Monday, November 3, 2008

Victory at Last............Well Sort of

Well 2 weeks ago I had discovered the mother lode of perch on Mille Lacs. I came home with 20 nice perch and a very satisfying afternoon knowing my hard work paid off and I knew where they were. On Friday I decided to take the afternoon off and try what may be my last open water fishing trip of the year. It was a beautiful day, little wind, sun shining, you could almost hear the perch screaming "come and get me!". My neighbor Tom has quite a few days left of vacation and volunteered to go with me one more time. Arriving at Lundeen's I figured at least 2 1/2 scoops of minnows, based on my last experience, and if we run out, they always hit plastic. 2 1/2 scoops is a lot of bait.

We were greeted at the landing in Cove with the docks pulled out. Although it was deep enough for the boat, getting close enough for Tom to jump in was a challenge. Having successfully secured my passenger we headed to the main lake. Coming out of Cove bay and into the main lake there is a very narrow channel that is safe to motor through. Fortunately I have this route clearly marked on my GPS as the Sheriff's office has removed the navigation buoys by this time of year. Fifty feet either way can spell a $2500 bill for a bent shaft (I know, I did this a few years back). Once safely through the imaginary channel we headed to Wakon and what was to be a fun couple of hours fishing perch. Well, I am sure that you can imagine what happened the next 3 hours. Apparently someone forgot to tell the perch to stay there. We worked the entire bay and all I had to show for it was this nice 11 1/2 inch perch. I suspect that the water temperature of 42 had something to do with the bite.

Having struck out on the perch I decided to go for broke. Although about 10 miles way, we were going to end the year trolling the same area we did on Memorial Day which was so productive. That night was fabulous with a nice 29 incher in the boat. When we arrivie there was only one other boat trolling, which should have allowed for plenty of room or at least I thought. Indian Point is a very narrow and long reef that extends straight out into the main lake. In normal years it tops out at about 5 feet, is not much more than 25 to 50 feet wide, and drops off pretty well on both sides but especially on the south edge. It is pretty easy to set up a trolling pattern, up one side and down the other. One can work the edge, top and deeper depths all along the route. Well, someone forgot to tell the other boat of this marvelous logical order of things. I ended up trolling parallel with him almost all the way to the end. Apparently he did not know the reef has 2 sides! On the return path I felt the something hit the lure and just as abruptly disappeared. I am pretty sure it was a fish yet sometimes when you catch a fishing line stuck under water, it can feel the same way. I am pretty certain it was a fish though. By the time we got back to where we started 2 other boats showed up with the same attitude about trolling a pretty simple pattern, go where you want. Oh well, on the third pass I finally got this nice 21 inch walleye. Bill has used the term describing the amount of baitfish in Mille Lacs as occurring in Biblical Proportions! Well this fish was proof. I have never caught a walleye in this lake as fat as the one pictured here. I thought I caught a football at first. The fish hit my old standby, a suspended Rattlin Rouge. Although we did not catch another walleye I felt somewhat of a small victory as I had not caught a walleye trolling all through the fall including 2 separate full moon periods. It was a nice way to end up the open water season on Mille Lacs.

As a final note to my week, please notice the blue pouch on my right hand side along my waist. This is actually an inflatable life vest. On October 30th a boat drifted into shore on the north side without a driver, the trolling motor down, and a life vest sitting on the deck. To date the fisherman is still missing and with the water temps under 42 degrees he may not show up till spring. I used to be the guy that would wear a life jacket half the time then forget to put it on the minute I start the motor. Today I put on my belt before I get in the boat and most of the time I forget it's even there. It may not be the most effective floatation device however at minimum it will give me that extra advantage over wearing nothing. I am off looking for the big buck next week.

1 comment:

Dewey said...

Hey Dave, maybe you can get an inflatible parachute to attach to your belt in case you fall out of your tree next weekend!!
Good luck, be safe and feel free to post a picture of that big buck you plan on shooting.