Friday, July 20, 2018

Back To Mille Lacs

Well it was back up to Mille lacs Lake again last weekend, however the purpose was not to fish but to help my friend Bill move some stuff out of his basement and into his offsite garage.  Not that fishing wasn't thought of however the time seems to get to compressed these days and besides, the Mille Lacs area had around 7 inches of rain in the last week so the water levels really jumped as you can see by the graph.  Big changes like that seem to change the bite somewhat and besides, the wind was blowing out of the northwest pretty hard and I really didn't feel like getting tossed around all day anyway, so I chose lifting heavy objects!  Actually the deep water basin bite has started, one of the fishing methods that better suits my boat setup (Wheel Boat with a kicker motor) straight line trolling with either planar boards or lead core.  During the 2018 fishing opener, we utilized my kicker, the I Troll set up and the remote control steering on the kicker motor and got pretty proficient at controlling the boat.  As they say, practice makes perfect, and I am looking forward to using this setup maybe later next week.  One of the more effective ways of trolling is to use a line counter reel on a fairly long trolling rod setup, attach either a deep running Reef Runner or a Deep Diving Rapala Tail Dancer, both will dive to 30 feet on standard monofilament with 150 feet of line let out.  Connect an inline planar board and it will take that line out 50 feet to the side of the boat.  Because there is a flag hooked to the line, if a walleye hits the lure the flag will be down and there is nothing left to do but reel in the fish.  With lead core line, I use Suffix 832 which sinks at about 8 feet per color (30 feet per color) at 2 mph.  Usually a standard shallow water crankbait like a #5 Shad Rap, a Smithwick Rattlin' Rouge, or other baits that their dive curve is in the 3 - 7 feet range.  Simple let out 3.5 colors, which will take the end of the lead-core to about 28 feet.  I like a 20 - 30 foot leader on the lead-core so the baits run 2 - 4 feet down from there, perfect in that 32 - 35 feet of water depth, as walleyes will always come up to hit something that looks good to eat.  My friend Chuck Teasley is supposed to be up next week and maybe we'll have to try a day of trolling.  Here is a great YouTube episode of James Holst trolling walleyes on Mille Lacs Lake in the summer.  I've never fished the area they were at so it will be worth a try.

Saturday I have agreed to take my wife's Uncle Andy and cousin Jason fishing. I was really thinking
Air Force C47
hard about heading to Mille Lacs however they only wanted to go out for a few hours so I decided to go to Lake Minnetonka and try some panfish and bass fishing.  I haven't bee on that lake in years so it will be interesting for sure.  If nothing else and we don't catch any fish at least Andy will enjoy looking at all the mansions on the lake, it's pretty impressive.  My strategy will be to try the wacky worm rigs that we used in Texas earlier this year.  It is definitely one of the more popular methods of fishing bass and it would be nice if we were successful.  If nothing else I am sure we can find some panfish somewhere.  Monday I fly to Oshkosh for the EAA airshow, one of the largest in the world.  Bruce Wiley asked me if I'd be interested in flying out in the morning and coming back the same day in his Cessna 182RG.  He claims it's only and hour and 15 minute flight and is quite an experience.  One of the things I am looking forward to is this years display of C47, the Military version of the old DC3 used as a passenger plane in the 50's and 60's.  Dad was stationed at Howard Airforce Base in Panama and flew C47's all around South America in the late 40's.  He told me a few stories as he was a navigator.  One thing he did teach me when I was young was the Morse Code.  Sort of geeky these days but I still remember most of it.  Now that he is passed away I wish I could have had more conversations with him about his time in the Air Force, so I am looking forward to actually seeing the plane he flew in. 

Other interesting things, our last trip to Lac Seul found myself somehow flipping the built in fish measuring ruler that stores neatly in my boat into the Wapesi River.  Although only in 4 feet of water and we could see it sitting on the bottom, there was too much current to deal with it, even my friend Pete went overboard in an attempt to retrieve it, it was pretty much impossible to get.   It was tough leaving it on the bottom as one could see it very plainly but left it we did.  I ordered a new one for my boat as it was pretty handy, $53.  I guess I need to be more careful where I put it the next time I take it out.  We are still set to head up to the Fisherman's Cove on the Northwest side of Lac Seul.  We have basically figured out our September trip leaving the 17th.  Admittedly this summer is flying by, I guess the older one get's the faster they go!

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