Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Day Bassaction. Nov.4,2008

The weather was once again unseasonably warm and so I wanted to get out and do some fishing. I had to go to Onamia to pick up pills so I was going to try Mille Lacs, but there was stuff parked where I wanted to park at Eddy's and there was a guy blocking the road in the Cemetary Jetti. This worked out for me just as well.

Bulldog- A small pike followed the spinnerbait in on my first cast but I couldn't get it to hit and so it was on to Rock.

Rock 1- As I pulled up at the ramp a boat was coming in. They were running around in my casting area so I nixed Rock until later.

Jenny's- I had a fish swirl at my bait and miss. I couldn't get it to hit again.

Lake Place- It was thundering and threatening rain when I arrived at our lake place on Platte. I was working the "lost jig" through the weeds and had a miss, I worked the area hard but couldn't get a follow up. As I worked a little more West I got a strike from a 14.5" bass right next to shore. I cast over the same water and had a miss. I kept working the spot and was rewarded with a 13" bass. It started to rain hard and I went up to the car to wait it out. After the rain I brought down a white Outkast swim jig, a pumpkin Terminator JigNpig, and the "lost jig."

I started off throwing the white swim jig and was rewarded with a 14" bass. On the very next cast over the exact same spot I had another bass annihilate the swim jig. This bass put up quite a fight and measured in at 19." All of these bass came within 10 feet of shore. I worked the white swim jig with no more luck, so I switched up to the jig and pig and had a fish bite off one of the legs in the area the last two bass came from. I started working the white swim jig again and got the attention of a small pike. After repeated casts I caught it. The pike bit off the tip of the grub tail, but there was still plenty of tail and it had good action.

I started working my way towards Jim's and was rewarded with another 14" bass on the white swim jig. Then I caught a pike. I started throwing the "lost jig" and got a 15" bass quite a ways farther out than any I had caught yet. I switched back to the white swim jig and got another northern.

I moved over to Jim's dock and got a 12" bass out from under it on the white swim jig. I then got the biggest northern of the day to the West of Jim's dock. I threw a bunch of casts from Jim's dock and did miss a bite casting towards our place. That was it, 7 bass and 4 pike.

Rock- I got a small pike on a black spinnerbait.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Trophy Away and Bonus Bass

Today we moved the Trophy up to the lake place where it will be stored for the winter. Before I use it next spring we are gonna check the lower unit seals and will need to put in lower unit gear lube.

Anyway after we got the boat in the garage I headed down to the lake front with the "lost jig". Today was absolutely gorgeous weather about 70 and dead calm. As I was casting my way across the shore line I came through a pocket in the weeds and seemed to spook something. I threw back and it struck and missed. I figured it had to be a pike. I let the pocket settle and kept working my way west. After about 4 minutes I tried the pocket again and had a wake follow then hit the jig. Much to my surprize it was not a pike but a 17" bass, kind of skinny though for this time of year. As I worked my way to Jim's dock I got a hammer handle. And fishing off Jim's dock casting West parallel to shore.  About half way out on the dock I got another Pike. I thought for sure this fish was going to be a bass.

I did also fish at Jenny's but didn't get any hits.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Shore Fishing

The weather has been nice for the past few days and Pete finally left, so I did some shore fishing today in the late afternoon.


Rock- Small Pike and 14" bass on the "lost jig." I might have had a hit on the black spinnerbait too.

Jenny's- 15"bass on the "lost jig"

GOMH- Nothing. The barrier was no longer in place at the new bridge. I was able to get out on some rip rap on the SE side. You have to watch your backcast, but it's a great spot to fish from. If they add a bunch of rip rap, it will make the GOMH much more fishable; If this will happen I don't know. I do think it will be hard for Lee Ander to fish because I don't really think there is a good place to sit down at the moment.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Shore Today

I wasn't going to go but then sometime after 5pm I changed my mind and headed out.

Bulldog- Nothing

Rock- I had a fish on my very first cast with the lost swim jig but it got off. A little while later I had the grub tail eaten off the lost swim jig. I managed to get a small pike on a black spinnerbait single Indiana blade.

Jenny's- I got a small pike on the lost swim jig.

GOMH- It was fairly dark and the North wind made making out the paths through the weeds difficult. Nothing.

I may get the trophy out to Peavy tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Trophy at Rock

I tore myself away from the wild Vikes/Bears game at half time and took the Trophy (that's my boat) out to Rock lake. It was sunny calm and about 65 degrees which had the Asian lady beetles out in force. Visions of schools of big bass were dancing in my head as I shoved off by 2pm. I started on the trolling motor working North to the Rock Platte River Outlet Mouth (RPROM). I was trying different baits: Subwalks, Spinnerbaits, Poppers, Spro Frogs and JigNpig. I could see fish activity on the surface and missed a hit on a spinnerbait right away. I didn't get another bite until I was toward the end of the reeds when I missed two good strikes on the Spro frog in the reeds. I don't think they were big fish but it was a hopeful sign.

I worked my way over to the two isolated reed islands. I was tossing a heavy All-Terrain Scott Martin's Grassmaster with a beaver trailer when I got a hit that I didn't really feel, but I set the hook and ended up with a 15inch bass. I worked both reed islands with no more hits. Next I worked my way back to the backside of the reeds where I missed those two bites. I tried the frog and the jignbeaver but nothing worked. I then worked my way North and got a small Northern. I worked the North shore as it started to get overcast and more windy out of the North. I worked my way around the North Point and into the North bay with no takers on Frogs and spinnerbaits.

Next I worked the pocket just East of the Middle Point with nothing to show. I worked my way out onto the point as was rewarded with a small pike. It was quite cloudy and cooling down in that wind. I worked my way over to the sunken island and got a pike off the South End. Fishing was tough I was getting cold and I had enough, so I headed in around 6:30pm before it was even really getting dark. I should have made one more run at the reeds North of the access because it was calm and that was where the fish activity was earlier, Oh well.

Rock has been a stingy bass fishery this year, I have caught plenty of pike though.

Shore 10/18/2008

Bulldog- Nothing

Rock- Nothing

Jenny's- Small pike on the lost swim jig.

GOMH- That's right the Grumpy Old Man Hole, well kind of. The new bridge is still under construction so I could not fish at the channel. But the way they have widened the road casting to the North on Platte Lake looked promising and it was. I got a small bass and 2 or 3 pike. I also had a pike swat at a Sizmic Toad a couple of times.

Word is the bridge will be finished in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mille Lacs Fall Trolling 10/14 into 15 with Pete

I really don't even know why I am bothering to blog about this all night fishing trip because it is one I would just as easy rather forget.

We left the house around 5:30pm to go get Pete's boat at the lake place. Pete had a bunch of stuff that needed to be moved out of the boat and as always there was preparation to be done. We didn't make it to the lake until around 8pm.

We got the boat in the water and Pete realized that he had made a mistake while putting together the fuel line earlier. After some deliberation and jerry rigging Pete was able to make things work and the big motor fired. While Pete was messing around a boat came in that had been fishing Indian Point since before dusk and they were skunked. They did say a boat was trolling for Ski's and landed 2, muskies or pike I assume. They said the wave action on Indian was pretty significant with the South wind. Pete was not happy that the wind weather forecast and the actual wind speed did not seem to be matching up.

It was probably a little after 9pm when we made it out of the boat harbor and into the lake. There were 4 or 5 boats trolling in Casino Access Bay and I am not sure if there were any boats left up at Indian. Once we got out of the narrow boat channel and into deeper water we started heading North. I thought we were going to troll super shallow so I put on a small pink X-Rap. We trolled around Sherman's Point with nothing to show and so Pete wanted to try deeper, so we put on Shad Raps and tried 15-20ft all through Wigwam bay making our way slowly North. Pete was marking fish deeper than the Shad Raps were probably running so we switched to Wally Divers. We got North of Wigwam still out deep. Pete brought his line in to discover that it was fouled with weeds and caught up with my line. We were fishing with rods in the rod holders so who knows how long that had been going on. Pete broke his line and managed to get my Fireline untangled all the while we were drifting farther out with the SW wind.

Once we were set to fish again Pete noticed we had made significant progress out towards Sherman's Flat and so he wanted to give that a try. I can't say I was enthusiastic about the choice, but the waves were not that bad and I wasn't super cold so I didn't object. I suppose we must have wasted an hour or so trolling in that adventure.

Next Pete wanted to try about 10ft over rocks much closer in towards shore. I think we might have trolled South for a little bit at that point, but this didn't last long because Pete didn't like trying to navigate with his back to shore. We headed North and closer to shore. At some point Pete asked me to take over and he went up front to take a nap. I paralleled the shoreline in 6-10ft of water, mostly 8 feet. Nothing and we made our way farther North.

Eventually we started working our way around Seguiche Point into the Southern slope of St. Alban's bay. This was around the time the nearly full moon finally came out from behind the clouds for a while. We got into an area with some weeds and I had a good strike in 10ft of water. Later I was to discover that the belly treble on my Frenzy Crankbait had one hook totally broken off hook and another that had opened up quite a bit. Earlier this summer Pete was talking down the hooks they put on Frenzy lures and in this case he was sure right. I have never had a problem with the hooks they put on Frenzy Poppers. A little while later I might have had another bite, but it might have been weeds. With me driving we worked our way past Terry's Boat Harbor and a little ways North up St. Albans Bay before I gave up, the clouds had come back and were thicker at this point. It was coming up on 5am and I had pretty much had more than enough.

Pete fired up the big motor and we made a run back to Sherman's Point. I was lucky and the chop wasn't that bad and so the ride was not nearly as sucky as it could have been. We stopped at Sherman's Point and started trolling South back to the access. At this point we were the only boat in the bay. It started getting a little lighter out and we tried shallow and out to about 15 feet. We were just about to start turning in at the access when Pete shouted fish on. I couldn't believe it but Pete had a chunky 26.5 walleye on his shallow diving crank over 13ft of water. This stroke of luck kept us out on the water for at least another hour and a half. At least I got a show from some Loons and seagulls. About the time Pete caught his fish, the wind shifted out of the NW and started blowing 10-15. Even though the electric trolling motor was about dead we managed to hold in the narrow boat channel and make it in around 8am.

That is right 11 hours in the boat with Pete for 1 fish and 1 miss.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Out in the Trophy on Rock

I arrived at access at Rock around 3pm and was surprised to see a boat trailer and a car. The guy with the car was fishing off the access for Sunfish. He said he was catching them at first, but since 1pm they had shut down. As I was getting the boat ready to launch he left.

I got the battery hooked up and much to my disappointment the battery meter on the trolling motor showed a low charge and I didn't bring the other battery with. Conditions were sunny but there was a pretty good wind blowing out of the SW. I noticed at the access that the water seemed more turbid than the past couple of days. I was hoping that didn't mean turnover which makes the bite tough. We did get quite a bit of rain this week so maybe the cloudy color was due to that.

Before launching I made some casts at the access. I had something swirl at a white/chart Rapala Subwalk but it didn't hook up and that was it so I launched the boat. The first order of business was to make sure the motor would run, it did, and drive the boat at full throttle for a little while since it has been awhile since the boat was out last time. After running the boat I settled in just South of the Access. The wind was out of the west so the shoreline was protected and calm. I worked my way North all the way past the reed bed without a hit.

Fishing Fall memories I decided to give the two isolated reed clumps at the mouth of the Rock Platte River Outlet (RPRO) a try. The wind was rocking this spot pretty good but the trolling motor managed to make headway against it. At the South reed clump there was some matted weeds, so I pitched my green pumpkin jignpig in there and I felt a pick up and set the hook. It turned out to be a fat 18.5 inch bass. Not thinking I only measured it, because this looked to be a 4lb+ fish. I didn't get anything at the North Clump. I worked my way back to the South clump and had a fish follow but I don't know if it was a small bass or pike.

I then worked my way towards the bullrush line towards shore. I had a pike come out of the water missing the Sizmic Toad in the pads. I then started working my way South and the trolling motor battery was really hurting at this point. As I got to where the bullrushes and reeds met I had a fish steal one of the legs on the Sizmic Toad. I tried working the toad and a Spro Bronzeye Frog in the reeds but came up empty.

I decided I would try my luck in the wind at the sunken island. You can tell right where the Island is this year because there is emergent vegetation, rice I think, on the top of it. I have never really fished the sunken island much so I spent some time riding around it and looking at the Fish locater. The SW wind set up nicely to run the S side of the sunken island. On pretty much my first cast I hooked up and so I threw out a marker. Unfortunately it was a 24.5 pike not a big bass. At this point I was throwing a black 1/2oz spinnerbait with a fairly big Indiana blade. As I got to the East side of the Island I got another hit and this time it was a slightly bigger pike than the last one. I made another drift pass on the South side and didn't get anything. Then I tried the North side getting nothing. This time I stayed on the drift and worked the point, but that didn't turn up anything. I ran up to make another pass on the South side, this time throwing a Big T which is a spinnerbait that weighs at least and ounce. I managed to get a 22 inch pike on that pass. I think I made one more pass on the South side before I decided to move on.

Fishing Fall memories I wanted to try a spot where the weedline meets with a flat on the SE end of the lake. As I was working my way along I think I missed a strike on the 1/2oz black spinnerbait. As I got onto the flat I was casting out into the lake across the flat and hooked into a 20+ inch Pike. I worked the flat but nothing was going. The wind died down and I worked my way over to the West shore so it was totally calm. I started working a white Sizmic Toad shallow by some reeds and pads I had a blow up and hooked it; This fish was a nice 17inch largemouth. I cast back over the same spot with the Sizmic and something boiled at it but didn't hook up on the edge of the pads. I tried and tried to get that fish to hit again, but it didn't work. I made my way west as the sun went down without any luck.

I headed back out to the sunken island and hooked into a 20 or so inch pike on the 1/2oz black spinnerbait. As it started to get dark I ran to the two reed clumps at the RPRO. No luck. I worked my way South to the access without any luck. It was fairly dark by the time I loaded the boat, fortunately no mosquito's.

I think the lake might have turned over because the bass were just not active.

Shore Again 10/7/08

I had a very small bass (under 10 inches) bite at the grub on a swim jig and that was it for Bulldog.

Rock Lake:
I think I caught a small bass right away. I fan casted the area once with the black spinnerbait with a big Indiana blade and came up with nothing. For some reason I did not change up right away and was rewarded when a fish thumped it good. I could tell it was a nice fish before it burried me in the weeds. I was able to pull it in with a clump of coontail and it turned out to be my first 19+ bass of the season. It went 19.5 inches and it was a thick fish.

I kept casting the black spinnerbait and was rewarded with 20+ inch pike.

Platte Lake Jenny's
Jenny's area was quite a bit deader than yesterday. Over at the neighbor to the West I got a 14inch bass on a Spro Bronzeye Frog and had what was probably a pike swat at the Spro a couple of times.

Platte Lake Property
On my very first cast I had a small pike just nail the Sizmic Toad and I was able to land it. It just shredded the toads back but it was still useable. I worked my way over to Jim's dock. Before getting out on the dock I made a cast to parallel the dock on the west side and a fish blew up on the Sezmic Toad hard but didn't hook up. I threw at the spot several more times and raised the fish once but it didn't hook up. It was probably a medium to small pike.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shore Nuff

Monday October 6th

I have really had the itch to go out fishing since the Fall Outing but the past couple of days have been awfully windy and it rained Sunday. I had some errands to run today and I figured I might as well try some shore fishing since I had to go to Bear Trax (local hardware store where my mom gets the daily paper).

My first stop was at the boat access at Bulldog lake. I threw out a black spinnerbait with a single Colorado blade and started to retrieve it when a fish swirled on it hard about half way in and my spinnerbait was gone. This pike sawed through 30lb Power Pro and I think the pike must have hit at the front of the lure. I can't remember ever having a pike do this to me with a spinnerbait tied on braid. I didn't have my spinnerbait box with so I put that rod in the car and started throwing a white Zoom Horny Toad. Nothing went for the toad so I switched to a green pumpkin jigNpig. On one of my cast I felt a thump and set the hook into a good fish. It was such a good fish that it actually pulled the drag significantly 3 or 4 times. It was obvious that I was hooked into a good pike and I was just hoping my line would hold. I managed to beach the beast. Luckily I brought along a pair of Rapala Needlenose pliars and a 24inch Rapala ruler just in case. I got the jig out of the fishes mouth and measured it using the ruler and pliers. The fish went 34 inches and it was thick. My guess is that it was just shy of 10lbs. I made several more casts with the jig and either spooked a fish or had a swirl as I came through some pads. After about 20 minutes I gave up and went to spot #2.

Rock Lake
The wind was blowing hard into the access at Rock Lake and much to my disappointment the dock was no longer in the water. The JigNpig was the only lure I had with me that had any shot of a fish so I through that. I was jigging it close to the landing and had something move off with the jig, so I set the hook into a little 10 inch largemouth. I started swimming the jig more and was rewarded with a 14" bass. As I was hoping the jig close to ramp I had a small pike pick it up, but it came off as I lifted it out of the water. I made many more casts and then decided to move on.

Platte Lake Jenny's shoreline
Since Jenny's is on the SE shore I was protected from the SE wind, it actually seemed calm. On my first cast I got a pike on the white Zoom Horny Toad. A few cast later I got a 12 inch bass on the toad. I worked the Horny Toad a bit longer but didn't get anymore hits. I decided to throw a Spro Bronzeye for the distance I could get with casts plus it's ability to come through the thicker emergent vegetation. I moved down to Jenny's neighbor to the west. I thought I saw signs of a fish in an open pocket close to shore so I brought the frog along and was working it slow when something just exploded on the frog, but I came up empty. I tried working the pocket some more but could not get a follow up. I started casting further out and actually had two bites from what I am pretty sure were smaller pike. I then caught a 22 inch pike. I made some more casts and while I was working through the open pocket close to shore I had another explosion. At first I thought it was a nice bass, but it turned out to be a 26 inch pike. I threw to a lane/corner in the weeds and caused a commotion. I threw repeatedly to the spot and worked the frog and was eventually rewarded with a 15" bass. I made a long cast to the west and had a fish miss the frog. I threw back and was rewarded with a 27 inch pike. My poor Spro Bronzeye was getting pretty beaten up at this point. I had pretty much worked the area hard so it was on to my last stop.

The lake property on Platte Lake
I made a bunch of casts with the Spro Frog and had a miss from a small pike. I worked my way down towards Jim's and on one of my last casts I was rewarded with a 14" bass. The Spro had pretty much had it at this point. I'll have to see if Mend-It will heal the wounds as good on a Spro as it does with Snagproof.

All in all I was quite pleased with the shore action.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Couple of Eddy's Launch Trips

Lakeview Church 8/12/2008
On Tuesday August 12th Lakeview Community Church went on it's second Eddy's Mille Lacs Launch of the year. We did not have the # of people nor the food of the first launch trip the church did this year. At 6pm we headed south of Eddy's and fished off of Rocky Reef. It did not take long and my bobber went down. I set the hook into a medium sized perch. Several other perch were caught before the first walleye came on board. We were not getting to much walleye action in our first spot so we adjusted to a little deeper water. This was a good move as more perch and walleye were landed at the second spot. Here I landed my first walleye of the night and it was a keeper. I started to let Kaitlyn Hayes select my leechs after I told her what I wanted in a leech and she did an excellent job at getting my kind of leech. I had been getting some perch action when my bobber went down and set the hook. I tried to reel in but nothing was happening. My drag was not set right and the spool was spinning with the line roller. I got that squared away and landed this 23inch walleye:

Our captain made the decision to head back north before dark and it turned out to be a pretty good decision. My bobber went down a bunch of times and I lost a few leeches along with catching another perch or two. My line was drifting toward the back of the launch when my bobber went down and I set into a good fish, which turned out to be this 24+ inch walleye:

I don't remember how many walleye's and keepers were caught but there was a fair number of cigars and medium sized perch, a few keepers, and a fair number of fish that had to go back. I don't think I have had my bobber go down so many times on a launch trip as happened on this one. I am sure not all of my misses were perch. I don't remember if I caught one cigar walleye or not and I landed 4-6 perch.

Dad and I Wendesday September 17, 2008
On this launch trip we headed a long ways to the South. We fished Anderson's Reef SW of Spirit Island. This guy Joe and his new bride were sitting in the back of the launch with us; Joe was a 1988 graduate of Bloomington Jefferson High School ( I graduated from Bloomington Kennedy in 1988)

Someone got a keeper right away at our first spot, and maybe a couple more were caught before we moved. The newly wed bride had a fish break her line in the first spot. A few small perch were also caught in the first spot.

The second spot gave up 1 or 2 fish and we made one final move before dark. We never fished deeper than 14' and we didn't really have to adjust our bobbers once they were set at the first stop. It was getting fairly dark and my bobber finally went down. I connected and landed a nice 17inch keeper walleye. I think the newly weds both got a fish each with one of them being a keeper. Since we had to make such a long ride back our trip ended before 9:30pm which was OK cause the action got very slow once it was dark. I think the launch got a total of 4 keepers (2 of which went to us) about 4 overs, and maybe 6 cigars. It was slow compared with the August launch trip, but when I get a fish I can't complain. I think both dad and I missed one bite a piece.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Day on the Lake with Jim Moynagh

On Thursday October 2nd I got to spend a few hours on Lake Minnewashta in SW metro fishing with BP (fuel) Fishing Pro Jim Moynagh. Jim Moynagh has won over a million dollars as a professional bass fisherman and is the most successful bass fisherman Minnesocold has ever produced on the elite levels of bass fishing tours.

Our day fishing:
We met at the Lake Miniwashta Regional Park a little before 10am and were on the water and fishing by 10:30am. We took a short boat ride down the shoreline so we could start fishing the deep edge of a milfoil covered weed flat. Jim chose to throw a Salmo Boxer Crankbait in a color that looked to be sort of bright orange.

The Boxer is a buoyant fairly large and fat crankbait and the one Jim was using dived to about 5-7' and had a straight rather than the bended lip. Jim is sponsored by Salmo.
It was just a few casts for Jim and it was "fish on." He landed a healthy 3lb plus bass. A great way to start the day. I started off using a black single Colorado blade spinnerbait with a rattle. I believe I caught the 2nd and 3rd fish but they turned out to be hammer handle pike. The wind was blowing straight onto the flat we were fishing and Jim got the 2nd bass of the day on the Salmo, it was another solid 3lb fish.

I had some items that I wanted to ask Jim about and I was more concerned about hearing the answers than fishing and that is my excuse for missing about 3 or 4 solid bites on the spinnerbait. I will do a separate blog on the topics that Jim and I spoke about while on the boat.

The fishing wasn't fast and it wasn't real slow. As we approached a point that comes off of the flat Jim tied into a solid fish, which turned out to be this 4lb bass:

Sorry about the Picture quality, it was a camera phone picture.

Jim managed to land a second bass off this point off the flat and I was getting nothing on the spinnerbait so I switched to a jignpig and did get a hit on that, but I missed it. Jim also switched up to a jigNpig missed a bite then connected with a pike. There were a lot of baitfish on this point and Jim had high hopes we would hit a good school but all we got were those two bass and a pike. Eventually we kept heading down the flat towards the access we launched at. Jim resumed throwing the Salmo Boxer. I think he landed a pike or two and I switched up to a Strike King Red Eye shad without any luck, than switched to a rattletrap that was similar in color to the Salmo Boxer that Jim was throwing. We were just about straight out from the access when I got a hit and landed a solid 2lb bass. As I was reeling in Jim hooked into another bass that was close to if not over 3lbs. I got my fish out from the boat and Jim got his close into the boat. Jim remarked that this goes to show that the fish are scattered and not bunched up in schools. We worked this area thoroughly but didn't get another fish. As we worked our way North, I think Jim got one or two more nice bass on the boxer and a pike, but I wasn't getting anything.

We tried retracing our steps and went back south, but we didn't have much action except for maybe Jim catching a pike. At this point we had about an hour and a half before I wanted to be off the water, so Jim suggested we try some pads and docks on the South end of the lake. It was pretty sunny and Jim thought the fish might want so shade.

I started throwing Snagproof frog and Zoom Horny Toad over the pads. I had a pike jump over the Horny Toad, had a small fish strike at the Snagproof frog, and had another small fish hit at the Horny Toad but not hook up. I mostly was leaving the docks we came across to Jim. He was throwing a wacky rigged All-Terrain Tackle Terrain Stick; I am unsure of the color.

We were seeing a lot of sunfish up shallow but almost no bass to speak of until Jim spotted a good fish that was just sitting out in the open in a hole in the weeds quite a ways out from the closest dock. The fish didn't even look at the Terrain Stick, but when I put the Horny Toad down there it inhaled the white toad. I set the hook and came up with absolutely nothing. Jim threw the Terrain stick back at it and this time the fish quickly inhaled it and Jim had yet another 3lb bass.

We kept working our way down the bank and Jim started pulling a few 12" to 14" bass off the docks. I started throwing a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke at the docks and missed my first pick up. I think I had one more shot at a fish underneath a boat lift, but I got hung up and had to break off. We came to the end of the bays docks and it was time to head in.

I think Jim out-fished me on bass about 10 to 1. Regardless of my lack of luck, it was a fun day on the water.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fishers of Men Fall Outing 2008

(Art Halverson with a 31.5 Town Line Pike)

September 25-27

Thursday Sept 25th
I did not fish on my way up to Lutherdell Bible Camp on Boy Lake. I did see Dave Lindmarks truck and the GEM Pontoon trailer at Mule Lake. I didn't see it, but Cyberfish's red car was there too. Dave got one 19inch smallie and they caught several small pike and medium sized largemouth and Mike had a nice walleye break him off. When I got to the camp, Pastor Mike Pilla and a group of Teen Challenge guys went out on Boy; They got several little pike and a bass or two. Lowell and Gary had been up North for a few days at Broadwater Lodge on Woman Lake; They fished Woman and Mule with a few fish caught but nothing spectacular to report. Gary Schensted and Doug Bartz had spent the past several days hunting Muskie at Mantrap Lake lake near Park Rapids; They had seen a few Ski's but had not caught any. This day I was surprised to learn that almost no one had any plans of hitting Leech, which I figured would be a big draw. Also as it turns out we had plenty of boats so I did not need to take my boat out at all.

Friday Sept 26th
In the morning I was paired with GEM Camp Director Dave Lindmark and Fishers of Men Club Member Art Halverson. We were going to fish out of the GEM Pontoon and decided to head to Mule Lake. The Tournament for this day was to be total inches of your biggest Pike, Muskie, Bass, and Walleye and Mule Lake has all four species. There was also a $5 per person side pot you could get in that would pay down 3 places. I said that today I was donating, but that tomorrow I would be a threat. When we arrived at the Lake a little after 10am it was slightly overcast with a 10mph SE wind. Several other Fishers of Men boats also went to Mule. We started out by heading South, to work the area where Dave caught his big smallie the day before. On the way South we saw Gary Ellis and Mike Thompson land a fish and John Cummins and Gordy Merck net a fish.

We started shallow and Dave was soon rewarded with a small bass on a tube. I started off throwing a Strike King Red eye shad and caught a couple of small pike on that. Art was throwing a spinnerbait and chatterbait and caught some small pike and maybe a small largemouth or two. I tried topwater with a Frenzy Popper and got a couple of small bass. The weeds we were working looked really good but just didn't seem to be holding quality fish, so we moved to the West side of the lake starting at the Public Access heading North.

I hauled in a couple of small pike on the Red Eye Shad and got a 14" largemouth on a black single Colorado blade spinnerbait while the bait was falling. As we moved North Dave started getting a few Larry's on the deep weedlines with a Ring-N Tube. I was not getting much action so I switched to a tube. Dave continued to catch fish while I and Art struggled. I did manage to get one small larry on the tube before we made it to the Mule Lake narrows. As you go East into the narrows the lake becomes one big weedy shallow flat on the North East end of the lake where there are two main bays.

Around the time we entered the narrows things started to look quite dark to the North and the wind seemed to die off. After we passed the narrows I started throwing the Red Eye Shad and I landed a good bass and a few small pike. Dave continued to have success on the tube although he started to break off on a few fish. At one point Dave broke off on something like 5 fish in a row. The skies continued to get darker. I saw a school of largemouth with one smallie among them between the old access and Smallmouth Point. As we approached Smallmouth Point I spotted a 17-18 inch smallie swimming along. I think Dave got a couple of largemouths on the tube off Smallmouth Point and Art had a tremendous blow up on a Popper and caught a medium sized largemouth.

Conditions were getting right for topwater with the approaching storm and lack of wind, so I put on a Bullfrog color Frenzy Popper. All the other boats got off the lake when it looked like it was going to storm and the thunder was rumbling. Topwater was a good choice as I started nailing some fish. As we made our way into the far NE bay I got a 16.5" Larry which was my big bass of the day. We worked our way from the West shore of the bay across to the East shore of the bay to some laydown trees. I was catching bass consistently right in the middle of the bay. The bass had definitely turned on. Dave was still getting a few on the tube and Art got a fish or two but I had the hot hand.

It really started to look like we were going to get stormed on and there was plenty of thunder, but all the lightening was to our North. We had about an hour left and we decided to motor back to Smallmouth point and work our way to the Narrows. As we got to Smallmouth Point the wind came up out of the NW and it started to sprinkle, but this didn't last long and soon it was clearing up a little and calm again but looking dark to the North and West. As we worked our way to the narrows the fish shut down a bit and the hot hand once again was Dave with the tubes. I did get a couple of fish on topwater and Art landed a nice one on a small Chatterbait. We worked our way around the North Narrows Point and then it was 5:30pm and time to go. As we loaded up it got quite windy and dark but it didn't rain until we got North of Longville and it was pouring out when we got to camp.

We did not get a single smallie; Lindmark's and my big bass were only 16.5" and we both had a pike just over 20 inches.

Fishers of Men Club President John Cummins won the days tournament because he caught a largemouth, pike, and walleye. His fish were not very big but having that walleye clinched it for him. He gave the rod he won to one of the Teen Challenge guys. Gary Ellis got 2nd with the biggest bass, a 19.5" smallie, and the biggest pike of the day all from Mule Lake. Lowell Borgen came in 3rd but I don't know the size of the fish; I think he fished on Mule. Although I was down the standings I was 3rd place in the money pot and got my $5 back plus a dollar. Mike "Cyberfish" Thompson got a 19" smallie.

Saturday September 27th
Saturday was the big tournament day, because the person who caught the most inches of 3 bass and 3 northerns would be 2008 Fally Walleye winner. Fally Walleye is annual trophy that the top 3 finishers at the Fall Outing get to write their names on and the top fisherman gets to take home. In years past the race to be on Fally Walleye has combined both fishing days of the Fall Outing, but Lowell Borgen who was in charge decided to do things differently this year, so only this one day would count. Once again this day there was an optional $5 money pot which I got into.

Some people changed partners but once again it was me, Dave Lindmark, and Art Halverson in the GEM pontoon. We elected to go to Town Line Lake because it has above average size northerns and some nice bass as well. Town Line is a shallow weedy lake with lots of cabbage, bullrushes, and some slop. The weather was clear to partly cloudy with winds from 5-15mph out of the NW, there was more wind early and in the middle of the day than at the end of the day. It was definitely post-frontal conditions so we were a little unsure of how good the bite might be.

We started off in a good sized bay on the North side of lake. It did not take long and Art had himself a 20+ inch pike on a white spinnerbait. Art ended up getting cut by the pikes teeth and bleeding quite a bit. Both Dave and I were throwing spinnerbaits as well. Dave missed a fish then caught his first fish of the day. I think Art caught another fish and I kind of came to the conclusion that the black single Colorado blade spinnerbait I was throwing was not what they wanted, so I switched to a white and red buzzbait. By this time we were drifting with the wind. Shortly after making the switch a 22 inch Pike attacked my buzzbait. I think I caught one more pike and then we moved to the South shore to work the Rope Swing area.

I continued to throw the buzzbait and was rewarded with a nice bass. There was a good sized tree branch in the water and I had Dave work us towards it. I missed what was probably a small bass on the branch, when Art tied into a 31.5 inch Pike. As we worked our way to the Rope Swing Point I missed a couple of blow ups on the buzzbait. I think Dave may have gotten another pike. As we rounded Rope Swing Point I thought there was something trailing the buzzbait so I paused it for a second and then pumped it and I was hit by a nice pike. I managed to land it and it was 30 inches. Shortly after this fish I think I landed another Pike. We decided to head back over the area we had just gone over. It had become kind of clear at this point that the fish were in the thicker area's of cabbage.

On our return trip we landed some good pike and some nice bass. I think I got a 17 inch bass on this pass and Dave and Art got good ones too. At some point we decided to make a third pass on the Rope Swing Point. Action was not fast but it was consistent especially for me and the buzzbait. I added a 26 inch Pike at some point. On this pass around the point we went further South/West by a dock with a pontoon. The buzzbait got creamed by a 15 inch bass and right after that from the exact same area I had another even bigger bass strike the buzzbait. As this fish was coming in it made a hard charge around the back of the pontoon. Instead of asking for Art to net it, I tried to lift the fish out of the water a little bit so Art could lip it. I could not really see the fish and what I was doing and the fish shook and got off. I was quite unhappy that I lost a 16 to 17 inch fish by being kind of careless. We kept working our way SW and soon Lowell was coming close from the West and Gary Ellis was following in behind us. We decided to give this area a rest and headed to the NE corner of the lake.

In the NE corner of Town Line Lake there is an old Beaver Dam that holds bass and so we went to give it a shot. I switched up to a jig and casted into a spot with a few lily pads where there was a beaver path so the water is slightly deeper. I jigged it once and felt a pick up, so I set the hook and it was fish on. It jumped and it was a good one. I was relieved when we got it in the net. Art thought it was a 20incher, I thought it was 19", but it was only 18.5" but had we had a scale to weigh it I am sure it would have been over 4lbs because it was a full bodied fish. I tried to coax another fish but the water level was a little to shallow and weed choked and nothing else was there.

We started working our way West and Dave got a small bass on a popper. We some good looking water but it was not holding fish in the mid-day sun. We were over a pretty bare area and I decided to go back to the buzzbait and was immediately rewarded with a 25.5 inch Pike. This water didn't look so great and that one fish was all we got so we decided to run to a point on the North end in the middle section of the lake. Art got a couple of pike and Dave got a small bass on the popper, but for the most part this area just didn't look fishy, so we headed back to work the Rope Swing Point.

As we were working our way down the shoreline I backlashed and my line broke at the spool. I could see my line so we were able to go and retrieve my buzzbait that was catching so many fish. I retied but something happened on my very next cast and the line broke about half way up the rod. This time there was no long tail of line and the buzzbait was lost. What a bummer. I borrowed a buzzbait from Dave and did get a few pike on it, but no more bass. We worked the South shore for the rest of the day getting a few more pike. We quit around 10 to 6pm.

As it turned out this was my day and I wrapped up Fally Walleye along with winning the day 2 money pot and a rod and reel. My prediction was right on that I would be a contender on Saturday. Lowell Borgan got 2nd and Pastor Dave Kruger got 3rd to fill out the Fally Walleye honorees. They were both fish Town Line as well. I think Dave Lindmark got 4th, Art got 5th, and Gary Ellis got 6th, so Town Line was definitely the place to be.

A number of the other boats went to Mule and some nice smallmouth were caught on minnows. I think Gary Schensted got one that was 19" or bigger.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bass Snatchers North Long

Just a bit of frustration is starting to sink in.

It was still pretty dark when I arrived at the public access a little before 6AM. It was cloudy, cool but not cold, and quite windy, which had everyone a bit put off. I brought a raincoat but didn't have a bib. I was surprised that my partner Chuck's boat is one of the smaller tiller model Rangers. I had just assumed being the hardcore bass fisherman that this guy is that he would have a pretty good sized rocket ship. The boat has a non-divided main live well and a bait well, so it is actually more of a walleye rig. When we got out on the water we discovered his aerator pump wasn't working, so he kept his fish in the bait well and I had to continuously scoop fresh water into the main livewell where my fish were throughout the day. It worked out as all my fish were alive at weigh in. The tournament blast off was at 7AM and we headed for the big water in the middle basin of North Long. North Long runs pretty much East to West and has 3 pretty round bays and is not small with almost 6000 acres of water. The way the wind was blowing I thought it would be much rougher once we got into the middle basin but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

We started on a mid-lake hump where my partner had found a school of big fish. Neither of us got a bite. We then moved to another hump close by that already had a boat on it. We saw them land one fish as they were drifting their way slowly with the anchor down. We didn't get anything but weeds.

Next we headed to a fairly protected shoreline to try some reeds. Almost right away I lost a small fish on a swim jig and that was all we got there. Next we moved out to the weedline and on our second stop started getting some action with the noise of Brainerd International Raceway in the background. I got my first fish on a pumpkinseed Monsoor swim jig with Zoom Speed Craw Trailer. I think I next caught one or two shorts. My partner was landing keepers on a texas rigged craw tube and I made the switch to a black/blue JigNpig. I caught two nice keepers on my first two casts. After that the fish seemed to shut off. The wind seemed to increase while we were on that weedline. I would say it was gusting over 30.

We then hit a couple of weedline spots on the North End of the middle basin. My partner filled out his limit and I got two more keepers plus about 4 shorts on the swim jig.

Next we headed out to the humps we started on. The clouds had started to break up and the wind came down to about 15mph instead of 20-30mph. My partner landed his best fish of the day on the first hump, but that was it. Eventually I filled my limit and got my first cull. We then ran back to the weedline where we had caught the bulk of our fish, but didn't get anything except one short for me. I don't remember where we went next, but we got nothing there. We then headed to a cabbage weed bed on the southern part of the middle basin. I caught a couple of shorts on the swim jig and Chuck got his craw tube bit off by a pike.

With about an hour left with the sun completely out and the wind dying down we tried a nice looking steep break on the North end of the middle basin without any luck. Next we headed into Merrifield Bay (the east basin) and went dock fishing. My partner was skipping a jigNpig under the docks with a baitcaster and he was sure good at it with extremely accurate casts. Meanwhile I was struggling to get accustomed to my new St. Croix Avid Spinning rod rigged with bass tube jig. Chuck managed to cull up slightly a couple of times and caught a couple of fish that would have helped me. On one of the docks I made a bad cast got hung up and broke off. This allowed me to switch up to a bubblegum Zoom Super Fluke which I am much more comfortable throwing around docks because the hook is not exposed. Chuck let me get first crack at a likely looking spot and I caught yet another short. We kept moving around hitting docks. We came to a spot where there was a boat lift about 35 feet out from the end of a dock. Chuck had a fish pick up his bait and spit it, while I was casting into the shadow made by the lift. After a couple of jerks of the Fluke I had on a 16.5" which was my big fish of the day. It was also the last fish of the day for us.

My partner weighed a respectable 13-7 which was only good enough for 7th. My partner had won the two previous club tournaments at North Long in 2006 and 2004 with weights in the 14's. The winning weight on this day was 15-11 with 2 other bags in the 15's and 2 bags in the high 14's.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear 11lbs 01oz with a big fish of 2lbs 9ozs. I thought I had somewhere just under 10lbs. From past history I figured that 11lbs would get me a solid finish in the middle of the pack, instead on this day it was only good enough for 17th out of 24.

As I said before this is starting to get a little bit frustrating. I am catching fish from the back of the boat, but the size of fish I am catching just isn't cutting it compared to everyone else. This tournament I caught all but 1 fish on a bass jig which is known to be a bigger fish bait, but I caught my big fish of the day on a Super Fluke.

I now have a 15th, 16th, 17th, and 23rd place finishes. This tournament moved me ahead of the other club rookie, who didn't fish North Long. I am currently in 17th place and well back of 16th place and that is out of 22 people that have fished a minimum of 3 out of the 4 tournaments. (Place is figured out with the lowest score thrown out so only 3 tournaments at this point count for a persons points.)

Our 5th tournament is not until September 20th at Serpent Lake and the last tournament of the year is October 4 at Mission.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fishing w/Pete Sullivan Lake

Saturday July 2, 2008

Today I was the putz holding things up. It was a bit on the warm side and I didn't want to head out in the heat. We ended up waiting till after dinner and we did not get on Sullivan Lake until after 8PM. Conditions were ideal. It was calm and overcast and things had cooled down into the high 70's.

I started us off on a reed bank that has been productive for Pike and Bass in the past. It was dead (Pete might have missed one hit and I had a weak surface strike on the black/yellow head Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog) although we really didn't get to fish some of the prime stuff because Pete was not really able to fish the heavier cover.

The sun was starting to get low so we headed over to the GOMH and I got a look at the bridge construction for the 1st time. It looked like they dammed up the channel and it also looked like there was a lot of work to be done. The rumor is that they are supposed to finish the project in late August. I have never seen so many lilly pads in the SW GOMH bay. I fished the frog and Pete fished a buzzbait and skitter pop. He was having major casting accuracy problems with the skitter pop. I managed to get a 14" Larry back in the slop and I missed one real good hit. Once again this was an area that used to be a consistant producer of more action than we saw. With the Sun basically down we headed to the PRO river mouth. The River doesn't seem to be flowing as strong as usual and the area has more vegitation than I remember it having in the past. My plan was to let Pete have things all to himself, but Pete's casting problems were keeping him from working the water so I decided to fish. I hit the prime stuff at the river mouth and didn't get any blow ups. I did get a 13.5" in some more marginal water. Pete decided to switch to a frog and we worked our way inside the river. I missed one blow up and that was it. Much to my astonishment the river mouth was a dud too.

We motored out of the river mouth and stopped at a good looking area about 50 yards out from the PRO river mouth. Pete had a blow up that didn't hook up while I was busy doing boat control as the wind had kicked up pretty good out of the SE. It was a wet ride back in.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fishing w/ Pete Rock Lake

Tonight was the annual Immanuel Luthern Corn Boil. I went to that with Dad and we got home around 6pm. At the Corn Boil dad found out that Jenny had something wrong with her water flow at the house and so this was the plan: I would hook the Trophy up to the Explorer and go to Jenny's and drop off dad. I would then go and see whether Pete wanted to hook the boat up to his car or leave it on the Explorer and let dad take Pete's car home. By the time I got my gear squared away and everything in order it was after 9:30pm.

Pete was sound asleep when I got to the "Lake Place" and it took about half an hour for him to get up. Once he did, he decided that we would put the Trophy on his car and I would bring the Explorer to Dad and Pete also wanted to organize and put a bunch of stuff away in his car and the garage. As I drove to Jenny's Dad was walking back on the road and was almost to the Lake Place. I gave Dad the Explorer and walked back to the Lake Place. I grabbed my frog rod out of the boat and went down front to throw a few casts. No luck.

I headed back up and not to suprizingly Pete was not ready to go for about another half an hour. It was after 8PM when we arrived at the Rock Lake public access. Much to our surprize when we were getting the boat ready to go in the water another boat showed up wanting to put in. This made sure we got the boat off the trailer about 10 minutes quicker than we would have other wise.

Once we were on the water the plan was to use the trolling motor and fish starting at the access and go North. Unfortunatly the trolling motor didn't run. The battery meter in the trolling motor wasn't getting any juice. We tried to clean off the contacts but that didn't do any good. It was as if the battery had completely died. While Pete was working on the battery I fired up the gas motor and we decided to go out and fish without a trolling motor.

Near the access I caught a 14.5" Larry on a black/yellow head Snagproof Bobby's Perfect Frog. As the sun went down we hit several good looking area's North of the access. Pete missed a couple of hits on a Chart/red Skitter Pop. It got dark in a hurry and we headed in. We maybe got to fish for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Smallies on the Mississippi

Monday July 28th.
Pete woke me up at about 3:30PM and asked me if I wanted to go fishing. I wasn't enthusiastic about it but I said OK. Then Pete informed me we would be going to fish Smallmouth on the Mississippi with his friend Greg Jones from Mid-West Outdoors. This perked me up quite a bit and we were out the door around 4PM.

We met Greg in St. Cloud around 5PM and headed North. Greg is a Salesmen, Editor, and TV guy with Mid-West outdoors and he is also a Mississippi River Rat. His command of the river was impressive as we ran the river at full speed even though the area we were to fish has a lot of shallow stretches. I saw a couple of eagles and a bi-plane.

I started out with a Frenzy Rattlebait, Pete tried a Strike King Rocket Shad, and Greg had on a small white buzzbait. Greg started getting some hits on the buzzbait and I switched to a swim jig. Greg kept showing us we were around fish and so I switched pretty quick to a purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. It didn't take long and I was catching fish. I think my 3rd fish was a small pike. Basically we drifted down the river until it got to dark to fish. The fish were not suicidal but the action was pretty steady. I got the biggest smallie at just under 19 inches and that was the only one we got over 18." There was a good mix of fish between 10" and 17" plus Pete got a nice Pike. I think all but 1 fish were on topwater. I swear I casted that Popper straight into the big fishes mouth cause I didn't see it hit the water and there was no swirl but the fish was on immediately.

I had a lot of fun. Greg is a really good guy and even had an interesting story about seeing a UFO on the river that looked like a flying telephone pole. Someone was with him so he has a witness. Unfortunatly they didn't get close enough to find out what they were actually seeing but it was flying and it was big.

Fishing w/Pete ML Friday July 25th.

We didn't get to the lake till well after midnight. Pete got the boat started but once again it didn't run while in gear, so the gas wasn't the problem. Pete went about working on the motor and eventually I went to the car. Above the trees were filled with bugs as the sun came up. About 6 AM pete yelled for me to come as he had the motor running. The wind was blowing 10-15mph out of the SE so it was rolling pretty good out on the water. Pete was running us straight out into the lake from the access and I was growing concerned. The flats with a ruff ride and a motor we might not be able to count on seemed like a bad plan. Pete was just running us out so we wouldn't get blown into shore if the motor started acting up. We ended up going over to the North end of Sherman's Point and started trolling water with Shad Raps. We trolled for about a hour and a half with no luck so then we went into the protected water on the North Shore of Sherman's Point and tried for Smallies, Northern, and Muskie. I caught two 13-14" smallies on a white X-Rap and that was all we got. I believe we were off the water by 11am. On the way in Pete's motor started acting up again. It was a problem with some loose wires or something like that.

Fishing w/ Pete on ML

Pete finally came up on the Wed. 23rd and we hit Mille Lacs about midnight. The moon was out at least part of the time and there was very little wind. We trolled from the Casino Access around Sherman's Point all the way through Wig Wam bay and a little bit East of Wigwam. We were on the water until about noon, thanks to Pete's motor not wanting to run when he put it into gear. While it was dark Pete got a smallie that was almost 20 inches on his little clown minnow. Nothing seemed to be going shallow and so we put on shad raps and started running 10-15ft towards dawn. Pete caught another smallie 17inch and got a 24" walleye. I finally got a hit from a rock bass, then after the sun was up I caught a nice perch. Some fish were rolling out over open water on top and we tried for them but didn't have any luck. We trolled back to Sherman's Point where Pete got a perch. When we got on the Shabosh Kung side of Sherman's Pete tried to fire up the big motor. It would run in neutral but not in gear. Pete figured it was bad gas. We ended up drifting plus using the trolling motor to get in. We didn't get a single smallie off the South side of Sherman's Point.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

7/2/2008 Eddy's Launch with Dad

Tonight Dad and I went out on a Launch on Mille Lacs out of Eddy's Resort. The night was windy and a bit cool. Dad and I got the back of the boat which was packed with about 17 people. We ran up by Indian Point and fished in area's where the wind maybe wasn't quite as bad. Dad spent much of the night talking to Karen, or maybe it was Carol, who was from Cambriage and comes up to the Casino to gamble and fish by herself cause her husband doesn't care for it. I helped her get set up and she did catch a small walleye. A few weeks ago she got a 28inch walleye on an Eddy's launch. The guy next to me in the back of the boat caught a 24.5" Northern and a 23.5" walleye both of which had to go back due to Mille Lacs size regulations.

Dad and I both missed bites a couple of times. Dad caught a cigar walleye and I caught the only keeper for the whole launch (14inches.) The boat caught about 8 fish total and I think we did better than the other launch that was out. All in all it was a good time with Dad.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mille Lacs with Pete Tues/Wed

Yesterday was such a nice day that I agreed to go fishing with Pete one more night out on Mille Lacs. The plan was to be out there at 7:30pm to go fishing for smallmouth, but Pete didn't have the boat ready to leave until after 8:15pm. On the way we stopped to get pop and when we got to the access Pete realized he forgot his life vest and so we had to drive back down 169 to the Marathon gas station where amazingly enough they did have life jackets. By the time we finally got on the water it was getting pretty dark, so we just went right into trolling.

Right away Pete got an eater eye. A little while later Pete hooked up again, but as I was reeling in my line it somehow got caught up in Pete's. Pete managed to hand line it in. The fish was right at 18 inches so it had to go back. On the next trolling pass Pete and I both missed bites and then went a very long time without anything. Finally as we were back up on Sherman's point I got a 16" or so smallie. We trolled around to the North side of Sherman's where Pete hooked into a 24" eye. There was some weather coming in from the NW so we decided to troll our way back South. While still on the North side of Sherman's I popped a 15" smallmouth. Once we got to the South side of Sherman's Pete tied into a big fish. The wind was blowing pretty good and the boat turned funny and once again my line got caught in Pete's. I got the two lines separated quickly by cutting my line, but Pete was already trying to bring it in by hand and the fish got off. Pete was pretty frustrated and I felt bad.

The wind kicked up even more and it started to sprinkle, so Pete fired up the gas motor and we headed in sometime after 3am.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pete came up on Tuesday 6/17 and we fished the night shift on 6/18 and 6/19. Pete brought up his new (used) Lund Boat and worked on it all day Wednesday. We did not get out of the door until well after 9PM. The plan was to troll or bobber fish but we forgot the leeches, so bobber fishing was out. And on the way to the ramp Pete informs me that he did not bring the power cord for his depth finder. I didn't know how in the world we were going to troll blind to the bottom, but Pete informed me that he has a GPS with the Lakemaster chip and that should do the job. I was quite skeptical and a little afraid for Pete's prop, but the thing worked great. On both nights we fished Sherman's Point till at least 7am. On Wed/Thur we fished all around the point, while on Thur/Fri we stayed on the South side. We caught fish in anywhere from 4 to 10 feet of water on little minnow crankbaits. We did not catch a single bigger walleye in the protected slot and we missed several bites both nights.
For the eye's it seemed like the inside line was better and for smallies the outside line was better.

On Wed/Thur I got 3 smallies including a 18.75" casting with a pink #10 husky jerk after sunrise. I also caught 3 eater eye's and 1 crappie. Pete got 1 eater eye, 2 cigars, 3 smallies, and 1 rock bass.

On Thur/Fri we got out later and didn't stay out as long. Pete had the hot hand catching 5 eyes, 3 rock bass, and 2 smallies, while I got 1 eye, 2 smallies, and 1 rock bass.

Eddy's Launch Tues. 6/17/08

For the 2nd year in a row Lakeview Community Church and Immanuel Lutheran Church got together for a launch trip on Mille Lacs out of Eddy's. Dad spearheaded the effort and it was a lot of fun. This year featured the 5 F's: Fellowship, Food, Fishing, Fun, and Film. We had burgers, turkey burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, bars, chips and pop. The food was a nice way to kill time until the prime time for getting bites.
Katie Hayes caught the 2nd Walleye of the day and it was a keeper. The protected slot on ML this year is 18" to 28".
We fished on Eddy's Flagship which is the biggest launch on Mille Lacs. I think we had 26 people total.

I had a bite right away when I was rigging up Dad's rod. Unluckly there was no slack in the line so when I picked up the rod it pulled the hook right away from the fish. We really didn't have anymore action until after 8PM. One of the lady's went to use the restroom and she got a bite when she was in the facilities. Another person ended up reeling in her fish, but she got to keep it. The youngest fisherperson, Katie Hayes, caught the 2nd fish. Dad caught 2 walleye's that were to small and Don Weinmeister caught 3 eye's. The boat got around 4 keepers, 6 that were to small, and 3 that were to big. I ended up with the skunk.

Even though we took this launch in the middle of June, we were fishing the exact same spot we fished the 1st launch Dad and I went on last year on May 16th.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sullivan/Platte Tues. 6/10/08

I headed out to the East access on Sullivan around 5:20pm, when I got to the access there was a line up of boats. An 8 boat multi-species league out of Little Falls was fishing the lake. I let them launch first and they were quick about it, so I was on the water by 6PM.

Once again my plan tonight was docks, but this time in Sullivan. Now it had been sunny out for a good part of the day, but by the time I launched it was overcast. I started at the first dock South of the access heading South. I did not get a hit until I was around the point into "Old Cabin Bay" and I missed it. My first fish was a rock bass on the bubbleguy Super Fluke. I missed another bite and saw three small keepers swimming around one dock. I also learned that Strike King Zero's which have been in the water a while become lighter and on a small hook will float.

I managed to pick up 2 or 3 dinks between docks, before I got to the Prime-Time docks. A guy came out and started fishing off one of the prime docks. I got a couple of dinks off the prime docks on the Fluke. Towards the end of the prime run I got a 14" off of a boat lift on a Chart/Black Chart 3X Craw Terminator Jig.

From there I headed into Platte to fish the North and West sides of Channel Inn Bay where I knew there was some fish. I started out in the emerging reeds with a buzzbait in the wind but that wasn't happening. Once I got to the point where it was calmer I started throwing a pumpkin Horny Toad. It was not long and I lost a leg, but shortly after that I nailed a 14" bass. While I was waiting for the Super Glue to cure I had a miss on the River2Sea Bully Wa Frog black/chart nose. I threw back to the spot and was rewarded with a 15" bass. At the NW cut I got a 16.5" on the pumpkin Horny Toad. Working South on the West shore I got a hammer handle and a 15" on the Horny Toad. It was comming up on 9PM so I headed to the PRO.

I had a few weak hits at the PRO on the Frenzy Popper and Horny Toad but nothing hooked up. I headed out at 9:15pm to beat the Tourny guys in since the PRO was being a bust.

I ended up with 10 or so bass with about half being dinks and 1 Pike.

The Tourny guys all seemed to do alright and most beat what I caught for the night. The biggest bass was 18.5" with one other at 18" and about 3 that were 17+, lots of little pike, a few 8" sunfish, 1 small walleye, and a 26" and 27" dogfish. I talked to the guy who got the big bass and he got it on a spinnerbait. It was a good night to be throwing a spinnerbait with the breeze and overcast.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Platte Lake A Dogfish

I hit the water a little after 6PM. It looked like it was going to rain, but it didn't. There was a pretty stiff breeze out of the West when I first put in, but by the time I was done on the docks it had lightened considerably and the sun came out. Towards dark it got calm.

The plan was to catch some quality bass off the Big West Bay South shore docks primarily with a jigNpig with a possible Fluke thrown in here and there. I put in at the Platte Lake access and put the trolling motor down right away headed west. I missed a bass on the very first dock. I didn't have my reel dialed in and my pitching form was quite rusty from a lack of practice and I was undoing a backlash when the fish picked up the jig. I didn't get a good hookset, but I did see the fish as I pulled up and it was a solid 15" or so. I continued to move West without a whole lot going on except having the claws bit off the jigs craw probably by a pike. I eventually got down to my milk run and missed a pike on a bubblegum Super Fluke. On the very last dock I got 2 dink bass on a Blue/Black Monsoor Swim Jig with purple/wht grub. I worked into the weed flat with the swim jig and then drifted back with the wind throwing the purple Berkley Frenzy Popper in the sparce reeds and rice. I had what were probably a couple of small pike show at the Popper but they did not hook up. After a while of working the flat with nothing to show I decided to hit the North side of the Big West Bay where there is rice and pads.

I started by throwing a white Horny Toad, but had one of the legs get bit off. I got nothing in the emerging rice and pads and eventually drifted over to some fine looking green bullrushes. At the back end of the bullrushes I had a solid take on the swim jig by what felt like a good fish but it got off. I worked the North shore a little bit more without any action. The sun was getting low now and I headed to the docks on the point of the Big West Bay South shore. I didn't get anything from the docks but pulled a 16" from between the first and 2nd dock. There are now 3 docks off the tip of this point. I continued to work my way around the point into Channel Inn bay. I was throwing the wht. Horny Toad when I had a solid blow up that cut off the last leg. I fished the Toad with stumps and got a 15.5" at the NW cut.

I threw the purple Frenzy Popper at the cut and had something wake behind it. I slowly worked the popper and sure enough it bit and it was what I thought, a dogfish. I let him fight it out then I netted it. It went 24" and I released it back to get bigger. Soon after that I caught a 15.5" bass on a pumpkinseed Horny Toad. I was having trouble with the bait keeper on the Horny Toads so I switched to a Black/Chart Nose River2Sea BullWa Frog. I got a 13" bass on that and had a couple of other hits from small fish or pike. It was getting dark and the mosquito's where awful so I called it a night without heading to the PRO.

6 Bass, 1 Dogfish, 0 Pike

Mille Lacs 6/8/08 Sunday

Sunday was a nice day with light wind so I decided to head out to Mille Lacs. By the time I got there at 5pm it was overcast and getting ready to rain which was fine with me because there was a lot of Cottonwood cotten on the water. I fished out of Isle Bay and started out by hitting some docks that can be good at spawning time. I was in a pretty good groove casting to the docks but I wasn't getting any action. After hitting more than 10 docks I finally had a nice fish follow my bubblegum Super Fluke but it didn't hit it. It had stopped raining by now. I then tried a watermelon tube and came up empty. I switched to a white Strike King Zero (Senko) and the smallie took it, but I came up empty on the hookset except for getting caught up on the boat lift. Had I hooked the fish it could have wrapped me up pretty good in that boat lift.

The space between docks was getting wider so I decided to throw out a white with Chart. nose Rapala Subwalk between docks. Almost immediately I was rewarded with a solid 18.25" Sally Smallmouth. Not long after that I had another hit on the Subwalk but it got off pretty much right away. On the next dock I connected with a 16.25" on the Zero. Not long after that between docks I nailed another 16.25" on the Subwalk. I ran some more docks and worked in between with the subwalk and saw 2 fish that would not commit. The action slowed so I decided to head North to hit a reef that has been good to me in the past. I got out there and the buoys were not configured like they normally have been in the past. I swear the area covered by the 4 buoys was quadrupled. I drifted with the light wind and manuevered with the trolling motor while throwing topwater and made a pass on the reef without a sign of a fish. I then made a 2nd pass with a white X-Rap and was rewarded with a 17" Sally, but I could not get anything else to go. It was about 8:30 so I decided to hit Malone Island Reef on my way back in. The sun actually came out for a bit and it sprinkled again too. I started out working topwater, then switched to the subwalk, then went back to a purple Frenzy Popper which produced a 17.25" smallie. It was getting dark and I wanted to avoid the 10pm night ban rush so I made 1 last cast and something (I think a small pike or muskie) came out of the water missing the popper. That was it and I called it a night.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Easy Go! Again.

I headed out to Platte/Sullivan around 7AM. It was cloudy and threatening rain with a 5-10mph breeze out of the NE. The first order of business when I got on the lake was to see if I could find that white Rapala Subwalk that a pike bit off last week. I got into the general area where I thought it would be and there it was sitting on the bottom. I scooped it up with a rod on the very first try. The line was broken about 6 inches up from the line tie. I ended up using the Subwalk at the PRO river mouth and I caught a pike and several bass, nothing big and some of them were 10inchers. The Subwalk has to be a 4 inch bait and it is thick like a spook, but those little bass sure loved it. I did get some 12-15's on it as well. The Subwalk was working great over the emerging wild rice in the river, but I played my hand a little to long. I got about 150 yards into the river and I caught a small pike. He seemed to have frayed the line a little bit so I retied. On the very next cast I had one of those toothy lure poachers steal the white subwalk for the 2nd time. The water was deeper and there was significant grass so I was unable to relocate the lure this time. At least the lure was productive while I had it; I figure the lure cost me around 50 cents a fish which is many times less than the going rate of a Zoom Horny Toad.

Fishing Report: I fished the North Flat of the PRO first getting a 18.25" Larry on a Horny Toad with the buzzing legs bitten off. I also caught a 28.5" Pike on the North Flat, this fish put up quite a battle. I did catch a few more bass and pike on the Pro North Flat mostly on a black/blue Monsoor Swim Jig with either a purple/clear or purple/wht grub. I also got a couple on brown Horny Toads, but the little pike were really into stealing the legs and small bass were hitting it too, screwing things up. I tried to fish the purple Frenzy Popper on the North Flat but it just wasn't happening.

When I got to the PRO river mouth I did catch a 15" on the Frenzy Popper but that was it for that. To get the fish to go at the river mouth I used the white, clown, and wht/chart Subwalk. I probably got about 10-12 bass and a couple of pike as I fished from the mouth down the river to the damn. After losing the white Subwalk I got a couple of pike on the "lost jig" in the river.

From the river I went to work the W/S flat of the PRO where the breeze was blowing onto. I started with a bang landing a 18" Larry on the black/blue Monsoor jig, but that was it for the bass. I did catch about 3-4 pike on the W/S flat. I got done with my pass and was amazed to see it was 1:30pm, so I called it a day.

I caught 24 bass and 11 pike total.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mille Lacs Shore Skunk

The weather looked threatening but I decided to head out anyway to give the Cemetary Jetty another try. The weather never got out of hand and the wind barely blew at all. The sun even made an appearance so I could see my lures a long ways away. I tried Frenzy Poppers, swim jigs, Subwalks, and X-Raps and I could not even get a sniff. I thought more fish would move in but apparently not. I saw another rainbow over Mille Lacs and enjoyed watching the birds.

As it got dark I made a last second stab at some action off the Eddy's Jetty, but two guys were fishing the center Jetty. I worked the corners and once again didn't even have a sniff.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mille Lacs Shore Smallmouth

Before getting to the lake I hit up Reeds for some 14lb Fireline for the Fig Rig and ended up getting that plus 3 Strike King spinnerbaits 1/2oz 2x all white, 1x all Chart., some beads for walleye fishing, and a map of Farm Island Lake. From there I was off to Eddy's Jetty.

I worked my way around the South Jetty without any action until I was casting just off the rocks at the center Jetty. I had something come up at the shore minnow Frenzy Popper. I cast back and ended up tying into a 13." I made a few more casts off the rocks on the center Jetty and another fish showed itself but didn't hit the popper. I threw back in there with a 3/16oz Wht/Chart Strike King spinnerbait and on about the 4th cast I tied into a 16.5" smallie. I then headed to the middle Jetty where I caught a 16" smallie on the Frenzy Pop fished very close in to the Jetty rocks. I am amazed this fish struck where it did. I heard somebody on a launch say "look at that rock bass he just caught." I got a chuckle out of that. I then headed to the North Jetty where I have never caught a smallmouth from. I was working the Frenzy Pop out into the lake just beyond the corner when I had another 16.5" smallmouth attack. I was quite pleased to get 4 smallouth off the Eddy's Jetty in one day. This is the best I've ever done numbers wise for smallies off the Eddy's Jetty. I think I fished from about 4:30 to 6:30pm.

I then headed over to "Cemetary Jetty" and started throwing a wht/chart Outcast Swim Jig with wht/chart grub in the cove. Last year on Opener there were a bunch of largemouth in the cove, but no such luck this year. I didn't get a bite in the cove. I headed out to the tip of the point and on my first or second cast I had my grub tail bitten in half. A few casts later straight off the point with the swim jig and I tied into yet another 16.5" smallie. I worked the point over with the swim jig and didn't get any more takers. I then worked the point over with the Frenzy Pop and didn't get so much as a sniff. I put on the wht/chart nosed Rapala Subwalk and got a 16" or so smallie up to shore where it got off. I kept working the Subwalk for a while but could not get anything more to go. I then put on a white X-Rap and I think I missed a hit. A front moved through and kicked up the wind and it sprinkled a little. When the wind was going I switched to the swim jig and had a grub stolen straight off the point. I was hoping I could get this fish to go on topwater or a spinnerbait or on the swim jig again, but it didn't cooperate. Once the front blew past there was an awesome rainbow over the lake. As the sun set it calmed down again and I got my last 17.5 smallie on the wht/chart nosed Subwalk. I headed out after sunset but before it got very dark because I worked the area hard and was just not getting any fish to go.

I was quite pleased to get a total of 7 smallies from shore. 3 Frenzy Pop, 2 Subwalk, 1 swim jig, 1 spinnerbait.

Report 5-29-08

Today was cloudy for most of the day and it started to sprinkle in the afternoon into when I went out fishing at 6PM. I first hit the access at Bulldog, the brisk SE wind was pretty much blowing right in on it. I managed to get 1 pike on a wht/chart Subwalk. Next I headed to the Rock public access but there were people there fishing off the dock so next I headed for Jenny Olson's ramp. I caught a pike and 2 bass at Jenny's then I headed just down the road to our property on Platte Lake. We don't have the dock out yet and the wind was blowing in pretty good, but I did manage to land one small pike. From there I headed to the GOMH. The only fish I got there was a 12" Larry on a swim jig off the pallets on the SW side. I couldn't get a thing to go on the NE side and it started thundering and raining, so I took off around 8:30pm.

It would have been a good day/night for me to head to the Eddy's Jetti because of that SE wind and overcast. I thought about it, but I took the Crystal Fireline off the Fig Rig and my heart was not in it, so I didn't go.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Easy Come, Easy Go!!!

Tonight the white Rapala Subwalk that I caught the two bass on one cast with was bit off by a Pike at the GOMH. I suppose there is a shot it is laying on the bottom where the fish hit. I will not have the chance to get the boat out to look for it for several more days which means more weed growth and less chance I will be able to spot it.

The night could have been worse as I had a shore minnow color Frenzy Popper cut at the spool on a backlash. Fortunatly the cast was at a 30degree angle from shore and there was a lot of Crystal Fireline out for me to catch. I moved down the shore towards where the lure was and cast another Frenzy Popper out and reeled it in. It took a few try's but I did eventually catch the Fireline and was able to bring the lure in.

Fishing was less than spectacular. On the South side I caught one small slime rocket on a white OutKast Swim Jig and missed a pike on the "lost jig". On the North side I got 1 Pike on the "lost jig," 1 small bass on the white swim jig, 1 small bass on the "lost jig," 2 bass on a bullfrog Frenzy Popper, and 1 small bass on a clown colored Subwalk (very first cast). I missed 2-3 hits on the popper and had a grub tail bit off on the "lost jig". I fished just short of 2 hours for those 5 bass and 2 pike.

Mosquito's are starting to come out and there were a lot of gnats too. Quite a bit of panfish movement on the waters surface. GOM Lee Ander got 5 bass on the South side on worms, other than that the bass seem to have vacated the south side.

Platte/Sullivan Tues 5-27-08 Continued...

I am not going to have the tow vehicle available for the next several days so I figured I better get out while I can. I headed to Platte/Sullivan around 5pm and was on the water by 5:30pm. I started at the GOMH on the N/Platte side (Platte Platte River Outlet). Not long in and I nailed a fat 16.5" on a blue Monsoor Swim Jig with 3" purple Kalin Grub tail but that was all the GOMH PPRO held even though it looked awesome. Those Kalin grubs have great action but they are not durable at all. I elected not to run the flat heading East but to turn up around the bend into Channel Inn Bay. Once again this water looked marvelous with weeds just starting to emerge from the bottom and a light amount of "hay" from last years weeds. I worked my way all the way through the Channel in Bay from South to North, hitting the bank as well as trying 250yards from the bank in the middle. At first I was throwing a blue Monsoor Jig and I caught a few fish scattered about including a chunky 16.90," but the reel started to squeel on the cast so I put it down not wanting to wreck the bearings. I then started throwing the "lost jig" and got a pike and a bass. Conditions were calm to a very slight breeze so I decided to go with the purple Frenzy Popper. I caught mostly scattered smaller fish (12" to 14") out towards the middle. I had the Frenzy get bit off by a slime rocket, but I was able to get the bait back because it didn't hook up. In the Northern 1/3 of the bay I worked my way towards shore and had a follow from what I am pretty sure was a dogfish. It waked behind the popper but wouldn't take it. As I worked my way a little farther North, I found myself in a pod of bass and pike. I caught several of each on the Frenzy Popper with biggest being a thin 18.75". The action ended when I got to the NW cut but I did get 2 nice one's and jumped a fish off at the cut. I did work the North shore of the Channel in bay to the Point. I got a pike in the middle and a bass off of the point a little way out.

It was about 8:10pm and I decided to make a quick run to see if Loon Sex Bay was on fire. Conditions were perfect to smash them in LSB if the fish were in there and active. Unfortunatly nothing was going on in LSB except a few little northerns. I might have had a bass hit on a Horny Toad by the NE cut, but that fish got off. I fished to the cut then headed to the PRO which I have already reported on.

For the Night I think I caught 22-24 bass and 6-8 pike which is a little disappointing because the water looked so good and the water temps (60degrees) seemed right.

Platte/Sullivan Tues 5-27-08

I got a new baitcasting rod today from Reeds; Shimano Crucial 6'10" Med Hvy X-Fast. I want to use it primarily for swim jigs, but it will probably also serve duty as a pitchen and texas rig worm rod. I might even try working Flukes on it.

Also the X-Rap Subwalks I won on Ebay came in the mail today. I have them in four different colors: Clown, 37, 53, and 55. I gave the white one a few quick casts at the landing to see how it ran. I think learning to walk the dog with it is going to take practice as it seemed to get out of rhythm quite easily. I tried it for a short time out on a weed flat, but had no confidence in the bait or the area so I quickly put it down.

At about 8:45pm I headed to the PRO to give the river mouth a shot. As I approached I didn't get a hit on the "lost jig" or Berkley Frenzy Popper. I decided what the heck and put on the white Subwalk. I started banging fish immediately. The first fish was a small pike. A couple of casts later I was into a small school of bass, I think I caught 4 and lost 2. They were all 14" to 15.5" bass. After that bite subsided I headed into the river a little ways and missed a bite. On the next cast I hooked into a bass and as I was reeling it in it looked like a pike must of taken a shot at the bass and was holding on. What I was actually witnessing was a second bass hitting the Subwalk and getting hooked. I landed them both. This is the first time I have ever caught two fish on the same lure on one cast Here is a pic of the two bass. They were the last one's I caught.

Rest of report to come later...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pike Night at Rock

I should of got up early and headed out before the cold front blew threw. I almost did get up, but I hit snooze a few to many times.

I think I headed out to Rock around 3PM and temps had dropped into the low 60's and were heading down with a 15mph North wind. The plan was to hit the RPRO with some Zoom Horny Toads. The day started out with both legs getting bit off a Toad and no hook up. Probably a pike. About 5 minutes later I landed this 24" Pike.

While I was fooling around trying to get the camera, the pike somehow spit my black Toad body into the lake. I worked my way East to West along the South windblown shore losing 1 Toad leg in the process. I got my first bass, 16.5", at the end of the pass by the beaver dam at the river mouth. That was a long stretch of fishless water, not a good sign. I started working my way back East along the North Shore and the next bass I scored, 16.25", came on the "lost jig." I then caught a couple of more bass on a bullfrog colored Berkley Frenzy Popper. When I got to the Eastern edge of the pass I caught a small pike. I decided to make a pass back to the West along the North shore again. On this pass I caught a few bass and pike on the popper and "lost jig". I would anchor when I would get a bass, but I don't think I ever got two fish from the same area. I also missed several hits on this pass. I did one last half past from the middle South shore West. I caught a 16.25" which I think was the same fish I caught on the "lost jig" earlier. I also caught a Pike on this pass. I left the RPRO with 10 Larry's to my credit and 5 Pike.

I then headed to the far north end of Rock where a little river runs into the lake. It would be an awesome spot except for the fact that it is a bit on the shallow side. I made a cast up to the left of where the water runs in with the popper and a bass just annihilated it. I thought I had a true pig, but it was only a fat 17.25." I continued to fish the flat in this little North bay and I caught 3 pike. One was 24" and one was 26."

From there I went to a windblown flat were pads are emerging but I didn't get a hit. With that it was about 8:15 and I called it quits. 11 bass and 8 pike.

I did hit the GOMH on the way home but didn't land a single bass.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Morning and Night at the GOMH

The plan was to get up at Sunrise (about 5:30am) and head to the GOMH for a little jumpin bullhead action. My get up time was more like 6:30am. After getting dressed and downing a Coke and a Suzy Q, I was off. I was off unprepared. I didn't bring a pliers, measuring board, or extra twister tails for the "lost jig." No pliers was a pain because I was throwing treble hooked topwater. I was fortunate that none of the fish I caught needed pliers to get the hook out.

I started fishing on the NE side with the wind at my back throwing a shore minnow color Berkley Frenzy Popper. I quickly put 4 jumpin bullheads and a toothy bullhead on the bank. After that the action died on the NE side so I switched to the SW side. The wind was now blowing in my face but not to bad. I managed to pick up a few right off the bat on the popper but I also missed a couple of hits. I then switched to the "lost jig" and got a couple on that, but then my tail got bit off and that was the end of that. I then switched to a white spook and caught one on that. Next I tried a couple of different X-raps but didn't get so much as a tap. I finished off fishing the SW side with the popper and got a couple of more to go. Before I left I got 1 more jumper on the NE side with the popper and had a toothy bullhead take a shot at the Spook.

For about an hours fishing I got 13 jumpin bullheads and 1 toothy.

Also the two guys in Kayaks were fishing the greater GOMH area and getting action on bass and pike. Since they were not shore fishing they weren't in bullhead territory.

Night: The rain that was West and North of here didn't materialize and I headed out the door at around 7:30pm. My first stop was going to be at the Bulldog Public Access but there was a car there with two people fishing. I didn't stop and went straight to the GOMH. When I arrived at the GOMH people were fishing the SE, SW, and NE sides. The guy on the SE side had just caught a walter on a leech fished on the bottom. The group on the SW side had a couple of orange bullheads and they said they also caught some jumpin bullheads. The guy on the NE side was fishing for orange bullheads and getting an occasional jumper as it got dark he started catching whiskered bullheads.

I was all set to take the NW side when two girls who were hanging out at the bridge went down there. It looked like there was a spot to fish 15 feet E of the SE side, so I headed down there and I'm glad I did. In the next hour and a half I landed 15 jumpin bullheads. 13 on a shore minnow colored Berkley Frenzy Popper and 2 on the "lost jig." All that topwater was a blast even though I always had to pick a bunch of weeds off the hook with every fish landed. The biggest I got was 16" with most being 12" or less.

I think I was standing almost right on top of a dogfish bed because there was a small dogfish giving me the eye and swimming around. I was going to try and catch it but a kid came down to talk and scared it off. After that I kind of decided it was to small to bother with. I don't know if it was even 20 inches.

As it got dark the topwater bite seemed to shut down and it was getting hard to see to work the lure. I took the "lost jig" and fished the SE side and managed to scrape up 1 more jumpin bullhead. So in a hour and a half I managed to outfish what I did on Rock yesterday in 3 hours, but the average size was quite a bit smaller, but the big fish were comparable.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

MN Bass Opener 2008

This is my first bass of the 2008 season. It hit on a white Zoom Horny Toad and went about 15.5inches.

So I get up at 4:20am with the idea of being the first one on the lake. I got burned a couple of years ago when I didn't hit it at the crack of dawn on bass opener and several boats were ahead of me into the Platte River Outlet (PRO) river mouth. Not any surprize I was first one at the launch. Got the boat in the water, motor started and I was on my way. In the distance on the west side of the lake another boat was under way and heading north. When the boat reached the "intersection" it headed west and I was out of luck. This boat was heading right for the PRO river mouth. The PRO river mouth always seems to hold aggresive bass and some of them can be very nice sized. Get first crack at it and your sure to be in business, get there 2nd and it's scraps from the table.

I ended up setting down about 150 yards South of the other boat. I changed my change of plan back to the original plan. The water was reading 57degrees and the wind was minimal so I figured topwater might be the ticket. My first cast was indeed with the purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. A couple of casts with that and I was fouling in the "hay" (stubble left over from last years wild rice). I decided the Zoom Horny Toad would be the better option as I made my way North. A little more past half way to the river mouth I had a strike on the Toad. I was not exactly fishing on point and gave a poor hookset. I thought the fish got off, but all of a sudden there was tugging on the line and I landed #1 for the year. On my way North to the river mouth I had two more good strikes on the Horny Toad but once again was not fishing on point and I missed both. The other boat had made it's way into the Platte River and so I approached the mouth. I immediately caught a bass on a white spook. Then I caught another one and I anchored. On one of the next casts I had an awesome blow up on the spook by a bass, but it didn't hook up; It was a nice fish. I worked the river mouth with the Spook, Horny Toad, 3/16oz spinnerbait, and an X-rap catching fish on all of them, but the average size was around 14 inches.

I was anchored trying to milk the river mouth when two Kayak Fisherman approached and went right by me into the river. They did not have the decency to stop fishing until they were out of casting range. I had no problem with the Kayaks going past as that they are quiet and unlikely to spook the fish, but to fish through my anchored area was bush league. I think one of the guys caught a small bass while still in my cast zone.

About 5 minutes later another fishing boat with three people approached and fished right past me also. These people knew the guys in the boat that beat me to the PRO and the word from the people that beat me was that they caught quite a few fish. After milking the river mouth for all I thought it was worth I elected not to fish behind those 4 boats in the river. I headed out to take a look at the GOMH but there were two trucks parked and guys covering the South shore. I then decided to work the flat that makes up the North side of the PRO. Conditions were still right for topwater and so I was chucking a watermelon Zoom Horny Toad. While working my way West I had the legs bit of my Toad a couple of times. I got good action on the buzzing legless Toad and so I kept fishing it. There was a boil, but I missed the fish. I quickly cast back to the spot and this time the fish was on. A 16.5" and my best of the morning. As I worked west the wind started to increase and I started working in the Spook, a spinnerbait, and the "lost jig." With the wind blowing in the remnants of last years wild rice and this years pads coming up, the water looked great but was just not holding fish. By the time I got to the river mouth the wind was really picking up. I got one small one at the river mouth.

I then made a run down the middle of the PRO with the intention of drifting in the wind and throwing a rattlebait over water that was a little deeper. Tried that and didn't get a thing. As I was getting blown along the South shore it became shallower with "hay" and emerging pads. I went to the Strike King 3/16oz spinnerbait and started catching fish. I made it to the river mouth and then headed up for another drift pass. The wind was really howling by now and I was moving quite a bit faster than I wanted to because when I got a fish, I was immediately blown right past the area it was caught from. I made several drift passes and usually caught 1 or 2 fish per pass but nothing big. I tried the "lost jig" and a white swim jig, but the spinnerbait seemed to produce best.

At about 11:10 I elected to call it quits with 24 bass landed. It was starting to cloud up and I didn't remember the rain gear, so I was going to need to hit home before venturing to Rock. At the access I was checked by CO Kuske who had been out in a boat, but pulled out just after I did. A guy with a Stratos trailored up while I was getting myself organized. He said he got a couple of really nice fish including a 19.5" but he and his buddy had under 10 total. It looked like he spent part of his time in the general vicinity of the GOMH.

I plan to rest and then hit Rock lake a little later on. Hopefully that SE wind will simmer down some.

Rock Off: I headed off to Rock a little after 4:45pm and was surprized that there was only one rig in the lot. CO Kuske was there with his boat on the trailer and he was giving out two separate citations to people with ATV's. I took my sweet time getting ready and was on the water and fishing by 5:30pm. The wind was blowing strong from the SE but the Rock Platte River Outlet (RPRO) where I planned to fish is protected enough that you don't have heavy wave action. The RPRO is a fair sized shallow bay that fills up with pads and other weeds in the summer. In the Spring the bay can fill up with bass and that was what I was hoping for. Because of the heavy breeze I elected to drift with the wind from East to West. The RPRO runs more East/West than North/South. My first pass was made on the more protected South shore. One thing I noticed was that the water was very clear so expected the action to be on long casts and where the wind put some ripple on the water. I started off throwing a Zoom Horny Toad and I started things off with just an explosion for a hit by a big bass, but I did not hook up. What a pain! For me Horny Toads are high maintance baits. Most of the time I have to Super Glue the Toad to the bait keeper and Toad legs have a way of getting bitten off. I had two rods rigged to Toad. On the first pass I caught two 15+ inch bass and missed 4 stikes losing two Toad bodies. I did some fishing on the West end and along the North side going into the wind with little to show for it. I then went on a bunch of different drifts catching 1 to 2 fish a drift. Towards dark the wind was really shooting straight down the pipe and I quit using Horny Toad and switched to the "lost jig" which got me a few more fish. On average the fish were bigger than this morning but I didn't get anything bigger than 16.5". I also caught I scrawny pike. I think several pike had a hand in wrecking a few Horny Toads. I quit at about 8:45pm with a total of 13 bass landed which is a bit of a disappointment because I was hoping the RPRO would be packed with bass.

On the West end of the RPRO there is a beaver dam and I had a shot at a big fish there 3 separate times. Twice it didn't hook up and the third time it was on and felt like the best fish of the night, but it got off. Maybe it was a dogfish.

There was still a little light left when I was all done loading up the boat so I headed to the GOMH and caught 4 solid bass on the "lost jig." I tried a little topwater with a Spook but there weren't any takers.

So for the day I caught 41 bass with the biggest being 16.5" .

Tommorrow I am gonna get up early and hit the GOMH from shore to see if I can outfish what I did on Sullivan today.