Reflecting on some of my Fishing highlights from 2011
I had some great fishing memories from last year (2011), here are a few of them!
ima Flit 120mm Jerkbait
The first that comes to mind is a giant Michigan Largemouth that crushed the worlds best jerkbait, the ima Flit. This one was the 120mm size in the #105 American Shad color and as usual the hefty gal hit after I put together the proper cadence "twitch, twitch, 5 long second pause". I found a pattern that day focusing on all the north-eastern pockets with good flats near the (5' to 6') break.
On to the next highlight, fishing on an inland chain of lakes in the early season (#2011 Bass C&R weekend opener). My usual Bass fishing buddy John Lytle @jalytle pitched near a dock and had on and broke off the largest Pike I have ever seen! it truly looked like a Tarpon.
As he retied we drifted away from the dock, after we both confirmed what we just saw and finished the "holy cow" , "that was a Pike?", etc., I long casted my Tabu Tackle OWS 5/16 oz Jig tipped with the Rein's Ax Claw to the next dock just to the left of it, upon it slow fall of 3 FOW, I felt the tick that traveled up my 20# P-Line Flouro. I quickly used every bit of my Curado E7's high speed ratio to pick up the slack and set it home, coming up off the deck to help offset the long distance between the fish and our boat. I instantly knew it was big but with the stained water I still had yet to see it. Moments later we saw the bronze flash and saw its size, my partner was scrambling to get the net out of the rod locker and just couldn't get the stowmaster to unfold quick enough. I had the fish at the boat but the net had the collapsible handle still blocking the opening in the net, I suggested that we go for it and he somehow made it work, netting my biggest Smallmouth on this inland lake ever... This healthy Smallmouth weighed in @ 5.14 lbs just 2oz shy of 6 pounds!
One of the first tourneys of the Bass season was weighing in 20.31 pounds of post spawn Largemouth in a 3 hour tourney (inland lake in S.E. Michigan). We found a pattern in less then an hour and scrambled to apply it focusing in on key areas of transitioning post spawn fish. All our fish we caught on 5/16 oz Tabu Tackle OWS Jigs paired with the Reins Ax Claw Trailer.
Pictured with tournament partner John Lytle @jalytle
A few weeks later I had one of my favorite patterns unfold on a smaller inland lake tourney, bass cruising for bluegill on beds, This where I love to use the Optimum Baits 4" Suspending Swimbait in the newer "Camo" color. It was one of those deals where most other Baits would not have enticed this fish as it saw us before I even threw to him. Sometimes when you tap into exactly what thy are looking for (eating) and you present it, they just can't help immediately reverting back to their instincts. This would prove to be one of our big fish that got us 14 1/2 pounds.
Next and what is my fondest Fishing highlight of 2011 is winning a local club tourney with my Nephew Ryan Lewis. This was only Ryan's second or third time in my boat, but make no mistake this kid can fish! He taught himself to fish on a pond near his home in Dexter, MI. with his cousin Sophia (a very good angler from what I hear!). We searched all kinds of shallow water hitting every dock, in sight with no luck after the first hour we changed everything! We went to some deep spots and after a few cast's with a deep diving crankbait we had a 3 pounder in the live well. The next one to come was on Ryan's dropshot rig, that would prove to be our biggest fish of the night. Over the next hour and a half we had a blast catching good fish and had a solid limit come weigh-in. We had just under 15 pounds, edging out another 14 pound bag for the win!