Friday, September 29, 2017

Lac Seul Part 2

Nice walleye
Finally getting caught up on the time and the big plus is having something to write about, this weeks post finishes the report on last weeks trip to Lac Seul with Bruce.  Believe it or not I did get some nice walleyes yet my attempt to try and fish similar structures that we fished during the last trip to Fisherman's Cove did not work out very well.  With only 3 days to fish and the anxiety of trying to fish where you know there are fish.........doesn't make for a very good formula for going out simply to explore!  In other words, it's almost impossible to leave biting walleyes no matter what the size.  Coming into camp I marked a few mid lake humps, not too far from camp yet we never made it to them. Fishing the west side last month the mid lake humps were loaded with nice walleyes, and I would say that the average was quite a bit larger than we find at camp.  In August about 75% of the fish we caught were over 22 inches but I would say that our average around Chamberlain Narrows is around 75% of the fish under 16 inches.  Generally the numbers make up for the size and numbers we get.  It rained quite a bit on Wednesday, our first day fishing yet we got on a point that was super productive and our total for the day was about 68 walleyes.  Thursday we went to Tuk Bay, my all time favorite spot and the bit was quite a bit slower.  Of course the rain had moved on and high pressure, bluebird skies greeted us as we anchored on Dan's point and started catching fish.  As the day wore on the bite diminished to the point where we could catch a walleye to save our butts.  Moving up the channel our first stop was a point I had discovered a year ago and we did very well on it last June.  I have it marked with a waypoint called Dave's Luck Would Have It Point!  The first thing I look for when fishing an area is whether or not the fish finders are marking any fish.  If the walleye's are there, the will show up on the sonar clear as a bell.  We were marking fish like crazy and admittedly it was as many fish as I have seen yet they were not in the mood to attack our minnow presentations.  We tried all sorts of things, different colors, different jig sizes and weights, big minnows, small minnows, name it we threw it at the walleyes but it was a fruitless time in the old Ranger as nothing worked.  Oh well at least we were still in Canada.

Huge sauger that I caught!
Friday turned out to be on of the best days experienced on Lac Seul.  Ken had commented that we should try large minnows in the 40 feet of water in front of the cabin as the big females are moving into the deeper areas to feed on cisco's.  Luckily I had bought 3 dozen large minnows at the bait shop, consisting of large rainbow shiners and some big sucker minnows.  Dropping in 40 feet, it took a while for the 1/4 oz jig to reach the bottom but it got there.  The Lowrance has a glassed in transducer which essentially gives you readings that are about 1/3 the diameter of the depth of the water.  In 40 feet we could see about a 14 foot circle of whatever is on the bottom and it was easy to spot my jig and minnow on the screen. Unfortunately we didn't mark any fish and finally both Craig and I caught something each, two 15.5" walleyes.  Uffda, although Craigs went back down just fine, mine wasn't so fortunate as it's swim bladder was extended and it would probably end up as eagle food later.  After retrieving it we put it into the fish bag, the first of 12 walleyes we needed to take home our limits. We headed north to the unnamed point just as you turn west from Chamberlain Narrows, about a mile from camp.  There we set the anchor on the trolling motor and the action began almost immediately.  It was about 10:00 in the morning and by 11:00 we had around 30 walleyes.  We were pulling in doubles and the occasional triple but the walleyes kept coming.  Craig was pulling them in left and right and although the action slowed, changing the XM radio channel from Fox to Willy's Roadhouse made a significant difference as the bite took off again.  We had about 70 walleyes on the counter/clicker when Bruce showed up and their report was not that good.  Although the bite did slow up somewhat towards the end, it picked up about 3:00 and by Cocktail Hour (4:00PM) we had 103 walleyes on the counter, quite a day considering we hadn't left and area no more than 50 feet by 100 feet, all day.  I did catch a pretty small sauger as pictured, about 6 inches.  It is amazing the size of minnows a small fish like this will attack.  Never the less it counts as a fish caught!

Pete Caught a Number of Nice Walleyes like this
Four O'clock marked the end of our last day in camp, it's always a sad time to go but it's about the right amount of time.  The last day of fishing means Steak night as we use this day to equalize our 4 fish limit we each bring home to enjoy later.  This year we had boneless tenderloins marinated in Tabasco sauce, Frank's Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce, and Hot Picante Salsa.  2 hours of soaking in that mixture does wonders for the flavor!  While the steaks marinated I cleaned the 19 fish that filled out the limits we needed to stay legal.  Volunteering to be the fish cleaning guy, I happily do this every night.  We put the steaks on the grill and 2 bottles of wine later it was done, off to bed to get up early and clear camp.  It was a blast having Craig Biegert with this trip.  I understand that he had Chemo this Thursday however according to my friends he could not stop talking about the great time he had and all the fish he caught, especially on the last day.  I would have him in my boat any day.  One interesting observation, both Pete and I helped Craig bait his jig and also helped him remove and release any fish.  One time I was putting his minnow back on his jig when I noticed something very unusual.  We generally put the hook through the minnow's mouth, out through the gill plate, then rotate the jig and insert the hook tip through the back.  This keeps the minnow securely hooked to the jig and prevents losing a lot of minnows if the fish just grabs it.  Grabbing his jig to resecure the minnow I noticed that he had it what I would call.....assbackwards!  Generally I hold the minnow with my left hand using my right to thread it through the right side of the minnow.  He had it through the left side of the minnow.  What the heck, this seemed strange until it dawned on me, Pete is left handed and probably hooks his minnows the opposite I do, holds the minnow in his left hand.  It gave me another reason to make a stink about something admittedly I had to laugh at myself! As you see in the picture the backwards minnow method is effective as Pete did get a number of fish in the 25 inch class.

The fish house is basically put back together again as I have to admit that the Salem Ice Cabin looks pretty nice.  There are still some new plastic plugs to be inserted in the frame, a good job for this weekend. The Rangertrail Trailer has to get brought to Nick and get the step welded and braced up as I missed my steps when getting in and out of the boat.  I might get to go back up to Lac Seul to help Bruce close the cabin however it's a matter of timing as next week I am in Chicago.  Hopefully the annual trout fishing expedition with Bill can still take place this month.  Deer hunting is only 4 weeks away as time continues to fly at a record pace!

No comments: