Independence Day Skunk

Posted by MNAngler On July - 13 - 2012

I found it amazing that I had been at my in-laws a little over 24 hours and already had a week tally of fish nearly in double digits. Fishing has been good there before, but not this good. I’m not sure if it was due to the fish, the weather, or the honing of my techniques. Whatever the reason, I wasn’t complaining.

Day 3 was July 4th. We were looking forward to getting a bunch of work done and possibly visit Grand Marais for fireworks that night. Ken wanted to get an early start on the roof, so we scheduled to be working by 7am.

We spent about 4 hours on the roof before it got too hot. After lunch, my wife and I decided to take some family time with the kids and headed to Grand Portage to check out some local history. We planned to meet up with the others in Grand Marais later that afternoon. As we drove back, it started raining. The sky showed us some really cool cloud formations.

We decided to skip Grand Marais and it turned out the rest of the family did, too. We all guessed the parade and fireworks had probably been cancelled.

The rain finally let up around dinner time, but after dinner, Ken and George didn’t want to go fishing. I ended up going out on my own.

I got on the water with Ken’s fishing boat and trolling motor around 8:00 and was greeted by one of the local residents doing his/her own fishing:

Having been encouraged with my bottom bouncing success the day before, I decided to go bottom bouncing again. Since I was in a boat that could go slower, I decided to start with the smaller weight this time. I didn’t get much passed the dock when I determined I still couldn’t feel the bottom, so I quickly turned around and grabbed Ken’s heavier weight.

I trolled toward the Young’s side of Kloek Island intending to troll get to and troll the South side of Young’s Island, West to East. As I trolled, I found that the sun was going down fast and I was getting more and more impatient. Nevermind that we rarely catch fish on the road to Kloek’s Island, but by the time I got to the opposite side of Kloek channel where we had previous success, I was anxious about not getting a bite. I decided to do some casting to at least prevent the first skunk outing of the week.

When I got to the channel and pulled up my leech, the leech was gone. Apparently, one of the many bumps I felt on the way was a bite and not the bottom that I had gently been pulling away from.

I started with a texas rigged KVD coffee worm and promptly broke the line, losing the lure and all to a drowned branch. Frustrated with the number of broken lines I had had that started the morning before, I opted to cut the rest of the fluorocarbon leader and tie directly on to the braid that resides on my reel.

Getting more anxious about a skunk, I switched to a bubble gum fluke, but that didn’t entice any bites either. I am baffled by this area because it is a prime bass haven with large rocks, fallen trees, and a large boat dock (Ken’s cousin’s), but I have yet to catch a fish in that side of the channel.

It was now after 9pm, so I decided to go back to trolling. I put on a new leech and forgot that there is a sunken bar that comes out of the Southwest corner of Young’s Island straight South that makes the bottom go from 15 ft to 8 ft rather drastically (as I was traveling perpendicular to it). My heavy weight was doing its best from letting the boat move forward, but I fought back and was winning the battle (barely).

As I was fighting the bar, I was reeling in so that I could redrop the weight on the other side of it. As it was coming in, I heard a splash that was unmistakably the sound of a fish spitting out a hook. Sure enough, my leech was gone.

I did my best to stay patient trolling the shore fighting the urge to cast into the bass habitats as I passed them. When I got to the other side of the island, it was getting hard to see. But not enough to find that my leech was gone again. Perhaps the heavier weight wasn’t such a good idea.

I cruised back on the highest speed the trolling motor could muster and dropped a rainbow colored spoon behind me hoping to fill out my species trifecta.

Unfortunately, the skunk had complete hold of me for the night.

Week tally: Smallmouth bass: 8, Walleye: 1 (no change)


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