Brute's Bleat September 21, 2016


Nick Pawlenty left me a fishing note, “They are biting,” along with this photo of a 27-inch walleye he caught about the same time I was fishing Ottertail Lake. I was impressed and just a wee bit jealous! He was trolling using a Rapala and fishing with his father, Ed, who caught a couple of Northerns and missed what he figured was a large walleye.

My efforts at walleye fishing on Ottertail Lake last week Tuesday evening with my brother, Charles, didn’t meet with the success I anticipated. But that wasn’t because Charles didn’t put us on some fish. I had four good strikes in a couple of hours, but failed to hook any of them. I missed the first one using a nighty on a long Lindy rig and Charles caught a walleye using a jig and minnow. After he had several other bites I switched to a jig and night-crawler and got some action, but nothing to show for it. Obviously I need more practice! As the sun was setting, about 8 p.m., we called it a day with a couple of walleyes and a perch or two. The threat of frost for Wednesday morning convinced us we didn’t need to get on the lake early even though Charles loaned me a pair of long johns. There were several trucks in the parking lot that morning, one a guide’s rig which was on the lake when we arrived and still there when we left about 1 p.m. We had a slight snag at the access when one of us inadvertently locked the Durango with the keys in the ignition and the boat still on the trailer. Charles’ wife Jean came to our rescue. Charles picked up two more walleyes and another keeper perch, but I didn’t catch anything except small perch. . . In the afternoon we tried Rush Lake fairly confident we’d find some sunfish and maybe a walleye. Apparently the cold snap had its effects on the feeding habits and we couldn’t seem to find any hungry sunfish or walleyes. Thanks to Charles we had a fish fry that evening which made the trip great even though I didn’t contribute much. On the way to Chuck and Jean’s house I spotted a family of three deer feeding in the alfalfa stubble which had been cut that same morning. On the way home I shared the county road with a flock of turkeys just south of New York Mills. They were hens with their off-springs from this year’s hatch. . . Locally I fished on Maple Lake Saturday morning, but couldn’t find any concentration of sunfish. By 2 p.m. I decided to call it quits and released two keeper sunfish, a large crappie and a two-pound bass. . . On Sunday I teamed up with Daryl Hennen and we fished Rock Lake from about 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. We tried the north end first and the piece of leech I was using was good for several keeper sunfish while Hennen’s black bug, a Northern Tackle Impulse bait, also caught fish. We either were blown off the spot or they quit feeding and we moved to the south end of the lake. We caught some small fish and kept moving, finally settling on a spot just on the edge of the weeds in about 7-9 feet of water. The sunfish were extremely aggressive and it didn’t take us long to reach our quota of 20 sunfish. We actually had 21, but one was a nice crappie Hennen caught with his black bug. Pieces of leeches produced more fish, but they’re hard to find this time of the year. . . Ruffed grouse season is open and I hope to get out later this week and find out if the predictions of the DNR are right and they’re in the up part of the cycle. Just hearing a few flushes should tell the story!

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