July 19, 2011
Pierre, Charlie & Matt joined me today on what proved to be a rather interesting day on the lake. We met up at 7:30 under cooler air temps and a light wind from the north. Sunshine was forecasted for the day and a high of about 85 degrees would have us in another heat wave. We began trolling over one of the most productive areas just looking for a few walleye to start the ball rolling. Although I was marking plenty of fish, they just weren’t interested! This went on for about an hour before I pulled the plug on the troll and started drop shotting the same area, hoping for different results. It didn’t take long before we had a confirmation as Pierre hooked into a beautiful smallie of just under 4 pounds. Almost instantly, Charlie had a hook up as well but it came unpinned when she took to the air. I realized that these fish really weren’t looking to chase anything down and you literally had to be right on top of them in order to get bit. It was going to be a challenge with the wind from the north, but I’d make it work. By using the small engine I was able to almost back troll it at an angle, pulling it down current. Our drifts weren’t perfect but at least we were able to fish vertical and stay on top of the fish! Things were definitely working well as everyone was hooking up and several walleye were coming aboard along with plenty of smallmouth bass as well. In the next couple of hours we had multiple hookups and now had a half dozen walleye in the well for them to enjoy. The winds had even switched directions and were a light SW really helping me with the boat control. We now had a direction that coincided with the current and I was able to stay on a line that I wanted and we were catching. After a while, we decided to shift gears and try casting solely for smallmouth and made a long run to a flat that had been producing size as well as numbers. Almost immediately, they started hooking up on senkos and I realized that this was the right move. It did take some getting use to before they were able to detect the strikes properly but eventually they had it all under control. Fish were coming aboard of all sizes and everyone was catching their fair share. We hung out in this general area for the remainder of the day and just kept moving all over several flats. Plenty of smallies fell victim to these offerings and the time just flew by. Before we knew it, 4:00 rolled in and it was time to leave. The only problem was that the fish didn’t know this and they just kept hitting. One of my rules is that you never leave fish when they’re biting, so we hung in as long as they cooperated. In the next 30 minutes they just pounded on them and it was a blast. We even had several sightings of huge freshwater drum and several sturgeon in the area and I thought throwing a tube might get one to go. I pitched in towards one of the sturgeon and almost immediately felt the tick. There had been a few caught recently and most of them had eaten the tube jigs, so I wasn’t surprised when I lifted and it was on. Matt was the closest so he got to battle the beast while I went for the landing glove. I somehow had managed to hook one of the pectoral fins instead of getting it biting and Matt really had a fight on his hands. Thankfully, the fish was a little one and was less than 15 pounds, making it easier to land. A few quick picks for them and back it went to the depths where it belonged. This was definitely the way to end the day and we packed up and headed back to the ramp. They had experienced all kinds of action and caught plenty of fish today and this was just the icing on the cake! Despite the slow start, an adjustment was made changing up the entire outcome and this was all that was needed to get the ball rolling. Overall, it was a fantastic day and there were lots of fish caught to make this a day to remember!!