Wednesday, Day 5
Holy shit. How in the hell can this be day 5? Where is this week going? Seriously, I’m starting to panic just a little. Is it just my imagination or is this week flying by way too fast?
Got today started off right with fresh baked cinnamon streusel coffee cake and sausages along with some lake water coffee of course. When’s the last time you woke up to the smell of coffee and fresh baked ANYTHING? It’s a treat. Take it from me.
We planned on hitting the lake a little earlier than usual today. Went to bed early and therefore woke up a little earlier. But after loading the boat we took a second look at the lake and even though it was sunny and nice, it was pretty windy. Right at the edge of getting rough. The radio kept saying “…winds are calm at about 5 mph …” and I just kept say back to the radio, “Not where I’m standing.”
While I waited, I snapped a shot of the milk jug that is currently marking that big rock straight off our dock. This is a picture of the marker taken from the right-hand, or eastern most dock.
There are some people staying at Walt’s place. They’re from Kansas City and they have some totally kick ass boats. They are jet-looking bad-ass bass boats. One of them has a friggin’ 300 Horse Merc.
Every morning, Rush is the first one on the dock. He usually runs out to check on the boat and make sure no other dogs have been sniffing around causing trouble. Well for the last two days, since these Kansas people have been staying at Walt’s, Rush is starting to wonder why we’re using my boat. Why not take the other one? This is Rush asking (from the other dock) “Daddy, why not this boat?”
Speaking of my boat… I’ve been doing a little background on this model of Lund and it’s got a pretty honored place in Walleye history. This is the first model of boat that Lund ever made specifically for Walleye. It’s called a Pike Boat Deluxe and it was made back when the Pro Walleye Trail was called the Mercury Marine National Walleye Tournament. In 1978 the first MMNW tournament ever was held on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin and Lund Boats introduced the first “pike boat” a walleye rig sporting a flat floor, storage compartments, and prerigged electronic hookups. Impressed aren’t you? After that first model year, 1978, they made a few improvements and in 1979 they made me one. Took me 20 years to get my hands on it, but hey… it’s a proud heritage.
Waited about 20 minutes for the wind to slow down and it never did so we thought hell, we’ll just go over to the north side of Flag and work our way towards Oak. That’s out of the wind and we caught fish there last year with the guide. So off we go.
Last night and today, I got some conflicting stories about where the fish might be. Frank’s update indicated that they were at 20 feet but that was in Canada. No one was really fishing Minnesota that he could use a reliable source so we though we would go a little deeper and see what happened.
Fished around Flag for about an hour and a half. Caught nothing so we moved out southeast of Oak and tried some deeper water. Worked a couple of little humps out by that little island southeast of Oak and got nothing. There’s another 2 hours shot (but not wasted)
Then we thought we would stop someplace for a beer and headed into the Angle Inn. That’s the little place just south of Bonnie Brae right down the shore.
Had a beer and talked to Tony, the owner. He said they were catching lots of Walleye just across the bay, along the opposite shore in about 10 feet of water. So off we went.
Worked that shoreline for about an hour and got nothing so we moved again. Down around Oak to Rabbit Ears. The weather was cooperating. Nice and sunny and just breezy enough to keep the boat moving. (and keep the stogie lit.)
Lots of weeds, rocks and 10 foot water so we thought we would troll around there for a while. An hour or two later…. Nothing.
Now it’s time to snack, or drink, or something… so off to Sunset Lodge. Had a nice (Very Nice) bloody mary and a snit. Actually had a couple. This is Betty saying “Wasn’t I holding my drink just a second ago…?”
Then we ordered some cheese sticks and they served them with a very interesting combination of Ranch dressing and a separate dish of BBQ sauce…. Very nice.
All the while we were in the bar, Rush Meister was patrolling the premises. Actually had a small run-in with the owner’s dog so Bill (the owner) brought Dan (the dog) into the bar with us. Very nice Black Lab but it was a male and just young enough to be a little wary of trespassers. It was not a fight, just a little growling and shoving.
He would routinely move from the bar door (where he last saw me) to the boat and back.
By the time we left however he was nowhere to be found. Had to whistle two or three times and pretty soon he came storming back from way the hell-and-gone up the shore towards the next resort. He was sopping wet and panting like a racehorse. Silly mutt.
Now it’s mid-day and I’ve convinced my self that the fish are done for the day. The PWT is on Lake of the Woods today and they were weighing in at the park in Baudette (pronounced ba-de). Contestants are allowed to keep 6 fish and one over 19 ½. The leader after the first day has 18 lbs of fish. That’s an average of 3 lbs/fish. They interviewed him and he said he probably caught 20 fish. Kept the first 6 and then started upgrading.
So, since all the fish were occupied with the PWT, we headed back to the cabin to continue work on the extensive list of tasks that Hoser had gently offered as casual suggestions. Today it was “Paint the Fish House”. First we had to scrub the whole thing and scrap off about 300 of these damn worms. Which was pointless actually because five minutes after you brush them off, they’re climbing back up again. Pain in the ass.
The only item on the list that we’re not going to accomplish is staining the deck. I think it would be better to wait until the worm invasion is over. You can sweep the deck every half hour and they just fall out of the trees by the dozens. Meanwhile, their worm shit is falling constantly. Most importantly, there appears to be quite a bit of mold/mildew on the deck. Some of the boards on the east end are actually green. I think a proper deck wash would be a good idea before re-staining it. Thompson makes a deck wash solution I think.
Here’s the before and after pictures of the fish house. This is primer only. I think Hose has paint that matches the cabin for the final coat.
Even this worthless dog got into the act. He wanted to see what wet paint smells like and since he can’t sniff anything without shoving it with his massive snout, this is the result.
This took most of the rest of the afternoon and by the time we were done and cleaned up, it was time to think about dinner. So Betty’s making Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin, with green beans, sautéed mushrooms, and some left over macaroni and cheese which is now made into a casserole. By the way, I forgot to mention that the mac and cheese was for the chili last night. I didn’t know this but apparently there is a long tradition (in Betty’s family anyway) of putting a layer of macaroni and cheese at the bottom of your bowl before filling it with chili. I was a little skeptical but now I’m a convert. As usual, she made enough mac and cheese to feed all 140 competitors in the fishing tournament. They ate elsewhere so we had plenty left over for tonight’s meal.
After dinner, the dog has to burn up the last remaining joule of energy that I had so we played a little “How far can you swim?” The game is to see if I can seriously injure my throwing arm by launching a heavy stick out into the lake. I was successful. I’ll be jigging with my left hand tomorrow. The right one’s going to need a few days rest.
I thought I could get a little more distance if I threw it from the deck. So even though I went to the front of the yard while Rush retrieved the stick, he still felt that to be completely correct, he should return the stick to it’s launch point (the deck) not the person who launched it.
I’m ready for some dinner, then more coffee and chocolate pudding. Then we’ll finish the Jackie Chan movie that we couldn’t get through last night. In short, we got skunked today, fish wise, but hopefully it won’t happen tomorrow. I think today we wasted the prime fishing time (7:00 AM to 10:00 AM) in water that was way too deep. Tomorrow we’re sticking to 10-15 feet around Flag and Oak. Maybe we’ll have better luck. Although being up here is blessing enough.
Hope this FHL 2000 update finds you all healthy and happy. Talk soon.