The weather man was calling for rain all week prior to the LCO/Grindstone tournament but thankfully he was wrong again & it turned out to be a pretty good day with the exception of some wind & somebody trying to launch their pontoon at weigh-in time which delayed everything about 40 minutes then to top it they gave up trying to launch it & while pulling it back into the parking lot they hit the tournament director's boat trailer. Anyways after the last fish was weighed Donn Schlapper & Joel Blazer were left standing with the first place hardware & an envelope full of cash when their fish tipped the scales at 15.41 lbs. These guys are no stranger to being in the winner's circle but after a two year drought their back in it. Randy Grinnell & Derek Andersen came in second place with 13.37 lbs. Third place went to Troy Otsby & Chuck Postle who weighed 12.47 lbs. for their second consecutive money finish. Todd Bottolfson & Brody Larson were a big surprise as they took home the fourth place prize money with a weight of 12.28 lbs. Then the old tandem of Leo & Morey snuck in the money with a fifth place finish when their fish weighed 12.26 lbs.Steve Warren caught the big fish for the day a very nice 4.04 lb. smallie. The two smallie limit proved to be a tough task for some but there were also anglers that struggled getting largemouth as well. This year's spawn was 2 to 3 weeks behind a normal year which made the fishing really unpredictable, their were reports that some of the guy's were still catching fish of beds yet. There were 70 largemouth weighed & 18 smallmouth most were post spawn making the weigh-in a little light but still a decent tournament. Our semi finals in the Head to Head Tournament is going to feature two big time match ups with Newhouse/Anselmo going up against Otsby/Postle & Schlapper/Blazer taking on last year's champs Gene & Larry Henck. Otsby/Postle have a two point lead in the AOY race over Schlapper/Blazer & six over Newhouse/Anselmo who are very hungry for titles after a disapointing season last year but Birch Island is not one of their favorite lakes seems it dosen't set up well for these deep water guys. The Henck boys are in fourth place 8 points back but by no means are out of it yet.
Next Up Birch Island
The UNBC has been to Birch Island probably more times than any other lake, located in Burnett County it is a very shallow lake & 831 acres in size but fishes a little bigger than that due to its miles of shoreline, it does see some winterkill from time to time but its been a while since that has happened so there is some very nice fish in there. The circuit has never been there later than a June tourney before & it does fish somewhat better in the early part of the season so it will be very interesting to see who figures these bass out. Recent visits there were back in May 2017 when Durand/Leverty won 18.76 lbs. Larson/Warren took second 18.38 lbs. June 2013 Larson/Warren first 13.66 lbs. Durand/Leverty second 13.25 lbs. May 2011 Richert/King first 11.45 lbs. Durand/Leverty second 10.82 lbs. Don't let those low weights in 11 & 13 worry ya it was because of post spawn conditions & a winterkill. As you can see Durand/Leverty & Larson/Warren should be the favorites in this battle but Doug Richert has logged more hours out there than anybody on the planet & partner Sue King has won a few big bass titles from this pond as well so don't count them out. Good Luck
Doug & Jamie's winning limit 17.56 pounds along with Jamie's 4.87 pound big bass winner
Troy & Chuck second place bag 16.61 lbs.
Well the long wait for the 2019 season was finally over for the UNBC anglers when they arrived at Barron County's Red Cedar Lake but the weather seemed more like March than May, after a pretty nice week of weather prior to the tournament which probably got the bass moving up & getting ready to do their thing the fish & fisherman got hit with a blast of cold temps, steady rain & a brisk NE wind. The high temp for the day was 46 which was at 4:00 a.m. which makes this tourney day the coldest on UNBC record, there was a lot of talk about comparing this day to Bone Lake 2013 which was also a very brutal day but the big differance was that day there were only 28 bass brought to the scales & Red Cedar produced 94 fish which weighed 241.43 pounds & was the second heaviest weight of all time a mere 1.36 pounds behind Birch Island's high from two years ago(those record's have benefited from the 20 team expansion the last three years). There were 48 smallmouth & 46 largemouth weighed in but make no mistake this day was all about the very heavy pre-spawn smallies, the top six teams all had very impressive five smallmouth bass limits. When it was all said & done last year's AOY champs Jamie Gibson & Doug Peterson stayed hot & came away with the win weighing in 17.56 lbs. anchored by Jamie's 4.87 lb. big bass winner. Second place went to Troy Otsby & Chuck Postle who had 16.61 lbs. Third was & back in a big way from a down year Rob Newhouse & Mike Anselmo with 16.19 lbs. Fourth place was (allways in the money) Gene & Larry Henck 15.95 lbs. & rounding out the money winners were Troy Olson & Eli Hinze with 15.09 lbs. Winners in the Head to Head battle & moving on will be Constant/Merkt vs Newhouse/Anselmo, Otsby/Postle vs Hirsch/Lukisak, Olson/Hinze vs Schlapper/Blazer & Henck/Henck vs Gibson/Peterson.