Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Always Better to be Lucky Than Good!

So last week's post described the fate of one of my beloved fishing rod and reel combo's.  Sitting in 10 feet of water at the bottom of the Mississippi River is not exactly my idea of a proper storage site.   The St. Croix Legend rod is a beautiful piece of fishing gear as it's distinctive blue color stands out from the more traditional black colored rods. The attached Shimano Chronarch reel was a left handed wind, special order low profile baitcaster with the latest spool and braking technology.  Although I never did get comfortable with the tight reeling motion needed by my left hand to crank the reel handle, I did like the convenience of a single fluid motion when hooking a walleye while trolling shad raps.   I am always very careful with my equipment but when I turned around in the boat and didn't see that sky blue rod anywhere that big knot one gets in your stomach settled pretty hard.  My ranger has nice sides keeping rods that are set down fairly secure.  The jon boat on the other hand has very low sides and which(as I found out) requires much more diligence with your equipment.  The other issue is putting limits on the amount of fishing rods one needs to take with everytime you go out, a habit hard to break.  Finding the rod gone requires one to quickly get a handle on your emotions.  As stated last week, crying over spilled milk does little to solve your problem, hence forth this weeks plan of attempting to get rid of my knot!  Having purchased the large snagging hooks in Denver the next stop was Fleet Farm to pick up the rest of my scheme.  The idea was to get a 3 foot piece of 5/8" threaded rod, finding some eye bolts, some large nuts, chain to connect the hooks, and chain to pull the entire contraption on the bottom of the river.  I had thought about solving this problem and felt I had a viable contraption at hand.  On Saturday afternoon, with the help of Lory, we headed to the scene of my agony.  It was closer to launch at the Dayton/Crow River landing and drive down a mile to that portion of the river.  Arriving at the dock, my starting point, had its owner cleaning out brush.  Approaching the dock he was nice but had that sceptical look like...what are you guys really up too?  The water had dropped another 8 inches from last week and the current had slowed enough to allow the 15 hp Evinrude to hold the boat in one place while backtrolling.   Lory's first snag caught a rather large waterlogged piece of wood.  Big enough to bend the hooks and rip off one of the chains, I towed it to the middle of the river and headed back.  Each effort brought up more junk, to the point where I was getting frustrated.  10 minutes into the effort Lory brought up the contraption and this 7 foot blue rod was hooked onto one of the chains.  My secondary worry was if we did actually hook the rod it would disconnect the minute it reached the surface.  Lory had it hooked through a rod guide and it wasn't going nowhere.  The rod had started to get some insects attached to it and the shifting sand basically filled the reel. I cannot even express how relieved I was to actually get my prized possession back.  The rod looks good as new and I decided to send the reel back to Shimano to have the factory tear it apart and clean it. As for Lory, he has a few battle wounds dealing with unhooking logs while the boat moved around.  As the post title states, it's sometimes better to be lucky than good. 

So with that out of the way we pointed the boat up river and headed for the 101 bridge, 3 miles upstream.  The first thing we noticed was a guy walking the shoreline, sorting rocks.  A quick "whatchadoin?" resulted in finding a new location to look for agates.   Working our way back to the landing I spent most of the time casting bombers while Lory put on one of my favorite Rattlin' Rouges, the brown perch.  I am always amazed at the ferocity of a 10 inch smallmouth hitting a 4 inch lure.   Although the day was already a success for me, Lory picked up this beautiful 17 inch bass that inhaled his Rouge.  Now that the river current is reasonable it would be fun to start exploring the walleye and catfish hangouts. Ending up with about 9 smallmouth it was another good day.  We have only fished crankbaits as the current speed forced a quick presentation however the ability to slip the river using the main motor should offer an expanded choice of lures like tube jigs, beetle spins, and live bait on 3 way rigs.   The famous river guide from Big Lake, Dan Gapen, used jigs like the Ugly Bug to catch 30 - 50 bass an outing and it would be a blast to get that proficient.  In addition to recovering my rod I successfully installed my Lowrance LWX-1 weather/Sirius radio module for my HDS 10.  I removed my Garmin 162 chartplotter, replaced my Johnny Ray mount with the heavy duty RAM mount and generally cleaned up my electronics mounting.  Pulling the boat out of the shed (the metal roof blocks the signal) I was able to lock onto the satellite, see the weather overlay on the chart plotter function, then call on the radio service, and voila!  What was even better was Sirius set me up to shut off service in the fall without having to pay the reactivation fees in the spring.  It works very well as I was getting a little tired of listening to my Ipod all the time.  It's been 6 weeks since I have been up to Mille Lacs and although the reports have been spotty, it's always worth a try.  Maybe this week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well Dave I'am glad you got it back I was thinking of calling for that location and I would have looked for it myself!! I am getting ready for my annual catfish tournement on Friday, wish me luck will ya. I have a three year long trophy at my house and the plan is for another year at my house.