Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fishin' With Pete

Pete's 26 inch weed walleye
Ever grateful for being friends with my neighbor Pete Sipe, I am always looking for ways to repay him for his introduction to the current group of guys that fish Lac Seul.  Having lived down the street from me for over 22 years now I finally got him in my boat as we planned a Saturday afternoon Mille Lacs Lake  trip to see if the walleyes were cooperating.  Pete asked what to bring and after seeing his arsenal of fishing equipment I assured him that he just needs to bring himself, I'll supply everything else.   On the way up I suggested we stop for an ice cream cone at the Cenex station just south of Onamia, they're pretty good as well as reasonable.  Getting the cones while Pete put in about 12 gallons of gas in the boat on his credit card, that was awful nice of him, seeings who invited who.  After a quick stop at Bill's we finally launched to boat and headed for Roland's Flat.  20 minutes and we didn't mark a fish on the Lowrance, the next stop was a deeper underwater reef off of Sherman's point.  20 minutes and we didn't mark a fish on the Lowrance, the next stop was The Cut.  With the wind blowing pretty good from the south/southwest it was a perfect drift but after an hour we headed to 7-Mile.  It was pretty amazing that there wasn't a boat on the flat, a testament to the current attitude regarding the lake.  7-Mile is in my opinion the most popular structure in the summer to fish and for it to be 4:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday and not a boat in site, uffda is all I can say.  Moving to Sliver Flat to see if we could duplicate my friend Mark's previous weeks catch, nothing. Deciding to lead line the open basin area from Sliver Flat to the southeast tip of 8-Mile Flat, finally Pete saw his rod bend over.  We landed a nice fat 24 incher before resetting the lines and headed west.  Although the walleye hit soon after we started, another hour went by without another hit.  Packing up the rods we headed the boat to Vineland Bay with the plan to troll the weed tops for big northerns.  Setting up Pete with a 6 inch green tiger Rattlin Rouge, I put on a larger rattle bait and troll we did.  It wasn't long before rod bent over but as soon as it happened it was gone. Twenty minutes later Pete had a nice fish on and it was pretty exciting to see what it was knowing the size of bait he was pulling.   As the fish came to the boat it certainly didn't act like a northern and to our surprise it was a nice walleye.  Trolling 5 feet down, just touching the weed tops and we get a walleye, crazy.  Maybe I need to rethink my strategies!  With that fish being the last of the day it was Pete 2, Dave 0.  We ended the day driving up to Round Lake to see Bruce then over to the lake just east to meet up with our good friend Ricky Shermer and his crew.  It was a lot of fun despite the fact that once again I didn't catch a fish on Mille Lakes and having to drive 5 miles of dusty gravel roads to get to where Ricky was staying.  The good thing is the boat washes off but there is little I can do about the lack of fish on the end of my line, oh well it was fun.  Hating to admit I have yet to catch a fish on Mille Lacs this year, maybe the fall will bring a change.

Bruce's Monster 32" Walleye
Most of my good friends are very familiar with the blog as well as my love of fishing so they often send me pictures of the fish they catch. Sometimes to simply let me know they are having fun but often it's to show that they can catch the nice fish as well.  Last week a picture came over the phone from my good friend Bruce Thackray, a fellow transformer manufacturing colleague.  Bruce takes a trip to the Boundary Waters area every year with his family in July as we have discussed how much he enjoys Northern Minnesota.  Being from the Chicago area means he deserves some crap about fishing as we only see each other about  3 times a year at our Transformer Association meetings and trade association shows like the Coil Winding Show in Chicago.  Promising not to mention the lake he caught this pig at,  it was near the Gunflint Trail in about 12 - 17 feet of water when she hit.  Caught on a night crawler rig it was almost too big to fit in the net.  Bruce took the measurements and they were quite impressive....32 inch length and 18 inch girth with an estimate of around 13 pounds it's a once in a lifetime fish.  Bruce let the fish go and is already planning on getting a replica.  Suggesting Artistic Angler's out of Duluth Minnesota, they do an excellent job on walleyes and have a best collection of mount styles on the market today.  What's nice is that you tell them where you caught the fish and they understand the coloring and will match it perfectly.  It's definitely going to look good in his den and he can dream about that fish still swimming around, waiting for the next crawler rig to come by.

With the Mississippi River finally retreating from what has seemed to be a continual flood stage, I have been looking to replace the outboard motor on my john boat.  It currently has a 1976 15 hp Evinrude and although it runs OK, she's pretty slow.  Often my neighbor Lory goes with and traveling upstream yields about 12 mph.  As well, it can be cold blooded so it takes a while to get warmed up.  With the boat being rated for 25 hp, I've been looking on Craigslist for a reasonable replacement.  Not interested in anything older than a 1978 or something more than the whole boat is worth, it's pretty hard to find something in the middle.  I finally saw a 1999 25 hp short shaft Mercury in St. Cloud however by the time I called it was gone.  Oh well, I'd just keep looking.  Upon returning on Friday I got a message "if you are still interested in the motor the other guy fell through and I still have it".  A quick call verified a time to drive up to check it out and on Monday I had it in the back of my truck.  Double checking with my neighbor Blair to make sure his landing was still available the plan is to take it out on the river either Friday or Sunday.  It started on the first pull so it should work pretty good.  Saturday is filled with blueberry picking in Eleva, a farewell party of my wife's aunt, a birthday party for our niece, and the Fagerland reunion.   It's going to be impossible to hit everyone so we'll see who wins out.

No comments: