Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wind, Wind, Wind

After working at the in-laws again on Saturday I was ready to get out fishing on Mille Lacs. the plan was to head up just after lunch on Sunday with my friend Tom Emmons. About 9:00 I got a call from my friend Bill Lundeen informing me that the wind had turned the lake into a frothy mess with the forecast claiming even stronger winds in the afternoon. If Bill calls with a warning, you had better listen. A quick check of some local lakes and wind gusts to 50 mph, I decided to fight another day. July 4th is my tradition trip with the "Toms" and let's hope mother nature cooperates at least once this year!

So what the big deal with wind and Mille Lacs Lake anyway? Mille Lacs Lake is located about 80 miles due north of Minneapolis. It is a relatively a shallow lake with it's maximum depth at 38 feet. Mille Lacs measures about 25 miles long and 13 miles wide. With very little to stop the wind and it's shallow nature, respectable waves can develop quickly. This time of year the walleyes have moved to offshore structures and regardless of which way the wind is blowing, once it hits a certain point, there is few places to hide that hold fish. One of my favorite places to fish in late June early July are the mud flats. These are mid lake structures that resemble underwater plateaus, rising 10 to 12 feet from the bottom. They can cover a few hundred square feet to over a square mile. There are well over 2 dozen identified flats as well as numerous unnamed flats. One of the more popular mudflats is 7 mile Flat. It's 7 miles from something however I am not sure the reference point as 9 mile is directly east and 8 mile is directly north. This flat has a U type shape and like many flats drops from 24 feet on the top to 36 feet at the base in less than 20 feet. 7 mile can hold some big fish. One of my favorite ways to fish is rig a crawler harness with a spinner and back troll along the edge, moving from 36 feet to 24 feet, hang the edge, then move back down. Depending on the mood of the fish, you may find them either on the deep side or the shallow side. Once you locate the fish, it is wise to continue the pattern until they quite biting. I tie my own crawler rigs. My friend Leon Lambert taught me the fine art of tying a snell and after a quick refresher course I got pretty good at it. I like to use Tru-Turn bait holder hooks for my crawler rigs as they really work well. When guiding I count on these hooks as they practically set themselves. Trying to teach a person the nuances of live bait fishing can be frustrating however the Tru-Turn hooks help my clients be more successful. Another popular method of fishing the flats has been the slip bobber technique. Usually one anchors on the top side or the deep side, right on the edge so one can cover both depths. This type of fishing is often extended well into the dark by the use of lighted bobbers. They have a small LED and battery which keeps the bobber lighted. It is very exciting to see the bobber go down and watch where the fish goes. This technique can be deadly. I once did a lot of bobber fishing and have got away from it. I certainly caught a lot of fish under a bobber over the years however today I prefer to keep moving. The fish I am holding came off of 7 mile flat. Hopefully I will have something more substantial to report next week.


Anonymous said...

morning Captain Anderson:

Very good report about the wind one the big lake. Hope you and Tom catch some scales this week end.


NeenahPete said...

You've described very similar conditions to what we see on Winnebago. I hope the weather cooperated for you and you had a successful outing. The 7 mile reference must be a Pythagorean thing or it has moved since first named. You could blame it on global warming.