Thursday, January 20, 2011

Leech Lake Walleye Lrn2Fish School

I had the pleasure of working with Jim Hudson who is a fishing guide in the Chequamegon Bay and Apostle Island area this past weekend.  Jim and his wife put together ice fishing schools which are called lrn2Fish Ice Roads and they do an amazing job!  Jim asked if I could help out with the event on Leech and of coarse I was down for anything.  So Northbound I headed last Friday morning.  We had several guys out looking for fish for the students and that was my goal, to find the fish!

I met up with friends Scott and Kody Seibert along with Rick Johnson.  These guys are great sticks and fun to hang out with.  We headed out on the main lake basin with our snowmobiles and can you say SNOW!  I can't believe how much snow the Walker Lakes Area has got.  Good thing for snowmobiles as travel on the main lake was pretty good after the first couple hundred yards.  We fished several spots with only catching a few walleyes through out the day.  It was perfect out and they should have been biting but we just couldn't locate a large school of fish.  We did mark some pretty big fish that just were in a "negative" mood.  They would come up on the Vexilar, look at the bait, then go back down.  Frustrating, as I thought the main lake was going to be on!  The best part was there wasn't anybody out fishing where we were so I thought we would have fresh non pressured fish but no go.

Stuck with our tails between our legs we headed back to Horseshoe Bay Lodge where we met up with all the students, had a great dinner and talked fishing.  Jim asked that I put together a presentation on Leech Lake which seemed to go pretty good.  There was also a ton of knowledge in the room with many great anglers giving their two cents how to target these fish.  So we had to come up with a game plan for Saturday morning.  Half of the students only had truck travel and the other half had snowmobiles.  We sent the truck group to fish the Grand Vu Flats area since there are some pretty good roads plowed there and the other half was coming with me.  My plan was to fish Walker Bay since I had caught some walleyes there the other day.

Eager for the first hook set we were all up and at em' early and off we went.  We had a pretty large group of anglers and most of the spots in Walker Bay are fairly small secondary structure so we had to spread out.  We pulled up on our first three humps and started marking fish right away.  Again the big walleyes seemed to just look but we caught some small walleyes, perch and a few bonus tullibees but not the hawg belly we were looking for.  Our mobility was very limited with the amount of slush and snow we encountered.  We were consistently getting stuck!  On a typical day of fishing I would fish over 25 spots but with a large group and the horrid slush we were half way through the day and had only fished three spots.  We moved to one large reef in hopes to find a few fish, eat lunch and make a game plan for the evening bite.  No fish on this reef but the boys cooked up some dangerous brats and they were so good!  All Five of them....

For the evening bite we set up and it didn't take long and we were all marking fish.  As the sun started to fall the bite was on.  We caught several walleyes but most of them were very small.  I was a little bummed as I thought we could find the larger fish through out the day but that just didn't happen.  That is fishing!

It was great for the students to see how finicky these fish can be.  It took the correct presentation, use of electronics, and a sensitive touch to get these fish on the ice.  Lets face it when the walleyes are in a positive or aggressive mode they are easy to catch but when we are dealing with a large cold front and high pressure typically that turns them neutral and for the big fish they were negative.

We were fishing with small spoons and most of the fish came on just a small minnow head.  The key was to get the fish to chase the bait, then play keep away until you could see their mood change and once they looked aggressive you had to pause the bait and wait for the bite.

Thanks to all the students and to all the great anglers I had the chance to meet and fish with.

If you are looking for a great guide in the Chequamegon Bay Area check Jim Hudson out at Hudson's on the Spot Guide Service.

Also you can learn more about the Lrn2Fish Ice Road Schools Here.

"Make a Memory"
Jeff "Breezer" Andersen

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