June 15, 2014
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and grand dads out there. I had an early Father’s day this year which was a soggy wet rainy day spent fishing. It was a special day for me as I got to fish my first ever walleye tournament and it was with my Grandfather. It was a tournament that was held on Lake Mille Lacs, which I had the pleasure to guide on the prior three years. I went up the night before and was able to come up with a game plan for fishing the next day with my Grandfather, we had it all laid out where we were going to fish and how we were going to fish. We rigged everything and stayed up talking till mid night, that 5:45 am wake up call came fast the next morning. Excited and ready to go, I grabbed all the gear and loaded the boat and got all set to drive the 6 miles by boat up to Hunter’s Point. We pulled out of Twin Bay and proceeded North, about half way up to Hunter’s Point we noticed that it was a little more windy then we thought it would be, as evidence to the big waves that we were encountering on the lake. We slowed down and it took us a little longer to get up there but by the time we did the wind was gusting out of the south east at 35- 40 mph. If any of you have been fishing on big lakes like Mille Lacs or Leech, those winds can spell trouble for fishing sometimes. We had to make a plan b for our locations and fishing style, so we schemed over some breakfast.
After breakfast it was that time to line up new plan in hand and we headed up to some protected water, that was just around the next point. The gun went off and as everybody headed out into the 4 foot waves we headed for some spots just around the next point. The first two hours were very uneventful for us, and you start to wonder if you made the right choice. The wind was steadily picking up at this point and changing angles so the waves were bigger. My Grandfather who is in his late 60’s wanted to find calmer waters so again we had to come up with a game plan for the rest of the day. We decided to use some of the bigger points and shallow rock areas that looked calm to be are go to spots, and knowing the lake there are always some fish on those areas when its over cast and windy out. We put down the kicker motor and pulled out the trolling rods, and I picked out a couple of scatter raps in perch color. It didn’t take to long to boat our first fish which was just a little to long to keep for the tournament, we only could keep fish that were 18-20″ long. Our luck finally had turned by mid afternoon, we had an hour left of fishing and my grandpas rod almost got ripped out of the rod holder after a couple minute fight, we had the fish in the net a healthy 19 1/2″ fish a perfect tournament fish, soon after I had my rod do the same thing, I knew that this fish was going to be close to a keeper when I saw it break the surface 60 feet out, we got it in the net and both were high fiving thinking we had two keepers to bring in to weigh ins. We got the ruler out and our excitedness wore off after we saw the fish clear the 20″ mark by an 1/8th of an inch! We released the fish and continued our troll for the next 30 mins and decided to head in a little early to weigh in.
At the weigh-ins there had already been a couple fish brought in but most of the fisherman didn’t even catch a fish and the weather pushed them off the lake early. We weighed in our walleye and to our surprise it was the biggest walleye that day at the time. It was a short lived first place as we were in first for a total of 20 minutes, then the other boats that battled the waves came in. We saw lots of single fish being weighed and slowly watched us fall down the leader board, it wasn’t until the final two weigh-ins that we saw multiple fish being weighed in. After all the fish were weighed-in we took 6th place good enough to get our entry fee back and also won a fishing rod and a reel. It was a good day for having to go to plan c and proved show that you have to be able to adapt to your situations and don’t be afraid to change your tactics while fishing. We ran into a family that saw us catching some fish trolling, and they said they ended up copying us and were glad that they did.
After the long fishing story here is the weekend FISHING REPORT for Leech Lake. The cold front that moved into the area has slowed down fishing on the lake for some anglers and the ensuing Mayfly hatch has started to fill the stomachs of the walleyes. Most anglers are still sticking to a jig and minnow presentation in the shallow water and they are finding good success on the windy days. Anglers that are fishing leeches and crawlers are finding success using lindy rigs or spinner rigs in 12-18 feet of water. The Crappies have started to bite in the harbor and it is easy picking right now down there. Grab a scoop of crappie minnows and your favorite ultra light fishing pole and join the fun. I have not heard to much about the Musky right now, but they generally do not pick up until the end of the month and continue to get better throughout the summer into Fall.
Its always fun to get out fishing and enjoy the weather. If you are willing to keep moving and trying new things you can always find a couple keepers. Hopefully everyone gets out and enjoys the sun in between the rain storms so far this spring. As always be safe on all your outdoor adventures and we hope to see you on the water.