A wet weekend at Lake Despair

If there were any anglers that stayed dry during the six hours of heavy rain we got on Day 2 of the Lake Despair “Castin’ For Cash” tournament this past weekend, I want to know what kind of raingear they were wearing.
After a week of beautiful weather leading up to the event, clouds and rain greeted anglers during the tournament and Day 2 was one of the wettest days I have ever fished.
Other than the weather, the 13th-annual “Castin’ For Cash” tournament, put on by Bill and Nell Godin at Lake Despair Lodge was plenty of fun as usual for the anglers and all the folks that came out to take part in the weekend events.
At the end of two days of fishing, the team of Bryan Gustafson and Jamie Bruce took the title with a two-day catch of 30.72 pounds.
They brought in the best catch on day one of 15.90 pounds and backed it up with 14.82 on Day 2.
The pair revealed that they caught their fish on topwater poppers, tube jigs and soft jerkbaits.
Several teams made things interesting on day two by bringing in big bags in the 15 pound range.
The father and son team of Cory and Chase Curtis brought in the biggest catch of the tournament on Day 2 of 15.91 pounds, which included the big bass of the tournament, a 4.56 pound smallmouth. They ended up finishing second and won the top adult/youth award.
For nine-year-old Chase, fishing the tournament for the fifth time, it was his best finish.
Though young in age, he is a serious bass angler and it looks like he’s getting pretty good. We’re all going to have to watch out at tournaments around the region in a few more years!
Third place went to Doug and Solly McBride who also brought in a 15 pound catch on Day 2 and earned the top male/female team award.
My fiancée August and I fished the tournament for the sixth time. We have been fortunate to win the tournament two times—in 2008 and 2011.
With the busy schedules that we had last week we were only able to get out for one day of practice before the tournament and it showed in our results.
We ended up with a seventh-place finish, which isn’t bad, but we really had to scramble to catch what we did.
We relied on old spots that have produced in the past and many of them just didn’t have fish around them this year, which is normal on most bodies of water.
We all have fishing spots that have been good in the past and are always drawn back to them. Things like the water level or weed growth can change and the fish may just go somewhere else, or the weather could be different than it was in the past.
When you fish in these tournaments, it’s good to have old spots because some are always good, but it’s also important to find new places that are holding fish the week of the event.
We ended up catching most of our fish from places that we had never fished before, we just hit stuff that looked good and slowly put five decent fish in the boat each day.
We caught ours on a variety of lures, including small suspending jerkbaits, topwater poppers, tube jigs and hair jigs.
I am guiding for a few days this week then it’s back to the tournament scene again this weekend for the Shoal Lake Big Bass Classic.
The bass are done spawning on Shoal so it should be a good tournament. I expect the weights will probably be pretty good.
Anyone looking to register at the last minute can sign up on Saturday morning before the 8 a.m. blast off.