Dreams of walleyes danced in my head as my friend, Pete Wolney, and I headed north Sunday afternoon for two days of fishing on Lake of the Woods. It has been an annual fall event for about the last eight years, and we were hoping for some great action.
We try to time our trip when the shiners migrate from the lake into the Rainy River, with the walleyes following closely behind. It has proven tough to hit it right, which is why we scrutinize fishing reports throughout the month of October. Finally, we decided to pull the trigger and make the six-hour hike to Baudette.
The weather looked good, and we were eager to hit the river for what we hoped would be fast fishing. But, alas, an urgent family matter came up for Pete and we had to drive home Monday afternoon. We got to fish for just two hours before taking the boat out of the water. This was the last fishing trip of the season for both of us.
It was sad to have it end so quickly, but one bit of quick thinking helped us go home with some walleyes. Each of us caught one fish in the two hours we were out on the water. I caught a 13-inch walleye that we kept, and Pete got a 21-incher that we had to release because it was in the protected slot of 19 1/2 to 28 inches. I decided to ask the folks at Adrian’s Resort, where we stayed, if anyone had any extra fish we could take off their hands. One of the owners did some checking, and she came up with some for us.
So, after returning home, I did a fish fry for my wife, Julie, and two of our kids, Claire and William (my two oldest are off at college). Nothing beats fresh walleye in a frying pan. That definitely eased the pain of not being able to do much fishing.
Now, it’s on to deer hunting. I’ll be in my bow hunting stand tomorrow, then back in the woods Saturday for the firearms opener. Our hunting party goes to several properties near Red Wing, and the good news is all of the crops are harvested. That pushes deer into the woods — and brings them back out into the fields for spilled grain when it’s time to eat. We have stands positioned on the edge of the woods and we’ll be waiting for them.
So, things are looking good for the opener.