Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Big Fish on Lac Seul

John Schley and his 30" walleye
As stated last week my brother Steve and I got a last minute invite from Bruce to head to Lac Seul to fish the last 3 days of his time at the cabin.  We decided to drive up to Sioux Lookout on Tuesday, stay overnight at the Best Western, then meet Bruce at the Deception Bay Landing at 6:30, Wednesday morning and follow him out to the outpost cabin.  Steve drove up from Onalaska, Wisconsin and picked me up at 9:30, we hooked my boat to his truck and were off. Deciding to buy a couple bottles of Crown Royal at the Duty Free Shop in International Falls, MN, we got to the border and answered all of the questions directly and politely.  When asked how much liquor we had, I stated 1 case of beer, 1 bottle of wine, and 2 bottles of Crown,  the officer handed back our passports, smiled and said, have a nice day!  Definitely things were looking up at that point. We arrived at Sioux Lookout at 6:30, checked into the hotel, then walked across the street for a burger and Budweiser, $12 Canadian.  After 9 hours it was nice to get out and walk around. Wednesday morning arrived right on time and we headed back to the bait shop for a parking sticker, some large minnows, and a hat for my friend Glen.  Arriving just in time, Bruce was there waiting for us as we loaded everything in and headed north by water.   Bruce was there to drop some guys off and pick up his father-in-law and brother-in-law, John and Greg Schley from the Garrison, MN area. There were 2 things that needed fixing before we left, first none of my electronics would turn on and secondly Bruce is trails on his had disappeared.  Pulling a panel off I must have had a bad connection as a few wiggles and everything fired up and stayed that way throughout the trip.  Luckily I had downloaded Bruce's previous data to a SD card and had it with me.  I put it into his HDS and uploaded the information, he was back in business.  Having the old and correct routes is important to safely get back to camp and we were both happy everything was working good.  It takes about an hour to get to camp and as usual, Bruce had arranged a safe dockage for my boat. Once unloaded we headed out to Tuk Bay and started really hitting the walleyes. Unfortunately the storms rolled in as it is nice to have the Sirius/XM/Weather module so we could track the lightening that we saw to the west.  Barely making it back to camp, it is a 10 mile boat ride and it started to rain as we docked.  After and hour it cleared up so we headed back to Tuk, fished a while before the same scenario repeated itself and we headed back in at around 3:00.  Deciding to fish a little closer to camp we headed north and fished the point on the north end of Chamberlain Narrows, it happened again
Selfie of my 24 incher
and we were forced in.  Enough is enough so we decided to stick around as it was about time for cocktail hour and supper.  Thursday morning arrived and we decided to take John with us in my boat as we headed to Wapesi Bay.  We got plenty of fish there but admittedly it was pretty cold, maybe in the mid 40's, Bruce claimed it's never been that cold this time of the year.  Of course we were not dressed for this weather so it was nice to put on the rain gear, at least it kept the wind off.  We did pretty well in Wapesi, not a record day but it was fun to have John in the boat, someone different and being 83, Steve and I really catered to him.  We had fried walleye on Wednesday night and again on Thursday, and had steak on Friday night.  This allowed us to properly manage our possession limits of fish to stay legal and be able to bring some home.  Friday we decided that Tuk was a better option for fish and as we headed out John asked if he could go with us again....of course.  He was a pleasure to have in the boat and at his age did really well.  We made sure that he always had a sharp jig, a minnow on the hook, and was comfortable.  He was rewarded with a beautiful walleye, 30 inches, the biggest walleye ever to grace my boat!!  I don't know if that was his biggest walleye ever but it is a once in a lifetime fish and it definitely gave us some bragging rights, after all who was guiding him!!  I had bought some clickers to tally how many fish we really catch and at 1:00 we had over 60 fish for the 4 hours we had been out but as usual, the bite tends to slow down around noon.  Our goal was to get 100 fish in the boat so we headed north from where we were as I scanned the points for active fish on my depthfinder.  We noticed some about a mile up from where we started and activated the anchor. Immediately we began catching fish and by 4:00 we had caught an additional 43 walleyes to give our grand total of 103 caught in the 7 hours we were out.  Not bad as people say they get 100 fish a day but that is not necessarily and audited number.  We worked hard for that total and looking back it was a pretty special day, John got his 30 incher plus contributed his share of the 103 walleyes caught, the weather was nice, and we had enough fish so everyone could bring home their limit, perfect if you ask me.  It was a pleasure to help John and I can only hope that I will be fishing at that age.

Friday night was Steak night and it's usually my responsibility to prepare and cook them.   Bruce complained that the ribeyes are too big so this time I brought a whole tenderloin and cut them accordingly.  With my usual Tabasco Sauce/Buffalo wing sauce marinade they turned out perfect as everyone really likes them.  We even had a chuck of meat left over that we gave Sam, the camp guy that gets us minnows and helps with everything.  He thought that was pretty good.  I also met some interesting guys, as I arrive in camp I saw some boats with a WS license, from Wisconsin.  Asking where they were from they said Eau Claire and I fired back Eleva.  Here it was Denny Zacko and his sons and grandsons, they go every year.  I went over to talk with the and we had a good discussion about boats, Eau Claire, and my Evinrude G2 motor.  Also next door to us in a cabin was a gentlemen with his 4 boys, they were from Northern Illinois.  Bob, his twin boys Cary and Ben, younger son Adam and their older brother, it was nice to see the younger generation and a family enjoying them selves.  Saturday morning was our day to head out and we left camp by 7:00.  It was glass smooth and John decided why change now and hopped in the boat with Steve and I for the 1 hour, 15 minute ride back.  We loaded the boat up and headed south for the 8.5 hour ride back to civilization.  My brother Steve agreed to pull my boat with his truck and he did pretty well averaging 12 miles to the gallon.  My truck gets about 10.5 in the same scenario.  I am sure Mille Lacs is still hot so maybe this weekend.  It's also time to think about fishing the river as I need to get the Jon Boat out and running soon.


Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Awesome trip. It sounds just like the only time I was there. I even stayed at the Best Western the night before!....Definitely a special place in the world for fishing.

James said...

Dave- I think Mike's dogfish is still the best fish caught in your new boat.

David Grant said...

Hey Dave, I am running low on hooks in my tackle box, I was wondering if you had a link or suggestion to where I could buy bulk hooks? I was looking at Amazon but I thought I needed some professional help!

Thanks David

Benjamin Healy said...

Hey Dave! Good read, thanks for posting! This is the fortunate son from the cabin next door- take care!