“I improved from sixth to second on the Indiana team, and I have warned (Hensley) that if I improve, next year he is in trouble. He said, ‘you’re right. There is no other place to go but take over.’”
Boaters are allowed just five fish to weigh in during each of the tournament’s three days. Grimm was on the water from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and caught 13 fish, weighing 35 pounds and five ounces. Hensley caught 14 for a total of 39 pounds nine ounces.
Wes Haney of Baldwin, Wisconsin was the overall winner, catching 15 fish that weighed in at 52 pounds.
“My whole thinking was to put 13-15 pounds of fish in the boat each day, I would compete for the State Title,” Grimm explained. “If I could have gotten the last two (fish caught), I would have won. I was five pounds out. I actually lost a fourth fish five foot from the boat.”
Grimm qualified for the Northern Divisional in late May, by placing 12th on the Indiana State team. Grimm credits his pre-fishing on Little Bay de Noc for his success, as only three of the 12 fishermen from Indiana got to spend time on Little Bay de Noc’s waters prior to the event.
“A local fishing pro told me that the chances of fishing Big Bay de Noc for three days in a row weren’t very good, and I knew I could get to my water and my fish on Little Bay de Noc, so I studied it,” Grimm added. “Overall, the body was extremely good for fishing. The amount of fish and the size of the fish, was just excellent.”
The rough waters prevented most boaters from venturing out to Big Bay de Noc, where Grimm said some of the bigger fish were found during the first two days.
Out of 54 boats, three, including the boat with Grimm’s local Association partner Denny Cook of Auburn, sank on the third day.
“It got dangerous,” Grimm reiterated. “My strategy worked, other than the third day, where there were too many other boats around me.”
Weigh-ins were broadcasted like on the Internet, and Grimm was overwhelmed by the number of people in the community who commented on following his progress on line.
Grimm was interviewed right before Hensley’s fish were weighed, admitting live that he thought Hensley had enough fish to beat him.
Still, the experience is one Grimm recalls fondly, and is anxious for a new fishing season to begin.
“I had great people to fish with. Everyone treated me well,” he added. “On day two, I had four fish in my boat with a half hour to go, and the other guy had five already, and he handed me his spinner bait off of his rod to make sure I caught my fifth.”
Grimm stated he has no plans on attending the National Tournament, and does not foresee an issue that could prevent Hensley from competing.
Team Indiana placed eighth out of eight, and according to Grimm, were in last from start to finish.
Host Michigan won the Championship, which awards them a fully rigged Bass Boat, edging Wisconsin by under two pounds.
In total, 888 fish were caught, weighing in at 2,506 pounds and seven ounces. All fish were released back into the water.
“I feel like I belong there, and I will be back,” Grimm concluded.