Coming into the bottom portion of our 2018 Lunker Squad Series season, we found ourselves yearning to fish Lake Koronis for those big smallmouth bites. The wind was moderate to heavy at times throughout the day and most of the lake had strong gusts with very little areas out of the wind, which made the bite for most of the group difficult. Instead of a smallmouth mayhem – we all figured was going to happen, realistically only one person actually laid the smackdown and brought in a sizable mega bag. That club member was Justin Pinkerton. Being that Lake Koronis is one of his top bodies of water to fish, we all knew JP had the upper hand on both lake knowledge and adapting to the condition based on his smallmouth knowledge on that body of water. Staying in a section of the lake 85% of the day – JP was able to conjure up 19-02lbs of smallmouth bass to seal the victory for the day, and also set in stone a new club record by having the largest daily limit in club history. He also sets the record for largest smallmouth only limit. Second place contender to both of those records is Justin Hill from the previous season on the same lake weighing in 17-15lbs of smallmouth bass. Congrats to Justin Pinkerton on his continued progression within the club and also his fishing career. He is sure to be a feared Minnesota hammer in no time!
I had a game plan to stick around the islands in the morning, usually throwing a top water but my starting spot was kicking waves as soon as we got out there so it made top water difficult. Once I caught a small flurry of smallies in the morning I knew that spot had a lot of fish concentrated in that area, and I knew I could stay there all day and find them. After the morning bite slowed way down, we ran to some deeper spots to see if we could find a pattern. I managed to catch a quick limit of largies and smallies but I knew it wasn’t enough weight. I had a gut feeling to run back to my starting spot and sure enough I slowly but surly started catching the right size fish. The spot I found was about the size of my boat and every fish in my bag was caught off that one spot. If you casted to the left of the “juice” you would only catch dinks and or perch. We were sitting in 9-10ft of water casting up to 3-4ft. Once I landed the 4-2 smallie mid morning, I told Lou that we will be sitting here for the rest of the day. It sure was a grind, Lou even took a little nap mid-day due to how slow it was at certain times lol. I found a massive school of perch that were moving around our boat and were there all day. I was rotating between 4 different baits. 1) smaller swimbait with a yellow 4in keitech. 2) swim jig with a more natural color 3) craw-tube [green pumpkin+blue] 4)drop shot 5in green pumpkin with purple fleck senko. I started out drop shotting smaller 3 inch baits but would only catch little dinks. As soon as I put on the 5in senko I started catching more fish with bigger size. Every smallie I caught I was dragging the bait across the bottom as slow as possible. Not using a net made this day twice as challenging but I managed to land every fish I set into some how. That was definitely a day on the water I will never forget and thank you for all the positive words! It feels good to finally win one of these things haha. Looking forward to the Championship on Tonka!