Wednesday, April 3, 2013

One More Time

A nice mess of fish

Although we have lost most of our snow during the last week, it still been pretty cold at night, enough to keep the lakes safe.  Saturday was exceptional, actually our first official 50 degree day of 2013.  With the snow melting like crazy I decided to get my tractor out and open up a channel through the snow drift at my neighbors rear drainage area.  This allowed the water to drain off faster as I remember when he first moved in, the builder had not done his homework and in the spring he had a waterfall coming through his basement window.  With the weather nice, I decided to take a drive around the block where I ran into Petey.  A quick hello turned into...........well, ya wanna go out fishing this afternoon?  We agreed on a time, 2:00 which gave me about an hour to get things ready.  After deciding not to drive on the ice for fear the landing would not be in good shape, I loaded the Razor on the trailer, picked him up, stopped for bait and were soon at Pelican Lake.  It was pretty slushy yet the ice remained solid.  The fact that there were a few trucks driving on the ice did not
12 inch crappie
deter us from staying with our plan of using the ATV, I'm glad we did.  It was awfully wet as the ice was covered in large pools of water and slush.  Having marked our previous successful outing of last week on the GPS there was no need to reinvent a new hot spot.  Unfortunately as we approached the waypoint there were 2 guys sitting on the exact same spot.  They had drilled around 30 holes around the area and invited us to enjoy the holes however soon it became obvious why they had abandoned them.  Deciding to work to the south of their spot we drilled a number of holes until we started hitting fish.  I'm not sure they were too happy with us however we were pretty determined to get back into last weeks action, and that's just what we did.  Both Petey and I ended up with 45 sunfish and crappies including this nice 12 incher, my personal best from Pelican.  The sunfish were somewhat iffy and we tried to keep the largest ones ranging from 7.5 to 8 inches, not huge but cleanable.  Our plan was to be off the ice by 7:00 however that got extended to 7:30 because the bite was so good.  I suspect we caught at least 120 fish between the 2 of us.  It was pretty interesting being out on the ice as the water was draining through the various holes in the ice.  Like small whirlpools, it reminded me of a big bathtub with the drain plug pulled.  I even drilled a couple of holes where the water was deeper to see if I could get some of it off the ice.  As the water drains through the holes it helps improve the oxygen content of the area, something after a long winter of snow covered ice is probably appreciated by the fish.

Holy smokes Dave, Nice Crappie!

After my last weeks post, Petey decided to call me on my assessment of his fishing skills.  Reminding him that he did start out with a sinker on his line, this trip may have been more about of proving himself than anything else.  Well I have to say that if it was, he passed the test.  We basically tied for the total number of sunfish kept, Dave 17, Petey 16 and although he was 6 short on the crappie side, 3 to 9, overall he ended up with a respectable 42% of the catch, enough for me to leave him alone for a while!  I did catch this expression on his face and because I have control of the blog, he doesn't have much to say regarding why the surprised expression.  Therefore it was the reaction to the above crappie I caught.  Maybe that will get him to comment!!  Either way it's been a real pleasure going with Pete this year as we made it out 5 times together, more than with anyone else.  It's amazing since he lives down the street and we have been neighbors for over 18 years yet never fished together.  Maybe he finally figured out I was serious about this fishing thing.  I am looking forward to showing him the Mississippi River smallies and hopefully make it up to Mille Lacs a few times.  He's actually a pretty good fisherman so I suppose I should stop while I'm ahead. 

It's 5 weeks to opener, things are moving along with Team Walleye.  I am starting to get the boat ready by installing a new Titan tiller system which locks my engine in one place when I take pressure off the handle.  This should really help reduce fatigue on those long runs or when it is advantageous to trim the motor in to keep the bow down.  I'll report on that as soon as I can.  The firmware on both of my depth finders have been upgraded, the waypoints loaded in from my previous units are done.  There is still a lot of things to do in the next few weeks and hopefully the weather will warm up enough to make working in the shed bearable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's amazing the conditions only a 100 miles north are so different. Haven't had the water draining down the holes/whirlpool bite yet....still lots of snow on the lake. Not sure that will change with the prediction of snow in the next couple of days. Ugh! Can't wait to get back to Alaska where it's warmer. Ha!