Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BWCA 2016 Day Five
August 31, 2016

917 AM bacon to fry.

Day five we were down to 4/7 of our original crew; brother, nephew and cousin had left camp.  So we reconfigured the canoes for the morning: adult in each stern, kid in each bow; four dudes and two canoes left.

1235 PM this fish was taped at 19.5 inches.

211 PM.  The Kid had had a slow morning and was grumbling some about not catching many fish.  We talked a while about putting in work and accumulation of time on water resulting in success, etc.  I think it was also stated that things can turn around rather quickly.  In the world of angling things can change quickly.  As this talk concluded we were paddling by a bay full of deadheads and I asked: want to fish it or not.  We are here; want to fish it or do you want to go back to camp.  Let's fish it he said.  Couple casts in he had a nice smallie and then I think maybe few casts later he dropped it right by a deadhead and hooked this pike.  I was a little worried landing it because I could see only one of the three hooks on one treble was holding tightly; also just generally worried about the terrible nature of handling pike.  Very bad C&R fish.  They don't fight hard or run but near the boat they are devils.  No net; but the first grab was solid and brought the fish into the boat.  Very happy it played out as such.

Mark on paddle, tape back at camp said solid 36 inches.  The "conversion charts" say that equates to 13.3 lbs.  That feels right to me just based on ball parking it while holding and examining; also thinking that it was very averagely built.  

Late afternoon I jointed a 7 wt fly rod; first time all trip.  Day five. Had not felt need to do it until this day.  My dad wanted to take both kids out in the MN III.  That left me solo.  The actual first cast of any fly on the trip caught a pike.  Orange and white half and half clouser.   Then I said why would I ever fish those flies and I changed to poppers and didn't look back.  There were many smallmouth bass to hand.  This one at 504 PM.
That mark on paddle is 18 inches.  Closing the mouth and pinching tail put it right around 18 in this case.   
What I call a deadhead bay.  Money.

514 PM.  Note previous time of 504 PM.  The fish struggling here was caught by casting a popper so it nearly touched the wood of this deadhead.  One good pop and let it sit.  All that's needed.
516 PM two minutes later fish landed.  Kind of a bruiser looking fish; kind of a badass.

This one pushed past the 18 mark (hidden from view); the next mark is the 20.  Number of fish in that range.

604 PM.  Smaller fish but great coloration.  

Finally got a from-afar look at the fully-manned MN III.

Summary shot of the deal one is looking to close.

707 PM.

713 PM LMB.  This fish just crushed the popper.  See the glass pane there; it was quite a take.

Lip touching between the 18 and 20 marks.

739 PM.

I missed being sternsman for the boys.  But it was fun to light into some fish.  Poppers for big bass on calm water.  In the middle of a pretty vast wilderness.