(This recap was written by Jeremy Abbott of the Bass Whisperers)
A Clash Like No Other!
The second stop for the 2018 Minnesota Bass Tour season brought us to Clearwater Lake sponsored by Sunline. Anglers were fishing for the usual prize money and Team of the Year points, but also an extensive prize pack of Sunline Fishing line!
The “Clearwater Clash” is always a tournament that anglers and fans look forward to as soon as it is announced as part of the schedule.
And typically, the city of Annandale sees a mini-boon leading up to the big day at the various shops, restaurants and motels in the area.
For the Blackfish Gear Team of the Year race, it’s still in the early stages and competitors understand the importance of finishing well at each event. The field is so balanced that no lead will be safe, including that with current points leader Team Roboworm who placed 1st on Rush Lake earlier this month. For teams that struggled on Rush, they too knew that a good finish would put them back in the running for Team of the Year.
Spoiler Alert: there was a lot of shifting around the standings.
For Clearwater, MN Bass Tour veterans are accustomed to nasty weather conditions whether at blast off or during the day itself. Not this time. At launch, anglers were met with calm sunny conditions that turned into a brief bout of sprinkles which then gave way to overcast with a slight wind.
For anglers, incessant dreams of giant bass make for restless nights as historically Clearwater tournaments have been slugfests. This one didn’t disappoint and here’s how things turned out!
Hometown Fav’s say “Not in my backyard!”
Team Strike Force of Aaron Grefsrud and Derek Jacobson have a lot of history on this body of water but have never notched that elusive victory. Together they shook that home lake curse off with a vengeance. When it was all said and done, Team Strike Force came out victorious with 18.25 lbs and locking up their first victory since their Lake Koronis win back in 2015! These fan favorites cycled through a couple of shallow areas that they found in practice that still held bass come tournament day. Frogs and senkos were just the ticket. These guys moved from 10th to 4th in the Team of the Year Race too!
The Rest of the Field
In 2nd place, Jesse Larson and Drew Larson of Gotta Have More Cowbell brought in 17.30 lbs.of largemouth to the scales. They too utilized senkos in the shallows to catch quantity and quality and experienced a nice jump in the standings from 11th to 7th place.
3rd place was The DD’s (Dane Dornbush and Dan Lindahl). These guys weighed in a 15.95 pound limit which was anchored with the All-Terrain Tackle second largest bass of 4.65 lbs. They moved into 1st place in TOY taking a 4 point lead over the next closest team.
The Bassassins (Jim Krocak and Dan Krocak) took 4th place earning them the Big Bite Baits “Better Luck Next Time” Prize Pack.
After the weigh in, teams gathered around for the customary “day in perspective share session” discussing what worked and how anglers approached the lake in prefishing and during the tournament. Anglers all reported that a mix of baits were effective but senkos seemed to be the predominant bait being fished in shallow water with deep water in nearby proximity.
Blackfish Gear Big Bass Award
The Bassassins claim the Blackfish Gear Big Bass of the day, a 4.85 lb G-G-G-G-Giant. The bass hit on an black/blue All-Terrain Grass Jig tipped with a similar color craw. Along with the $100 side pot cash and Big Bass Wrestling Belt, Jim and Dan receive their choice of Blackfish technical gear shirts courtesy of Blackfish! Check out all their innovative apparel at the Blackfish website and Facebook page!
Pictures and video will be posted soon here and on the Minnesota Bass Tour Facebook page.
Thank you to our event sponsor Sunline and our Platinum Sponsors of Quantum Fishing, Clam Outdoors, and Blackfish Gear for their support of the Minnesota Bass Tour!
Next Up: Coon Lake on July 15th
This will be the 2nd time the Minnesota Bass Tour has visited Coon Lake, the first time was all the way back in the inaugural season in 2011. This will be a new venue for most of the teams that are competing this year and just like this event, see more of a rearrangement in the Team of the Year race! Stay tuned for another Facebook Live drawing for boat order!