Friday, September 28, 2012

“When the Gales of November Came Early”


Steve's 22 inch walleye
 Gordon Lightfoot’s song, The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald, has a line which comes close to describing the conditions of last weekend’s fishing adventure.  As stated in previous posts this was the big event my brother Steve arranged, having me showcase the famous Mille Lacs September bite and showcase I did.  My guests were all from the La Crosse, Wisconsin area and represented an interesting mix of successful business men to my nephew Kevin.   The plan was to leave at noon on Friday, head to the lake and fish the late afternoon/evening bite before checking into our rooms at the Grand Casino.   I was paired with Steve Contrell and Steve Dolezel, the key players with my brother Steve’s new company he works for, Authenticom.  Their business is quite interesting as they deal in information, a hot item these days.   Our first stop was Bill's of course, we needed licenses, bait, a few hot lures, and a couple of lead line rigs for trolling.  The wind was already coming out of the west northwest at 15 to 20 mph when we arrived at the landing just north of the casino, I could see the whitecaps a mile out from shore.   Hoping the wind would settle down for the late afternoon we headed to Sherman's for some deep water trolling.  You could see patches of rain to the northwest of us yet it seemed as though it would leave us alone for a while.  After about 2 hours of trolling the flag finally went down on the port side planar board.  5 minutes later we had a nice 25 inch walleye.  Further trolling the deep produced nothing but water over the bow as we struggled to maintain a pattern close to the edge.  With sunset heading our way I decided to move in towards Indian Point and fish the shallower reef that runs straight out from the point a 1/4 mile or so.   With the wind blowing in to the reef, the chances of the shallow water bite producing were good.  Being on the front end of a cold front was the negative.  Out with the Shad Raps we immediately caught 2 smallmouth bass, 14 inches long, dang things.  Just as we reached the end of a reef a fat 21 inch walleye hit my crayfish colored #5 shad rap.  It was 7:30 and looking west towards the landing didn't look so good we decided to call it a night, 10 minutes too late.  Half way to the landing we hit the front with all it's fury.  The rain simply stung ones cheeks as we worked our way to the launch, the wind must have been over 40 mph.  We arrived at the landing soaked, loaded the boat, checked into hotel ready for dinner.  A great steak, a good nights sleep and we would be ready for the morning.

Steve with a deep water smallie

Saturday was a new day however the wind decided to repeat Friday's performance.  Adding to the experience was a morning air temperature of 35 degrees, we decided to launch out of the Red Door Resort with the plan to stay out of the wind as much as possible.  One of our boats was piloted by Victor and only had a depth finder on board.  I decided to fish the Resort Flat where they could drift along the top of the flat with jigs and Lindy Rigs while we trolled around in the deep.  Having seen a boat land a fish in the deep water we figured the fish might be there.  Even being sheltered from the wind, it was still strong as we struggled to stay in a steady pattern.  The flag went down on the board and Steve reeled in a nice 22 inch walleye which he is holding in the first picture.  After another hour of fighting the waves we moved inshore to a fish the water around a deep rock pile.  The waves were much more tolerable however with the wind it was still pretty cool.  We nailed another walleye and a surprise smallmouth in 24 feet of water on the lead line, a total surprise.  Having enough fun for the day we loaded up and headed for the Blue Goose to warm up.   Admittedly I wasn't prepared for the cold and even with flannel lined jeans and heavy shirts I got pretty chilled.  Of course my guests were most important and I let them dictate the time to leave.  Maybe we all simply figured out that it didn't pay to be stubborn.  You know it's cold when you find pleasure in holding the fish because it is warmer that your hands!  Waking up to 28 degrees Sunday morning we decided it best to simply head south.   I had a great time fishing with the Steve's, they really hung in there and I certainly took advantage of their business experiences.  Maybe we can get them back up next June for a better chance to catch fish without a constant shiver.

Getting home earlier than expected my next task was to haul my tractor down to Hudson, WI and have the rear engine seal repaired.  I met my friend Dwight Jordan who offered to accompany me to the mechanic he recommended earlier.  We dropped the tractor off, returned the trailer to my cousin Greg's, and made my way my brother-in-laws to watch the finish of the NASCAR race and whatever football game was on.  Monday was a depressing evening as I watch my beloved Packers lose on one of the worse calls in NFL history.  Just returning from Chicago, I am looking at what the weekend will bring.  For sure Saturday will be spent at the annual neighborhood Pig Roast where we have a 230# hog ready for the smoker.   I have some big minnows left from the weekend and I would really like to find some time to get out on the river.  We'll see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You got Loose at the Goose! One of my dad's favorite stops after fishing the Big Pond.

AK Keith