Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Running Hard

A couple nice crappies
Things are starting to come together for our trip to Lake Oahe this week so my post is early this week. One of the most important items I have been waiting for is my new RX4 20P prop that has been on order for a month now.  It finally arrived last Friday so I picked it up and at the same time learned that my replacement kicker motor should be in this week.  I never like surprises and my friend Pete called to see if I wanted to go and fish Lake Osakis on Sunday with his guide friend, it seemed like a great time to try the prop and see if I could finally land a walleye in the boat as it's been pretty uneventful in that department.  Pete claims his friend has been getting 20 - 30 walleyes a day using crawlers.  After getting the chores done around the house I put the new prop on and Sunday picked up Pete at his river place in Monticello.  Pete is a very accomplished fisherman who owns and operates River Run Guide Service specializing in fishing the Mississippi River upstream from Monticello, MN.  Check out his site, Pete does exceptionally well.  After stopping at McDonald's for breakfast we launched the boat at the southern end of the lake, right in the town of Osakis.  I have always wanted to fish the opportunity so this was a first for me.  First things first, we checked out the prop performance and it was excellent, great hole shot and it spun over 5800 RPM's which is just perfect as the motor's peak horsepower is at 5750 RPM.  From there we hit the first underwater hump and right away Pete got bit off by a northern.  He was using red tails while I tried crawlers.  The second drift ended with Pete getting bit off again while I landed a small northern which made shreds of my crawler harness. Unfortunately the walleyes were not cooperating at all.  Pete's friend Scott, who guides on the lake was done with his morning trip and stopped by the boat to see how we were doing and confirmed that it was a tough bite today and they didn't get one walleye either.  Deciding to try something else as Osakis is famous for it's big crappies and bluegills we headed to the calmer side of the lake.  The lake has a pretty deep weed line even though I wouldn't say the water is that clear, you could see the weeds in 15 feet of water.  While Pete tried a small piece of night crawler I pitched a small twister tail and did get 2 really nice crappies.  Usually crappies school and where there is one there's a number of them.  Unfortunately this was not the case Sunday but what the heck, it was fun to fish a new lake and for sure I'll definitely be back to Osakis.

Storm Damage to Keith's Place
On the way back from fishing on Sunday it was obvious that we were going to be in for a storm later in the day.  Being hot and exceptionally humid for the last couple of days and a cold front coming down from Canada, it's a recipe for some excitement for sure.  Although the maps were showing the storm front mostly to the northwest of us, and seldom do storms come in from this direction, it seemed to develop along the line heading right for the Twin Cities. Fortunately for us, the storm came after the sun went down which took much of it's energy away however it was a different case in Brainerd.  Striking the area a few hours earlier, the straight line winds tore up Brainerd International Raceway, the big resorts on Gull Lake, and my friend Keith Holtan's house on North Long Lake, just a stones throw from BIR.  Keith is in Alaska right now dealing with his own issues regarding the King Salmon fishery on the Kenai and I am sure this wasn't a welcome sight yet like he said, we are still have our health and that says alot!  Oh well, just another exciting week for sure.  With that in mind we head off tomorrow morning for Lake Oahe, SD which is a large reservoir on the Missouri River.  The last time I was there was 2 years ago when after the flood of 2011 swept 90% of the key forage fish, the rainbow smelt through the dam in Pierre.  In order to balance the situation at the time, the state increased the daily walleye limit from 4 to 8 and change the possession limit to 24 per person.  We did get a great variety of fish including walleyes, northerns, smallmouth bass, perch, freshwater drum, carp, and striped bass.  This year the water is up, and the limits are back to normal (4 walleyes, 8 possession limit) and because the lake is still feeling the effects of the reduction in smelt, the fish tend to be shallower where their current preferred forage the gizzard shad hangs out. This should make the fishing somewhat easier but I know it's still going to be hot as it always is in the middle of July in South Dakota.  We'll probably drag crawlers as our main method of fishing, it's a lot of fun.  We are staying at a rented house in Akaska and it's very reasonable for the 6 of us that are going which includes my brother Steve and friends Mark Applen and Russ, who has done all the arrangements.  

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