Posts Tagged ‘bass’

Lake St. Clair – Back Home and Switching Gears

July 15, 2010

It was great to travel to Muskegon Lake and it is great to be home. If I had been home early enough on Sunday I guarantee that my boat would have been hitched and headed out to the big lake before my bags were unpacked. I got my wish a day later and found myself back on familiar water, but something was different.

I had just spent two days fishing bass that wouldn’t chase anything. They wanted the bait sitting there for them to find and to pounce on. After fishing for awhile it occurred to me…the boat and I are floating in Lake St. Clair, what am I waiting for? Out came the jerkbait and the spinnerbait and I was rewarded with a couple of 3 lb. smalllies.

It’s not that unusual to be fishing the memory of the bass we caught the last time we were on the water. This was the first time however that I “felt” the tempo that I was fishing and recognized it as moving at Muskegon Lake speed. Back on Lake St. Clair the bass will chase and be aggressive most of the time. This was just one time that I noticed how deeply ingrained muscle memory becomes while solving the bite on one body of water. How many times in the past did I ignore this phenomenon and not make the necessary adjustment in time? I’ll never know for sure but from now on I’ll continuously “switch gears” and watch what happens.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

The Combat Fishing Team Prevails at the TBF State Championship – Muskegon, Michigan

July 13, 2010

At 8:35pm est on Monday night the Combat Fishing Team received a call from TBF President Jeff Cox. It is official…the Combat Fishing Team has won the Monster Bass Superteam Challenge to finish at the top team spot for the TBF State Championship 2010 at Muskegon Lake. It was a tough fish that day so none of us had the idea that we would be close on this but we did know one thing; we all had a great weekend working out spots, baits, presentations and strategies together as a team. It was a win for us before we knew about the results because as a group we were able to pull together, share information and above all, keep it fun!

Once the official results come in I will post them but no matter what anyone on the team caught, we all did our best. The photo below is from the end of the tournament on Sunday:

Left to right: David Hasty, Michael McGrane, Mark (Cowboy) Frickman, Wayne Carpenter, Brian Belevender, Bob (Jigger) Mann

Well done everyone! Now it’s off to Lake St. Clair for the next one.

Mark Frickman prepares the day before the event

Mark at the scales on tournament day

Mike McGrane brought a limit to the scales

Brian Belevender also brings a limit to the scales

Bob (Jigger) Mann brought two to the scales but this one really helped!

(c) Wayne Carpenter

TBF State Championship – Muskegon, MI

July 10, 2010

Getting out on the road took some doing but we’re here (the Combat Fishing Team) in Muskegon, Michigan working hard at finding enough fish to make the TBF State Team. How that is done is by finishing in the top 12 anglers at the end of the tournament. Those top 12 go on to the next level at a regional event. Even though this is an individual event the different clubs also compete as a team for team bragging rights. That’s where the Combat Fishing Team comes in.

Meet the Combat Fishing Team

Wayne Carpenter (Team Captain)
Michael McGrane
Bob (Jigger) Mann
David Hasty
Mark Frickman
Brian Belevender

There’s no guarantee as to how we place in the standings by the end of this event but I can say that it is an honor to share the field of battle with these guys.

(c) Wayne Carpenter

Fun With Muskies #2

July 7, 2010

What a thrill it is to see a top of the line predator up close and personal. That’s the way it was today when I was bringing a 3 1/2 lb. smallmouth up to the boat and a musky in the 50″ class showed up.

So I see the musky and think, “Sure, I’ll just get the bass in quickly.” That turned out to be not such a great idea. The truth was however that in this situation there wasn’t a right decision. The musky was dialed in whether I left the bass low or brought it to the boat. Bringing the bass up toward the surface just got the musky more excited and it made its move. Most of the time muskies dart up, grab the bass then accelerate off into the deep while breaking the line in the process. This one was different.

This is the smallie that was attacked. You can see the three teeth marks from the musky on the upper part of the bass near the dorsal fin

The musky comes up at a steady pace then flares its gills, opens wide (more than wide enough for this 3 lb. smallmouth) then closes its jaws around the bass and sits there. The only thing I could think of doing at that moment is to take my Grandt Rod (lifetime warranty) and beat the musky repeatedly over the head. Fortunately the Grandt Rod is not only warrantable but durable and the musky, while it didn’t react immediately got the message and let go of the bass then slowly swam off and I kept catching bass with the same rod.

What a great place to fish this Lake St. Clair is! I can’t wait to go again.

The bass was caught on a 4″ Muskegon Goby tube with a rattle.

Call Xtreme Bass Tackle™ TOLL FREE – (877) 485-2223

XBT on Ebay (click here)

If you are interested in a guided trip on Lake St. Clair click here for brochure

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

How To Fish a Tube Bait – Speed Loading

July 6, 2010

For bass anglers selecting the right color in a soft plastic bait can make all the difference between a good day fishing and a great day fishing. One way to get a high number of colors in front of the bass quickly is to “speed load” tubes.

Speed loading is faster than inserting the jighead into the tube from the back, punching the eyelet through the plastic then retying. Instead you can penetrate the tube from the outside, force the tube head into the tube cavity without ever having to retie. This enables you to make quick changes and present as many as 10 different colors to the bass in as little as 10 minutes. Here’s how you do it:

Then another color…

Then another color…

…and so forth.

Call Xtreme Bass Tackle™ TOLL FREE – (877) 485-2223

XBT on Ebay (click here)

If you are interested in a guided trip on Lake St. Clair click here for brochure

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

Lake St. Clair webTV Network – Show lineup for week 3

July 1, 2010

Stay tuned to the Lake St. Clair webTV Network for the next installment starting at 9pm on Friday.

New broadcast every Friday by 9pm

This time around we have interviews for the first place and second place winners at the NBAA Double Barrel Shootout. Also included is a message from tournament director Paul Sacks as to the way the payouts have been improved on his trail. Look for some weekend wrapup and commentary as well.

See it at: Combat Bass Fishing website

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

The Summer Bite Emerges – 2010

June 30, 2010

It’s not hard to be grateful for the shear quality and diversity of this world class smallmouth bass fishery called Lake St. Clair. Each period during the season, the pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn, summer bite, fall transition and fall pattern have their distinct characteristics but boy am I glad the post-spawn period is coming to a close.

Unless you have been on top of a specific group of bass, the last two weeks have been marked by long runs to multiple spots trying to grind out average quality bass. This period is filled with bass in moods that run from complete indifference to short periods of wild aggression with no way to plan ahead or construct effective patterns or strategies.

The most obvious way to detect the emergence of the summer bite is by how you see bass respond on the water. The summer bite response is everything that the post-spawn isn’t. The good news is that we can now begin to develop strategies and plans to increase our catch rate in numbers and size and get the most out of this world class fishery.

You can find more about Summer Bite indicators in the book, No Secrets on Lake St. Clair vol. 1 on page 47 or go to Fishing Spots Specs™ and get the latest, most accurate and best bass fishing reports available on Lake. St. Clair.

To order Xtreme Bass Tackle™ baits or Combat Bass Fishing information products:

Call Xtreme Bass Tackle™ TOLL FREE – (877) 485-2223

XBT on Ebay (click here)

If you are interested in a guided trip on Lake St. Clair click here for brochure

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

Lake St. Clair – The Bite is Finally Picking Up

June 28, 2010

Big weight came in on the Sunday event and Capt. Mike and I were both able to hookup with a couple of brutes on Monday:

Captain Mike McGrane pulls up a quality smallmouth

I picked up a 5 lb. (on the scale) smallmouth on another open water spot

My bass came on a Xtreme Bass Tackle 4″ mayfly tube.

Let the games begin.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

LSC webTV Network Technical Challenge

June 27, 2010

The video was done by Wednesday save for a couple of clips to drop in about news and current events. Even with just a few hours to posting time left after a full day on the water there wasn’t any concern at all about hitting the 9pm deadline.

New broadcast every Friday by 9pm

As time marched on the clips were done and dropped in then converted to a format that YouTube would accept. So far, so good. It wasn’t until the upload was complete (in time for the deadline) that I had learned the video wasn’t accepted because of the length (over 10 minutes long). That’s how the one news segment got posted separately. As it turns out it’s not a bad thing but last Friday the video didn’t get fully uploaded and ready to view until 10pm. There’s one issue that won’t happen again.

Special thanks to: Capt. Michael McGrane for tips and commentary, Frank Keller for voice over, Horizon Helicopter Service for aerial clips, NBAA for tournament results, http://www.royrandolf.com for tournament scheduling, Jeff Gibson and Dan Mason for taking the time to interview and Bob “Jigger” Mann for greetings to Ontario bass anglers.

Click here to see the video(s) off of the Combat Bass Fishing website

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

No Pattern at All

June 26, 2010

Finding a successful pattern could be considered the basis for all bass fishing but what if there is no pattern at all? This doesn’t happen often and when it does it would be easy to think that we just didn’t find the bait they wanted today. When just getting started in bass fishing a day like this can really shake your confidence. Experienced anglers know this can happen but are still hard-wired to find a solution. Either way, knowing that the playing field is leveled (as in wrecked) helps to keep things in perspective. To experience any success at all on a day like this is the result of a lot of hard work and that may be a pattern of its own.

It helps to diagnose the symptoms early. A light bite is one INDICATOR but look for more. Seeing bass swimming around but not being able to get them interested almost seals the deal. The issue is pretty much settled when a single bait or presentation only works once or twice on the same group of fish then doesn’t work at all. If you are fishing by yourself the next step to take is to change baits and presentations often. When you have more folks on the boat it’s helpful to keep everyone on different baits until something works. Switching others quickly to the bait that worked may result in another bass or two being caught but watch for the bite to die quickly and be ready to go back to presenting multiple baits and presentations.

Bringing in an average sized catch on a day like this is an INDICATOR that as an angler, your work ethic and skill sets are well developed and can stand up to the toughest conditions…no pattern at all.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter