Thursday, August 18, 2016

Metro Hawg Hunters July 31st tournament on Lake Minnetonka

The 4th stop on the Metro Hawg Hunters schedule brought us to Lake Minnetonka on July 31st.  The forecast was for highs in the mid-80’s with light winds.  My partner, Spencer, and I spent a considerable amount of time on the lake in the weeks leading up to the tournament and we found a good deep weedline bite that was getting better every day.  We also found a couple of mid-depth spots with decent milfoil growing on them that also were producing, but we spent the majority of our prefishing time dialing in the deep weedline pattern. 
We were boat 6 launching out of Halstead Bay and decided to fish the shallower milfoil spots right away in the morning to possibly turn a big fish right out of the gate.  After 45 minutes we only had one small keeper to show for our efforts.  Spencer and I are still scratching our heads as to where those fish went, but it was obvious that we needed to go to our deep fish to see if they would cooperate.  After a long run to the eastern part of the lake, we got to our first deep spot and started throwing jigworms and football head jigs around on a very deep weedline with a sand and gravel bottom.  On my second cast, I stuck a big fish on a jigworm that buried down in the coontail.  I was able to work the fish free and we got it into boat.  The short, fat fish looked to be around 4 pounds and we were hoping we fired up the school.  In the next 15 minutes we were able to fill out the rest of our limit with fish in the 2 to 2-1/2lb range.  After the bite cooled down on that spot we ran around fishing very small, specific hard bottom areas looking for bigger bites.  Depths ranged from 15 to 25 feet.  We caught numbers of fish on almost every stop, but those 3+ pounders were elusive.  Around 11:00 as the recreational boat traffic picked up considerably, I boated a 3-1/2 followed by another 4 pounder within a couple minutes of each other.  After another short move, Spencer boated a 3-1/4 pounder on a jigworm and all of the sudden our bag was pushing 17 pounds.  We had a 2.6lb bass in the well that needed to go.  Both Spencer and I hooked up with fish in the 3.5 to 4 pound range late in the day that got down in the grass and came off.  We felt like our inability to cull that smaller fish had cost us a chance at winning, but our 16lbs 14oz was enough to pull it out.  Our team also won big bass honors with a 3lb 14oz bass. 
Here is a list of our most productive baits:
·       1/8oz All-Terrain Mighty Jig with a 7” Berkley Power Worm (various colors)
·       3/4oz All-Terrain Football Head Jig (watermelon/red) with a 4” Berkley Chigger Craw (green pumpkin)
Our next tournament takes place on August 21st on Washington/Stella near Dassel.  For updated results, standings, and information about our club, please visit our website at

Team Lahr (Brad and Spencer)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

MN Hawg Hunters June 7th 2016 Lake Calhoun Tournament Review #2

The "Calhoun Chain of Lakes" is one of the cities most well kept secrets in the bass fishing community.  I am sure this is primarily due to the fact that you cannot run an outboard on the lake, it is trolling motor only. This limited pressure produces some big fish that bite when you get a bait around them.  20 pound bags are common for a 5 fish limit.  Any time you run into that situation, its a hot lake.

The day started off quickly with a limit in about the first 30 minutes of fishing that weighed around 12-14 lbs.  Primary pattern was to focus on grass points with senkos and creature soft plastics.  This bite started to shift about half way through the day and we knew we had to make a move out to the main lake area.  We put the trolling motor on 100 and made a quick move.

Our focus was the same on the main lake, but the switch in location started to produce bigger fish moving out from the recent spawn.  We quickly culled up to our final weigh of over 17 lbs on a couple key fish close to the weed edge. Our 4+ lb kicker came with about an hour left in the day which would eventually push us over the top.  This Calhoun giant came on the beaver fished with a pegged slip sinker. 

A great start to the season for our team.  Looking forward to the next event on Buffalo Lake.

MN Hawg Hunters June 7th 2016 Lake Calhoun Tournament Review

The long tournament off season was finally over. Our first stop for the Metro Hawg Hunters Bass Club was June 7th on the Lake Calhoun chain (Lake of the Isles & Cedar), nestled in SW Minneapolis. This lake is an electric motor only so it made decision making extra important with the slow travel times.We opted to fish on a Tuesday to avoid the weekend traffic and to make parking easier with the big rigs. 

My partner for 2016, Mike Thompson and I were unable to pre-fish the lake but looked over some maps and committed to fish Calhoun for most, if not all the day. The weather was in the low 60s with a NNW wind around 8mph. The water temp was approx. 67 degrees, a clear indication the spawn was over and the fish would be off shore and you would need to work for them.

We started off drifting over a main lake weed flat where we picked up a 2 lber on one of the first few casts. We alternated between a jig worm setup (3/16 oz white mushroom head jig tipped with a 7.5inch black culprit worm) and a 1/2 oz pegged plastic ( chigger craw, power worm, tube craw).We didn't catch anything after fishing the area for another 15mins. We proceeded to the south side of the lake where we caught our limit of 2lbers, culling several times to gain a few ounces. The key to catching fish was pitching the Texas rig into large open pockets of weeds, the depth where the fish were holding was between 4-6ft but out on the main lake. 

We eventually proceeded back to where we caught our first fish witch was a popular location. We ended upgrading several times with some nice healthy 3lbers, again the jig worm and Texas rig was working. My partner was able to get that big bite we were looking for, a dandy 5.7lber on a Texas rig tube craw. This weed flat varried from 8-12ft in depth, the fish keyed mostly to the deeper outside edge.

With only 1.5hrs left we opted to head to Lake of the Isles looking for one last big bite. Lake of the Isles is much different than Calhoun, more weeds and dirtier water but know for some big fish. We located a few "bait balls" in the weeds and were able to upgrade a few ounces after catching a male who was over 3lbs. The bait balls are always guarded by a male after the spawn and can be very aggressive, it's a pretty fun way to fish if you haven't tried it.

We headed back to the scales with our best 5 that weighed in at 17.42lbs, good enough for second. The winning team had 17.52lbs (not a typo). All in all we caught around 25 fish. A great day on the lake, especially with out pre fishing. 

Please "Like" our Facebook page( Metro Hawg Hunters Bass Club Minnesota) and check out our club website for more! We hope to have some giveaways over the summer! Tight lines!