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Best laker day ever! (pics included)


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I guess it had to happen sometime. It's been four winters of hard laker fishing with nothing bigger than 6-lb fish to show for it.

But when the worm finally turned, it turned in a BIG way. I saw 14 lakers on the electronics this morning, had seven hits, hooking all seven. Some, unfortunately, got off.

BUT, I caught a 30-inch laker this morning with an 18 inch girth. The math works that out to 12.15 lbs. I was about half a mile away and upwind from where Chunky, Xplorer, Wade Joseph and Jiganator were fishing, and after I landed the thing I hollered and whistled as loud as I could, but they apparently didn't hear me. So I had to take the accompanying photograph myself, setting up tripod, mounting camera, using timer, etc, all with wet hands in sharp wind. That's why the image isn't one of the best around. That I look like 100 miles of bad road can be blamed on the Bash the day before, and is not the camera's fault. blush.gif

Wade snowmobiled over a bit after I released the fish and saw the blood on the snow and the pictures. They all should have moved over to where I was.

Because I caught three more before noon. A 28-inch with a girth a bit over 14 inches, for 7 lbs, a 6 and a 4. All were unclipped fish, so were almost certainly natives. After the first photo debacle, I only photographed the 7 on the ice next to my gaff, and didn't shoot the others at all. So I guess you're just going to have to trust me on that. And what's to follow. . . blush.gif

I gave them all back to the lake. It was the least I could do. Some day, when I'm an old, old man, I hope to catch that 12 again when he's a 30. I'm not keeping any trout bigger than the eaters these days. It's a deal I made with myself. Put 'em back and watch 'em grow. And especially the natives, which have had a hard time as fingerlings competing with the billions of smelt for a limited supply of zooplankton. I know it says on the DNR lake finder Web site that biologists believe smelt have been eating the laker and walleye eggs, explaining why natives of both species have had a very hard time, but Joe Geis, the DNR fisheries head in Tower, said research in other states with similar fisheries indicates that it's the overcompetition for the finite supply of zooplankton that's holding down native walleyes and trout, and he said they're leaning toward that explanation for why Bside needs to be stocked regularly. At any rate, I'll be putting ALL the native trout back, eaters or not, from now on. They've had a hard enough time growing bigger than my finger, and their genes are the lake's genes.

It also makes you wonder if all those natives from one spot has added significance. Bside eaters tend to run 80/20 stocked vs unstocked, and bigger fish about 50/50. I wonder if the native fish tend to hang around somewhat different areas than the stocked Gillis Lake strain. Well, you can bet I've found a new spot to spend time on, and we'll see if it continues to provide an overwhelming proportion of native fish.

But wait, back to today. Burntside wasn't done with me. I was getting ready to head out about 1:30, having not seen a fish for about an hour. I got all my gear packed, leaving only the rod anchored with a tube jig down the hole and the Vex and heater. Everything else was ready to go. Looked up and the green line for the tube suddenly turned thick and red, and I grabbed the rod and started jigging the fish up, up, up. When I was about 15 feet below the ice I stooped over the hole in the shelter and kept working that tube upward. What came up with it was the biggest trout I have ever seen looking at a lure of mine. It was significantly larger than the 12. How large I don't know. I don't think it was a 20, but it certainly was a 15 or better. It hung around for about five minutes while I trembled and jigged, then swam off.

Almost forgot. The three largest fish came on a gold/green Custom Jigs & Spins Slender jigging spoon, the largest size, tipped with a golden shiner tail (same tail stayed on for all the fish. It got so I felt it was my lucky piece of tail.) grin.gif

All the ones that got hooked but got away came on the same Slender. The smallest fish, the 4 pounder, came on No. 11 glow/green jigging Rap.

Wow.

Here's the 12.

trout.jpg

The 7. The gash is not from a gaff hook. It was already on the fish. And it was pretty fresh. What fish wants to take a hunk out of a 7-lb laker??? blush.gif

sevenpounder.jpg

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Awsome! Next year your gonna have a "shadow". Then again, I may have to make another trip up yet this year!

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Wade, the spot only looks outstanding on the big Burntside map. Long thin point of 40FOW extending from an island, with deep water to each side of the point. On the little maps, it looks no better than the other 2,740 similar good spots of 50FOW breakline around Bside and her islands, and I only had the little map with me this morning. Imagine my surprise when I saw the real lay of the land from drilling holes and the Vex. I got home and looked up on the wall in my office and, sure nuff, she's a darn fine looking spot on that map. Of course, there are 502 spots a heck of a lot like it on Burntside.

Chunky and Xplorer, I think we have a winner of a spot for downriggers next summer! And I just found out I have a new boat coming. Used 16 Alumacraft Competitor, 90 Merc, all the bells and whistles, 45 mph. Musky platform, laker platform, ahhhh. grin.gif

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WABAM!!! Nice fish Steve. I had a feeling when you pulled away from us today...congrats man!!!

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Thanks man. It wasn't my talent — it was just my turn. Wouldn't have had the expertise to manage a day like that without all our time spent together talking and fishing trout in the Cisco Kid. So if I got the hat trick, you certainly get the assist! And if you feel like selling a couple downriggers, I'm your man. grin.gif

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Nice pic's and GREAT story... I(strat-o-caster)and Marv didn't have any luck on Sat... Only Graphed a couple of fish.. It was a Great Day to be on the ice.... Strat

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Thanks Strat.

Yeah, fish or not, yesterday was a blast. Not to mention it was 55 degrees warmer than the 2nd annual bash. Sheesh. Who can predict this stuff? blush.gif

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Steve did the camera break when you put my mug in focus lol I would like to get a copy if possible [email protected]

Thanks Kay and I had a great time! I would like to come out agian if you and Mike are getting together agian this winter.

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For all you who don't know, Wayne and his lady friend caught two of the three limits of lakers during Bash day. I'd post a pic, but they're dead fish.

Wayne, I'll send you one lowres suitable for sharing with others online, and a much larger image that you can have printed, if you like. Good job on Saturday! You must've had a good guide, too. grin.gif

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Wayne, you've got mail. Jiganator, do you want similar images of you and the boy with your fish?? Shoot me an e-mail if you do.

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Huge Congrats!! cool.gifcool.gif

You have been, as they say, PAID IN FULL for all the dues you've paid on the lake.

That is about as outstanding of a day that could be imagined on B-side.

Congrats on the new ride also, you are gonna be stylin this spring!!

Chunky and STF, thanks for a great weekendgrin.gif

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Nice fish and great day for you! Due to your post and detailed pic, I know exactly where you're fishing. I'll see you there! confused.gifgrin.gif

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Steve, congrads on a great day of fishing. Just the way you planned it. What are your guide rates grin.gif

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Thanks guys. I doubt I'll ever equal that day again. But I'll keep TRYING! grin.gif

I'm going totally stealth from here. New portable, sled and auger, all in white camo. And if someone does see me because they have heat-sensing equipment or tremendously sharp eyes, they'll see Chunkytrout's name and D.L. info to go with the dark house shelter license. blush.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Nice fish Steve. Wish I had been there to snap that photo for ya.

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Steve - Congrats & thanks for sharing the story! It's all about putting the time in, isn't it.

Glad to hear the bash went well.

Quote:

I'd post a pic, but they're dead fish


smile.gif

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Nice fish Steve. I knew it was just a matter of time. You're doing everything right and you've paid your dues. Way to go! I hope to make it up there at least one more time this winter. Hopefully we can hook up.

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Thanks Lonnie. I'd settle for one of those every four years, eh?

Darth: hmmm, and of course now we're all guessing, aren't we? Who could Darth Baiter be? grin.gif

Welcome Darth, but this site is oozing with the Force. You'll have to shed the dark side now. blush.gif

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I am the Jiganator youngest son. I thought that you guys were nicer than any duck hunters on waterfowler.com and this seemed to be a clean and fun web site to join. thanks for the welcome stfcatfish.

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Steve,

Great job on the Laker. You never know that next big fish may be the next one to tap on the line.

Again Great Job!!!!

Take care,

Tom

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I guessed WRONG! blush.gif

And we have hunting boards on FM, too. No need to turn in your duck cammies. grin.gif

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STEVE!

Nice Fish! But I thought you were going to catch a big one out of Trout. Maybe it was the red pants scaring them away. grin.gif You weren't standing between two holes with a rod in each had doing your impersonation of the Village People when you caught it were you?

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Mr. Red Pants, you made me laugh. Village people. If it takes a village to catch a trout, so be it. grin.gif

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There's nothing better than being rewarded for putting in your time. Those lakers are definitely habit forming, and I gotta believe that you might have a serious case of the bug after a day like that.

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Nice fish! cool.gif I missed the bash and am bummed about that, but I gotta pick my adventures. There's nothing like watching those lakers on the vex, having them scream up to your tube and then ???? Watching that fish just beneath the ice must have got you shaking! Kinda like "buck fever"! There's bigger ones out there, and you never know when your best day ever just got topped! Thanks for the stories, can't wait for the 18th, got a date with some lakers on Whitefish bay!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      @chaffmj, never mind.  I decided to take a cruise on up there today.  Had a couple popple tops in the driveway but nothing I couldn’t clear.  Nice to see the area again.
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    • Wanderer
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    • leech~~
      Drove through Annandale last Tuesday and was really bummed to still only see the old cement slab at Little Jim's. Hope they can get it built-back-better! 🙂
    • bfisherman11
      I heard recently the water level had gone down some. Sound like folks are re really dealing with a mess.    Fishing pictures look like a good year in that regard.   Hope the property loss isn't terrible but seems bad.   Bill 
    • Kettle
      Yesterday was a grind to find bigger fish but we landed a few. Only 3 fish overall but they were all nice fish, all C&R. I do believe the sunfish are out of the shallows besides small ones. Thursday I took the nephews out and didn't see any on beds.  
    • redlabguy
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    • smurfy
      kettle....have you chased around any sunfish lately???? kinda wondering if there done spawning???? the last time i was up the sunfish we did clean that had eggs in it didnt even look close to spawning. although i know they seem to carry eggs around most of the summer it seems!!!!!!
    • SkunkedAgain
      Maybe the bamboozler will end up being like every fish story, some old timers holding their hands out as wide as possible to demonstrate to a youngster just how big it was....
    • smurfy
      kettle, when are you going to fish for something decent to eat????🤔🤣🤣   nice batch of fish!!!!!!!!!
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