This year marks the 10th Anniversary of our beloved club, and this past weekend an attendance record was set for the number of campers for our annual club camping weekend! Last weekend at Lake Tschida camp grounds the Bandits had over 40 people camping together and that’s not counting the number of dogsJ. Camping weather was perfect with a slight breeze and cool air temps. Fishing weather on the other hand was a different story.

On Saturday the club’s first tournament of the weekend was at Sheep’s Creek Dam located south of Elgin. This was a small fishery that is protected by high bluffs. The way the weather turned out it was a good thing we picked to fish this lake first. With a high pressure system rolling through steady winds were at 30 mph with gusts up to 40. This made boat control a bit difficult and it changed the way some anglers wanted to fish. As usual no matter what the weather conditions are somebody is going to catch the winning fish. New comers Jared Sparks and Lance Zent of Bismarck worked a deep shoreline for most of the day to capture a 1st place finish. Their winning weight was aided by catching the tournaments biggest bass that was just over 4lbs. Team Sparks and Zent’s final total winning weight was 8.14 lbs. Coming up just short of the victory was Wes Baptiste and Steve Basinger. The Six2Midnight team duo flipped heavy vegetation all day and was able to boat 7.90 lbs which took 2nd place honors. Bringing home a 3rd place finish was Team Matt Sullivan and Marty Mantz. A few missed opportunities costed the dynamic duo a 1st place finish, but that’s why they call it fishing and not catching. Sullivan and Mantz finished the day with a total weight of 6.94 lbs.

After the tournament concluded everyone made it back to camp. Once settled in we began to cook food for our annual club picnic. The food was great and there was plenty for all! The club then setup the ladder ball equipment to do battle for the ladder ball championship. This has been a club tradition for many years and if you’re going to do it you better hope you draw Nate Keena for a partner. For the 3rd time Nate Keena made it to the championship round and won. This year Nate and his teammate Matt Sullivan took the ladder ball championship. Congrats guys! For the remainder of the night you could find many parked around a campfire visiting and telling fishing stories. Others were prepping their tackle for the next day tournament while others decided to go crawfishing at midnight! What a treat to do especially for the kids! Thanks Shawn for doing that they really enjoyed it.

Sunday rolled around and it was time to launch the boats on Lake Tschida to do a smalliesmackdown! Mother Nature gave us great weather in the first 3 hours of the tournament. Clear skies and calm winds made for ample smallmouth fishing conditions. Once the clock struck 7 a.m. the Bandits set the water on fire with their blazing fast bass boats! Many anglers opted for a top water bite given the morning conditions. Others chose swimbaits and of course it wouldn’t be smallmouth fishing if someone didn’t choose to use a tube jig. Bringing home a 3rd place finish was Six2Midnight team Steve Basinger and Wes Baptiste with 7.32lbs. Adding to their already successful weekend was Team Sparks and Zent. Winning Saturday’s event wasn’t enough as they weighed in 7.81 lbs which gave them a 2nd place finish. Bringing home the bacon for the first time this season was Team Eric Vossler and his dad Todd. Team Vossler had a game plan coming into this event and stuck with it despite the windy conditions.  They weighed in 8.30 lbs which propelled them to a 1st place victory. Great job guys.

Also, on Sunday we had two junior members in attendance that fished the lake Tschida tournament. Hayden Bader of Bismarck caught his 3 fish limit that weighed 5.45 lbs which gave him a 1st place finish. Along with his 1st place finish Hayden was given a plaque along with a couple packs of Whiskey River baits. Kailee Schirado of Linton also weighed in a 3 fish limit that took home 2nd place by weighing 2.91 lbs. Kailee also received a couple packs of Whiskey River baits. Great job kids and can’t wait to have you at our next event! A big thanks to Whiskey River bait company for sponsoring those baits.

Congrats to all our winners but most importantly congratulations to everyone for making this year’s camping weekend the best ever. We certainly brought back that good old club atmosphere with all the good food, games, fish story telling, and crawfishing! I look forward to next year’s event. We will have the full tournament results posted as well as the updated points standings as soon as we recover the clip board :) (long story).
-Paul Reinbold