Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rainy River Report or I wish I was There!

Monday marks my 6th week since my surgery.  The last week has proven to be the best I have felt.  Coughs and sneezes are still an issue however my strength is coming back allowing me to get some stuff done around the house.  This has been especially difficult because of the fabulous weather we have been experiencing.  Still watching myself I am committed to being at least 80% by opener, which is 4 weeks away.   This weekend would have been the traditional week I would have gone to Lake of the Woods (LOTW)for our annual last ice fishing trip of the year.  My good friend Mark Mayerich usually organizes this trip out of the Morris Point area, just northwest of Baudette.  Usually we would go on one of the two  weekends before April 15 ( walleye fishing closes on the lake) depending on if Easter interferes.  Looking at my past posts in April will give you an idea of the conditions we encounter.  This year our trip was interrupted by 3 big events: 1. My surgery; 2. Mark's new job needed his attention; 3. The early ice out force Lake of the Woods to close all access to the lake around March 31.  A quick look at the Motis website shows the ice has left almost 40% of the lake, an unbelievable situation.  Well, there is always next year.

The lack of ice on LOTW has been a bonanza for those who fish the Rainy River for the large spawning female walleyes heading up river from the lake as well as a sizable population of sturgeon.  Knowing I am laid up I have 2 friends that went up this weekend and sent me some incredible pictures of their trophy catches.   The first picture is my good friend and fellow Team Walleyer Ryan Sterle.  Ryan is Mark's cousin from Eveleth Minnesota and seems to have plenty of time to fish.  Here he is pictured with a 30+ inch walleye caught this weekend.  Ryan fished both Easter weekend and last weekend.  His reports include a couple of fish over 30 and a number of fish in the 26 - 28 inch range.   The picture on the right is that of my friend Keith Holtan, Alaskan guide and Minnesota winter residence.  Keith is holding a nice 30 inch class fish that he caught this weekend as well.  His reports include catching over 60 walleyes with 12 being between 28 and 30 inch fish.  These are trophy fish in anyone's book.

In addition to the nice walleyes, Keith sent me a picture of his first sturgeon he caught.  Although this ancient fish can get significantly larger than the one he is holding, this fish is no slouch.   As a guide on the Kenai River, Keith has caught his share of trophy King (Chinook) salmon.  He reports that this fish was as close to battling a trophy King as it gets.  Both Ryan and Keith were using a simple jig and minnow combination to catch all of their fish including the sturgeon.  The conditions on the Rainy River would have to be described as excellent.  With the ice off the river 2 - 3 weeks earlier, I'll bet it was a zoo this weekend.  As much as I would like to be there, it's just as exciting to have my friends share their experiences with me as this is what my blog is all about.  Congratulations guys on a great successful outing. 

In the meantime I continue to get my boat ready with a successful installation of my front live well timer.  If the weather is nice, I might just be able to sneak out next Saturday, time will tell.


Jeff King said...

man that guy in the middle pic looks like a famous hockey player

Dave Anderson said...


Seems like you might know something I don't! Either way these are some real dandy fish for walleyes. Fishing on the Rainy this year was like having the peak king run last 3 weeks longer than normal.

Anonymous said...

A famous hockey player? Well, at least my mom still thinks so....