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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mister Twister Comida

The air temperature was crisp like most spring mornings, the cool water of the shallow bay I was fishing was quickly being warmed by the rising June sun. With each degree of warmth there was an increase in activity by the cold blooded creatures inhabiting the small bay. After making a long cast with a weightless Mister Twister Comida and letting it sink slowly to the bottom, I saw my line move indicating a strike from a hungry largemouth bass, I quickly set the hook and reeled in a chunky three pounder.
The soft plastic stickbait quickly made a name for itself because of its ability to catch bass in many situations. As the name implies, this stick shaped bait has no appendages of any kind and is available in various lengths, it can be fished shallow or deep, and rigged many ways, but the stickbait really shines when fished weightless in shallow water due to its enticing wobble as it sinks.
My favorite soft plastic stickbait is the Mister Twister Comida. The Comida is 5 inches in length and available in many colors, my favorites being pumpkin pepper for clear water situations, Christmas tree for stained water, and black with red flake for dark water. Rigged Texas style with no weight, this bait is deadly on spring largemouth.
Generally in spring, the water is clear, so I will use a natural color like pumpkin pepper or watermelon seed. A 3/0 wide gap hook, 17 lb fluorocarbon line and a Kistler HE2 6'9" medium heavy completes my setup.
After searching for and locating typical spring largemouth haunts, like sandy shorelines or inside weedlines, start by making a long cast to your target and let the bait sink to the bottom. Because the Comida has the ability to attract bass while sinking, pay special attention for a strike during this time, which may be indicated by either line movement or a telltale tap. If no bite is detected on the fall let the Comida rest motionless for a few seconds, give it a couple of short hops and let it sink again, if still no takers, reel in and cast to another spot repeating the sequence until a bass is caught. When a fish does strike, be sure to make note of whether the bass hit on the fall, while hopping the Comida, or while motionless, and try to duplicate that presentation to continue catching bass.
Another of my favorite techniques is to Texas rig a Comida with a 1/8 ounce bullet weight and skip it under docks. This technique can be very productive year round. Try to skip to the shadiest or most inaccessible areas as possible as these are the places the lunkers tend to hang out. Fish the Comida exactly as previously mentioned except heavier line may be needed to get the fish out as quickly as possible before it tangles around the dock pilings.
You can also Texas rig the Comida with a ¼ ounce bullet sinker and fish it on deep weedlines or pitch it to holes in the milfoil, Carolina rig it on the deep rock piles, wacky rig it or use a mushroom-head jig and fish with the hook exposed.
Spring, summer or fall, under any condition, you can always find a way to catch bass on the Mister Twister Comida.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009 tournament schedule

Thanks to a little reminder from the Bass Pundit, I thought I would post my tournament schedule for 2009.
One item of note, I found out there will be no Fishers of Men East division in 2009. It appears former FOM Director Mark Shutz has started a new tournament circuit called Full Throttle Fishing. He started with a walleye circuit in 2008 and has expanded with a bass circuit for 2009 consisting of two divisions with three tournaments each. My understanding is the points Champions from each division win a free entry into the Frankies 2 day tournament. Full Throttle Fishing seems structured very similar to FOM with a Friday night pre-tournament meeting, meal and guest speaker. I plan to fish the FTF circuit this year although I am not thrilled about the Friday night meetings, I would rather be home getting tackle ready and charging my batteries.
I also plan to fish the ABA again this year. These are very well run tournaments and a great group of guys.

ABA - 6/14 Big Marine
6/28 No/So Center
7/12 Waconia
7/26 Coon
8/9 Forest
8/23 Clearwater
9/19-20 White Bear & Big Marine

Full Throttle Fishing - 5/16 Balsam
6/20 Rush
7/25 Forest

Fishers of Men West - 5/30 Clearwater
8/29 Horseshoe

Viking Invitational - 10/4 Minnetonka

Sunrise YSB - 9/19? No/So Center