After an incredibly busy first half of our fishing season, my girls and I went west to Minnesota over the weekend for a little time off to relax and reconnect. We had scheduled this trip to Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd, MN last winter, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. With very little time off and a hectic schedule, sometimes you just have to make it work! I’m glad we did, and Cragun’s was the perfect place. Although fishing wasn’t our first priority the boat came along with us, and we found a little time to wet a line. Of course we did!!! Many of the lakes in Minnesota are infested with Zebra Mussels including Gull Lake where we were staying. The result has been increased water clarity which in turn has resulted in deeper weedlines. Very interesting… Even though we weren’t on a fishing mission, I couldn’t help but notice a bunch of fish on my graph as we headed to lunch one day, by boat of course… When we had time to investigate the deep weed edge we found an awesome mixed bag of walleyes, panfish, bass, and pike that were more than willing to pound our drop shots and plastics in 15′ – 25′ of water. Plain and simple… It was a hoot!!! I always get a kick out of fishing new places and experiencing it with my gals made it even better. Water temps in Gull ranged from 75 – 79 degrees while we were there, and I think I’ll be setting aside a little more time to fish on our next trip. There will be a next trip!!!
With our vacation and memories in the rear view, it was back to work for a half day on Monday. Lisa Paine from Phoenix, AZ and her father in law Jim Paine from Hayward, WI returned this year and brought along Lisa’s brother Chris Carter from Charlotte, NC who was on his first ever northern Wisconsin experience. A rain system pushed our start time back a couple of hours, but the fish didn’t seem to mind as they were active right from the start. We began and ended our day with doubles, and everything in between was just as good. Smallies up to 21″ were active on deep rocks in 15′ – 20′ of water, and we used slip bobbers baited with nightcrawlers and minnows to catch all of our fish. Water temperatures ranged from 75 – 77 degrees, and we were able to squeeze out a half day between rain systems without getting terribly wet. The bite was as good as it gets in mid August, and I’m sure the low pressure systems we had moving in triggered the frenzy. We’ll take it! Every fish we caught was fat as could be, and they’ve obviously been feeding well over the past few weeks. Chris picked one heck of a day for his first smallmouth experience, and I’m glad Jim and Lisa let him in on it. If you have to fish in the rain, you might as well catch some nice fish! Great job by a great crew!!!
I’ve got some scheduled down time over the next few days, but we’ll have more reports coming next week. Stay tuned!!!