Friday, May 30, 2014

Go’in to Jackson….

This week has been fantastic weather and fishing, temps in the 70’s and 80’s, lots of excellent fishing and best of all…….no bugs yet! This week’s groups include fisherman from Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Texas. All the groups are having great fishing with numerous limits of walleyes, brook trout and pike. There have been 4-5 pike over 40” caught and released this week.

Chad’s wife, Michelle arrived a few days ago along with 2 of their 4 kids. The other two stayed back in Wisconsin with Chad’s dad until school is out. Barb and Michelle have been going for walks and have even set up a schedule where they get up at 6:30 each morning and jog a couple of miles! Me, I am content staying back at camp and keeping Daisy entertained.

As for ourselves, Barb and I have gotten out fishing a couple of times. This week we went to Jackson Lake. Sunday I went there with a group from New York. This is the same lake I went to last week that is about 1 ½ hours from the resort and a ½ mile walk through the swampy woods area. The road to the lake it pretty rough and slow going with several areas where the road is flooded due to beaver activity. Arriving at the lake, we pounded the water at an area on the far end of the lake where a stream enters the lake. After 3 hours we only had 4 fish to show for our efforts. Needing a change of scenery we moved to an area in the middle of the lake where a smaller stream enters. The water was only 4-7 feet in front of this stream so I was skeptical but what the heck, we have nothing to lose right? I dropped the jig in the water and wham! I had a nice walleye in the boat. Within 3 minutes, I had 3 walleyes in the boat and the others were scrambling to get their jigs in the water! We fished that area for another 3 hours and caught over a hundred walleyes from 15-25” and about a dozen northern pike up to 32”. By the time we got home it was almost 8:00. We were exhausted and the group said that although they loved this fishing, they would never do that walk again. Wilderness fishing is not for everyone……

A couple of areas where the beavers have been active

Pat and Austin navigating through a shallow narrow area
Duke with a nice 22" Walleye
Austin and this dad Pat with a 25" Walleye
After telling our tales back at the resort, Barb and a group from Wisconsin said they wanted to some of that action! So the next morning, Barb and I along with John and his two sons, John and James, packed up our gear and headed to Jackson. The trail in is ½ wooded with hard ground and the other ½ is bog and muck where you will sink up almost to your knee. John and his sons are active outdoorsman and stopped several times along the trail in saying how absolutely beautiful the area was. We launched the boats and headed for our hotspot to see if the fish were still in front of the stream mouth. We had our answer with about 30 seconds of dropping first jig. We stayed in that spot all day, again catching hundreds of fish. The only difference today was some larger walleyes had moved in and we caught numerous fish in the 22-24” range.

Barb with stream in background
This is the area in front of the stream all the fish were

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John, James and John ready for action!
Wednesday Barb drove a boat to Grand Rapids, MN (8 hour drive) to take a boat in for some boat repair while Chad and I brought 5 motors and fuel tanks to Onaman Lake. This lake is probably the best walleye fishing lake in the area but is walk in access only. Fortunately the 1 mile walk in is on a well-established hard trail. You cannot fish this lake until June 1st so Chad needed to get these motors in before the opener. The other fortunate thing is that you can use a 4 wheeler on the trail in until May 31st so we loaded up the motors and hauled them to the lake, mounted them to the boats and took each one for a test drive……everything went well and we were back on the road in a couple hours.
We have seen lots of wildlife so far on our way to and from the lakes; moose, bear, wolf, grouse and waterfowl. Although we usually have cameras at the ready, the moose, bear and wolves are pretty camera shy and head for the bush when they see us pull out our camera.
Pair od Ring Necked ducks in a roadside pond

I tried to outdo Barb in the injury department this week. Last week she tried to chop off her finger so I thought I would one-up her and try to chop off my leg.  They say that logging is one of the most dangerous professions for a reason. Especially for an amateur logger like me. The tree I was cutting for firewood kicked back while falling causing the chainsaw to bounce back into my thigh. I did not realize what happened until I looked down and saw a huge tear in my jeans and under that…… well, you get the picture. Actually you don’t get the picture as it was kinda gruesome. I went back to the trailer where Barb bandaged it up and we debated whether it needed stitches. In the end we decided to just put some hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment and a wrap it up and call it good.  30 minutes later I was back at it exacting my revenge on that tree!

In the category of “you can’t make this up”…….Chad had a young couple in their early 30’s come in the other day and they wanted to go fishing. Chad set them up with a motor, fuel and bait and sent the couple and their two dogs to a lake that had a boat cached on it. The last thing he handed him was a boat plug telling him he did not know if the boat on that lake had a plug in it. When they came back several hours later they were all completely soaked! The young man said everything went well, they found the lake, the boat, put the motor on and launched the boat and started fishing. Almost immediately the boat started filling with water……he said there was a hole in the back of the boat that water was just pouring through! But he noticed that when the boat was moving the water went back out the same hole. So they fished and when the water got too deep in the boat they would start the motor and drive it around while the water went back out the hole in the back of the boat. They repeated this routine for a couple hours and caught a few fish then it was time to head home. By this time they were all wet up to their ankles from that water that was coming in their boat. As they slowly approached the landing the water in the boat was now about mid-calf deep and when the young man approached the shore and stepped out of the boat, the entire boat tipped over sending everyone into the water! They arrived back at camp wet, cold, but in surprisingly good spirits and told Chad about their experience and the hole in the boat. Chad’s first words were “Did you put the plug in the boat?” Chad said you could almost see the light bulb flick on in his head! The young man said he thought the plug was an extra plug for the motor! He went on to say that he thought it was weird that the boat had a perfectly round hole in it…… it was almost like someone had drilled the hole there!...........As I said, some things you just can’t make up!


  1. Too funny! Looks like you guys are having a blast. Keep up with the pictures I like them all. Stay safe!

  2. Amazing fishing! Are you two camp hosts? Fishing guides? I can't wait to get the poles in the water in some new lakes and catch fish that I haven't caught before! Where we live, we're used to mainly trout, bass and catfish. I think I'd love to catch a wall eye!l When you say bog, are you actually hiking through this much up to your knees?

  3. Walleye are probably the best eating fish I have ever had. The bog is knee deep in spots but mostly ankle deep. Yesterday a guy came back from that lake and said he went in up to his waste!