Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Dead Sea Lives!

It's 2 days before the full moon and it should be prime time for the big mama's on Mille Lacs. In years past one could count on a 10 to 12 fish night with a number of them being over 25 inches. The pattern is pretty elementary, find a reef next to deep water, troll or cast the 3 - 5 foot tops and hang on. The witching hour begins about 1/2 hour before sunset and usually last for about 2 to 3 hours. Having missed the full moon period in August (pre-occupied with salmon and bears) I was really looking forward to this weekend. My strategy was to leave work early on Friday, hit my milk run, and if successful possibly head up again on Saturday. My neighbor Tom shares my enthusiasm about the fall bite with the possibility of a bonus Muskie showing up on his line. It was a perfect night. A soft southeast wind allowed a comfortable ride yet strong enough to allow us to drift the reefs with minimal adjustments from the trolling motors. The water was surprisingly murky which tends to bode well for the shallow bite. Everything was perfect however someone forgot to tell the fish! There is no picture associated with this post as there was no opportunity to take one of our catch. Sure, the sunset was beautiful but if you must see one again, just look at one of my previous posts as they are pretty much all the same. I pulled shads, rouges, and a number of other lures however all we could muster up was a foul hooked perch about 4 inches long.

So what's wrong? Well the total post summer crank bait bite has been way off. I am always optimistic and just figured no one is using "my pattern" yet and I would be the first to be successful. So much for that theory! I have my own hypothesis dealing with the huge amount of bait fish in the lake (young of the year perch(YOY)) and the water level. The YOY perch are all over the place and the fish are simply not interested in chasing baits when dinner is so plentiful. I also believe that the water levels hurt the "typical" shallow fall bite as the lake is down over a foot from its historical average changing the entire environment of these reefs. Oh well. I am off to fish a lake near Amery Wisconsin on Sunday with my friend Jason and his dad Andy. Hopefully the events of a few hours ago will not be repeated on Sunday.

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