Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum

Tournaments => FLW Fishing => Topic started by: rufus on October 09, 2006, 08:33:12 AM

Title: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: rufus on October 09, 2006, 08:33:12 AM
Boy am I glad to be home. After 6 days on a tough river I throw in the white flag. Obviously there were fish to be caught, the winner had 40 pounds for three days. I spent the first day of practice from Montrose south. Within the first hour of practice I hooked and lost a fish over 5 pounds on a horny toad. I thought with 2 miles of lily pads and weeds in Montrose I would surely find another blow up. It wasn't to be had and after over 4 hours on the famous Montrose pad field I went fishless. I then began to look for more stuff just like it and found it all for the most part to be dead. I ended up catching a few shorts on spinnerbait around some submerged eelgrass that was on a steep break, but no keepers for day 1. On day 2 we extensively explored pool 20 from the dam on down. I loved what I saw, but I was only able to catch a couple of small largemouth on wood. I decided on day 3 to explore pool 19 again from Fort Madison south to the dam and this was all I would look at for the last two days of practice. We went back to the shore where I caught a few shorts and instantly caught 2 shorts and a 3 pounder. I decided to spend the rest of the day looking for stuff just like it. All I did was put the trolling motor on high and threw a spinnerbait wathcing the graph for signs of eel grass with a sharp break on the edge of it. I found another are and quickly caught another 3 pounder 2 shorts and a 15 incher. We looked for this stuff the rest of the day and found 2 other areas that had potential. At 4 pm we decided to lock to pool 20 and try to figure out how to catch a smallie in this pool. After finding some rockpiles in the heavy current with some very nice eddies we explored them extensively for the rest  of the day and caught every kind of junk fish imaginable including a 25 pound Asian carp, 4 gar over 50 inches!, shad, white bass, catfish, buffalo carp, common carp, and a pike! We finally did find an area with a 14 1/2 inch smallie and lost one over 3. The last day of practice I went in search of more eelgrass and found some more on my second stop of the morning. It was a small flat that came out to 5 feet and then instantly dropped into 20. I caught three good keepers in 20 minutes and knew I had found my starting area. I did not see anyone fish this area the entire practice and figured I would have it all to myself. I quickly found out tournament morning that I was wrong, two boats had beat me there and I decided to start on one of my other areas and come back figuring they would not stay long. We only caught a few shorts in the other areas before heading back to the sweet spot. We pulled in to find two more boats there and the one who started there culling fish, OUCH! Unlike the other boats I stayed off of him hoping he would leave soon, but he milked it for everything it was worth. My partner and I both ended up skunked the first day. My second day partner was in 9th so I had a task ahead of me. I told him I knew where a few smallies were in pool 20 and he knew where some largies were in 20 also. He had fished the river several times before and knew it pretty well. We locked into the smallie area first thing and found the other two boats locking through were going to the exact same spot. We got to watch them both catch a limit in the first hour. We ran to his largie area where I allowed him to try to catch his fish. I did not even fish when we were on his area, I did not want to hurt his chances at the All American. He caught a couple of shorts, but failed to put a fish in the boat. The boats we watched catch the smallies, were both over 10 minutes late to the weigh-in, due to barge traffic, and lost most of their catch. We both failed to catch a keeper, so it did no matter to us. The gentlemen who was on the spot I found the first day ended up finishing 9th. Unfortunately, the mighty Mississippi kicked my scrawny butt. I just did not have much to work with for the tournament. I hope to get revenge some day, but if they do not go back, I will be okay with that too ;D!
God Bless and Good Fishin'
Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: Team houston on October 09, 2006, 12:04:38 PM
Join the club Heath. I got my butt handed to me also. The first day we went to fish what I would call a wing dam. It went all the way across this channel  except one small boat width where the current was really coming thru. No trolling motor would of had enogh power to go against it. So we idle thru the cut and turn towards the nearest bank. We start cranking the rip rap. 3rd cast, bam, short. 6th cast, bam, short. 10th cast bam short. My boater has caught a couple too that are short. We were boat 24 so we got there early. By now we are turning the corner and heading down the bank. Here comes another boat thru the cut and his heading toward the bank ahead of us. This is apparently where my partners hot spot is so he puts the trolling motor on high and claims his spot. The other boat turns back and settles in, back in the corner where we started. As other boats show up they all settle in on different streches of bank. So we go up and down our 75 yards of bank, back and forth. Before the action slows about 10:30 we have each boated about 30 fish. He has 4 keepers I have none. I was catching fish on a crankbait and beaver. He was catching them on a crank and a jig. 3 keeps on jig one on the crank and he lost one on the crank. We talk to the guys next to us in the corner befor we leave and the Co-angler has caught 7 keepers and the boater none. We then idle the length of the wing dam to the other side into a slough. He catches his 5th on the jig off some wood. We fish a couple other spots on the way back. I lose the lone keeper I have on, in a thick logjam under a layer of dead leaves. My boater weighs 10.2 and is in 18th or so.  Second day my partner is fishing the pads by Montrose and only caught 1 keeper the first day. We fish there the first 4 hours and he catches one keeper and swings and misses on one other bite. We then try some other spots the rest of the day and never geet any more bites of any kind. So  tied for last, but I had a couple of beers some good meals and we found a really interesting place in town called Faeths'. It was a combination gun,ammunition,cigar,tackleshop and bar. It was built by the owners grandfather in 1910 and is still run by all the family. The marble bar in their is from the 1932 Chicago wolds fair. If you are ever in Fort Madison check it out. By the way if anybody on here ever sees Curado Kev in person ask to see the autograph he got from his second day partner. He fished with a genuine celebrity. Thats right Moses himself. I'm talking bible Moses here. That guy was so old, his worm hooks were carved out of bone.
Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: dartag on October 09, 2006, 12:59:06 PM
did they announce the schedule and regional location for next year.
Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: 225XS4Garza200PXL on October 09, 2006, 03:56:40 PM
The schedule remauns the same except for date changes...

Regional next year... guess where... Fort Madison, IA...

Yeah bud!! Not...

Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: CuradoKev on October 10, 2006, 08:25:52 AM
Interesting week and one I care not to remember again...

First, thanks to Team Houston for cruising down there with me and having a couple beers at Faeth's Cigar Store? ;D Also, a BIG thanks to Rufus for helping a couple coanglers out with some great information, I appreciate it? ;)

Day 1 - Drew a tried and true flipper who's brother took second in the Stren event. So I spent ALL DAY in the Montrose Pad Field and learned how to flip. Acutally, I knew how to flip but now I have 7 MORE hours to the experience? ;D I blanked and boater had one, but we had motor problems. Boaters - Note to yourselves, fill the oil reservoir with oil and don't let it go dry on Day 1. Your motor doesn't not like a empty oil reservoir? ::) So we were late...

Day 2 - Drew the guy in 2nd place who had 14 lbs on Day 1. Ran north of the Burlington bridge and anchored on a spot waiting for the fish to show up. Well, after breaking a rod and watching 300 pelicans eat shad, I managed a keeper around 9:30 am and that was it.
So I at least saw more of the river this time and my pro was an interesting character to say the least, I had a good time talking with him since we weren't catching anything but shorts.

So thats how it goes, it's all about draw and both boaters had fish the day before. My day 1 partner had 18 bites he shook the day before and my day 2 partner had 14 lbs with his co having 10lbs the day before. I must be bad luck? :(

From what I was seeing, one of the guys who made All-american on boater side was locking up to 18 and was fishing wood.

As far as fish location, just before the BASS event fish were located in eel grass just around the bend from the Montrose pad field. During the BASS event and into the Stren event the fish moved into the Montrose pad field. The first and second place winner of Stren fished within 200 yards of each other at Montrose. Of course, most everyone at Ft. Madison knew that anyways, so no big surprise. There were fish in the pads but the cold front pushed them out in a big way Weds. night.

It was a good time seeing all of us yankees down on the river and I met a good friend from Illiinois that I met on the BFHP.

The biggest thing I learned is: There are pelicans in freshwater and they are better than me at fishing? ;D

Thanks again to Rufus and Team Houston,

Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: angolajones on October 10, 2006, 08:48:52 PM
I could only catch short fish or junk fish.  I want to get this place out of my mind.  My co wacked me on day one with an in-line spinner but all of our fish were short.  On day two, my co ended up with one keeper and one that may have bumped but he didn't weigh it in.  I can only imagine that the fish were bunched in areas and they wer areas that I didn't prefish.  The fish I did catch prefishing were very healthy.  I personally don't care to go back there.  CKev, did you sit in front of Rufus at the meeting? 

Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: MadWags on October 11, 2006, 07:33:12 AM
I arrived Saturday night so that I could get an early start Sunday.
Day one of pre-fishing I concentrated on pool 19. I started working the obvious vegitation as I think everyone did. I was not having any luck inside the pads and the water was too skinny for my big Skeeter. I decided to work the deeper edges and eel grass as others have described. I caught a solid keeper on a buzz bait off the top of a 4 to 8 ft drop. I then proceeded to wack them on a rattle trap and put together around an 11lb sack.
This gave me confidence but would prove to be my demise.
Monday I explored pool 20. I fished from one end to the other. I did not catch one bass. There are plenty of wing darns that need special attention but I could not get anything going on them.
Tuesday I explored the north end of pool 19 in and around Burlington. I started to get things going on rock but they were all shorts. I wanted to explore 18 but I made the wrong assumption and convinced myself that the fish would be caught in 19 and that I needed to fine tune my techniques and locations.
Wednesday I stayed in 19 and began to realize that the fish were in certain areas and that every other angler knew it. I now realized that I had to find other fish but I was quickly running out of time. I found a secluded lake that I was able to get into. I thought this was the honey hole. There was bait to the extreme in this lake. I worked it hard and caught one giant Gar on a rattle trap, a Bowfin on a craw and a small Bass on a trap. There were Gar everywhere. As I was leaving another angler from Michigan was finding his way in. We talked and laughed about it later that day at the ramp.

On a side note. Corado Kev, you fished with Jerry Reading on day two. He was on a good pattern. He stayed at my hotel and we would talk every evening. Also Aaren Nelson stayed in the room next to me. He ended up 3rd after day one. Also at our hotel, The Knights Inn, stayed the leader and eventual winer of the tournament.

It is worth while to note that While we were pre fishing, the wind blew out of the south at a high rate and the temps exceeded 90 degrees.
On the morning of the Tournament the wind was blasting out of the north and the temp was somewhere around 50 degrees.

I had two areas working. I decided to go to my furthest south area first. this proved to be a fatal error. The wind had destroyed the area and it was apparent rather quickly that I had made the wrong decision. I headed back north to my second area and when I arrived it was teaming with boats. I squeezed in and managed to catch one short. This area had a sweet spot and it was occupied by another Skeeter. I watched him catch a keeper. I knew I was out of position so I decided to go fishing elsewhere. The day drew to a close without a fish.

The second day I decided to go fiching as well. I headed to pool 18 since I had not even seen it yet and had come all this way. I might as well use my time left productively and learn what I could. We fished the wood pretty good and I started to figure out where the fish were hanging.
Even though I did not catch a keeper my co-angler boated two really nice fish. Now these fish are fat and mean. River fish in muddy current. I learned alot about the big muddy and hope to do better if we must go there again. That is if I can make it there.
Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: djkimmel on October 19, 2006, 08:31:55 PM
Haven't read all these reports (that I know are great) yet - still catching up from being off the Internet map all last week.

But I wanted to make a special point to mention a HUGE congratulations to forum member Stoker for qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American in only his first shot at the Regional!!!!! Stoker finished in 2nd place, one bass from winning, on the co-angler side. (I am jealous - the All-American is an awesome tournament to fish!)

Rumor has it that we may hear a first-hand report from Stoker within a few days. Should be a great story because he tells me he had a great time with some great fishing partners. I think right now he is getting ready to help his son take a shot at the upcoming Wildcard Regional.

Congrats to all of you that had the shot and gave it your best effort.
Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: Stoker on October 20, 2006, 09:24:45 PM
I promised Dan I would post my story.  Sorry I've taken so long.  Here we go:
Day 1:  My boater, Butch Jones, ran us south to a shoreline on the Iowa side.  The water looked good but no bites at all.  There were boats all along the same bank.  After an hour or so we ran back to the bridge pilings by the ramp.  Caught some shorts and my boater got one keeper smallmouth on a crankbait.  The only spot Butch had left was one tree a 35 minute run north.  Off we went.  You could see the pool 18 dam from his spot.  Immediately Butch started catching fish cranking over the submerged limbs.  Shorts at first then a keeper.  I dug in my box and pulled out an old shad colored Big-O and started cranking.  Soon I scored a nice keeper.  Before we had to run back, that tree gave us both 2 good fish.  Mine weighed 5-11 to put me in 19th place.  Butch went back on day 2 and got 4 more.  He finished 2 places out of the money. 

Day 2:  Drew Rob Leidholdt from Janesville, WI.  Rob was on some fish locking up to pool 18.  We made another decent run after locking through, stopping on a stretch of bank with scattered wood and submerged stumps.  About 15 other boats locked up also.  We fished all day on the same stretch of bank (300 yards) using mostly black/blue jigs.  Rob was on them right away.  Once I figured out how the cover was positioned, I started getting bit also.  It took all day but just before we had to go I got #5.  Rob did cull 2 or 3 times.  Rob was kicking himself for leaving this area early on day one.  He did not want to get "locked out".  He only had four fish the first day.  For day two he had the lockmaster's phone number.  He called to make sure we could fish as long as possible without being late.  I'm sure glad he did.  We had a fantastic day talking, laughing and catching fish!  Was a great day on the water with a great guy.  My 5 weighed 11-15.  Two day total of 17-10.  In the top six!!  I was stunned.  For the first time this week I'm nervous.  Rob fell short of the top six, but did cash a check.

Day 3:  I'm paired with Ray Arning of Walnut Hill, IL.  We are boat #3.  Ray is a veteran of our sport.  He has been to the All American before and was a BFL director back before it was BFL.  He won at the All American as a co-angler.  Ray had been fishing a short, nothing looking stretch of bank for 2 days.  We run north.  Again, pool 18 dam is in sight.  We worked this area for all it had all day.  Ray felt the change in wind direction was hurting us.  It stayed calm on this area all day.  Previous days had wind blowing in to keep things active.  Jigs were the ticket again.  I stuck with the same black/blue that worked day 2.  I believe Ray was throwing some brown jigs and getting bit also.  When it was time to go, Ray had 4 and I had 2.  I was hopeful as the 2 I had were good ones that weighed 6-13.  As it many times goes, I needed one more fish.  One bite away from a new boat.  I ended up second place, about a pound and a half out.  I'm not complaining, I just really need a new boat!  I'm not bummed out either.  I put every fish in the boat that bit every day so there is no reason to kick myself.  And Hey - I'm going to the big show!!

I was very fortunate to get 3 great rides this event.  Not just for the fishing, but also for the comradery.  I hope to fish with them again some day.

Also congrats to another Michigan angler, Frederick Worrell, who also made it to the All American as a co-angler.

See you guys next season. 
Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: djkimmel on October 21, 2006, 12:38:59 AM
Great stories everyone!
Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: CuradoKev on October 23, 2006, 08:08:11 AM
Congrats Stoker !!

Thanks for sharing and great report. Better time than my experience, but its all about draw at the coangler level  ;D

Good job and good luck in Lousiville. No doubt you'll be locking up and down at Lousiville.

Title: Re: Fort Madison Regional Summary
Post by: Team houston on October 23, 2006, 03:29:27 PM
My congrats also Stoker. You are right when you said "BIG SHOW"  You cannot comprehend how well you will be treated.