Eagle & Juno Lakes
August 19, 2017
7:00 am - 2:00 pm
A big "Thank You" to ClearH20 Tackle for not only hosting, but providing pizza and drinks. Be sure to check out their online store.
1st Place: Tom Noe & John Gipson, Jr.
Pattern: Outside edge of weed beds between 8-14 feet of water on all three lakes of the Juno Chain
Baits: C Flash Crankbait, Drop Shot rig, jig
How it Happened: Two weeks prior, Gipson & Noe directed their own tournament here and did not fare as well; however, they used that day as a practice for the R & B. “During that tournament,” Gipson admitted, “we tried shallow water a bunch, but couldn’t get bit. That helped us stay deeper [at the R & B].”
There was no magic spot, though. Working a single breakline first thing in the morning with a combination of the crankbait, drop shot, and jig produced those 20 keepers that included 4 of the 5 they would eventually weigh.
From that point, the bite slowed, but they still landed 10 more keepers over the next 5 ½ hours with the same baits, same depth, and on all three lakes. However, it only produced one cull. The key was to work the baits slowly, even the crankbait. They recognized competitors close by, but not getting the same bites, and they were working their baits faster.
Winnings: $600 + Rod Bender Baits Certificate
From the outset Saturday, they gave onlookers a beat down, “We caught about 30 keepers, and 20 were in the first 90 minutes.” Their victory was the second smallest margin of victory (.12) in the circuit’s 65 official tournaments, third overall, and second this season.
2nd Place: Mike Krempec & Darrin Schaap
Pattern: Both the inside and outside edge of the weedline between 6-12 feet of water on the Juno Chain.
Baits: C Flash crankbaits and swimbaits
How it Happened: The morning bite was hot! Along the same breakline as the winners, they quickly put together a limit by 8:00 with a combination of the crankbait and swimbait. By 10:00 they had landed nearly 20 keepers.
At this point with a solid limit, the team decided to “swing for the fences” by targeting specific waypoints that have historically proven productive. Schaap admitted, “These spots are specific weedbeds or other structure,” and the plan almost worked to perfection.
“We got our limit early and disciplined ourselves to leave the numbers for a kicker fish,” Schaap explained. “One spot after another, we got nothing, but we kept at it. Then at 1:30 Mike got a big bite on the C Flash and worked it all the way to the boat. Just as I was reaching with the net it came off!” It had pulled out the hook, and they estimate it between 4 ½ - 5 pounds.
3rd Place: Jim Dobkins & Tony Fields
Weight: 10.09; 3.62 Second Big Bass
Pattern: Largemouth bass relating to a mixture of weeds and sand on Eagle Lake
Baits: Topwater, crankbaits, and Texas rigged worms
How it Happened: Despite a good practice, early on the tournament was not going their way. Dobkins explained, “We found fish relating to weeds in previous, and we caught a bunch of them, but by noon we only had 2 keepers.” The duo had covered
water “all over the lake” before stumbling on sandy areas with sporadic weeds.
In the last two hours they caught 6 more keepers, including all 5 that were brought to the scales. The big fish bit a Texas rigged worm.
Winnings: $200 + 50 = $250
4th Place: Jason Schwartz & Brian Miller
Pattern: True junk fishing. Fish were caught on 5 different baits by targeting docks, breaklines, matted and sparse weeds on the Juno Chain.
Baits: Hollow bellied frog, pop-r, crankbait, drop shot, jig
How it Happened: In the first five minutes, they landed a keeper on a frog and popper along matted grass, but despite that great start, the day was a struggle.
“We found some quality fish by punching matted grass earlier in the week,” Miller admitted, “and we were confident that would get us a good limit.” However, that never materialized, and they
Were forced to scramble. Miller added, “I’m sure the weed kill the day before killed this bite.”
They rummaged through the lakes going from deep to shallow and landed 8 keepers. Their best fish was plucked with a crankbait.
5th Place: Steve Januchowski & Matt Ososinski
Pattern: 8-10 feet of water on Eagle Lake
Baits: Lucky Craft Deep Diving jerkbait
How it Happened: After spending 2 hours in shallow water without a keeper to show for it, the team went deep and began twitching the jerkbait. In a matter of minutes they were stuffing their livewells, which included two quality, and rare, smallmouth bass.
According to Januchowski, “The key was jerking the bait with aggressive, snaps.” They loaded 10 keepers throughout the next 5 hours.
Two fish came on one cast! As Januchowski was working the bait, a keeper smallmouth and largemouth were both hooked on separate treble hooks.
The only downfall to the day: “I only have one of those baits, and at the end, a pike bit it off!” he lamented.