My regular bass tournament partner Jeremy Santos and I reunited this year to compete at the annual Manitoba Bass Anglers hosted Falcon Lake G Loomis Skeleton Cup. This was our third time entering together as a team as we looked to best a field of forty other boats. This competition features many of the best sticks in Manitoba and Northwest Ontario in the sport of competitive bass fishing. We’ve had some success the previous two times competing at this event coming in 8th place in 2014 and 9th place in 2015.
As the tournament is always scheduled exactly on opening day in Southern Manitoba, it is hard to predict how you will fare since there is no chance for practice time on the water. Part of the allure of this event is the fact that anglers have to read the water and dial in on a pattern on the go. Areas that were successful for you in the past won’t necessarily hold fish or more importantly quality fish during the tournament. Teams that can adjust as necessary and make the most efficient decisions to maximize lines in productive water usually come out on top here.
It was common speculation beforehand that there would be plenty of smallmouth bass caught this year as we have had an early spring and water temperatures were already reaching past the 50F mark on Falcon Lake. It turned out that this was exactly the case as 38 out of the 40 teams were able to weigh-in at least one bass. There have been many years where more than half the field would not get a single one especially during late ice melt seasons.
Jeremy and I had planned a milk run of spots that were at an end of the lake that we predicted most teams were not going to be at. We were boat number 35 to take off so many of the areas that are popular for pre-spawn bass would have been occupied by the fleet of earlier boats. Our plan worked out phenomenally as our first spot still had a couple of boats working it nearby but we were able to bag a quick limit of five bass including two over sizers in the first hour.
We also caught a few bonus walleye mixed in as the shallow point we targeted our jerkbaits at was holding a lot of fish first thing in the morning.
We were able to upgrade a few more times cycling through a handful of spots in our run. Going into the weigh-in we were confident that we had done enough to garner another Top 10 finish but were not sure that we had done enough to get in the money. To our surprise and excitement when the results were announced, our weight of 12.83lbs was good enough for 4th place and was in the end only 0.25lbs away from 1st place! Needless to say we had quite the enjoyable ride home back to Winnipeg.
For more information and how to get involved with sportfishing and competitive angling in Manitoba go to Kickerfish.ca