Lessons Learned in a Short Outing

Posted by MNAngler On August - 15 - 2010

Date: 8/15/2010
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Body of water: Lake Elmo
Location: Lake Elmo, MN
Weather Conditions: sunny and windy

Our neighborhood camping trip was this weekend and I was hoping to do some float tubing on the lake at our campground, but circumstances prevented me from doing any. Instead, I was limited to only an hour of shore fishing just before we left.

My wife dropped me off at the fishing pier while she and he kids went to the man-made lake on the grounds. Halfway down the walkway to the pier, there was an opening in the railing on each side to go out to the shore. I had intended to do some wading, so I took the right opening which had less brush to walk through. There were some tall reeds growing on the shore and some weeds just passed them. I was hoping to walk around the reeds and cast a scum frog into the weeds.

As I waded out into the lake with my swim shoes, the sand gave way significantly. With each step, I sank at least to my ankles, and it kept getting deeper. I had only gotten halfway passed the reeds when in one of my steps, I couldn’t pull my foot out without losing my swim shoe. It took me a good minute to figure out how to pull my foot out. So I opted to go back to shore.

I then saw a trail going into the reeds. I thought maybe it would lead to a clearing where I could cast into the weed bed. No such luck. It dead-ended into a clearing with 8 ft tall reeds in front of me.

I worked my way back out back to the shore and tried casting a green watermelon jig and pig while wading in about 5 feet. That’s all I could go out without encountering the quick sand. I only threw the lure a few times when I decided I wasn’t getting out to where the fish were. So I decided to go to the pier.

Just as I was walking back to shore, a family of 5 walked onto the pier. With two guys already casting, the pier was a bit too cramped to cast, so I surveyed the shore again. To the left of the pier, the shore looked even more promising than where I was on the right. There was a weed bed much closer to the pier and the bed had all kinds of stumps and branches sticking out of it. I had disregarded it earlier because the opening in the railing was dense with vegetation. I opted to try anyway.

It turned out to look worse than it was and I was able to get out to the shore without much effort. I put on my scum frog and waded out. The lake bottom was much firmer here, probably because the roots of the weed bed formed a firmer base.

I cast the scum frog for about 15 minutes without a bite. During that time, a boat trolled by the outside edge of the weed bed and the lady at the back of the boat caught a little bass. So I knew fish were around.

I cast a few more times before walking back to shore to change lures. I put on a yellow bellied Zoom horny toad which I’ve had for about a year, but never tried. I also put a bubble gum and white pearl super fluke in my pocket so I wouldn’t have to walk back again to switch lures.

I walked out a bit further this time to cast beyond the weed line. I wasn’t getting any action on the horny toad so I wanted to change lures again, but reeled in too far. Instead of pulling the line out, I decided to cast one more time and reel in to the right length. A few feet in, I thought I felt a couple of ticks, so I paused and set the hook. But then the line didn’t move. I couldn’t budge it. I didn’t know if I could walk all the way out to the weed line, so I pulled hard to get the line loose. I pulled in a mass of weeds. But as I was about to pull it off, I saw a fish hiding in it.

Species: Largemouth Bass
Size: 11.5″
Lure used: yellow/green horny toad

Just a little guy.

For the remaining 20 minutes I had, I switched to both a bubble gum fluke and white pearl fluke and back to the horny toad, but didn’t get another hit.

When I started fishing this afternoon, I thought the time would be a waste. But I learned the right place to shore fish on this lake and I learned that the horny toad can catch fish. So it wasn’t a total loss. But I will be back some day with a float tube.

2 Responses to “Lessons Learned in a Short Outing”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thats probably why I don’t do a lot of lake type fishing…I lack a proper floating device. Glad you stuck it out and from the looks of the little guy, he was worth it.

    • MNAngler says:


      If you’re interested at all in lake fishing, you could look into float tubes. I just recently started using one and love it. They are great for fly fishing because you can get out in the middle of the lake and not worry about snagging a tree.

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