Friday, September 24, 2010

Back to Wapogasset

Sunday had me up at 5:00 to meet Jason and his dad Andy Rombalski for our annual fall fishing trip.  Because Andy lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and he has fond memories of all the fish they used to catch on Lake Wapogasset, this was our destination.  A medium sized lake north of Amery, the lake is popular for panfish, walleyes, and bass.  The last time we fished this lake it took about an hour to find the landing.  The lady at the gas station confirmed that there was a new landing and we couldn't miss it.  After stopping at the bait shop for some waxies, it was off to the landing using her directions.  Well, so much for not missing it!  This time it only took a half hour to find get the boat in the water, once we got back on the right road.   The water is coming off it's usually pea soup color with the algae almost gone.   The peak summer algae bloom prevents the weedline from going any deeper than 6 feet.  We quickly discovered the fish were located on the edge of this.   Jason ended up with most of the fish while I had an interesting collection of species including largemouth bass, northern pike, and white bass.  The rest of the collection included bluegills, rock bass, crappies, and surprisingly large shiners.  The white bass I caught was an interesting experience.  Andy was fishing sunnies and a fish was trying to eat the bobber.  Sensing an opportunity I pitched a twister tail and it slammed the lure.  Because this was a joint effort, both Andy and I are pictured here.

Being out on the water presents the opportunity to view Mother Nature at her finest.  I experience once of a lifetime experience as we moved down the shore, casting for fish.  On a dock was a mass of fur that was undulating back and forth in a nervous fashion.  As we cruised closer to investigate, to my surprise it was a family of otters, 5 in all.  It was like watching the Discovery Channel.  I have never seen otters in the wild and it was an exciting experience.  They allowed us to get fairly close before entering the safety of the lake, one by one.  Watching them swim as a group along the shoreline was amazing.  Sticking their heads up out of the water looking back at us they may have seen us as an oddity of nature from their point of view.  The trip ended at the boat landing when a huge bald eagle swooped down from a large tree to snag a fish right in front of us.  Often when fishing, the fish are simply a bonus.  Off to Mille Lacs later to try the remnants of the September full moon bite with my brother Steve.  It looks like a lot of wind which can be good and bad.  Maybe I'll finally get something to replace my picture with.

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