The USA Predator Fishing Team hit the water this past weekend for a few days of practice on Farm Island Lake just NW of The biggest pond, Lake Mille Lacs in Minnesota USA. All 4 team members (Ben Blegen, Nate Winters, Shawn Hennings, and Brett Root-Ericksen) attended the two-day practice. Each Fisherman started the day proudly wearing their Frogg Toggs rain gear as Saturday started out a bit wet and stormy. As the day progressed, the weather cleared and mother nature provided a beautiful day for fishing.
As the day started, Ben Blegen & Shawn Hennings were in Boat one and Brett Root-Ericksen and Nate winters in Boat Two. None of the Anglers have fished this lake before. Each boat hit the water and anglers hit the water even harder with both boats landing their first fish within minutes of starting the day. This trend progressed throughout the day with all four anglers making their mark on the fish population. Team Angler Shawn Hennings, was able to pull in the largest catch of the day. Shawn Hennings didn’t have to prove his talent as it was a naturally seen as he was able to reel in some of the biggest catches of the day. Shawn had his losses too which made it to the boat, but just not in far enough to be counted. Had these fish been landed, Shawn would have taken a commanding lead in the day’s numbers for catches.
Nate Winters – Angler, Was also able to showcase his talent with his portion of those catches for the day. Nate was able to maintain focus and keep his line tight with plenty of Minnesota Northern Pike throughout the day. Nate’s fishing style is very complimentary to the team as he brings not only his talent, but his unique skills in aiding the team in late September for the world championship. Nate was able to test his abilities and kept up a consistent catch rate which will be crucial overseas in the world competitions in Russia.
Ben Blegen, Team Captain & Angler, was also was very consistent. His Tournament and overseas experience in competing drove his ability to keep a steady flow of fish on the line and landing in the boat. Ben also had his share of losses at the boats edge. However, he was able to shake those losses off and keep the fish active at the end of his lure. Ben didn’t have to change his bait up much as he immediately found the tackle that attracted those fish. He was persistent and unwilling to take no for an answer from the Northern Pike.
Brett Root-Ericksen was also a huge part of the day’s success. Brett’s positive attitude, team player skills, and his angling experience brought just as many fish to the boat as the other anglers. Brett was able to hook up with some of the days best fish and with his advanced skill set, was able to contribute as equally as the others. Although Brett had seemed to be in a lull with his hook-ups about mid day, he was able to recover and bring in a few more fish to contribute to the days’ total catch.
Over all, the catch rate was pretty good with a total of 33 large ones caught by the Team in just 6 hours with much more lost just at the edge of the boat. Throughout the day, each fisherman was paired with another to challenge the abilities of the others and it proved to be a big success. Had the team landed all the fish that were tempted by their lures, they could have been well over 50 caught for the 6 hours.