Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sabaskong Bay Trip #2

So Northbound, back to paradise on water, Sabaskong Bay we, my good friend Josh Kragthorpe and I, headed. I was excited as before but this time was the musky trip and it was time to get serious.

Josh and I arrived, unpacked and bada boom bada bing we were on the water. Holy criminy I new we were going to put the smack down on em’ this trip and I was pumped. The water temp was above 70 degrees and the sun was shinning. Josh and I headed to our first spot and we moved one fish and then to the next. I had a fish try and eat but it missed the bait. Crap! Josh and I then fished some new areas and we moved some fish and we had some close calls but no fish in the boat for the first day.

We headed back to the resort and unpacked and cooked some brats and for some reason we thought it was a good idea to go out in the pitch black and try to catch a walleye. Well let me tell you when I say pitch black I mean pitch black. We couldn’t see two feet in front of us and thank the Lord for Lowrance and LakeMaster because we would have never have made it with out them. Well we made it out to the reef where my Dad, Brother and I caught all the monster walleyes and it was fairly rough. We fished one time around the reef lost one lure and we looked at each other and said lets go in. I white knuckled it all the way in and made it safe. I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone because it was nerve racking!

Day #2 and we are up and ready to rock and roll. We kept hearing everyone talk about fishing cabbage and Josh and I were moving fish on the rocks. As we were on our way to our first cabbage spot I couldn’t pass up a little rock hump and we started to make some casts. About half way around I felt tick on my bait and I set the hook and nothing but a huge boil. “It missed it, that stupid fished missed it!” I explained to Josh who had a smile on his face. Onto the next spot which was cabbage and don’t ask me why since we had fish going on rocks. I said, “For fun I’m putting on the Pacemaker.” Which is a top-water lure and not 30 minutes later mister pike bites but that was all that was in the weeds so we continued to fish around a rock point and straight from the shallow rock a musky grabs the pacemaker and skies straight in the air. I set the hook as Josh yells, “Musky…That’s a musky!” The fish then jumps straight out he air a second time and the battle was on. Around the back of the boat she went and finally I won the battle and with one scoop of the Beckman she was ours for a quick picture and back in the water to fight again. Sweet! 

We continued to fish a mix of structure including weeds, rock points and rock reefs with not much happening. My Dad had a 46 incher follow on our previous trip and Josh and I headed to that spot and not five cast into it she bites Josh’s Water Chopper which is made by Lee’s Lures. The water erupted but she didn’t get hooks. We couldn’t believe it! Onto the next spot and again the water erupts but she didn’t get hooks. “What in the world is going on!” we said to each other. We continue to fish and another one chases Josh’s bait and he goes into the figure 8 and she bites and gets the bait for seconds and gone. Three bites in about 30 minutes and no fish. I was bummed and we where now 1 fog the good guys and 5 for the stinkin muskies on the trip. We continued to fish until dark with a few more follows but no more bitters.

We stopped in to see my friend Mike Mccullen, owner Fudally Tackle, and his Daughter Sammy. After a few, o.k. maybe several, fish stories it was again 1:30 in the morning and pitch black and we had to drive back a few miles thought the maze of rocks. We made it back and bam I was sleeping!

The next morning we met up with Tim Anderson my friend from Brainerd and they had caught a few fish in the weeds. Weeds, Weeds, Weeds and we had all of our fish going on secondary rock structures that were connected to larger islands. Mike also said he was catching fish in weeds. So weeds it was or should I say wasn’t for us. Josh and I fished so many weed spots with no fish I couldn’t believe it. We then went back to rocks and no fish. I was sore, tired, frustrated and couldn’t believe I couldn’t catch a musky. I told Josh I needed to set the hook so lets go catch some walleyes in the weeds. I hooked up the jig and gulp and looked at Josh and said, “If I catch a musky doing this I’m going to be so mad.” We started to cast towards the shallow cabbage and bam I set the hook. I looked at Josh and said big walleye. Well it came to the top and we soon realized it was a musky. I couldn’t believe it. We fished for almost 10 hours and I put a stupid walleye jig on and boom I hook a stinking musky 10 minutes into it. The battle was on and it was approx. 40 incher and I told Josh we might as well net the stupid thing. The fish must have heard me as it lay next to the boat and with on quick flick of the tail she snapped the line and was gone. After catching a nice walleye we went on to try and catch another musky with no luck. What a tough day!

We got back to the cabin and met up with Tim, Greg and Steve and they were on em’. They had been fishing a different part of the lake and were moving fish, guess where, in the cabbage. They had caught a few really nice fish and were seeing lots. I was really humbled and stumped. Josh and I had on more quick morning to put a fish in the boat so we decided to fish cabbage. Argg!!! We fished the greenest most beautifulest (I know that’s not a word but you know what I mean) cabbage ever and didn’t move a thing. We went back to our rock locations and with 10 minutes before we had to leave Josh sets the hook on a really nice fish. It ended up being a 36 pike!

Over all I think we should have stuck to what was working for us but when you hear so many reports of fish being in a certain type of structure it’s hard not to give it a good honest effort.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sabaskong Bay Trip

Northbound we headed! Where? My favorite body of water Lake of the Woods and my favorite place the Sabaskong Bay area. I decided to take a break from guiding and took my Dad, Steve, and my Brother, Joe, on this fishing adventure.

Prior to planning the trip I knew we were going to be targeting walleyes. I didn’t know where to take my Dad. I wanted him to have a blast catching fish. I thought about Lac Seul and some of the more renowned big walleye waters but we didn’t have a whole week so I wanted as much fishing time as possible. So it was Sabaskong Bay.

We arrived at Mylies Place and Daryl, Ellen and Justin greeted us as we drove in. They have to be some of the nicest and best hosts around. We purchase our license and got the run down on the fishing from Justin. Talking with Justin it sounded like the muskies were still in transition from their spring locations to there summer home and the walleyes were out on the rock reefs but had lots of forage from the mayfly hatch. I have to admit I was little worried about the bite and not to mention the wind was roaring out of the west!

We headed out fishing right away and I was pumped to be on this body of water. It’s just paradise to any fisherman. On our way out to the walleye spots I knew we were going to pass a few musky spots and I couldn’t resist. “Dad do you mind if we cast a few spots?” I asked my Dad. He just smiled and said, “Yes”. We fished one of my favorite spots and didn’t see a thing. I couldn’t believe it so I talked him into one more spot. I was casting a jointed Super Stalker made by Drifter Tackle and on a long pause I felt my bait stop. Fish on! I handed the rod to my Dad and the battle was on. We landed our first fish of the trip and it was a healthy 40 incher. “OK that’s all I need. Lets go fish walleye’s.” I was pumped! We fished a few mid lake reefs and caught some decent fish on Kenkatch Banana Jigs and a minnow, leech and a few on Berkely Gulp. The wind was cranking so I couldn’t really fish several of the spots I would have liked. It is pretty important to stay vertical while fishing these rock spots because of the snaggy rocks and as soon as you let that jig drift it will get hung up. After setting the hook and catching a few more walleyes we headed in and to unpacked. The cabin was beautiful, clean and right on the water. We cooked some brats and got ready to head back out on the water.

My Dad had the itch for another musky so we went out that evening for a couple of hours and had a few follows and one that almost bit a topwater bait right next to the boat. It was great to see my Dad’s expression after the fish turned away from his bait. “Did you see the size of that?” He remarked. It was awesome!

That night we ran into “Prairie Dog” a local guy who stays at Mylie’s Place. He showed us some spots that were holding some walleyes. I couldn’t wait to get up the next morning to fish some of these spots.

We got up; cooked some breakfast, got bait and gas from Jordan, stud hockey player, and we were off. We pulled up on our first spot and started catching fish right away. We blew up a little on the edge of a reef and as I started to back out Joe set the hook. “This is huge, Jeff, this is really huge!” he said and I grabbed the video camera and my Dad grabbed the net. We didn’t know what it was? I thought sturgeon and then maybe musky but the whole time my Dad said it’s a huge walleye. I mean this fish was doggin Joe and he couldn’t move it. I could have had a cup a coffee and caught a bunch of fish by the time Joe landed this fish. Around and around the boat Joe went. Well final the battle was won and the fish came up and with one scoop of the Beckman Net my Dad captured a 30 inch monster walleye. This fish was built like a tank! We took some great pictures of the fish and let it go! After a bunch of high fives and even a few hugs we got back to fishing. It’s amazing what a big fish does to a bunch of macho men. Hugs? We spent the rest of the day catching walleyes, saugers, a nice pike on a pink Rapala Pink X-Rap and some really nice perch. We had a blast but other then the monster 30 incher we struggled to find the solid 20 inchers. So I had to figure out a different game plan. Went home and cooked some awesome fish but we were a little short on the fish batter so we added some pancake mix and honey graham crackers and let me tell you it was good. I will be trying that again!

We were fishing pretty far West of the resort and I thought for the last day we should stay close. We got up cooked another amazing breakfast and were off. We didn’t go two miles from the resort and started fishing. We still were fishing with jigs and didn’t really find too much on the first two reefs. We went to the third reef and started jig fishing and didn’t have much happen besides a couple of 18 inchers. I was marking a lot of fish about three to four feet of the bottom. I was using my new Lowarance HDS-10 and I can’t believe how awesome it is. I decided to switch tactics and boy I’m glad I did. It was a lesson learned; trust your electronics. Not ten minutes into it my Dad caught a 28 incher (walleye) and after that is was 27, 26.5, 27 and so on. I can’t tell you the exact number but it was gang busters along with several 20 inchers and little ones to boot. We stayed in that same area and put the hurt bag on em’ the rest of the day!

Overall what a trip and what can I say I was proven wrong. This was by far one of the best big walleye trips I have been on and I have fished all over “big walleye” waters. Big walleyes, Big Muskies, Big Pike, the wilderness, great resort (Mylies Place) and only 45 minutes from the border. What more could you ask for?

Thanks Dad and Joe for an amazing trip and thanks Mom and Kristine for letting the boys go out and play.

If you are thinking about a trip to Canada I would defiantly recommend Mylie’s Place. You can find them at Mylies Place Resort

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Christopher says, "Lets catch a big one!"

9 year old Christopher and I fished last year together and he was back for more. I’m telling you this kid can catch em’. Christopher along with Dad and Grandpa got into the boat for the last trip in my 192 Crestliner. I told them the walleyes haven't been snapping but we have been catching some big ones. I asked Christopher, “Do you want to go for big ones or little ones?” Of coarse the answer was lets go for big ones!!!

(Looking for the Hawg Bellie)

I drove over a few spots with and didn’t mark anything my Lowrance Graph so I continued check some deep mid-lake structure. I marked a fish on the edge of a deep hump and said there she is. Christopher put his redtail down and he remembered everything from last year. Line on the finger, line tight, stay in contact with the bottom, let the line out when he feels the bite and reel up the slack before you set the hook. He did just that and the rod was bent and the battle was on.

I could see from the depths of the water the big ol head shakes from the large white tip and I told him it was a Hawg Belly. He did a great job fighting the fish and we landed trophy walleye.

Christopher said he wanted to let it go so some other kid can have a chance at catching it.

What a trip!

The New Ride

My new Crestliner 202 Tournament Series with a 250 Mercury Verado and 9.9 Pro Kicker. What a ride!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Brother vs Sister Fish Off

OK so I’m going to admit I forgot names but I guided a Dad, Brother and Sister and what a blast. Brother and sister had a fish off and sister kicked butt. With about 10 minutes to go it was tied. Time ended and we had to go into sudden victory. I said 10 more minutes and she scored big with this 19.5 inch bass with about a minute to go.