Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Uffda.......Busy Schedule...............But....Fishing Opener!

My gift from Jeffrey
Wow,  Last week was a whirlwind of activity, too much to even take the time to report in on the Fishing opener.  Adding to the craziness was the fact that upon returning from Leech I ended up taking my nephew to the airport then getting everything ready for my guests that were arriving from Taiwan the next day.  I spent the next Wednesday and Thursday with my "Golden" Brother CK, then a mad scrabble to get a few things done around the house, pack as we headed for Lac Seul, Canada on Friday.  It was great to see my friends from Taiwan, CK, Jeffrey, Serena, and May.  Although I usually get to see Jeffrey at least once a year, I haven't seen CK or Serena in a number of years. Jeffrey has been extremely generous and the last couple of times he brought me some Single Malt Whiskey from Taiwan's famous distillery, Kavalan.  It is ranked as one of the best whiskey distillers in the world and he went all out this time bringing me a bottle of Solist Whiskey, aged in Sherry Wine barrels, and is cast strength (meaning it's alcohol content is as it is right out of the barrel, about 57%).  It is very good and I am sure it  deserves it's world ranking as whiskey's go.  It's definitely a treat and I appreciate their generosity for sure.  It was great to see CK again, he calls me his Golden Brother because I understand the business that we are in similar to him, we see eye to eye on a lot of things.  They have been our business partners of ours for overseas manufacturing and we have done business with them for almost 20 years now.  Interesting as I told them I only have a few days between Minnesota Opener and my trip to Lac Seul and they graciously fit it into that time frame.

Ben's eelpout
So why talk about Whiskey than the Minnesota Walleye Opener, frankly because it was probably the worst opener for catching fish on Leech Lake that I have experienced since starting to go there in 1990.  Not that there are few if any fish in the lake, quite contrary, however I believe that unusual spring and a huge baitfish situation lead me to catch only 4 walleyes for 3 days of fishing, maybe I am just getting old but all the other guys didn't do so well either!!  I did get to fish with my friend Ben Taylor and we headed out to Annex Reef where he nailed this beautiful eelpout, definitely a great fish and they are absolutely delicious to eat.  Besides that I think that my boat caught a total of 10 walleyes, not many for each session and as well we only brought in 2 keeper fish (between 14 and 20 inches), pretty slow.  I even tried trolling shad raps along Ottertail point and although we did get a few fish they were all in that 10 - 12 inch range. The word was that the walleyes were very shallow, in the 4 - 6 foot range however we had water temps in the high 50's so this didn't make a lot of sense.  Usually I like the deeper structures when the water temps are up there like this however that wasn't the case as my go to spots were not very good and I didn't mark many fish on those 12 foot humps that are located off a few midlake reefs.  In the end we got enough walleyes for everyone to take a couple home plus we had our fish fry on Sunday night.  Luckily the group caught a lot of northern pike and the resort does an excellent job of cleaning out the Y bones so they deep fried just perfectly and to be honest, Northerns are a great tasting fish, firmer than walleye and they seem to have a little more flavor.  Catching isn't the most important thing about Walleye Opener however it certainly helps.  This year was Team Walleye's 44th year opening on Leech Lake and my 27th year with the group.  Time certainly flies and it seems like just yesterday when I started going with these guys in 1990.  Although it wasn't our best year of catching fish, it certainly was a good year to get the group together again, I guess as we get older this is quite a bit more important!

Stay tuned my report from last weekends Canadian Fishing Opener at Lac Seul should prove to be more positive on that elusive catching side!

1 comment:

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

I agree with you on northern pike. A very tasty fish.