Days after getting back from the Gunflint Trail, I started to have withdrawal symptoms from not fishing. Going from fishing twice a day to not fishing at all can turn an avid angler crazy.
I sent a text to Greg to see if he was up for fishing sometime soon and fortunately, he was. We rendezvoused on the Wed night of the hottest week of the summer. The few days leading up to the day were all in the 90s and Wed had a high of 94. I wasn’t sure how good the fishing would be, but I was going to look for fish deep or in the shade.
After a small debate about which lake to go to, we decided to head to a lake on the edge of the northern suburbs. We had fished there several times and have done ok, but not stellar.
We started at the lily pads near the boat launch where we’ve caught fish previously. We usually fish the spot just before getting off the lake, but this time we opted to start there. Starting early didn’t help because we got nothing.
I spotted some shade across the lake so we headed in that direction. Using the Navionics app on my phone, I found a shelf a few hundred feet off shore, so we stopped there. Greg started with a beetle spin and was getting ticks on almost every cast. He eventually caught this little guy.
That must have been what was sitting around there. We didn’t have any crappie bait with us or we would have stayed to try to catch some of them. I felt a few nicks on a green wacky worm and I bet it was the same school.
We got frustrated with the nibbles, so we headed over to a pump house on the lake. I got a nip on a creature bait, but other than that, we didn’t find any interest in what we were throwing.
We then headed to another area between our crappie spot and the pump house. I again found a shelf on my Navionics app so we anchored there. Again we threw a bunch of different baits but got no takers. I saw some trees by the shore that looked inviting so we headed in that direction. I got one nip on a wacky worm, but that was it.
We puttered to dock nearby. I went with a white fluke and threw it away from shore, but was still getting no luck. I decided to drop a cast near shore and it landed just a few feet from dry land. I felt some resistance on the retrieve so I set the hook. I wasn’t sure if I had hooked into a weed or not until I felt it wiggle a bit. As I tried to reel it in, the line barely felt like it was coming in and I wasn’t feeling any movement on the other end. I still wasn’t sure if I just had a chunk of weeds, or a fish. When the line finally got near the boat, the line started to make runs. It was definitely a fish. After a few small runs, I saw the flash of a largemouth stripe. It looked decent. Greg got the net and he pulled in a huge chunk of weeds. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I got the weeds out of the way. I found this at the bottom of the net.
My first reaction was that it was at least 19″, but it came in at 17. Still, it qualified for #3 in my bag for the BP Minnesocold Bass Derby. I tried weighing it with my scale, but the scale only registered one pound. I knew it was bigger than that, but I just had to go with the length-to-weight conversion. I’ll take it.
A few casts later, right after my lure hit the water, I heard a splash. The line was still slack, so I reeled up quickly and set the hook. I managed to hook into whatever chomped my bait and landed this 12.5″ bucketmouth.
We stayed there a little longer before it was starting to get pretty dark, so we headed to another spot where we’ve caught fish closer to the boat launch. It wasn’t long before the mosquitos came out in force and we had to call it a night.
For two hours, we had nary a bite. Then the big one hit. It’s amazing how one fish can change the entire outlook of the night. It turned a poor outing into a good one. Boating a few more fish would have been welcome, but landing one nice fish makes the night worth the trip. I guess that’s why we anglers keep fishing.