James Niggemeyer – Catching Up

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James Niggemeyer – Catching Up

NiggemeyerBlogHey everyone, I just wanted to catch up with you after the events in Wisconsin and ICAST

We fished the sixth and seventh event and LaCrosse was the perfect tournament for me to really do well – you know, a lot of Flippin’; a lot of frog fishing; just staying shallow; mixing it up in the mud – the stage was set for me to have a really solid event there.

Tournaments are all about making the right decisions – and I really did not make the right decisions the first day and it really cost me there at LaCrosse.

But, heading into Green Bay on the other hand, I had never cashed a check on a small mouth body of water or even a Great Lakes event. In the past, I came really close – just missed the cut – I think by 11 ounces on Lake Erie the last Bassmaster Elite Series we had there.

So, going into it I was, shall we say – a little apprehensive about it; just because of my track record. But you know, there is a Scripture verse from the Bible that says “when we are weak, He is strong” – He being God and He really is strong when we are weak.

The area where I think I probably need more help – small mouth fishing on the Great Lakes – God really came through – it was an act of God for me to make the top twelve cut and finish sixth here at Green Bay and I am so glad that God acted on my behalf.

It was a wonderful week and I really had a lot of good fun; had a great time. I got back to my Southern California roots – finesse fishing and a swim bait – You can’t get more SO CAL style. I was able to go back to the drop shot and even did some sight fishing

It wasn’t your typical Great Lakes style event; but just the same, I was weighing smallies every day, I had a blast. I had more than 16 pounds the first day and then almost thirteen and almost fourteen the third day and then on the final day I had my biggest bag of small mouth – was 17 and change.

So, just a great week; was able to catch them, like I said, drop shot with seven-pound-test Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon and never broke off a single fish. That line is just incredibly strong stuff! If you are looking to get some incredibly strong, high performance fluorocarbon – look no further than Gamma.
I used a 6’6” Legend Elite St Croix rod and caught the majority of my fish with that, I caught a few on a Strike King spinner bait and spinner bait rod Legend Tournament spinner bait rod 7’ medium heavy – and was able to swimbait my way to some quality fish there.

I used the swimbait it kind of as my “bird dog” there to draw some of those smallies out after that swimbait and then I can go back in and catch them on a drop shot bait… I can follow up with a drop shot and catch some of those fish.
So that was a really neat deal that I had going there. I fished a swim bait on paddletail style swim bait and I fished that on a 12-pound-test Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon.

So, it was just a great week; you know, I am just really thankful that everything went really well there in Green Bay and my Yamaha VMAX SHO ran great and you know, going out on big waters like that you’ve got to have confidence in your equipment and my Bass Cat boat handled it just great – with flying colors as well.

After that, I went to ICAST and worked in my sponsors’ booths. I spent time mainly in the Ardent Reels, Strike King, but, I also spent some time at St. Croix Rods and Gamma Fishing Line booths. It was great to see all of the new products that my sponsors came out with and I was especially happy for St. Croix Rods to have won the Best of Show in the freshwater and saltwater rods categories. They work really hard at building the best rods and to see them get recognized for their innovation is really cool.

Other than that, I just want to say God bless you and talk to you in about a couple of weeks or so.



James Niggemeyer – Catching up

The last couple of weeks have been pretty interesting; starting back at Bull Shoals I made the first cut; had a respectable tournament there. Then, I fished fished the second Central Open at Table Rock – a place that I rather like! It is a really neat fishery. Last year I finished fourth here – just really had a chance to win the event last year.

The Table Rock event turned out to be super tough for me. I say super tough – the reality is just getting quality bites was a pretty tough deal. It turned out to be a pretty tough tournament for me.

But it has been a pretty neat couple of weeks with the family. We stayed at White River State Park, there below the Bull Shoals Dam and I was able to do some trout fishing with Daniel one evening after weigh it – I guess it was Saturday after the third day and he loves to trout fish – it is how I got my start.

Really, my Mom and Dad got me started on trout fishing in the Eastern Sierras in the Mammoth Lake area and my son has just taken to it – it has really been neat to watch it and he loves to eat them as well, which is what I did all through my summers growing up with my parents.

So, it is kind of a neat deal to see him take after it, and to like to eat them as well. So, then, we had a great time and then we went up to Table Rock. Sandy was able to spend some time with one of the youngest Open Tournament Anglers, Kent Sellars’ parents, and she took the kids to a place called Butterfly Palace and it was a pretty neat time for them.

I was able to fish with Brent Chapman’s dad Ron, in practice, the second day of practice and we had a good time together and caught a bunch of fish and even had some quality bites.

It has been pretty neat; it’s been pretty enjoyable – got some new rods from St. Croix called the Rage Rod. I definitely want to talk with you more about that at a later date, but it is just a great rod -just the technology that they have used to put this rod together! It has modified micro guide system, and probably one of the most innovative, cutting edge reel handles you’ve ever seen. It is a neoprene skin which feels really nice on the hands, it tends to grip you back when your hands are clammy or wet; whether it is rainy or wet or you get a little bug spray on it; whatever it is, it is just a really neat, unique material for a rod handle.

It’s one of the things that I think is really neat about the rod itself. It is probably one of my favorite innovations that St. Croix has done to that Rage Rod.

Thanks for checking in to my blog!



James Niggemeyer – Catching Up

I’m trying to remember where I left off last time…I believe it was somewhere around heading from Table Rock in Branson, Missouri that got cancelled and then headed to West Point Lake in LaGrange, Georgia. We blew a hose on my truck, got that fixed, it really was a timing deal that there was was a Ford dealership on our way we pulled in there on a Friday afternoon and they were able to fix it for us so it was a really, really good. So we were able to spend some time with Team Pearson from Strike King and his kids played with ours at a Chick-Fil-A playground and it kind of broke up the trip.

We were running with Don Barone and that is where he parted and headed over to Cullman, Alabama and we drove from there on down to LaGrange and made it there by late that night.

Well, LaGrange was a tough event but in a strange sorta way I kinda like those events like that where fishing is tougher, where you are on the edge of your seat all the time. I learned a lot about myself as an angler. I did really well there. I caught some key fish on a KVD 1.5 that really made a big difference in my overall weight and getting those big bites was key and that bait really did it for me in the clutch. One of the other things that then we headed off from LaGrange and so I finished off at 36th overall; I felt like it was survival.

But, one of the neat deals over at West Point was we took the training wheels off Daniel’s bicycle. Sandy took them off and he was off to the races, he went speeding down the campground road. So it was really a neat deal, I wasn’t actually there for it, but I was there when it was new and fresh, it was kinda neat to see those things, sometimes you miss that stuff on the road, but you kinda get to experience the newness of it, so it was really neat.

Since I was at Table Rock with Don Barone, he’s been talking with me about the three c’s of sports; consistency, courage and confidence. I think some of those things; I’m trying to see how I line up with of those things as an angler and learning more about myself as well. The mental approach is super important; obviously, I think it is paramount to any sport as well as it coming into play in professional fishing.

From there we went on to Lake Murray over there in Prosperity, South Carolina, on our way there, we had problems with the truck again when we got some water in the fuel. We must have gotten some bad diesel on the way, my wife; the gem that she is, oh and the guys on the service truck really helped her because we didn’t know how to get the water out of there and to drain the water separator and so the guys on the service truck really came in and were just gems to help Sandy out and she took care of that. We ended up needing a fuel filter… Dan from Yamaha and Happy from Nitro Bass Pro really helped her out, but what I needed was a fuel sensor and a fuel filter. My wife did that on one of my days on the water.

Murray was a tough event, it Murray was another tough one and while like I said I like those types it didn’t turn out quite the same as West Point. The Blueback Herring lakes are something that represents a kind of different challenge, because the bass actually take on striper-like characteristics. Those events tend to be hit or miss for me. It seemed like the first day practice things were working really well with top water and swim baits. That changed more and more, so by the time tournament rolled around I was still catching a bite or two on top water but by the end of it there I was throwing a drop shot and just really struggling to get quality bites. Which was something that I wasn’t throwing in practice it was just changing daily and I ended up with a tough event there with two more to go.

During day one of the tournament at Lake Murray, my marshal and I came upon a man that was stranded out in the middle of the lake with his three year old boy on his back. His boy fell in and he just jumped in after him leaving the boat running so it naturally began its spiraling sequence and it really looked like it was heading for them. He didn’t have a life jacket on, but his son did h is son looked to be about two or three years old crying hysterically. He had two dogs, and was trolling for stripers, he had way too much on his plate.

I don’t know how long he was struggling in the water but we were able to come in and deflect his boat from their path and my marshal was able to jump in the boat and kill the ignition and fished them out of the water; he looked pretty shocked and they were absolutely really tired.

It was one of those things that anyone would have done had the opportunity presented itself to them, but we were the first people on the scene and we were able to fish them out. It was quite the situation, and it really rattled me because I’ve got two kids; just the idea that they might not have made it if we didn’t come by, if somebody hadn’t have pulled them out of the water, it might not have ended well if somebody hadn’t come along.

On our way home we stopped off at Jelly Stone Park which is a campground and a kind of theme park thing. We have been running on the road for almost four weeks this coming Thursday and we just needed a little break, R and R and down time and the kids just loved it and we did too. We actually fished on the little private lake that they had there and it was good.

We’re going to the Michelle Short Charity Event on Lake Dardanelle that Kevin and Kerry Short put on, so we are looking forward to that. It will be a family event and Daniel’s first tournament with me.