The 4th stop on the Metro Hawg Hunters schedule brought us to Lake Waconia on July 12th. This lake is a great all around fishing lake that receives a ton of pressure from walleye, muskie, panfish, and bass anglers alike. Also, the recreational boat traffic can be very heavy at times. Waconia is not a huge lake by any means, but can be kind of intimidating because of the expansive weed flats and a decent amount of shallow cover. We had a warm week leading up to the tournament and the forecast was for hot, humid weather with heat indexes over 100 degrees the day of the derby. Given the conditions, we were hoping for a good deep water bite.
My partner, Spencer, and I spent a few hours on the lake the day before the tournament checking deep weedlines, but we also spent some time up shallow looking at a few docks and slop areas. We caught fish on points and inside turns off the flats, but we also found a few around docks. No giants, just decent fish. If we rolled one on a spot, we would just mark it and leave, not knowing for sure the quality of fish that lived there. We decided to start on a short stretch of docks right away in the morning, just to make sure we weren’t missing anything.
The morning of the tourney was warm, humid, and cloudy. We were the last boat out of the gate, but we reached our dock area without any company. Our hopes were that the overcast conditions might make for a decent shallow bite. After catching a quick limit of small fish, Spencer and I wrote off the shallow cover and decided to fish deep the rest of the day. We flew up to the north end where I had lost a 3-pounder the previous day. It was a steep drop off the end of a flat. We culled up a couple of times with 2-pounders and then I hooked something more substantial. At first I thought I might have had a pike or muskie, but when my line started coming up we knew it was a bass. After a heart-stopping jump and 3 runs under the boat, we got it in the net. The fish went 20 inches even and we had a kicker!! Now, we needed to find something to go with it. We spent the rest of the day running that pattern and consistently catching fish with a nice one mixed in here and there. I caught a 3-1/2 pounder off a point on the south end and a 4 pounder off a hard bottom point on the west end. We went back to that same point with about an hour to go and ran into a fired up school of bass. Spencer caught a 3-1/2 pounder in the last half hour to push our total weight up to a point where we felt like we might be able to make a run at a win.
The weights were very tight between the four teams at the top. Spencer and I weighed a 5-fish limit for 18.94 pounds which on this day was only good enough for 4th place. Lee Farber and Jeff Lueck were the winners with 19.52 pounds. Obviously, there were some big fish weighed in, but our 5.32 pound brute ended up being big fish of the day.
Here is a list of our most productive baits:
· 3/8oz All-Terrain Finesse Jig (green pumpkin) with matching twin tail grub
· 5” whacky-rigged Senko (various colors) fished on a VMC whacky jighead (1/8oz)
· 1/8oz All-Terrain Mighty Jig with a 7” Berkley Power Worm (various colors)
· Drop Shot – Zoom Finesse Worm (watermelon/red flake) fished on a #1 VMC Spinshot hook with a 1/4oz dropshot weight
· 1/2oz All-Terrain Football Head Jig (watermelon/red) with a 4” Berkley Chigger Craw (green pumpkin)
Our last tournament of the regular season takes place Friday, July 24 on Lake Minnetonka. The points race is tight and only the top 5 teams make the Tournament of Champions in September. For updated results, standings, and more information about our club check out our website at metrohawghunters.com.
Team Lahr (Brad and Spencer)