Art Simms Bass Fishing

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I started bass fishing after watching all of the fishing shows on tv. A few years later I thought I was pretty good, until I entered a few tournaments. I quickly realized that I wasn't as good as I thought and was only donating my money. In 1997 I joined the Viking Bassmasters of the Minnesota Bass Federation to hone my skills with some guys more experienced than me. Since that time I have learned a lot and had some major success. I have been Viking Bassmasters Club Champion three times and won sixteen club tournaments. I was the Fishers of Men Minnesota East division champion in 2006, along with a few money tournament wins and numerous top tens.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Green Lake, Fishers of Men East

I had been looking forward to fishing the Fishers of Men Green lake (Chisago Co.) tournament since we had made the money the last two years with almost 18 pounds each time. Unfortunatly, the fishing was not quite the same this year due to the cold spring. We managed to catch fish but they were very scattered, unlike years past where we found good fish bunched up. Since the take off was very close to our best spot we decided to start on a spot on Lindbergs point where we found some good fish holding during pre-fishing, then head to our good spot after take off had settled down. Almost immediatly we connected with a small keeper and then another of about 14 inches. After about a half hour with no more bites it was time to move to our best spot. We arrived to find another team sitting near the spot, not on it but close enough to keep us off, so we just put the trolling motor down and started fishing the weed line in the same area. This area always holds good post spawners, you just have to move around until you find them. We were throwing worms and jigs into the weeds and within 10 minutes we connected. My partner Shawn caught a 3 lber and I almost at the same time caught one about 4 lbs, then on the next cast Shawn caught another 14 incher. We had a limit but knew we had a lot of culling to do, fortunatly it was only 7am and there was plenty of time left. We continued to work the weedline when Shawn connected with another good fish close to 4 lbs, we threw out a buoy and fished the spot and I caught another about 2.5lbs, along with a few that did not help. By now we realized we would catch a couple of good fish then they would get smaller, we would pick up the buoy and move on until we caught another fish. We repeated this pattern until about 11 oclock and ultimately culled up to about 14 lbs, but the bites had all but stopped. We ran back to Lindbergs point and fished about a half hour with no bites, then went to a row of docks where we went fishless again. At this time we had about 2 hours left and with not much confidence in any other spots, we decided to go back to our best area and kill the day there. The wind was pounding on the spot now and it was hard to hold, but we thought it would keep the bass active. We managed to catch more fish and upgrade to about 15 lbs but that was all. We weighed in with 15.15 lbs, a respectable bag but not enough for the money. There were two bags over 18lbs, a few in the 17 lb range, and several in the 16lb range. We ended up in 12th place out of 49 teams for the day and just missed the money which ended at 9th place.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ABA NO/SO Center tournament

I fished my first ABA tournament this past Sunday and to be honest, it went better than expected. I had just got back from a week in Canada so I had no time to pre-fish but I have fished North/South Center many times over the years and have done very well this time of year, so I was somewhat comfortable going into it. The morning started sunny but cool with 10-15 mph wind out of the west. My plan was to start on a rock spot that the bass move to after the spawn, and then hit docks and other shallow areas after that, but unfortunately I drew boat #28 and the spot was taken by the time I got there. I decided to go to a shoreline on South Center that I knew had all the components I was looking for, docks, inside weedline, bluegill beds and out of the wind. I started out using a weightless Mister Twister Comida in Watermelon Candy with the tail end dipped in Chartreuse Spike it. I was skipping under docks and fishing the inside weedline in between. It didn't take long to catch my first fish, a fat 13 incher from the second dock, then a 12 incher from the inside weedline, another 13 from a dock and my 4th fish was a 18 incher from the next dock. At the end of the dock row was some lilypads which I caught my 5th fish - a 15 incher. It was now about 8:45 and I had a limit that I figured weighed about 8 pounds from my first spot, not bad but I figured I needed about 12 pounds to make the money. Having figured out what the fish were doing, I went to a couple of other similar spots on South Center but the bite was slowing down and I was only able to cull the 12 incher with a 13. Next I went to North Center to a similar area and culled out one of the 13's for another 15, I spent a lot of time in this area and continued to catch fish but all in the 13 inch range, I was able to cull but only ounces. With not much time left I ran to a spot on the North end of North Center, again catching fish but nothing that would help. At the weigh in it sounded like it was a tough day for a lot of the anglers. I ended up having around 9 pounds which surprisingly was good for 5th place and a check! The winner had around 11 pounds, which was a low winning weight by No/So Center standards. Overall it was a good day, the fishing was ok,I didn't miss or lose any fish, and I took home a check. Not bad for no pre-fishing!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Annual Canadian fishing trip

This years trip was very special for me as my seven year old grandson, Triston, went with my wife and I. Triston really enjoys fishing and is pretty good for a seven year old, he has even fished a Fishers of Men Legacy bass tournament with me. We left Saturday June 7th about 7 am, picked up Triston along the way, and hit the highway. After a long drive and spending almost 2 hours at the border we finally arrived at the resort about 5 pm. We stay At Lebrons Long Bay Resort in Sioux Narrows, Ontario, and have been going there for over 20 years. After checking in and unloading we still had a few hours of sunlight left. Since it was a beautiful evening we decided to launch the boat and go fishing. We didn't have a lot of time so we opted to stay close and went to one of our usual walleye spots. Fishing was a little slow so after catching 1 walleye and a few smallmouth we called it a day. Sunday was another beautiful day but the fishing was really slow, ice out was about 2 weeks late and it had been a cool spring so the water was still in the 50's. Over the next couple of days we got rain, wind and cooler temps, we checked more of our walleye spots but only managed 1 walleye, more smallmouth and a few small northerns which Triston caught on a spinner bait. The fishing was nowhere near as good as usual.
On Wednesday we went into a small bay to get out of the wind and let Triston cast a spinner bait for northerns. After reaching the back of the bay we noticed warmer water temps, a lot of minnows and more activity than we had seen all week. I started casting a jig & leech while Monica and Triston were using slip bobbers with leeches. Finally, walleyes! Although it was still a little slow we did manage to catch our limits, nothing big, but nice eaters. Thursday we had another nice sunny day, we headed to the same spot and started catching walleyes again. At one point, Tristons bobber went down and he started fighting the fish, it was pulling hard but he finally got it near the boat. Just as it came to the surface the hook popped out and the fish was gone, we all saw it was a huge walleye, at least 24 inches. We just stood there in shock! Trison had talked all week about catching a fish big enough to mount and we watched it swim away. Although not a true trophy, for his first big fish I would have had it mounted for him. We continued catching walleyes throughout the day and that evening had our last meal of fish as we were leaving Friday morning. Although the fishing and the weather could have been better, we all had a great time. Triston was a real trooper all week, never complaining about anything or getting bored, he baited his own hooks, netted our fish and took his own fish of the hook, also his casting got better every day. On the way home Triston reminded me that before our trip he told me "Grandpa, this is going to be the funnest time you ever had in Canada", how right he was!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Great day!

For the first time this year the weather was going to cooperate so I decided I had to go fishing last Sunday. Since I did not have a tournament and just wanted to hammer some fish, I decided on Chisago Lake. I had not been to Chisago for a few years but I knew it's potential from past experience. I was joined by my tournament partner Shawn and his brother Jason. We arrived at the lake about seven a.m. to sunshine, 60 degrees and no wind. Seeing the flat calm water I knew we were in for a good day! After launching, we headed straight to Schlimmers slough and started just inside the entrance where I have done well in the past this time of year. The water temp was about 60 degrees with not a lot of activity, so we all started throwing Comidas, Mister Twisters version of a stick bait, in various colors and fishing slow. I was using watermelon candy with the tail end dipped in chartreuse Spike it. I have had a lot of success with this combo from spring through early summer due to the fact the colors resemble a sunfish. We had a few pick ups right away but missed the fish, I think they were just picking up the tail end and we were pulling it away from them. We continued working slowly around the bay and as the water warmed the fishing got better. After a couple hours the water temp had already climbed to about 65 degrees and we were starting to see more fish. At this point it didn't seem to matter what color Comida we threw, the fish were aggressive and would hit. We also saw some lone fish sitting on beds which I'm sure were the males, I'm just not sure if they were waiting for females or guarding the nest, although I didn't see any fry. I did manage to catch a few from the beds, I would cast past it then reel in and drop the comida on the bed and the bass would nail it. By the time we had worked all the way around the the bay it was about one pm and we lost count around fifty fish, some dinks but most were in the 15 - 18 inch range. The best areas seemed to be where the flat ran out further from shore. We left Schlimmers slough and ran to a small bay on the south end which also usually produces. Same deal, we worked our way around slowly and caught many more in the 15 - 17 inch range, in this bay the green lily pads were the ticket, they seemed to hold the most fish. About four pm I had enough, I was aching from catching so many bass. I'm guessing between all three of us we probably caught more than 75 fish. The weather was great, the fishing was great, we could not have asked a better day!