Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trolling Away the Evening

After traveling for the week I could not wait to get back up to the lake and see how the bite has progressed from the week before. Tom Emmons is doing some high level engineering work for us and I figured if he went fishing with me we could get caught up on some things we had little time to do during the week. Agreeing to meet at 1:00, he called in the morning and asked if our good friend Tom McAtee could go with. I had planned to troll all day and the additional line would up the odds 50%. My strategy was to continue pursuing the lead line technique I started last week. After a brief stop at our normal pig out place, Hardee's in Milaca, as well as a quick stop at Lundeens for ice, refreshments, and a rouge, we launched out of the west side. My original thought was to head to the east side but the wind was just enough that it would have been uncomfortable.

Our first stop was a portion of Shermans Flat called The Cut. I brought out the two lead lines from last week and a standard mono trolling rod with a #11 Tail Dancer. We trolled just outside of the flat on the 34 foot depth but only marked 1 fish. Time to move. Heading to a what will remain a secret hump, my Genetron came alive with fish. Of course unless you catch one, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion is they could be anything from eelpout to tullibees to perch. We never found out. What ever was swimming below, there were a lot of them and they were not hungry. My opportunities to catch a walleye on a lead line are shrinking fast.

Our next stop would be spend the last 2 hours trolling Indian Point. It features a long and shallow submerged rock reef straight east of Rainbow Island. The last time I fished this reef with the Tom's it was quite windy as well the lake level was at least 1 1/2 feet lower than it is today. Trying to avoid the big waves I cut too close to the inshore side and hit the bottom rocks as the motor was powering through the swells. That little incident resulted in a mangled prop and a bent prop shaft to the tune of $1200 damage. I am more careful these days. With the water back to a more normal level, trolling is much easier. My pattern is to troll the 5 - 7 foot level with #5 shads or rouges. With 3 lines it was a chance to mix it up a bit and try some new lures. On Mr. Emmons line was a #11 Husky Jerk, on mine was a #5 crawfish shad rap, and on Tom McAtee's line was a Berkley Flicker Shad.

The Flicker shads are an interesting bait. A couple years ago Berkley was doing some promotional deal where stores were selling these baits at $1.99 each. They are a great looking bait and at that price were a bargain. Cabela's had the deal at $1.99 sale so I headed over one morning. Sorting through the bin of various sizes and colors my tote had at least 10 lures while I was still looking. A guy looked at me exclaiming, "Boy they Must be a great bait based on your tote!". Responding, that they looked great, I really was picking up these as "Buddy baits". He looked and said "Buddy Baits?". Yeah, at $1.99 verse $6.50 for a shad rap, they work perfect for giving your buddies who fish with you something to troll with other than your expensive shads as it doesn't hurt so bad when they lose them. He laughed and thought it was a great idea. Well Mac had the last laugh. That flicker shad out produced both Tom and I combined. His total was 5 smallies and 3 walleyes. The top picture is Tom with his largest smallie for the night on the Flicker Shad. Meanwhile I caught 2 walleyes and a gigantic Rock Bass pictured here. That was easily the biggest Rock Bass I had ever caught. The Husky Jerk is a nice shallow water bait which stays fairly snag free. Because it is longer than the shads we were using, I wasn't surprised surprised that Mr. Emmons nailed the nicest fish of the night, about an 18 inch smallie.

The full moon is on Sunday and I plan on taking full advantage of the situation. Sunday marked a significant change in the weather and the water temps should be falling now. Hopefully the big hogs will start to show up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures Dave, but where are the eyes? We have not been doing anything on the big Miss either. I did manage to take 1st place in our annual Muskie trip with eight guys and the biggest went to me with a 43" 20 # class fish and the rest only could come up with one at 38". Have a great week and looking foward to your better bite next weekend