Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Schedule - Here's My Chance

I have been anxiously waiting for the 2015 fishing season since November, 2008. New Years Day 2015 marked the start of the seventh year with my employer. I love my job and I love that I now get four weeks of vacation! This extra week will allow me to fish all four National Walleye Tour Tournaments along with one of my favorites, the MWL IL River. With gas prices at the lowest level since I began fishing tournaments and a schedule that fits my strengths, my opportunity is now.

MWC IL River - March 20-21

The longest running walleye tournament almost ended after last year's decision to have an artificial bait only tournament. The Spring Valley Walleye Club walked away from the MWC and will be holding the IL River Walleye Classic on the last weekend of March. This has always been the MWC weekend. Thankfully, politics aside, the MWC was able to find support in the community and moved up the tournament a week ensuring the streak will continue.

My partner Shooter and I have been in the hunt to win here three times including last year when we finished 3rd. I couldn't be happier with the week earlier start. The last three years I have been on a great bite the week before the tournament only to see those fish disperse when it counted. If conditions are right they will be there again. Unfortunately, that is a big IF as rapidly changing water conditions are the norm. This river will humble you in a hurry!

NWT Mississippi River Pool 4 - May 7-8

If you call your blog On the River with The Viver you better get excited about this one. I learned how to vertical jig plastics on Pool 4 and it is my favorite destination. I have fished 3 major tournaments here and have cashed two checks. I have had two really good tournament days but I haven't been able to put two really good days back to back. Fish will be in transition and will be difficult to catch in the same areas two days in a row. I am hoping to learn from past failures and have two consistent days. This will be the only NWT tournament that I will be sharing information with another angler. This will be a great help as he is a river rat and one of my fishing mentors.

NWT Leech Lake - June 12-13

Even though I have never fished Leech Lake I am really looking forward to this tournament. Fishing a lake for the first time that has 112,000 surface acres can be a bit overwhelming. This task is even more daunting when you are fishing alone. Fortunately there are resources available like Fishidy that allow me to identify areas that I will target long before I wet a line. If you are not a member of Fishidy I highly recommend becoming a member, it is worth every penny! I will also be reaching out to a few of my friends who have knowledge of Leech. I hope that I can also use what I have learned fishing deep structure on Lake Mendota to catch the "overs" along with some shallow water tactics for the "unders". Leech Lake has a slot limit, no fish can be kept between 20"-26" and only one can be kept over 26" per person.

NWT Green Bay - July 24-25

I have had some of the best fishing days of my life on Green Bay and the worst. Unfortunately, a few of the worst came on tournament days. One of my goals in 2014 was to be competitive on the Bay of Green Bay and I accomplished that at the NWT Bays de Noc. In fact I had a shot at the win sitting third after day 1. I wasn't able to make the adjustments on day 2 but did hold on to cash a check. I learned from that experience and I look forward to applying those learnings in July. We are launching out of Green Bay which should help me. I am assuming that the DNR will put a boundary at 45 miles north of the launch. This would take most of Door County out of play. There is so much structure in Door County that it is difficult for me to cover enough water. In the past I have tried to fish everywhere instead of concentrating on a few areas. 

NWT Championship Devils Lake - September 17-19

The 2015 schedule will finish with the Championship on Devils Lake. I have never fished here or the Missouri River system. From everything I have heard and read this is going to be a blast. Just about every tactic will come into play. I will be fishing this one alone as well and don't have any friends that I can go to for information. I will be leaning on tips, forecasts and marked catches from Fishidy. Once there I will be relying on my past experiences to see if I can come up with a plan that will be a little different.

I can't wait to get my Lund and Mercury Verado on the water. I love the schedule now I have to maximize my opportunity. Follow my season here and on my Facebook page 

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