Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mille Lacs Lake walleye guide: Big smiles and Big walleyes

Mille Lacs walleye guide trip chaos
Last week, Jim Ernster and I headed out to Mille Lacs Lake to guide for walleyes.  We had three little boys and three fathers.  One of my favorite parts of being a fishing guide is the chance to help little kids catch big fish.  The grins, yells of excitement, and best of all, memories are so awesome!  Mille Lacs Lake walleye fishing has been outstanding this year, and today would be just that.  Here is the story of big smiles and big walleyes. 
Jim and I got to Tutt’s Bait and Tackle in Garrison a little early, and were sitting in the parking lot tying on some Jolly Roger spinners.  A truck pulls up to Tutt’s and instantly two little boys come flying out of the truck.  Working as a team, they meticulously checked over everything outside of Tutt’s in 1.3 seconds.  It was clear that these little guys meant business, and wanted to get fishing so we headed over to the landing.   With their nonstop energy, they kept up the exploring of the landing and this time one of the boys found a dead walleye.  He picked it up (it had been dead for awhile) and was yelling, “I got one dad!!”  I was laughing pretty hard, and thinking that the day was going to be crazy!
Finally we got to our spot, and before we even got 100 yards trolling, BOOM!  Fish on!  We started the day with a very nice 22 incher.  Very shortly after that, I saw Jim netting a walleye.  We both had the skunk out of the boat in 10 minutes.  In my boat I had four clients: the two little guys (yes the one that grabbed the dead walleye J) and their fathers.  The boys used $15 push button rods that were bending just from the 2 ounce bottom bouncer.  On the other side the dad’s had fancy trolling rods with all the bells and whistles.  I’m not sure of the exact count, but the boys proceeded to catch most of the fish in the first hour.  We had a bunch of 21-23 inch walleyes, and so far the biggest was a 25 incher, caught by one of the boys.  Jim was catching them also, and the smiles were contagious. 
28 Mille Lacs Walleye
One of the dads busted out his iPhone, turned on some music, and the day just kept getting better.  I was trolling the edge of the mud, listening to country music, and watching the boys put on a clinic!  We were fishing in the middle of Mille Lacs but every time they set the hook, I’m pretty sure the whole lake knew it.  If the fish stayed hooked, it would be accompanied topside by a little boy with a huge smile, yelling like a wild man.  I was having a blast just watching these kids! 
           As the sun slowly got lower in the sky, the bite slowed down. The boys were tired and hungry, so they decided to pull the plug a little bit early.  The biggest walleye was a 28 incher (caught by a 10 year old J), we had a bunch of slot fish, and we even caught some keepers-but decided to throw back also.  We pulled into the dock still talking about the epic day of fishing we were lucky to experience.  They packed up the cars and took off, and Jim and I loaded up and headed home.  On the drive home, I couldn’t hide my ear to ear grin thinking about the awesome day of catching big smiles and big walleyes.  

See you on the water!! Capt. Tim Hanske     
Mille Lacs walleye guide fun
Bonus!  32 in pike


A nice Mille Lacs walleye

25 inch Mille Lacs walleye

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