Recently I fished in a bass tournament that started with the first 2 days on Minnetonka, with the top 20 Pros and Ams heading to Prior Lake for day 3. Due to guiding, other tournaments, and other commitments, I didn’t have the chance to do any prefishing. In fact, I had not been on Minnetonka since July 18th.
On day 1 Thursday I started by pitching jigs in the milfoil in 12′-14′ of water. My first 4 spots yieled no bass, but plenty of pike. I knew it was just a matter of being on the right spot when the fish got active. Finally spot #5 panned out. In short order we boated 4 nice bass on black-blue Outkast Pro Staff Jigs. It was 10am and we only needed 2 more fish to fill the limit. Next we fished an area that had a very sharp break. The boat was in 20’+ outside the weeds, but you could pitch your jig into 5′ and the iside weed edge. This spot also has an area with some hard bottom and gravel where the weeds are much thinner. It usually doesn’t hold many fish, but gives at leats one every time. Well, I lost a good one, but we did manage a small fish to make #5. The next spot we hit was amazing. It was much like the last one. This time I tossed out a white jig and felt a thump. After setting the hook, pulling this fish through a ton of weeds, and praying the whole time it was a bass, we had a 21 1/4" bass in the boat that weighed 6.14lbs. That was the limit fish, but we still had that small one that I wanted to cull. Within 5 casts of getting the 6lber in the boat, I had another hit. Again I set the hook, but this time my rod snapped in two and my line broke as well. I notice right away that the line was broke near the reel, so I put the bowmount on high and headed towards where I had cast. In short order I found my line floating and grabbed it and proceded to land a 5lb bass hand over hand. I was shocked to be able to get this fish in. My hands were all cut up from the Fireline. I have no doubt the if it wasn’t for the wide gap hook on the Outkast jigs there is know way I would have landed that fish. For day 1 we weighed 21.81lbs for our 6 fish.
On day 2 I planned to start where I caught my 4 good fish the day before. We managed 1 smaller fish right away and than nothing. We jigged quite a few other spots without even a bite. I knew I needed a limit, even if it was only a small one, to make the top 20. At 11am I decided to run to the other end of the lake and hit a stretch of docks that usually spits out fish. In 30 minutes we managed 5 more bass, including a 3+lber as well as our big fish that weighed 4.21 lbs. These fish were all caught skipping 5" Stick Worms. Day 2 we only weighed 14.46lbs, but it was enough to stay in the top 20.
There were quite a few patterns that others caught fish on. Carolina rigs and cranks helped people make the top 20, but most were either pitching jigs or skipping docks. The average weights were down quite a bit on day 2. I don’t have any pictures yet, but I will add them when I receive them.