Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Day On The Pond

Every year my friend Tom Emmons (on left) rents an ice house on Mille Lacs for a day and this year was no different. After checking a few references, he decided renting from Wilderness Warm on the southwest side of the lake. Joining us is my other friend Tom McAtee (on right) and a late entry, Jason, my wife's cousin. The Tom's picked me up at the house at 6:30 on Saturday morning and we headed north. Although the trip has become a tradition, I still can't sit inside a house all day and as usual made secondary arrangements. We arrived at Bill's (Lundeen's Tackle Castle) around 8:00 to pick up bait and for me, his snowmobile. My agenda was to meet Tom at the rental house, fish until Jason shows up, then head out to a remote location and fish till dark. It was -15 when we arrived at the shop and I was glad I brought my snowmobile gear. Taking off with the snowmobile I figured I would easily get to the road before them, however they arrive well before me and it took at least 15 extra minutes to locate them on the lake.

The rental house was very nice. It was an 8 holer with a bunk bed on each end, a great furnace, lights, kitchen table with chairs, and a cook stove. They were already fishing by the time I arrived so I quickly set up. My vexilar was alive with marks so I decided to put down my camera to see what was there. PERCH!!! Hundreds of them. I put it down the hole by Tom and he took over as the director. We could see each bait from that point and it was pretty amazing to watch all the fish.

Jason finally arrived around 12:30 which was my cue to leave for more active waters. We hitched up the portable to the 2 up sled and headed out. I have a handheld GPS that has a 1 foot contour map of Mille Lacs as the base map and I punched in our destination, 4 miles to the north. 15 minutes later we arrived at the spot only to see about 12 portables scattered around the area. I really didn't feel like adding to the crowd so we headed to a like structure that presented itself on the GPS and there was not a soul around. Drilling 3 holes for the portable and about 6 more scattered outside Jason and I settle in to warm up. It took about 30 seconds to realize we had forgot the minnows so I headed back to our rental for bait. 15 minutes later I was back fishing. The lake has a lot of snow on it forcing about 2 inches of water on top of the ice around the holes. This made for limited maneuverability within the house. The walleyes started hitting immediately with my first keeper getting off testing Jason's reaction time, not quick enough! In the next 3 hours we had constant action with at least 30 fish hooked including this beautiful 27 inch walleye that Jason nailed in one of the outside holes. Jason had outfished me 2:1, using a bait Bill had listed on his weekend update during the week. I guess it will teach me to read a little more carefully. Although we only ended up with 2 keepers, we had many nice fish up to the hole which got off as well as at least 20 fish under 12" which we threw back. At 5:00 the action abruptly stopped so we headed back to the rental. As expected the other guys were packed up ready to go, and had as many fish as they did when we left, zero. We put the equipment away, loaded up the truck, took a group picture and I headed out with the snowmobile, meeting the guys at the shop. On the way home we stopped at Chico's to have a beer and supper. The full moon guided us home from one of the best trips I have had on Mille Lacs in a while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post Dave!

It was also unlike you to post an event such as this being the one out fished, Thanks again for lunch last week

from WI