Friday, June 21, 2013

The Bite is On!!!

A nice 26 inch walleye

After a month of excuses such as the lake is still iced over, too much rain, too windy, have to be somewhere other than the lake, my neighbor Lory Brasel and I finally made to to Mille Lacs for my first "No Pressure" fishing trip since opener.  With most of the garden in and although it was raining at the house, the radar showed the all clear at Mille Lacs, we headed out around 2:00 for the late afternoon/evening bite.  The wet weather has been perfect for my nightcrawler supply however we still stopped at Bill's to get the latest and greatest as well, I needed to stock up on a few essentials for next week (more on that later).  Deciding to go out of the landing north of the Casino, our strategy was to fish the close in humps first then move out to Sherman's flat after 6:00 with a possible finish shallow trolling Shad Raps on Indian Point.   By 4:00 we were on the humps and back-trolling spinner rigs with crawlers.  By 4:15 Lory's rod doubled over as he reeled in the first fish of the day, 19.5", in the livewell it was a great start.  At 4:30 a walleye dang near pulled my rod out of my grip, man were they hitting those crawlers hard.  I have stated this many times, nothing works better for crawler rigs than TruTurn brand bait holder hooks.  The long shaft with the cam action, the walleyes basically hooked themselves with every fish caught, hooked in the upper lip.  Honestly, one doesn't even have to let them take the crawler as they are right there!  With a 23 inch fish landed, we had 2 in 30 minutes.  Almost like clockwork Lory nailed another one, this time a 26 incher.  It was my turn again and at 5:00 I reeled in our 4th fish.  Fishing in the 16 to 20 foot level, it seemed that the fish would hit the best when the sun went behind the clouds then stop as it came back out again.  After a few more fish we decided to stick to our plan and head to Sherman's Flat. 

22 inch fish

 During the next 2 hours we managed to catch another 6 walleyes, all looking like they can out of the same 22 inch mold.  By now the wind had completely died and the bug hatch about drove us crazy.  I do like fishing crawlers during a bug hatch as the fish are really tuned in. As the sun's edge started to touch the tree tops our next stop was Indian Point.  I was surprised by the amount of boats in the shallow water (4 - 6 feet), anchored and bobber fishing.  Now I know this is a good strategy and there were 2 of Eddy's Launches parked on top of the reef.  It's common, the boats hang around the launches and are as bad as the bug hatch.   Thankfully all the boats were at the far east side of the long and narrow reef giving us some room to establish a trolling pattern.  I like staying in the 6 foot or less water as moved up and down the reef in an east to west direction.  There are a lot of smallies on the reef and they seemed to like my new Storm Smash Shad I had gotten from Bill for Christmas.  I did end up with 4 little bass while Lory, using a jointed diver managed to hook another nice 23 inch walleye.  Over all it was a great 5 hours on the lake, 13 walleyes and 4 bass with one in the slot for supper.  As you can see in the picture the evening was just perfect, a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  One other thing I finally figured out was the pointer on the GPS screen of my HDS10.  While fishing with Mark a few weeks ago I noticed that with the Lowrance Point 1 GPS receiver with built in compass, the pointer on the screen always indicated the position referencing where the front of the boat was pointing.  This drove me absolutely crazy, pointing opposite my heading, I just didn't like it.  Having e-mailed Lowrance, calling their 1-800 customer service number, even talking to Bill, nobody could answer my question of how to turn the compass function off, assuming this would now give me a true perspective of my actual heading via the pointer on the screen.  The last word was complicated!  Well, I did figure it out, I simply found the right menu item to turn the heading setting configuration for the Point 1 to OFF.  Voila, I am back to normal, which is a good thing.  Funny thing is that it really wasn't very complicated at all, oh well.

So Saturday I join my brother Steve and his son Kevin, and a few guys that fished Mille Lacs with me last September for a trip to Geraldton, Ontario Canada.  Other than a few business trips, I haven't fished Canada in almost 40 years.  After 12 hours of driving, we should be at our cabins by 9:00 and ready to go for fishing Sunday through Wednesday.  With northern pike and walleye on the menu, I have been assured that the action is fantastic.  I called my friend Paul Wenaas who fishing Canada quite a bit for some advice about minnows.  His secret is to freeze minnows that have been covered with 20 Mule Team Borax, they will be as good as you need.  I froze about 25 dozen last night, ordered 500 crawlers to pick up on the way, and have restocked my tackle box with Daredevils and smaller muskie baits, looking for that 40"+ northern.  I am pretty excited to spend some time with Steve and Kevin, hopefully I can teach them a thing or two again.   Returning late Thursday night, my report might be a few days late next week.  The following Sunday, June 30 is promised to my neighbor Blair and his friend Kevin, from Chicago.  They fished with me last year and really wanted to do it again......dang it, I suppose!  As well I am getting reports from Lake Oahe from my friend Roger Weber and they are hammering the walleyes.  Let's hope the bite stays hot for another 4 weeks. 

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