Friday, June 24, 2016

Mille Lacs Lake on Fire

Kam's 26" walleye
Sunday proved to be the first trip to Mille Lacs this year.  With me was Lory Brasel, Kam Chen (a Chinese engineer from work), and Chad Gao (Our new manufacturing engineer from our Chinese plant, over to the US for training).  We decided to show Chad some of the things we do in Minnesota and Kam was nice enough to go with, so we headed out by 9:00 and was fully on the water by 11:30. Boy was it rough as we had 20 mph winds out of the south and whitecaps were in full force. Usually I have a strategy but Sunday's wind was going to make it difficult but what the heck, it was worth a try. Besides that a Skeeter just arrived at the landing while we were taking off and a few quick questions verified my suspicion, Sherman's flat was hot however the wind was building, not dying down and I suspect he left because of that. Never the less I decided that we could drift the edge and it would give me a good opportunity to hone my less than stellar boat control skills with a wheel boat.  It didn't take long to figure out that it was going to be a challenge out there, I've had these experiences before but quite honestly I am getting a little older, maybe wiser, and don't have that burning desire to pound the heck out of my body these days.  Never the less our first stop was the rock humps just south of Sherman's Point.   Getting the crawler rigs set up we did 2 drifts without any luck so it was off to Sherman's flat. Uffda!!!  Using the same crawler rig setups I was able to work the edge running my kicker motor perpendicular to the wind and it moved us perfectly along the edge.  I was pretty proud of accomplishing that however it did not produce any fish so that wasn't to productive except for the boat control lesson.  In the meantime our guest from China was starting to look a little green around the ears.  It wasn't long before he was chumming off the side of the boat.  I am not a complete unsympathetic guy so we ended the drift at the tip, no fish to be had anyway, so we headed to calmer waters, the small 3 lobed flat just out from the landing and somewhat protected from the South gale force winds by Indian Point.  There we saw a number of fish caught and we tried bobbering before starting to drift.  Managing to only catch 2 I decided to head to Anderson's reef on the south end. Hopefully the wind would be more tolerable and we could get into the great smallmouth bite.

Chad's walleye
Unfortunately it wasn't much better so admittedly I was at a loss for strategy.  We headed back towards Indian Point along the calmer shoreline and I could tell the nicer ride at 55 mph made both of the guys smile.   Going that fast in a boat is something they never experienced before.  As I passed Eddy's Resort I had remembered an area just out from there, a small hump in 25 feet of water that comes up to about 20 feet.  Years ago we did well there so it was worth a try.  The waves weren't that bad and it was a good opportunity to try bobber fishing with leeches.  After getting squared away and the trolling motor down in the anchor mode we set our bobber depth and hooked on a leech. With 3 rods out for 4 guys it didn't take long before one of the corks went down.  I set the hook then handed the Rod to Chad, who reeled in his first walleye.  It wasn't so rough there and he was doing pretty well.  Next Kam's bobber went down and he set the hook on a beautiful 26 in walleye shown above.  Both guys were pretty excited as we really started to get into the fish. Deciding to leave at about 7:00, we had caught and released about 20 walleyes, not bad for a couple of hours.  It was good that our guests had an opportunity to reel in a number of fish and of course I was more successful helping Kam to pose for his fish than I was with Chad.   The wind really takes it out of you and Sunday was no exception as we relaxed at the Long Siding Bar and Grill for a hamburger and beer, another great American tradition!!  My next rip is Thursday with Glen Collins, a friend from Chicago as we are planning on going back up.  As well I have an invite to go back up to Lac Seul next week which is looking like it will happen.

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