I seldom fish when guiding. Watching clients catch 25+ bass and pike in the first 90 minutes of yesterday’s trip, mostly on #Rat-L-Trap & MR-6 were heavy on my mind when eyes opened @ 0:430. Check the pool level at https:water.weather.gov/ahps2hydrograph.php?wfo=arx&gage=genw3. Noted pool levels were stable, with forecast rise of over 1′ by the weekend. Then checked forecast on wunderground.com . Doppler clear, hourly called for rain to start shortly after noon, then get serious.
Hooked up boat and got on the water by 6:30. Headed to spot where Kelly & Tonya POUNDED them yesterday. Explained the spot was a choke point by which 250 acres of backwater must go through when River is rising or falling. There was a distinct mudline at this spot, which changed considerably in the 3 hrs. I was on the water this morning.
Plan was to catch 25 gamefish and go home. By 7 a.m. had caught released 8 pike and 16 LMB, mostly on the oxbow Trap. 25th fish was a 17″ walleyes–which is the reason we stopped there first thing on yesterday’s trip. Change of plans!
Switched to a B-Fish-N Tackle 1/8 oz Draggin jig &sassafras PulseR. Added a squirt of Liquid Willowcat. Picked up a pike on the first cast. After another 20 or so bass and pike, went back to the Trap looking for a second walleye to feed the Admiral lunch.
An old River Rat motored up to tell me he had just read my latest book “Tails, Trails & Tales with the Old Guide” found on kindle ebooks. Said he “laughed, cried and couldn’t put the damn thing down” until he finished it.Just what a guy who is too full of himself needs to hear!
While we chatted, went back to the Trap and caught another dozen or so LMB and pike. Another Old River Rat who recognized me pulled up in a pontoon, asked if he could anchor up nearby and fish for gills. THIS is the etiquette that is the rule rather than the exception when you fish during the week.
We talked fishin’, the cwazy stuff going on in Mn. and world in general while he caught a mess of respectable ‘gills and I caught another half dozen bass/pike on the Trap.
Said he didn’t have kindle.Wondered where he could get the new book in paperback. Told him Amazon would have it in a week or so but that he could find my other book “Mississippi Musings with the Old Guide” on amazon now, and locally at the Driftless Center.
Admitted that what he was really angling for was a free book and that his 81st birthday was coming up next Monday. Told him I didn’t have any copies in the boat. Gave him my lone walleye as a birthday dinner.
Motored back to the launch and waited patiently while a guy from Decorah tried to put his boat in. he saw that I was waiting, then hurried to launch and get his rig out of the way. Tied off to a steel corner post on the dock, jumped back in the truck and started to pull out, not noticing the mooring rope was caught under one of his trailer bunks.
Boat lurched, plowed into trailer. Dock came halfway out of the water. Truck to a screeching halt. Finally got things squared away and said fishing must be tough or I wouldn’t be getting off the River @ 09:30.
Told him that actually, it was about as good as fishin’ ever gets. He asked sheepishly where/how I was catching all these fish. Normally wouldn’t say a word. Figured he wasn’t much of a threat to the resource so told him EXACTLY (knowing the fish wouldn’t be there tomorrow with the River on the rise) Took the oxbow #Rat-L-Trap off my Croix Legend Glass baitcast rod and gave it to him. This is just the River way.
Clouding up. Looks like rain forecast is spot on. Believe I’ll take a little nap. Feel truly blessed to be American born and River raised. Just about every day on the River is great. But sometimes its perfect.