The Eclipse Day
August 22, 2017
A big group today had me requesting the help of Don & his boat. Joe, Sam & Clayton were with me and he had Anthony & Mathew. We hit the water about 8:30 and with the winds looking great, headed to our first spots to fish. I was immediately marking all kinds of fish but for some reason, they weren’t hooking up. Sam did catch a small walleye but it was foul hooked. Clayton was the first to actually hook a keeper and this one went into the livewell for them later. Multiple drifts over this area had similar results and I decided to move quickly to another place nearby.
This new spot had many more fish marking but for some reason, they too were reluctant to bite. Another foul hooked walleye along with a foul hooked carp came in, making me wonder what was going on. I made a pass over the deeper rocks and finally managed to stumble upon several walleye and smallies that actually wanted to eat. We made more drifts over this area and boated several other fish each time. As long as they bit, I kept drifting over the area. Eventually they depleted all the active ones and we pulled out completely and headed to another area further away.
Our next spot was a deep drop that required them casting to open water. I explained how to fish it due to the current and hooked up on a cast presentation. Enough said, time to fish! It took a few casts to fully understand how the baits needed to be retrieved in this current but Sam finally caught on and hooked into a walleye of his own. Several casts later he hooked a smallie and now he knew exactly what to do. Moments later, Joe also hooked a nice smallie and managed to bring it to net. This place had plenty of fish for all of them to get into but it was a small area that required precise casting in order to hit the sweet spot. Unfortunately Clayton was in the back and not able to reach the exact area he needed to throw to. Several more nice walleye and smallies came aboard in the next 30 minutes before we pulled out to meet the other boat for lunch.
Anthony & Mathew had a good morning with Don and managed to catch a number of bass including one really nice one. They also had landed several walleye that were all returned to the water too. It was definitely time for a break and a well deserved one! We drifted slowly while eating and not long after, everyone was recharged and ready to fish again.
I had decided that we were going to try a little trolling so I prepped the boat and set the lines. They had never seen anything like this before and were excited to give it a try. With the chop on the water from the right direction, I was sure it wouldn’t take long! The first reel to fire was a long line and I handed the heavy rod to Joe. He managed to feel the weight and then the line went slack. Very weird as I don’t miss many fish with the rig I was using! We set the rods once again and a little while later, Sam was into a nice northern. I expected more action from the area but wasn’t seeing it. Several smaller fish later, we pulled out and changed up completely. It was looking a little dreary out with the eclipse beginning and I wasn’t sure how it was going to effect the fish. It had obviously had some sort of effect on them earlier however as we had more short rips than actual hook ups while trolling!
I had decided before that I was going to hit a couple of areas that I hadn’t in quite a while and set the lines once again to troll. This was also not great as I had other short rips that turned out to be drive byes too!
In a last attempt at getting into more fish, I pulled the plug on trolling completely and headed back to drop shot. First drift they landed several more small walleye and another smallie but missed more than they caught. One more spot before we called it for the day and a few more fish later we were done.
This day wasn’t what I had expected but there were still plenty of fish caught. Although I would have liked many more, they had put enough eyes in the livewell for a great meal. I had made arrangements at a restaurant and they were going to have walleye for the first time ever. We all piled into my truck and headed home so that I could take care of the fish. A nice cold one was waiting for them while I filleted their fish. Shortly after we were at the restaurant and they were eating the catch of the day! Needless to say, they all loved the tasty appetizers that were prepared and several drinks along with them.
We will be back out again tomorrow for hopefully more action and something tells me that if there’s any walleye caught, they might be bringing them home. I’m just hoping for slightly better fishing as today fell below the standards I’m so use to seeing. Only time will tell as I plan on hitting as many good areas as I possibly can to ensure bigger & more fish landed!