Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Final Tally

As always Team Walleye organizer, Ron Edberg sent me the finally tally on the number and length distribution of our walleye catch on Leech Lake last week.  The numbers pretty much tell the whole story of a tough bite for opener. For 2012 the total number of walleyes caught over 12 inches amounted to a paltry 97 fish.  With 21 guys fishing this year it only amounts 4.62 walleyes per guy for the 3 days and .77 fish per guy per session (6 sessions).  Comparing the 2011 catch of 251 fish with the same amount of guys and the 2009 catch of 389 walleyes, slow is probably an understatement.  One thing a tough bite does is bring out ones creativeness.  As I stated last week, one can never leave an unproductive spot too early.  For me this meant moving around quite frequently.  Whether it's Pine Point, Stoney Point, Ottertail Point, Goose Island, Big Hardwoods, Little Hardwoods, Star Point, or my secret location I spent enough time at each of these traditional fishing locations to determine the best strategy.  Trolling Raps at dusk and fishing the deeper structures were the key to bringing walleye in my boat with 22 caught.  Out of 7 boats, Team Anderson produced 23% of the fish caught, not to bad as I attribute it to hard work, a good strategy, and having great fishermen in my boat to help with the task.   One of the interesting facts revealed by the graph is the linear distribution of the fish size.  From 12 inches minimum to the 27.5 inch winning fish there is a straight line between them.  This indicates that the year classes caught are evenly distributed with the population being well balanced. 

Here is the official Team Walleye 2012 group picture in front of the new cabin.  All of the guys are great, some seasoned fisherman and some that may have never caught a walleye.  There are a few that will fish with me throughout the year and some I will not see again until next year.  If you click on the picture it will load up and you should be able to read the names.  Quite a crew if I say so myself.  Of particular note is my younger brother Jon, the last guy on the right.  Life hasn't been exactly fair to him as he a number of surgeries to take care of a genetic condition that has caused the loss of his right eye, had tissue transplants, and extensive reconstruction of the area beneath what once was his nose.  A trip like this would normally be out of his reach so my other brother Steve and I decided to invite him with a few years back as our guest.  This year Jon fished every session and is a full blown Team Walleyer.  If we can just get him from winning the DCS award next year, it would be a huge accomplishment.  Maybe the fact that he fishes with Steve may severely handicap him.  I think Steve and I will have to have a discussion about his guiding capabilities!

As I write this post the rain gauge outside says 5.25 inches.  This is basically what has fallen in the last 24 hours.  The Mississippi River behind the house is really coming up and I am sure Mille Lacs is also moving higher.  Traditional this is the week the garden gets planted however it looks more like a mud hole than a garden.  The Mille Lacs walleye bite is in full swing with reports of 40 - 50 fish per outing.  The plan is to get up there on Sunday and see if the reports are correct.  I have committed to fish the Minnesota Tournament Trail (MTT) again this year on behalf of the Eric Applen Fund to see if Mark and I can score in the money.  Last year we got a little greedy so we definitely have a better plan this year.  Happy Memorial Day and take the time to honor those who have served.  For me it includes my Dad (Air Force), Uncle Keith (Navy), Cousin Jerry Ystad (Vietnam), and Rich Allen (Army Airborne).  Thanks for your sacrifices, you will not be forgotten.  Here is a picture of my dad at the age of 17, just out of basic training....good looking guy.  I guess I was blessed more with his brains than his looks!  God bless all of our veterans and service members.

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