2019 BLOGS

White X 2

Posted on August 1st, 2019

It has certainly been a strange year for tournament fishing in west Michigan. I can't remember a summer where it seemed like there was a little break in the action, but this July was it. Great Lakes water levels are actually so high in places that launches are flooded and unusable. Such is the case with the Harbor Island boat launch in Grand Haven.

This has been a big deal in the tournament scene over here as the Grand is always a stop on the schedule. It's been fishing well with the high water too, I think the reduced pressure is helping a lot also. We already had one tournament altered for D&R because of it, it wasn't a big deal because it was just moved to White Lake. But who knew what was going to happen with the next one being scheduled on the Grand. I think everyone had a little hope that the water level would just go down because it's a river. But Harbor Island is so close to lake Michigan that it didn't matter how big of a drought we had, Lake Michigan levels were what was keeping that launch flooded. As with anytime a tournament organization has to make a tough call with cancelling an event there were some upset people.

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White X 2

Posted on July 4th, 2019

The Great Lakes being at historically high water levels has really impacted a lot of things besides the fishing. One of the biggest impacts on the westside is that it's flooded the main access to the Grand River. It's where all the big tournaments go out of and it's impossible to use right now. That's providing some unique challenges for all the tournament series that had the Grand on the schedule. The bummer of it all is the buzz is the Grand is fishing awesome and White Lake was fishing terrible.

The D&R Grand River tournament was moved to White which meant I was going to get a few cracks at figuring out White Lake in a row. I hadn't been up there since before bass season started so I didn't really know what to expect. I anticipated things being way behind due to the weather this spring. I also assumed the weed growth would be way behind from temp, lack of sunlight, and a couple extra feet of depth. Things didn't start well considering Cameron and I caught literally one bass on our Monday night tournament out there. It was a good one at least, missing big bass of the night by .02.

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Back on Track

Posted on June 21st, 2019

It may have taken 3 tournaments but we finally righted the ship and caught a few of the right ones. We recently had our first D&R tournament of the year and got off to a great start, grabbed some valuable points, and had a blast.

Timing was weird for this one because of the late spring. There weren't a ton of bed fish to bed had, the largemouth weren't ready yet, and the channel was fading. There were alewives in the lake which may have contributed to it being more difficult too. Either way I felt there was no clear thing that was going to win the tournament. But I knew if we were going to do well sight fishing would play a role in it. I was a little surprised when there were 3 bags over 16lbs at the Monday nighter out there. Cameron and I mostly eliminated a lot of water that night but got a bite around alewives going the last half hour. We scraped up the last check and won big bass with a 4.75. Immediately I knew I was going to try and get in on this first thing Saturday morning.

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To Down One To Go

Posted on June 9th, 2019

Well we finally got the party started! This is the first time I can remember water temps still in the low 60s around the Memorial Day opener. It's been a whirlwind with 3 tournaments in a row, 2 down and 1 to go at the time of writing this. Let's start with the Tom Cook Memorial day tournament on Muskegon.

With the low water temps, I knew this year would be a little different. However Cameron and I located the right ones to do really well in this event. The problem was we didn't have much to back them up if we got out of rotation. It was going to be all or nothing depending on whether the college tournament weighed them in or another competitor got them first. We had great weather for the event with some sun and calm conditions, it looked like it would be a great day for sight fishing.

We had a middle of the pack boat number so who knew what was going to happen. It didn't take long for some disappointment to set in when a boat was sitting right on a cluster of them. However there was no one on the fish I really wanted and it was an absolute giant. So regardless we were going to try and get that one and have a shot a big bass. We spent quite a bit of time blind fishing the bed, you couldn't actually see what was going on there.

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Time to Weigh the Best Five

Posted on May 21st, 2019

Here we go, less than a week until bass season opens and many of the biggest tournaments of the year are about to go down. There isn't a lot going on in West Michigan for the opener. I don't know if that is because we have it so good during the rest of the season or what. But there isn't anything notable until the West Michigan Bass Tom Cook Memorial Day tournament. I'm not sure that one is setting up great for me especially with a college tournament on Muskegon 2 days before but I'm going to get in on it anyway.

I still don't have much loaded in my boat because it has been such a cold water fishery this year. I'm working on that all this week as well as getting some supplies sent in from ClearH2O Tackle. Hopefully by Friday it will be all ready to roll for the next few weeks. It is a busy start to the season this year with the opener, the HOTD on Grand Traverse Bay, and a D&R on Muskegon all in consecutive weeks.

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Gone Too Soon

Posted on April 27th, 2019

The mornings are still chilly on the west side but it's finally starting to feel like spring. That means warming water and hungry fish. It also means some of the best fishing is already behind us as the forage and fish begin to spread out more and more. We've had some amazing days on the water so far and it feels great to have the BBQ sauce boat back on the water.
We've also experienced a great loss this spring. Unfortunately my brother in law Josh Green lost his battle with cancer this week. It's hard thing to think about and handle since he leaves behind a wife and 2 small children. We are a pretty close family so we've got lots of memories with Josh.

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35 and Rain

Posted on April 3rd, 2019

After the Grand Traverse Bay ice fishing trip and working the Ultimate Sport show with Humminbird/Minn Kota, I was pretty much all in on open water fishing. After so much talk about big fish, perch just didn't sound that interesting anymore. Fortunately I had the duck boat sitting in the garage just ready to go. Unfortunately my first opportunity to go fish involved 35 degree weather and constant rain. I was going to make the most of it and I was pretty confident I would have the lake all to myself.
These nasty weather days can produce some phenomenal largemouth fishing in the spring so I was optimistic I was going to catch them despite not knowing the water well. Things started off relatively quickly although not with a bass. I certainly wasn't going to complain about having an 18 inch coho to take home for dinner.

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Trouts and Pouts

Posted on March 15th, 2019

I've been waiting since 2015 for another crack at ice fishing Grand Traverse Bay. There's no telling when it will freeze again so we put some plans together and headed north for Trouts and Pouts weekend 2019!

The pouts is short for eelpout which is another name for a burbot (not a dogfish). We were going to primarily target lakers and burbot but wouldn't turn down whitefish or cisco if we stumbled upon them. Burbot are most active in the evening/night so we would be targeting them at those times and trout during the day. We were staying on Old Mission Peninsula (thanks Brent, Melissa, and Brad) and were planning on fishing East Bay. We had a decision to make Friday night, cross the bay or trailer to the east side of it. There was no reason to believe the ice wouldn't be safe but it is a little intimidating driving a couple miles over hundreds of feet of water...especially when we were the first crew to do it.

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The Curse is Broken

Posted on February 17th, 2019

Finally! It seems every time I've been crushing the perch and my dad comes out, we end up struggling. Sure we've always ended up with a good pile, but we always end up working hard and it never lives up to my hype. I had high hopes this year was going to be different and since we were going to an area of the lake I hadn't fished this year we didn't know what to expect.
It was also going to be the first trip of the year on quads and we had just been dumped on with some major snow storms. Travel on the way out was absolutely terrible, the drifts were tall and we were getting stuck. There were some pretty powerful slush pockets out there too. After a much longer commute out there than expected we finally got started. I popped a hole right on the waypoint and they were there. My dad went to work right there and I started cutting a bunch of ice in the area hoping to find the mega school.

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Polar Blitz

Posted on January 30th, 2019

Looks like we've got some ice making weather finally. With record lows on the way for the rest of this week I'm hopeful we will have ice for quite awhile this season. It went from wondering if we were ever going to fish, to getting the quad prepped for a trip to the lake this weekend.
It has been a unique couple of weeks for me, well more like a whole month. I've been off work because of the government shutdown. I feel like it was a glimpse into what retirement might be like minus the whole toddler running around thing. I definitely never got bored, ice fishing kept me busy!
It was a unique situation this year with the cold temps and no snow. High winds hampered a lot of ice formation but it still made ice fast. Usually we are getting lake effect snow at the same time and we get some weird pockets of ice because of the insulating snow.

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WELCOME 2019

Posted on January 4th, 2019

Cheers to ringing in the new year! Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas and New Years. Amanda, Mabel, Hutch, and I got to spend a bunch of time with family. Mabel came down with an ear infection that cut our trip a little bit short but in the grand scheme of things it was just a minor setback. One thing that has been nice about the mild winter we've been having was travel was decent for most of the trip to and from the east side.
In between the holidays we had one of the most anticipated days of duck hunting in Michigan. The 2 day late season usually is accompanied by frigid temps, ice, and concentrated birds. This year it was kind of wide open. Still quite a few birds in the area but just not as concentrated as normal.

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