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Eric Wettschreck

Survived another one!!!

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Eric Wettschreck

I've fished URL about 20 times in the past 5 years. Let me be the first to say this does not make me an expert. However, for the last few years I've been hooking up with a good friend of mine, the one and only Jonny P (Who I will consider an expert on this lake), and taking the annual trip with the fire dept guys. Holy cow, this was another one for the books.

We hooked up with Jon and Kelly on Friday mid-day after spending a bit of time in Westwinds. Kelly met us on the lake and sent us to Jon. What Jon did to Kelly to have him send us his way I'll never know, but that's a story for different discussion. Jon got us set up in one of the cleanest/nicest/biggest/warmest sleeper houses I've ever been in. He told us it was a tough bite and gave a few pointers on what was working. Oh, and by the way, he drilled boilerguy a very special hole.

We started drinking/fishing and Jon was right. It was a tough bite. I know fishing in a hard house your odds are against you, but yous guys have to understand we were there to not only fish, but get away from it all, and away from it all was exactially where Jon and Kelly put us. We were out in the middle of nowhere, which is pretty much where we wanted to be. This way, no one could hear the screams. grin

Even though, according to Jon, the bite was tough, we had ourselves a blast. We managed to catch some fish, drink ourselves stupid, stay out of jail, and live to fight another day. Both Jon and Kelly did an outstanding job at checking our pulses from time to time to make sure we were all still alive, keep the propane tank full, and offer some fishing advice that we really didn't care about.

With the exception of Fireman Dan's pike, all our fish were caught about 2 inches off the bottom, being lazy with just a fathead under a bobber. From time to time we tried to get fancy and acutally put on different jigs in a half hearted attempt to catch fish. We'd mark em, and lose em. They just were not interested in anything except the old fashioned minnow under a bobber. Jon called it a tough/negative bite. I call it old fashioned fishing. Call it what you will, we had fun.

When the fishing was slow and the wind was blowin, Kelly still came out to check our pulse, tell a few stories, and toss some good old fashioned humor into our weekend.

Here's Fireman Dan's 36 incher. Just so you know how cool this fish is, he caught it on a K-mart special rod and reel, spooled with 2 (yes 2) pound test and a chubby darter. This pike came out of no where and absolutely smoked the darter. The fight lasted a good 8 minutes and when he got the head up the hole, the line broke, and down the hole my arm went. No way this fish was getting away without a picture.

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Even I managed to catch a few nice ones.

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Heck, even though Jon said it was a tough bite, Bob managed to get himself a keeper.

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Tough bite Jon said, but we were able to legally eat fish for dinner 2 nights, and we all brought home a limit of walleye, with a few decent perch to boot. All in all we're calling it another successful run to URL, thanks to the scouting and advice of Jon and Kelly. Dan's pike, my walleye, and a bunch of too nice to keep walleyes all went down the "Escape hatch."

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How many other outfitters will drill you a hole for the sole purpose of catch and release??? None that I know of. Jon, in his modesty, says the extra angled hole was for a PBR guy. We all know that he knew we'd be on our share of slot fish that would have to go back, and he was good enough to drill us an extra hole, just at the right angle to let them bad boys go and be healthy.

Another great trip with a crew of great guys staying in a house supplied by a top notch outfitter. Oh yeah, we'll be back. Jon and Kelly......thanks a million.

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shaky legs2

Boiler guy- It sounds like you and your crew have the right attitude. Fishing has been slow but it will get better as you know from your past experience up there. Some of my best memories have come from when fishing wasn't the best. You just added a couple of chapters to your memory bank provided you have any memory cells left after the weekend.

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kelly-p

Well Boilerguy, some of you survived. I thinks I had a delayed reaction from Bill's group south of you with their Greek brandy Friday night. I took a little tumble yesterday afternoon checking the house's and I am now sporting a very attractive and stylish cast from just above my left knee to my toes. cry A little problem with the ankle, the Docter said that the toes are supposed to point FORWARD. grin When Shaky recovers from his surgery I'm hoping he brings along 2 walkers with skis attached so we both get around out there. Maybe we can have a race. grin When Patsy is gone tommorrow I'm gonna go try fit this thing into the plow truck and still be able to close the door.

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Eric Wettschreck

Holy wow, that's not good.

Hopefully you got some good pain killers out of this deal.

I know the door outside the house was a bit slippery. I chalked it up to the warm temps followed by the prairie type wind. It always makes for a good hockey rink. Nothing anyone can do about it but be ready to do a face plant.

Just don't tell Patsy it's a break. Tell her it's a new fangled dog training device and with any luck, she'll buy it. I know what you are talking aboot. Years ago while doing something really dumb (sking) I fell, and stood up to find my body pointing north and my toes pointing south. It sucks, but look at me.......didn't affect me in the least bit. grin

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kelly-p

The bad thing is Patsy had to haul me to the Doctor along with Jon because of his bad cold. Then she sat in the room with me to make sure I didn't fudge about what the Doctor said. Then they had to fold down the back seats of her Trailblazer for me to fit the cast in. blush

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shaky legs2

Kelly, Sorry to hear about your bad luck! Can you teach Fred to drive your truck like Halad's dog so you can stay mobile? eek If that doesn't work maybe we can hire someone to haul us around so we can be "icewalk superintendents". Some people will go to no ends to get out of work grinI am going under the knife tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. Take care and I will bring up an extra set of crutches when I come! You better watch yourself on the Gaza Strip as you are no longer a moving target laugh

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Stan7600

Shaky, Good luck with your surgery, with your good attitude you should be fine. Kelly, a little adversity builds character and you certainly have had some adversity. But then so has Patsy. Good Luck With your ankle. Stan C.

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kelly-p

"But then so has Patsy."

Cute one Stan. grin Next time you are up I'll have to bring Fred over to visit. In 5 minutes your house and all your equipment will frozen down with yellow ice. grin

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soldoncass

O.K. I gotta ask.......what is the wood just under the ice in that one hole??????????? one of the cribs???? seems too close ,to be safe for boats, if it is a crib.

My buddy is coming up there this w/e, hope the catching part improves by then.

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Random guy

That is a reflection of the overhead shelving in our six man houses.

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soldoncass

Thanks, Jonny, it has been bugging me for days....

After reading some of the stories from people about their "fishing" trip.....they probably wouldn't even notice a hole plugged with a wood crate anyway whistle ha

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mrklean

looks like a great trip, wish i was making back up this year

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Eric Wettschreck

We actually did go fishing. We even actually caught some fish even though Jonny said it was a tough bite.

It was a good time. It's kind of nice to know you can be a stranger in a strange land and you have quality guys like Jon and Kelly to take care of you. No worries kind of trip.

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shaky legs2

"But then so has Patsy."

Cute one Stan. grin Next time you are up I'll have to bring Fred over to visit. In 5 minutes your house and all your equipment will frozen down with yellow ice. grin

I can attest to that! grin Hey did you get a handicapped sticker to put on the plow truck? That sign could have so many meanings. gringrin

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Random guy

I can attest to that! grin Hey did you get a handicapped sticker to put on the plow truck? That sign could have so many meanings. gringrin

I just spit coffee on the monitor when I read that...now that was funny.

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Eric Wettschreck

You drink coffee?????

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kelly-p

I can attest to that! grin Hey did you get a handicapped sticker to put on the plow]truck? That sign could have so many meanings. gringrin

Did they operate on your hip or your brain? In either case it must have worked. grin That was a good one. grin

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shaky legs2

And make sure you have Patsy keep Fred away until the cast is removed. I hear they don't react well to water. grin

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Stan7600

Shakylegs, That was a good one. I don't know if Kelly broke the white truck yet but he's plowed me out several times over the years. I'm really glad he has a sense of humor. Stan C.

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kelly-p

No the white one isn't broke at the moment but has had it's tranny rebuilt twice this winter. Seeing as I cann't do anything else I've been punching lots of roads to scout off from. Hillman's road system must be at close to 35 miles total now.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Rick
      Now is the time to talk with kids about the dangers of ice. Ice thickness varies greatly on lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the state. Some water bodies have none, while others have several inches, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  “Ice, especially early ice with snow cover, is extremely deceptive because you can’t see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow,” said DNR Conservation Officer Adam Block. “Parents need to teach their kids that ice is never 100 percent safe. If your child is near the ice, you should be near your child.” With many children out of school for holiday breaks, they may look toward newly forming ice for entertainment. “In addition to checking conditions locally and being prepared with an ice safety kit, anyone recreating on ice should be wearing a life jacket or float coat,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator. “A life jacket is the one piece of equipment that increases your odds of not drowning from cold water shock, hypothermia or exhaustion should you fall through the ice.” Ice safety guidelines
      No ice can ever be considered “safe ice,” but following these guidelines can help minimize the risk: Always wear a life jacket on the ice (except when in a vehicle). Children should never be unsupervised around ice. Caution children to stay off ponds, streams, and other bodies of water. A thin coating of ice on a pond or lake does not mean it is safe. Check ice thickness at regular intervals – conditions can change quickly. Before heading out, inquire about conditions and known hazards with local experts. Avoid channels and rivers. The minimum ice thickness guidelines for new, clear ice are: 4 inches for ice fishing or other activities on foot. 5-7 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle. 8-12 inches for a car or small pickup. 12-15 inches for a medium truck. Double these minimums for white or ice covered with heavy snow. For more information, visit mndnr.gov/icesafety and mndnr.gov/boatingsafety. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • curt quesnell
      Ice coming plenty early this year   https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2346535195421666&id=770784022996799
    • Chill62
      Prods, Thanks for becoming a recent member of this site.  I never give out that information online.  There are too many people who strictly fish a lake because someone said something on a facebook/online post and everyone hits the lake and destroys the lake.  I was fishing north of DL though on a very large lake that is relatively shallow.  Its a fun lake because not many people fish it but it has multiple public accesses on the lake.  Fishing has been relatively good on the lake and a buddy has been out there filming a few youtube videos also from there.  I plan on going out again on Friday earlier to see if they bite during the mid day.   I'll give you this information though its on a mid lake point fishing out from the weed line.  Its a muddy/silty bottom and the fish cruise the bottom and I'm assuming feeding on blood worms and that is why the soft plastic worked so well.  According to Navionic's there is a "hole" of 13-14 feet that isn't that big where our houses were set up.
    • Getanet
      Didn't venture out myself, but saw 3-4 people ice fishing on Alimagnet Lake that borders Burnsville and Apple Valley on Sunday.  I thought they were nuts, but nobody was swimming.
    • iiccee63
      Will have another ice report on Linwood Wed. afternoon. walking out with my chisel to really check it out.
    • BobT
      Colleague tells me there's about 3" or so of ice. Check it regularly to be sure.
    • cookie129
      I saw on face book beacon harbor is allowing wheelers and sleds. I never got to talk to Buddy hillmen  yesterday but I imagine its getting closer for him to also allow wheelers and sleds.  Jonny boy and I got all the house's ready to move. once we hit that  consistent 14 inches of ice on our end.   The temps dropped to -2 last night,  You would think that should of made a little more ice.Then it started to warm up and we got a sprinkle of new snow. I would say less then 1/2 a inch.  I'm hoping to get out in the woods again tonight. At least for the last hour. I'll plan on still hunting to my stand with a flu- flu arrow knocked in case I get another chance at that fat grouse I saw. This time I'm not going to hesitate and take the shot asap.  I counted  just a few pop ups out there yesterday.  I did see two wheelers come from the south but have no clue where they got access to the lake, I imagine it may of been someone with a cabin  on the shore line.   We should see quite a few more fishermen after thanksgiving, I expect it will be a little bit busier that last weekend. I do have a few friends coming up Friday, so I will have a first hand report on how they do.  Knock on wood both blue thunder and the red baron are in good shape as of now.  The little grey kia needs a little work but it does have good heat so that's a plus. I see it s 9  so better get to work    
    • eyeguy 54
      good luck and welcome to fm 
    • Turk
      Hello. This is a post for those interested in the Bayport area.   Many anglers are waiting for the river to freeze to get after the big river crappie. Right now the Bayport pool is skim iced over. The Bayport area of the St. Croix River is the best and safest place on the river for crappie fishing. The Crappie bite can be very good, but as a whole not the most consistent. Normally the morning bite is be the best though, from a half hour after sun up till 8:30, with an ok bite from 3:00 till sun down.  Techniques that catch crappies: Crappie minnow and bobber on a #6 hook or small jig.  Space out your lines in terms of depth above bottom as these crappies suspend up to 18 feet of the bottom, though four to ten feet above bottom is more common than 18’.  Smaller crappie minnows work better than the larger ones for numbers of caught crappies; minnow heads can be productive on jigs (for anglers actively jigging) instead of a whole minnow when the bite is slow. Crappies always roam the basin; this soft fluffy bottom covers the majority of the Bayport pool, and the majority of the basin is 33 to 36 fow.  Also the shallower basin (the north part of the pool) in 26 to 30 feet can also be productive.  Without a doubt these crappie roam and a mobile angler does better.  Walleye and sauger catches remain inconsistent traditionally, and a few being taken constitutes a good day (15” minimum size for walleye), Jigging Rap’s are a best bet to tangle with river walleyes and saug dogs (glow green tiger, clown, and rainbow trout colors in sizes W3, W5, and W7) either tipped with a minnow head or plain.  White bass are a bonus and very good out of the ice-cold water the top loin is white meat and good eating. Avoid the meat.  Trucks will eventually drive on the ice, but it is a river folks!  Please be aware that there is open water on the river. Because of currents, I would not drive within a mile of the train bridge (swing bridge) near Hudson or the New Stillwater bridge.  The NSP plant also has a warm water discharge.  The Malileau Dam also flows into the Bayport pool. Learn the river in the day and stay on the beaten path until you are experienced enough. Keep Catchin’ Turk
    • Hatto018
      So the weeks betwixt point and click and smoke pole deer hunting always have my ire up to get that last Musky Missile into my hands.  Gotta scrub that slime into my glove until next year.  Going to give the Mississippi below Falls a try here in a few hours.   Might find it frozen, might find a spot to get in.   I'll bring my boat because I'm an optimist,  but I'll bet the kayak is where i end up.    Wish me luck, otherwise I have a scheme on my mind for my favorite frozen central mn musky lake.