Posts Tagged West Penn Bass Hunters

West Penn Bass Hunters

2010 West Penn Bass Hunters Banquet

This year the West Penn Bass Hunters are looking for new members. I have been a member of the club since 2006 and can honestly say that I wish I would have found the club sooner. It is full of a great bunch of guys that just enjoy fishing and tournament fishing. We are a club with varying skill level. There are several members that have barely fished, and several other anglers that have fished bigger circuits such as the Bassmaster Weekend Series, BFL, and ABA. Everybody shares information on tackle, how they caught fish, and new lakes and rivers to fish.

The club fishes a 14 tournament schedule. When I tell people that they usually bail on the club. However, we only take you best 7 finishes for the end of the year standings. The system we use is a points based system. 30 points for 1st, 29 for 2nd, 28 for 3rd and so on down to 1 point. Anyone showing up for the tournament at least gets 1 point. Lunker is a bonus 2 points. So the highest point total that you can get in one event is 32 points. For a complete schedule of club tournaments see our website calendar.

Club dues for the year are split up into two halves. January through the end of June cost $20, and from July through the end of the year cost $20. If you are a member there is a free banquet for you at the end of the fishing season. This year we went to the North Park Lounge Deckhouse. West Penn Bass Hunters club is not affiliated with the Federation Nation or the TBF so there are no extra dues.

For more club information you can email me at or call Hank Lach (club president) at 412-897-6165. Good luck fishing.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is typically about picnics and getting together with friends and family for me. This year was no different with the exception that I fish a bass tournament at Pymatuning Lake. West Penn Bass Hunters and I went out of Manning Launch at 6:00 am and weighed in at 2:00 pm. It was a good thing we fished the earlier time slot because it was almost unbareable during the last hour. The weather was sunny hot and very little wind.

I started my morning by fishing a roadbed in about 10 feet of water. With the water temperature nearing 80 degrees I felt that the fish would be retreating for deeper water. I proved myself wrong in the first couple hours. I spent nearly 1 hour fishing deep and only caught 1 bass. Then I decided to head to Tuttle Bay and throw some buzzbaits. I left having caught 7 bass and probably had near 7lbs of fish with our 3 fish limit. Around 9:30 I decided to run south and try the other end of the lake.

When I got to my weedbed in the south I quickly notice that the water temperature was 3 degrees color and the water clearity nearly reached 6 feet. In my first 10 casts I caught 2 nice bass, one was on a white buzzbait and the other was a creature bait. Being able to see into the weeds gave me a huge advantage. Mainly because I discovered that the bass were spawning all over the weed flat. Quickly, I switched to finesse gear and proceded to catch bass after bass off of the beds. Boat traffic started to kill my bite around 12:00 so I moved to the drop off and caught several more fish. Although I didn’t managed to catch any more good ones it was still fun. I cannot give you a definate best lure to use, but I managed to catch fish on senkos, buzzbaits, frogs, swimbaits, chatterbaits, creature baits and beavers. Once thing was for certain the fish were only willing to hit finesse baits on the beds but there were plenty of feeding bass to catch in between the beds.

I ended up winning the tournament with a 3 fish limit that weighed 8.66lbs. My limit was anchor by 2 fish around the 3lb mark and lunker of the tournament. Looking back I believe the move to the south was the correct move to make because everyone else fish the north end of the lake.

The next morning I took a couple friends, Nick and Steve Black, out for a couple hours to see if I could show Nick spawning bass. We were a little disappointed because the wind was blow enough to eliminate sight fishing, but we were still able to catch around 20 bass on buzzbaits and finesse gear. Steve had hooked into one bass that I believe was 5lbs. Overall it was a great morning on the water and I look forward to my next trip with those guys.

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Pymatuning Cold Front

This past weekend I fished 2 tournaments at Pymatuning Lake. The Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit (KBBC) was there on Saturday, and Sunday I fish in the West Penn Bass Hunters club tournament.

Saturday dad and I ran to one of our favorite weed beds that also has some lilly pads. We had little or no success until we decided to run to a community hole to catch some fish. It didn’t take long and we caught 3 nice keepers. One was a nice 4.46lbs. At that point it was 9:30 and we had a great start. The size limit in the tournament was 13 inches, but dad and I had agree not to keep anything under 15 inches. What a mistake. Through out the day up to 10:00am we only release 5 legal fish because we were concerned that they would die because of the spawn. All of them were in the 13 to 14 inch range. At 1:00 I caught our 4th keeper. We were allowed to fish until 3:30 and needed to fill the limit. I lost 1 keeper late in the day, but we never filled our limit. We need up finishing 33rd and only 1.6lbs off collecting a check. This may be the dumbest thing Dad and I have ever done fishing a tournament. Everybody makes mistakes, but too release keepers is just stupid. Overall it was a very valuable lesson because more than likely it cost us a 14th place finish and a decent check.

Sunday I was looking for a little redemtion. I started by fishing for smallmouth. I only managed to catch 1 keeper in 1 1/2 hours so I decided to jump spot to spot. I managed to catch 6 more keepers from 9:30 to 11:30. I still only had 1 good fish and 2 14 inchers. The spot jumping continued and I caught nothing. Around 1:45 I revisited a community hole that had produced nothing in the morning, but I knew there were good fish in the area. I caught 10 keepers in the last hour of the tournament on top water. Throwing buzzbaits was not only exciting, but extremely fun. The reason I believe that it worked was the cold front had pasted and the sun was very warm. I ended up winning the tournament with a 3 fish limit that weighed 7.64lbs and I had lunker which was 3.25lbs. Without my last hour I don’t even finish in the top 5.

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Presque Isle and Pymatuning Lake

Saturday my dad, Dave, and myself went up to Presque Isle Bay because we heard that the smallmouth bass had started to move into the bay. For anyone who hasn’t been to the bay in the spring you have to make the trip. We started by fishing for largemouth straight across from the launch. It didn’t take long and Dave caught one on a tube and I hooked up with a swimbait. I was determined to use the swimbait because I knew the chatterbait would catch a bunch of fish. I managed to catch 3 largemouth on the swimbait through the day. that isn’t impressive, but it is a little confidence builder to keep trying them. throughout the day we caught smallmouth on jerkbaits, tubes, and drop shot worms. We spent most of the day fishing for them. I believe we caught over 20 between the 3 of us and we caught over 25 largemouth. We caught largemouth on brush hogs, swimbaits, chatterbaits, tubes, beavers, and jerkbaits. The water temperature was 58 – 60 degrees. The fish were not spawning, and the males were not making beds yet. I believe in 2 weeks there will be an explosion of fish getting on the beds.

Sunday even though there were bad weather predictions I decided to head to Pymatuning Lake to fish a club tournament. The club I belong to (West Penn Bass Hunters) was launching from Jamestown Marina. With strong winds predicted to come out of the South we were protected from the wind to some degree. I pulled up to my first tree and caught a nice 2.5lb fish. I started throwing rattletraps to my next tree and caught a nice 15 inch largemouth out of a small weed bed. I started work the tree and nothing. I decided to just keeper moving down the shore throwing the rattletrap because I have had some success for smallmouth bass there. It didn’t take long and I had caught 5 more keepers, and lost 2 on the rattletrap. Even though they were keepers I released them all because I feel that stressing 12-14″ bass is unnecessary at that lake. You aren’t going to win with one of them in the well anyways. Jumping spot to spot landed me catching another nice 2.86lb largemouth on a chatterbait. My gut told me to run north, but with building wind and aready high waves I decided to stay in the south. I caught some fish flipping, but decided to try a variety of different tatics with no success. During the last hour I decided to run around the lake and flip every tree I could find. It turned out to be the right move. I culled five bass in the last hour. I won the tournament with 3 fish that weighed 7.45lbs. I also won lunker with the 2.86lb fish. Not a very impressive day, but it was fun none the less.

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