Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

10 inch Walleye on the Mississippi River
There is a lot going on these days, enough to limit the fishing to a few hours a night on the river.  The current situation on Mille Lacs has turned off a number of my usual fishing partners but there's always someone to hit the river with.   Now that the jon boat has a 25 hp motor, it's a bit more enjoyable fishing the river as it pushes the boat about 20 mph upstream, about 67% faster than the old 15 hp.  Joining me on Saturday night was my good friend Mark Applen who had never been on the river with me before.  Loading up the crawlers, his poles, some sucker minnows, and a few adult beverages, we launched at Blair's and headed up the river about 4 miles.  In Old Town Dayton, where the Crow River meets the Mississippi, the two waters take almost the entire length from our launching point to finally mix.  The Crow flows through mostly farmland and tends to be quite "muddy" while the Mississippi has more of a flow through forest regions and has a number of dams upstream to help settle the water.  It's quite noticeable where on the north side of the river, it's pretty clear while the south side, where the Crow empties, stays fairly muddy.  I tend to like fishing on the north side, although I cannot be certain it's better, it is more fun to fish water that looks cleaner.  Mark and I had a number of nice smallmouth on the lines but never landed anything larger than 14 inches.  Lot's of little ones, which is good and maybe with the water level dropping, one might have to change our fishing strategy.  As we approached closer to home the plan was to anchor and fish for whatever shows up on the end of the line.  Mark rigged up a sucker minnow while my pole was the old standby, a gloob of night crawlers fished on the bottom.  Night Crawlers are the super bait of the river, anything and everything likes them and besides, one never knows what's at the end of your line.  It wasn't long before that familiar tap-tap was felt, nothing big as it sort of bit like a small catfish, which the river is full of.  A minute later the hook comes up bare, threaded another 2 crawlers on the hook and the same thing, tap-tap-tap and nothing.  Now catfish are greedy fish and even if they bite light eventually they swallow the entire bait and end up hooked.  Well whatever was stripping my bait, it couldn't have been too big and I soon found out.  Finally hooking one, the fish appeared on the surface, a 10 inch walleye, interesting.  I caught another one soon after, there must have been a school of them hanging in the 10 foot current break, just below the island.  I suspect that as the water continues to drop it will concentrate the fish into the deeper holes and it will be time to try and see if we can locate some larger walleyes, I know they are there.  We really didn't get too many more fish and suspect that they are up in the shallower waters at dusk.  Loading the boat we headed back to the pole barn where a number of the neighbors stopped over and helped finish the remaining refreshments.

Test run after a rebuild
The other highlight of the weekend was attending the Lucas Oil Nationals at the Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), site of one of the fastest drag racing tracks in the United States.  Another good friend and business associate Kevin Sonsalla met myself and my neighbor Todd at Cabela's and headed north.  It been a number of years since I've been to BIR and it was alot of fun to get back up and watch the race.  Last week's post mentioned that the teams would tear the engines down and rebuild them with new heads, pistons, rods, and bearings after each run.  With only about 2 hours between runs, these guys did it in about an hour and it was pretty amazing to watch.  Because of Kevin's VIP passes, we got to eat supper in the hospitality area and I even had the chance to get Tony's autograph for Lyn's cousin Micky, an avid race fan.  We watched Tony test start the engine after the last rebuild of the night before we headed back to the bleachers at 5:00 to watch the finish.  The fastest we saw were times in the 3.83 seconds for 100 feet with speeds up to 313 mph.  Overall the race saw 2 track records set, the first was a Funny Car time breaking the 4 second mark at 3.998 and the second record was set by Doug Kalitta with a Top Fuel Dragster passing the line at 3.72 seconds.  Man, that's fast!  It's really hard to describe the feeling when these cars head down the track, your whole body shakes.  I definitely appreciate Kevin thinking of me as we got to see some really fast cars, have a nice dinner with refreshments on the house, and did get to meet a few people including Tony Schumacher as well as my other neighbor Tim and his crew.

The Taylor's Door County fishing adventure
Last but not least is news from the Taylor Family vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin.  Apparently they chartered a salmon fishing adventure and did pretty well.  Jack sent me 2 pictures, one of Ben holding the biggest fish of the trip, one he caught, a 20+ pound King Salmon.  They did not send me the final results but as you can see, the family is holding up 7 beautiful fish.  My personal opinion about this picture however is different, yes they were very successful yet check out Ben's head as apparently he's hung around Uncle David enough to finally wear something that differentiates him from the rest.  The biggest salmon and that Green Bay Packer hat, a sure sign of a true winner for sure!  Jack and his family are family to me and I appreciate them sharing their lives with me, we'll see if they will share the fish as well.  Check out their video report from Sturgeon Bay Outdoors HERE. We are approaching Labor Day and some of the busiest times of the year.  With family birthdays this weekend, out of town next weekend, my annual motorcycle trip with brother Steve the following week, back to Lac Seul starting September 5th, it's truly crazy.  The garden is ripening right on time and canning needs to be done, I make pretty good salsa, ya know!  I brought my ice house to Mankato, MN to get the bottom of the floor spray insulated before it got too cold out, which will really help keep it warm on the ice.  As my grandma Myrtle would say......Uffda!

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Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Hey Dave, your arms are stretched out far enough to make that 10" walleye look like a 12" walleye. Hahaha!

Keith