Thursday, February 4, 2016

Last Trip to Red for this Winter

Paul outside the Salem
Last weekend was my 4th trip to Red this year and the latest I have ever fished Red.  Last year we got out just after Thanksgiving and fished till the middle of January however this year the ice was late and we brought our houses up after Christmas and still had to stay on shore the first trip.  Fishing slows down in January and although we did catch enough fish to have a dinner at JR's, the action was spooty at best.  Although I did catch a few fish myself I would have to say that the total for the house was less than 15 for the weekend.  This week my guest were my brother Steve and our cousin Paul Anderson, from Hudson, Wisconsin.  Paul saw my last Red Lake post and e-mailed me to let him know when we were going again so I asked him if he wanted to go and of course he did.  Paul has been to Alaska with me and we did some snowmobiling in the Snowy Range of Wyoming a few times together but never ice fishing.  Steve usually stays at mom's in Eleva the night before and heads up in the morning.  Because he goes right by Paul's place Paul had to do little but to pack and jump in the truck as I had everything else that he needed to stay out on the ice.  It was significantly warmer this weekend than 2 weeks ago when we woke up to -25 below, so it was a lot nicer.  JR had open a new road northeast of the Center Bar and both Mark and Russ were already set up, it took a long time to get out there as it had to be at least 10 miles, 6 miles to Center Bar then north almost 2 miles then off to the east another 2 miles and at 10 - 15 mph, it was almost an hour drive.   It was nice as we were pretty much off to ourselves but a I said earlier, the fishing usually slows down after New Years Day.

Biggest  this weekend
We had enough fish to enjoy a fish fry on Friday night but thing definitely slowed after Friday.  We decided to keep our fish we caught so Paul and Steve would have some to bring home and by Sunday morning we only had 6 walleyes and a few perch.  Mark Applen had a couple so he gave them to us gving us 8 fish for the trip home.  Deciding that filleting them at JR's would be easier than at home we quickly cleaned them up including this nice 19 inch walleye that I had caught the evening before.   JR really improved the cleaning area of his place, with easy to clean stainless steel counters, fillet boards and a sink, it makes it much better.  Because I have enough fish in the freezer I let Paul and steve load up on the walleye this trip as I still have plenty of fishing to do. It was interesting as we came off the ice about 10:00 AM and was greeting at the access by JR.  With the amount of vehicles coming off the ice and the heave and cracks near the access, we just got accross the last bridge when someone summoned JR, there's a problem with the first bridge as you have to go over 2 bridges to get in.  I am glad we made it over because what happens is the the weight of the moving vehicles causes a wave of water to develope in front of the vehicle, under the ice.  That wave if it hits a weak spot of crack can blow a hole in the ice and form a very dangerous situation on the ice.  this is why there is a 10 - 15 mPH speed limit on the ice, it's not thick enough to sustain a lot of traffic, especially us guys pulling houses and maintaining the integrity of the ice.  Lord knows how long it may have taken to get off the lake after the bridge blew out.  So we got our fish cleaned and headed south with my wheel house in tow.  It was nice to get it home as I needed to get a lot of things done to it, rugs washed, get it heated up in the inside and dried out, cooking pans washed, and stuff put back away where it belongs.

Fishing is reported to be good on Mille Lacs so I will probably head up this weekend.  As well my friend Bill Lundeen could use some help on Saturday because all of the fishing contests start this weekend so I am getting up early.  It should be done by 10:00 so maybe I can sneak out on the lake and fish the afternoon.  Although I don't believe people are catching anything in the tight 19 - 21 inch slot, I do know they are getting them bigger than that as well, tons of those 13 - 15 inch fish from the great year class of a couple years ago.  It should be interesting for sure.  If nothing else I am looking forward to trying some crappie fishing soon.  I am going to be in California next week till Thursday, hopefully it don't get too used to the warm weather!!!

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