It is good to finally be home after being gone for about the last ten days. The first leg of the trip was a family trip to the Boundary Waters with family and friends. This was my wife’s, son’s and daughter’s first time camping and canoeing. With that being said, the trip went absolutely great. We had good weather and enjoyed quality time with the friends and family we deeply care for. I won’t spend much time talking about the fishing. If you have ever fished from a canoe with a 4 and 7 year old you will fully understand why We did camp in Grassy Lake for a night, which afforded us the opportunity to clean up about 30 giant sunfish.
After the family fun I hit the road to fish in the 13th and 14th stops on the Minnesota Tournament Trail. These were the final 2 single day tournaments of the year. I arrived at Tony and Jill’s on Thursday night. Tony has been a co-angler of mine on the trail for the last several years. Their place on Leech Lake would be base camp for the pre-fishing and tournament. I feel very blessed to have such great friends that allow me to invade their little piece of paradise for a few days each year. A special thank you to Jill who helped us with taillights that were out, getting bait, cooking meals, and making sure we had what we needed each day. Greatly Appreciated!
We hit the water on Friday for a day of pre-fishing. The day was a bit of a grind but we did find a few of the humps that were loaded up with fish. We certainly didn’t whack and stack, but we also felt confident in that we had a couple of solid spots where the old marble eyes had the feedbag on.
We blasted out of the harbor at Denny’s on Saturday morning with nothing to slow us to our first spot. The wind was little to nothing and the sun was high, but it didn’t stop us from having a great bite on Winnie. We decided to pull bouncers, blades, and leeches on the deep humps and we had piled up 20 eyes by days end. The key for us was a perch pattern blade trolled with a 2 oz bouncer at 1.3 mph. Six of the 20 went in the box, two were smaller fish, and the rest were in the 18 to 23 inch slot. We didn’t get the fish we needed to crack the top ten, but an inch or less on several fish would have done the trick. We had four 22’s and several a bit over 18 that were unfortunately dumped right back into the lake. I was disappointed that we only ended up 22nd out of 60, but I felt good about the great day of fishing we had. Literally a game of inches.
After a few beverages and some brats we headed for the best resort on Leech Lake – Huddles. It is always a pleasure to see Roy and Kay and this is a place you should check out if you are looking for a family oriented resort on Leech. http://www.huddlesresort.com/ Roy and Kay do it right, and may be some of the best resort owners one could find. I also had the pleasure that evening to meet many of Tony and Jill’s friends. Good people, good times, and a pleasure to meet all of them. One of these fine individuals is Randy Eastvold, operator and owner of Red Tail Tackle. I enjoyed my walleye conversation with Randy as he is one of the best guides there is on Leech Lake. I don’t chase Muskies, but it is also important to mention for those that do that Red Tail Tackle produces the best tackle on the market. As the peak of Muskie season approaches, do yourself a favor and check out what he has to offer. Every Muskie Head I know raves about what he has to offer. https://www.facebook.com/Red-Tail-Tackle-1190409127651815/
Saturday night the Leech Lake area absolutely got pounded by storms. We headed to the same deep hump only to have one bite in the first hour of fishing. The storms made for a tough bite on Sunday. We ended up leaving the deep hump and headed for the bars in the spots that had offered success in the past. We traded the bouncers and blades for trolling some crawler harnesses. We managed to scratch out 4 of 6 and ended up in 17th on day two. Unfortunately we lost several fish that would have filled our basket, and we were forced to put back on 18.25 inch fish that would have made a huge difference for us.
Our goal was top ten both days, and unfortunately it didn’t happen either day. However, we fished well with the conditions we had to work with. A few breaks on either day and we were right where we wanted to be. There is a ton of forage in this system and we found the fish to be very fat and healthy.
The wind had Big Winnie rolling good on Sunday. Thank god for our Smooth Moves Seats. These are the best suspensions on the market and you are making a mistake if they are not in your boat. Contact me if you have questions, want a test ride, or want to receive a 10 % discount.
I have literally only fished lake Winnie one weekend a year for the last three years. I can’t even imagine learning a new system without having these lakes on my computer. These downloads give you every detail that the chip in your boat gives you and more. Do yourself a favor and take the time to really look at where the break lines, weed lines, and transitions actually are. Contact me if you want to receive a 20% discount.
All that remains is the two day event in August, followed by the Championships on LOTW.