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.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ABA, Coon Lake

I felt confidant going into Coon lake based on pre-fishing and past experience. I pre-fished all the deep spots I know with no success so I planned on fishing shallow all day.
I was going to start on the West lake but after drawing boat #33 out of 36 and seeing most of the boats go that way, I decided to start in the reeds by the beach since only one other boat went there. I fished for about fifteen minutes with no bites, all the while thinking I should have stuck with my plan. I headed for the west lake to some docks with a small pad field at the end that were good pre-fishing. I was using my favorite Mister Twister Comida and skipping under and between the docks, there were lots of sunfish on beds so I new the bass would be nearby. Between the second and third dock I caught my first fish - a 3 1/2, good way to start the day. On the next dock I got bit, set the hook and pulled the fish from under the dock - another 3lber, unfortunately it just pulled off. I checked my hook and told myself OK, that happens once in a while and I resumed fishing. I had no more strikes until I got to the pads where I caught a 12 incher. I continued fishing the pads without another bite so I decided to go back through the same set of docks hoping the 3lber would bite again - not! Next I ran to a similar area and saw a 2lber behind a boat lift, I got it to bite once but missed it, I finally gave up and figured I would come back to it if I had to. I was going to run to another set of reeds when I had one of those gut feelings about a row of docks, so I decided to fish them instead. Always listen to your instincts! I had my limit including another 3lber and was culling in no time - even with a couple break-offs. At this point, the docks were on fire and I knew I was only going to fish docks for the rest of the day. On the next set I continued catching fish and upgrading. Then it happened again -another 3 lber popped after pulling it from under a dock, this time it rattled me, I knew it could hurt me. I took a minute to settle down then continued to fish docks the rest of the day. The action slowed a bit with only smaller fish that would not help me. I weighed in with 12.15 lbs good for 12th place. Not bad, but the two 3lbers I lost would have added a couple pounds and probably put me in the money.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Extreme Bass, Rush Lake

Rush Lake is normally money in the bank for me. I have won three tournaments on Rush and have finished in the money several more - not this time! It was the toughest fishing I have ever had on Rush. I have a couple of spots that normally produce big fish for me all summer, which I had checked on my two pre-fishing trips - nothing! My hope was they just were not there yet but would be at tournament time a week later.
Tournament day the wind was blowing 20-30 mph which created a couple of problems, my spots were basically unfishable and the lake fished very small since a good portion of the field tried to fish out of the wind.
Our first spot already had two boats on it when we arrived so we didn't spend much time there - no fish, we then ran to some docks on the East lake that we saw good fish cruising the shallows - nothing. We decided to make an attempt to fish my best spot even though the wind was pounding it, after about fifteen minutes we gave up - it was impossible - still no fish. We then spent some time running to docks & reeds that were somewhat out of the wind, the problem was every where we went someone was already there. We fished these areas the best we could without stepping on any ones toes and fortunately landed our first keeper - a 15 incher which clued us in a little. The fish blew up on a frog on the inside edge of a small patch of pads but missed it, I threw in a Comida and the fish hit immediately, I threw right back in and caught another 12 incher.
Now we had a pattern to work with! By now it was about 12:30 and only 2 fish. I had one more area on West Rush we hadn't been to yet that was similar to our pattern, and it was out of the wind! We were surprised when we got there to find no one there, what a relief. We immediately started casting frogs and I hooked up with a 3lber right away. This fish clued us in even more, it came from an isolated clump of weeds near shore. The fishing almost seemed easy after that, we continued to catch fish from every isolated clump of weeds or pads in that area and were culling by 1:30.
We ended up with about 12 1/2 pounds for the day and somewhere in the middle of the pack. This was a bad day for me on Rush Lake, but I did learn I need to be more versatile and take what the lake is giving me.