By Gary Haraguchi
The Tour’s sixth stop was The Mississippi River (pools 7, 8 and 9) out of La Crosse, WI. The Mississippi is well known for its plentiful cover such as wood, wing dams, vegetation, backwater pools and docks. Our first day of practice found Jimmy and me with no bites, so we decided to make a run. We quickly found ourselves on a sand bar, stuck high and dry. Luckily, fellow Yamamoto pro Darrel Robertson happened by and pulled us out. (Thanks, Darrel!)
After that little mishap, Jimmy asked, "I wonder if I should eat that banana now?" Seriously, Jimmy? Every serious bass angler knows a banana on the boat is bad luck, and this is how he wanted us to start our tournament? Maybe bananas aren’t quite the bad luck we think they are, because soon after he finished it, we located an area with some bedfish. The goal wasn’t to catch them; we just looked around and marked the beds. After moving to another area, I brought in a keeper bass on a Yama-Frog in color 968. Yeah!
Day 2 found us fishing areas with more current but with little to show for it. Eventually we started to get some bites, lots of bites, actually, but unfortunately they were drum. We spent two and a half hours catching drum after drum – some up to 8-lbs, and I caught a 5-foot gar all on a jig with either a Yamamoto Double Tail Grub in color 301 or with a Single Tail Grub in color 221.
We scoped out some backwater on Day 3 and found an area where Jimmy got a few bites and I caught one. This was by far the best area we found during practice as bites were tough for us to get (see the paragraph above on drums). The largemouth and smallmouth seemed to be mixed together with a lot of dead water in between.
Difficult practices seemed to be the theme for us this year, but we did manage to catch keepers on a black and red Senko, a Frenzy Nail with a 5" Pro Senko in cinnamon with black and purple flake, a swim jig with a Heart Tail trailer in black and blue, and our reliable large Flappin’ Hog, also in black and blue.
My set-ups for La Crosse were: A Powell Max 3D 734 CF with a Yama-Frog, a Powell Max 3D 705 CB with a swim jig and Heart Tail, a Powell Max 3D 764 CF with a Flappin Hog,
And two Powell Max 3D 713 MEF rods - one with a Senko and the other with a Frenzy Nail and a 5" Pro Senko.
Over the two tournament days I fished as a co-angler, my pros and I fished backwaters off the main channel. I caught a total of seven keepers on the swim jig, Senko and Pro Senko. I finished 22nd at this event with 16-lbs. Jimmy caught his fish on the Flappin’ Hog, Yama-Frog and Senko. He ended up with 24.6 to finish 68th, just a little over a pound from getting a 50th place check, ugh!
This was a rough event for me, but with one left to go in the 2017 season, I’m pretty happy to be sitting in first place in points on the co-angler side.
Jimmy and I are headed to our nation’s capital to catch green fish on the Potomac!
You can follow Gary on facebook @ GaryHaraguchiFishing