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Steve Foss

New Bside laker report (updated 2-17)

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Steve Foss

Well, Finnbay, Big Country and two companions joined me for a laker outing on the massively windswept expanses of Burntside today. Met Finnbay and his son-in-law at 8 a.m. and started fishing right away. BC and buddy Russ made it a bit later.

Here's what happened amid the gale of the frontal system that was moving through.

Flag popped, and Finnbay's SIL took it. After several runs near the hole and with help from Finnbay and Russ, the fish is at the hole . . .

getting-ready-1.jpg

And before anyone can mention the way the line is circling the hole, up pops . . . Mr. Eelpout! Note the fearless Finnbay. He's holding that fish a LONG way from his body. cry.gif

Not-afraid.jpg

Ewwwww.

Ewwww.jpg

And Big Country (left) begins getting his story straight with Russ (center) and Finnbay. Clearly, Finnbay doesn't want to have anything to do with telling fishing lies. grin.gifgrin.gif

lies-begin.jpg

Yeah, boys and girls, the fact that I'm showing images of eelpout tells you something about how the laker fishing was. The five of us fished off Oliver Island all day with jigging/tip-up fishing from 35 to 70 FOW with no lakers hooked or landed. We all saw a few lakers on the electronics, and I had one that was so hot it did everything but melt the glo-strip on my Slender spoon but did not bite.

Frustrating, the way the wind whipped everything around and the fish did not.

Big Country and Russ had a few more encounters of the eelpout kind, and were determined to stay until dark as I left them at 4 p.m. (I predict more eelpout coming their way.) grin.gifgrin.gif

Barring acts of God (or Mrs. Catfish), I'll be out there tomorrow again as yet ANOTHER front pushes through. I've had a few really good days this winter, but there have been too many bad days to suit me. I've got a couple proven spots that will keep me perfectly sheltered when the wind switches to the north tomorrow. Once more into the breach . . . grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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grousehunter

Nice pics Steve! Well at least it wasn't just me that had little to no action on the ice all day. I started off around the same time, started on soutwest side of waters island and then left my truck from there and walked all the way around the island fishing different drop offs. Only had one fish that was pretty active in chasing my lure up and down from 60 to 20 feet over and over but just wouldnt hit my airplane jig or chubby darter... That was on the northwest side of oliver island. Besides that it was just a lot of walking and a lot of hand auger hole...the first 14 inches or so arent bad at all, but then it becomes a challenge for some reason. I called it a day at about 4:30. Ill be back out there again tommorow trying to bring my first laker through the ice!

Blake

edit: waters island not oliver..oops

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Steve Foss

Thanks, Blake. You were in some good laker country there. And good luck tomorrow. May the Force be with us. We need it! grin.gifgrin.gif

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finnbay

Great pix, Steve! We had a good day despite icing that curly ling cod! Good to meet Big Country and Russ as well. Went over to Shags after we left Burntside and caught and released about a dozen 6 inch walleyes. Thanks for the day.

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DeathRoe

 Originally Posted By: stfcatfish

Ewwwww.

Ewwww.jpg

I say, Mmmmmmmm. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Steve Foss

Finnbay and his SIL said Mmmmmm, too. Gotta love eelpout backstrap. grin.gif

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Surface Tension

Nice pictures Steve. I was surprised how windy it got.

The warm up was welcome though.

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Jack Stasney

Hey now, that fresh water Cod is some good eatin!

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fishgutz77

Great pix Steve, I like to do a big pout boil in the house now just to get the girls squealing. I bring'em right in the kitchen and clean them up just to get them worked up first. I'm starting to make it a yearly deal now just to have somefun with the wife and kids. boiled freshwater cod in garlic butterMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

We got into a few smallies through the ice yesterday, had a blast. I'll send you some pix when I get them from Metro.

it's getting harder to find good pout fish'in but I got a spot on Mille Lacs that still produces. The record is 31 fish in 90 minutes. I kept 6 all about 3 lbs each. Metro watched as I put on a pout bell ring'in seminar what a blast.

See ya soon.

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Steve Foss

As bad as yesterday was, that's how good today was. I had on six lakers (plus caught 13 smelt) and landed four from 20 inches to 26 inches.

I drove out of Burntside Lodge at 8:15 a.m. and hit a spot on the east end with a soft bottom. Fished a main lake point that sloped down to a 50-FOW basin. Fished right at the spot where the point leveled off at the basin.

I've started keeping a daily fishing log using a notebook in my Otter. I'll keep this as short as possible.

10:55 a.m. — First laker of the days shows up. Smelt, which are with me all day, suddenly disappear and red band on Vex comes charging up, just misses lure jiggin in 35 FOW. Pull it up two quick revolutions and it rises and engulfs it. A 22-incher, stocked, lure all the way down into the gullet. Kept.

11:15 a.m. — Laker came up off bottom and, as smelt disappeared, played cat and mouse for only a few seconds. Fish medium-hot, wouldn't go.

12:10 p.m. — Laker came up like lightning, dropped back down just as fast. Jigged like crazy and fish came right back up and popped lure. All three hooks in treble embedded in front of mouth. Easy unhook and release, a 20-inch stocked fish.

2:20 p.m. — Laker came in hot, hit right away, on for a few seconds then off, kept playing cat and mouse for a minute but eventually thought better of it and left with sore lip.

2:55 p.m. — While jigging 35 feet down over 50 FOW, saw red band come in at 15 feet below ice. Reeled up fast a couple feet above fish, paused, fish came up. Smackdown! VERY green fish hitting that close to the hole. Thought for sure I'd lose it but it was well hooked. A 26-inch pure football of an unclipped (likely native) fish. Probably 6/7 pounds. Beautiful bronze, near black. Released. Chalk that one up to electronics.

3:10 p.m. — Reeling up smelt No. 11, and when it was just below ice saw all smelt scatter off Vex and red band come charging up from bottom. Quick pulled off smelt and dropped lure back down even as red band dropped back almost to bottom. Lure has sideways slow wobble on the fall, so after 10 feet of dro it hit the edge and then left the cone so I couldn't see it. Meanwhile, as soon as lure hit 5 feet below ice, red band started charging back up. Not knowing exactly where lure was, I just let it fall and as soon as the red band stopped rising I stopped the lure and cranked it up quickly three turns and paused. Fish went out of cone then so I was totally blind, then smack! But it unhooked in about five seconds. Eater size. There's another one to chalk up to electronics.

3:30 p.m. — Laker came charging up through cloud of smelt, scattering them, to hit my lure. Got off after only a second, then came back to hit it again. A 20-inch stocked fish. Kept.

That was the end. I fished until a bit after 4 p.m.

VERY aggressive fish today. Even the smelt were smacking my lure. Oh yes, and the lure? It was a chrome/orange jigging spoon called a Do-Jigger made by the Swedish Pimple company but very different from a pimple (see pic below). I think any flutter spoon with a wide wobble and slow fall would have done just fine today, but since that's what I had on when I caught the first one I just kept it on all day and didn't fish with anything else.

Also worth noting that the 10:30 to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. windows, roughly, were again the most active.

It took awhile, but paying the laker gods will sometimes pay you back. One of the top three days I've had through the ice on Burntside. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

It's also the first hard workout I've given the Jason Mitchell Mackinaw 36-inch laker rod. Used it all day on all fish. Sure am loving that rod. grin.gifgrin.gif

Here's what it all looked like, including the Do-Jigger.

trout-and-rod.jpg

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grousehunter

Wow..i guess that gives me some more energy to head back out tommorow!! Sounds like ya had a pretty fun day then huh? grin.gif Wish i could say the same for my day, it was better then yesterday though. I almost got my first laker through the ice. Was fishing 90 feet of water and hooked it at 84 feet. I fought it all the way up to the hole after multiple runs and the laker was going crazy under the hole circling around and around so i tried to get it up through the hole, but it ended up breaking my line(I think on the bottom of the hole). Took my only decent sized sweedish pimple with it. It was a pretty good sized fish, have never seen one up close, but this thing was fat!! My heart was really pumping after that fight, tried to retie fast, but was kinda shaking actually, lol. I guess thats what it will do to you. This was at about 10:30. I caught a couple smelt through the rest of the day and some more lakers on the vex, but no hits.

What is the best way to get them up through the hole. Have never really caught anything this big through the ice and the laker would just not stick hit head through the hole, Dont think i would either i guess... Any advice on getting them on the ice instead of to the ice?

GreatOutdoors, Are you open tommorow and if so what time do ya open in the morning? Wanted to pick up a few more laker lures. Do you have Reel Bait Fergie Special Spoons or rattle shakie spoons?

Blake

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finnbay

Wow! What a difference a day can make! Sounds like a great time. We did have that 'pout for supper tonight - even the girls (well one of 'em) liked it!

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Steve Foss

Ken, I was thinking of you and Tim all day today. Kind of bummed we weren't together today, but you know how THAT goes. Lakers! Go figure!

Blake, that really sucks. I know what it's like to get a fatty up to the hole and lose it. That big one today hit so close to the ice that when it saw the hole it was still full of fight and thrashed around and ran like crazy. I was sure I was going to lose it.

Lakers are pretty easy to hook but also easy to tear the hooks out because of the fleshy mouths they have. Make sure you're not using monster heavy line and pool-cue rods. Ten to 12-lb line and rods that are medium-heavy with a stiff butt and some nice bend in the tip and midsection are plenty, and make sure your drag is smooth and set light enough that when they make runs the hooks aren't torn out. It's easier to get a laker turned up a 10 inch hole than a smaller one, but patience is the key there.

Other than that, sounds like you had your heart racing pretty darn fast. Lakers will do that to a fella. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Big Country

What a difference a day makes indeed. Wow! Great story Steve. Wish we could have found a room at the paddle, all sold out. That would have been great to hit it again today with you. Sounds like you had your hands full \:\) Russ and I hit a crappie lake today and had a blast together. The darn fish seemed to be in a funk compared to the last time I was there solo. We lost a couple of real beauty's. Ended up bringing home only five, but released a few on the small side. Beer and brat's were the ticket to pass the time. We will try to hook up again hopefully this winter on the big B. Russ is already talking about trying it again even though he caught nothing but eelpout. I am certain that after viewing your photo's he will want to get back a.s.a.p. Nice meeting you Finnbay. Keep hitting those walleyes. That's a great lake. Great picture's Steve. Thank's for the company ;\) BC

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Steve Foss

BC, I felt bad for Russ. He wanted a laker SOOOO bad, and I know how that feels. There'll be another time! grin.gif

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caseymcq

I went out to a stream trout lake and caught five splake biggest being eight inches crazy.gif

After a few hours of that I headed out to B-side. No lakers on spoons or a tip-up. Must have all been over at Steve's spot grin.gif

Caught plenty of bait though grin.gif There must be ba-zillions of smelt in that lake. I couldn't keep them off my line.

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Steve Foss

casey, where were you? Roughly.

It's funny. I had a tip-up like I always do 15 feet from my Otter. Live golden shiner the first hour, then a live smelt the rest of the day. From 5 feet off the bottom to half way up the water column. With all that action I was having so close, the flag never popped once, and when I pulled up the smelt on the way out, it was alive and kicking fine.

Who knows? grin.gifgrin.gif

You up for a late-season walk into Trout Lake?

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caseymcq

I was on the north side of Brownell Island. I don't think I got out there until about 1:30.

If the snow conditions don't prohibit driving across Vermillion I would definitely be up for walking into trout.

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Steve Foss

Yeah, that's the question. After the latest snow/drifting I had a bit of trouble getting around on Bside yesterday. Not much, just a bit and in two places. Never got stuck but had to work a bit. And we got some more snow last night. So if we continue getting snow in dribs and drabs for the next few weeks, I'll be done with the small 4x4 SUV and looking at the sled again for transportation.

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Wanderer

I think you just answered my question about this weekend and sleds! grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Bring 'em if you got 'em! grin.gifgrin.gif

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fishgutz77

Now ya really got me sick Steve. posting a hot report like that gets me ready to come up next week instead. Nice fish, your 26 did exaclty what my 26 did, hit about 8 ft under the ice and just went wacko. As soon as I spotted the smelt on the vex I reeled up fast right into the school and as soon as I stopped he crushed it, with only six pound test I was lucky to land that fish. Keep the reports coming they are great.

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GoggleEye

Nice report Steve! Great pics too. One question for whomever can answer it, when does the laker season close on trout lake?? Is it the 16th or later? Thanks.

GE

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Steve Foss

GoggleEye, the last day it's open on Trout Lake is March 31, because Trout is wholly within the BWCAW.

Weather cooperating, that can be a great weekend to ice fish. Shirtsleeves sometimes, even. grin.gifgrin.gif

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GoggleEye

Thanks Steve!! Last year, my last trip ice fishing we were sitting in chairs in our shorts, tennis shoes, and t-shirts. It was 70 some degrees out and I got the worst sunburn ever. Good times!

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