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Memorial Weekend Foursome

June 7, 2014

May 23, 2014 – Like most things that ultimately aren’t that important/significant, I spent way too much time hemming and hawing over what fly rod to purchase before settling on Bass Pro Shops “New White River Fly Shop Heat” 7-8 wt. fly rod.   I was most definitely surprised, and pleased, to see the cardboard shipping tube when I arrived home from work, especially since I just ordered it Tuesday afternoon and had been told that it wouldn’t arrive for 6 – 8 days.  Kudos to Bass Pro Shops for exceeding my expectations, of course that is probably by design, but whatever. It arrived in time for the Bass Opener, tomorrow, and I couldn’t wait to give it a whirl.

I’m sure fly fishing purists and equipment junkies will cringe at my rod selection and that is fine.  What can I say, I’m cheap.   I’m just not convinced that a rod costing at least three to four times as much, and in some cases even more, is worth it.  Rods break, get lost, and besides, catching fish comes down to being on the right water, at the right time, and presenting the right bait, lure, or fly.  I’d love buy a rod by Orvis, Sage, etc., but holy buckets they are expensive.   I’d rather have that kinda’ cash sitting in my bank account at the end of the day.  Besides, I’m not a technology or brand fishonista.  I’ve fished with a Bass Pro Shops Mean Green Stick for almost 30 years and it shows no signs of breaking down, nor does the Daiwa bait casting reel that came with it as part of a $35 rod/reel combo. I’ve caught more than my fair share of fish with that combination over the years, so why would I spend an extra three or four hundred extra dollars just to have the latest and greatest?

Anyways, I was excited to have a new rod and rigged it up after dinner.  I headed to Bush Lake at about 8:30 p.m. and threw on the waders. Nothing was happening and the shallows were still void of life so I chalked it up as half an hour worth of casting practice.  No complaints with the rod.  My casting technique still shows plenty of room for improvement however.

May 24, 2014. – The MN Bass Opener.  Being my Saturday to work my fishing options were limited.  As in years past I started at Bush Lake.  What was different this year though were the number of anglers.  I counted at least six other anglers and after about an hour of leap frogging other anglers and more significantly, no fish, I headed to Mt. Normandale Lake.  Mt. Normandale can be hit or miss depending on water conditions.  Since spring was late the shallows were not weed choked and the surface was not matted with curly pond leaf or whatever it is called so I gave it a shot for about an hour before I needed to leave.  The wading is challenging due to the muck bottom and there are times where my feet sink a good 18″ or so before connecting with something solid.  It can also be very stinky as the gasses trapped into the muck are released as they bubble to the surface.  Not entirely pleasant.  Lately it seems that I haven’t been catching many bass at Mt. Normandale. Today was no different as I caught five northern pike that attacked a spinner bait worked through and around the emerging pads.

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May 25, 2014 – Flipping for crappies. Hit the big lake today, Lake Minnetonka that is.  Not much going on in Wayzata Bay or around Big Island with surface water temps still just under sixty degrees.  Caught a small northern pike in Crystal Bay where the water temps were in the low 60s.  Missed several others and had a bass eyeing a fly that I tried on the new fly rod.  No takers though.  Went into Grandpa’s Bay which had a few spawning crappies next to branches and roots and lots of small sunfish.  Noticed a few bass cruising around, not to mention a couple sizable muskies moving into spawn I assume.  Headed for North Arm where water temps were about 66 degrees.  Caught numerous crappies flipping a white Flu-Flu jig into the milfoil.  The water was shallow and clear enough for me to see my jig falling down the weed line and the disappear into the mouth of a waiting crappies.  A few keepers for dinner and a lot of little guys.  Managed to catch two bass but nothing significant. Definitely not up to my expectations.  Like expectations for a big league ball player who signs a lucrative contract, my expectations as a fisherman have changed now that I have a boat. I mean I’m supposed to be catching more and bigger fish, which hasn’t been the case.  I probably need to relax and just fish. I’m over thinking it.  I think.

Tonka Bass

Tonka Bass

May 26, 2014 – Attacked by a bass.  Last year I was pleasantly surprised on Bass Opener with my success at Lake of the Isles so I thought I’d give it a shot again.  This time with waders.  The first hour was unproductive as nothing hit the spinner baits or crankbaits that I tried. It wasn’t until I switched to a purple jig worm that I began to have a little action.  Standing away from shore I was pitching the jig worm back towards the bank and working it out to deeper water.  This resulted in a perch and then several bass that appeared to be spawning males as evident by the milt pouring forth when I lifted them from the water.  I tried the fly rod and had one taker but missed on the hook set.  Interestingly, as I worked my along my feet were pounded by what I assumed was a spawning bass that I must have encroached on. I’ve always worried about snapping turtles, muskrats, or some mythological beast still lurking in the depths, particularly when I’m wading at night, so I was a little rattled.  Moving away the darn thing came at me again.  Bam…Bam.  Moving again, I must have moved far enough away as it let me be. Good thing it wasn’t Jaws.

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– Hats

 

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