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, October 27, 2008

Big Marine - open tournament 10-19-08

When a friend informed me of a little open tournament on Big Marine it was a no brainer, I called my brother Scott and told him we were fishing.
We did not pre-fish but I knew I could count on the same area I exploited all year for one more tournament. I wasn't sure if the fish would still be on the spot, but if not, they would be close by.
Tournament morning was in the mid forties with a steady 15mph South wind. We arrived at the spot to find it very windy, cold and difficult to hold, but knowing the quality of fish residing there made me determined to tough it out.
After the first half hour without any bites we were wondering if the fish were there or were our lures just not getting to them because of the wind, so we decided to start moving around. Finally Scott connected with a couple of 14 inchers and a while later I caught a 13. We kept moving and the next fish was a 17 incher. A few minutes later Scott hooked up with a 16, which gave us our limit.
By now we had narrowed the area down to 3 separate spots which had good green weeds that were deeper than the weedline, we decided to just rotate through those spots.
About 11 am the wind started to lay down which allowed us to really slow down and pick apart the weed beds. Scott caught another 16 which culled the 13, then I stuck a 18.5 which culled one of the 14's. Next we caught a 15.5 and culled the other 14. We continued catching fish but nothing that would help.
With about 30 minutes to go I stuck what felt like a good fish - turned out to be a 16 incher which culled out a 15.5. We knew we had a good bag now so we fished a few more minutes and headed in.
We ended up with 14.29 for 1st place and big bass at 3.50 lbs. A fellow blogger Carl Spade ( took second with about 10 lbs. There were a couple of 8 lb bags but most of the guys did not even weigh in.
Another great day on Big Marine, not a huge payday but a win is a win.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunrise YSB & Viking Invitational

Over the last few weeks I fished a couple of open tournaments. There is not much to tell and the outcomes were similar so I thought I would blog about them together.

First was the Sunrise Bassmasters YSB tournament held on North & South Center, this is a annual fundraiser where a portion of the entry fee is donated to the Lakes Area Youth Services Bureau. I did not have a chance to pre-fish since I was on vacation the week prior but my Brother Scott was able to get out and locate some fish holding in pads. Along with a couple of rock spots I have, a plan was set. We started on some pads on South Center that I have done well in the past but had no takers. We then fished the pads by Hazleton and caught a 15 incher on a buzzbait. Next we ran some dock with no bites. We then decided the shallow bite was not happening so we checked both of my rock spots and again no bites. We then ran to North Center to some more pads and managed to catch two more keepers fairly quick on A 3/8 oz FlaMinn Lures jig. We stuck with pads & docks the rest of the day and ended up with no more keepers. With only three fish for our efforts we didn't bother to weigh in.

Next was the Viking Invitational on Lake Minnetonka, another fundraiser, run by the Viking Bassmasters. All contestants are required to bring non-perishable food items which are donated to a local food shelf.
Once again I did not have time to pre-fish, but being the time of year it is, my partner Shawn and I thought we could throw spinnerbaits and jigs around docks, weeds and pads all day, cover lots of water and come up with a limit of nice fish. We started in Black lake where we caught a 12 incher on a dock, next I caught a 14 incher on another dock in West arm. We then went a long time without a bite. Around three o'clock I ran to a weedline spot I know in Spring Park bay and fished for about fifteen minutes with no bites. With only about fifteen minutes until weigh in we ran some docks nearby and caught a 16 incher but by now we were out of time. Again with only three fish it was not worth running all the way back to Excelsior bay so we loaded the boat and headed home.

These two tournaments were very humbling for me. I had a very successful year fishing the ABA, my confidence was high and I thought I knew the tournament waters well enough to do well. I fished hard and stayed positive each day, but after bombing twice I am reminded the importance of pre-fishing.