Finding Small Active Pods of Fish Critical at Escanaba
Just like yesterday, the water was like glass at take-off time for the Cabela’s NTC and MWC tournaments at Escanaba, MI. Air temps were at 61 degrees and expected to get up to 82 degrees today. The sun will be out and winds will pick up from the south at 8mph.
Leading the tournaments are Wayne Van Dyke of Spruce, MI and Bruce Mueller of Ann Arbor, MI. Their five fish basket yesterday weighed 36.10lbs. Right behind them are Kevin and Karen McQuoid of Isle, MN, who weighed five fish for 32.94lbs yesterday. The husband and wife team made short trolling passes on the shoals to get their bites. They ran a variety of harnesses blades at different depths and had to watch the lines like a hawk due to light bites. Once they saw they had a bite, “you really had to feed it,” said Karen. “As soon as we got the camera man out of the boat is when we stuck the 27.5 and 29 incher. They just kept building.”
Sitting in third place in both tournaments are Derek Navis of Waupun, WI and Korey Sprengel of Beaver Dam, WI with 32.67lbs. “We put a lot of miles on yesterday,” said Navis. “We were basically on plan F by the time we found fish and started catching them. We were pulling spinners in the mid to bottom of the water column.” The three colors that worked best for the team were green, gold and purple. They were running half ounce inline weights.
Near the top of the standings in both tournaments is the Minnesota team of Dusty Minke and Bill Shimota with 26.99lbs. Yesterday started out slow for the team until the wind picked up. While they had thought about running around, being patient with their spot paid off as the bite started to turn on. The plan for today is to go back to the same hump just west of the shoals in Big Bay with spinners. “I think the big fish are there, it’s just a matter of finding them,” said Shimota. “We just have to be patient and grind all day for five bites instead of running around for little ones. We are going to need a big bag today.”
Of course as with many tournaments, we can expect to see a lot of movement on the leaderboard. One of the teams hoping to make a jump up is the Nebraska duo of Cliff Doty and Scott Haes. They are sitting in 23rd on the NTC side with 17.70lbs. Yesterday they pulled Tennessee Shad Husky Jerks to catch their fish and plan on doing the same thing today. “If your mojo is working don’t mess with it,” said Doty.
Teams are due back at 4pm EST today and will then trailer to the fairgrounds where the weigh-in will start at 4:30pm EST. Stay tuned to see who will take home the $18,500 first place MWC check and $30,000 first place NTC check!