Thursday, July 20, 2017

Quiet Week

Holcombe's dock, looking up River
Well this last weekend was pretty quiet as Mille Lacs is shut down and the trip to Lac Seul is fresh in the bullseye for the next trip. That's OK as there is plenty to do around the house, grass to be mowed, garden to be weeded, stuff to be cleaned, it never ends!  I did take the opportunity to get down to the River and fish off my neighbors dock on Saturday night, a place where I have always enjoyed to relax and besides, I have gotten some nice fish off the dock in the past.  The strategy is simple and it's pretty easy to fish, just load up a hook with a couple of nightcrawlers and toss it out.  It is not very deep out from the dock, maybe 5 feet however the river basically forms a shelf where the fish come up into this shallow flat to feed.  Most of the current is on the other side of the river so it's a nice relaxing place to soak a crawler.  After getting set up this boat came towards me, I am really careful to say "an old man" because it is starting to hit home, yet this guy was probably in his 70's and had a jon boat just like mine with a 25hp Suzuki tiller on the back.  He asked if he could pull up to the dock and of course I obliged him.  Careful not to interfere with my line, he pulled up and asked if I owned the property. Nope, but the guy that does, Brian, is a really good guy and I am sure you can talk to him anytime. He commented how nice his light looked from across the river and only wanted permission to take a picture.  Well, we talked for almost 45 minutes, everything from the river to his boat, his Suzuki motor, my boats, and what I was fishing for!  It was a lot of fun as most of you know that I like to talk o people!  After he went back I checked the line and the entire glob of crawlers was stripped off the hook.  The river is full of small catfish and maybe that's what happened as I didn't see any of the classic Tap Tap.  Oh well I loaded the hook back up and casted it out but it soon was dark and whatever had stripped me did it again without even a tell tale sign of it's presence.  I did get a picture looking up river as it was a nice evening, few mosquito's and the fish were elusive at best.

Eric with a nice Largemouth
This week the Mille Lacs saga will continue to play out as we will see if our DNR will open fishing back up for walleyes on July 27th as the original plan had stated.  There are so many variables to this that I am afraid the Minnesota DNR is playing it too cautious, but as I have stated many times, I try not to come across too political.  If it does open on the 27th it will be for Catch and Release only, something I am fine with, however the use of live bait is still in limbo until next week so we'll see. This is usually the time of year my friend Chuck Teasley comes up from the St. Louis area and we fish Mille Lacs.  Looks like I won't know anything until next week sometime!  So there are others catching fish, including my friend Eric Hayes who was fishing with his son Carter.  As you can see the bluffs in the background, they are on the Mississippi River down by LaCrosse.  Eric is a damn good "River Rat" and someday I need to get down there and do two things....Fish with him and teach him how to smile!  I suspect Carter took this picture and is not very likely to ride his dad on the finer points of fish photography.  Either way it's a nice Largemouth Bass and certainly puts to shame anything I caught last weekend, which was only a picture of the river.   It does however get me thinking about maybe doing some bass fishing around the area as it is a fish that is present in most lakes around here.   Speaking of the Mississippi River it is  time for my friend Kevin to have their annual Catfish Tournament down by Trempealeau with his guys from the Sheriff's Department.  It reminds me of my late brother-in-laws sheephead (freshwater drum) tournament that they had every year.  Eric (the guy  pictured) and I fished that during on of the last years that my brother-in-law, Mike Rombalski was still with us.  Eric and I teamed up in his boat and we did pretty good, I thought as we had about 20 sheephead coming close to 30 pounds of fish. The other veterans of the contest had cut off blue barrels for their fish and we were pretty humbled by the 100# weights of the guys who had started this!  All the sheephead were eventually fed to the pigs and we finished the tourney at the local establishments around Trempealeau, Wisconsin.  I only wish that I would have had a chance to participate early, at least we could have gotten some quality practice time in!

Barb's nice Reindeer Lake grayling
Last but not least, I am including a picture that my good friend Bruce Wiley sent of his sister Barb holding a nice grayling she caught at Reindeer Lake in northern Canada. Bard is a retired commercial airline pilot who first worked flying guest to the northern areas of Canada in a DC-3. Later she piloted for Northwest Airlines and more recently Delta.  Her and Bruce have a float plane and she decided to visit the old lodges she had flown to over 30 years ago, flying there with her husband in their Cessna 172.  Seems like I need to convince Bruce that we need to do this one time!  Anyway it's nice to see people you know having a good time fishing and that is a very nice grayling.  One year in Alaska my brother Steve and Cousin Greg decided to walk  up to Crescent Lake on the Kenai Peninsula, a glacier feed lake 7 miles from the road.  It was interesting for sure as I wasn't sure I was going to make it but we got there after a 3 hour hike, uphill.  We were a funny bunch as we heard you should make noise in case a bear was around, so we were singing all the way up.  I am sure if there were any bear, they were long gone after hearing us!  The stream coming out of the lake is where the trail followed and at where it exited the lake was some current and a ton of small grayling.  This one Barb is holding was somewhere around 15 inches but the ones we were getting were more like 6 inches.  Never the less they were a very beautiful fish and at least I can say that I have caught one!  Getting ready for my next trip to Canada, to Fisherman's Cove with my cousin Paul and brother Steve.  I am anxious to fish the other end of Lac Seul to see if it is any different.

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