Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Back on the Pond

Kevin and a nice walleye

After 4 days of fishing in Canada the next date was with my neighbor Blair Wolfram and his friend Kevin from Chicago.  Last year Blair had asked me if I could take his friend fishing, we were able to get out in the middle of June, and did very well.  This trip was a couple of weeks later however with the late spring, timing was perfect.  My friend Mark Applen was staying at his place on Mille Lacs and had started giving me early morning reports as he was out on a mid-lake flat.  Words like "Committing Suicide, On Fire, Jumping in the Boat" made us wish we would have left 2 hours earlier.  The last draw was a picture that came on the phone of a 44 inch northern he just released.....uffda!  Stopping at Lundeen's to pick up some supplies and the secret bait (shhhh...small pike sucker minnows) we headed to the landing.  Based on the past spotty reports of little pressure on the lake I expected the landing to have plenty of parking yet as we turned the corner you could see rigs parked in the ditch, a sure sign the bit was good.  All the rain has certainly filled up the lake, evident by the dock at the landing requiring a good jump or wet feet to get in the boat.  I generally have a strategy of stops, starting inshore first then working our way to the middle of the lake.  With Mark's reports still coming in we decided to just meet him at 7 mile.  As we approached the flat he was easily identified by the guy standing in his boat waving us over!  There was a nice chop on the lake and as we got closer he was reeling up another fish.  There were quite a few boats on the flat and with 3 guys I decided to circle the outside edge.  An hour later we had 5 walleyes on the board.  Finishing our first trip around the flat back to Mark, he was ready to leave.  With both his keepers in the boat, the wind was dying and bite slowed, he left for his place at Fisherman's Wharf. 

 Caught on a crawler

Another hour at that flat and a few more fish we decided to look for a less crowded flat.  With so many guys on a structure, they can push the active fish off the flats.  The calming winds causes the water to flatten out, add the high sun and you can be assured the light penetration is at it's maximum.  Once this happened the walleye's became more scarce although they didn't stop biting, it was just longer between fish.  Deciding to go back to my original strategy we headed back closer to shore and fished Sherman's Flat.  We had little competition as there were only 3 boats left verses the 12 that were working it as we passed it earlier.  No jumping in the boat we managed another 6 walleyes for a total of 13 caught.  Moving north to Seguchi Flat's long western edge, another 5 walleyes were netted.  A final stop back at Sherman's saw an additional 2 fish for a days total of 20.  Not saying it was a bad day but once the wind stopped blowing it became more difficult to locate active fish.   Had we been there 2 hours earlier, it could have been double that.  Oh well the price for a decent nights sleep.  We did not end up with any keeper fish, those in the tight 18 - 20 inch slot range yet we did get a surprising 17 incher.  I suppose you could look at the good side, at least we didn't have to clean fish when we got home!  With the bite as good as it is my next trip planned is Friday the 5th with a good friend Hondro Zeller.  The last time he fished with me was when I had my Skeeter 135T, probably in the mid 1990's.  I don't remember if we caught any fish but I do recall how windy and rough it was.  We hit a wave and my rear trolling motor bracket broke sending the entire unit into the water as I only became aware of it as the motor, held on by the cord, was bouncing off the back!  Going too fast and acting too smart, thank God I am older now.  This trip will be a little more civilized as the Ranger handles the water much better and the weather is supposed to be beautiful.  Hopefully next weeks post will be a good one.

Monday we met regarding our Lake Oahe trip and have that pretty well organized.  Russ wants to leave at 4:00 in the morning, go go go.  Draining my livewells on Sunday the valve control for one of them broke.  On top of that there must have been some water left in the system as one of the valves by the aerator pump was leaking pretty bad, typical of what happens when water freezes and cracks the case.  I did get to my dealer to secure parts and will put them in before Friday.   

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