Winona Lake


June 10, 2018

1st Place:  Jim Wheeler & Ray Smith

Weight: 15.80

​​Pattern: Largemouth in weeds on or near breaklines between 3-9 feet deep

Baits: ½ oz. Homemade jigs with matching trailers by B & N Custom Baits, and & ½ oz. 9k Elite Lures chatterbug. Both in green pumpkin and black/blue color schemes​

How it Happened: Smith and Wheeler are creeping up on prestigious ground. They now own 4 R & B Bass Circuit 

2nd Place:  Dave Selig & Trevor Paulus

Weight: 14.90; 4.76 - Lochness Lures Big Bass

Pattern: Largemouth bass on outside weedline and isolated weedbeds in deeper water

Baits: ⅜ oz green pumpkin Homemade jigs with matching Zoom chunk trailer

How it Happened: It happened fast and furious, and they have taken control of the West Division. 15 minutes into the tournament they had 3 keepers. 30 minutes into the tournament, and they were culling. An isolated patch of grass with small coontail mixed in with “stringy” grass was the juice. “It was isolated grass, not a big weedbed,” admitted Selig. “The fish hit the jig when it was pulled off a weed.” They caught 10 keepers off it in the first hour.

3rd Place:  Rodney & Craig Fannin

Weight: 14.75

Pattern: Largemouth bass on the outside weed edges

Baits: Berkley Powerworm in blue electric color scheme and unnamed creature bait

How it Happened: They began on point in Eagle Bay and had a limit by 8:00. Their initial bait of a choice was a creature rigged Texas style, but that only produced 2 keeepers. Once they began slinging a 7” Powerworm ribbontail, the game was on fire as they went on to catch more than 30 keepers!​​
4th Place:  Kris Shipley & Lance Tresenriter
​​Weight: 14.71

Pattern: Outside weed edges for largemouth bass

Baits: Homemade worm, grub, and bladed jig

How it Happened: At 7:30 the team caught the second biggest bass of the tournament on a homemade worm, a 4.23 pound largemouth, which helped them, “fish a bit easier.”​​
Click to view Results and watch the Weigh-in.
Victories, which lands them in fifth place. Keep in mind, this is the ninth year of the circuit, the leaders have 7, and they have been fishing together for less than 3 total seasons.

At Winona, a little resolve came into play. It did not start off well. After 2 hours, their livewells were still empty; in fact, they had not had a single bite. After a move in location, Wheeler quickly caught their first bass - a 14” squeaker. But 5 minutes later, and he was hauling in a 3 pounder. They completed their limit at 9:30.

From that point, they kept their trolling motor in the water casting jigs and chatterbugs to the outside edge of the weeds, “The weeds only came out to 4 feet,” explained Wheeler. “The biggest difference we saw from others was they were focusing on the weeds, and we stayed behind them.”

In one 5 minute span, they caught their 3 biggest on a sweet spot. Earlier in the day they caught a decent fish (ended up being their fourth largest) from the same spot. Beyond that, it was a grind, “one here, one there.”

Overall, the chatterbug only produced 2 keepers that were culled out. They bagged 3 limits total.​
​​Winnings: $740
At 9:00 they ran to a secondary spot and never moved again. Their focus was the outside edge of weeds. Biggest fish came on ribbontail. Most fish bit on initial fall.

​​Winnings: $285
5th Place: Steve Januchowski & Jason Ginder

Weight: 13.86

Pattern: Largemouth bass relating to shallow weeds

Baits: Jerkbaits and jigs

How it Happened: As stated from the poet, Steven Januchowski: “Well it all started with a heavy dew across a vast waterway known as Winona with a slight fog rising from the water. My illustrious
partner and I ventured forth towards a point where we started throwing jerkbaits and got our first keeper in about 15 minutes. Then as all other boats started flying around the lake, we went to a small area of weeds that was only, maybe, 100 feet by 100 feet in circumference and about 1 and half foot deep and threw jigs. From there we culled quite few times to get up to the weight we had; probably caught 12 to 15 keepers in that area.”

Winnings: $140
6th Place: Shawn Mark (left) fished solo and still managed a 13.82 pound limit that included a 4.12 pound toad, and won $120.
For the remainder of the day they rotated through a handful of spots and loaded the boat with 20 total keepers. The key depth was 8-10 feet, but they were casting to 4-6 feet. Late in the day, they upgraded twice in a shallow channel with trickworm.

Winnings: $450 + 312 +Lochness Lures Product = $762
Most of the fish were caught on the homemade worm off the edge of the break. A couple of keepers came on a small grub as well. Despite rotating through a handful of spots, most fish came from one. Late in the day, a critical cull came on a bladed jig in shallower water. Overall, they caught close to 25 keepers.

Winnings: $205 + 80 = $285
7th PlaceWinners (right) of the Opener on Lake Tippecanoe, Larry Stanley and Dave Terry, weighed 13.58 and won $100.
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Photos were taken by photographer David Hamrick. High resolution images of these below, and on the water photos can be purchased through him. View all images on his Facebook page.