Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Day With Charlie

Chuck's 26 incher
The first week of August usually means a visit from an old friend Chuck Teasley.  I have been writing this blog since 2008 and the only 2 times we have missed was in 2008, when I was in China and 2011 when my father died.  Other than that, we make a real effort to get together once a year to fish Mille Lacs.  Charlie is an interesting guy, has the biggest chip on his shoulder yet would give it to you in a heartbeat if you needed it.  More time than not we include our friend Dan Hoene, but this year Dan couldn't make it.  Our adventure started Wednesday evening as Chuck met me at the pole shed.  After hooking the boat up we headed north stopping at Bill's to get the latest news on the bite, then heeding his advice and stopped at the Spirit Lake Steakhouse in Wahkon for supper.  All I can say is wow!  The food was absolutely fabulous and my favorite was the walleye strips, totally unbelievable.  Finishing dinner we headed to Fisherman's Wharf to stay at my friend, Mark Applen's estate!  It's pretty nice as Mark has turned an ordinary ice house into a comfortable castle.  The night was clear and the stars were incredible.  After an hour of watching Gator Boys we finally hit the sack for a great nights sleep.    Thursday brought a northwest wind with whitecaps coming into the east side shorelines.  Our strategy was to head to the west side and fish the flat areas including Sherman's, 7-mile, 8-mile, and wherever we could find fish.  In the end it would prove more difficult than we expected. 

Chuck's 23 incher
Our first stop was The Cut on Sherman's Flat.  This is usually my go to area as I start at the inside end of the drop off and work my way up to the tip.  I was marking a ton of fish but nothing was biting.  On my way back down the edge there was a boat working the same break but headed directly for me.  Deciding someone had to give, I moved out of the way and let him pass.  I minute later I got a call from my friend Jon Bathke asking way I almost ran them over.  As a passenger in a Lund, Jon drives a Warrior Boat so I didn't recognize him.  We agreed to keep each other abreast of the current bite and went our own ways.  Next stop was the 7-mile as the west end was perfect for the wind drift.  After 3 hours we still had nothing to show for our efforts.  Time to start lead lining.  After an hour of unproductive trolling Jon called and said they were having some luck at the 8-Mile flat.  We were already heading that way so we decided to simply stay our route.  In the meantime I decided to switch to a #11 Tail Dancer on a planer board.  Still marking fish, they simply weren't biting.  An hour later I decided it was time to move and while reeling in my Tail Dancer a nice 24 inch walleye hit the lure.  Landing it we took a picture however the SD card was locked so no picture.  This was our inspiration to keep trolling and Chuck landed 2 more nice fish, a 26 inch walleye shown above and a 23 incher.  Both were caught on a lead line with a small orange crank bait.  Besides a fish that hit the Tail Dancer again, that was about it.  We hit Indian Point and trolled the length of the reef but no dice, not even a 12 inch smallie.  Heading back to the landing we loaded up and ran into Jon, who had just loaded up themselves.  He did somewhat better with 6 fish landed, still a fairly poor day considering the week before was on fire.  That's fishing.

Saturday I loaded my motorcycle on the trailer, dropped off my wife in Eau Claire and headed south.  After 2 hours of picking blueberries at Blueberry Ridge in Eleva, I unloaded my bike and put on 150 miles riding the beautiful roads of Trempealeau County.  Sunday saw the 2013 inaugural launch of my 14 foot Jon Boat as it made it's maiden voyage on the Mississippi River behind my house with Lory Brasel.  Thinking the fish were shallow, our first mistake, a gentlemen fishing the river gave some advice, fish the deep edges.  Somewhat difficult at first, we decided it was best to come back with a better strategy, maybe jigging the 10 foot holes with a 3/8 oz jig tipped with a crawler might be the ticket.  In other words, we didn't catch a thing!  Never the less it was nice to get out and we do have a plan for the next adventure on the River.  The summer has actually been pretty nice if you like the weather a little cooler.  The water temp on Mille Lacs was 70 degrees F, pretty cool for the first of August.  My tomatoes are begging for warmer, more humid temperatures but it doesn't look promising.  At least it great sleeping weather!

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