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bturck

RIVERBEND 1/15 TOUGH START-GOOD FINISH

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bturck

My wife and I hit the lake on Monday noon, and threw everything at those fish all afternoon stopping just short of the ice scoop. We were out in 31-33 ft in two different houses. We just did not mark fish. We managed 4 saugers for the afernoon effort. Started Tuesday morining in 31 ft and marked very few up to until 1030am, Big Al moved us down to 24 ft and we did manage to ice 8 keepers, and released a dozen or so 10-12" fish. We had a great fish fry dinner on Tuesday night. On Wed we were only going to fish the morning and then head back. We started in 20 ft at 730am and it was non stop for two hours. We filled out our limit, threw back 26 which a lot of them were 14-16" eyes, and one 23" that was released. For the first hour I was not able to get the second line in the water, what a way to end the trip. After two days of busting butt trying to figure out what they wanted it was definitley a great time. My wife had a blast hauling in fish after fish and then letting 'em go.

Those guides at Riverbend said the bite had been slow and they sure weren't kidding. A nice front moved through and dropped the temps in to the -20 and -30 range, and this morning at 530am it was already 14 above and a beautiful morning. The resorts were scrambling Mon and Tuesday moving a lot of houses and trying to get back on some action. Small jigs, and slow presentations were the key to the fish we did catch on Monday and Tuesday. This morning they were considerably more aggressive and would smack the jigs hard. A Lindy Red Glow Frosty worked well with a shiner on the dead stick, and a small Gold Buckshot on the jiggin rod.

The ice heave in 4 Mile Bay was giving Adrians guys fits the last couple of days. We came in on Tuesday night around 530pm and the bridge was still good, on Wed morning the ice had heaved up considerably and they had a detour to the west a couple of blocks where the ice had popped up over night. No problem getting over it, but by the time we came back in at 1130am this morning the heave was 2 1/2ft high, and I bottomed out the Yukon going across. They had a whole crew out on the ice trying to put in another bridge. Over Pine the ice was also moving a lot the last two days, and was leaving some 6-8" cracks and several heaves just over the island. Out on the main lake travel was good with no problems. We crossed the access closest to the gap which is actually the NW Angle trail. Hats off to those guys at Adrians, they definitley are earning their keep trying to manage that pressure ridge in 4 mile. Well worth the $7 access fee thats for sure.

All in all it was a good time, and my best fishing buddy my wife managed to catch enough to keep her interested in going back. Good luck to all this weekend. Now I'll just have to read your reports for the next 4 weeks before I can do it again. Bill

PS Rich (Sonny Boy) if you are reading this give me a call Thursday night. Bill

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frummybear

Glad to hear you finally got onto those pesky eyes. I am sure this is true for most lakes but I heard from a guy who has fished there for many years and keeps a log said. If the barometer is going up so is your bobber and if it is going down so is your bobber. He also said low 29s golden eyes will be caught near 31 it will be pretty tough to even mark them!! Anyways glad you caught some and caught a couple meals worth.

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eyepatrol

Nice report bturk! Sure do appreciate all the info you shared there. We've got one more week until it's our turn and I don't think my nerves can stand it anymore! crazy.gif I'm ready though....I got more gold colored buckshots, red glows, glows and all kinds of other jigs and spoons all ready to go!

Good report!

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bturck

BC: What resort are you going out of? You probably already mentioned it but I don't remember. Bill

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eyepatrol

We're using Riverbend also. Talked to Charlie a couple times about some things. Seems to be a good guy. According to him, we'll be driving our own truck out to the sleeper house we have rented. Wonder if someone shows us the way or if they have easy, defined roads to follow straight to the house? I may have to ask him that.

Was interested to hear too that you can have your fish fried back at the resort, but not in your sleeper house? What did you and your wife do?

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New Yankee

Basscatcher - the resort will clean your fish if you're in a day house, and for a small charge cook them and serve them up with a salad and potato of your choice.

In the sleeper you'll be able to clean and cook your own, you'll have time after dark as it slows down to nearly a stop. Make sure to bring the oil and what ever coating you prefer.

Great report Bill!

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LABS4ME

Actually depending on what CO checks you (if you get checked) and what mood he is in, it is illegal to clean and consume walleye on the ice on LOW (or any other lake with a slot). Some are very strict on this policy, some let it slide.... I know in the future I will no longer clean and cook waleye (or sauger) on the ice on LOW. About 5-6 years ago, I was a lucky one and got a warning... I thought as long as I wasn't breaking my daily or possession limits, I was fine, but was told otherwise by a nice CO. I said I would refrain from the practice in the future... He left it at that. Something to think about....

Good Luck!

Ken

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eyepatrol

Good point Labs. I contacted the DNR a week or so ago and asked them about cleaning and eating fish on LOTW. They told me we could clean and eat sauger and perch, but not walleyes since there are special size restrictions on those fish (and pike too). So we're hoping to pick up some saugers or maybe some decent perch for a fish fry in the sleeper.

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eyepatrol

Thanks New Yankee. Hopefully we'll pick up some saugers to fry up and eat. If not, we'll just have to revert back to the ribeyes we're bringing along. wink.gif Would rather eat fish though. smile.gif

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fiskyknut

I'll take them Ribeyes off your hands!!!! You should get enough Saugers for a fish fry each day, and don't forget about the poached 'pout......Yummmmmmm!

Bill I was out front of Pine Monday afternoon and yesterday afternoon 29fow.....Monday noon till 330 waaaay slow and I got 4 weee ones, yesterday afternoon same hut, noon till 3 fast and furious, lost count!

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New Yankee

Labs is right. I'd probably chance the walleye if that is all that was biting - but keep the carcase with the skin flaps still attached to the tail (walleye or not). It'd take a hard hearted CO to give you a ticket if you went to the trouble of trying every way possible to show you met the spirit of the law if not the letter, but you could still get written I suppose. I'd likely ask the guides to take the bag of carcases with them when they stop to check on you the next day, just so you avoid the over limit issues from that as well.

Edit - - I'm not advocating disregarding the law, but if you were to have four fish carcases that are clearly under the slot.... After consideration I'd probably eat the steaks. Hopefully the saugs will be enough though (I'd still keep the carcases handy and in a separate trash bag marked with a date on each).

Just my two.. Have fun grin.gif

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eyepatrol

I can certainly bring an extra 1"er if you get a rumble in your belly fisky! wink.gif We'll be bringing plenty of refreshments too, but if you're going to stop by for some, get there early! grin.gif Oh wait, they make more don't they! wink.gif

Hopefully we'll tie into a few to fry up. It'll be a great time no matter. I'm just stoked about getting away for a while. cool.gif

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Mike Patenaude

Just for the sake of clarity and giving credit where it's due, Brian that owns Lakeroad Lodge actually built the large bridge that's spanning the huge ice heave in the bay. He built it last year and some folks it's said, laughed and said it wouldn't work. They sure are eating crow this year! Unfortunatly Sportsmans decided to drive over it with their trail dragger which has spikes faceing downward and ripped off a number of the boards and caused some structural damage. You can bet we would hear it if we drove over their bomber trails and caused any damage frown.gif.

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bturck

Basscatcher: We had a fish fry at the lodge. You can tell the guide when he stops by your house in the afternoon whether you want your fish cleaned for travel or to eat. Because you are dealing with sauger and walleye and close to the Canadian border they must leave a patch of skin on the fish to ID eyes from saugs. Any fish that does not have the patch of skin remaining are going to be considered walleye by the CO. Those guys at Riverbend can really clean fish, man they are quick. I guess if I cleaned that many in a week I would be a little quicker. i usually take a little longer becuase I have to keep sippin on the beer, slows me down a tad.

As far as eating the fish on the ice. This subject has been thrown around on a lot of forums including Mille Lacs that also has a slot. According to the CO I talked to, any fish that are protected by a slot limit cannot be cleaned or consumed on the ice. On LOW this would include Sauger. You will see the rules posted in each of the houses that states any walleye or sauger between 19" and 28" must be immediatley returned to the water, and you are allowed only one fish over 28" which would count toward your limit as well. Probably not going to see a 28" sauger although I have picked some up this year that were pushing 17 1/2". Fish not protected by slot size ie perch, pout, can be cleaned and eaten in the sleeper. I know that fresh walleye frying in the sleeper smells awfully good and tastes even better. But.......

As far as driving out, you won't have a problem. There is virtually no snow cover to speak of. The guides will have you follow them out so you have an idea of where you are going, and you can follow them in at night if you wish, just let them know and they will swing by. The roads are marked by Adrians resort to Pine and then Riverbend branches off on their own road marked with Orange reflectors on the stacks. Riverbend will also pay for your access ticket and give you that before you leave in the morning, which will save you $7. Adrians does a super job of keeping things open and safe. The bad part about that is they usually go in earlier than I like to. In the morning you can also follow them out. They were pulling out of Riverbend around 715am. Talk to Charlie or Adam, Paul or Big Al they will take care of you.

Fisky: Too bad we didn't hook up at the Bend. We've been trying to do that for a few years. Yes the bite was fickle for sure Mon and Tues. Wed sure made up for it though. Maybe I'll see you in late Feb. By the way nice fish you caught, and posted the picture of a while back. Mine was a little short of that one.

New Yankee: Are you headed back any time soon? Good luck to all and hang on. Bill PS Basscatcher I hope you have one helluva of great trip up there, it is an expeirance for sure.

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bturck

Mike: Thanks for the clarification on the bridge in the bay. I just assumed it was Adrians as they are the access point there. Hats of to Lakeroad Lodge for trying to keep that bridge intact. Boy they had a lot of people out there yesteday noon when I came in trying to reconstruct everything. Maybe you know, what is the large metal contraption that they had out on the ice used for? Is it to assist in getting the bridge in place. It almost looks like something I saw there a few years ago when a truck went through and they were trying to raise it with a winch mechanism. Thanks for setting the record straight on that bridge as well. Bill

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fiskyknut

Bill, we're like 2 ships that pass in the nite! One of these years we'll collide!

I saw the Aframe thing a ma jig being worked on last Monday. I think it's a contraption for vehicle recovery? Not sure but the truck that plopped into the bay thru the ridge last week may still be under 22 foot of water? Where they went thru was sure flagged heavy and different than I've seen other hazards marked. When I saw that steel thingy thats what I first thought of anyways.

Norm

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bturck

Fisky: Yes it is a different looking contraption for sure. Like I said the first time I saw it was my first trip to LOW and an pickup had gone in partially about 2/3 of the way to Pine. I drove past it on the road, thinking oh boy sure hope this ice is good to go. they were right on the ice ridge yesterday just east of where the old bridge had been taken out, so I was thinking it helped to construct a new bridge.

Don't forget to sound your fog horn every now and then you never know I could be passing you on the Starboard side.... Bill

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eyepatrol

Thanks for the info Bill! I'm still a little curious though about eating sauger in the sleeper house. I talked to the DNR just a week ago and they said we could eat the sauger in the house, but not the walleyes. They also said to keep the skins of the sauger just in case a CO checks us. As long as we kept the skins for identification, we'd be okay they said. Walleyes and pike were a definite "no" they said, unless they were taken back to shore and eaten (such as at the lodge).

So, I'm a little uncertain what to do if we get into some sauger. Part of me says to err on the safe side, the other part of me says to print out and bring the e-mail the DNR sent confirming that we can eat sauger and perch in the house in case we need to present it ("defend" ourselves) to a CO.

It'll probably be a "game-time" decision. smirk.gif

By the way....I hear ya on the fish cleaning being slowed down by a libation or two. wink.gif Sometimes it takes a 6pk before I get them all cleaned. grin.gif It's kind of like grilling stakes. People will ask me how long it takes. My response..."Oh, about a six-pack". cool.gif

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Hookmaster

Check in the state fishing regs page 44 on Lake of the Woods walleye and sauger limits. It says nothing about size restriction on sauger, only walleye. So I think you can eat the sauger. I'd print out the email from the CO and have a copy of the regs with you. Good luck.

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bturck

Basscatcher and Hookmaster: I know where you guys are coming from here. My own thoughts have always been that the sauger were good to go into the hot oil. this last week when I was up there, things were a little quiet and I read the posted rules on the fish house wall, and it state sauger and walleye between 19 and 28 had to be released???? In the DNR rules it indicates fish protected by a slot limit could not be eaten on the ice. We are all smart enough to know that this rule is not adhered to by everyone who sets up their house for the long night. Basscatcher I would, if it were me, take that email along with you and have a nice fry. If a CO interprates that law different than the email indicates, I would probably make an appearance before the judge and ask him for the ruling. the unfortunate part of that scenario is that you would need to come back to LOW county seat to contest it. I guess as you said its a game time decision. In 7 years of going to LOW I've been checked by one CO and one fish census person, but then again we've all heard of Murphys Law.

Again regarding the sauger issue, I have not pulled the rule out of the book only going by and posting what was stapled to the wall of the house. It gives the limit changes etc based on summer and winter fishing. Enjoy that fish fry.....Bill

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New Yankee

BT - been looking at my calendar thinking I can fit another trip in. It's this dang work stuff that seems to be catching me every time! Hopefully, I'll seee a break, maybe March?

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eyepatrol

Yeah, we'll see how it goes. The thought of having a fish fry in the house is very tempting, but it's also hard to let the ribeyes set and not eat them. I know Charlie has said they can fry them up back at the lodge for us, but I don't think we'll be in any kind of shape for driving anywhere. wink.gif

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Royal Dutchman

Bill,

I think that posting was an old 1. When the slot first came out it included sauger as an oversight. That was soon corrected to just include walleye but the first reg books were already printed.

Our CO says you can not clean the eyes or pike on the lake. Everything else is OK.

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bturck

Royal Dutchman: Thank you for clarifying. I have to go along with you. I pulled the regs which are the newest from the DNR site and they don't say anything about the sauger in regards to LOW. Much appreciated. Basscatcher crank up the oil, what time is supper? Bill

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bturck

New Yankee; I headed back up Feb and March, both months the dates will be 22,23.24. Charlie said they were going to try pulling houses to Knight by this weekend, I would sure like to get back up there again.

Only 15 months to go to retirement ( some people think I'm already retired LOL ) and then I will reeeeeally be flexible. I'll stay in touch with you on the March dates, perhaps our trails will cross at that time. Bill

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