Classic Bass Champions Tour Travels to Lake Minnewaska

Lake Minnewaska has been one of the state’s top bass fishing destinations for several years now. At one time or another, all of Minnesota’s largest tournament circuits have visited “Waska” which typically produces very solid bags of both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Champions Tour Anglers and Boat Officials will kick their weekend off on Friday, July 7th at this events presenting sponsor Kruger Farms, located in Starbuck.  More details on an angler meet and greet will be posted tomorrow, it is an event you won’t want to miss!

In recent years, Minnewaska has gone through a significant change due to the arrival of zebra mussels and to some extent, milfoil. The water clarity has of course improved and the weed growth is easily reaching 18-20 feet of water. Smallmouths were always a player in Minnewaska tournaments, but the brown bass have really taken off as of late. Waska still sees several mixed bags of fish and solid bags of largemouth, but it’s safe to say that the smallies have carried the load in the past four to five years.

As in all lakes, the Champions Tour format throws a wrench in an angler’s strategy. No longer are you looking for your biggest five bass limit. You now need quantity and quality with an emphasis on quantity. It will be interesting to see how the Champions Tour anglers approach Waska. Yes, the smallmouth have a great average size and are typically the best option when looking for a five bass limit, but the lake is also loaded with 1 ½-2 ½ pound largemouth.

BASS Elite Series Pro Seth Feider will be a competitor at this Champions Tour tournament and is quite excited to partake in this style of event.  “It will be fun to get back to Minnewaska, it’s been a few years, but I know there is a pile of bass in that lake, so it will suit this style of a tournament,” said Feider.  “With the numbers of largemouth in the lake it wouldn’t surprise me if the event was won with all largemouths.”

Minnewaska smallmouth will generally be targeted by fishing the expansive sand bars, sand flats and even rock points on the lake. A typical smallmouth arsenal usually gets the job done when you’re around fish. We will most likely see anglers fishing topwaters, tubes, drop shots and some sort of moving bait such as a paddle tail swimbait, swim jig or even spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs.

With the now plentiful vegetation, there are endless weed patches, weed lines and weed points that hold largemouth. Any of the typical 10-20 foot weed patterns will be used such as jig worms, drop shots, jigs, Texas rigs and crankbaits. There are many ways to catch a largemouth on Waska, but as Seth Feider said, “Playing the numbers here is going to be key and fishing a jig worm, drop shot and a small Rapala X-Rap will be work horses.” It also wouldn’t be surprising to see anglers slide up shallow to target the expansive beds of pencil reeds for some larger bass as well.

This should be a great event with plenty of fish catches coming in. We wouldn’t be surprised to see anglers reach fish totals in the 40-50 bass range that hover around 80 pounds. But of course, Mother Nature can always give us a curve ball. Minnewaska is the state’s 13th largest lake and there are very few nooks and crannies to avoid a big Western Minnesota prairie wind if it happens to blow.

Here are the Champions Tour Anglers that will be fishing Lake Minnewaska on July 8th

Andy Nitchals

Andy Walls

Austin Felix

Brad Leifermann

Corey Brant

Dan Larson

David Hartig

David Skallet

Dean Capra

Dustin Byfuglien

James Lindner

Jay Carlson

Jeff Bosshardt

Jim Moynagh

Mark Fisher

Matt Peters

Michaela Anderson

Michael Walters

Nathan Whiting

Rick Pelletier

Seth Feider

Shane Raveling

Tom Whitehead

Trevor Lo

Champions Tour anglers will take off at 7:00 a.m. from Captains Bar and Grill located in Glenwood, then return at 11:00 a.m. for the mid-day lunch break, this is a great time for the public to come down and check out 24 of the best bass fisherman in Midwest.  The anglers will head back out on to Minnewaska at noon and then return to Captains at 4:15 for the awards ceremony.

The top six finishers from Lake Minnewaska will immediately be qualified to fish in the year-end championship where anglers will compete for a Skeeter Boat with trailer and Yamaha Outboard. The winning angler at Lake Minnewaska will take home $4,000.

Be sure to stay tuned to ClassicBass.com for the live scoring feed, so you can follow along as the angler’s catches are recorded.  The Classic Bass Facebook page will be populated with video and photo updates direct from Lake Minnewaska.

Classic Bass would like to thank the following sponsors who have shown their support in the inaugural season of the Champions Tour. Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Kruger Farms, Skeeter Boat Center, Rapala, Wenzel’s Farm, All-Terrain Tackle, Stowmaster, TEAM503, Formula Propeller, Rocky Reef Resort, Quarterdeck Resort and Grand Casino.

 

 

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