Monday, January 24, 2011

Pelican lake NAIFC panfish tournament report 1-23

I got to fish the National Ice Fishing Championship qualifier on Pelican lake Sunday. Though I have fished many panfish and bass tournaments, this was our first NAIFC contest.
We decided to practice two days since we never ice fished the north side where the tourney was, and the south side we only fished once 2 years ago. The first day we fished in the community holes near the shanties to get an idea what kind of water people were fishing. We found some fair fish and lots of dinks, but thought mabye we would fish there.
The second day of practice had us looking for some fish in new spots not getting fished so hard. We found an area that looked promising, with the right depths and plenty of good green pondweed, with some sparse stands of milfoil and coontail mixed in, and some patches of weed free hard bottom. there were tons of fish on this spot. No really huge ones, but all the keeper crappies and gills I could catch.
I was really thinking it would take a huge catch to win, so I was a bit concerned with the lack of lunkers.
On Tourny day, we decided to head to our new spot, hoping that the noise and fishing pressure would keep the catches down in the areas most were fishing.
It did have put the bite down quite a bit, but not enough, most of the best weights came from where we were the first day.
We ended up with a mediocre tournament limit that consists of 8 crappies and 8 sunfish.
We startede out for crappies and they were pretty easy to catch with fish flying up almost to the hole to grab my forage minnow spoon, or jig and plastics.
lots of good keepers around a half a pound. I think we may have spent too much time with the crappies trying to get a big slab or two for the "kicker".but none came.
We then hit our bluegill holes, with plenty of fish waiting for us. Unfortunately frustration set in as all we could get were smaller gills. The nicer 'gills we had in practise were nowhere to be found.
I tried downviewing with my camera to see if they were down there and just not biting, but they were not. then finally a decent bluegill came in and gobbled my jig tipped with a wax
worm. But I got excited and set the hook too hard, snapping the line (choke) and got to watch it swim away with a new gold lip ring! uggh, wouldn't have helped anyways without more.
We were running out of time so we couldnt make a big move, so we just kept trying to upgrade the sunfsh without much luck.
The crappies also got in the way with much time spent pulling those in between the sunnies.
We had a good time though and we will be back next year! The tourney was run really well, Hats off to Jack Baker, Mike McNett, and every one who helped make the event a success.
Also good job helping with the kids, NAIFC pros! When I was 4 years old, someone took me ice fishing and it changed my life for the better for sure!
Also impressive was some of these teams, having never fished the lake before, took the time to help these kids ice their first fish, then went out and still placed well, you know who you are.. You are truly "icemen" ! well done! See ya next year!

Red sky in morning, fish take warning:

Cold start! around 15 below zero couldn't stop these guys and gals from chasing down some panfish!

A decent slab I caught during practice on a JR's pannie pill and radical glow tube
weigh in time
Jack was busy here, I believe he did all the bucket transfers! wow!
I peeked in one of the buckets and saw this toad. It got mye thinking I would see some monster weights, but it turned out to be the only hawg caught!
the big one at the weigh in, and a nice prize too!
Congrats to some of the Thorne Brothers pros who did really well !
Lonnie and Dustin taking the win, and Chris and Juan also cashing a check and qualifying for the Nationals next december! well done!

Chris and Juan reveal some of their sucessful stratedgy

Lonnie and Dusting capture "the Wood"


John said...

An excellent account of a fun event Michael. You didn't mention how you placed.

Michael Thompson said...

Hi John
I kind of hinted that i didn
t place that great by my account of the size bluegills I caught. don't even know where I placed, somewhere in the middle not good, but I think I will do better next year haha