Art Simms Bass Fishing

My photo
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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Full Throttle - Balsam Lake

Well, the 2010 Full Throttle Balsam Lake tournament is in the books and I kind of have mixed feelings about the outcome. Traditionally, a limit in this tournament will put you in the money - not this time. Although a limit of 14+ inchers can be tough to get on Balsam this time of year, we managed to fill ours, but so did a lot of other teams, leaving us in 15th place.

Pre-fishing Friday we found water temps in the mid to upper sixties, so we started looking in the shallows to get a feeling for what the fish were doing. We saw lots of small bass cruising but only saw one small male protecting a bed. My feeling was they were, for the most part, done with the spawn. We checked some deep spots to try to locate some post spawn fish but caught nothing but dinks.

Tournament day started partly cloudy with air temps in the low sixties and a light SE breeze. Our plan was to do as we did last year and hit all the docks in spawning areas, confidant some of the post spawn fish moved under them.

Our first spot was a small bay that we caught 3 good keepers from last year. I started throwing a weightless Mister Twister Comida in watermelon candy, while my partner Scott was throwing various moving baits. After working all the way around the bay, fishing the docks and in between them, I finally connected with a 14 incher on the inside edge of some pads.

We then ran to a larger shallow bay where I caught another 14 incher near a dock. A few docks down the line I managed to stick a 15 incher. On the other side of the bay, my partner Scott hooked into a 14 incher, and a short while later I caught another 15. It was now about 10:30 and with a limit in the well we still had over 4 hours to upgrade.

We then ran into East Balsam and fished a few similar areas with no success. It was now raining and a front was pushing through with very strong winds and thunder. We spent about an hour in a small protected bay and again, no keepers.

The front had passed and with about two hours left we decided to fish through the same areas where we had caught our keepers earlier, but after almost 2 hours and no upgrades we headed to weigh in.

We ended up with 8.18lbs. I was thrilled to have a limit, we fished clean all day and caught the fish we were fishing for, unfortunately, we simply were fishing for the wrong size fish.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

new tournament jerseys

I received my new tournament jerseys from Gemini last week and I think they turned out great. I also ordered one for my 9 year old grandson Triston, who fishes some tournaments with me. Here is a pic with Triston modeling his.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Have you ever had one of those tournament days where every decision you made was the right one? On the other hand, have you ever struggled just to try to fill your limit and every decision was the wrong one? I have experienced both kinds of days several times in the past and spent a lot of time thinking about why the bad days were bad, but never coming up with anything except excuses.
About two years ago I found a big piece of the puzzle.
I was watching the Bass Pros on TV and Rick Clunn was talking about fishing by your instinct. He stated that we make decisions based on either instinct or intellect, instinct being a gut feeling and intellect being a decision made after the thought process was complete. It was now starting to click! He went on to explain that the way to tell the difference between instinct and intellect is if your decision is based on fear, it is intellect.
After thinking about some past tournament experiences, I realized how true his theory was.
I remember tournaments where I stayed on a spot too long in fear of someone else getting the spot if I left, even though it was not producing well. And days when I left a spot to fish another before someone else got to it, decisions based on fear! I also found that on the tough days, I tended to over think, which took instinct out of the equation.
I also remembered on my best tournament days I didn't seem to feel any pressure and just fished by instinct (although I didn't realize it at the time) and the days ended with good results. One example is, last year I was fishing a Full Throttle tournament on Green lake. I normally fish a weedline that produces big fish, but this day only small keepers were there and we had about a eight pound limit half way through the day. I had my eye on a row of docks all day for no particular reason, but stuck with the weedline for fear of missing the big fish bite if it occurred. Finally I realized my instinct was telling me to fish the docks and I told my partner we were moving. On the second dock I stuck a fish under the boat lift which turned out to be over 5lbs, bumping our weight to over 12 lbs getting us a 7th place check and another for big bass. Had I not listened to my instinct, we probably would have ended up in the middle of the pack.
Since hearing Clunns theory my mental approach to fishing has changed. By being more aware of my instinct I make better decisions, I try to not overthink and if my gut is telling me something - I listen!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New stuff

I still have not made it on the water yet but at least I think I am ready now. I had to put new tires on the trailer and replace my deep cycle batteries. I also purchased a few other items, here are some pics.

My new Kistler Rods Z-bone 7'6" heavy.

Quantum Accurist PT AC100HPT burner for the Z-bone

8ft Power-Pole pro series

Monday, May 3, 2010

Skeet Reese

There is no one hotter in professional bass fishing right now than Skeet Reese. Not even the mighty KVD, who seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth since his Classic win. Since Reese's Classic win in February 2009 he has amassed some pretty impressive stats - 11 top tens, 8 of which were top fives, including 2 wins. And with the exception of his 43rd place in the 2010 classic, all of his other finishes were in the twenties - still very respectable! Right now I think Reese could fall out of the boat and come out with a four pounder in his rear end.