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Author Topic: My Grand Experience...  (Read 3290 times)

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My Grand Experience...
« on: July 31, 2007, 01:01:42 PM »

My first day of practice was on Muskegon... and it went pretty decent...

I caught alot of shorts and stuck a limit that want about 12 lbs and moved around... I caught fish on the outside weed edges and drops and points on various Senko techniques and spinnerbaits...

My second day of practice was on Spring Lake/Grand River... Spring Lake was horrible so after 4 hours of fishing and only one keep bite I decided to move into the Grand...

Normally I would try to avoid the Grand because alot of people fish it during the tournament. The Bayous get whacked pretty good and I don't like fishing in a crowd... but the forecast was calling for North winds 10-20 knots and if it was rough I needed a back up plan...

I fished the Bayous with flippin stick in hand and did very well, I caught a couple kicker keepers and I was getting alot of bites... The froggin action for me was less than stellar on day 2 of my practice but I knew there were some frog fish to be had... I sat down and thought out my plan, I figured I could grind it out for 7 hours on the Grand and catch'em pretty good, maybe as good or better than running to Muskegon fishing less time. I also got wind of a big tournament on Muskegon and that would be crowded as well...

Friday, day 3 of practice, I woke up and I laid in bed still not sure of where to fish. I wasn't sure whether to go to Muskegon or back the Grand and figure it out. After much though and the forecast in my mind, I went to the Grand and ran some other bayous and re-checked the best ones to try to expand on the pattern I had found...

I fine tuned it and found the best areas in the areas I was fishing, I got a ton of bites and didn't stick any, some felt good and heavy and other felt like dinks, either way, I felt like I can scratch them out and get a limit. I also got onto some good frog fish...

My only concern was other boats... The areas I was fishing were community holes and I knew I'd have some company. There were plenty of fish as well and all the other boats that practice the areas didn't exploit it for what it had... at least thats what I said to make me sleep better that night... plus the 4 beers I had with dinner...

The tale of the tape...

I stuck with the river fish instead of running... I felt more confident and I felt if I did have some company that the way I was fishing would help me.

I drew boat 44... not bad... when I arrived at my area no one was in there and another boat was behind me... the other boat went farther in... and there was no one fishing my stuff... GREAT!!!

I bust out the flippin stick and proceded with my plan... I flipped up a short right off the bat... then another. After about 15 minutes, I had the first keeper in the boat and I felt good... I flipped again and and got bit and my line shot off. I set the hook and and stick the fish but its wrapped up... I feel it for a second then nothing. I can't be doing that. I caught many shorts, and I was beginning to wonder where the big bites were.

I picked up my froggin rod and started throwing around and caught more shorts... I got a big blowup and stuck the fish good and got my second keeper in the boat... I kept throwin the frog and caught more shorts... I keep flippin... more shorts. I flip into a hole... my line jumps and and shoots into the stuff... I set the hook and again... its too late... I can hear and feel this fish floppin around and I try getting to it but it comes off... Again... I can't be doing this. Two flips later my line jumps and bam I get another keeper in the boat. I flipped and frogged around trying to get some more fish and my flip bite died and the frog fish were just rolling and slapping at the bait...

After an hour with no fish, it's getting close to weigh-in... I make a gamble and run to another bayou close by...

I start froggin... and for the last 15 minutes of my day I get the best froggin action I have ever experienced without catching any fish... I catch some shorts. A few tosses later, a huge blow up... and no fish... I tossed back in there and another blow up... no fish. Third times a charm right? One more time... bam... I wait... I feel the headshake and I stick him and it's on... I turn him and the fish is comin my way... It gets airborne and its a 3+ lber... and my frog comes back at me... i'm devastated...

I fish around and get more blow ups and catch one more... and it doesn't measure... 2 more big blowups and 2 more come off... and it's time to go in...

I weigh 5-9... and with 2 more fish I believe I would have been in check range... especially with the big one that came off...

Looking back at the tournament I wouldn't have done anything differently gameplan wise... Equipment-wise I may need to adjust a few things...

I flipped with a Daiwa TDX reel and a Daiwa LT flippin stick which was all gravvy, but I believe I need to flip with braid next time I fish in that stuff... Berkley Big Game is a great line but mono just isn't the deal with heavy vegetation... The three fish I lost in the vegetation cost me...

I lost fish on the frog as well, but that happens sometimes, and I don't attribute that to the equipment, it just happened...

I look forward to next year where I believe I will finally put it all together...

Thanks for reading...

Jose Garza

Guide and Tournament Angler - Book a Trip Today!!

Stratos Boats - The Performance Company

Wonderland Marine West

Provider Tackle - Pro's Choose It, We Supply It!

Nemesis Baits - Hand Poured Goodness in Every Bag!

Mizmo Bait Co.


Re: My Grand Experience...
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007, 01:50:50 PM »

Sounds like you made all the right decisions.  You should feel good about that.  Important thing is, you found the fish and the patterns that produced.

You will get them better next year.

McCarter himself :-\' 

Team houston

Re: My Grand Experience...
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2007, 03:16:10 PM »

Berkley big game is notorious for lots of stretch.  Good write up, your turn will come.


Re: My Grand Experience...
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007, 03:52:57 PM »

Great recap, Jose!  The braid will really help you "own" those ones that bite deep down in the weeds.  If you are checking out braids/superlines there's many opinions on the best, but I did some experiments using 50lb. Power Pro vs. Suffix Braid and Spiderwire during practice this year.  (Firewire is also good, but leaves tiny scratches and grooves in my rod guides so I've stopped using it.)

IMHO the Power Pro wins hands down for froggin' and flippin'.   The extra diameter of the 50lb vs 30 or 20lb is a good thing and makes it easier to handle on a baitcaster.

AL Champ181

Re: My Grand Experience...
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007, 07:01:05 PM »

Jose, I feel your pain man. I must of had 15-20 good blowups on my buzzbait that i missed at the grand. On friday, they were eating it fine, and then Saturday they just kept slapping at it. I thought I was just getting too jumpy and pulling it away too fast, but it seems that 2, now 3 guys were having the same results. I found that the fish wanted crankbaits more, and they were just inhaling them. I caught 1 keeper on a buzzbait, 2 on cranks, and 1 keeper flipping wood.  I must have went through 15 shorts. I weighed 4 fish for 7-02 for 34th place in my first ever BFL as a boater, but sure thought I should have cashed a check for all those 2 and 3 pounders that crushed my topwater, but just wouldn't hookup. I guess thats fishin.


Re: My Grand Experience...
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2007, 09:19:59 PM »

Welcome onboard AL champ 181...It is about time you showed yourself here.
Good job Saturday....Thanks for the prefishing lessons on Thursday and Friday.


Re: My Grand Experience...
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2007, 11:16:55 PM »


FWIW I've been froggin for last few years with Powerpro 12/65 braided line and I switched form Mustad Big Tube 4/0 hook to the Zoom Toad Hook 5/0 Red using Horny toads and have never looked back.

The Toad hook is awesome for soft toads, I never throw anything but soft toads. No need to throw anythign else and only one color - Green Pumpkin Swirl.

Good luck Kev


Re: My Grand Experience...
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2007, 11:40:07 PM »

I threw the frog on 30lb Power Pro... I love the Power Pro braid, it's awesome, casts great and is strong...

I threw a Horny Toad and I used the 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG Superline hook. If a fish got the bait in its mouth I usually got that fish in the boat except for the big one that jumped off...

I'm definatley gonna experiment with braid on my flippin stick for next year... from here on out though it's down with the big sticks and in with the woosy sticks and 7 lb flourocarbon...

Jose Garza

Guide and Tournament Angler - Book a Trip Today!!

Stratos Boats - The Performance Company

Wonderland Marine West

Provider Tackle - Pro's Choose It, We Supply It!

Nemesis Baits - Hand Poured Goodness in Every Bag!

Mizmo Bait Co.
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