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 29, 2009

FTO Outdoors - Green Lake, Chisago

Arriving at the ramp Friday morning to pre-fish, all the dock talk was about how tough the fishing on Green Lake was, and that some guys were not even going to fish the tournament. After pre-fishing Friday, I was not convinced it was tough. All my spots had fish going and they were biting good.
Tournament morning started out 65 degrees, sunny and calm. We decided to start on a small point that seemed to have the best concentration of fish on it. After a couple of casts, my brother Scott hooked up with a 15 incher. A while later I caught a 13 incher and a short time after that a 12 incher went in the livewell. The bite slowed a bit but we managed to put another 14 in the well. After some time, and only a few shorts, we decided it was not worth sitting any longer on small fish, so we moved to a weedline that I had done well on the last few years. We were rewarded with a fish over 17 inches that filled our limit and another around 14", which culled the 12 incher.
A couple hours went by and the bite had all but stopped. Around 12:30, knowing we had no chance of making the money with the 9 lbs we had, it was time to make a change. We opted to run a stretch of docks that I had my eye on all day.
We fished the first dock with no takers, but while moving to the second dock we saw a 3 pounder swim under it. After fishing the dock thoroughly I moved around and skipped under the boat lift, my line tightened and I set the hook on what I thought was the 3 pounder. As I pulled the fish from under the lift I was amazed to see a giant on the end of my line, and the 3 pounder was swimming with it! After a heart pounding battle, Scott scooped up the 5 pounder. When the high fives were done we realized we were culling a 13 incher with a 5 lber and added about 4 pounds to our weight. We then circled back and continued fishing the same dock & lift, hoping to catch the 3 lber that was still there. After no success we moved to the next dock and again saw bass swimming under the dock - but this time there were three, about 3 lbs each. We worked this dock like no other, but after no bites we continued down the row of docks, excited knowing the kind of fish we were around. After finishing the docks with no more fish, and about 20 minutes before weigh in, we ran back and started over, hoping to catch the 3lbers we saw. We were unable to cull any more and ran out of time. We were still excited about the 5 lber but not thrilled with our total weight since historically it takes over 16 lbs to make the money.
At the weigh in it was apparent the dock talk was not all bull, lots of small limits were making their way across the scales. We weighed in with 12.72lbs good for 7th place and a check, and big bass for the day at 5.25lbs. Overall the weights were down, there were a couple 18lb bags, a few 15 lb and a few 13 lb with our bag taking the last money spot.
This finish should move us up in the standings to about 4th place with one event to go.

Monday, June 15, 2009

ABA - Big Marine

After all the success I had on Big Marine last year I was really looking forward to this years tournament. My only concern was since the tournament is in June instead of August, the big fish might not be on my best spot yet.

I had been on vacation all week and did not plan on pre-fishing but decided to go out Saturday anyway. I went directly to my best spot and on my first cast caught a 3 pounder, I made another cast and got bit again. At this point I was convinced the big ones were there, so I spent the next couple of hours checking some other spots that normally have lots of fish on them, but not the size. They all had fish on them and they were biting well, so I called it a day and left to prepare for the next day.

Tournament morning it seemed as though everything was going my way, beautiful 55 degree morning, light winds, no rain in the forecast, my fish were there and I even drew boat number one!

I arrived at my spot and made my first cast with a jigworm tied to my Kistler HE70MS, put down the trolling motor and when I picked up my jig, a fish was on, a 14 incher went into the livewell. On my next cast another 14 incher, then a 15, then a 13, then another 14. Five casts and five fish, only not the size I planned on. My next cast produced another 13 incher which I released, then I caught a 14 1/2 which culled the 13. In 25 minutes I caught a limit and culled, but then it shut off. I continued to fish the spot for a couple more hours hoping the big fish would turn on, but it never happened. I had two other waypoints in the same general area so I decided to move around a bit and hopefully cull up. I fished the other two spots with no success and decided to spend more time on the original spot. About noon, without another bite, it was time to hit some other spots I knew of. After about a hour and a half and several spots later, and still no more bites, I opted to kill the rest of the day on my best spot. About 2:30 I finally got another bite and culled a slimmer 14 with a fatter one, adding maybe an ounce or two to my weight. At this point my only hope was that everyone was having as tough a day as I was and hopefully I had enough to make the money.
Turns out it was a tough day for everyone, it took only about 11 pounds to win and a few bags in the 10 pound range finished out the money spots. I finished with 7.82 pounds although I'm not sure what place I ended up in because there were a few bags between 7 and 8 pounds.