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hanson

Lakers! Lakers! and More Lakers! B-Side Bash Report!

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hanson

I apologize in advance for what might very well be the longest fishing report ever in Fishing Minnesota history...

But da_chise31, Dtro, and myself (hanson) really want to share our story from the Burntside Bash.

Hope you all enjoy!

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hanson

Friday, January 25, 2008

Burntside Lake near Ely, MN was the destination. The Deb Radosevich Burntside Bash was the reason. This was the 6th Annual B-Side Bash and the second that I have attended. My first ever Lake Trout fishing experience was on Burntside in 2005 for the B-Side Bash. I had a good time but it was a miserable experience. The lake had over 18” of snow cover on top of 12” of ice. This meant one thing, flooding and slush. I managed to catch one small Lake Trout, my first ever. I vowed to come back but didn’t realize it would take three years.

It was Friday morning and our trip was starting! My alarm clock was ringing at 1:30 am. Darren “Dtro” Troseth would be showing up at 2am to load his stuff into my truck. We had one more stop to pick up Scott “da_chise31” Mackenthun and we would be on our way. It was now 3:30am and up I-35 we go with a large coffee in the cup holder. The plan was to hit Burntside at 8am and head out fishing. We were right on schedule with a 4 ½ hour drive through the early morning hours in front of us.

While the excitement level was as high as it could be for a 4 ½ hour drive through the early morning hours, there was definitely some cautious optimism in the truck as well. After all, Lakers aren’t the easiest fish in the world to target. Icing one or two fish in a day is a good day. Having a couple Lakers chase your bait is a decent day as well. We definitely knew full well that we could get totally skunked on day one and that would be alright as well.

Before arriving at the lake, we made a quick stop at Vermilion Bait & Tackle in Tower, MN to pick up some bait. A simple bait stop turned into the highlight of my trip as I spotted a discontinued Rapala Husky [PoorWordUsage] HJ12 in the elusive Rainbow Trout pattern on the lure rack! If this wasn’t a good sign, I don’t know what would be.

We arrived at Burntside’s Van Vac access sharply at 8am. The smell of 2 stroke exhaust was already in the air as a small contingent of fellow FMers were already warming up their sleds and gearing up. We chatted briefly with “Stfcatfish” and he got us pointed in the right direction. Lakers here we come!

With -10 air temps and running augers, we cut the ice to swiss cheese on the side of a rock reef. We dialed in the depth with a bunch of hole hopping and then Darren proceeded to hook into a monster lake trout on his very first drop of the trip. I didn’t even have a line in the water yet when he yelled Fish On! Darren and I were both running Jason Mitchell’s 36” Mackinaw Lake Trout rod w/ Abu Garcia baitcasters. When I looked over and saw the bend in that rod, I knew he had a big one on. As quickly as that fish hit, she was gone. The lure popped out and left Darren heartbroken.

We continued to work this area for awhile when I finally was able to connect with a Laker. Not a big one by any means but it was good to get one through the hole.

First Laker of the Trip!

01-%2001-25-08%20B-Side%20Hanson%201.jpg

That fish was not going to be the start of something however, as things went from good to bad fast. After fishing for another hour without even seeing a Laker on the electronics, we put our minds together to make a move. A quick look at the map showed 2-3 areas very near us that looked promising. Darren & Scott both liked an area to the east, while I liked an area to the west. It was 50:50 which way we were going and I guess my argument was a bit better. This decision proved to be the best decision of the weekend.

Scott Got Us Back In The Game Almost Immediately At Spot #2

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Quickly followed by Darren with a nice action shot

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And Scott making the grab at the hole!

04-%2001-25-08%20B-Side%20Darren%20Fight

Here’s Darren’s Beautiful Fish!

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The bite continued in this spot with Darren and Scott each catching one more a piece while I was left entirely out of the action. Guess I shouldn’t say that… I was busy snapping photos, removing hooks, and landing fish. Someone has to do it! This bite window was awesome lasting from 2pm-3pm.

Here’s a photo of Scott with our biggest fish of the trip!

06-%2001-25-08%20B-Side%20Scott%202.jpg

Friday was a phenomenal day of fishing! The weather was beautiful! The company was awesome! And the after fishing socializing with the other FM guys at Bash Headquarters was top notch as well. In case those Lakers gave you short term memory loss, our day started at 1:30am and we were wrapping it up about 11pm at the Crazy Wabbit in Ely. The day was long, the sleep would be appreciated, and we were absolutely pumped for tomorrow!

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hanson

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The alarm clock ringing at 6:30am came a little too soon but it was the day of the Burntside Bash. Coffee and Breakfast sandwiches from Holiday fueled the furnace and off we went.

The game plan for Day 2 was to hit our spot from yesterday and fish it hard. We pulled 4 Lakers out of there during a short afternoon window and had high hopes of a morning bite.

Almost as soon as we finished augering holes, Darren is yelling Fish On! I know we were all smiling hoping this would be an indicator for the rest of the day. Things were looking good.

But the mad feeding frenzy would not continue. The clouds moved in. The temperature dropped. The wind picked up. I ground it out as long as I could outside and then set my Otter Lodge up and fired up the Mr Heater. Figured as long as the fish weren’t cooperating, I might as well be comfortable. Scott got the same idea after awhile as he popped into my shack and asked if there was room for two. Duh! He went back to grab his Marcum and his rod when I here him yell ‘Fish On!’. He was just in my house… how could he have a fish on? He said when he went to grab his rod, there was a big red mark on his Marcum eyeing his bait up. Soon as he jiggled it… Wham! Fish On! This Laker turned out to be the biggest of them all for the weekend.

Scott with the trip’s biggest Laker!

08-%2001-25-08%20B-Side%20Scott%203.jpg

Darren picked up one more fish later in the day and then it was time to head back to Bash Headquarters. Shoot… I have to show the photo as it’s a beauty!

Darren with another beauty!

09-%2001-25-08%20B-Side%20Darren%203.jpg

After that fish, it was time to head back to Bash Headquarters for the silent auction, prize giveaway, and hot food. We really ground it out on Saturday- hole hopping, rip jigging, hole augering, more hole hopping. The result for me was a skunking. I had one fish thump my bait all day but didn’t connect. I think I saw three Lakers on the Marcum all day. It was a grind.

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hanson

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Day 3 of the trip seamed like a scene out of the movie ‘Groundhog Day’. Alarm clock rang at 6:30am, got dressed, packed up, picked Scott up, stopped at Holiday, ate the same breakfast sandwich, parked on the lake in the same spot, unloaded the sleds, and headed to our fishing spot one last time.

If this was like ‘Groundhog Day’, I was in for a long day fishing!

At the launch was the moderator of our Women’s Forum, “LisaTealz” and her husband “Jimalm”. We decided to share some of our good fortune with them and invited them to our spot.

Sunday was looking great! Air temps were supposed to reach 30+ degrees, the wind was gone, the sun was out, and we were going to help put some folks on fish! What a great day!

Just like Saturday, Darren goes and connects with the first Laker of the day like we were performing a script. 3 days in a row, Darren connects with the first fish! The guy has got some kind of luck!

But just when you think Darren is going to run away with the show again, I see Lisa’s husband Jim in the distance miss a fish. He’s cussing and babbling about fish all over his Marcum screen. Being the opportunist that I am, I moved to a hole I previously augered halfway between Jim & Darren.

The next 15 minutes was an absolute exercise in frustration as I had Laker after Laker after Laker on my Marcum screen that I couldn’t get to bite. I must have played with 8 fish and couldn’t get them to go until I finally figured out a slight shaking of my spoon about 6’ off the bottom was the ticket! Bam! Fish On! This one was a native with no fin clips.

Took 2 days but I finally got another one!

10-%2001-25-08%20B-Side%20Hanson%202.jpg

I rebaited and no sooner than I got my lure to the bottom, I had another fish race up and smack it! Fish On guys! As this fish got under the hole, I could not believe the coloration on it! It almost looked like a pike with the dark background and big light spots on it. This one was also a native with no fin clips but the coloration was absolutely spectacular!

Hanson with a Beauty!!

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These 2 fish were the start of something that I will never again in my life experience! My very next drop… Wham! Fish On! This Laker hit so hard and without warning that I didn’t get a good hookset into him. He got just under the ice and that is when I got the shake, it was gone! I put my Marcum transducer back in the hole and I could not believe it. There was a strong mark of a Laker near the bottom, and another one halfway up in the water column.

I had a backup rod rigged next to me baited up and ready to go. Small problem was this backup rod was a Thorne Bros 32” Perch Sweetheart with a Tica Cetus SS500. NOT Laker Gear!! The Angel Eye Jr I had tied on slowly started to flutter down through the water column when that Laker that was halfway up raced up and crushed that spoon. I wasn’t even ready for it and when I got my line tightened up, it was race on! I gained a little ground and then it went on a couple big runs. I didn’t realize I had got the fish up to the ice and then the hook popped out! Darren ran the video camera nearly the entire time on this fish and I said near the end we were going to lose it. Oh well… the morning was going pretty well so a couple lost fish was no big deal.

I re-baited my Jason Mitchell Mackinaw for my next drop and started to get serious again. Uh Oh! There’s a Laker on the Marcum again. I rip jigged hard then held it and shook the spoon in place. That sealed the deal and I got that one through the ice as well!

In the matter of 15 minutes or so, I landed 3 Lakers, lost 2, and missed the hookset on 2-3 more. The bite lasted from 8am to 10am and then just shut down. I honestly believe I will never see a day like that on the ice again Laker fishing. It was something phenomenal how much action I had in that very short time period.

In the midst of all this action, “Jimalm” fishing next to us managed to get one through the ice as well! I know he had maybe 2 more on that he lost and was cussing about missed hooksets and fish all over his Marcum flasher.

Here’s Jim with a Laker!

12-%2001-25-08%20B-Side%20Jimalm%201.jpg

I really don’t know what else to say about the weekend. Its going to rank right up there with my best trips in the last few years. The weather was great, the friendship was great, the Laker fishing was spectacular!

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hanson

Lessons to be Learned

A lot of fishing success depends on your own skills, a lot depends on luck, but its when these two combine forces that magical things happen.

- We moved and moved and moved and moved! Not big moves, just subtle moves around this particular structure. And we kept moving around the structure until we got it dialed in. Friday’s “hot bite” area was different from Sunday’s “hot bite” area, but only by 30 yards or so. If we wouldn’t have made these miniature moves, we would have never stumbled onto that.

- Lure selection was pretty darn critical as well. The Lakers wanted big spoons for the most part, with big Northland Buckshot Rattles being the definite choice. There was a point where all 3 of us were jigging Buckshots at the same time.

- Jigging action and sequence also was very, very critical! I do believe this in conjunction with the Buckshot spoon was what sealed the deal. Large rip jigging motions brought the Lakers in but they wouldn’t chase the lure up at all, and rarely hit the lure on these big jigging motions. But when you got their attention and slowed it down to shaking the lure in place, that caused them to strike. Sometimes a gentle shake while pulling your lure slowly up sealed the deal as well. This technique is no different than how I’d approach walleyes through the ice, and the Lakers ate it up on this particular day.

Here’s a parting shot!

13-%20Burntside%202008%20Group%20Photo.j

I think all 3 of us would agree that the big Man was looking down on us. We’re not Lake Trout fishing experts by any means, and am not going to pretend to be either. We just applied some basic structure fishing concepts, fishing experience, and a little information about the targeted species to a new lake and had a whole lot of luck on our side as well. All I can say is you guys have to try Lake Trout fishing! I know I plan to do more of this in the future!

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Steve Foss

Great report, Chris, about a great weekend. Truly one to remember and pass on to the kids. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Jim Almquist

Hanson the was just about as much fun as a person can have ice fishing and still be legal. It was really a great morning of fishing only bad part was we had to go home but at least we have some very fond memories. Me and Lisa have said that we are going to make it back at least once more just to take in the beauty of the lake and the excitement of the laker fishing. You will never meet a better bunch of guys to fish with just because to them your a fishing buddy and they are more then willing to help you at the drop of a hat. My first fish that I had on was a nice one and Hanson had no problem running over to give me a hand but it did manage a early C&R. Many thanks to Hanson' Dtro and Da_chise31

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fishgutz77

you guys did great! I only got to fish saturday from 9 to 4:45. It was awesome, big buckshots and big airplane jigs with meat on them where the ticket. My biggest fish came chasing from 45 fow until I stopped reeling at 14 ft and a 26 incher crushed that buckshot. Moving was KEY but we made long moves to areas I thought might pay off and they did. The other key factor was fishing where no one else had been. bite time was same as yours on saturday, we never got a fish after 2:30. This was my first Bash and loved it. thanks again to everyone for their efforts and I will see ya on the lake.

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ditchpickle6996

Great report! Man do I wish I would have been there. B-side is a real jem. We have had a cabin there and after seeing those pictures I can't quit grinning. I fished the Brainerd tourney and ended up getting bumped off of a new ATV with 5 min. left! Oh well,,, the $250 gift card will work. Next year it's "hello bash"!

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DTro

How about some video to go along with that great story.

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Team Otter

Awesome report. What a great read!

I thought I saw somewhere people talking about fish not cooperating...

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Steve Foss

Great stuff, Darren. Sweet video!

T.O., as always, the lakers cooperate for some and not for others. One or two other groups had some fast action (not quite as fast as that shown here,) but most anglers saw a few fish Saturday, many landed one or two, and many others either didn't hook a fish or didn't even see any.

One of the things that makes Darren, Chris and Scott's experience so interesting is that it was three consecutive days on basically the same spot. That's a lot of steady and sometimes fast activity for lakers over a long stretch of time.

Where was that spot? Well, we'll leave that for those guys to tell if they want to. It's a location the locals know.

But it's not just the spot. Not at all. These guys did a great job digging around that area, hole hopping, switching out lures and jigging motions until they dialed in what the fish seemed to want. It was a matter of excellent anglers and an excellent location coming together.

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reelemin

Awesome you guys !!!! grin.gif I see a new career coming!!! \:o

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DTro

Obviously there is a lot of luck involved, but like Steve said. Anytime you are fishing I really believe it makes a big difference having 3 or 4 people with a bunch of holes and making sure everyone is using a different lure/presentation until some sort of pattern is recognized. When I say a bunch of holes, I’m talking 30 or more. We had a local come up to us and he couldn’t believe all the holes he saw. In fact, I think he ended up using some of ours. \:\)

The first fish I hooked on Fri was on a Pimple, then nothing. I switched over to a Buckshot and caught a fish on that almost right away. Scott caught the next fish, and I asked him what he was using and he said a Buckshot (not knowing what I was using)……I thought to myself Eureka!

I then said that I noticed they really are taking a liking to the old jiggle/shakey routine. Bring em in with some aggression, then a little finesse.

I think that was Hanson’s bread and butter on Sun.

I have no doubt in my mind that we could’ve been skunked just as easily.

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Northlander

Ya some days your the puck and others your the stick. I did my share of getting slapped around this weekend. On and off the ice. whistle.gif

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Big Country

Great report Hanson. I especially dug that video. We fished the same area all weekend and only saw a few red bars on the marcum, but no go. We should have moved, but it would have been tough with the three guys and one wheeler. No matter, the trip was awesome. It was my buddies first laker trip and he wants to go back next weekend already. Go figure. BC

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Quickstrike

Awesome video!

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fishgutz77

The video is awesome guys! what a great way to cap it all off. I gotta go put some more wood in the smoker, it's -10 those lakers taste great, grilled a 4 pounder tonight and am smoking the rest.

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caseymcq

Great Video.

You guys should have your own show on FSN North.

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Catfishunter

That's sweet footage.

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Wanderer

Man, you guys were the class of the field last weekend! cool.gif

Thanks for sharing the visuals. Makes me want to hit it all over again even though I got the skunk-ola.

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Steve Foss

Tracy, a skunking is just money in the bank building up until you've made enough payments for a BIG withdrawal. grin.gifgrin.gif

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frogtosser

those pictures are crystal clear, what kind of camera were you guys using?

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hanson

 Originally Posted By: frogtosser
those pictures are crystal clear, what kind of camera were you guys using?

Kind of funny you should mention that! LOL!

All of those photos are from my little digital, a Nikon Coolpix 4600. I can't remember the Megapixels but its 3 or 4 megapixels tops. I bought the camera 1 1/2 to 2 years ago on E-bay for $150 or so, so its pretty antiquated now.

I keep this thing in a Crown Royal purple velvet bag and it is always (ALWAYS!) in my jacket pocket or tackle box. I seriously can't believe its still working considering how much abuse its been through, including one very quick full submersion in the Milk River in Montana.

I typically bump the Contrast levels up in Adobe Photoshop, a bit of color correction, and when I resize for the net, I do a 'Sharpen Edges' filter and that is what I come up with.

The reason I thought your question was funny was I had just mentioned to 'Dtro' that I thought I would have to use all the photos from his camera as mine have a 50:50 shot of turning out good. When I get good light, the photos turn out great!

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finnbay

Great video! Lots of action.

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