Its Fishing Not Catching

Good success generally brings more success. With that in mind, I planned to go back to Lake Manawa and hammer some more Walleyes. The ones I caught the previous week were not big, but nice size in the 16 to 18 inch range. Those filet out to be a nice eating fish. I reviewed the report from the Iowa DNR, and they talked about pulling shad raps along the west bank. I have never had much luck pulling plugs, but for many it works and they catch a lot of fish. You cover a large area and I always feel like I am bypassing a lot of fish, not that they would hit, but it feels that way. The bait shop told me to fish after 7 PM. Now the week before I had fished really early in the morning and was successful, but I thought it over and decided to follow their advice.

Next evening the wind was from the northwest. That’s ok, a little strong, but that’s ok. I had no idea what the situation was with the moon. Keep in mind, my goal is to fish high pressures when the wind is gentle and southwesterly. I also want a full to almost full moon. I have no idea if this makes any difference, but it really sounds good. There was a low overcast, but the weather maps did not show any frontal movement. As I got to the lake and launched the boat the wind picked up in velocity, but I would be along the west bank and S turning from 2 to 5 feet of water pulling spinners.

After I reached the area I intended to fish, the wind really picked up and was blowing right out of the north. The lake was starting to white cap, and the boats that were there were heading to the boat ramp. Now I must tell a story about a good friend. He and I went on several trips over several years fishing the Canadian side of the BWCA. When it got windy, he got excited. He loved the windy weather and the more so the better. Born and raised in the Iron Range of northern Minnesota, this man was a really hard core walleye fisherman. He grew up fishing walleyes. He fished with an open face reel, kept the bail open, and laid the line over his index finger. The minute there was a tap, he let go of the line, waited a couple of seconds, closed the bail, and set the hook. To this day, my son fishes just like him. e set the hook He He would set the hook on a lot of snags, but he set the hook on a lot of soft biting fish. He would stay and hammer an area even if we got one hit. The boat would be pitching while he stood back trolling into the wind. We ran the bilge pump a lot.

I began to back troll up the west bank of Lake Manawa using a spinner and crawler. Last week I used minnows, but today I put on a crawler. The wind picked up some more, and it was spitting a little rain now and then. The drops stung the face, but I was determined to catch fish. Boat control was getting a little difficult, and the ability to S turn into the bank and back out was not working so well. It seemed the wind had moved more northeasterly. This was a really bad sign and was totally against my basic principle. Wind from the east, fishing is least. Wind from the west, fishing is best. I stuck it out.

Now for another story that is totally unrelated. When I was a young man, my son and I would go up to northern Manitoba and fish every other year. We fished with a native guide. He ran a boat either wide open or at a snail’s pace. When we were at the snail’s pace, it was time to fish. Wide open, forget it. He would not stay in an area very long. He would arrive at a spot wide open, throttle back and say, “ Fish here.” If we did not get a hit within 15 minutes, it was reel up and wide open again to another spot. When we were on top of the walleye, he worked the area back and forth until it was exhausted or we had limited out. He had guided for some of the TV fishermen and told me it would take 4 to 5 days to film the 20 minutes we saw on TV. They wanted the smaller fish as that provided more rod action. They got skunked on several days.

Anyway, I was not having any luck. I was halfway up the west side of the lake, and not one hit. This was a bad idea, and it was getting worse. The wind moved more to the northeast and I had to put on a rain suit. It was time to face the facts. This was a bad idea, and I was not going to catch a thing. There is always another day, so I folded up and headed for home. It was 9 PM. If you have an interesting story to share or pictures, e-mail them to me, and I will post them on the site.

Good fishing, good hunting, and good luck,


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