A big part of bass fishing is preparation. Research, practice and formulating a game plan help us as anglers to find and catch bass more easily. In the Bassmaster Elite Series, we go to diverse fisheries across the country, and no two lakes fish the same. We have to be prepared to use any technique at any time. The Green Bay Challenge will definitely test my ability to formulate a game plan on a fishery that I know very little about with a technique that I rarely use.
Fishing the Great Lakes is about as foreign to me as fishing in the ocean. I have never fished in Lake Michigan; and I’ve only fished once in another of the Great Lakes. You can read about that trip in one of the previous blogs (My Erie Experience). I really don’t want to think about that trip much, because it was a nightmare.
Prior to the official announcement, I heard talk that the Mystery Lake stop might be Winnebago or Bay De Noc. I heard nothing about the lower end of Green Bay. I really thought that it was all just speculation, and that they would put us on some small lake that nobody had ever heard about. So I didn’t try to get any info or help from locals before the off-limits period.
Since learning that we would be fishing Green Bay, I tried to do research and didn’t really find much. I spent a good amount of time on the Internet trying to find general areas where I could concentrate during my 2 1/2 days of practice. The only area that I found much information about was Sturgeon Bay, which is a smaller bay within Green Bay. That being said, here is my game plan for finding bass on this new body of water.
When practicing for tournaments, I always try to guess the winning pattern for the tournament and the areas where it could be won. For Green Bay, my guess is that the tournament will be won drop shotting a worm in 20 to 35 feet of water. I very seldom use a drop shot, so I will have to be a fast learner to be competitive. There are probably several areas where the tournament could be won, but based on my research, I am betting on Little Sturgeon Bay, since it is within the boundary limits.
My plan for practice was to fish the first two days in the Little Sturgeon Bay area and the last half-day on the southern part of Green Bay, in case the weather on the tournament days get really rough. Most of my practice time was spent idling and looking at my Lowrance units in search of big schools of smallmouth.
In preparation for the event, I also invested in a Mercury 5-blade propeller, a long-shaft Minn Kota trolling motor and two drift socks. When fishing in big water like the Great Lakes, you have to expect rough water and big waves. Hopefully my preparation – both mentally and on the equipment side – leads to success on a very unfamiliar Green Bay.
Remember to chase your dreams!