Friday, February 15, 2013

Few and Far Between

First crappie of the day

Because of my travel schedule lately and the fact that my laptop is still in need of repair, I am finally getting a chance to wrap up last weeks fishing adventure.  I think the title pretty much says it all.  Having just got back from 4 days in California, it has given me time to reflect on how my ice fishing success has gone this year.  My time in Anaheim was manning our exhibit at the largest Medical Device and Manufacturing show in the United States.  Because Minnesota is a hotbed of medical device manufacturers and suppliers, there were plenty of my fellow outdoorsman from here that flew down to work the show as well.  While sitting at the booth entertaining customers, a friend commented that by the looks of my blog, ice fishing season seemed to be going pretty well this year for me.  I laughed and commented that he must be only looking at the pictures!
My response was that in reality, other than my pre-New Year's adventure with Mark, the only fish I have been eating is coming from my Alaskan trip.  Last weekend was no different.  Pete, my new ice fishing partner had his trip cancelled and wanted to go back out.  Acting on a tip he had gotten, a small unmarked lake north of Elk River was hot.  After doing some research, there must have been an error as the lake was nothing but a mud hole, no access, nothing.  With the start of the day already a bust, we decided to head to Green Lake, east of Princeton.  Joining us was my friend Jason Rombalski, who by the way is always good luck, and a friend of his.  Green is a medium sized lake with a good population of walleyes, perch, and crappies.  It also has some nice structure for fishing crappies in the basin areas.  Figuring I didn't need my GPS for the first lake, suddenly it would have been nice.   A few weeks back I decided to buy something smarter than me, a Samsung Galaxy 3 smart phone.  While waiting for the fish to bite I downloaded a Cabela's app that actually uses the GPS in the phone and overlays your position onto a contour map of the lake you are on, providing there is one.  Well, I started the app and voila, the lake map and our position appeared on the screen.  We found an area outside of a group of houses that looked promising and drilled some holes.  It was nice enough to fish outside and Jason nailed the first keeper, a 9 inch crappie.  Meanwhile I couldn't keep the 4 inch perch off my line and Pete, with his camera down the hole reports that it just thick with fish, just not biting.  Jason left early with 6 fish, enough for a meal, Pete and I continued till well after dark.  We marked a ton of fish but they sure were finicky.  Usually before a storm, which we had on Sunday, the fish go crazy but not this time.  As stated, we did mark a ton of fish, saw them on the camera, so it might be a good place to go back and try again. 

Ben's Northern
 My friend Jack has been doing pretty good at his cabin on Platte Lake.  Although the crappies haven't been too cooperative, the northerns have more than made up for it.  His son Ben has developed quite the knack for fishing these northerns as Jack sent me this picture of a nice fish he caught a few weeks ago.  They usually pickle them as there are no lack of pike in the lake.  Ben's going to grow up to be quite the fisherman and at 8 years old is already pressuring us to take him to Leech for our opener.  It might be a little too cold and rough but in a couple more years he will probably out fishing his dad, if he isn't doing that already.  While at the show in California, a colleague of mine stopped by to show me his success on Mille Lacs last week.  After hearing about the 20+ walleyes they caught, I asked him to send me pictures.  Not being sure which flat he was one, I have a pretty good idea as his group did as well as anyone.  There are only 2 weekends left of the inland walleye fishing season left and after February 24th, only Lake of the Woods, Rainy River, and the Mississippi will be open for walleyes.  It is only an indication of how fast this winter has flown.  Sunday is suppose to be nice out so a possible trip to one of the offshore flats may be in the cards for the weekend.  Being gone a week does little to help get caught up around the house.  Let's see, clean the garage....go fishing, Hummm.

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