Thursday, June 22, 2017

The End is in Site!

Jon Bathke's 30+ inch walleye on Mille Lacs
Well, the end appears to be in reach on my boat situation.  As of today it's been 29 days since she's last been in my garage however it looks like it is ready to pick up for my up coming trip to Lac Seul. I found out that the perpetrators of my disappearing electronics also destroyed the Sirius/XM Weather module on the boat and a new one had to be installed.  This will also require me to re initialize everything in order to get it to work.  I really like this feature as it overlays the weather on your GPS maps and will give out a warning if there is lightning near, a very nice feature, especially in Canada. The last thing needed is to replace the plastic panels that were heavily scratched in the removal process but honestly, things will operate just fine until the return from Lac Seul.  In the meantime I continue to miss the hot bite on Mille Lacs however my fishing buddies are taking full advantage of the bite, including my friend Jon Bathke.  I met Jon many years ago when he and his boss, Dave Johnson wanted to go fishing down by Alma, on the Mississippi River, and both myself and Kevin Aiona knew the area pretty well, so I took them.  That was probably in the early 1980's and we have been friends ever since.  Unfortunately Dave died in a tragic automobile accident just when the new highway 252 was opened, he was a great guy and loved to fish.  Jon has 2 daughters and he has been taking them to Mille Lacs since they were young girls.  We talked about the hot bit on Mille Lacs and he told me that him and one of his girls went up the other day and just slaughtered the fish.  I think it was over 40 fish with most of them in the 24 inch plus range.  His report mirrors a lot of reports that I and Bill Lundeen have been discussing and they don't necessarily bode well for the future of the 2017 walleye catching season on Mille Lacs.  You see it is strictly catch and release and on July 7 the lake will close down completely to walleye fishing with a planned reopening on July 27th as statistically the worse hooking mortality happens in July.  Personally I would like to see all live bait users relegated to circle hooks and limit the live bait rigs to 1 single hook only.  I have fished Alaska, South Carolina, and Florida for fish and circle hooks were required for proper fish release.  They do work great however take some getting used to as you can't just set the hook or you will pull it right out of their mouth, rather it takes a steady pull and the circle hooks simply rotate and catch the fish in the corner of their mouth every time.  I think I have mentioned this before, in Alaska halibut fishing one time, the captain would not even let us take the rods out of the rod holders until it was certain that the fish were hooked.  Simply reeling the line in worked to set the hook and it is very efficient.  I think, especially on the launches which bobber fish with leeches, this method would work wonders in preventing deep hooked walleyes, but of course, it's only my humble opinion and that doesn't seem to make much difference these days.

The other great news is the boat was ready to be picked up yesterday and the pole shed was getting
The Yellow connector was cut off
pretty lonely so off to Frankies.  After getting her home, the first thing was to check out and make sure everything worked.  One additional thing that got replaced was my Sirius/XM Weather module.  Not cheap at about $700 the perpetrators simple cut off the connector end making it virtually useless.  This meant that it needed to be programmed for the new unit so it was the first thing to do.  You see the walleyes on Lac Seul love Willies Roadhouse!  Well the satellite attached to the unit but no sound.  After a few minutes of deep thought, especially after the bluetooth worked, I decided to check the connections however they were ok.  It ended up that I needed to change the input designation in the units and Voila.....Sound.  The next thing was to make sure the trolling motor was attached to the network so I deployed it, nothing, no power, dead as a doornail.   Started tearing stuff apart before realizing to check the battery area, where there was a circuit breaker turned off, probably a safety precaution when working on the motor.  One quick flip and everything was fine.  Next was to connect the units to the Lowrance units, you know, it really is easy but you do it so little it's hard to remember what worked the last time.  Anyway, it got figured out and now I know how to fix Bruce's connection on his new HDS-9, that is if I can actually remember what I did! The other good news is my structure scan 3D does work now and I look forward to using it on Lac Seul.

With the two main electronic issues resolved the last thing left is to deploy the new bimini top, which looks great and I must say that Lake Area Canvas sis a great job.  I looked at the snaps that secure the side panels that were added to the side of the boat and my first thought was, I don't like this!  From a practical aspect it is necessary and after an hour of thinking about it, I guess it's ok as it's really the only way to do this.  Never the less, it's painful seeing things screwed into the boat!!!  So now it's a made scramble to get everything ready to head north to Lac Seul.  My friend Paul Wenaas just got back from there and I asked how the fishing was.  He stated it was great, they got a lot of fish in the 2 to 5 foot water depth.  WHAT?!?!?! Oh well, it is good to have some different information regarding this.

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