Monday, July 26, 2010

Northern Minnesota : July 2010

Each year I am lucky enough to spend a week or two at a cabin in Northern Minnesota with some wonderful scenery and world class fishing.  The lake the cabin sits on is full of large Walleye, mean Smallmouth, big Musky, and a good smattering of Largemouth Bass and Northern Pike.

Dusk falling away on the lake as my girlfriends father keeps us on a good line using the depth finder as a guide when a visual of the reeds falls away.  Nights spent under the inky sky of Northern Minnesota, quietly moving through the lake in a boat older than either man on board has become part of who I am.  I am one who appreciates water and sky and stars, but there is something exactly perfect about summer nights up there.

I spent the week of the 4th of July up there this year and spend every night trolling and casting break lines and reefs for Walleye and Smallmouth.  I was lucky enough to land a 22+" Smallmouth, a personal best of mine, adding to my other personal best this year (caught on memorial day weekend) 8 lb. walleye from the same lake.

The warm year has made our usual style of fishing the shallow break line less effective and we were forced to use new strategies to find the fish.  I welcome a challenge and it was fun learning some new water this year.

The Smallmouth, which hit an x-rap, trolled over a sloping boulder field.  I found that trolling a soft zig zag between slightly deeper and slightly shallower than the lure runs often results in good hits from big fish.

I also had a chance to play guide a couple nights, captaining one boat or another with two good comrades with me.  We had loads of fun and got some great fish in the boat.

 This is Chris, who recently returned from Iraq, it became my goal to get him a good Smallmouth, as he told me he has been having a Smallmouth dry spell and hadn't caught one in 4 years.  We got him a decent fish, followed by his personal best, pictured above.  Icing on the cake was him bagging a personal best walleye, unmeasured and released I would put it around 24" and somewhere around 3.5 pounds.  It was a great fish.

Here's Nick with a stringer of Walleye that fed the whole cabin dinner the next night.  That night was one of the few that we managed to identify a pattern and methodically filled a stringer with enough to feed the gang.

Another great part about the location of this cabin is that it is just a 15 minute drive from a small lake that is chalk full of nice Largemouth Bass and feisty Northern Pike.  Catching a dozen or more of each in a short morning is no where near unheard of.

Only accessible by canoe and kayak keeps the fish many and the shoulder room generous. Here is Rich with a northern on the line.  You can't beat the scenery here either.  It's as good as any post card you'll ever find.

Finally a nice largemouth being released kayak side.  A huge plus of fishing from a canoe or kayak is that boat-side release is done with ease, most fish never need leave the water to be released.

In short order I will be leaving for a week in the Upper Peninsula, where I will try my hand at trolling for lake trout.  Flashers, Dodgers, Flies, Spoons, and Body Baits are prepared, leaders are ready and rod holders are installed on our 16 foot aluminum.  It's been a great summer.

1 comment:

  1. That smallie on top in a donkey!! Looks like a nice trip...