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beef

Summer in Review

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Well as I write this there is snow flurries in International Falls and our temp is darn close to making the same stuff here... The pond this year was a roller coaster ride for me... The year started off with walleyes and perch going crazy, and then we hit the "Dog Days" of late July and August and the fishing slowed way down... We were still able to catch walleyes but it took a little longer than normal... Now as the Fall Turnover approaches the fishing for both "eyes" and Muskies has picked up greatly... This also being the first year for me as owner and operater of FATHEAD GUIDE SERVICE has taught me many things.. First, it made me realize how much I love to fish, but mostly how much I enjoy to see others catch fish... Secondly, I began to realize how many other GREAT fisherman do the same thing I do.. Cass/Bemidji has some AWESOME guides in the area and the knowledge each one has on the area lakes is unreal.. Chad Benson, Mark Christianson, Chris Haley, Harv, Josh, Jay Riplinger, Tim Hinrichs, Paul Nelson, Jones, Scott "Woodman" Hanson, Travis, Col. Ron, and a few more that I may have forgot to mention (sorry).. Some of these guides I talk to on a regular basis and some I have never talked to, but through the grape vine you learn things about them... In this buisness and industry you earn the respect by taking care of the clients and each other...

There is also a few others that deserve to be mentioned when you mention fishing and Bemidji/Cass area.. Mark Cook from Bluewater Outdoors, Ron at Taber's Bait, Dean at Froggy's Sports, Clark at the Horseshoe Resort, AL at Sunset Cove, and the list can keep going on and on... Without all of these folks in the area, vistors and locals would be out on great bait, fishing information, but most of all a lot of stories and "BS"...

I just thought I would put some thoughts down here at FM and let everyone know what a great area Cass and Bemidji is and that there is a lot someone can learn from the locals..

What I ask is if you attended Cass or Bemidji this summer and have a funny or memorable moment that happened, put it up here on this post and let's see what happened this summer... Thanks...

Good Luck and remember to C-P-R...

Beef

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Beef,

Great idea for a thread!

We have been super-fortunate that our last 8 annual trips to Cass around June 10 have been extremely successul. All-around numbers, mainly pannies, have been great. Weather, and bugs, have cooperated. Cass has been very reliable for making memories of just plain ol' catching fish. But you are right that it is more than that and I think you make a good point about the guides, resort owners, and other fishermen that you meet being a wonderful part of our vac each year....and also that part about seeing others catch fish. I started bringing my sisters and nephew about 4 yrs ago. And of course they outfish me but I don't care - "guiding" them gives me satisfaction.

From this year, I can list memorable events like:

a. Just how well our overall "plan" of attack worked. We made a general plan for the week, stuck to it pretty much, and it all came together nicely.

-When we went out hunting gills or rockies, we got 'em.

-When we went out hunting snakers, we got 'em.

-When we went bassin', we got some.

-When we went perching, we got 'em.

-When we went walleye fishing, we got some.

This yr though we couldn't raise any Muskies.

b. Meeting fellow Cass fishermen at our annual luncheon was great again. And they all got a good laugh watching me try to dock at PikeHole with that nasty current.

c. Leaving the luncheon on Monday, I had the scariest boat ride in all my 30 yrs at Cass. I NEVER want to experience that again. If I had had anything smaller than an 18' with a 30hp, I never would have tried it.

d. Made a special stop over to Clark's just to meet him in person and see the Horseshoe resort...great guy and he has a great place (one of these days)!

e. Visited with Col Ron to BS a little and he gave us a good tip that helped us catch some walleyes. We are not much good at walleye-fishing, so his tip really helped us be more versatile. Fishermen helping fishermen is what it is all about.

f. We fished a spot we had not fished in at least 20 yrs and caught many jumbos there. Probably a coincidence, but one in our favor for sure.

So many more memories that I could write for days. I guess I have to end with one memory of our ride home:

g. I was lucky enough to get let off after being stopped for speeding. It is a long story, but the short of it was that I was polite and contrite, but mainly I think it was that because I talked fishing with the state patrolman, he let me go even though I am a Packer fan and he is a Viking fan. Fishermen just speak the same language no matter what the occupation or which sports team they root for.

Can't wait to make more memories next June.

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Gene,

Can you give me a call on my cell sometime this afternoon or weekend.. I will be out Goose hunting in the next 20 minutes but give me a call anyway..

Thanks,

Beef

218-766-5017

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Beef,

I agree Brian Jones is of the best guides on Cass. Every time I've fished with him, we've hooked or boated a muskie. And we've never been skunked for walleyes. There was also Cam Rexer, whom I had the pleasure of fishing with back in 1997.

This past August was one of the best muskie trips I've seen in a long time. We used to put in a ton of hours fishing for these guys, but not any more with the kids and families we now have. We caught the 2 49" plus, another upper 30"er, and poor Mike hooked 4 fish all pushing 50", to have bad luck...........wrapped up in motor, a 3 foot leap, lost on figure 8...........

Oh well. Even though it was the dog days of August, that week treated us pretty well.

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I’d have to say that 2007 was a really good year. I happened upon this forum early in the year while looking for lake level information and have been trolling it ever since. I get up to the area 3 or 4 times a year and I am also part of the Chicago, Illinois caravan that pilgrimages to Cass/Kitchi. I am lucky enough to have a piece of land on Kitchi lake. My father would take the family fishing every year when I was a boy. We would stay at Miller’s Resort/Lost Acres until my uncle purchased a lot on the lake and then we would stay with them. A couple of years later we bought our place. All totaled, I have been going to Kitchi every year for the last 35 years.

Every year my best friend and I go on a ‘man-cation’ (the wife has to stay home) around the last week of May to open the place up. In addition to putting in a great new dock this year (Thanks Mark at Bluewater), we decided to use a guide on Memorial Day and chose to go out with Beef . We had a lot of laughs and hooked into the fish immediately. We ended up bringing back 9 eaters and threw back a couple of others.

I bring the family up for the forth of July week. We enjoyed the fireworks display out at Pike Hole. It’s a great time to sit out on the lake in the boat and watch a fireworks show that doesn’t seem to want to end. The first night out fishing, my wife hooked into a 4 pound walleye while my step daughter landed a 4 ½ pounder on the last night of fishing. Much to my dismay, while I was able to bring the most ‘eyes into the boat, I have not heard the end of the ‘we got the biggest walleyes’.

Coming home from the July trip this year, we had a car drive off the road in front of us just outside of Floodwood. The driver fell asleep with the cruise control on and the car flew off the shoulder, flipped and landed upside down in a ditch. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt. I had anticipated the accident and was able to keep my car out of harms way. By the time the car had come to a stop, I was already pulled over the side of the road and helped everyone get out of the car. I even had to cut one of the passengers out of their seatbelt.

I am now getting ready to go up and close the place in October. We won’t be putting the boat out this time, so fishing 07 is over for me. I can’t believe the summer is gone already. On the bright side, it won't be be too long before we’re all asking what the water levels are looking like for opener…..

Des

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Welcome to the forum Des.

Good to here you had a good year. Also nice too hear that no one was hurt in the accident you helped out with.

In regards to closing up the cabin. October is the best time of year to be fisihing Cass in my opinion. Even if you're only able to get out for a couple of hours it would be worth it. I'll be up there for four days the third week in October.

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Des...

Good to see you posting... Good job on the heads up driving and like Borch said, glad to hear no one was seriously injured...

By the way, how is the new dock working out??? Thanks Again for the plug and good to have you on board the Cass forum..

Beef

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Alot of this may just sound like some personal story, but I think some if it fits into this theme. I can say that this season has been the most productive fishing season I have ever had. Alot of it has to do with the fact that this past May, I relocated to Minneapolis from St. Louis. Before the move, the only good fishing I had was during the one-week vacation trip I took up to Cass each summer. Last year, I didn't even have that because of the uncertainties of my job situation. I don't think I even want to mention the ultra-crappy fishing I had when I was living in the Chicago area!

The year started out with me getting into fishing in the Minneapolis area and reaquiring a boat after I sold mine off about 1 1/2 years ago. The fishing started off so-so, but I still found myself fishing on some great Minnesota lakes, averaging out once a week. It was like I was on permanent vacation... and I was only fishing the metro-area lakes! Within a month, I learned alot about fishing up here and managed to catch both my biggest pike and biggest bass up to date. I eventually figured out that I needed to re-think my idea of what approprate tackle is for fishing Minnesota. Still, I find myself constantly upsizing the lures I am using. This followed closely with upsizing my rods/reels as well as the landing net. I got some help from this website and it did make a difference. However, most of what I learned was out on the water on my own. By the middle of June, I knew I wanted to go back up to Cass. I wanted to apply what I learned and put it too good use on my favorite northern lake... even if it was going to be an abbreviated trip.

That trip on Cass was only 4 days, but it was the best fishing I ever had on the lake. It was nice now having just a 4-hour trip up there, as opposed to the 13-hour trip from St. Louis. It also helped that the weather was the best I ever witnessed up there, even though it was very hot. The overall light winds made things easy for me to boat around with my smaller 14' Crestliner. I basically caught just about every gamefish species, except for the elusive muskie. The only problem I had was with my fuel line. On the second day, this brand-new fuel hose first broke the fitting connecting the hose to the tank... forcing me to shove the loose hose down the tank. On the way going back to the dock (from the other side of the lake, of course), the fitting on the other end of the hose connecting to the 10 horse motor began to break off. I had to hold the fitting tight against the connection to keep the plastic from completely breaking off. When we got back to the dock, I promptly bought some new fittings at the marina. That was it for any potential "disaster".

Sad that the trip was over so quick, I went out to fish the local Minneapolis area lakes with a new-found passion. Now I was going out 2-3 times a week, discovering new lakes along the way. After fishing many of the honey holes and smaller lakes around the area with varying success, I wanted to go bigger. For the last month and a half, all I have been doing is fishing Lake Minnetonka. At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed with the size and structure of this "chain-of-lakes". After figuring out simply where I wanted to start, I narrowed my focus and used all that I learned on Cass. That said, I have yet to have a bad day on 'Tonka, catching as many toothy critters as I can handle. On top of that, I managed to catch my first Muskie a few weeks ago, as well as my second one just last week. I plan to use what I learned and apply it to Cass on my next vacation to the lake next June. In addition, I also reserved Brian Jones for my first day there.

For the time being, there is still plenty of open-water season left. Let's see how much more I can learn before next year... and how many more muskie I can catch!

-Gregg B.

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My "call name" says it all!!!!!!!!!

I've only been able to get up there twice this year (so far) , and they were only 2 day trips this year. I didn't hit it very good so far... rained both trips about half the time. I'm trying to work one more trip this year, hoping to hit it right this time. I think the week-long trips are better...you should have better weather conditions for part of it at least. I went to Kitchi in the spring and learned more about that lake. Great sunnies. Hope to try that again next year. Ran into a couple who have a seasonal up there... they live about 15 miles from me... small world. We had one afternoon that the sky was Black on 3 sides and Thunder was getting closer and closer, til we decided it was TIME TO GET OFF. When we got IN there were 3-4 boats working to GO OUT .....huh???? We aren't that brave....or FOOLISH.... depending on your point of view. We went back out after the storm was over, trolling raps, and hit a couple really nice eyes after dark...we were the last ones out there. grin.gif

A couple weeks ago we tried it again, only on the south side of Cass this time. YUP , COLD FRONT!!! Two tournaments on the same w/e so lots of competition for spots. One place we like to try had 3 boats casting for Skis....one boat had a CPR there. We went somewhere else, not quite as crowded. When one of the tournaments had a weigh-in at 3:00 , we had a CLOSE-UP view of some neat boats flying by to get there in time. ( some in our boat thought we were a little TOO CLOSE.) blush.gif

I/we usually camp, so my wife isn't interested, but I'm working on a cabin trip this time, for a couple days, so maybe she will try it. wink.gif Wish us luck... I love the area, and hope to spend more time up there in the near future. I always watch this site for conditions, and tips, Keep up the good work. cool.gif

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Well we were doing our second year of two week family vacation after 13 years of one week trips on Pike Bay. It's at least twice as good. laugh.gif

We caught many eyes, perch, and pike on the chain. Made a one day trip to a smaller panfish lake and had a ball with the gills. Made a day trip to star island and all the craziness there. Tried to meet up with Beef and Labs but it just never came together.

We still have a 4 day trip scheduled up there this fall over MEA. Beef we'll definitely need to get together this time. You too Labs and PBC if you two happen to be up there. The only thing better than a summer trip to Cass is a fall trip to Cass. The fishing is great, the ducks are plentiful and so are the grouse. All that with little to no competition.

Oops!... Did I say that out loud? wink.gif

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Quote:

The only thing better than a summer trip to Cass is a fall trip to Cass. The fishing is great, the ducks are plentiful and so are the grouse.


And Hanson will be there! wink.gif

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Ahh yes... Fall in Cass... Kicked up 6 grouse on Sunday on one trail(Only got 1)... WAY THICK STILL!!!!

As for the MEA trip.. I will be in NoDak shooting some ducks and Geese so I won't be around... That Sucks that we can't meet up but I will be in heaven surrounded by feathers and dirt!!!! I have guided trips Tomm(Thursday) and this Saturday.. When you get up here I will try to get you a report... I really like Cass in the Fall, but you know Pike Bay so well that you should find some of the big pigs no problem...

Keep in touch..

Beef

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Pike Bay???

Come on people don't fish that pond anymore.

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Steffanf,

You mentioned the marina...They helped me out too, when I needed a fuel pump...they deserve a big THANK-YOU for being open on the w/e and having the right parts.

I booked for a couple days this coming w/e for the "last hurrah" , and my wife is going this time. smile.gif She/we will enjoy more comfort this time ,rather than the usual camping I do. She says she wants to "catch bigger fish than me"....beginners luck being what it is it could happen....who invited her? ha! Since I'll be driving the boat ,1/2 of her fish is mine, right.

Now if the weather will be reasonable and the water temp will drop a few more degrees, we could have lots of fun. grin.gif

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Thanks for the welcome Beef and Borch, I’m glad to be here. The dock is working out great. It is incredibly easy to adjust and I don’t expect to spend much longer than 20 minutes removing it this fall. It may take a little longer to put back in the water come spring but that’s more of a placement thing than an installation issue. We are probably going to add a lager deck section at the end so we can spend more time on the dock next year. There was one downside this year though.

If you remember Beef, it was pretty windy when we were out on Cass. The wind was gusting up to about 35 MPH. Because it was the first day with the new dock, I didn’t have the boat bumpers setup correctly yet and the wind was coming right at the boat. The boat had moved a little bit and came in contact with the dock. By the time we got back from the fishing expedition, the boat had sustained some scratches. The whitecaps were a on the high side and the boat was coming up over the top of the boat bumpers and dropping down on top of the bumpers. Luckily there were only some minor battle scars to the graphics – if the boat was fiberglass, it would have been much worse.

As far as fishing goes, its not that I don’t want to – I usually get out there when I close, but this year I have a couple of projects that I want to complete. At least I won’t miss a Bears game though as the Bears play the Vikes that weekend.

Des

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Why watch that game... It is already over before the first snap... Vikes need some serious help if they want to turn things around.. At least we are still playing for 1st place--In the draft that is!!!!

That sucks about the boat getting scratched up... I bet after that day you figured out a different way to put the bumpers on the dock... Is the dock still in great shape or did that sustain some damage to?

I'm glad to hear you were happy with the dock in all. Mark at Bluewater Outdoors is an awesome guy and sure takes good care of his customers... Did you call him yet about the extra dock section?

Gotta run--packing for the NoDak duck hunting trip!!!!

Beef

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The only thing that happened was the boat getting scratched up. The dock didn’t take any damage at all. I was able to fix everything once the wind died down. I moved the bumpers in toward each other, I placed a tire over one of the bumpers and I used longer bungee cords. That and the fact that the wind didn’t stay as brisk or from the same direction has kept the boat from coming in contact with the dock again. Next year I am going to add mooring whips so the new boat doesn’t have any issues.

I haven’t spoken to Mark about the new section yet, I am going to stop in while I am in the area.

How’d the hunting trip go?

Des

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It was great... We shot our limit of Geese and some bonus mallards on Sunday and limited out on Ducks on Saturday with 9 Greenies and a Pintail... Not as many birds around yet, but there will be some more on the next trip over in three weeks...

Beef

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