Neighborhood Outing

Posted by MNAngler On August - 17 - 2009

20" northern pikeSpecies: Northern Pike
Size: 20″
Lure used: orange and yellow spinnerbait

Date: 8/15/2009
Time: 10:30am-1:30pm
Body of water: Lake Elmo
Location: Lake Elmo, MN
Weather Conditions: overcast with a spattering of light rain



I live in a pretty close-knit neighborhood. We get together for holidays, random barbecues, and we do a camping trip every year to a local campground. This year, we were in Lake Elmo Regional Park. You may have learned earlier that Mark and I started fishing together after a neighborhood shin-dig, so of course, we had to fish Lake Elmo while we were there.

A few others in the neighborhood like to fish as well, but not as much as Mark and I do. My neighbor, Steve, however, brought out his boat as well because we anticipated more than 3 of us wanting to go out.

We decided Saturday morning that it would be a good time to go out to since the wives were taking the kids to the local man-made lake for swimming. Mark and I got out first at 10:30 with Steve, Rob, and Ted to follow later.

We came off the boat launch and went North (left). There was a brisk Southeast wind, so we expected fish to be on the Western shore. We cast along the Western shore with a white pearl super fluke (me) and a white/chartreuse spinnerbait (Mark). I got excited when I saw us approaching lily pads, but it was too shallow to get into it. Mark did, however, catch a small northern pike estimated at about 16-18″ just passed the lily pads before we got to some docks.

After the disappointment of the lily pads, I was looking forward to the docks and in one cast, I thought I hooked something and reeled it in. It didn’t fight, but Mark assured me it was a fish. After a few reels, I found that it was indeed a fish as it started water skiing. Somehow, I had hooked a small smallmouth bass about 10″ in the underbelly. It was a really weird catch. It seemed ok when I let it go.

We went a little further, but once passed the docks, we motored to the other side. We trolled as we headed down the East shore, Mark with his spinnerbait, me with a yellow daredevil with red spots.

About half way down the shore, we saw some more lily pads that looked promising, but casting with a spinnerbait and bubble gum fluke didn’t produce. We kept trolling to the end of the docks on that shore and Mark landed a smallie a little larger than the one I hooked on his white/chartreuse spinnerbait.

All during this time, we were looking for Steve, Rob, and Ted. We saw a boat on the South side of the boat launch that might be them, and since we were coming up to a recreational beach at the South end of the lake, we motored over there. It was them and they were casually trolling, but didn’t get any bites.

We let the neighbors keep going while we started at some lily pads on the Southwest end of the lake. I threw a few casts with a bubble gum fluke. The weeds were so thick, it was getting stuck even with the weedless rigging. Then I remembered a display I saw at a local store about the scum frog. It’s a topwater that hops across the lily pads. I decided to try it out. No hits.

We went passed the pads into clearer, deeper water, so I switched to an orange/yellow spinnerbait. In one cast, I was telling the story of my brother-in-law who reels in casually and even when he got a hit, didn’t change the speed of his retrieve. As I demonstrated what his retrieve was like, I felt a big tug on my line. I set the hook and just as I did, Mark sent a cast out that also got hit. As I fought my fish, I watched Mark’s line come in and watched as a nice-sized smallie jumped out of the water and got itself loose. I still had mine on my line and pulled in a 20″ northern.

We got to a fishing pier, cast around it, and continued up shore. Mark kept with his white/chartreuse spinnerbait while I traded back to the scum frog. Mark got two hits, but couldn’t set the hook on either of them. After a number of casts, the scum frog was tiring my wrist with the twitching I had to do with it, so I switched back to the orange/yellow spinnerbait.

On my first cast down the edge of the weedline, I saw a fish break the surface of the water a foot or two past where my spinner landed to feed. I saw its back like dolphin coming up for air. I quickly retrieved and sent a scum frog back into the weeds. We came up to where I saw the fish and after a twitch that came out of the weeds, I saw a splash just inside the weeds about a foot behind the frog. The fish had missed. I cast again and once again, it missed, but closer this time. Mark saw the second attack and after we got up the shore too far for me to cast back to the spot, we decided to go back for another try. Subsequent casts produced nothing.

A few minutes later, the other boat motored up to us. They had no luck and we told them about our catches. They decided to try down shore in our spots for a while with similar lures. We got near the boat launch and decided not to go in yet because the other boat saw the DNR at the launch. We motored back up near the fishing pier and tried up the shore again, but no luck the second time up.

The next time we got to the boat launch, the other boat caught up to us. Both boats decided to call it a day.


One Response to “Neighborhood Outing”

  1. [...] hadn’t been fishing since the neighborhood outing MORE THAN A MONTH AGO. It was driving me crazy. Yes, I went fishing in North Carolina, but it just [...]

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