Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Hot Bite Continues!

A month ago my good friend Bill Lundeen asked me if I could help him out with his annual corporate event taking a number of individuals fishing for a couple days.  I thought about for a week or two and decided that nothing was more important than helping a friend out.  Bill has trusted me with his clients many times and I had helped him with this same group a few years back, how could I say no.  Knowing how to put guys on fish and being versatile whether bobbering, pulling crawlers, or lead lining, it was important that these guys had a great time and this year the catching wasn't going to be too hard.  Not being able to sleep very well the night before, I got up at 5:00 and headed north nto Lundeen's.   There I met my counter part who would be in his boat, Mike Meleen.  Mike is an icon in the Onamia area and probably as good a bobber fisherman as there is.  The trip would be worth simply working with him and learning a few tricks from the master.  Our first task was to get up to the landing just north of the Casino and be ready for our group.  Arriving around 9:00 we had our group assembled.  Brett, his daughter Tara, and Gordy would go with Mike while Jim and Bill would fish with me.  Mike has a nice 20 foot center console Lund with a 115hp Johnson 4 stroke (made by Suzuki) and can fish 4 pretty comfortably.  My Ranger fishes 3 guys comfortably so it was a perfect group.   While I headed straight for Sherman's flat, Mike checked out the deep rock areas.  With 3 in the boat we brought out the crawler rigs on a 3 way setup.  Running 1 ounce sinkers, it allows you to keep the tangles to a minimum and the crawler up off the bottom.  Within the fist hour we had 5 fish netted including this nice one Jim got.  Truth be told Jim caught most of the fish as Bill and I fish Mille Lacs quite a bit so it was fun to make him work a little!  We did some lead line
trolling and did get a few more walleyes before Jim had to get back to the landing as he was heading out.   In the meantime Mike had his group at the Blue Goose for lunch so Bill and I made a beeline for Garrison.  They were nice enough to wait for us as we got time to chow down before heading back out.  I don't fish the north end much so my strategy was to simply see where Mike was going.  A stop at Myr Mar Flat proved quite productive.  By the end of the day we had landed 21 walleyes in my boat and 26 in Mike's boat, not a bad day at all.  Here is Bill with a nice 27+ walleye that he caught in the afternoon.  Between our boats we ended up with 5 keeper walleyes and a very nice perch, something that has not been common in the last few years.

It was after 7:30 by the time we got back to Bill's, Mike took the fish home and cleaned them while I jumped in the shower to cool off.  Bill's wife Kathy had a quick supper ready, I ate, had a glass of wine and I was out like a light.  The next morning we had to be at Izaty's dock at 8:30 to meet whomever wanted to fish.   Mike got the jump on me as he was going to check out a few areas that were rumored to hold fish.  In the meantime I stopped at the gas station and filled my boat, unloaded at Cove and got 2 miles from the landing when I remembered that the leeches were still in the cooler.  Back to the landing, retrieving the bait, I pulled into the dock at 8:30 sharp.  We had the same group less Jim so I took Bill and the others stayed with Mike.  I am not much for fishing the south end this time of year however Mike is the expert.  We followed the Lund for an hour but we both struck out.  Mike headed to another deep rock pile while Bill and I went to Sloppy Joe's and lead lined again as Bill had to leave by 11:00.  We caught 1 walleye before bringing Bill back in, he left as I waited for the next group Tom and his son Jack.  After being treated to lunch at Izaty's my suggestion was we run the 10 miles back to Sherman's where I knew the fish were.  Tom and Jack were up for a boat ride so we headed north.  A quick stop at 7 Mile produced 1 fish before we went to Sherman's.  Immediately we noticed nets out as the tip was over crowded with boats.  Heading down the edge we started marking and catching walleyes on the 3 way crawler rigs.  3 hours later we had 16 fish netted with Jack doing the majority of the work.  Here Jack is with the largest of the day, 27.25 inches.  I had to laugh as we were moving down the edge, Jack's rod was in the rod holder and it was bent in half.  I yelled, Jack...Fish!  As Jack grabbed the rod his dad reminded him that he has to pay more attention to what is going on.  After netting the fish and re-baiting, we headed back down the edge passing another boat.  Almost on cue the guy in the other boat yelled that our rod was bent over.........Tom's rod.  Jack and I had a pretty good laugh as apparently it can happen to anyone.  In the meantime Mike was struggling to find fish so I suggested he come over by us and anchor.  Not one to horn in on a spot I assured Mike we would work around him.  Mike anchored up the edge where we had marked a ton of fish and literally put on a bobber fishing seminar.  Within 90 minutes they had caught over 24 walleyes on one spot.  Uffda!!!  Brett's daughter Tara did most of the work in his boat proving the younger generation can hold their own against us old guys.  When we finally stopped at 6:00 both Mike and I had netted over 92 walleyes for the two days we fished with 6 keeper walleyes for the crew.  I had a great time, made some new friends, and got one heck of a tan.  I look forward to the possibility of fishing with this group in the future.  As far as Mike, I turned him on to my Tru Turn Hook crawler rigs and gave him a handful of hooks while he shared his secret bobber jig and gave me a handful.  It was nice to be able to learn something and share something.

The recent rains up north have risen the river back to it's high point, 4 feet above the level of the previous Sunday.  It will be a few weeks before it returns to some manageable flow.   This weekend may see me back at Mille Lacs to fish with my friend Mark Applen who is staying up at his ice house.  The way things are going, I can see the bite going for the next 3 weeks or so.  Maybe I'll call my brother Steve.  Six weeks from now we will be heading to Alaska, something I am really looking forward too.  The raspberries and blueberries are ripening in the garden and the warm weather has really jump started the corn.  It's going to be a busy summer for sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, the Big Pond looked nice and flat. Beautiful fish, Dave.

AK Keith