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Monday, January 13, 2014

Wild Gill Chase

Decided to set up a day of adventure with my buddy Travis for Saturday. After a whole lot of prodding (he is really set in his ways), he finally agreed to step away from his usual lakes for a morning of trying some new waters. I had a lake survey sent to me that has been tempting me for almost two years now. It showed a bluegill that was captured that was almost 12" long, as well as many larger than 10". The survey also showed very few (and small) crappies and I received no less than 10 texts from Travis along the lines of, "I dont know, can't we fish something with crappies instead?"

So we met up around 630 Sat morning and headed west. After a long drive, we arrived at the lake and headed out. drilled our first couple holes and found some very tight lipped fish. Kept drilling the area and found much of the same, so we pulled the plug and headed to another area of the lake. Drilled a little shallower this time and started catching some tiny gills and perch. The whole time Travis's whining did not stop! After trying several other spots on the lake, we finally called it off and headed to another lake nearby so Trav could go after some crappies. The big hole on this lake had a couple hard houses and portables on it, but after drilling all around and through them, we never marked a fish and left right away with plans to head back to the St Cloud area and fish a lake that I had been getting some good crappies on.

Well after driving for aboot 25 min, I saw a public access sign off the side of the road and decided we were going to fish that next. Had no idea what lake it was or what was in it, but I had a feeling. Pulled up to the access and opened my Navionics app and headed out to the first basin we saw. There was a bit of a shanty town in this spot, so we went to the far side of the basin and edged the group. We immediately found suspended crappies. They took a little bit of coaxing to catch, but we put some fish together for Travis to take home. The funny part aboot this lake is you could only catch one or two crappies out of each hole before the bluegills would move in and harass you. You then had to move to another hole 5-10 feet away to get back on only crappies.

Total for day one of "Wild Gill Chase" was one bluegill over 8", 8 pheasants seen in fields, and around 15 deer crossing roads. So we decided to head out early on Sunday for a crappie only trip.

Met at the launch around 730 on Sunday (I slept in a little) and headed out. Drilled aboot 15 holes in the area I had been catching crappies in previously. After around 15 min of not catching or marking any fish, the whining immediately started again. Luckily as the sun started creeping up in the sky, the flashers filled with fish and boy were they aggressive. The size seemed to increase as the sky got brighter. Unfortunately around 930, people started filtering onto the lake and drilling holes everywhere. The crappies immediately took notice and became very tight lipped. So we called it a day around 1030, with a very respectable limit of crappies in the bucket. I have plans to head up to the Brainerd area on Friday to chase some bluegills and crappies, hopefully the big gills want to play up there!

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