Full Moon Firsts
August 2, 2012
Mark was here on business and hooked up with me today, for a day of firsts. We hit the water shortly after 7 for another scorcher of an outing. I was glad to see the wind blowing when we set the lines for a troll and hoped it would stay this way. I immediately covered the same section that had produced many fish the day before, but wasn’t as fortunate. We only landed one keeper walleye and a few smallies in about an hour, before I moved around in search of better fishing. A combination of floating weeds and diminishing winds wasn’t making things easy as I trolled what seemed like miles of water. Although the reels were firing periodically, they were all bass and I decided to pull the plug entirely. If we were going to target smallmouth, we were gonna fish them by casting! I hit the next area and Mark was locked up on a spinnerbait as soon as I found the sweet spot. He pulled 3 or 4 decent fish before I changed up baits and we started throwing soft plastics to the fish. Several more nice bass were fought in the hour or so we were there but we had lost our wind. This was making the fish skittish and I made another change in location. It was quite some time before I actually got back on more fish and they weren’t many! We were picking one here and one there but covering plenty of water while doing it. The full moon and now, flat calm water made things a little difficult and I knew we would have to fish deeper. Next stop was a casting area for walleye as Mark was looking to better his first fish of the day. They were on his bucket list along with northerns and he needed pics! We casted & dragged jigs in the deeper water and managed several walleye but they were all kinda small. When he did land a nice one worthy of a pick, we had another boat move right into where he had hooked up. I may be use to this type of behavior but it was new to Mark. This guy was just passing by when he saw the net and decided to put the breaks on and come on over. Gotta love the mentality of fellow fishermen like this! Needless to say, we weren’t able to get back to where I needed and I relocated to another area close by. I thought we’d try a little drop shotting on a deep edge and Mark once again was locked up quickly. Although I was searching for walleye, we were getting bass and that was fine too! We remained here for a while, catching a number of small fish with many of them juvenile walleye and then the wind began. I was happy to see a good breeze blowing 5 to 10 knots from the SW and decided to give the troll another try. I knew that he would be getting better walleye this way if the fish cooperated and was right. First fish was over 22 inches and surely worthy of a photo! We picked at them for a while landing a combination of Walters and smallies and then it slowed down considerably. I soon found out why when the next reel started to scream. It took so much line that it could only be one thing, a lunge! Confirmation was had moments later when it appeared on the surface. It was big and lightly hooked with the tiny hooks from the walleye crankbait. I tried to get a boga grip on her but failed when she shook the final hook point loose and swam off. Too bad as Mark would have loved proof of this gator! We regrouped and returned to the troll but with limited success. A few more drive byes and a couple of smallie hits and it was time to leave. We had put in about 10 hours in the scorching heat and were fried. Tomorrow would be another day! Mark was back and looking for revenge today as we hit the lake once again around 7. I thought a change up was in order this morning and we were going to start by drop shotting. The strong west winds were blowing 10 to 15 knots and made for perfect boat control over the reefs. As with every new technique, Mark caught on quickly. Yesterday he was casting this set up and today we were fishing vertically. It didn’t take long and he was tight to an angry smallie full of strength. Several others were also caught in the short hour or so we remained here and then I hit another sweet spot. Each time I drifted along the weed edge, fish ate. I decided to try casting to them but it didn’t have the same result. I went back to drifting and Mark was hooked up again. This time however, he had a pike attached to the 2 pound bass that had eaten his bait. The pike may have been closer to ten pounds but soon let go of the fish when he realized that it was pulling back. Poor little thing was torn up from the jaws of the northern but it was still alive and swam off quickly. Another encounter from jaws! We switched up to trolling this area when the winds diminished to a light breeze and hit a few smallies again. I figured I would try for walleye again somewhere else and didn’t stay long when we only managed more bass. Mark was looking to land a northern and I knew just the place. We set the lines for another troll and within minutes he had his first ever pike. It may have only been about 3 pounds but it was a pike! I thought when the next reel went off that he had a largemouth but to both out surprise, it was the largest crappie either of us had ever see. It was almost 15.5 inches in length and really looked like a pie plate. I’ve fished this lake for over 25 years and have never seen the likes of this before. We trolled around some more, catching a few other pike and then shifted to a walleye spot, looking for dinner. I told Mark that we needed a couple of keepers for an appetizer tonight and we immediately went into search mode. It didn’t take long and there were a couple of 17 inch fish swimming in the livewell. Although we didn’t catch many, we did have what we needed and that was good enough. We still had a few hours left in the day and both thought of trolling deeper areas for bigger eyes. Off we went and I set the lines in once again, hoping that the full moon wouldn’t have them completely shut down. Our biggest nemesis was to be the floating vegetation here as the boat traffic had the lake all chewed up. There were weeds everywhere and right where I needed to be. Constant checking of the lures was needed to get the few bites we had and after a couple of hours of this hate, we only had bass to show for our efforts. One more stop casting for smallies and a few bass later, we were heading back to the dock. These were two of the toughest days I’ve had in a while but despite all this, we still managed to make it work. Mark had completed task and landed the two species he was after. Along with them, he also had many other firsts as well. Overall, a pretty good end to his business trip here in Montreal. Oh yeah, the blackened Cajun walleye weren’t bad too!!