Friday, August 27, 2010

Lead Line Success

This last week saw 2 excursions to Mille Lacs, taking advantage of the coming full moon which occurred on Tuesday.  Reports of fish being caught on lead lines had got me excited about trying to perfect the technique enough to give me the confidence to put it in my arsenal of strategies.  The first opportunity came last Saturday evening when my friend Mark Taylor and his son Jared agreed to grace my boat.  Mark and I are the best of friends however as we have grown older things have gotten in the way of our time together.  In our early days we have spent many hours in the boat together and along with his dad Earl, have many great memories.  Although this trip wasn't going to be very long, the weather was beautiful as it was a wonderful day to get out for a little walleye magic.  Picking them up we headed for the new Liberty Beach landing on the east side.  With dead calm conditions, the comfort level was quite high.  Having learned of the hoards of fish on the north side of a popular gravel bar, we headed there to try our luck with trolling crankbaits.  Because there were 3 of us, the strategy was simple; 1 rod out on a planer board, 50 feet from the boat, while a lead line rig on each side would give us a respectable 75 foot spread of lures attacking the water.  The planer board rig consisted of a #11 deep diving Rapala Tail Dancer in a rainbow trout pattern (Hot bait for some reason) trolled 150 feet behind the board.  Diving to about 26 feet, this would be perfect for the 28 - 30 feet we were fishing.   The other 2 lines took advantage of the lead core line.  Literally a braided line with a lead center, it sinks 5 feet for every 10 yards (30 feet) of line let out when trolled at 2.0 MPH.  Because the line controls the depth, you simply put a 10 - 20 foot mono leader on and you can now troll shallow running crankbaits in the deeper hotspots on the lake.  Lead core line changes color each 10 yards making it easy to keep track of where you are.  This year I switched to Sufix line as the colors are both bright and have great contrast to give you a better handle on where the line is.  My previous line had black next to brown, almost impossible to read.  I guess a line counter reel would help however I sort of like the old fashion method.  On the 2 lead cores I attached a couple of #5 shad raps in Clown and Hot Steel color.   Within 3 minutes Mark reeled up this dandy 24 inch walleye, the first to be caught with the lead core method in my boat................success at last!

Mark and Jared were new to this method and thought it was pretty slick.  The speed of catching the first fish always puts the anticipation level for the second one on high alert.  Hoping to get one on the planer board to show them how that works, the flag on the board went down about 20 minutes later.  Planer board fishing requires some good boat coordination.   One has to remove the in-line planer board from the fishing line before you can reel the fish in.   If one is not careful, this is the place fish are lost.  The release was successful and the battle continued until Jared reeled in a nice 23 inch walleye.   The calm weather had us dialed into this strategy for sure.  With an hour left before we would leave for the reef to do some at dusk casting, I noticed my blind side rod was doubled over and without hesitating I grabbed the turn!  My second fish hooked on the lead line, it was exciting to reel in.  Finally seeing the fish, it was about 24 inches before a LDR occurred.  Long Distance Release is really good for the fish but terrible on the ego.  Therefore there are no pictures of me to complete the trio.  Oh well, it was great to get Jared and Mark out.  I tend to give Jared a hard time but never the less he is always smiling.  When in High School, Jared had an assignment, write a biography of someone important in your life.  He asked if I would be that person and requested an interview.  Agreeing only if I could see his finished product, he finished his paper and sent it in.  Jared is a shy sort and after a couple of months I pressed him to see his finished product and grade.  Relenting, he sent me the manuscript by mail.  Often one never realizes his impact on the younger generation, however Jared articulated it beautifully.  Admittedly I am tough on the kid.  I expect him to talk to me, am always pushing him to express himself better, however I never expected him to say the things he did about his dad's friend, Dave.  I believe that kids today need positive outside influences like I did growing up in Eleva.  I had 20 dad's growing up from my uncle's Dewey, Keith, Jerry, and Loren, to my dad's friends Art Kelly and Daniel Van Pelt, to my teenage bosses Vic Wenaas, Wille Drangsveit and Ronny Semingson.  Each added a little to who I am today and I try to pass that on to those kids in my life.  As for Jared, he turned out to be a pretty good kid. 

My second excursion on the night of the full moon, Tuesday was with my neighbor Tom.  It was dang near gale force winds and after fighting for a couple of hours we headed into Indian Point and tried some casting.  Tom managed to have a nice muskie follow but that was it.  No fish, no pictures, just got my boat carpet washed was all.  Maybe the next full moon will be better.

This week was the one year anniversary of the passing of my friend Rich Allen and my brother-in-law, Mike Rombalski.  They say time heals however I still miss them both.  Weddings this weekend so we will have to see what the next post brings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I made the switch to Sufix Elite (not Siege) for all my salmon fishing and just love it. High vis, supple, and great abrasion.

Try to the fire tiger shad rap next time. My go to color trolling for walleyes.