Monday, February 13, 2017

A Little Late But............

13", 1.5 pound Mille Lacs Perch
Last week I was in Anaheim Claifornia attending the MD and M West medical Device show. Admittedly I could have written the post from there but for some stupid reason my pictures on my phone did not transfer very well.....ugh!!  Anyway better late than never.  So my birthday was on February 4th and I decided to head up to Mille Lacs and try to catch some tullibees for my friend Mark Applen, who makes the best pickled fish ever, and tullibees are excellent to pickle.  Mark had gone up to Mille Lacs the night before and I knew he had gone out of Hunter's Point Resort. My plan was to head out of a resort that had a good bridge across the cracks that form near shore then once over, one can travel almost anywhere as long as you know where to return safely.  Midget Flat was my destination, a small flat south of 9 mile that tops out at around 30 feet, deeper than most which top out around 24 feet, yet I have done well with Tullibees out there so it seemed like the place to go.  Once on the ice I called Mark to see where he was, about 3 miles out towards the end of the line of houses, 15 minutes later I spotted him off to my right.  One thing nice about both Mark and I's ice houses, they are Salem's and you don't see very many of them.  Once you spot it, you can be pretty sure of your destination, especially when Mark's white pickup is parked next to it. Heading over, Mark was outside with his grandson Beckett, so I stopped to discuss my strategy.  "Well, no need to go out there, I have been seeing tullibees on the camera right here.  He was parked off a break in 32 feet of water so I decided to give it a try.  Tullibees are notorious for following your lure off the bottom and will travel quite high.  In fact, in the past I have almost pulled them to the surface, actually to where I could see them hit my lure.  At Lundeens I stopped to get some bait and I bought what I feel is the ideal tullibee lure, a spoon with about a 4 inch drop line off the bottom with a panfish type jig on it. The spoon attracts them and the lure below is tipped with a waxie and they hit that.  Well I went into Mark's house and immediately started marking fish.  I jigged on up about 5 feet off the bottom, definitely a tullibee when it hit the lure.   Tullibees fight really good and this one was no exception, however when it got close to the hole it was orange colored, not your typical silver.  Finally getting it to the top of the hole it was this huge perch, actually the biggest I have ever caught.  You can imagine my surprise when I brought it in, too bad it wasn't the Perch Extravaganza as I am sure I would have placed.

2 nice tullibees
After I got the perch in, I was still bound and determined to catch a tullibee.  It wasn't long before I hooked one and got it up, man they fight good, almost like those trout we got a couple weeks ago.  Tullibees are related to the whitefish, cisco, and herring family, a bony and oily fish that people usually smoke.  They have a texture when pickled like commercial pickled herring and are delicious.  I sat in Mark's house and managed to catch 6 of them, not a bad take for a couple hours of fishing.  I am sure that had I gone out to the Midget Flat there might have been more fish yet here I was fishing in a warm place sitting on a comfortable couch, not hard to take at all.  Beckett (Mark's 5 year old grandson) was watching me so the last 3 fish I gave him the rod to reel in the fish, he really got a kick out of that.  Not one to let a good opportunity slip by I made sure Beckett asked Grandpa why we were getting all the fish!  It's good to involve the kids in some light humor, and of course they really don't understand what your asking them but Grandpa Mark does!  You might as well get the little ones trained right and to make sure they know who is the master of the bite!  It was a good time as Mark cooked up some pork loins, fried up some sliced potatoes, it doesn't get any better than this for sure.  Getting home the job of cleaning the fish was done and because it's been fairly warm, I did this down by my pole shed.  Enough fillets for Mark to do his magic, I might have to go and get some more soon.  I did end up catching a 15 inch walleye as well, a nice bonus to a day's fishing.  With only 2 weekends left for the walleye season and the last being the Hunter's Point Perch Extravaganza, winter is ticking away.  I have yet to catch a sunfish or crappie this year, maybe in March, if there is even any ice left as we have no snow left with this weekend being in the upper 40's and next claims a 50 might show it's presence.

1 comment:

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Nothing quite like the smell of tullibee.