Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bass Camp 2012, Busticogan Country

If I remember correctly back to my days of working there: 954 lakes in Itasca County.  And a headwaters county: Veritas caput became veritascaput which became Itasca.  True head.  1.4 million acres I think.  Pretty big county and a lot of lakes.  Most of those lakes (>50%) are what you’d call very small.  This bass camp was set up on one such lake.  We walked in on July 2nd and out the next day.  Here are a few notes:

(1) A main take-home for me was the toughness that the boys showed: flies were highly aggressive and ever-present. Kids and adults alike could have whined about this but to be honest there was little or no whining that I witnessed. One kid asked to cover up his ankles and was helped by adults once or twice in doing so. Further, the night we chose happened to be very stormy. Strong winds. Some nearby towns uprooted and damaged to a pretty good degree. Adults stayed in one tent; some of our stakes were pulled up by the wind. Kids stayed in another tent. They did not run to our tent or even cry out as the heart of the storm came on. Pretty good I thought.

(2) Turned out to be kind of a swimming camp. According to the preference of the kids. Fishing was second choice but when we did it, they got into it. Everyone caught some fish. On the one serious lap around the lake that I was a part of, we must have boated an easy 20-25 LMB, all on the top. Hula poppers for spinning gear and a frog colored popper for 7 wt. Nice water. Fun anticipation. I kind of forgot about fishing for bass in northern MN lakes. The takes are good. You can see where the fish should be and cast there and watch it happen.

(3) Being that we just caught 999 SMB the other day in Lake Michigan, the comparison to LMB is ripe: SMB take it. In general. But a specific note too: recall all those SMB struggling to the very last second; the final grasp of the lower lip… they are shaking head from side to side and they simply won’t sit still. I noticed these LMB pretty readily resigned when they got to the boat. No head shaking. Could have been a local temperature situation or something; can’t say but I sure noticed it. We put together a few topwater doubles which was cool.

(4) No sleeping bags because it was a heat advisory. This bit me a little bit; got cold in large part because we got wet. But made it work with clothing and one blanket. Kids had one sleeping bag and some towels.

(5) A highlight was taking off my pants and shirt (soaked) and balling them up and throwing them in the mud in front of the tent. Then waking up in the morning, picking up that wad of clothing and putting it on right then and there. It was dry within 5-10 minutes.

Nice camp. Thanks for it. That B&W pic may not meet professional assessment criteria but it is a new favorite; it is bordering on a Hemingway shot.


Blogger darklake said...

I came home from a great afternoon of LMB fishing in northern Minn (next door to Itasca county) and read your blog. Timely post! The small lake bass fishing up here is remarkably underrated and underutilized. I love it that most everybody else pursues walleyes or fishes big lakes. There are so many little gems to explore, and so many bass to catch on topwater!

8:46 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Good timing dark lake. Glad you had a good one. Top water fishing is always good. Hundreds of lakes smaller than 20 acres.

10:56 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

I like that b&w image, too.
Kind of unfortunate that some other cousins/brother didn't get in on this, even for a day.
I happened to read earlier today that we (Itasca County) have over 1,000 lakes. I agree that these little undeveloped ones are the gems.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Carp Fishing said...

What a beautiful natural scenario it is. I become nostalgic of my childhood and of my village life.I passed my child hood at my village and used to do fishing , specially Carp fishing in our own ponds and our neighbours' ones. After returning from the school we usually went to Carp fishing for the last part of the day. However the pictures of the Blog reminds me of that days. Thanks again for this nice blog.

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