Walleye in the strangest of places

July 24, 2009

Faith Outdoors

I got out on one of my favorite bass lakes yesterday — Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. It’s on the chain of lakes that includes Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.

I took my oldest son, Joe, and we were hoping for some good bass action. Two previous trips had been slow, but it was a nice day and we were on a warming trend, which has been rare in the month of July.
We had a tough time getting through the channel going from Lake of the Isles to Cedar because of the low water this year. At one point, Joe got out and pushed the boat through a shallow spot.
Once on Cedar, I went to a small point and made a cast to the weedline. I felt a few taps, then set the hook. After a short battle, the fish came up — a walleye!
I have been fishing Cedar for several years and never caught a walleye. It was about 13 inches long and I dropped it into the livewell. Walleyes this size always taste good. We continued working our way around the lake pitching plastic worms for bass. The only takers were small bass and one decent-sized northern. The biggest bass of the day was only about 13 inches long.
That’s not what I’m used to on this lake. In fact, just three weeks ago, my friend, Dave Altman, and I each landed an 18 1/2-incher. I’m not sure what’s going on. Usually, by this time of the summer, the bass are set up on the deep weedlines and willing to bite plastic worms.
Not this  year. The best theory I can come up with is the cold weather we’ve had this month has thrown them off their summer pattern. In a normal year, temperatures have been in the 80s consistently for several weeks, with a few 90s thrown in. I’m not sure we’re going to see that anytime soon — or at all this summer.
Does this mean the usual summer pattern won’t exist this year? I sure hope not. One thing I do know is I probably won’t go back to Cedar this year. It’s really tough getting through that channel and the results are definitely not worth the struggle. I may try Calhoun in the next few weeks, but I’m not sure things will be any different there. It’s a deeper and colder lake than Cedar, so I don’t know if there are any fish on the deep weedlines there, either.
Maybe I should switch over to walleyes. All the reports I have heard about walleyes this year have been good. And, I had success on Upper Red Lake with my family last month. I’m planning on fishing a lake in the Brainerd area in early August. It has both walleyes and bass and I think I’ll try to target both and see which one is biting.
If it ends up being walleyes, I won’t complain. More fish for the frying pan is a good thing!

About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek