Boat Rental - 8/06
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OK, Sunnies are good eating and fun to catch in the beginning.  But after a while I start yearning to go after the big game fish this lake has.  It is a special bass lake where the bass must be 21 inches to keep and the limit is one.  In addition to the bass there are Walleye and Northern Pike, both of which put up a good fight.  You can read about my experience last year with a large Northern Pike by clicking here.

Today Lewie and I rented a boat.  I know he'd much rather stand at the bridge and catch a bucket full of Sunnies but he went out for me.  I often think about renting a boat and going out myself but I'm a lot of weight in one spot and don't have any experience in operating a boat.  And then there was that time about 17 years ago when I went fishing with a friend and tipped the boat over...but that's another story.

Anyway, we headed out in the lake to the same area where we had some luck last year.  Usually Lewie fishes for the big game a little but soon becomes discouraged at the lack of action and resumes fishing for Sunnies.  However today he hooked a Smallmouth Bass and seemed to enjoy the fight it put up.  It wasn't a keeper by Ten Mile Lake standards, probably somewhere around 16 - 18 inches.  I hoped for similar luck.

We continued trolling and Lewie was happy with catching Sunnies in while I hunted for the larger game.  My wishes were answered when I had my turn with a Smallmouth.  I tossed a PowerGrub right along the weed line and it was hit immediately.  The fight was on.  It took me a good 5 minutes to work the bass up along side the boat on my 6 lb. test line and land the fish.  It was a nice one about the same size as Lewie's so back it went.  But I didn't care.  I just enjoyed catching a "real" fish.

We fiddled around until almost 1:00 pm catching nothing more but Sunnies.  Finally we came in for lunch and to clean the 30 or so Sunnies in the bucket.

We didn't get back out until about 3:00.  Our earlier spot still wasn't producing anything so we tried a small weed patch nearby.  The patch was only maybe 30 feet in diameter but every time we went around, we'd get bites from Sunnies.  After having way more than my fill of them, I put on a lure that resembled a minnow just to see what would happen.  Well it didn't take too long before I caught a Walleye.  It was about 14 inches in length but Walleye have a large head and thin body so they need to be larger to get much meat.  Back it went.

A few more times around and another Walleye hit.  This one was larger and I began the fight.  Now this is fishing!  Unfortunately I lost him after about a minute but that's OK with me.  I'm having fun.

Then around the weeds some more and Lewie continues to get Sunnies.  I let the lure work.  All of the sudden, bamm!!!  Another Smallmouth.  This one is smaller than the ones we got earlier but was fun nonetheless.

Ring around the rosy many more times.  The Sunnies have slowed down and I haven't had any more action.  Lewie is absolutely exhausted and it's nearing 6:30 pm.  We agree on one more time around before calling it quits.

About halfway around I get a HUGE hit!  I'm sure it's another Smallmouth and this one will probably be a keeper.  My reel is just singing as the fish runs, peeling the line at a fast clip.  I've got the drag set as tight as I dare and I'm not slowing it down much at all.  But the fish is quite smart and heads straight for the center of the weed patch.  I see the tulles bending as the fish heads deeper and deeper into the weeds.  It didn't take long and the fish broke the line.  I assume it got wrapped around the weeds, negating my drag.  The worst part is I've lost my favorite lure.  And it's only been my favorite for a few hours.

So this was as good as time as any to quit since I'd lost my tackle.  We head back in and have a few beers to "rehydrate" as Lewie calls it.  Then off to the fish house to clean the additional 25 Sunnies the afternoon outing yielded.

It was an early evening as Lewie was so tired after spending the day in the sun.  Denise didn't feel much like carrying on either and bed was fine with me.  After all, Denise's favorite cousin Nicki arrives tomorrow and we'll need our rest.  :)

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