Thursday, February 25, 2016

That Time of Year

Water covering the ice.
It's that time of year where one day it can be 10 degrees out and the next it can be 50.  Because of the late ice cover and the relatively mild temperatures, the ice thickness on Mille Lacs is about 24 inches.  This is pretty light as normally we would have around 30 - 36 inches.  Last Saturday was very nice out and we had .5 inches of rain around home which along with the warm weather basically melted all of what little snow we had on the ice and polled about 2 - 5 inches of water on top of the ice.  I met Mark Applen who had his house out a couple of miles out of Hunter's Point then because the road was open to the flats I decided to drive the extra 10 miles or so out to Sliver again.  This time I had my Lowrance HDS 9 with me which has the accurate map and it was pretty easy.  Mark's son-in-law, Brandon was interested in coming with so we headed off.  Hunter's stated that the road to the flats was ok however they were going to remove the bridges Sunday Morning so if I had a wheel house I needed to get off before 9 or I'd be stuck.  We were just going out for the day so that wasn't an issue however it was pretty sloppy all the way to the flats however the bridges were in pretty good shape. With all the water on the ice it was interesting to drill a few holes as the water could drain through those holes.  The action wasn't as hot as last week but we did get some fish, a lot of those 13-15 inch walleyes again, it was fun.  I am sure that this was my last trip out to the flats but at least I got to fish them a couple of times.

Hand Carved Birthday Present from my Cousin Paul
Tuesday saw me head back to Mille Lacs to help Bill prefish an area with his friend Don,  as he had a number of clients he was taking out on Wednesday and wanted to see if we could identify a bite.  We drove out of Mac's Twin Bay and fished around Hennepin Island in the 30 - 33 feet of water.  Bill must have drilled about 100 holes and all three of us basically skipped from hole to hole looking for active fish.  Unfortunately we didn't find many.  No small walleyes and I did hook a nice tullibee but it came off.  I did get a nice perch and Bill nailed a couple of tullibee's and a smaller perch but fishing was spotty for sure.  A cold front had come through and the ice had solidified pretty well.   Getting back to work, on Wednesday my cousin Paul Anderson stopped by to give me a birthday present that he made for me.  I was absolutely shocked at how nice of a job he had done on this, hand carving it from a pine board, adding a fly to the second hand, and the nice touch a Cabela's Mean Eye crankbait on the pendulum!   Wow, Paul and I were best friend growing up and his dad (my uncle) was really special.  I am really speechless and excited about my special gift that Paul has given me!!

Friday my brother Steve and I head to meet Mark Applen, Russ Praught, and his brothers to fish the Johnson Portside Perch Extravaganza.  It's a perch contest but rally it turns into a button drawing and they have some really nice prizes.  This is usually the last time I get out my wheel house as it's suppose to be 50 on Saturday.  I really love staying on the ice and my brother Steve enjoys going with me.  Too bad his son Kevin isn't around as I know he'd be with us.  Either way with the relatively warm winter and the unusually thin ice, ice out should be quite early this year and provide a fantastic opener.

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