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, August 31, 2009

Bubba's Bass Bonanza - Rush Lake

Rush lake had not been kind to me the last two years, and the couple times I was there this year, the spots that normally put out big fish were not going. My partner Shawn and I decided to fish the tournament anyway, because you just never know - I'm glad we did.
We arrived at the West access about 6 am to a very cool 44 degrees with light Northwest winds. After a short meeting, and drawing boat #5, we launched the boat and discussed our strategy. Since we did not pre-fish, we decided to stick with what worked in the past - flipping reeds. When our number was called we ran straight to one our best reed beds. It didn't take long and my Kistler HE76XHC was swinging a 16 incher in the boat, a couple minutes later Shawn caught a 14 incher. Next we ran to what used to be our best spot and I quickly caught a 17+, a short while later Shawn boated another 17+. We worked back through the same reed bed and I picked up another 17+, which now gave us a limit, then Shawn caught a 17 that culled the 14. The action was not fast & furious, but almost every bite was a good one
About 11 o'clock, the bite had really slowed, so we thought we would let the area rest and fish a nearby row of docks that have produced some big fish in the past. On the last dock I caught a 15 incher which didn't help, then in a small patch of reeds next to the docks, Shawn stuck another 15 incher.
We then fished another small patch of reeds that is known to give up a lunker now and then, but no success this time.
At this point, thinking we had about 14 lbs, we knew we had a shot at a good finish. We decided that since almost every bite on our best spot was a 17 incher, we would kill the last two hours there and try to get a couple of good culls.
We continued catching fish, but everything was in the 14-15 inch range, so we headed in with what we had and hoped for the best.
I was very surprised when our fish were put on the scale - 15.13lbs, good for first place and a check for $1000.00. I really didn't think we had over 14lbs but Rush lake fish are fat! Second place was about 14lbs and third was 12+.
Thanks to Bubba for running a good tournament, check out his circuit if you're looking for more tournaments to fish.

Monday, August 10, 2009

FTO Forest Lake update

FTO Outdoors finally posted the Forest Lake results and final standings for the year. Turns out we took 7th place in the tournament, giving us a top ten finish in each of the three tournaments in the series. Also, after some initial confusion in the year end final standings, we ended up in 4th place overall, good for a free entry into a FTO tournament next year.
Congratulations to the team of Whiting & Wood for winning the points title.

Monday, August 3, 2009

FTO Outdoors - Forest Lake

The final stop of the Full Throttle Outdoors Z Series was on Forest Lake July 25th. We were sitting in fourth place going into this one and mathematically we were still in the points race, but being 15 points out of first, the odds were against us. Still, we hoped for a good finish to move us up maybe a couple more places and make the money.
We decided to start on a reed bed that normally holds good fish. Scott was flipping a MG Lures Rhino Craw and I was flipping a Mister Twister B-A-Hawg, both of us using Kisler HE76xhc flippin rods. After about an hour and a half the wind started blowing pretty good and with only a 12 & 13 incher in the livewell, we abandoned the reeds and ran to some docks. Scott continued flippin the craw but I switched to a Texas rigged black neon Comida with a 1/8 oz weight tied to a Kistler Helium 2 69 mh. After a few fishless docks I finally stuck a 17 incher, a couple docks later a 14 incher, then a 15 incher went into the boat. We now had a limit and figured out what kind of docks were holding fish, but we still had lots of culling to do.
We ran to the next set of docks that fit the pattern and pretty quickly culled the 12 with a 14 incher, then Scott stuck a 14 incher which culled the 13. Next I caught a 16 that culled our smallest 14. On the next row of docks I caught a 15 that got rid of another 14 and caught some smaller fish that didn't help.
At this point we had a decent bag but still had a 14 incher in the well. We figured it would take about 12 pounds to make the money and we needed to upgrade to have a chance. With about 45 minutes until weigh in we had enough time to run another row of docks, but ultimately never caught another fish that would help.
The winning weight for the tournament was a little over 14lbs, second was 13 lbs and 3rd was 12 lbs, the last money spot and 5th place was 11.03lbs and our weight was 10.63lbs, just missing the money.
As of yet we still don't know what place we finished because FTO Outdoors does not post the weights at the tournament and they are very slow at posting the results on their website.