish, and Bass.  Bassmaster continuously puts the Mississippi pool 4 down to LaCrosse in the top 100 lakes noting the number of high-quality bass it offers.  Along with praise of the Mighty Mississip' from an angling family member, I decided it was the perfect place to up the ante.

Morning-of I'm still recovering for the fishing/fatbiking marathon of the week. I expect fish to be catch-able any time of day on the Mississi…