Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Week

Well, another week flying by as fast as the plane I am stuck in for the next 2 hours!  I am returning from Denver where I made my once a trip pilgrimage to Bass Pro Shop, just west of the airport.  I really like their fishing lure selection although it is somewhat geared to Colorado, it’s still pretty extensive.  Their boating accessories department is second to none and although I am not a huge fan of their branded line Redhead, they carry a good selection of Columbia, Under Armor, and a favorite of mine, their Bob Timberlake styles.  One of the reasons for stopping at BPS is they carry snagging treble hooks, big ones!  There are areas in this part of the country that snag for various types of fishes including the unusual prehistoric looking paddlefish.  Paddlefish can get very large however they are strictly plankton eaters and will not hit a standard bait setup.  In some states it is legal to snag fish for them, similar to what we did in the early 80’s when you could snag salmon from Lake Michigan.   That itself deserves a post all its own someday.  The hooks I bought were sold as treble hooks for snagging and I bought the biggest ones they had, 12/0 size.  These are probably the largest treble hooks you can get without special ordering them.  The picture is about actual size.  I was forced to buy a box of 24 and even so, they were less than $20.00, a bargain for sure.  As for what I am going to do with these gigantic hooks, I’ll explain in a few minutes and was pretty happy to find them. I spent the next day with a nice potential customer who visited our new Loveland Colorado plant.  There is always something going on these days and now that my schedule is less tentative, I have a full month of travel booked from Cleveland next week to San Diego in 3 weeks.  I’d really like to spend a day fishing tuna out of the California coast and it’s on my bucket list for sure.

So, how about fishing this week? Success and frustration pretty much sums it up.  Wanting to drive down to make sure my mother was doing well and with a few hours to sneak away the Mississippi River has been my short term go to spot.  It might be for the best as my friend Bill Lundeen claims the perch hatch on Mille Lacs was huge this year and the lake is filled with young of year perch.  Usually 2 – 3 inches long and found in dense schools, it’s a regular smorgasbord for the walleyes.  This means that with all the food in the lake its difficult at best to get something to chase a lure down.  As the water cools and the ranks of the young perch get thinned the fishing usually picks up.  With little time to run up to Mille Lacs I can be on the river in less than 5 minutes.  My friend Pete Mlinar had taught me the virtues of fishing large live minnows for smallies so I picked up a dozen medium sucker minnows at the hardware store in Champlin.  I tried Action’s Bait Shop in Anoka as they usually have a nice selection of minnows for the river consisting of creek chubs and more hardy varieties.  Pete likes to use the Red Tail Chubs but they are really hard to find these days.   Suckers work okay even though they do not last very long on the hook.  My neighbor Lory went with and after a half hour cruise we started fishing.  I decided to fish the north side exclusively as we began to cast the Bombers.  A couple of fish later we went by a spot that Pete would have caught his eye.  I had taken an extra fishing rod along, pre-rigged with a bobber set up and hook.  Attaching a 5 inch sucker I casted it in along the shore only to see my bobber slip past the slip knot meant to control the depth.  Well, that wasn’t any good so I reeled in, set my rod down, and started to re-tie the rig.  Of course there is current so we drifted about 50 feet when I reached to get something and when I turned around my rod was gone.  Having learned not to panic in these situations admittedly I remained as calm as one could expect.  The rod was a St. Croix Legend 7 foot baitcast with a Shimano Chronarch attached to it.  That’s all I’m going to say.  I am pretty sure I know “about” where it is as there was a dock right where it happened.  The issue is the 2 mph current and 10 feet of water, to dangerous to simply dive in and look for it especially at my age my family just got done with one funeral.  Hence forth the snagging hooks.  About 28 years ago I lost a favorite rod in Weaver Lake, west of the cities.  With no GPS I memorized the location, built a homemade contraption with large treble hooks, and the following week recovered my prized possession.  It was an interesting experience as the week prior someone had murdered a person, cut up the body, put it in black plastic garbage bags and threw them in Weaver Lake.  Wouldn't that be a surprise!  My brother gave me the idea of using my ice fishing camera and with a little luck, my large treble hooks, I might be able to recover it.   As stated earlier there is no use in crying over spilled milk and after the shock wore off we went back to fishing.  We did get about 12 smallmouth again and am really starting to read the river better, learning the best spots to hold fish.  Here are a couple of pictures of our success.  The largest we have caught is about 18 inches however I do know there are some larger fish and it will be a matter of time.  I am in the middle of installing my LWX-1 on the boat and with some luck will be on Mille Lacs on Sunday.

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