Prez Says May 2016 Moses Lake Recap

As expected, this past weekend Moses Lake kicked out some giant bags! We will be lucky to see bags that size any more this year, but I’m thinkin’ the River in October might come close! Thank you to all who came out on Saturday, and survived the heat! A breeze was expected, but it was pretty flat and warm all day long…Which definitely improved the fishing opportunities.
All in all, we had 33 competitors (18 teams). 69 smallmouth and 21 largemouth were brought to the scales that weighed, on average, 3.15 lbs. each! Many of those fish were skinny as a rail, but they are just plain big at Moses! We paid out $1,547.50 in cash (options and 1st-4th places), in addition to the $37.00 50/50 Raffle won by Mike Matkowski, the Dobyn’s Rod won by Jeff Grimes, Mystery Tackle Box won by Jake Anderson and Jaime Moore, and the Mystery Pro Tackle Box won by Todd and Curt Ryan! Combined, we paid out almost $1,845.00 in cash and prizes. Below are the top 10:
1st – Mike Matkowski and David Ohl – 24.04lbs. and the Big Fish of the Tournament – 6.20lbs
2nd – Mel Williams and Mark Westcott -20.93lbs.
3rd – James Castillo – 20.90lbs.
4th – Ron and Amy Mace – 19.16lbs.
5th – Curt and Todd Ryan – 18.77lbs.
6th – Jake Anderson and Jaime Moore – 17.78lbs.
7th – Jeff Grimes – 16.23lbs.
8th – Rick Dopke and Terry Wigley – 15.89lbs.
9th – Todd Ofsthun and Reed Ofsthun – 15.76lbs.
10th – Fred Settle and Matt Floyd – 15.56lbs.
The following is a breakdown of the top 3:

Mike Matkowski and David Ohl, 1st Place – We started fishing for largemouth first thing in the morning and caught our first fish quickly. After that, we covered lots of water searching for fish that were on beds, or cruising. Throughout the day, we found a good smallmouth in one area, and then we kept searching moving onto other areas, and covering lots of water. It appeared the primary spawn was over in all areas of the lake, and the fish weren’t tightly packed in any one spawning area. We caught almost all our good smallmouth on drop shot baits on or around their beds. Our biggest males were still guarding or waiting for a female, but some males appeared to be starting on new beds in northern locations. We also caught some good smallies that were just cruising and were willing to eat if they weren’t spooked. We pitched jigs and senkos for our largemouth, and employed smaller worms and a new drop shot bait from Realis for the bedding fish. The stubby profile of the new Realis bait was hard for the smallies to remove from the bed without catching a hook.
After we had a good bag of fish, we were lucky enough to find the 6 pound kicker largemouth late in the day. Overall, it just felt like it wasn’t easy, we worked hard, and thankfully made some good decisions with the right timing that helped out.
Mel Williams and Mark Westcott, 2nd Place – We primarily sight-fished for bedding bass. We did a lot of drop-shotting. Some of our fish we caught on jigs with craw trailers or beaver style baits. We tried to use soft plastics that we thought were just a bit different from what most anglers were throwing and it may have helped getting some of those fish to commit.
James Castillo, 3rd Place – My goal was to get a 20 pound bag. I’ve fished a few events here over the years and I’ve never broken the 20 pound mark. I was hoping to get 3 smallmouth that were over 3 pounds and two kicker largemouth. If I could do this, I would be right around 20 pounds. So I started out looking for smallies on beds but I couldn’t find any for the first hour. I figured that they would move up later. I hit the bank and started flipping for largemouth. I was flipping reeds and docks with a Flappin’ Hog. My first keeper fish was my biggest one, at +5 pounds! Normally, the kicker fish is the hardest to catch so you can imagine how excited I was to get it first.
So about 10 minutes later, I set the hook on a fish that fought way harder than the first keeper, I knew it must be a +7 pounder! As I kept reeling and fighting the fish, I realized it was a smallmouth that had some anger issues. It weighed in at 4 pounds. Still a great fish but not what I was expecting after the hook set.
About 50 yards further down the bank, I catch a +4 lb largemouth. This fish was kind of a cool catch. When I flip, I try and keep my boat about 30-40 feet away so I don’t spook the fish. Well this fish got hung up on a dock and was hanging on by a thread! In my panic, I rolled the trolling motor dial to 100% and nearly got thrown off the front deck. As I recovered from this bumbling act, I realized that my power poles were still down. I finally got over to the fish and landed it. It seemed like it took 10 minutes for the whole ordeal but it was really only a matter of seconds. After I got the fish weighed and tagged, I put it in the live well and sat down. I began to think, “Man! I’m glad nobody saw this!” Just then, a few onlookers on the bank asked me if I was ok. All I could do was laugh!
In the afternoon, I rounded out my limit bed fishing for smallmouth. I caught several in the 3 pound range and had a blast.
Moses Lake has been a rough lake for me in the past, I was very happy to get 3rd place! I am excited to fish the next one.
Thank you to everyone who came out! This was the largest turnout of teams that I can remember in recent CBBC history. I anticipate and hope that the club will continue to grow….It’s been steady so far! Our next stop is our Early Summer Qualifier at Hat Rock, on the Columbia River. This should be a very interesting tournament! It could either be a fairly modest tournament in terms of weights, or there could be some really, really big bags. It’s still hard to tell, but regardless, since it’s on the river it should be a good one! The driver’s meeting for this event will be held at Kennewick Ranch and Home, Thursday June 2nd, at 6:00 p.m. Registration will also be open for a short time on the morning of the tournament, from 5:00 – 5:30 a.m. Also, please remember that we have a club meeting on May 31st, where we’ll have Matt Fish as the guest speaker, talking about Lake Mead, chatterbaits, and Venom Lures. If the schedule gets too bunched up, we may run the driver’s meeting on the same day as the club meeting. Please continue to pay attention to the website and our club Facebook page, as there are updates about all kinds of stuff posted regularly!

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