Well we made our 9th annual trip up to Lake of the Woods last weekend. Yes, it was cold! On Friday my truck starter decided to freeze. Thanks to my long relationship with Long Point Resort I had a nice warm garage to pull it into to drop the starter spin it over and put it back. THANKS! Back to the fishing! Friday we went east in search of a Sauger bite. We ended up in 28of water and the bite was on about 9:30am. A good portion of the fish were caught on either a gold jigging rapala or a glow red Gem-N-eye tipped with a lake shiner. It is very important to have lake shiners when fishing up there! Fat heads work but in my opinion should be used for back-up. We had plenty of sauger so I headed in for a shallow walleye bite in the evening. Four drops of a blue jigging Rapala and my walleye day was done! Saturday brought weather that was a couple degrees warmer but we still faced high pressure. We went back to see if we could get the sauger to bite again and we did it was just allot slower bite. The highlight of the trip was soon to happen. I had a locator that the battery was failing. About 10:00am it took the final dump and I went back to the cabin to get my spare battery that was supposed to be in the truck. After I sent my buddy through the sliding glass window to unlock the truck doors and I was off. (yes you never know when the crooks come out of the snow to steal stuff out of your truck on the middle of LOW) Well I retrieved my battery and was back to fishing when I noticed my dead stick slowly sink 2 inches and stop. I thought that is a weird bite? I lifted a bit and felt a fish and set the hook. Instantly the lined peeled off my reel like never before. It was coming off so fast I thought it was going to snap! The fish took it out to were it looked like I had maybe 10-15 loops left on my reel. The fish was heavy enough that I needed to hold my rod with two hands when it ran. We quickly noticed it took 5 other lines with it during the first run. Yes I believe I hooked into my first Sturgeon!
I worked this fish for 30 minutes and the best I could do was to get back to my bobber stop which was set at 28. I started to draw a crowd in the ice house from fellow fisherman. I thought I was closing the gap on this fish after the 30 minute mark because I could lift him 1 foot closer each time after its long run. The problem we faced is that there was a massive tangle of lines and lures that had to be cut off or slid down my line so I could keep reeling. Well at the 45 minute mark I think I had him within 10ft of the ice when the fish took off with unbelievable force. The drag whined and it started to look like it wasnt going to stop when all of a sudden the line went limp! You could have heard a pin drop in the ice house. It was over . I was left with nothing but a tangled ball of line and the memories!
The bite continued to be slow the rest of the day but we still caught a limit of eyes and came close on our sauger. It is standard for us to eat all the fish we caught every night and we did that both Friday and Saturday night with a little help from some friends that were up there also. Nothing beats a fish fry at the end of the night!
We were in the ice house at 9am on Sunday with the goal of getting our 4 walleyes per person and leaving. We went west this time because we learned of a better walleye bite during the day. It didnt take long. We were on the road for home by 11:30 including packing time. Sunday they seamed to like smaller glow jigs like demons or any basic jigging spoon that was small and glowed.
If you've got short, stubby fingers and wear reading glasses, any relaxation you would normally derive from fly fishing is completely eliminated when you try to tie on a fly. ~ Jack Ohman, Fear of Fly Fishing, 1988