Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lac Seul, Fisherman's Cove, Part 2

First prize, a 27.5 inch winning walleye!
With a week under the belt, it's given a me a great time to reflect on last week's trip and everything that went on.  This is my first week long fishing trip since the last trip to Alaska and like all great trips, they always seem to go too fast!  I have a lot of pictures so I figured it was a good idea to start with the best picture of the week, a 27.5 inch walleye that took the top prize for the biggest fish of the week between us.  As stated in the last post, Kevin collected $20 from each of us and did a great job of tracking our fish results for the week. The first award was who caught the first walleye of the trip, whereas we all parked within talking distance of each other on a mid-lake structure, with minnows on the jigs, the signal was given and we all dropped down.  Brother Steve won that award with the first walleye landed in the boat, he got his $20 back plus another $20.  Last weeks post showed my first entry for the next prize, the biggest fish however on Wednesday I added another 2 inches to that number which solidly (according to the Joyce brothers) put myself into first place.  It held and $20 went back in the wallet.  The next prize was for the 2nd biggest fish and cousin Paul ended up in a tie with Kevin so they split the winnings.  The last prize went to the highest average fish caught which went to the Worms brothers. Keeping with my humble self, it is not hard to see that 3 out of 4 prizes were generated out of my boat and if one were to be honest with  themselves, the Worms really jumped ahead of the game by fishing Dave's Hump, and area by a point called Lunker Ledge in which when were going to, I marked a hump (it turned out to be a long underwater point).  Although the point was good fishing, Dave's hump turned out to be a bonanza for the Worms as they killed the walleyes there on Wednesday morning, catapulting them into first place, however we were not far behind.  This in spite of the fact that Mike and Chris forgot to get minnows on Tuesday and had a big hole to fill.
A double!
Deciding to fish Dave's Hump, the hotspot I found, proved to be so successful our boat went there on Thursday morning and repeated their performance but alas, the slow bite the rest of the day prevented Team Anderson from wrapping up a clean sweep!  Of course this is the viewpoint of the writer and not necessarily those of Team Joyce or Team Worms. So for sake of being politically correct we either won all the prizes or had a significant hand in all the prizes won. Now it wasn't all big fish as the pressure was on  for brother Steve and Cousin Paul to step up to the plate.  Unfortunately while I was concentrating on bigger fish those two were showing off their fishing expertise with a double, 2 walleyes that if one combined the length it still would have to be released.  Notice Paul's walleye on the left, with the minnow still hanging from the jig, it gives you an idea of how aggressive these walleyes can get, take a bait that is 1/3rd it's length.  Oh well, the good news is they counted as a walleye caught so at least they were doing their part!

Chris Worms with a nice walleye
A little bit about our resort, Fisherman's Cove, it is right off the highway 105 that goes north from Vermillion Falls to Red Lake, Ontario.  It's quite a change from Lac Seul Outposts where one has to drive 37 miles over water to get to your destination, here you simply pull off the main highway and you are there.  The camp was very clean and the setup was very nice.  Checking in the owner gave us a bag with 12 dog treats and asked us to please, when their yellow lab comes begging, give him a dog treat instead of your scraps.  Makes sense and interesting enough, that dog would slowly (he was very old) climb the steps, sit down until he got a treat and would then get up and wander off to the next cabin to us.   My boat had a designated spot on the dock, complete with electricity right there, no long extension cords to deal with and had a label with Anderson on it to assure the same space every night. The fishing experience wasn't much different as we had to travel a ways from the camp every day, in this case we had to snake around the islands and channels to get to the main lake areas.  The trip computer on the Ranger had our mileage for the week at 224 (about 45 miles a day) and 69 gallons of gas used, which is more than we travel out of Chamberlain Narrows were we average about 180 miles for the duration however 75 of that is the trip in and out so we are averaging about 35 miles a day there, not much different.  I have found that if the boat gas tank is full (51 gallons) one can make it in, out, and fish 3 days without having to refuel.  At the Cove, 25 gallons of gas comes with the boat as part of the cost however considering that we stayed 6 nights and fished 5 days, I felt the cost was more than reasonable.  After the first 2 days we had enough trails on the Lowrance to allow us to pretty much be independent of the group with the ability to find our way back to camp safely.  Everyday we made sandwiches for our shore lunch, which I think is a much better idea than dragging out all the cooking stuff to have a "traditional" shore lunch of walleyes.  Manitoba Point was our favorite area and it was pretty nice. We all drove up into the sand
Mike Joyce and his amazing fish gripper!
beach while the back end of the boat stayed deep enough to safely back out.  The only issue is getting sand in my carpet, something I despise, however even with the best of precautions, I spent a lot of time vacuuming when I got home.  Getting out of the boat and sitting down for Lunch has it's advantages for sure and its a nice break in the day.  We would probably do that more on the east side but it is more difficult to find the perfect sand beach to park the boats on as the last time I did this in Tuk Bay I really gouged the bottom of my boat, not good.  It was funny that after beaching our boats on the sand point, the seagulls would start gathering on the big rock at the point itself, certainly looking for the evidence of a traditional shore lunch and the walleye carcasses that would usually accompany it.  Unfortunately about the only thing these birds got was a few scraps of potato chips yet they continued to be persistent in there hopes for an easy meal.  One of the great outcomes of these trips is the fact one can learn something and this one was no exception.  First of all, Mike Joyce had picked up a Rapala Fish Gripper from Fleet Farm.  This was slick as it really help prevent cuts from the gill plates of the walleyes when taking the hook out of these fish, my hands still show the scars.  So impressed, I pick up 3 of them last night, 2 for my boat (the guy in the front needs one) and 1 for my friend Bruce to use on our next trip.  The second most important thing was Low Gap Bourbon, Justin Joyce works at a local liquor distribution company and brought a bottle, it is amazingly good.  The third thing was they way Kevin had his dock bumpers protecting his boat, they were sideways and what a great idea.  The bumpers have a tie on each end and it sure works slick, something I will use on my next trip in September.  I am still not convinced on the Worm's Bud Lite Blue jig color but I still had to buy some just in case.  So the influence continues and hopefully I won't have to spend anymore money staying up to speed with these guys!

Friday is our annual trip to BIR (Brainerd International Raceway) for the NHRA's stop on the national drag racing circuit.  It's a blast watching those cars accelerate to over 300 MPH in less than 5 seconds.  Saturday is my plans to get the jon boat out and hopefully get on the river for a few hours this weekend, we'll see.   A week in Canada with 5 straight days of fishing can equal a month's worth of outings as I have now fished in Canada 11 days, about 6 days more than in Minnesota.  I think that is about to change!

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