FRL: Thanks for the response. Hope everyone who tried the big water came back safely.
I did notice that the top 5 boater finishers had co-anglers with no weight. That seems to indicate tight locations, kind of one-shot deals (small points, dock, single stump, etc.) OR the boaters were Hoovers (as in vacuums) and cleaned up! Maybe a little of both.
my boater didnt know the water.
i knew very little.
did manage a solid 2.5 lb largie 5 minutes before we were supposed to head back to the ramp. this only encourged my boater to fish the area i caught the fish at for another 10 minutes.
needless to say, i was late and took a weight penalty that was 2 lbs heavier than my fish.
protesting did nothing. i wouldnt have been in the money. it was the points i was concerned about. oh well, live and you learn and you keep fishing
good job to everyone who fished the event. always a pleasure competing against some of michigans (and indiana, and ohio, and wisconsin and so on) finest.
Only 12-5 to win. Don't know where Ed fished. I didn't ask. He might have told me... There were guys from Saugatuck up to White Lake that I know of.
I think only one over 4 pounds weighed in. Big bass was 4-6 on the boater side and less than 4 on the co-angler side.
Fished Spring Lake all day. I caught 2 keepers off of dock-related structures in the first 15 minutes. Caught 1 barely keeper about 15 minutes later off a small patch of shallow-still alive weeds nearby and a bunch of small ones. My co-angler lost a keeper that had just probably bit my lure. Later he caught 2 keepers of 2 other docks and we caught little ones here and there. I had a few suspiscious bites, but couldn't hook them.
I wrote off Muskegon and White because of the BBT although at least one top ten came from Muskegon in our 141 boats. Thursday, I had 20 solid bites in Spring in various places - many fish would not let the lures go and I hooked 3 that just impaled themselves out of desire. The majority, I was able to pull the lure away from although some came most of the way to the boat before they let go. Spring always gets tougher on the weekend in the summer and I'm sure some guys hammered them Friday too.
I picked a good starting spot with my unusually low draw (23), but things were much tougher after that. I wasn't fishing anything secret or different, just slowwwww and steady. The dumb bass (my favorite) had mostly been caught probably by the time I started hitting later spots, but it was best for me not to run this weekend and I did move up over 10 spots, so not a total loss.
I don't remember how most other guys did from this site. A friend of mine - Ralph Blasey - fished with FRL as his co-angler. My friend got 1, I think. I don't know what FRL had. I talked to Madman finally and heard his very unfortunate story. I've been late a few times too, Madman. It always sucks! (Can I say that Mini?) I don't know a lot of you by name, so you'll have to introduce yourselves sometime before the end of the year. I see who Madwags is now that he said we are tied. I'm not sure who else from this board was there other than a few close friends and a couple 'reader' friends who have admitted their lurking status to me.
I don't know about you Madwags, but I hope to keep moving up since I'm still 10 spots and 30 points short of the minimum accepted to New Yawk. If you do introduce yourselves, bare with me please - I'm now over 40 and can't remember exactly how old I am anymore, let alone all the names of the guys I get to meet...especially now that BFL is averaging 159 boats! That's a lot of names to remember!
I too am working on a solid plan to move up and make the cut. I want a chance at that Truck and Boat.
I think if I manage two solid limits in the next two events I will make the cut.
I know I can do this in St. Clair but I have some spots that I must check in Erie before the event.
I am just glad I survived the Grand this year as last year I had a BIG FAT ZERO.
Having turned 40 I know what you mean about the brain not working like it used to. I had to buy a net at Walmart in Holland because I left mine at home. Also didn't think I needed to reserve a room because I got one easily last year in Holland. Slept in the truck this year at the ramp. LOL! I think I caught one pound of fish for every hour of sleep I got. About 3.2
During my practice on the Grand River last week, I had found LM bass in the lily pads. I was getting many blow ups each day in the Bayou's and felt it was a pattern I could possibly cash a check with.
On a side note, Ronnie the tournament director, mentioned that no one was to pass someone in a no-wake zone unless they were going really slow. Sure enough, a guy passes me in the first no-wake zone after take off.
Saturday morning was clear with very little wind. I was the third boat into the Sterns Bayou. I started fishing in a corner where I had two keepers two days earlier. My first lure of choice was a buzz bait as I did not have much luck with a Pop-r during my practice period. As usual, my non-boater catches a 16 inch LM behind me on a Pop-r. I continue throwing the buzz bait and he hooks another LM on the Pop-r but the fish burries up in the weeds and comes off.
I pick up my frog and start fan casting the lily pads. I expect an explosion any second but the bass do not seem to want the frog this day. In fact, I fished the lily pads in two bayous with not a single blow up on the frog. During three practice days I had over 20 blow ups so I begin to wonder what has changed. Friday storms moved through the area plus more anglers were on the water practicing. Maybe this has turned the fish off.
My non-boater catches a short LM outside of the lily pads on a worm. I begin throwing a Senko, a worm, and a Zoom Brush Hog to various spots on the flats...no luck. I cannot buy a bite this day.
Knowing it will not take much weight on the non-boater side to cash a check, I suggest to my non-boater we return to Sterns and see if we can get him another fish or two. We spent over an hour back in Sterns with no bites. There is just over an hour left before we have to weigh-in, so we hit the small gravel pit just up river from Riverside Park. As we enter the area, I notice there are three boats in there already. We begin working down the left side with no luck. Then, my non-boater throws a trick worm onto a no nothing bank and gets bit. The LM measures 14 inches so he now has two fish in the livewell. I cannot even catch a bluegill on this day. We continue to work the area and the non-boater catches one more short LM. I look at my watch and tell him to strap down his rods so I can get him in on time.
At the weigh-in tank, I seem to be the only person without a bag and a fish. During this time I am thinking, I sure did not need to spend 4 days of pre-fishing for THIS. My non-boaters two fish weigh 3 lbs and 12 ozs. I think he was in the Top 30 on the co-angler side.
I did not catch a ton of fish in practice but did manage enough keepers and weight to cash a check. My fish simply did not bite this day. As I look back, maybe I needed to pitch and flip the pads once my frog pattern was not working.
Oh well, the next BFL tournament is on the Detroit River/Lake Erie and maybe I can break out of this slump there.
Doug who? Oh, you mean that guy with the 400 tournaments 0).
He actually has time to moderate still? I'll be darned...
I figure Mini is the real fishing board policeman, but that's probably not far to BIG Dougie.
Now that I know I can use the word - Guys who pass in no-wakes during tournaments after being told not to also suck! I tried hard, after being passed by one guy who pulled the old "I can't see well in the morning and didn't see the no-wake buoy or all the no-waking boats in front or I wouldn't have ran on plane past them" trick and several who pulled the old "I'm looking the other way and don't know I'm passing you" trick and several more who just decided I was going to slow so it was okay to pass (at least 6 altogether), to talk myself into playing the part of the 'complaining jerk' and protest them all so they are dq'd. I just couldn't bring myself to whether their animosity and future problems since these guys are a-holes and will always be a-holes.
I shouldn't be allowed to complain since I didn't file a protest, but I will this one time over this incident if you will bare with me. I actually knew a who a few of the guys were, so I could have named names. I don't know who the crazy guy was that ran past us into the no-wake - he was surely the most dangerous - but some who passed me because I was just going to slow (not counting the ones who put on plane behind me still in the no-wake and passed me with their jump-start) - I was going 1,300 rpms which isn't really no-wake either - were guys I could identify.
Then I remembered that I already knew these guys were losers because of my past knowledge of them and figured that all their attempts to cheat and cut corners before to get unfair advantages over the rest of us who do follow rules and understand why it is necessary to do so, have failed to make them any more than they really are - LOSERS!
I would be curious to hear if anyone at all would have thought I did the right thing if I had played the part of the 'jerk' and protested them. Since no one to my knowledge protested anyone who was dq'd (is that true anyone?) and several persons were heard to complain about guys passing in the no-wake, I have to figure I would have been an outcast in some respect if had done so.
I could not have identified them all, but about half of them. I wasn't sure if my co-angler would back me or not. I told him that if one of them was on my spot when I got there, I would tell him that I planned on protesting him at the end of the tournament since he did take unfair advantage of me by not following rules and laws. Not one of them said a thing to me BTW.
Luckily, most of the prominent anglers don't seem to feel it is necessary to break the rules to be a good angler. These all seem to be frequent donaters who have confused aggressiveness and competitive spirit with taking advantage of the decent, rule-abiding anglers.
Complaining after the fact does nothing to help.....all it does is make the Tournament Director's phone ring.
There are means to protest and they are there for a reason. IF you would have protested them, maybe they would think twice about it next time.
If you dont protest you are allowing it to happen and therefore it will continue. AND if the fools that are not representing "us" the way we would like to represented, are not taught a lesson, they will keep doing what they are doing even if we dont like it.
I didnt pass anyone in the Grand Valley No wake zone but the river is one of the toughest calls on No Wake Zones and I live here. lol
I was explaining to my non-boater as to where the "courtesy no wake zones" were and where the mandatory zones were. All he had to say was thank heavens he didnt live here.
As for me...I had 2 fish but didnt weigh-in. This was my only BFL this fall. Both of mine came on some deep weeds with crankbaits. My non-boater did get big bass. He got it at 7:15 in Stearns. I was glad for him buts it tough to see your non-boater put that fish in the box right away in the morning. lol
Thanks guys for coming over. I wish we could get it back on Muskegon and maybe head up north for another. Hopefully we'll see some changes in venues. But its understandable that Ronnie doesnt want to change a good thing.
we were #3 boat to take off, and at the first no wake zone i saw a guy almost rear end another boat behind us.
this was absolutly ridiculous. there were at least a dozen boats already idleing in the nowake zone when this guy came barreling in. he had to swerve to the left to keep from hitting the other boat.
i looked at my boater and said, someones gonna die today. and i wasnt kidding. after seeing that happen not 5 minutes into the tourney, i was sure something bad was gonna happen. im glad nothing did tho.
and as far as passing in the no wake zone goes. we were the 3rd boat in the first no wake, and the 10th boat out of the no wake zone. go figure.
I wish a whole bunch of guys including more of the top guys would post similar comments. I'm not real thrilled about being the one guy who would actually protest if I did it. They might change. Some probably wouldn't.
I'm not real thrilled about the idea of being the guy numerous people would be talking about. Who would be? Of course, I used to get all the complaint calls from the MDNR years ago about any supposed bad behavior anyone in a bass boat-looking boat committed.
Madman I was probably the guy who was almost run over (or maybe there was more than one). I took one look at the idiot and I KNEW he was going to blow by me into the no-wake which is why I angled off to the left towards shore. I couldn't recognize him. He went too far past me and had a hood and goggles on (that were obviously too limiting to his vision or at least he wanted everyone to think so).
I still think it sucks that a few guys can't follow simple rules and practice personal responsibility, instead putting the rest of us in an awkward and unfair position. I resent that and the black eye they give the sport, especially in Michigan.
i came to grand for the first time and really enjoyed fishing there. i finished 12th with 9lb 9oz. i caught all my fish in the very first place i went. i had 10 keepers all the same size. i was crankbaiting in deep water around the water tower on a gravel bank 10 to 12 feet. i also found fish in several other areas in the main river and in spring lake, but after 9:00 i never got another bite ? i hope to come back there next year.
i seen some guys blow the no-wake area just past the first bayou on the left of indian pass. i was fishing in there late in the afternoon and watch guys blow thru there going in.
i did protest about this and was told bfl does not enforce this rule. it is not in there rule book about no wake areas. ronnie told me he just asked everyone to obey them for safety reasons, but he could not disqulify anyone for doing it.? i think it should be in the rules so everyone would obey or get dq,d.
this same thing happens on the ohio river all the time, we have a lot of creeks that are no wake all the way to the backs of them, but you still get that ******* that wants to run by you in it.
listen to the pre tournament meeting and hear if the tournament director says OBEY ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LAWS. this should cover no-wake zones, so why are they telling me they dont enforce this ???
see everone at detroit river.
p.s i did catch more than kevin vida over there at grand river........lol
I think I am at least one of the guys you are complaining about (although I didn't 'run' the no-wake zone, nor did I nearly glide into the back of someone)....However, I did pass several boats in both of the no-wake zones.
Nothing was done on intent, but the last time I idled (under 1000 RPMs) for that long (BFL Detroit River) my motor loaded up and I couldn't get above 4500 RPMs. I idled through both no wake zones between 1100-1300 RPMs...
Now, onto the fishing. I found (like everyone else) fish on docks in Spring Lake. I prefished the Sunday and Wednesday before the tournament. Each day I caught a small limit (no kickers) and probably would have culled a few as well. I was averaging about 15 bites (probably 9-10 keepers) in a 6 hour period.
Now, I knew asking for this many bites on tourny day was pushing it. I told myself, that all I could ask for is 5 keeper bites (and maybe 1 could be a kicker). I had one bite by 9am (after hitting 4 sections of docks) and moved to a section of docks that I caught a near 3lb fish off last year. I was immediately rewarded with a short fish than set up on a better fish (about 15-16") that came to the surface, spun, and let loose....bummer.....Next I move over to the stall I caught that chunk out of last year....STICK....BIG FISH....GET THE NET....POP!!!!.....Lots of crying (I looked sillier than Mike Iaconelli). A monster pulled me into the junk I knew was down there and popped my 15lb Fluorocarbon (damn, how come I wasn't pitching with my 50lb braid?). Next few minutes was a blur......
Well, the next move put me on a section of docks exposed to boat traffic, but I managed 3 keepers in the next 45 minutes (and my Am caught a keeper as well). Its 11:30am and boat traffic is really picking up...Caught a few more short fish, but that was my day.
Morale of the story.....You have to execute flawlessly to cach checks on the Grand!
Hope I didn't pass (or p/o) any of you in the No-Wake Zones.....BTW, I run a white 520DVX, 225 Opti black and sahara inlays and black carpet......Oh and I wear a Red Ranger Whore visor.
All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, to FLW Outdoors, FLW Outdoors' sponsors, the sport of fishing and FLW Outdoors'
I can't see how they could let this go on. I know I would have had a copy of the rules in hand and a list of MC numbers
Maybe I need to carry a digital camera in the no-wakes since I still don't know a lot of the guys and I can't always read their MC numbers. And then, I guess I'd have to wonder the lot or parking area trying to match the boats up.
I only recognized a couple of the guys out of the 6 or 7. The guy who almost ran me down shut down too far ahead to see and I wasn't going to plow ahead to try to catch him.
It sounds like protesting might have not done any good. Not sure. I know I was doing 1,300 or faster and still getting passed and having guys pile up behind me. I have never in 17 years of money tournaments passed someone in a no-wake with the no passing rule unless I asked them and they gave permission. It's just not worth it to me.
djd, you weren't one who passed me.
I'm only talking about the two well-known main river no wakes that everyone goes through also - the one by Grand Valley Marine from the power lines to the small trailer; and the one by the sewage treatment to the river mouth and into Spring Lake.
There are times when my motor get too hot after a long run in rough water and wants to overheat if there is an ending long no-wake. I just take the motor in and out of gear to keep from passing, but still get the water pressure up to keep it cool.