Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Leech Lake Opener, Part 2.

Fish data for 2016 Leech Lake Opener
Well, because I am in Canada hopefully catching more walleyes than I can count, I thought I would try to see if I can publish this weeks post via the schedule settings, we'll see.  Leech Lake opener was about an average opener for us.  Besides the cold and wind of Saturday, Sunday and Monday turned out pretty nice.  We keep track of all the walleyes caught over 12 inches and we also use this spreadsheet to keep track of all the fish we kept in the freezer.  As you can see Saturday was a tough day for me and my team however by Monday I had found the groove and started catching some nice walleyes.  Adam Mayerich did really well with his Saturday morning catch of 16 walleyes making it awful hard to catch him.  Now that he has his own boat, it's a little easier to dictate the pace of fishing, the locations, and when was it time to move.  In the end we caught 174 walleyes for basically the 21 guys  that fished for 3 days, almost a 3 walleye per day/fisherman average, not bad.  Jig and shiner minnows was the main presentation however I managed 12 walleyes in the boat trolling the shallow water off of Ottertail Point with #5 shad Raps which is something I really enjoy.  I am not sure but this year seemed different as in the past I have fished quite a variety of different spots but we only fished a few main spots, the Governors Flat, Ottertail Point, and Submarine Island this year. Maybe there was enough fish however Leech Lake is known for it's walleye's to relate to the wind pounded shores and many of my old spots did not have the waves going into them.  There were other guys that fished Goose Island and Stoney Point but they really didn't do any better than I did.

Mike's 6 pound dogfish
We did get a lot of northern pike this year, as there seemed to be an abundance of them.  Also we got very few if any perch.  These 2 fish are a bell weather of what's going on with the lake for sure.   Besides the big Rock Bass in last weeks post, we brought another unusual fish on board, here is a very nice dogfish that Mike Kimpel caught while trolling Ottertail for walleyes. These fish are nothing but solid muscle and this one weighed over 6 pounds. He thought he had a nice walleye on but it didn't take very long to figure out this wasn't the fish he thought he had!  It was the first I had seen in 26 years of opening on Leech and it was a dandy.  We did get a few nice northerns but most were the typical 20 - 24 inch variety.  This year we brought along 4 gallons of Shiner minnows and it was more than enough for our needs....this year.  I wanted to try night crawlers and use what they call a slo death rig however it just didn't work out, maybe I am getting lazy in my old age!  

About this time I should be preparing my friend, Troy Keinitz's famous Steak a la Keinitz, Rib eye's marinated in Tabasco sauce, Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce, and Pace Picante hot salsa.  They are pretty good on the grill, enough to where this will be the 2nd time I've been asked to bring them up.  It's off to Costco to get the steaks as the marinade does a great job of tenderizing them.  Hopefully I will have a great report for you in a week.

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