Archive for the ‘Tournament News’ Category

2nd Place Finish @ Jeff’s B&T Tourney (again)

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Had another great weekend on Erie, Friday pre-fishing for Jeff’s Bait and Tackle Shops 2nd Annual Walleye Tourney and then on Saturday during and after the tourney.

Friday was the day to work out any bugs that might have been in the program for the tourney on Saturday.  I busted out the Hot Wings from Mack’s Lures, and my newest bright idea, using Blue Fox Sonic Vibrax Spinners (minus the treble hook) Size #4 as flashers/attractors in front of the harness.

Both approaches caught fish, in fact one of them ended up catching this surprise fish….a muskie!

She was starting wiggle some while this pic was being taken.  I had to get her back in the water and didn’t have time to get another one, going to estimate at 36 inches.  We had a good day and caught lots of fish, but nothing big enough to say this is the program we are going to run tomorrow.  After getting our 12th fish for our Ohio limit, we called it quits for the day.  It was time to head back and get things geared up for an early morning on Saturday.

Once I got back to the house, I found what I had been waiting for, a package from Northland with the bigger #6 sized blades I wanted for Saturday. Last year during Jeff’s first tourney the #5 blades (Baitfish Holographic Golden Shiner) had produced really well during the mayfly hatch.  Even though this year the hatch was starting to tail down, there were still some fresh bugs coming up from the bottom.

I spent the rest of the night Friday putting those on some snells that I had already made up, for just such an occasion!  I also put some more D&B Fishing’s Brown Goby on some other rigs.  That brown was catching fish on Friday in the morning while the water was cool enough for the fish to be higher in the water column!

Saturday morning and 3 am came way too early, but the gear was ready and even though there was only a couple of hours of sack time, my contacts were in and I was wide awake!  Called the neighbor, my fishing bud the last couple of years, to make sure he was up and he was!  Another good sign!  We loaded up andran to Jeff’s to meet up with his brother.  Then the down time, waiting for the other boats to arrive for the captains meeting and to get on the lake.

Once on the water we made a bee line for going past Sputnik and hitting the Canadian line.  Warm water mean deep fish and away we went on a 50 min sprint for our starting point.  We get the lines set and see Tony Vitale, his brother Joe and partner Lenny Layhew north of us about a mile and running the same drift.  These are the guys who took first last year, andafter finishing second that year, we had a pretty good friendly rivalry going.  We had finished a spot or two ahead of them during the Lori C. Alston Relay for Life tourney, but this is the tourney that both boats had been looking forward too.

Tony's crew netting another fish

Radio chatter didn’t help matters much, by the time we had four in the box, they were on seven caught. By the time they had 14 in the boat, we had just started culling our top five.  But, its not the number of fish caught, just the size that counts.  At least that is what I kept telling myself, so that is going to be my story, and I better stick to it!

We made three or four passes on that drift line and things were going pretty good.  All six Church Mr. Walleye Boards were running hot, straight andtrue through the 3 footers that kicked up.  We finally settled on a program of running our 2 oz Bass Pro Keel weights 45 feet behind the boards and seemed to be dialed in.  The bigger Northland blades took most of the fish, but some old Fishlander#5 Copper Confusion blades were taking a few as well.  It really was all about matching the bug hatch for us Saturday.  All I could think though after Friday, was no MUSKIE, NO MUSKIE!  It was the last thing I wanted to deal with!

Around noon, we picked up the gear and decided to head back to the launch at Sterling State Park and get the boat loaded up.  By that time some 3 plus foot waves had been kicked up by the wind.  An hour and 10 minutes later we were back at the launch and waiting to get the boat loaded.  Made it to the bait shop 15 minutes later and then the waiting began till the weigh-in started.

Long story short, same top three results as last year.  Tony andcrew won again, I took second and the same boat took 3rd place.  The weights were up a bit, but we till had a 1 lb difference between first andsecond place.  Congrats to those guys, good anglers and even better people.  Thanks again for Eric @ Jeff’s Bait for hosting the tourney and Domka Outdoors for being the sponsor of another fine tourney!

Here are some more pics of the fish we caught and some other things that might help some guys out while fishing a tourney or derby the next time they go out!

Our Top Five that got weighed in.

Our total catch.

One of the big fish, plus the Northland Ruler and the homemade culling system that I had made up.

The culling system worked GREAT, but one thing I did when I got back home was to put a slight edge on the snap hooks for easier use.

If you missed the post about the cull system, you can make one yourself  fast and fairly inexpensively.  Take one of those cheap metal clip style fish stringers andtake the clips off.  Then get a lengthof wire withsome crimps, or use some big mono if you have any laying around.  Next get some bobbers and attach the ends of the wire to the clip andfloats.  Then findsome spray paint laying around and color coat your bobbers!  This worked so well, I would measure the fish, slip on a clip, andthen write down the length and get ready for the next big fish!

Our second place trophy.

The rest of our prize package.

The real prize, cheeks and fillets!  Got smart this year and decided to actually write on the freezer bag how many fillets were in each zip lock!

Last but not least, found out what happens when you drop off the fish guts back by the ditch, you get every buzzard in Monroe County flying over for lunch!

Jeff’s Bait Shop Tourney this Saturday

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

You can stop into Jeff’s Bait and Tackle this week and pick up a flyer for the walleye tourney being held this Saturday.

These are the details I have so far:

6 am checkin at the bait shop

2pm, you must be in the parking lot.  Anything later than that and  you start losing weight through a penalty system.

$25 per person fishing in the boat.

1st place gets in free for next year’s tourney

Cash and product prizes

Big Fish Prize

Free hot dogs and hamburgers during the weigh-in.

What to do today? Tourney Prep Time

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

What to do on a day you could be fishing?  Well go fishing of course, or weed the garden if you have too, but with Jeff’s Bait Shop  tourney next weekend, its time to come up with some new twists on some old ideas.  First off, with my new orders of #6 sized colorado blades coming in from and Northland Tackle  I need to get back out to the shop and rig enough harnesses for those blades, plus enough to break down whatever blades we run out during prefishing, so its a simple case of simply changing over beads and blades to fresh snells for Saturday morning!

Got my 1/4 lb spool of Berkley Vanish in 20 lb for the rigging.  Got my #2 Mustad Ultra Point hooks, and will be rigging a 3 hook harness for this tourney.  Why three?  Because of the silver bass and white perch, or what I have decided to call “Swipers” this year, because they swipe at your bait and more often than not they got snagged while trying to steal the worm.  Anyway with the 3 hook harness, you stand a better chance of at least knowing whether you have been robbed, vs leaving a rig out there with no bait at all.

Since the deep water bite is going to be a key to finding bigger fish, when we run the bottom bouncers up front before attaching the boards, the 4 oz will go on the shelf, and time to bring out the big girls and double up to an 8 oz BB.

8 oz on the left, 4 oz on the right

painted black

Because of the extra weight, these lines will be less likely to tangle up with fish coming in off the boards.  Its all about line control and avoiding issues that can keep your baits out of the water for extended periods of time. Less fuss, no muss!

Also, just might have to pull some tricks out of the bag to call in the big gals in deep water to come a calling.  Maybe some Hot Wings from Mack’s Lures for instance.

Thought I had some pics, but also might pull out the smaller salmon spoons I rigged up last year for a lil extra flash in front of the meat presentation, maybe.  These are becoming pretty well known as slasher rigs.

My last prep, is already taken care of.  Think I will call it my “Sonic Hawg Caller” rig.  Its a lure that is already out there for being used by salmon fisherman, but to my knowledge has never been applied like this before.  That’s pretty much the best hint I can give right now till the tournament, I will say this, I  had to cut the treble hooks off  and add a split ring and snap rig to it.

This thing will either really work well calling in the bigger walleye, or make them shy away.  It might work well for the smaller eyes, but big ones don’t grow that size by accident and they might be spooked by a flashier/louder presentation. 

Either way, prefishing will determine its effectiveness and that of the other changes I have planned for this deep water bite coming up.  Best tourney advise I can give someone is treat it like a job, work at it!  Blade color isnt working, change up fast, do not leave any time to waste due to an unproductive bait. If you are going to be running spoons and cranks, take the same approach, have your Tots and Streaks ready to roll.  Have a game plan on your strategy and have them at arm’s length for a quick change over.

good luck!

Relay for Life Tourney Report

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Saturday morning started off pretty well, hit Jeff’s for a fresh 100 count and launched out of Sterling for the Lori C. Alston 4th Annual Memorial Tournament benefitting the Monroe area Relay for Life.  Got to the first dock at the Detroit Beach Boat Club where the tourney was being hosted and saw our glimpse of the lake, looked like smooth sailing as the waves were down.

We set up right before hitting our first spot trying something new. The past experience with the 1 oz keel weights in shallow water led to quite a few snags on the bottom, and I wanted to go for a little more lure control.  The plan was grand, let out 30 to 40 ft of line and attach either a 2.5 or 3 oz snap weight for greater depth control, then let out to the depth I wanted then attach the boards. It didn’t quite the get the accurate test  I was looking for because soon after set up we quit marking fish.  In fact our first two stops proved fruitless.

Their were a ton of boats out in front of the bay, and I hate to admit it, kind of went into the pack mentality mode there for our 3rd run of the day.  It also proved both fruitless and somewhat frustrating.  Its hard to believe with a big ol’ lake to drive in, some goofball has to try and split through two boats only 70 yards apart, which didn’t even take into account that my outside board was running 120 feet off the side. Which said goofball barely missed!  Never again will I fall for the going out to the pack and dealing with that mess.

Next step was to run back inside the bay and find some clean water to run through, heading back to the southeast on a diagonal.  Got the clean water, but no fish.  At this point, I am getting pretty thankful that this tourney is going to last till four pm.

There  was one last stop up our sleeves, and its do or die time.  It was on the hit list, and also had picked up some positive chatter on the radio from earlier reports.  Set up lines and started our run on the last spot of the day. Wasn’t long and Craig on the other side of the boat gets a hit while he is attaching one of the boards.  Its a nice thick 24 incher, the skunk is out of the boat.  The next one comes on my side, and I didn’t even touch the drag which I had loose to begin with, it took a little bit to get in, but it was worth it, a thick 26 inch fish is the result.  It will be our only fish over the 25 inch slot which tourney rules allowed.  Make our turn and another 24 inch goes in the box.  Things are looking good, we have our first three fish, and an hour or so left. 

The next fish is a bonus.  While running a Jet off the back I thought I had snagged up some zebra muscles.  While reeling in, I knew better, just didn’t know if it was going to be a walleye or not.  We had been catching some silver bass and white perch here and there during the day, and this didn’t feel all that heavy.  Turns out to be a nice lil’ 18 inch eye.

Those four are all we caught through the day, but considering the radio chatter I was confident we had at least made it in the top half of the field. Ended up with almost 17 lbs,  at 16.98.  Thought we had just got into the money, only to realize later that I had missed a panel of weights, and ended up in 7th place overall.

Hey the food was good, as they cooked up our catches.  At at that point after standing for 10 hrs, I was ready for a cold drink.  That’s me in the blue St Croix hooded sweatshirt flashing my coon like grin from wearing the sunglasses all day long!

Weekend on da Bay Bay: Pt 2

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Anyone who thinks that the fish have left Brest Bay already this spring is obviously wrong, but after having two mornings in a row with storms rolling through, they sure did scatter since Friday afternoon.  Sunday morning we launched from the Erie Metropark for the tourney and ran down to Stoney Point, hoping to get back on the fish we found Friday evening.  Not one mark on the Lowrance, nothing.

We finished our drift past the point and turned in where we had been on some fish earlier in the spring.  At this point we pretty much figured it was going to be a search them out kind of day, and hopefully stay on top of them. The program included two 4 ounce bottom bouncers in the front, and running six boards off the size.  Three people in the boat, could have run 9 rods, but 8 is plenty to keep up with as it is.

We start marking fish, and then starboard BB goes chugging. My side of the boat so I grab the rod and its a good fish.  Drag is set and I am not taking in any line.  It runs a bit, and does a few small head shakes.  Later in the year I would have been thinking big sheepshead, but have had big walleye do this before, so I am actually getting a little pumped up about what would be our first fish of the day. After 7 minutes I finally see the bottom bouncer come up, but still no fish or even sight of the blade (pink n white).  Staying down is a good thing.  It takes another short run, then starts to come up.  I see this slender nose and know right away its not a walleye but a 30 inch muskie!!! Gorgeous fish, but not what I wanted, nor expected after that fight.

After letting her go, and quickly getting that pink and white blade off and changing over to a fresh color we keep on with our East to West drift.  A few minutes later, middle starboard board goes back and its a good fish.  In the box she goes.  We made five more runs along that edge, and picked up 5 more fish.  Couple of sevens, 3 lbers, and unfortunately a couple of 18 inchers to wrap up the day before we ran out of time.

Ended up in fourth place, five pounds behind the leaders who were in the same area we were.  Talked a little shop back at the tent and compared notes.  Its always a good thing to talk to the other anglers if you can in a tourney to see what you can improve upon. 

Turned out to be a great day on the bay, all the fish came on the Church boards, running the same two blades as Friday.  Even though the morning storm’s light shows had them scattered, they still were digging those colors.

A Good Weekend on da Bay: Part 1

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Hit Brest Bay Friday while pre fishing a local “Local” tourney that was held yesterday after the storm blew through.  Started out in front of the stone wall in front of the state park.  Not one mark on the Lowrance, but did pick up one and missed several light biters.  It was like they were mouthing the bait (meat rig) and swimming along with it!

After that, headed out to 20 foot waters at the edge of the bay and made a troll north towards Stoney Point.  Again, no marks, but did pick up one lone marauder out there.  So two in the box, and still no size and dark coming just around the corner. 

Got to the point and started trolling the cup on the outside edge of the DNR trap net.  Marks on the locator finally, and then pulled some big fish bang, bang,  BANG.  Weighed them out at almost 19 lbs, and starting to think with a good full day in the area we just might pull this one out.  Also picked up a sweet lil kicker 11 inch perch!

After pulling several colors on the blades (#5′s) we settled on a program of these two blades from  Raspberry Rain and Anti-Freeze with orange dots.

Here is a helpful hint to all the trollers out there, when going with the wind, its ok to be pulling your baits at a 1 or 1.2 mph click.  BUT, when conditions are right and you can troll back into the wind (ie, not pushing the nose of your boat all over the place) slow it down some. .7 or .8 is all you are going to need, remember that your blades are spinning faster going into the face of the current.  This way you leave your spinner rigs in the strike zones longer, plus the fish aren’t freaked by the blades spinning twice as fast as they need to be!

Have to head out and clean the fish from yesterday, will post some pics and give more details on what it was like on tournament day!

4th Annual Lori C. Alston Memorial Tourney: May 15th

Friday, April 30th, 2010

follow the link for more information on entries and tourney details.

The tournament is in honor of Lori Alston who passed away from lung cancer four years ago. The boat club is on the channel that leads to the lake from Sterling State Park.  After the payouts to the winning boats (1-6th) all proceeds will go to the Monroe area Relay for Life.

         Fourth Annual           

Lori C. Alston 


Walleye Tournament 

to benefit  

Monroe County Relay for Life 

Saturday May 15, 2010 

    You may launch Saturday at 6:00am , and fish anywhere in Lake Erie. 

    Weigh in will be from 2:00pm - 4:00 pm at the Detroit Beach Boat Club at 3028 Harborview (located by boat in the channel of Sterling State Park) 

    Any team that arrives after 4:00pm will NOT be eligible for prize money. Prizes are determined by the total weight of your 5 largest fish, with the 6th fish to be used as a tie breaker.  

    We will be using a slot limit this year to make it fair and a little more exciting. You will only be allowed to bring one fish over 25” to the scale, all others must be between 15” and 25” 

    All fish weighed in will be donated for the fish fry immediately following the tournament. We also ask that fishermen generously donate remainder of fish caught that day, as fish fry is open to the public as a fundraiser for Relay for Life. There will be no alcohol allowed to be brought onto the club grounds. The bar will be opened to serve you. 

    First place team will win $600. Prize monies will be given down to 6th place and will be determined by number of entries. Entry fee is $25 per person and will include one dinner ticket. Dinners will be sold to the public at $8.00 per person while supplies last.  

    So come on out and enjoy the fun in the sun with family and friends while supporting a great cause. There will be raffles and 50/50’s. All proceeds will go to the Monroe County Relay For Life in Lori’s memory. 

    This is meant to be a fun and fair tournament open to all amateur fishermen. We ask that you please be honest about your catch. Remember this is for a great cause and we want to keep it fair for everyone. 

    Money (checks made payable to Relay for Life) and entry forms due by May 09, 2010 

    You can drop them off at the Detroit Beach Boat Club upstairs bar, or mail them to 

    Steve Gregg 

    3227 First Street 

    Monroe, MI 48162 

    Please contact Steve at (734)755-8232 or Stacie (734)755-2469 if you have any questions. 

    In the case of inclimate weather, rain date is the following day, Sunday May 16th

    Fishing For A Cure 

    It’s out there, don’t give up! 

                In Loving Memory of Lori C. Alston              11/28/73 – 07/07/06 (lung cancer)  

USA Ice Fishing Team Wins Worlds

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Several members of the ice fishing circuit (NAIFC) tried out this season to qualify for making Team USA, those that did brought home the title to the United States this past weekend.  The event was held in Rhinelander, Wisconsin this past weekend, and on Sunday it was party time, WORLD CLASS STYLE!!!  Team USA beat 8 other teams, most from Europe to take the 2010 title.

This is a link to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel  describing the event….

Local Walleye Tourney to Benefit Relay for Life

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Today is the 6th year anniversary of my mother passing away after her struggle with cancer.  Its fitting that I get to pass along the information about a walleye tournament to help benefit the Monroe County Relay for Life organization. It is the Fourth Annual Lori C. Alston Memorial Walleye Tournament.

The tourney is going to be held at the Detroit Beach Boat Club on Saturday, May 15th this year. If you had stopped by the club’s booth last weekend at the fishing expo, you could have picked up additional information.

The tourney sounds like it would be a blast to fish, and I already know a couple of boats that are going to be fishing it.  If you did not get a chance to stop by the booth and pick up a flier, have no fear,  follow this link,   ” Lori C. Alston ” and get the information you need to participate.

If you have thought about fishing a tournament in the past, but were not quite sure you should, get off your tail and just do it.  This is a great cause for you to get your feet wet.  Besides, think of it as a learning experience.  Everytime I go fishing, besides even just tourneys, I learn while out on the water. Some detail will stick with you, you will remember it, and you will become a better angler because of it.

Now, put that all together with the walleyes being fried up after the event, and it makes for a pretty good day on the water.  Often, you learn more about fishing after the weigh-in is over, too.  I have made some good friends fishing these local events, and when we get off the water and get a cold beer in hand, we compare notes and pick apart what we did right, and the things we need to improve upon the next time out.

Hope to see  you out there and help out in the fight against cancer!!!

Mich-Ohio Sportfishing Show: Day 1

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Got back from the fishing show at the Monroe County Fairgrounds about two hours ago.  Had some time to relax, sort through my new goodies for the walleye arsenal, and finally get some of the pics from the different booths resized and ready to post.

This year the show is so much better than the year before.  Not just because the organizers,  The Huron Valley Sportfishing Club has gained experience  in its 3 rd year hosting the event, but because the vendors are seriously dialing into what makes the Detroit River and Lake Erie angler’s click.

With so many vendors with booths set up, it would be hard to write a little about what I liked about each one the first day of the event.  So the plan of attack is to highlight about 10 different displays, and then follow them up with some additional posts down the road supplemented by more pics.

First up when I turned the corner after walking in was Bi-State Marine.

Located right next door (street address, location wise) is the Fisherman’s Cave. But if you look for it inside the MB&T Expo Center, its located left of   the ATM in one of the building’s corners.  They have all the hair jigs and blade baits set up for this spring’s walleye fishing around Turtle Island and the Toledo Light.  They also, and I kid you not, have promised to sell off family members to make sure they have the area’s biggest selection of  BJ-15A’s for this fall’s walleye pier fishing.  For us laymen, that means the jointed Bombers we all crave for heading down to Luna Pier and Stoney Point at night.

This gentleman gets two pics right off the bat for a couple of reasons, his only sign was carved out of wood with the number on it, and because of his amazing talent for carving.  Mike Malcomson of Taylor,  makes some wonderful looking decoys, while also paying particular attention to how these baits swim while in action.  A real talent, and pleasure to talk to!

One of my favorite guys in the business is from Yeck Lures.  Ged is one of the good guys, and besides the  salmon spoons,  his walleye blades are at the show.  Five bucks gets you six blades, I loaded up on the bigger sized serrated willow blades.  Will follow up with more pics and information in the next day or so.  He had a great booth display and took several pics.  Will try to get this one done before tomorrow’s start up at the show.

The Amish Outfitters booth had a lot on display, but they are really  best known in the area for their superior quality when it comes to their drift socks/bags.

That smiling mug belongs to Captain John Geer of Bulldog Charters. If you want to get in touch with fishing side of taking a charter, Bulldog really is the Big Dog of the bunch.  He specializes in drifting and casting, but does a mean trolling trip when called upon.  He also created a specialized release that no offense to the “Dog” really is the cat’s meow.

Right next to his booth are the guys from Ridgeback Rattler.  A truly sonic downrigger weight that brings more fish to the cooler than your standard cannonball or fish styled weights.

Next up is the booth for Wolverine Tackle, perhaps better known as the Silver Streak company.  That’s C.J. Baker hamming it up for the camera.  He operates Puddle Jumper Charters, and also does some wicked paint jobs on cranks for trolling up walleyes.   More pics to come from this booth, but if you stop in, check out the UV paint display.

The booth from Domka Outdoors was still being set up when I came through, but if you fished the Jeff’s Bait and Tackle Walleye Tournament in 2009 you will remember they were one of the big sponsors for the event.  Look forward to seeing them again this year.

They also had some really nice new paint jobs available on their blade baits for this spring.

Lance Valentine was up in the boat talking walleye fishing.  You might have heard of his website,

Last up, and certainly not least is the booth from the Detroit Beach Boat Club.  They had lots of information on a couple of ways to join, and information on an upcoming  memorial walleye  tournament that will support the local Relay for Life cancer fund.   More info to follow soon on the tourney, have decided to enter the boat in it this year already, as the fight against cancer is very important to me as well.