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Author Topic: Millenium BASS Open  (Read 4021 times)

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SethV

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Millenium BASS Open
« on: May 08, 2008, 09:24:46 AM »

This tournament was held out of Buffalo’s Small Boat Harbor.  The state of NY has an early season on smallmouth, where you may keep one fish per person, with a minimum size of 20” – which is tough with the short, fat Erie fish.  A 5 ½ lb fish may not measure.  This tournament is a team event, 2 fish limit.  The tournaments are 1 day events, with an additional payout for the best combined 2-day weights.

May 3 – Day 1

For this event, I am pared with my old tournament partner in NY, Charlie Mackintosh.  This spring, we both bought new Z21’s, almost rigged identically.  Since he lives an hour from the ramp, and I am considerably farther away, we elected to use his boat for the weekend.

Charlie was able to get out on May 2 and do some scouting.  Lots of graphing and driving around, looking for fish.  We both know the NY waters of Erie well, so many of the usual spots were checked in practice.  The real key to early season fishing on Erie is water depth.  Find what depth the big girls live in, and you will be on fish all day.  It is typically a pretty narrow band of depth (2 or 3 feet range) that they will be in.  Charlie seemed to find fish in 27 – 29 feet of water on Friday.

Saturday morning we drew an early boat number, 6.  When our number was called, Charlie opened up the throttle on the 250 ProXS and we were on our way for the first event of the year.  When we cleared the south gap of the wall, we were greeted with a FLAT lake Erie.  Very unusual.  Not a ripple, and a WOT run across Erie.  After a short run, we came to our starting spot.  Very ragged bottom, with a quick transition from 31 feet up to 25 feet.  After about 10 minutes, Charlie put the first fish in the boat.  19”, 4.5 lb fish, no help.  The wind began to build, and the bite was ON!!!

For the next 2 hours it was fast and furious.  We had a mixed bite between tubes and jigging spoons.  I hit one school that would not even let my spoon hit the bottom.  Drop it down and whack!!!!  While we had found decent fish, we were not getting the PIGS that we wanted.  Almost every fish was over 18.5”, but only 2 fish were over the 20” minimum after the first 2 hours.

When the bite started to slow, we decided to make a move to hunt for some grown-up fish.  We made about a 7 mile run in a nice chop – that Z21 has a sweet ride for sure.  We arrived on an underwater ledge.  This ledge is about a 3’ vertical drop, and extends for about 100 yards, about 2 miles off shore.  The bite was pretty slow, and although we caught a few fish they were 3 lb dinks, and no help at all.

After a few minutes, we decided to run back to another area near our starting spot.  As we went to leave, the warning horn on the motor started going off with an intermittent beep.  The motor started power limiting, not good in the middle of Erie.  In typical Charlie fashion, he shrugged and snapped the throttle wide open.  The beep stopped and the motor woke up and ran fine.  No problems the rest of the day.  Weird.

After the run to out next spot, we were back into fish right away.  We caught a few more super fat but short 5 – 5 ½ lb fish, but no help with culling up our skinny 20” fish.  I then stuck the “one” that would help.  We had not lost fish all day, even on the spoon which is really bad for lost fish, I was doing a good job of keeping them buttoned up.  Well, this big fish I stuck was doing her best to ruin my day.  She made a run straight up, but she was too fat to jump, so she bulldogged her way back down.  Went to the bottom and turned around for another run up, all the while shaking that big head.  With every shake of the head, she could knock 8” of slack in my line.  Super strong fish.  Well, I pulled a tad to hard, and with a good shake of her head, she was gone about 15’ from the boat.  Arrrrghhhhh.  You can’t win out here if you dump the big one.  You just don’t get that may shots at 6 + fish each day.

I tried to shake it off and we got right back to catching fish, and went on another 2 hour run that was awesome.  Again, nothing under 4 lbs, but no 6 lb type fish.  My arms were sore after this 2 hour run of constant fish.  I don't think we went 5 min without a fish.

The last hour of the day, the wind went flat and the bite died.  They would not look at the spoon or anything.  You could even see them move tighter to the bottom on the sonar.

At weigh in, it took the usual 12 ½ lbs to win.  We had about 10 lbs and missed the check line by a couple of places.  Off day for sure, but it was fun catching so many big fish.


May 4, Day 2

We left Charlie’s cottage in Buffalo to a calm wind.  Although the forecast for the day was higher wind, it was looking nice.

We stopped to get ice and the wind started to kick up.  Within 15 minutes every flag was standing straight with a wind 30 mph out of the west (not good when you are on the east side of Erie).  We got to the ramp and there were white caps in the inner harbor.  We could see the waves breaking over the outer wall, which is 15’ tall.

The tournament day was canceled, it would have been pretty extreme out there.

We decided to go to Conesus Lake, the lake that I had a home on when I lived in NY.  It was on Charlie’s way home, so it worked out ok.  The water temps on Conesus had dropped over the last week, and we never really found them.  Caught a few small largemouth on dropshots and rattlin vibes, but nothing great.


Overall, it was a great weekend and it felt great to get the tournament season going after a much too long winter!!
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bassmandan

Re: Millenium BASS Open
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 11:55:26 PM »

charlie is a cool guy...i got his old ranger too ;)
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"dont stop keep fishing"

SethV

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Re: Millenium BASS Open
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 09:26:13 AM »

charlie is a cool guy...i got his old ranger too ;)

You got a great boat!!!  Super ride and really reliable.  Looks good too!
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