A audience and avid Lake for the Woods fisherman took us to process last week for a recently available tale we penned in regards to a Campbell, Minn., angler whom boated «at least 60» walleyes over 25 ins during a June day at the lake that is big.
TJ Harig, who copied their claim by sharing several pictures beside me, said their 2 days on Lake regarding the Woods served within the types of fishing he might never ever experience once more. According to Lake for the Woods laws, which need fishermen to produce walleyes from 19ВЅ ins to 28 ins, Harig stated he circulated every one of the big walleyes but in addition caught fish that is eater-size.
I am a sucker for the good seafood tale, and element of my task is sharing the successes (and failures) of hunters, anglers along with other out-of-doors enthusiasts therefore I was fast to bite whenever Harig shared their tale. It had been probably the most story that is read our web site for at the least 2 days operating.
In addition, in all honesty, involving the pandemic and storm harm from a current and ongoing barrage of serious climate at our property in northwest Minnesota, come july 1st this indicates i am being forced to fish vicariously through the tales and experiences of other people.
My buddies will attest that this turn that is undesirable of has made me personally quite cranky, on occasion.
My tale on Harig’s visit to Lake associated with the Woods, which later on was included in WCCO when you look at the Twin Cities, had a comparable impact on a fisherman whoever household for a long time has owned a cabin regarding the south coast regarding the Lake of this Woods and fishes here often.
«Pretty disappointed,» was their response to the storyline.
«Not yes why anybody may wish to inform that tale, specially because bad as the fishing has gotten in the last several years as a result of the pressure that is extreme the pond,» he composed. «Maybe you would might like to do an account regarding the more practical side of the individual which includes fished the pond for approximately 50 years that can not barely get a keeper anymore between mid-June and September.»
Simply the past week, he stated he’d spent more than 15 hours fishing Lake for the Woods and caught just two keepers.
«then when we see or read an account such as this i simply bristle!» he published. «we hope their next 10 trips are just like mine so he will not be therefore fast to boast.»
He included: «One thing should be performed to either decrease force or limitations (or both), however a ‘one in a million’ tale such as this does not assist.»
Whilst the harsh response caught me off-guard, i’ve had comparable issues, specially in regards to the standard of wintertime fishing stress on Lake for the Woods. All the way to Garden Island, some 25 miles from the south shore of the lake during a mid-February snowmobile/ice fishing trip to Oak Island on the Northwest Angle, I saw plowed roads and a city of wheelhouses.
Time was, a person with a snowmobile had that right area of the pond pretty much to themselves.
A number of columns we published concerning the escalation in cold temperatures fishing force produced response that is tremendous other anglers, nearly all of who additionally had issues in regards to the quantity ice fishing stress.
The figures are staggering.
According to outcomes from the creel study the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources carried out this winter that is past fishermen logged almost 2.8 million hours of ice fishing time regarding the big lake from December through March, smashing the prior record of 2.1 million hours during the cold winter of 2019.
This winter that is past number probably could have been also greater in the event that pandemic had not brought journey to a screeching halt within the last half of March.
Fishermen additionally kept a believed 243,803 pounds of walleyes and 461,240 pounds of saugers this winter that is past. In comparison, fishermen during the cold winter of 2019 kept 370,000 pounds of walleyes and 479,000 pounds of saugers.
Therefore, harvest this winter that is past down, despite an amazing upsurge in fishing force, on the basis of the DNR creel study outcomes.
Away from stability?
Another longtime Lake associated with the Woods fisherman from my hometown of Roseau, Minn., this week explained he thinks the pond has gone out of stability and it has way too many big walleyes, seafood that either autumn in the protected slot or are also bigger.
«It is a phenomenon that is strange you are fishing and you also set the hook and also you state it seems too large and no body receives the internet extremely fast,» he stated. «then you definitely set the hook and state, ‘This feels as though a keeper.’ Man, (they) obtain the right that is net since you’re finally gonna get someone to consume.»
We shared the 2 anglers’ frustrations with Phil Talmage, area fisheries manager for the DNR in Baudette, Minn. When I reported in December, the DNR’s yearly autumn population study on Lake associated with Woods, which begins the Tuesday after Labor Day and continues for 17 consecutive days, yielded walleye and sauger figures that both exceeded DNR management goals.
The study produced good variety of 13- to 15-inch saugers and above-average abundance of 15- to 19-inch walleyes; 13- to 14-inch walleyes had been slightly below historic averages in final autumn’s study.
Expected this week exactly how he’d react to the declare that Lake of this Woods may be out of stability, Talmage stated current regulations perform a job that is»great of protecting spawning-size seafood, which means that the abundance of bigger walleyes isn’t surprising.
«We do monitor the whole fishery very close, and also at this time we’ve good amounts of seafood underneath the protected slot,» Talmage said; «keepers» not as much as 19ВЅ inches, put simply.
If fishermen are not catching keeper-size walleyes in time-worn locations, Talmage recommends attempting areas that are different.
«They may be around,» he stated. «Lake for the Woods is a sizable and powerful pond, and walleye can move about a great deal.»
Wherever you stay on Lake associated with Woods, its fishing force and present walleye populace styles, be good to your messenger.
The final time we caught a walleye, and even had a way to catch them, was inside my February ice fishing visit to Lake associated with the Woods.
Maybe i am taking this pandemic too really, but i have nearly forgotten exactly what a walleye seems like. And it’s really making me crankier each day.
That said, we’d be inquisitive to listen to your ideas if you are A lake that is frequent of Woods angler; strike me up.