Friday, December 31, 2010

IL River Sauger Fishing

Illinois River - December 30, 2010

Icy Parking Lot

Since it's been a while since I fished for Sauger, I thought I'd try to get Jim Lukancic and Al Bernicky out on the river so we could try our luck. Jim had got called back to work for a couple days after being laid off and wasn't able to go, and so Al and I were disappointed he wasn't able to join us.

Launching the boat very carefully

The ride out to river was a messy one. The boat was covered with snow and road scum by the time we got there. The parking lot was a sheet of ice. That was great for the kids who come to the park to sled down the hill, but not great if you're pulling a bass boat. We took our time and had no trouble getting the boat safely in the 35 degree water. By this time, most of the morning fog had dissipated leaving a dreary and overcast day.
Bald Eagles in the distance

As soon as we were on our way to fish our first spot, I spotted a couple Bald Eagles in a tree up river from where we were. We never went close enough to try for some good photos and I figured that we'd see more of them during the day.

A Bald Eagle flies by

A short time after we started fishing, Al said " That bird is going to fly right over your head and you don't have your camera ready?". Sure enough, before I could grab the camera and get a good shot, a Bald Eagle flew right over us. I missed the good shot but caught him flying away from us.

One of my first nice Sauger

Fishing was slow. I caught one or two smaller fish in the first spot we tried, but since we were looking for more and bigger fish, we decided to move. Sitting in a bass boat when you're flying down the river at more than 50 mph is one thing. Doing it when the temperature is at about the freezing mark is quite another. I had to suck it up and take it for a few minutes while we ran to our next spot. That was one cold ride.

A young Bald Eagle watches over our fishing spot

On the way down river, we spotted more Eagles. I wasn't about to try to photograph them as we were moving for fear I'd freeze to death before I could aim the camera. I anticipated the air temperature was going to be a bit warmer than it was and I left my extra clothes in my car - which was parked back in Als driveway.

 Another shot of the Eagle

 Once we began fishing, I caught a nice fish right away. That gave us hope we were going to have a better day. Unfortunately every time we found ourselves on top of a school of fish, we had to move to let the tug boats get at the barges were fishing near.

Another fish out of the same hole

I caught another fish once we were able to get back on top of the same spot where had I caught the first, but we were forced off a few minutes later by another tug pushing a couple barges. This got old real quick. I'd catch a fish and we'd have move right away before we could get any more.
Another nice Sauger

We stayed as long as we could in that area and put a few more fish in the boat. Eventually the bite stopped once they stacked a couple barges right over the hole where we had found them so we decided to head back to where we started our day.

One more nice fish in the boat

By this time there were several boats drifting around the area we wanted to fish. They were catching a lot of small fish so we decided to try a different drift pattern. It worked since Al put a nice Walleye in the boat on the first drift we made.

A Barge passes us on its way up river

I put one more nice fish in the boat that we caught in much shallower water than everyone else was fishing. After a few more smaller fish we decided to head back. It wasn't worth it to stay out there and go through so many small fish. Not to mention that it was supposed to already be raining on us according to the weather forecast.

A scenic point on the river

Pulling the boat out wasn't too bad. Once it was out of the water, we had trouble getting traction on the ice to get it the rest of the way up the ramp. Al eventually got it and we stowed all the gear in preparation for the messy ride home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Steelhead Strike Out

Indiana - December 23, 2010

Al Bernicky and I got an early start towards Indiana this morning. We were hoping for a great day of Steelhead fishing. As we got there I couldn't help but notice how much more snow they have had in that area due to the Lake Michigan effect. There was a lot of it.

I raced off into the woods and followed the snow packed trail to find my spot partially frozen over, but there was enough room to fish. Long story short....I went 0 for three. I struck out. The first fish hit within the first few minutes after I started fishing. As soon as I pulled back on him, the hook came out. The next fish broke me off and I pulled the hook again on the third one. But when you're fishing in a setting such as the photo below, how can you complain?

Al fishes a scenic spot along the creek

A little while later Al showed up and said he had not even had a bite. I thought he would have landed a couple but he had nothing. He fished my spot a for a bit without a bite so we started fishing our way back. I shot some video of the walk along the creek and may or may not post it at some point. I didn't even fish until I got all the back to where the trail meets the creek as you walk in. I caught a couple smolts but that was it. Al showed up after a short time and settled into a scenic spot where I was able to get a nice photo of him. It didn't take long before I heard him say "FISH!". He landed a nice Steelhead and at that point we called it a day and headed for home.
Al shows off the only fish of the day before releasing it

One thing I noticed was the lack of moving wildlife. Usually the place is loaded with birds and squirrels, and one you almost always see other creatures, but not today. I saw a few birds and not one squirrel. I guess the fish were taking it easy today too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jumping Steelhead

Indiana - November 24, 2010

 An early morning visitor

I got an early start and arrived at my destination well before the sun began peeking over the horizon. After parking my car and getting my gear ready, I began walking into the darkness of the woods. The ground was very muddy which only added to the hazards that make the trip along the creek a treacherous one even during the daylight. The path was littered with sticker bushes and downed tree limbs, not to mention the washed out spots that can send you tumbling down the embankment into the cold water if you're not careful.

Stopping to say hello

As I got to the first spot I wanted to fish, a deer appeared in a small clearing just across the creek. He stopped to watch me for a minute and quickly decided I was not a threat to him. A few seconds later, a second deer joined him. They watched me for a little bit before they went on their way. For me, it's always a neat thing when I come across a creature in the wild and they decide I'm not a threat to them and they go about their business. Sometimes they run away when I pick up the camera, but these deer watched me as I set up my two Steelhead rods. They seemed curious about me.

My first Steelhead of the Fall

I began floating wax worms down the creek. I felt a bite right away but knew instantly that my bait was being harassed by the smolts - which are small 4 to 8 inch Steelhead that have yet to make their way out to Lake Michigan. I reeled the bait in and made an adjustment with the hope that I'd have fewer smolts attacking it. Sure enough the bobber went under and stayed there and I knew I had a good bite.

 Trying to get a grip

The fish made one powerful run as the line screamed off my reel. At the end of its run it made several high jumps out of the water. I moved down the creek towards the fish as I reeled in more line. I found a good spot to land the fish and as I knelt down in preparation to bring the fish in, it jumped again and hit me square in the chest. I thought for sure the line would break but it held and the fish landed in the water right in front of me. A few seconds later I was able to scoop it out of the water.

Still not cooperating

I made a couple of attempts to get pictures using the self timer but the fish still had a lot of fight left in him. He kept squirming and I wasn't able to get a decent shot after two attempts. I figured that he had been out of the water long enough so I turned around and lowered him close to the water so he wouldn't have far to fall when he broke my grip.
Resting before heading back into the current

The fish swam off but turned around stopped about 5 feet down from where I released him. He stayed there for a minute or two before swimming off into the deeper water and out into the current. I made a few more drifts in that area before throwing a spinner that I had made. With no luck on the spinner I moved off to another spot.

 Low water level

The mud made finding a safe spot to fish very difficult. There would have been more options for me if I would not have minded standing in the slop, but I decided to stay out of the slop and on drier ground for this trip. I tried two more spots with no luck before I wound up at my last spot.

Steep embankment behind the trees

At my last spot I wound up catching several smolts very quickly. I had to re-tie a few times after snagging in the brush that is all over the bottom of that creek. Eventually I felt some resistance when pulling back on the line and I had another good fish on. This fish was a couple pounds smaller than the first one and much darker. I managed to get it out of the water but I still had about 4 or 5 feet of mud to either walk through or drag the fish through. I got the fish about halfway and the hook pulled free. Since the fish was still just out of my reach, I turned the rod around and gently rolled him back into the water. He swam off with a burst and I decided to call it a day. There was freezing rain on the way and I did not want to be stuck in the holiday get-a-way traffic in an ice storm.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back On The Water

Des Plaines River - October 11, 2010

Two Pelicans on a Stump
 It's been a while since I've been on the water. For me, being off the water for any length of time is very difficult. It's just one of those things I need to do. I've had some neck and shoulder problems recently so I figured it would be best give things a rest - not that it helped any. Also, for the last year and a half, lack of steady work has allowed me to fish during the week when things are less crowded. Now that I'm back to work full time, I'm back to fishing on the weekends and holidays with the crowds. Today was the Columbus Day holiday so I was able to get out. I had a tough time deciding where to go. Long story short - I went back to the Des Plaines river since it's close and I wasn't sure how long I'd last out there.  
Calm Morning
I put the boat in the water and headed off to a nearby spot where I figured there would be fish holding. It was a beautiful morning with a few clouds, light breeze, and air temps in the low 60s. The water temp was a lot warmer than I expected for a mid October day - high 70s. That told me the power plants up river would be pumping full steam. I went the other direction though.
As soon as I got to my spot I began casting a crank bait along a drop off. I could see fish jumping all around but quickly noticed they were carp. Jumping carp usually do not bode well for a good day of bass fishing on the river. I had a small fish hit the lure but lost him right away. A short time later I snagged the crank bait in the rocks. I began to try pop the lure free like I usually do when I get hung up, but something didn't feel right. I kept this up as I got closer to where the lure was stuck and thought I felt a couple of pumps on the other end. I pulled back and the lure didn't budge - until it took off in the other direction. I scooped a nice Flathead Catfish into the net after a good battle. Unfortunately that was the only fish I caught there, but it was certainly nothing to complain about. I placed him back into the water after taking a few photos.

Flathead Catfish
I ran to another spot where I figured I'd find fish and managed to catch a nice Freshwater Drum. I was hoping for a decent bass and was a little disapointed when I got a look at what it was. Still, it wasn't anything to complain about. I released this fish at the side of the boat without bring it aboard.

Freshwater Drum puts up a good fight
A short time later I caught a small Largemouth Bass and released it without a photo since it wasn't anything to brag about. A few minutes later I decided to run up river after catchng another one slightly smaller than the first.

I wanted to stop at one of my favorite spots but there was a long line of barges tied together that had it blocked off. There was no way I was going to be able to get at it so I kept going as far as I could go until I reached the lock.

Turkey Vulture glides over the river
I began fishing away from the lock chute and caught more floating weeds than anything. There was no avoiding them. My only hope was that a fish would hit the lure before the lure would pick up some of the debris that was very plentiful in the water. There were no takers though.

A few Turkey Vultures were gliding right over my head and didn't seem to concerned about my presense. Acoss the river I noticed two more in a tree. Usually I start seeing Bald Eagles about this time of year on the river but I didn't see a single one today. then again the weather has been unseasonably warm.

Turkey Vultures in a tree
As I made my was away from the lock, a tug approached pushing a couple of barges. The doors opened and the rushing water created enough current to wash a lot of the weeds out. The two guys standing at the front asked if I had caught anything. I replied that I landed a nice flathead and a couple small ones but that was it. Since I hadn't gotten a bite other than a nice Green Sunfish that hit a lure that way too big for him, I moved to another area.

Green Sunfish
I hooked a couple more bass at my next spot including a couple nice Largemouth, and a Smallmouth, but only managed to put another dinky Largemouth in the boat. After beating up the area pretty good, I realized that the many gar that I was seeing had probably chased out what I was after. I saw Gar in all shapes and sizes and hooked a couple of them too. I brought one about 30 inches to the side of the boat and luckily he got away before I was going to have to unhook him.

A small Channel Catfish
By this time I was starting to realize I'd better quit before I over did it, so I hit one more quick spot on the way back. Too bad I wasn't fishing for Bluegills because I found the motherlode. There were some big ones mixed in with the crowd that was holding along a weed edge. I fished the area for a few minutes and after landing a small Channel Cat, I decided to pack it up and head for home.

Bluegills everywhere
I never did catch what I was after, but still had a decent day. I suppose even if I would have struck out it was still a nice day to be on the water. I still kind of wish I had taked the time to drive another hour and a half to fish Powerton Lake, but that will have to wait until February when it opens back up for boats, since it will be closed for the season by the time I get another chance to get out again.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fish in the Mud

Des Plaines River
Friday, August 6,2010

The Sun Peeks Around the Trees
I was able to get back out on the water for the first time in a couple weeks on Friday August 6th. My plan was to hit Heidecke Lake because I knew the rivers would still be high an muddy from all the rain we've had recently. The problem was that once I got a little ways down the highway, I saw all the traffic backed up the other way due to road construction. I got off the highway and headed for the Des Plaines River instead. I knew from checking with NOAA that the river was at or above flood stage in some areas both above and below where I was going to fish, but according to their charts and forecast, no flood conditions in my normal stretch of river.

Smoke Across The Water
I pulled into the parking lot just as the sun was starting to peek around the trees next to the bridge that goes over the river. The water was higher than normal, and there seemed to be more current than usual. Smoke was coming out of a smoke-stack across the river as I put the boat in the water and then headed down river.

Rising Sun Behind Me
The first spot I stopped at is near an area where another river dumps into the Des Plaines. According to NOAAs forecast, that river was above flood stage. I'd never seen current from that river move water in the Des Plaines before, but it was racing several hundred yards across a flat and out into the main channel. There is an island made of large rip rap that has a channel marker on it and it was being bombarded by the current. I've fished this island many times in the past and never seen any current there, but it was moving the boat around to the point I had to really be careful about how I went around it to avoid getting carried right into the rocks.

First Fish of the Day
I managed to hook one so-so Largemouth on a crank bait but it jumped and tossed the lure. I saw several other bass chasing bait but failed to get another strike so I moved on. All the slop being carried down river by the current was making it tough to fish there anyway.
Better than Nothing
I caught a fish within a couple casts after I reached my next spot. It was a tiny Smallmouth Bass that wasn't much bigger than the lure I was throwing. A couple casts later I caught a nice White Bass followed by a bunch of little Largemouth. I hooked one monster fish there but didn't get a good enough of a look at it to say for sure what it was, but it got away a minute or so into a good fight. After a few more small fish, I hooked another big fish. This one fought differently so I know it wasn't the same species. Once I got it to the boat I saw it was a big Smallmouth Buffalo that weighed around 15 pounds give or take. I had the net in one and and the rod in the other and just as I had the fish six inches from the net, the hooked pulled free and rocketed back just missing my face. Of course since I only had 10 or 15 feet of line out, the lure didn't have far to go before it rocketed back the other way and lodged in the back of my neck. A little antibiotic ointment and a band-aid later, and I was back to catching small fish again. Since the big bass were not cooperating, I made a long run up river.
"Hello Bill"
Once I got to my next spot, a Beaver swam by and said hello as he passed right by the boat. There was a lot of slop in the water so I opted for a plastic worm instead of a crank bait. Just as I heard the alarm go off to warn those below the lock that it was about to open, I hooked and landed my biggest Largemouth of the day which still wasn't anything to brag about. The current was really moving as the doors to the lock were opening so I moved on.
White Bass
I fished two more spots without a hit. The water was over 90 degrees not too far below one of the power plant discharges. I saw a few gar come up and had one of them take a swing at a crank bait and miss, but that was it so I went back to the first spot I tried. I fished the heck out of it again without a bite. I saw a lot of fish chasing minnows in and out of the current breaks, and even though I was throwing lures that matched the bait fish, I couldn't buy a strike. As I was working my way back to the marina, I hooked big fish but never saw it. It kept running and never stopped. I finally clamped down on the drag and the fish turned and ran sideways for about 5 seconds before the lure pulled free. After that it was back to the ramps for me, then home to scrub the black line of river scum off the boat. That took some elbow grease to get clean.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Return from the Northwoods

Lake Thompson - Rhinelander, WI Area

June 2-9, 2010

We made great time driving up to the Rhinelander area for a weeks stay on Lake Thompson. We made it to the lake before noon, and before check in time, but we were able to get the keys and unload the vehicles, then head into town for lunch and grocery shopping.

First Bass of the trip - tiny Smallmouth Bass

After we ate lunch and got back to the lake, it was time to put the boat in and do some fishing. The weather was clear and the air temp ranged from the upper 80s to low 90s as we fished through the afternoon. Chris Nolan and I caught a lot of small fish as water skier after water skier flew by with an occasional jet ski thrown in for good measure.

My first Pike comes to the boat

I caught a Northern Pike right away. A short time later I caught a little Smallmouth and then a little Largemouth on two consecutive casts. We caught a lot of small fish that afternoon and continued to try to figure out how to catch the bigger fish that we knew were in the lake.

Chris catches a nice Northern Pike

As we entered a shallow weedy bay, Chris changed lures and proceeded to tie into a good Northern Pike. I netted it and proceeded to unhook it, but it shook and caught my thumb with one of its teeth and punctured it deep enough so that it took a couple days to stop bleeding despite pressure. My wife wound up going into town for some additional first aid supplies and eventually we got it under control although a stitch or two would probably have been the way to go.

My first Walleye of the trip

I went out later in the evening by myself and caught more fish and added a Bluegill and Walleye to the species count. I also hooked and lost a real good Smallmouth Bass over a rock bar that was marked by a hazard buoy. A small pike got my other thumb but I was prepared and was able to stick a band aid over it.

Into the net after a brief battle

Chris and I were up early Saturday morning and back out on the water. It didn't take long before it was hot and humid to the point of being uncomfortable. We caught another mix of small fish that included bass and pike. I managed to land a nice Musky that was hanging around a weed line, and that was the highlight of the morning.

My only Musky of the trip

The boat traffic got pretty heavy so we decided to go in wait until evening before we'd head back out. Before we headed in though we were stopped by two conservation police officers and had our licenses and live well checked, and the boat inspected for the required safety equipment. We were good to go and had no violations. That was also the first time that Chris had ever been checked.

A nice Northern Pike

When we got back out the boat traffic was still pretty heavy. There was even a 4th of July parade of ski and pontoon boats going around the lake making a lot of noise. More and more boats joined them as they made their way around the lake.

A deer spies on us through the trees

We got to a quiet shallow area and noticed a deer hiding behind some trees as it kept an eye on us. There were several Loons on the lake and every evening you could hear their unmistakable call echo across the water. Crows, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Kingfishers, and other birds were also in abundance around the lake. Every now and then an Osprey would fly by and we spotted a Bald Eagle a couple of times too.

A small Pike that was hit by a bigger fish on the way to the boat

The fish were still running on the small side although Chris got a nice Largemouth and I caught a small Pike that had a bigger fish hit it while I was reeling it in. I didn't get a good enough look to see what it was, but it left a mark on my pike.

Chris gets his first nice Largemouth

As the evening progressed, the fireworks began. They were everywhere. The sky was lit up in every direction and there was no shortage of loud booms thundering across the lake. Soon the mosquitos were too much to take even though we were soaked in deet. By this time the fireworks had ended and the lake was pitch black to the point where we couldn't see anything. I switched my locator to the GPS screen to make sure we were headed in the right direction back to the dock.

One of three Otters we saw playing in the rain

The next day we headed into town for the 4th of July parade. They really did a nice job and had a big turn out. The skies were over cast and every once in a while it would start to sprinkle, but the heavier rain held off until the parade was over - and we were ready to hit the water.

A nice 4th of July Pike in the rain

Sure enough as soon as we hit the water, the rain gradually began to pick up in intensity. We had our rain gear on and were determined to catch some decent fish. I changed my tactics since the majority of the fish we were catching were on the small side. It worked because the average size of the fish we started catching went way up.

Chris gets his first ever Perch

I caught some good Largemouth and Chris caught his first ever Perch and Warmouth to add to our species total. He also caught a couple good Largemouth too.

Chris gets a nice Largemouth in the rain

The rain showed no signs of diminishing, but since there was no thunder or lightning we decided to stay out and keep fishing. We caught more Northern Pike and Largemouth and there were more than enough of them to make it worth staying out.

Fishing in heavy rain

By the time we were done, we were both soaked all the way through our rain gear. I was wearing brand new rain gear and Chris decided he was going to get new rain gear since there was more rain forecast. Part of the problem was the humidity. There was no staying dry out there but at least it was a warm rain.

A Largemouth caught during a heavy downpour

That night we put a different cover on the boat to see if it would make a difference since the other one blew halfway off in the wind the previous night. There wasn't any way to secure it other than at the front and back so we opted for the cover I use to trailer the boat since it's a tight fit all the way around. Since I fished all day, I took both our wives to a late movie that night. The theater had a northwoods decor and was pretty cool. It was different from any other theater I've ever been in.

Chris teaches his son to fish

On Monday we headed up to the Minocqua area and visited a Wildlife park. It was better than most zoos I've been to. You are able to get up close to many of the animals and I even kissed a camel. My wife was able to feed the bears and deer, and everyone was able to pose for pictures with some of the other animals. They have a Musky pond and we were able to spot a big musky hiding under some lily pads. The pictures didn't turn out so good though. While we were in town stopping for food, I ran into an old friend that I used to work with at a sporting goods store some 10 or more years ago. That just goes to show just how small the world really is.

A nice sunset over an island

We went out again that evening for a little while and fishing was slower although we put a few nice fish in the boat. The mosquitos seemed immune to deet so we gave up sooner that we would have liked.

More rain moving in

On Tuesday morning, the weather was somewhat clear and Chris went out with his wife to get new rain gear while I went fishing. The boat was still soaked under the cover and did not smell very pleasant either. I caught a few fish but nothing to brag about. Chris came back with minnows and wax worms so that we'd have some live bait for his son to use. We didn't think his son was ready to start tossing lures at fish, and we wanted to make sure he'd see a fish up close.

As if the jet and water Skis weren't enough....

Garrett was playing in the water by the beach so we headed out into the boat traffic and not only had to deal with water skiers and jet skis, but an airplane that flew a few dozen feet over our heads before landing on the lake. The plane was met by another boat and someone either got off or was picked up. A short time later the plane took off again and was gone.

...we had a plane buzz our heads and land on the water

I managed to catch a big smallmouth in the same spot where I had lost one the first evening we were there. After that we fished for a little while and caught a few more fish before heading in for an early dinner.

A nice Smallmouth Bass

After dinner, we let Garrett try his hand at fishing. He was holding the pole and the bobber went under, but when he tried to pull back, the fish kept going. His dad took the Batman fishing pole from him and took over the battle.

Garrett's dad helps him with a big fish he hooked off the dock...

It didn't take long before I was reaching into the water to grab the Pike that Garrett and his dad had caught. Laura and Cathy (our wives) came down and took some pictures of the fish before we let it go.

...and it turned out to be a Northern Pike.

I picked up Cathy's pole and tossed a minnow out there and worked with Garrett to catch a nice Crappie. He wasn't as apprehensive about getting close to the Crappie as he was with the Pike - especially after knowing what the other Pike had done to my thumbs.

Me, Garrett, and a Crappie

After dinner we headed out fishing again, and true to form, the rain decided to join us again. We caught a few fish but decided not to take the camera out of the zip lock. I threw one nice largemouth in the live well but let it go without a photo before we went in for the night.

A nice Largemouth in the rain

On Wednesday we headed back toward Minocqua again to visit an Indian reservation which I found very interesting. I was very impressed with their engineering and other skills. We also saw the lumberjack show then went out for dinner before heading back to do a little more fishing. Just like the previous few nights, the rain waited for us before it started. This time the fishing was the best it was to be, but unfortunately for us, the rain was also the worst of the trip.

Another Largemouth during a downpour

As we made our way around the lake, the float switch for my bilge pump would trigger the pump and water would shoot out the side of the boat. That beats bailing water any day. When I would step off the front platform, the boat would tilt a little and the bilge would kick on every time. I've fished in worse, but not much worse and definitely not for that long.

And another after the rain let up for a few seconds

I had to switch tactics again as the rain picked up and was able to keep catching nice fish. Chris followed suit and put more fish in the boat also. The fish were in and around the lily pads and we would catch them way back in the pads, or just outside the weed lines in open water.

And another Lagrmouth after it started raining again

There were a couple times where the rain let up and we thought it might stop but mother nature was just teasing us. Another round of heavy rain would hit us and we'd pull our hoods a little tighter.

Chris got his share too

Eventually there were a few lightning strikes so we decided to head in. We were the only ones out there, thus the only targets for any other lightning bolts that might get thrown our way. Covering the already soaked boat was no easy chore but we managed to get it done without winding up in the water.

The fishing got better as the rain got worse

Thursday was a bright and sunny day. It was a little less humid but still hot. Chris and I went out and caught some nice fish. Most of what we caught were Largemouth but there were still a few small Pike around too. We headed in for lunch but were soon ready to head back out on the water. Garrett wanted to go fishing in the boat so we grabbed the remaining minnows and headed out to a spot that had rocks, weeds, grass, and a little of everything so we'd be sure to
catch some fish with live bait. Garrett fished for a little bit and missed a couple fish but his dad was on top of things and hooked a couple.

Chris gets another Largemouth

It didn't take long before Garrett got bored and decided he'd be the minnow wrangler. He had more fun getting minnows for us as we caught perch, crappie, warmouth, and bass. I tried vertical jigging over some rocks in deeper water but struck out.

Garrett sits in the boat and supervises

It was very windy while we were out there and controlling the boat was tough. Garrett eventually got bored with the minnows and decided he wanted to go back. He lasted longer than we thought he would and seemed to have fun.

A nice Warmouth takes minnow

After we dropped Garrett off we went back out in search of bigger fish. It didn't take long before we started to catch them. Chris finally managed to catch his first ever Walleye to bring his species total up to 6.

Another Largemouth in the heat

Just before we were about to head in for dinner, I was watching my lure clear a line of lily pads when a big Pike swam up and grabbed it at the boat. It was quite a sight to see and after a short battle the fish was in the boat.

A nice Northern Pike

We went out again for our last time after dinner and fishing was slower. I caught a couple nice fish and Chris finally caught a few fish after switching lures. The sunset was spectacular and was a nice end to a nice trip.

A nice sunset to end the trip

After the trip, the boat needed a thorough cleaning. I spent all day Saturday scrubbing the carpet and airing out all the compartments. As I was inside writing this post, I heard what I thought were heavy rain drops hitting the house. I looked out and saw it was still sunny so I ignored it for a minute. Once it got heavy I realized it was indeed rain so I went out and closed the compartments and waited until the rain stopped which was only a few minutes. There was some thunder and enough rain to wet everything down again so I had to wait a while longer before everything was dry enough to cover the boat. The wet gear will have to go back into the boat another day.