A Competitive Ending
September 8, 2011
Well, I was back on the water again today with a full boat! Mike, Mark and Ken were with me on this beautiful, sunny day, looking for jumbo smallies. I had to endure three days of dark & cloudy, misty conditions before I was able to see again and it felt great! We hit the water after 8:30 and I went directly to a fish holding area and tube jigs. Water temps were hovering just below 70 degrees and hadn’t dropped too much over the last three days, despite the cold rain & nights. Winds were almost non existent and for a change, I could actually make a drift. Ken hooked up almost immediately and the ice breaker was done! It would be all uphill from here as they just kept catching one after another. The next area produced several bass in the mid size and Mike also landed a pretty nice walleye. Talk of dining on her was already in the process as we continued searching for more! Unfortunately, other than a couple of sturgeon and a few other smallies, it went solo. We jumped holes and were soon on my sweet spot at the peak of the day. It was here that the competition really showed as everyone thought they were the best. Plenty of hookups, lost & landed fish were had in the next couple of hours before it was all done. We shot some pics and released the fish back to where they came from and opted for a fast paced troll. I wanted to search another weed flat for some of the roamers and had them trolling for about 30 minutes. At one point we hit an area that was holding fish as we could see them just swimming all over the place. Walleye, bass and sturgeon were abundant but none of them were eating. I pulled the plug on this and went to a deeper area looking for a few more walleye. One fish just wouldn’t suffice for 4 people and we needed others. The conditions were just brutal by now with flat calm and dog pecker knats all over us. We desperately needed the wind! Although we did catch a few more smallies in this hole, the walleye seemed to elude us. I shifted locations once more and headed up the lake to find some current. As with the previous area, we once again had very little current and flat calm conditions. These fish just weren’t moving! As a last ditch effort to locate a few more walleye, I headed back to the place we had previously fished and hoped for the best. Several drifts were made with bass being taken each time but it wasn’t until a small wager was made that it all turned around. Mike had initiated a 5 dollar bet towards the longest fish and it was game on. I now had a line in the water! Almost on cue, Mike locked up with a 20 inch smallie and talk of cheating was heard in the boat. Nobody wanted to lose despite the few dollars being made. It’s all about bragging rights! Ken did manage to hook another walleye and things were looking up for dinner but it didn’t make the cut for big fish. All three of them were now hooking fish but it seemed that they were all smallies and then it happened. I locked up with a walleye and we officially had three in the boat for dinner. Although it did fall in the legal slot, it didn’t beat Mike’s previous smallie for the pool. By now Mike was just hammering the big bass and the others were hooking a few of their own too. All bass and no walleye until I slammed a big dog! I knew it was a good fish and was pretty sure it was a walleye as well. Once netted, it went 24 inches and the gears shifted directions. They would need to bump up their game in order to get the win. By now, Mike was looking for a sturgeon as he knew the walleye would be a tough one to beat. It wasn’t going to happen and to make matters worse, I locked up on another good walleye. This one, unlike the previously released one, fell in the slot and didn’t get released. “We’re having Fish for Dinner”! It was all over and we ended it in a flurry of activity as the fish decided to finally eat. I know if we had of stayed longer, someone would have taken me out. I had fish to clean and reservations to make so we called it a day. This is what happens when you poke the bear and make him fish! Great day and an even better dinner ahead!!