Sunday, July 27, 2014

Get a Limit & Go Home

Gander Mountain

The weather was anything but stable and it was starting to take a turn for the worse.  The forecast was for westerly flow in the morning turning northwesterly by 2 PM and then big T storms to move in after that. When South Dakota calls for big thunderstorms, boys, pay attention.  Things can get dicey.   I am going to hit it early, fish two lakes and head for the barn by 1 PM.   Fishing is better if you have some chop on the water, especially for walleyes and with the light wind, I had it this morning.   A test of Swan would be a good idea for a couple of hours and then  head over to Lynn and finish out the morning.  Where else can you go that you can move from lake to lake and have excellent fishing most of the time?  

The master fisherman of the lake.  Pelicans were thick and they came within feet of the boat.
I have never seen Swan this calm when I got to the lake.  A light breeze was starting, but still I wanted to get some quick fishing in before going to Lynn.  Using spinners tipped with a crawler, I dropped the lure to the bottom, about 15 feet.  Then I lifted it off about a foot and moved slowly parallel to the bank just beyond a weed line.  It did not take long and I picked up a 15 inch walleye.  A little light chop started to form and after about 30 minutes, I picked up another smaller fish that had to be thrown back.  The guys at Sportsman Cove said I might have to do some sorting, but I did not want to go through that process again.  Working back and forth along the bank, I picked up smaller fish, and then finally a keeper walleye.  I took it.  Fifteen inches is legal meat, and it is meat I  wanted.  I had been on the lake 90 minutes and then was out of there heading over to Lynn Lake.

This is not good.  What we want are waves.

Off the lake and heading back to Webster, it was time for some personal fuel.  After a stop at the local Casey's for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, I headed up to Lynn.  The lake at the dock area sits down in a bowl and if the wind comes up, you are somewhat sheltered.  You have to pay $5.00 to launch and park your rig there as this is not a state area.  This is almost a two person job, but I was able to handle it as there were no other people wanting to use the ramp.

The water in this lake is clear and you can see a long way down.  Since the spinner produced at Swan, staying with that lure was the thing to do.  The boat was moved into 10 to 15 feet of water and the spinner was put to work.  Bang!  Something really hit it hard and started peeling out the line.  There is only one fish that will do that in these lakes, and that is the Northern Pike.  Getting the butt of the rod under my forearm for extra leverage, I started to crank him in.  He came nicely.  When he got close to the boat, he took off down and out.  Generally, the northern seem to go for the motor or under the boat, and you literally have to walk around in the boat to position the rod and yourself to haul him in.  After several runs, he began to tire, and so did my right arm.  Bending down and grabbing a gaff as he was pulled close to the boat, I switched hands with the rod and with the right hand gaffed him.  That made him really mad, but he was in the boat, and I was able to take this picture with a camera mounted on a tripod.

Decent size northern.  Once the Y bones are removed, it will provide excellent dining.
I continued to work the shoreline and moved deeper.  I had an outfitter in Canada one time tell me, "When you catch a northern, move off to one side or go deeper, and there the walleye will be."  With that in mind, in a little deeper water a couple of walleye were picked up to make a limit for the day.  In addition, a couple of northern was boated, and it was time to get out of South Dakota before the weather changed and the big storms rolled across the plains. 
Life can't get any better than this.

I had a great morning and picked up some keeper northern pike.  Once the Y bones were removed they provided friends and family some excellent dining.

The video above gives an excellent demonstration of taking out the Y bones in a northern pike.

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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank


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