Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Big K

Week or more ago John Montana made his annual visit to MN, to spend time with family and fish a bit. We had charted out some days in SE MN: trout, carp, etc. Rough itinerary was in place. Then we got to chatting: idea came about that maybe we should abandon the norm and take a shot at something new - something that had been talked about off and on here and there: Lake Michigan carp. Big wild card. Who knew. About what. Not sure. We rounded up some advice. In the end the discussion and decision were worked out using baseball terms: let's forget about the scenarios that provide sure singles and doubles while entertaining possibilities of triples and homers and go for something that comes down to high likelihood of home run or strikeout. Given where we're at with respect to fishing history, experiences logged, bonds forged, etc. we were good with that idea. Good with that risk.

The report can be summed up as follows:

(1) Fascinating water: walking shallow bays of Lake Michigan and Green Bay. Someone said it was "bahamian" in some instances, and they were right (in my estimation). Dead clear water, whitish flats, and knee deep.

(2) We struck out cold. We knew about 1/2 day into it that the carp weren't on the flats. We carried out our due diligence and walked for two days though. Looking and hoping. Swearing a lot. Hell, it seemed like a clear sin that there were no carp on those flats. A sin. Damn it. Speculation is that the fish were on deeper flats maybe 4-8 feet. Not sure though. I observed high water temps, ranging up to 24.5 C. And folks in the area really didn't have much of a clue when carp behavior was discussed. Nobody knew for sure where in the hell those fish were. The lake is pretty damn big. It's not like the river, where, if the fish aren't in one spot you can persist and find them most of the time. In the river if you have time and are willing to work and conditions are even moderately acceptable you can at least find the fish. But think of having wading access to 0.00001% of the volume of a waterbody. You need some things to fall into place. Persistence can't get you there in every case when that is your setting. And so this was a case in point.

(3) On the way home we stopped for some consolation fishing: smallmouth. JM caught ~4, and Joe caught two, one of which was a beauty - as depicted in action shots below. I caught zero smallies. And so no consolation. I wasn't consoled. Therefore I was prompted to stop at my home river during my exit and catch a couple trout (something about three days of not touching a fish bugged me). And watery trout flesh marinated in lime juice helped a bit but not too much.

(4) We will be back.


Blogger John Montana said...

Nicely put. To continue the baseball analogy I would go with a solid double due to adventure quotient, quality of companions, and future trips planned. All in all enough to say "we will be back.". Most likely with company and female companionship.

Next up, spring time in Oregon.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice fishing! Very windy day but very nice too.

All the best.


1:45 PM  
Blogger Royce Gracie said...

Good call on #4....imagining those flats full of carp is exciting..we'll get back there and it will be alot of fun.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Trout Caviar said...

I applaud the effort, and from where I'm sitting, you definitely didn't come back empty-handed. Great photos and a well-told tale.

But what's this about "watery trout flesh..."?


9:48 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Good point re solid double. It had to be done and so it was done.

On the watery trout flesh: maybe needs to be worded better. I'm referring there to this interesting sensation of somehow tasting the stream when eating trout flesh. Tasting the stream water.

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