Saturday, July 1, 2017

Fishing At Last!

Nice walleye
Well, despite all the issues that have been dealt with in the last few weeks, we finally made it back to Lac Seul for 3 days of non stop walleye fishing.  My friend and neighbor Pete Sipe was gracious enough to drive making it a pretty relaxing trip for me, as well he took some great pictures.  Getting up at 4:30 last Saturday Morning we were hooked up and on the road around 5:30.  I barely had a chance to make sure everything on the boat was fine but we took off anyway with our first stop in Orr Minnesota to fill up the truck and boat, as well to have breakfast at the T Pattenn Cafe, usually our breakfast spot in the past.  A quick topping off the gas in International Falls then across the border.  This time, as usual we did not have any issues and after a few questions about my Chinese Visa that was in my passport, the gentleman let us on our way.  We made it to Dryden where a quick stop at the Safeway to pick up onions and potatoes before heading up to Sioux Lookout's Ojibway Baits to pick up some larger minnows then off to the Deception Bay landing.  It started to rain pretty good so Pete and I put up the new Bimini top on the boat, WOW, is that nice.  It was raining quite hard and we were nice and comfortable in our new protection against the weather.  It was impressive that we could drive 30 mph and except for some rain coming through where the windshield meets the top, it was quite comfortable, I should have had this years ago!  Our first day's fishing was in one of Bruce's favorite locations, Wapesi Bay.  Pictured is a nice 22 inch walleye that definitely went back into the water.  For the day Pete and I ended up with 46 walleyes caught and released except enough for supper as we never like to load up on walleyes too early in the trip.  On Monday Bruce asked me where I would like to go and of course my favorite place to fish in Lac Seul is Tuk Bay.  I have some fabulous spots to fish and have named them, Pete's Point, Dan's Hole, Dave's Luck Would Have It Point, and Baboon Ass Point. They are a sure bet as I have had my absolute best days of fishing in Tuk, and his trip was no exception as Pete and I ended up with 95 walleyes for the day.  We could have stayed for another 5 but we were always careful how the other boats would feel about our success of passing 100 fish for the day.  We try to be considerate, ya know.

Sunset looking north at Chamberlain Narrows
Tuesday was our last day of fishing and the group decided to explore some new areas that were marked with trails into the bays by my friend Paul Wenaas.  They were straight south of camp and we did get some nice fish, it certainly wasn't on fire. Bruce's family was coming in that evening so he left about 2:00 in the afternoon after dropping off his son Michael in our boat.  Because we were basically straight east of Tuk, I decided that would be a great place to finish the day and our trip. Coming out of the channel into the main bigger water I had to cross a wake that was in front of us so I turned the steering into the wave to cut it a a 45 degree angle.  Unfortunately there was no response to my turning and we hit the wave almost parallel and at 30 MPH it almost threw me out of the boat.  Now this is a good time to remind everyone why it's important to wear your life vest and to make sure your cutoff tether  is properly connected every time you are under power.  I have stated this before that for the last 6 years or so I wear my automatic inflatable life vest 100% of the time and hook up the tether.  I am getting to old to expect myself to tread water for any length of time and even though I have had this boat for 2 years now, I am still learning the nuances of running a wheel boat after running tillers for the last 35 years. I have no desire to be thrown out of the boat then watch the dreaded "Circle of Death" take me out. We barely made it to a point in Tuk where we fished the day before and ended up with 78 walleyes for the day.  It is absolutely beautiful at camp so I decided to post a sunset picture.

So, just my luck, the power steering went out on my Evinrude outboard and because it is the latest technology, there is no quick fix to provide emergency steering.  We limped back to camp as I could steer it a little, turn the wheel fast and after about 5 revolutions it would make it's way in the direction you wanted to go.  Once in camp we were able to call my dealer Frankie to see if there were any options, nope it appears as though the power steering fluid leaked out somehow.  With 37 miles to go in the morning we took off very carefully controlling our speed and slowing down when we met another boat and it's wake.  It felt as though the longer we used it the worse it got and by the time we got to the landing, it was almost impossible to get the boat aligned with the trailer and loaded however, we managed!  On the way home I called Frankie's and although it was too late by the time we drove by the exit to get there, I got up early and dropped it off on Thursday.  Friday morning they called me and said that Joe had got it fixed, geez I was expecting at least a week!  I think they are about a tired of seeing my boat as much as I am not seeing it!  Talking to Joe, Frankie's son who by the way, is absolutely amazing and treats me like I am his best customer, we discussed what went wrong.  Apparently Evinrude had a recall on the caps that hold the power steering fluid and the last time I was in they changed them out to the new ones.  He stated that he was really surprised that my new cap had cracked and leaked fluid, the first one of the "new" replacements out there.  Either way I am going to send a note to Evinrude.  The good news is I have my boat and pending any bad weather I am going to try to get up to Mille Lacs before July 7th when it closes to walleye fishing for 3 weeks.....that's a whole new post for later!

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