Only Quality

Glen, Todd & Fraser joined me today hoping for a few dinosaurs. Glen had been here a couple of times last fall and knew just what to expect! They all wanted bigger and more! We wasted no time and headed on the water at 7:30 in anticipation of our first bite.

Air temps were comfortable for the run and expected to climb into the low 70’s by afternoon. Definitely not your typical October day, but we’ll take it! After the anchor was set, I prepped all the rods and the wait began. A couple of missed hits later, I was setting into the first fish. I had to get the skunk out of the boat so I grabbed the rod when the fish bit. Frazer had the first one and he brought a juvenile sturgeon to the boat, but needed a pic regardless. I reset the lines and hoped for a bigger bite next!

Our first several fish were all small but eventually, Fraser reared back on a heavy one and I told him it was big. He was about to feel what the adults were like! His fish even took to the air and now he knew exactly what he was dealing with. The battle lasted more than ten minutes before I was able to net his catch. Although not really a giant, it was definitely a good one and his largest ever! We shot several pics and released it quickly afterwards. Back to business~

Glen was up next and when his time came, he set into another heavy weight. Although not his personal best, it was still a really good fish. Several runs and a jump later, I was able to get it in the net for a few photos as well. Back she went and we did too. I reset all the lines once again hoping to get Todd another of the large ones but all he could manage were small & medium when his turn arrived. Glen on the other hand set into a good fish when his turn came up and battled another large one for almost ten minutes. Todd just couldn’t catch a break! Glen on the other hand was taking advantage of the rotation and loving the fact that his was not a baby. As luck would have it, this one turned out to be big fish of the day! She was released after a few more shots and we regrouped and readied for the next bite.

Todd was finally up again and when he set into the next fish, it acted a little strange. It wasn’t fighting like a sturgeon and when he brought it to the boat we realized why. He had hooked into a big channel cat and it was ugly! I netted it regardless and snapped off a few pics while he held it with the boga. He didn’t want to touch it! We let the beauty go and got right back to business.

The remainder of the afternoon only saw small & medium fish coming aboard and by 4:00 we pulled the plug on this day. We will be right back at it again tomorrow and hopefully a few of those monsters will find their way to our lines. Although plenty of fish were landed today, I always want more and bigger. Who knows, maybe tomorrow will see the personal best for the boat. It’s a tough number to beat, but I think it’s doable. I know they’d love to try!

In Search of Moby

Glen, Todd & Fraser joined me today hoping for a few dinosaurs. Glen had been here a couple of times last fall and knew just what to expect! They all wanted bigger and more! We wasted no time and headed on the water at 7:30 in anticipation of our first bite.

Air temps were comfortable for the run and expected to climb into the low 70’s by afternoon. Definitely not your typical October day, but we’ll take it! After the anchor was set, I prepped all the rods and the wait began. A couple of missed hits later, I was setting into the first fish. I had to get the skunk out of the boat so I grabbed the rod when the fish bit. Frazer had the first one and he brought a juvenile sturgeon to the boat, but needed a pic regardless. I reset the lines and hoped for a bigger bite next!

Our first several fish were all small but eventually, Fraser reared back on a heavy one and I told him it was big. He was about to feel what the adults were like! His fish even took to the air and now he knew exactly what he was dealing with. The battle lasted more than ten minutes before I was able to net his catch. Although not really a giant, it was definitely a good one and his largest ever! We shot several pics and released it quickly afterwards. Back to business~

Glen was up next and when his time came, he set into another heavy weight. Although not his personal best, it was still a really good fish. Several runs and a jump later, I was able to get it in the net for a few photos as well. Back she went and we did too. I reset all the lines once again hoping to get Todd another of the large ones but all he could manage were small & medium when his turn arrived. Glen on the other hand set into a good fish when his turn came up and battled another large one for almost ten minutes. Todd just couldn’t catch a break! Glen on the other hand was taking advantage of the rotation and loving the fact that his was not a baby. As luck would have it, this one turned out to be big fish of the day! She was released after a few more shots and we regrouped and readied for the next bite.

Todd was finally up again and when he set into the next fish, it acted a little strange. It wasn’t fighting like a sturgeon and when he brought it to the boat we realized why. He had hooked into a big channel cat and it was ugly! I netted it regardless and snapped off a few pics while he held it with the boga. He didn’t want to touch it! We let the beauty go and got right back to business.

The remainder of the afternoon only saw small & medium fish coming aboard and by 4:00 we pulled the plug on this day. We will be right back at it again tomorrow and hopefully a few of those monsters will find their way to our lines. Although plenty of fish were landed today, I always want more and bigger. Who knows, maybe tomorrow will see the personal best for the boat. It’s a tough number to beat, but I think it’s doable. I know they’d love to try!

 

Murphy Joins Forces

I had the pleasure of fishing with a couple from Texas today. They had driven from home and were taking in the sights along their way. Next up was fishing in Canada for smallmouth bass and I planned on making this the best part of their trip! We met up at 7:30 and unfortunately I had to drive to another body of water due to “Gale force Winds”. This lake looked like an ocean!

A short trip to the other place had us in much better conditions and hopefully, fish as well. As I started to back the boat in though, the brakes seemed to be locking up and making a clunking sound that I didn’t like. After a couple of attempts of going forward and backing up to release them, something just snapped. One of the bolts that held the caliper in place just sheared off and the caliper fell out of place causing the whole thing to just drop. I was dead and not even the water! I slowly managed to move the rig forward and limped out of the way, in case someone else needed to launch.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but needed to get the wheel off to assess the situation. Fortunately I am overly prepared for problems and had a real jack to raise the trailer in the back of the truck. I had left it there from earlier in the season when I had two flats at the same time, from running over something in the middle of the road. Once the tire was removed, the caliper just fell off. Turns out that one of the bolts was completely gone and the other snapped when I heard the noise. David had worked on breaks for several years and was a great help with ideas. He figured the easiest way to deal with this situation would be to tie the entire thing to an axle and get it completely out of the way. It was at that moment that I remembered buying a couple of extra bolts a few years ago when I had my breaks done and searched the glove box in the truck to find them. I never throw anything away and spares parts are why I am always prepared! They were right where I knew they were and within 15 minutes, we were able to put the whole thing back together and go fishing!

The day may have started off poorly with the winds and trailer issues, but it was about to get a whole lot better. I raced to an area that I knew would be somewhat sheltered from this brutal wind and set both of them up with blades. I showed Noel how to work the bait on the spinning rod and immediately hooked up on an aggressive bass. I gave her the rod and watched her battle, her first Canadian smallie. She had caught one once before on Lake Mead, but not like this one! I eventually netted it and a few pics were shot of her personal best bronzeback. David was still looking for his and soon after slammed into a nice one on a baitcaster. He was more comfortable using this set up being from Texas and I had no problem either! It beat him up pretty good but eventually he brought his first ever smallie to net as well. We moved around the area covering water and they had several other hookups. Some of them made it to net and the others just got off, but the hits were all spectacular! Eventually the winds got too big for where we were and I was forced to relocate.

The next spot was definitely more comfortable with less winds. I had them throwing different baits in faster current with the aid of the Xi5 motor. Still loving the anchor mode! They managed to get a double and a quick shot was taken of their catch. I move around looking for better fish and eventually found what I was looking for. Both of them were now hooking into the quality I had hoped they would and both size & numbers were climbing. They even managed a few more double headers making it almost a competition! At one point, it was practically every cast and David was just crushing the bass. He caught so many fish that we stopped taking pics, until he finally landed the one that I was hoping for. This fish would prove to be his personal best and a great one at that! Noel also landed several really big ones that made for more Kodak moments! They both managed to land plenty of quality smallies throughout the afternoon and lose many others as well. Who knows exactly how many were hooked? All I know is that they both had an incredible time catching way more fish than they had ever done before.

They say that everything goes in threes and I’m beginning to believe it! When I tried to start the motor to leave, I found out that I didn’t have enough power to fire up the engine and had to jump it from one of the other batteries with cables. As I said before, ” I’m always prepared”! I fired up the small motor and let it idle as they continued to fish, while the battery charged. After several more smallies, we finally called it a day. No problem firing up the main engine after a 15 minute charge!

Noel & David had just experienced the best fishing they ever had and travelled all the way from Texas to get it done. Despite all the other issues we experienced, I still managed to make this a very successful day on the water. Both of them had landed a bunch of great fighting smallies and most of them were real quality too. I think that if they ever decide to come fishing up in Canada again, I might just get another call from them. Their first experience was a great one and filled with plenty of memories as well as some fantastic pics. I’m just glad that with all the problems we encountered today, that it turned out like it did. Mother Nature must have joined forces with Murphy because they both tried to take us out! I guess they don’t win, all the time!

A Friendly Competition

Day two and off to another body of water in search of giant bronzebacks! Darren, Mark and Dave were hoping for some great action and it began quickly. Within the first 5 minutes, Dave connected with his biggest bass of the day. Drawing first blood in a group of three always gives the others an incentive to fish harder. They had a little 3 fish competition going on and I was the ref. I don’t usually keep fish in the livewell when it’s not necessary so we would be doing a pencil tourney today. Everyone would have to keep track of their own totals. With all three of them working the area, it wasn’t long before Darren too was into a huge smallie. His turned out to be another big fish and now two of them were on the board! I made several passes in various depth and they managed to get several more good fish. The only one that wasn’t on the board yet was Mark and it wasn’t for lack of trying. He had been crushed two or three times but never got the hooks to his fish.

We had started out in flat calm conditions, but were expecting giant winds to arrive soon. Forecasts were for Gale Force over 40 knots and I knew we would be limited to the places we were able to fish. I was taking advantage of our window early and hitting all the areas that were going to be pounded, as I knew they would be out of commission later!

When the winds finally arrived, we relocated and were still fairly sheltered, catching bass. I had moved to where we wouldn’t get crushed and they were able to fish effectively. All three of them were catching smallies but it was Darren that had the lead with his three biggest bass, so far. Mark had officially made it on the board with a couple of nice fish along with several smaller ones as well. I decided to cover all the areas and the numbers continued to climb. It seemed that the majority of fish being landed were really good ones with the techniques being used and I wasn’t about to switch up quite yet. Darren increased his lead with another giant right after he had dropped a couple of others around the same size. Dave & Mark were also getting fish but not the size they wanted and needed. Time to switch up baits and locations!

I made another move and put everyone on a slower presentation to see what would happen. It didn’t take long before they were into more fish and they were big! Darren managed to cull another one and seemed untouchable now. The others would have to really get lucky in order to have any chance of catching up. Although Mark & Dave bumped up their total, it was still far from the lead. To make matters worse, Darren landed another one that gave him an even bigger lead. It was all over but the crying! We fished until about 4:00 and finally pulled the plug on the day.

Today was a great end to their annual two day trip and despite the hurricane winds, we were able to make it work. A careful plan throughout the day had them constantly on good fish. I moved around according to the intensity of the big blow and was able to keep them fishing comfortably, the whole time out. Needless to say, Darren’s 3 fish total won their bet by over 3 pounds! He had reclaimed the name, “Lucky D” that I had given him many years back and gladly taken their money! Who knows, maybe next year they’ll have a trophy made up making it more official. Sort of like “Angler of The Year” in the tournament world!

Salvaging The Day

Darren, his brother Mark & their friend Dave were with me for a couple of days and looking to catch just about anything. We began a little later than usual and headed out about 8:30 in search of big fish. We were going to try for sturgeon, if the anchor would hold. Fortunately once we arrived, the winds weren’t too bad and it wasn’t a problem. I set the lines and the wait began. Several hours later and many moves too, all we had to show for our efforts was one small sturgeon. Although there was plenty of action with fish banging into the lines, none of them were real bites. We unanimously decided to head elsewhere and go for bass & walleye.

The winds had intensified as we stopped in the area and I set the electric motor on anchor to prep their rods. Love the new Motor Guide! Dave managed to get into a nice bass almost immediately but despite several other bites, that’s all she wrote! Both Darren & Mark had hits as well but the fish weren’t getting stuck. We made one other move nearby with similar results and pulled out completely afterwards. Time to switch gears completely!

I made a long run in 2 & 3 footers and hit a deeper shoal in hopes that we could salvage the day. This was apparently the right decision as we remained here for the balance of the day. Everyone caught fish and some of them were even brought back for dinner. Several over slot walleye were released along with a bunch of short ones too. They even managed to get a decent northern and a ton of giant perch from the area before we called the day.

Although today’s start didn’t pan out exactly as I had hoped, our finish was definitely better. I had moved to an area that was holding a lot of fish by the looks of the sonar and they had caught quite a few from it. Tomorrow we will be back out again, but hitting a different lake instead. Hopefully the bite will be strong from the start and the weather will hold off long enough for us to be able to fish. Giant winds are forecasted and we will be limited to the areas we are able to fish. We’re all crossing our fingers that it works out!