Its cold, snowing, and looking at the boat in the garage is almost down right depressing. So how does a fisherman lift his spirits during this time of year? By going to a fishing Expo of course. The Indiana Fishing Expo in Franklin, IN to be exact. Scheduled for Jan 27th and 28th. Be there or be square.
It has been a busy couple of months and it seems like just yesterday we were at Rocky Fork. But a lot has happened in the past 2 months. For starters, lets head to Lake Monroe for the clubs annual fish off. On day 1, Dan Schmitz dethroned Ernie Shuler as the seasons Big Bass holder, who has held the big bass title since the first tournament of the season. Unfortunately day 2 would not be as enjoyable. As only 2 anglers brought fish to the scales. But that wouldn’t hinder Dan Schmitz Jr’s lead as he would not only capture Big Bass for day 1, but the Fish Off Tournament victory as well. Unfortunately, Dan’s over confidence got the better of him as he didn’t let his fish ride allowing Tyler Spurlock to take the Big Bass title on day 2.
From there we headed to Brookville Lake, with mirror ounces separating 2nd through 5th in the standing and Ernie Shuler with a comfortable 9 lb lead, Brookeville was set to be the lake that decided it all. With high winds, mother nature certainly didn’t make it easy on the club, but despite the conditions, 2 anglers had an amazing day. Ernie Schuler had his best tournament yet as he captured a monstrous 13.86 lbs. and captured the tournament Big Bass of 4.94 lbs. Leaving him just shy of recapturing Big Bass for the season. Danny Schmitz Jr. however wouldn’t be out done. Despite not being a tournament fish, the biggest fish of the day would be is 17+ lbs Stripper.
With all the tournaments completed, Ernie Shuler for the second season the a row captures Angler of the Year and Dan Schmitz Jr. holds onto Big Bass
Rick Hensler takes the win at Rocky Fork and makes ground on Ernie Shuler. With only 2 tournaments left in the season. The season equalizer is upon us with the clubs yearly fish off approaching. With only 10 lbs separating 1st and 2nd, this years Fish Off could be the tournament that either locks it up for Ernie Shuler, or allows Rick Hensler or Bobby Farmer to snatch Angler of the year right from under Ernie Shuler’s nose. Bobby Farmer will have the advantage with the most lake experience, Ernie Schuler blanked on day 1 last year but was on the fish by day 2, and this will be the first trip for Rich Hensler to this lake, but beginners luck maybe on his side. As the last 3 tournaments have been new waters for Rick and he has managed to capture the win at all 3. This years angler of the year may come down to wire.
1st – Ernie Shuler – 31.02 lbs
2nd – Rick Hensler – 21.08 lbs
3rd – Bobby Farmer – 17.43 lbs
4th – Danny Schmitz Sr. – 14.44 lbs
5th – Dylan House – 12.77 lbs
Rick Hensler makes it 2 in a row. Weighing in 6.21lbs at Tanners Creek. Rick would also take the Big Bass win as well with his 3.87lb bass. Ernie Shuler grabbed second with 3.87lbs, and Scott Wilmoth would close out the top 3 with 2.15lbs.
With only 3 tournaments left, the season standings are as follows
1st – Ernie Schuler – 27.24lbs
2nd – Bobby Farmer – 16.27lbs
3rd – Rick Hensler – 15.53lbs
4th – Danny Schmitz Sr – 13.59lbs
5th – Dylan House – 12.77lbs
Lake Loramie was a scorcher, baking the club in there attempts to find fish in the very muddy waters. 1 angler even departed early as with already not feeling well. The baking sun proved to be to much. Despite the muddy waters and high temperatures. Several club members had good days, but despite the good days of some, Rick Hensler had the best day capturing a 5 fish limit of 6.27 lbs and taking home his first club victory. Bobby Farmer would take the big bass win with his 2.04 lbs bass. Toney Barker would take 3rd with 2.65 lbs
The season is officially half over and Lake Loramie shook up the club standings quite a bit.
Ernie Shuler lost a little ground but still holds 1st with 23.37 lbs
Bobby Farmer jumps from 4th to 2nd with 14.28 lbs
Danny Schmitz Sr. holds onto 3rd with 13.59 lbs
Dylan House drops to 4th with 12.77 lbs
Rick Hensler climbs out of 8th into the top 5 with 9.32 lbs
The club will head back to the river at Tanners Creek. Will this be the tournament to really gain ground on Ernie Shuler? After great season last year, will this be the tournament that Tyler Spurlock and Tony Vieson need to turn there season around? Or will Rich Hensler make another impressive showing and take a run at the top 3. Only time will tell.
Brookeville started off on the wet side and dried up for most of the day. Giving some comfortable fishing conditions for the club. Despite good fishing conditions, finding those 15 inch Indiana keepers made it a tough day to get on the board for a lot of the club anglers. Many reported having an Ohio limit 2 times over, but this is Indiana and Ernie Shuler would prove yet again that he is the one to beat this year. Bringing 3 fish to the scales totaling 6.11 lbs including another Big Bass win with his 3.62 lbs bass.
Ernie Shuler is certainly the man to beat this year increasing his lead to 18.33 lbs for the season thus far. Danny Schmitz holds down second with 8.54 lbs, Dylan House with 7.67 lbs holds onto 3rd, Scott Wilmoth climbs to 4th with 4.70 lbs, and Bobby Farmer rounds out the top 5 with 4.48 lbs and bumps Toney Barker with 3.24 lbs to 6th. Tony Vieson gets of the board for the first time this season with 1.48 lbs, and Tyler Spurlock drops to 8th with 0.97 lbs.
From here the club heads to the Ohio River at Eagle Creek. Last years trip offered up very few fish. This seasons weather has played havoc with the river. Causing consistent rises and falls of the river. Will the river settle by the time the club gets to Eagle Creek, or will mother nature continue to dump more rain on the region. Only time will tell.
As to be expected, East Fork wasn’t playing nice with the Butler County Bassmasters. Though water temperatures were decent, the wind was not and tough bite, made for a long grueling day. The lake was littered with dead shad, no doubt a sign of the fish not reacting well the extreme changes in weather and the rising and falling of the lake. Though all was not lost. Even though fishing was tough, 4 anglers were able to capture the elusive bass, and club rookie Dylan House would capture both the big bass and win for the East Fork tournament with his 2.70 lbs bass. Scott Wilmoth would take second, and Danny Schmitz would round out the top 3.
Aprils is shaping up to be a busy month for the club. First we want to welcome 4 new members to the club.
Dylan House, Justin Hienbokel, Rich Hensler, and Scott Wilmoth. We just want to say were are glad to have you here and wish you the best of luck for the 2017 fishing season.
Chances are our new members and club veterans are going to need all the luck they can get as we head to East Fork Lake this Sunday. Heavy rains have turned the lake into chocolate milk. The lake has been pulled heavily over the last few weeks to get the lake down to summer pool pulling lose timber into the open waters, and of course mother nature has also blessed us with a cold front just before this weekends tournament. Though fishing condition look to be tough for this Sunday’s tournament, this club is ready to fish and will take no prisoners.
With Easter falling after the tournament, the club will have a chance to find some religious guidance as 6 of our members prepare for the Ohio Bass Federation’s Region 5 2 day tournament on April 29th and 30th at Grand Lake Saint Mary’s. Best of luck and tight lines to our club anglers.
The first tournament is officially in the books and Guist Creek certainly wasn’t making it easy on the club this year. With a consistent rain for most of the day, fishing was long and unseasonably tough despite the warm weather and water. Water temperatures in the high 50’s and low 60s in some areas. Many described the bite as being weird. Often feeling like you were hung up versus hooking a fish, but despite rough fishing, the club still managed to capture 14 fish totaling 25.5 lbs. In the early weigh in, it looked like 2 lbs was going to be the size to beat until Toney Barker came to the scales with a 3.24 lb bass. Unfortunately, it was not to be as Ernie Shuler brought in a nice 4.94 lb bass to take big bass and the win the tournament with 5 fish totaling 12.22 lbs giving Ernie Schuler a very comfortable lead to start the season. Danny Schmitz finished second with his 5 fishing weighing in at 5.98, Toney Barker would close our the top 3 with his 3.24 lb bass.
The weather is certainly going to present some unique challenges this year. East Fork is the next lake on the schedule, but with heavy rains and flooding, it possible the club could be forced to a backup lake. Only time will tell.