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Team Otter

Mud Bound 'Eyes!

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I spent the better part of this past weekend with clients on Mille Lacs and what a time we had. We found our fish out on the mud, so if you haven't taken a look yet, it's time! The dinner bell is starting to really ring...

Other than Friday, wind was an issue, but we prevailed with some patience. There are a few very distinct things that we noticed over the weekend that I would like to highlight. As for catching and releasing, we boated ~25 - 35 fish/day with most being in that 22 - 25" range but we also were able to connect with enough slot fish for 2 and 3-person limits and/or a meal, if so desired. No photos this weekend; it just wasn't one of those weekends. I was just happy to keep everyone dry and on fish. grin.gif

1. The wind-blown inside corners of flats were holding more fish than the straight portions or tips.

2. Speed was much more critical than presentation, although presentation played a role in what size fish you caught. In the end, the slower the better. On Saturday, I was using 2 drift socks and bumping my motor in and out of reverse to help us "hang" over the fish the best we could.

3. The slot fish (i.e. 15 - 19" males) were belly-to-the-bottom and less active. 7 - 9' snells with plain red hook and leech was suffice. If it was bigger fish you were after (i.e. 22 - 27"), you needed to adjust. Most of our bigger fish came 3 - 5' off the bottom on Phelps Floaters in front of a 9 - 12' snell and leech.

4. Most of the fish were on top of the flat or very near the top edge, just before breaking off. I don't think we caught a fish "on the edge" or off the edge and/or into the basin.

5. Although speed was critical, as far as drfiting or trolling, it seemed as though the fish wanted an active leech. Making contact with the bottom and rising your weight in a rhymatic pattern seemed to trigger the most bites. Even a slight shake of the rod tip from time to time helped.

Look for the bite on the mud to only get better. I wish I could stay on 'em but I'm off to SD for a tournament this weekend. However, I'll be back up there for a few days shortly after the Wave Wacker for more guiding. I can't wait!

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I concur on the 'slower is better' today. I actually found that I couldn't slow down enough drifting (I only have 1 windsock) so I started going against the wind instead. Can't wait til mid-june when they're more aggressive and I can go a bit faster.

Every time I marked fish, I would go in and out of gear like 3 times, just hovering near them. Then, take off again and they'd hit it. Depending on the wave situation, when I say "take off" I mean eventually I might start moving forward again! Holy cow, boat control was tough at times!

This hover/go presentation seemed to work great. I was using night crawlers on spinners, and I'm thinking the reason they didn't hit it until I started moving again was that they were waiting for it to start spinning again. Who knows though. I couldn't get one to bite on a floating lindy with a leech, but that was also when I was still drifting (too fast, I think). If I'd have gone back to that tactic against the wind, it would have worked I'm sure.

Lots of rain this morning, and it was colder with that wind than I expected it to be this morning, but my wife hung in there like a trooper and didn't complain once!

TO, where do you launch out of?

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Which flats were you targeting. Wasn't able to make it out and fish like that because I don't have a wind sock! frown.gif

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It really depends where I'm fishing but as a rule of thumb, it's either Fisher's, The Red Door or Terry's.

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We fished the mud on the North and West sides.

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great report jamison, thanks!

regards,

minnesotatuff

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Same here, mud on the North and West. They're definitely going out there. Plenty of 'keepers' if one wanted to, and some low 20s for fighting, didn't get anything over 23 inches though. Also caught a 13 incher, which is my first fish under 16 this year on the pond. Talked to the kid from one of the launches that was out this morning, he said they had the opposite, only 4 keepers and a dozen or so 25+ inch fish for 3-4 folks.

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Not a problem. I hope it helps.

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Great info. Nice to have someone who knows his stuff share it a bit. If I decide to hire a guide, I would definitely consider your service. Good luck with the tourney.

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Thanks for the kind words.

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