Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Couple Nice Fishing Reports

My planned "last trip" to fish Mille Lacs hard water fell apart at the last minute on Sunday.  Deciding to call Bill before leaving he said to bring the ATV as you can't get on with the truck.  Not wanting to drive back home and spend another hour hooking everything up I decided it would be a good day to get caught up on fixing my lawn tractor tire and putting new wheels on my jon boat trailer.  I always like getting fishing reports from my friends and earlier this week I received a couple of nice ones, One from Ben Taylor and the other from my Wisconsin buddy Kevin Aiona.  This first picture is Ben holding a large crappie caught on Platte Lake, where their cabin resides.  12 miles west of Mille Lacs, Platte Lake is a fairly shallow body of water that has sunfish, crappies, bass, the occasional walleye, and a ton of snake northerns.  Ben's dad is my friend and deer hunting partner Jack Taylor and he is turning his son into quite the young fisherman.   Still a little young to join us on our annual Leech Lake Opener with the guys, it's getting harder to leave him behind.  Ben is always the last one off the dock, fishing up to the last minute before hopping in the car to head back home.  His fishing accomplishments include a number of nice crappies like this, many northers caught on tip-ups, and largemouth bass caught right off their dock.  One of these days I'll look forward to showing him how to fish the big pond.  Nice catch there Ben!!

The next picture is right out of a Sunday morning fishing show.  Earlier in the week my good friend Kevin was fishing below the dam in Alma, Wisconsin and nailed this 28 1/2 inch pig walleye.  Kevin and I have spent many a day chasing walleyes and saugers in the spring as the fish tend to congregate below the dams, getting ready to spawn.  The fishing is usually pretty good up to the time the water gets too high and fast from the spring runoff.  This year the wet autumn and generous snowfalls have pushed the river to over it's flood stage fairly early.  Often we simply have a high water crest, then the river settles down somewhat back to a fishable state.  I am afraid we may be looking at 2 flood crests this year.  Never the less those big walleyes are there and if you can time it right, put on quite a show.  When the water comes off the crest and the temperature hits 45 degrees, you can find the big walleyes up on the flooded banks, in the timber, sometimes less than 3 feet of water.  Kevin picked this nice fish up in the middle of the river as you can see the lock walls and downtown Alma.  The flooding also means the backwater areas above the dam are accessible.  35 years ago this was prime time to fish northern pike on Daredevils and Johnson Silver Minnows.  We have been talking about trying to get back and try these waters for old times sake.  We'll see where that goes!

As stated earlier the end of March signals the start of the dead period, waiting for the ice to go off.  The next 2 weeks will determine if it's an early, normal, or late ice out.  Last year was pretty early as the ice on Mille Lacs had already pulled away from shore.  3 years ago Leech Lake still had ice on walleye opener, May 9th.  March is the perfect time to trim all of he fruit trees in my orchard.  Trimming promotes healthy growth, optimizes fruit production, helps disease prevention, and keeps the trees a manageable size.  Mature apple and pear trees tend to grow sucker branches on the pruned limbs.  All of these sucker branches have to be removed as they serve little purpose other than to fill up the space you just pruned out.  It's amazing how prolific these rouge branches can be.  With 11 apple trees and 2 pear trees the number of branches that need remove are in the hundreds (I know I said a million earlier, it just feels this way).  Some of them can grow quite long over a single summer.  Here are a few of the longer branches I trimmed from the trees, as you see they are almost 8 feet long.  Thinking about the real growing season, that's almost an inch a day.  Last year a very late frost in the second week of May pretty much destroyed my entire crop.  Hopefully this year Mother Nature will be somewhat less aggressive.  I am off to one of my favorite events of the year, the Northwest Sportsman Show.  There never seems to be enough time to cover everything I am interested.  Oh well, it will be fun trying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a ugly picture of a guy who just caught a 9 1/2 pound walleye Oh well I guess pictures don't lie

later buddie