Every year that this crew comes up they put together a fishing tournament. You take the largest fish of each of the main species we are fishing for (Northern Pike, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, and Perch) and add the inches together. I had a pretty solid 80 inches all together which is enough to win in previous years. However my Walleye was only 18 1/2 inches, pike only 35 inches and my bass was only 13 1/2. Perch was the only one I was near the largest with a 12 inch Perch. But that got beat out by a 12 1/2 incher. So the winner who took home the $90 (10 bucks per person) had a total of 89 1/2 inches. I tied for 5th place. Everybody had lots of big fish and more fish than we could take home.
We ate fish at least once, sometimes twice per day. And still had plenty to freeze and take home.
Matt with his 17 inch bass
We also became a type of guides for other fishermen. There were families that would go out fishing all day and catch 2 fish, and we would limit out in a couple hours. So we gave a few tips to a family from Manitoba, they were actually ready to leave and go home a day early. But they listened to our tips, changed their baits, went to a few of our spots, and they hit their limit of walleyes and one of their kids caught half their fish. Needless to say, they had a great time, thanked us for our advice with a few beers and stayed the rest of their planned trip.
They turned out to be a great bunch to chill with after fishing and I was sorry they had to leave, but work doesn't stop and they had to get back to the road.
Comming in from a day of fishing. Believe it or not, its 10:00pm
The second family we helped out was from Iowa. Again, not having a lot of luck, but saw all of our fish in the cleaning shack and wanted in on the action. So they followed us out the next morning through the rain. My boat stopped early but they continued to follow another one of our boats back to Galley's Bay. We saw them return a couple hours later. When we saw them that night we asked them how they did . . . they got two walleyes. Two? They asked us what our outcome was . . . well my boat caught 49 walleyes, many pike and perch and the boat they followed to Galley's Bay caught 75 walleyes.
They just left too early, because after the rain left and the wind picked up the fishing was great! But the next day we checked with them again and they were having lots more success hitting their limit of walleyes, some over 20 inches and really enjoying themselves.
Charlie cleaning the Perch
On the 27th it was time to pack up again, but not until we got one more morning of fishing in. Charlie and I were alone in our boat because we wanted to explore some more fishing areas, but nobody was using the trusty worms that brought us success all week. We were all looking for the monster fish on our lures to win the tournament. Charlie and I tried McLeod Bay, which they have never fished in the 20 years up there but it seemed promising.
I got the biggest fish of the day at 30 inches (pike) but it wasn't enough to raise me in the rankings. It was an interesting bay in the sense that most of it was 40 feet deep, even by some of the edges, but then in the middle there was an area with huge granite boulders inches from the surface. With the questionable layout of the lake and our failing depth finder we returned to the lakes everyone else was fishing at, but still did a little exploring going up a river channel finding some rapids before returning and a possible hotspot for bass that Charlie will be exploring next year. With the rain all morning and lack of big fish catching we retired at 11:00am and returned to the cabin for some coffee, showers and preparing for our drive home.
"walking on water" in McLeod Bay
We brought home or limit for the number of people in the car which included 10 bass, 20 walleye, 20 Pike and 240 Perch. I think we are good on fish for the rest of the year.