November 18, 2017
A drastic change in plans were needed this morning as to where we’d launch the boat. The winds were giant and out of the NW blowing 25 to 30 knots. I thought we would be alright where I wanted to fish, it was just how to get there! Herm & I travelled to another ramp instead and decided to put in there as the waters were much calmer. It was a little tricky but we somehow managed to get it done and headed out in search of gold. Walleye were what we were after and I knew that if it wasn’t too rough, we’d get them good!
We ran to where I wanted in mostly 1 foot chop until I got to a section that had current. It was pretty big here with the wind pushing against the flow and 3 to 4 footers were present. Normally I wouldn’t care but the air temps were below freezing and any water that might enter the boat would end up turning to ice. Just when I made it through, I realized that the winds were also blowing pretty good on where I wanted to fish as they were opposite the current here as well. I was even worried about the waves rolling over the back as we trolled!
Our first pass was a little sketchy and a fine line was had to get the boat speed down enough to get bit. Guides were freezing and splashing on the boat was also adhering to the gel coat and rails. This was going to be an interesting day! I made a complete pass over the area I wanted with only a couple of soft hits and no hookups. I normally turn and troll back down but that was completely out of the question with the rollers we were in. I had to use the big motor and elevate the bow not to bring any of the waves in. It was bad enough that we were getting splashed, but at least I didn’t flood the boat. The gusts of wind were strong and it almost seemed like the waves were hitting us from 3 different directions at times. I had now made two passes over the area with only a few missed strikes and was beginning to second guess my decision to come out today. I even switched areas but didn’t stay long there due to the gray water color. I was left with no other choice but to go back to where I was and just grind it out.
With almost two hours into the day, we finally got a glimpse of the sun and right on cue, Herm was locked up with our first fish. It wasn’t a giant by any means but it did show that they would eat and our confidence grew. At just over 22 inches all we could do was release her after a quick pic. We went right back at it and not long after, Herm was on again. Things were definitely starting to look up! It turned out to be another over about 24 inches and was quickly released . With the clouds moving the sun was staying out longer and bites were more frequent. We got into several more fish after and a couple of them were even high end keepers that didn’t get returned. Herm definitely had a hot hand today as he locking up on the majority of fish. I managed only a few, that he reluctantly reeled in!
As the afternoon passed, the bite got less & less and I really had to work hard at staying on the fish. Although I was marking many, they were all pressed to the bottom and not wanting to move up to eat. I would have loved to jig, but between the wind & waves and current, it was impossible. All I could do was troll slowly and hope for one of them to make a mistake! We did manage to land several more walleye & one smallie before we finally called it a day. At just around 3:00 I packed everything up and made the long run back to the ramp. Not much had changed throughout the day in the way of wind & waves and we encountered the three & four footers again while running. Thankfully we passed over them quickly and only had a one foot chop for the remainder of our travels.
This was one of those days when about 1% of fishermen would even attempt to be on the water. We never saw another boat all day, so I guess we made that list! Fortunately, we managed to get into some good fish and had a great time fighting with Mother Nature. She put up a good fight, but in the end I think we won!