Best Bites Ever

January 5, 2016 by  

Every now and then I get nostalgic and start thinking about past fishing trips. This is one of those times. In the following I’ll share some memorable fishing trips by species.

Gotta’ start with walleyes. This is a tough one, because I’ve been in on some outstanding walleye bites. I’ve had the good fortune to share a boat on Green Bay with Bruce DeShano and Dean Arnoldussen when the bite for big ones was tremendous, but I think the best walleye bite for truly big walleyes occurred on the Red River near Selkirk Manitoba. It was in the early 90’s, I was fishing with Larry Rasmusson and Neil King for catfish: There’s big catfish in the Red River, but we kept catching walleyes on catfish baits, so we tied on crankbaits and started trolling. The bite was incredible, and the walleyes were big. We got bit every fifty yards. It took us longer to land the fish than it did to get another one to bite. A small one was twenty five inches, and the biggest one was thirty three or thirty four inches: I can’t remember the length and it doesn’t matter. I just remember it was the biggest walleye I’ve ever caught. Memorable!

John Peterson with one of many northern pike from my most memorable northern pike outing.

John Peterson with one of many northern pike from my most memorable northern pike outing.

My best northern pike memory took place on Upper Red Lake in northern Minnesota. I was fishing with John Peterson and we were throwing the new at-the-time Magnum Reed-Runner spinnerbait. The water on Upper Red is quite stained. The blades on the Magnum are big so they throw a lot of vibration which helped the pike locate our bait. We could feel the big blades throbbing as they came through the water. Quite often we would feel the blades do something different. It was almost as if they just quite turning for a second or two. A savage strike usually came right after this. Eventually we realized that the pike were swiping at the bait but missing it, which caused the blades to change their frequency. If we just kept reeling, the pike would almost always return and get the bait the second time. We took numerous pike over thirty six inches that afternoon, with several that stretched to forty two inches. Memorable!

Back in the mid 80’s I worked with fishing legends Gary Roach and Randy Amenrud. We hosted a lot of fishing trips on Rainy Lake near International Falls Minnesota. Today Rainy Lake is an outstanding walleye fishery, back then it wasn’t as good. We went to Rainy for the crappies. They were abundant and they were big: Two pounders weren’t common, but we caught a few, and we caught lots and lots of fourteen and fifteen inchers. On one particular outing we located a school of crappies that were a couple feet off the bottom in thirty feet of water. Back then our sonar units weren’t as revealing as they are now. We were vertically jigging and the plan was to let our jigs fall to the bottom, then reel them up a couple of feet to get them to where the fish were. That plan didn’t work. For much of a two hour span in the evening, our jigs usually didn’t hit the bottom: They were intercepted by hungry crappies before they could arrive at the bottom. Memorable!

I have lots of other wonderful memories of times on the water when the fishing was exceptional that I will share in the near future.

I also have wonderful memories of times on the water when the fishing wasn’t so good but the day or the trip was memorable for some other reason. I’ll share those in the near future also. For now, I would encourage you to go fishing and make some wonderful memories of your own.

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