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Pam & I in Alberta harvesting a moose.
Pam and I harvesting an Idaho Elk
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Wow, what a change in just a short period of time. The wind came up and blew out of the southwest and the lake rocked and rolled. This is great walleye water, but there was no cloud cover and old sol put the burn on us.
Pam did not want to get out in the wind and sun. It was not so much the wind as the sun was really bright and high even though we were on the lake by 7:30. The temp when I got up was hitting 75, and scheduled to move into the 90s by noon. We started it right off picking up fish using a jig and a minnow. That is the good news, but the fish we caught were all shorts. A short is less than 15 inches and all we were catching were the shorties. They were acting a little more hungry this morning. Hopes were high.
We had started the same location as the day before but the fish were of no size. It was beyond the term as a shorty. Some of these fish would have made great bait. At least they hit hard and rather than calmly tightening the line and wait for a little wiggle before hook setting.
Let your electronics be your guide was once told to me by an old walleye fisherman and we had all that you could get. All that was left was to throw out the depth charges. South Dakota does not allow fishing with TNT.
We moved to another location. It looked like we were going to hunt the walleye rather than fish for them. At a new location, we got nothing and moved again. What is interesting we continually graphed fish in the lower depth. We were fishing in a range of 20 to 25 feet in depth.
This where it begins. Off the point straight ahead and to the left is a line of rocks reaching out into the main body of the lake. What is the one thing that walleye fishermen do not like? The lake is calm, and we like ripple.
Today we fished an area we had never been to. South of Platte is a bay off the main body of the lake surrounded by points and smaller bays with a lot of rock surrounding the lake. On the edge of the main body is a point of rock pointing onto the main lake. This is where the slaughter took place. The day before the guide took his two grandsons to this area and was limited out in less than three hours.
The boat ramps and parking facilities in South Dakota are excellent. The state really does a nice job of providing good access to the lakes. They also maintain one of those no flush toilets near the parking ramp.
We headed out of the bay to a point that stuck out into the main body of the lake. Beautiful day is not a good walleye day and I would rather have clouds, some wind, and even a little rain. What amazed Pam and I were the size of the boats. They were all expensive, big, and had a lot of horsepower for the main motor plus a kicker on the back. Fancy electric trolling motors on the front and everyone we saw was well stacked with electronics to locate fish and structures. Our guide’s boat was one of those. You still have to find and catch them.
The second day on Frances Case was a bit breezy. Pam nailed the first fish a white bass that had the nerve to put up a struggle. It was promptly returned to the lake, but she had a good time.
Coming off the ramp we met a fisherman coming back in and it was only 8 AM. Our guide was friends with the fisherman and the people in the boat and he hollered, “A fisherman’s luck is a wet butt and a hungry gut.” Obviously their luck was poor.
Wind was a bit of a problem and boat control got really difficult. Even with the equipment the guide has, fishing was tough. We were still using lead core line with the two outer rods that were teamed with the planer boards. We fished under the bridge down the lake to a location that held trees standing in 50 feet of water. Right above the trees 30 feet deep was where the fish were hanging out.