Saturday, November 23, 2019

2019 Wyoming Whitetail

Over the last few years one of my favorite hunts has become a bonus whitetail hunt that I get to do in Wyoming. It’s a special Type 3 tag that runs through the peak of the whitetail rut in November, and in addition to this Any Whitetail tag I usually pick up a doe tag or two as well. 

I hunt for these tasty critters on checkerboarded state land around agriculture, and this type of hunt usually involves a lot of waiting until the deer wander off of a neighboring ranch onto public land. Then it’s a matter of getting into range and set up for a shot before the deer bust you or keep moving onto another ranch. 

I’ve been fortunate to tag several whitetail on the same section of state land 3 years in a row. This year my dad had a doe tag as well so he got to tag along, and in addition to a doe, I killed the biggest whitetail buck I’ve killed in Wyoming. He put me through the wringer waiting for him to stand up so I could take a shot over the y’all grass he was bedded in, then I nearly missed my opportunity when the doe he had been chasing around spotted me. I was finally able to connect and he is going to be turned into a pretty Euro mount and some fine steaks.

Monday, October 21, 2019

WONBass U.S. Open

This year I fished the WONBass US Open on Lake Mead in Nevada for the first time. This has been a bucket list tournament for me for as long as I’ve known about it. The Open is a huge derby and draws some of the top anglers from not only the West but nationwide. This year’s field included anglers from the BASS Elite Series, Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour and FLW Tour, in addition to WONBass’s own roster of talented Western hammers. The Open uses a unique Pro-Am format that combines the weight of the boater and non-boater (called a AAA) each day. The next day new partners are drawn and that pair again shares their weight for the day. This format is featured in the US Open and the Arizona and California Opens, which are also WONBass events. 

Earlier this year I decided to take the leap and sign up as a AAA, or non-boater. I wanted to get my feet wet without getting in over my head with a field this big. As the summer went on, I connected with some of the guys I fished against in UBTT events who were fishing the Open and renting a houseboat at the host marina. This turned out to be a huge convenience! Not only was the price per night cheaper due to being split between several guys, but it eliminated a lot of travel time between the lake and the nearest town of Henderson, NV, where most of the anglers were staying. Every morning is was just a matter of meeting my boater at the marina and going from there.

My partner for the first day was Trait Zaldain, who I had a lot of respect for beforehand, and she her husband Chris,who fishes the Elite Series, are great people. Trait is attempting to be the first woman to qualify for the Elite Series through the BASS Opens. Trait and I fished hard and covered a lot of water but were only able to bring one fish to weigh-in. We caught quite a few small fish but keepers were hard to come by. Trait and Chris were super cool to work with and I have even more respect for them now than I did before.

My second day partner was Chris Dixon from California. Chris was a great guy to fish with and we tried a lot of spots and techniques through the day until we finally found a productive stretch of bank late in the afternoon. I caught two keeper largemouth and I believe if we had hit that stretch of bank sooner we would have had a limit. At the end of day 2 I was sitting in the 180’s but still having a great time.

On day 3 I drew Josh Bertrand, who is a former Elite Series pro and now fishes the Bass Pro Tour. Josh is a great guy and we had the best day of fishing that either of us had all week. We fished shallow and deep and were able to put together a decent limit of both smallmouth and largemouth.

I ended up finishing 159th out of 254 AAA’s and the event was everything I had heard it would be. The shared weight format gives the pro incentive to teach their non-boater as you go, because the better you fish, the better they place. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve already signed up for the 2020 Open as a boater. Can’t wait to get back on Mead!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

I'm starting a YouTube channel!

I am very excited to announce that I have started my own YouTube channel! This is something I’ve been toying with for years, and I’ve been sitting on a lot of footage of my hunting trips with no real plan on what to do with it. I decided there is no time like the present to get the ball rolling. 

My first video is about fishing for smallmouth on my home lake. I’m not ready to make any promises about the type of content I’m going to put out, other than it will be outdoor lifestyle related. As I get more familiar with my cameras and editing software I hope to figure out what type of video I do best, but until then this is all one big experiment.

Please check out my first video and let me know what you think. If it’s your cup of tea, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel. Then look for more content coming soon!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Hyrum Lake Largemouth

Although I love catching smallmouth bass, sometimes it’s good to have a change of paceman chase some largemouth! This pst week I headed down to Hyrum reservoir in Utah in search of a a few green fish. 

Hyrum didn’t disappoint and I was able to catch some greenies around shallow cover. Most of my fish came on a BOOYAH Pad Crasher frog and a War Eagle flipping jig. These are lures I don’t get to fish much back in Wyoming and it was fun to break them out. 

Hyrum is a pretty small lake but holds some quality largemouth. It does get hit hard by pleasure boaters on the weekends, but the fishing can still be great. I’ll definitely be bringing the Bass Cat down to this lake more in the future.