26 2009 »

Geez, there goes my 40 incher

I have Verizon and apparently my network was on vacation again. NO SERVICE. Mark made mention to the fact that we can put a man on the moon but—. Anyway after several moves in an attempt to get in the morning radio segment we loaded into the Lund 1900 and headed east. I’ve fished lots of water in the Devils Lake area including East Bay but this is my first walleye trip to East Lake. The two lakes are separated by a road but connected by a bridge that allows us to slip under. Mark is the talent behind Bry’s Guide Service and we have never met before so today is new water, new people.

First stop, a gentle sloping shoreline with clear water, a little too clear in Mark’s opinion. I’m throwing a #5 Shad Rap in Firetiger which is exactly what I would pick if given the choice. 15 minutes into the game and Mark gets a solid hit. First fish and a very good fish it is. I’m liking this new relationship already as Mark slips the fish to brag about back into the water for someone else to catch. We give it another 5 minutes and off to the next adventure.

I’m still throwing the Shad Rap and Mark is pitching a 3/8 oz jig with a tail. I asked Mark about favorite crank color for Devils Lake. “Firetiger, anything with an orange belly.” Well that’s exactly what I got on and at this stop I got it to go. Mostly by accident though, I was burning it back to the boat for a quick move and wack, right at the boat. Got to see the whole thing. That may be the best part of tossing cranks, getting to see the strike. When walleyes talk I do my best to listen and the next few casts I shifted into high gear. Mark is making a solid showing with the jig and tail.

Devils Lake fish like any ethnic group like certain types of food. Bry claims one of those delicacy’s is Gulp. In fact his bait bucket is 3 tubs of Gulp in 3 different preparations. The 3 inch minnow grub in pearl white being Mark’s first choice today. With the boat in 8 feet we pitch toward shore at any likely looking location and lift drop the jig back to the boat. The electric keeps us constantly moving as we search for the next bite, a very short wait today.

We are into our third move and I’m pitching a jig and, Yep you guessed it, Gulp. Walleyes are stealing the show followed by a tie between the Whitebass and Northern. I’ve been bit off a couple of times and on one particular solid hook set the line just snapped without the fish even moving. Geez, there goes my chance at the 40 incher. The 6 lb Fireline we are using is easy to throw and keeps you in touch with the jig like no other line can but it ain’t got it when a Northern puts the razors to it. Might as well be fishing with cotton candy line. Sometimes you don’t even feel the thump as a northern downs the meal.

Browns Bay is our best locationof the day. Filled with schools of White Bass, Northern and Walleye but not filled with boats. The few boats here today are all doing well and nets are getting a work out. This is the way I like fishing. EASY! Weeds are still behind schedule which suits me fine but Mark mentions several times throughout the day that weed beds are the hot ticket when fished along the edges with the same equipment we are using. If weather continues on the hot side, won’t be long before they are up and filled with fish.

Mark and I share very similar passions. Hunting and Fishing, and it’s not often I get to fish with someone who is awed by the created wonder of nature. Bry’s cabin on East Bay reflects his passions with a 5 story bird feeder, cracked corn on the ground and wood duck houses with chicks. The garden full of new plants and weeds is doing better than mine if I lived on the lake. Inside over a re-warmed brat, conversation moves from fishing to hunting. Story time, as I get the details on a 201 inch non-typical Whitetail from the 2008 season. Kindred spirits, I could fit in here just fine.

Greg Schoneck for ND Live Wet & Wild

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