Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Catching With Clos...........and Nightcrawlers

After 2 years of promises, I finally had the opportunity to take my good friend Russ Clos to Mille Lacs for some soft water fishing. Russ and I have ice fished a number of times last winter on Pelican Lake, successfully catching crappies and sunfish each time. It was his first time to Mille Lacs during the regular open water season and I always find it exciting to share a good experience with a friend. The weather forecast stated a southeasterly wind 5 - 10 mph, which is more than a fishable forecast. Weather forecasting is the only job where you get paid being wrong 80% of the time and Saturday was no exception. Arriving at Lundeens to pick up crawlers the flag on the VFW told a completely different story, out of the Northwest and around 20 mph. As the lake came into view our fears were confirmed. Although the waves were not terribly large, each one was being blown over causing the lake to look like a determined washing machine. My strategy was basically the same as last week due to the amount of fish I marked, it seemed like a pretty good idea. The first two stops produced a small perch. The wind forced us to fish along flat edges that coincided with the wind direction. Arriving at 7 mile, the west side was positioned perfect for the drift. About halfway down the flat I nailed this nice 25 inch fish. We repeated the same drift 4 more times with only a little more sunburn to show for it. Russ was feeling the motion somewhat so I decided to troll to 9 mile flat with #11 Tail Dancers and give both of us a break. Nothing was hitting our Rapala's. At 9 mile we took out the crawlers and drifted the west edge looking for any takers. Although we marked quite a few fish, none were in the mood to hit our baits. The next move was to the Sliver Flat, is a small and very narrow flat north on 9 mile. Drifting over the top and down the edge produced Russ's first large walleye. This fish was over 24 inches and represented the largest walleye he had ever caught. Releasing it we fished a couple more passes before heading back to Shermans. Fishing in these conditions can be very exhausting and by 5:00 we were done for the day. Wind burnt, sun burnt, and 3 walleyes made for a tough day however seeing Russ catch his largest walleye made it all worth it.

My last three outings have been less than spectacular, especially hearing from my friends and their successes. First of all, I am not that bad of a fisherman! Opener at Leech Lake was fantastic yet my Mille Lacs outings have been less than stellar. Well, it rained enough last night to entice the night crawlers to expose themselves in my garden. Having bought crawlers the last 2 times, I figured it would be a good time to stock up on some home grown worms when it suddenly dawned on me, the night crawlers I have been buying are Canadian crawlers (no offense Bill). For crying out loud, what do Canadian crawlers know about catching Minnesota fish? Well, the answer certainly seems obvious to me, they don't. Looking back at my successful trips over the years, crawlers out of my garden have been the standard in my boat and I presume they are a lot smarter at catching walleyes in Mille Lacs than those imported Canadian beasts! This conclusion came to me as I was adding my own harvested crawlers to the ones left over from the weekend. For a moment there was some apprehension as adding good crawlers would make it difficult to distinguish between the two. Although I caught and added 86 worms to an already 2 dozen, what would the possibility of grabbing one of the Canadian bred for the hook and not catching anything again? I finally concluded that if my own crawlers were smart enough to catch walleyes they were smart enough to train their Canadian counterparts the fine art as well. With that problem solved I look forward to getting back up to the pond this weekend and really nailing them!


Anonymous said...

ya know wha, ya just might have something Dave. No I don't think the crawlers had anything to do with it. I have been in that same spot many times with my son coming home with limits of eyes from the big Miss. and when I go its only one or two.

I think the weather has the biggest part of our fish trips Dave, last week I boated over 100 bass in Northern Wisconsin with the largest at 3 # 18 inches. We did have a great time and I think every big fish I had on broke my new 12 # vanish line, go figure.

Anyway you go out this weekend and catch some for me too, I'll even say a prayer for ya ok buddy


gt said...

Dave, Could I link to blogs like this one that are Mille Lacs specific?

Thanks Gary

PS: You do a very nice job on all your blogs.

Dave Anderson said...


I sent to you a mail via an e-mail from your website,

Thanks for checking in!