Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Windy in Wisconsin

Minnesota Fishing opener is always 2 weeks before Memorial Day weekend and Wisconsin Fishing opener is always on the first weekend in May. Because Memorial Day is on May 31st this year Wisconsin's is May 1st, as early as it can be and Minnesota is May 15th, as late as it can be.  This happens about once every 7 years on average and when it does I like to cruise over to my cousin Greg's cabin (actually a house) on Clear Lake and try my luck.  This year was no exception so picking up my cousin Paul in Hudson we headed over to show Greg how to fish.  Paul suggested I be there at 6:00 but after telling him he's crazy as I am an hour away we compromised at 6:30.  A fresh hit of coffee and we took off.  Paul is my first cousin, as Greg is, and we spent a lot of time together when we were kids.  He had 3 sisters so my brother Steve and I sort of adopted him as our honorary brother.  Paul has come with me to Wyoming snowmobiling and in 2008 joined us for our Alaskan fishing trip, which helped make it one of the best yet.   Arriving at the landing, we decided to launch the boat first and look for Greg later.  The lake is really a small chain of lakes consisting of Island, McCann, Clear, and Chain Lake.  Clear Lake is the smallest of the 4 and as we came out of the channel onto Chain Lake ran into a man wearing a blinding chartreuse sweatshirt driving a Tracker boat with 125 Merc........both sure signs that we had found him.  In the boat were his dad (my uncle and Godparent, which BTW is so anointed because every time he saw me he said "Oh My God"!) Loren Nelson of Eau Claire, Greg's father in law, Norm Hanson and his neighbor Mike Brott, both from Cleghorn Wisconsin ( a suburb of Eleva!).  These guys have been going to Greg's cabin for at least 16 years now and it was fun to see them all again.  Loren is 82 now and still gets around pretty well.  It was fun to be with these guys as they had all sorts of goodies brought from their food plots.  Canned potatoes, fresh laid eggs with those deep orange yokes, home made cookies, I could not wait to eat.  The top picture from left to right is Cousin Greg, Uncle Loren, and Cousin Paul

Windy in Wisconsin was putting it lightly.  This small chain of lakes stretches north to south, perfect for riling up the whitecaps from the 30 mph south wind.  We were able to find some shallow bays and shorelines to try our luck with crappies but despite water temperatures in the 60's they were not around.  We tried the range of 1 foot water to 5 feet with little to show for it.  By the afternoon I had 2 - 4" perch, a 4" bass, and had exhausted any fishable water that has some protection from the gale force winds, which by the way were getting stronger as the afternoon went on.  Deciding we needed a break I headed to the very south end of the lake and told Paul we were going to troll shad raps on the weed edges, traveling with the wind.  It was our only hope to salvage a tough day of fishing.  Going with a crawfish colored glass shad, within 3 minutes I had a fish on.  Certainly not the largest northern I have ever caught yet today it would prove to be the big fish of the opener.  He was a tough guy breaking off the rear hook as he stayed secured to the front one.  Throwing it into the livewell I thought to myself, wow that was fast and we have about another 1/2 mile to go.  Thinking too quickly can be a big problem and this day was no exception.  Neither Paul or I had any other hits.  Being blown around for about 5 hours we decided it would be best to load the boat up, head to the cabin and have a cocktail before the fish fry started.  Lucky Greg had some walleyes and perch from Lake Erie or we would have starved!  Still it was a successful day for sure.

Finally I have some surprising news to report.  My brother found that first nickel he made and bought a brand new Lund 1725 Explorer SS, loaded with a 115 Merc Optimax, HDS7 sonar/chartplotter, Terrova 24Volt front trolling motor, and a custom cover to boot!   This is a pretty interesting development if you know my brother.  I figured something was going on when I got a call from him this weekend from the Stark's showroom in Prairie du Chien, WI.  His first attempt was a 1675 with a 90 Opti, however I am not a fan of 16 foot boats and big water.  I know, I am the one who used my 16 foot Lund Pro Angler on Lake Michigan for downrigging salmon, yet I just think and extra 8 - 12 inches really makes a difference.  Telling him he could do what he wants, my advice.........look at the 17 footers before you do anything.  Sure enough my next call was that he had taken my advice, checked out the 1725 and for $1000 more he got a longer, wider boat with 25 more horsepower, not a bad upgrade.  For listening to his older brother I have a very good Garmin 240 depth finder for that trolling motor ( has the built in transducer) complete with a Johnny Ray mount and the correct adaptor cable.  Truth be told that in 1982 he let me use a new trailer he had and I never paid him for it.  Although it was a smaller trailer for a 14 foot boat, I suspect that if you added the interest for 28 years, I would owe him about $50,000 today.  Unfortunately the depth finder is all he's getting!

6 comments:

Dewey said...

Well, Mr. Anderson, I'm launching my boat, later this week, for the first time, in "Sconnie" waters.
Geez, I hope I can do better than that northern you posted. If not, you won't hear from me....
Oh, and I'll give you credit for fishing in that wind. I was practicing with my bow and couldn't get my arrows to fly straight. At least, that's my story....

Dave Anderson said...

Dewey,

You have some great little lakes around you and as well, if you can find a bigger boat, a friend of mine got 11 coho's right out of Duluth a week ago.

As far as the arrows, the secret is to only shoot down wind!

Jeff King said...

Hey Dave....good to see you're out and about having fun. Looks like the surgery cost you a few pounds.

Very pretty boat your brother bought. Theres something about boats...they're just pretty. We had our sport show this weekend and they displayed a 'Pavati' brand driftboat. Its like a piece of artwork. The paint is all powder coated, it has polished aluminum beverage holders and lazer cut fish hook designs in certain spots....very cool. A local car dealer here who's always buying and selling new boats put it to me like this a few years ago..." guess I'm kind of queer for boats".

Anonymous said...

Been out of the loop for awhile but the first thing I did was check out your blog to see how the opener went for you. Great post, it's better than reading Ron Schara's annual skunkfest with his brothers.....

Hope the wind treats you better on the MN opener.

Keith

Dave Anderson said...

Keith,

It snowed last night!

pkellin said...

Hey Dave,

Glad to see you got out on the water. I hope you are feeling well! Good luck this weekend, can't wait to read about it. good luck, be safe, and see you sometime for a checkup!