Exploratory fishing and fishing for pleasure

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Yesterday, neighbor Kurt and I pushed off of the dock at Lac La Belle at 9 am for a full day of relaxing aboard the “Fishin Mission.” I had tried, un-successfully to get more guys to go, but they all had some kind of excuse…”…have to work,” “wife is on call,” or whatever else keeps them off of the water.
I would usually take the small boat out for pleasure fishing to save on fuel, but I wanted to have the power of my best sonar unit which is permanently installed on my big boat. Seeing where the fish are on a good sonar unit is crucial and my older unit on the Harbercraft doesn’t pick everything up.
We dragged some lines in shallow water, where the surface was at 63 and the bottom, in 75 feet of water was 55, but did not pick up any fish.
After an hour of this, we scooted out to 130 and deeper waters where we picked up a few small lake trout and could not seem to get a good hook-set on many other strikes. I also snagged bottom with one downrigger ball and before I could loosen the clutch, the cable let loose of a $48 set up. We then trolled around some more in the same area before snagging on an abandoned gill net in 130 feet of water. After stopping the motor and pulling the other lines, I pulled on the cable with gloves as hard as I could, straining as hard as I could until I thought I could not pull any harder,when the ball let loose and came up. When I got it to the surface, I noticed that the clip was bent open and just barley holding on the weight… lucky I did not loose a 2nd ball. I got some accurate coordinates in order to report it and stay away from it in the future.
After this, we went closer to shore, near Bare Bluff and fished in waters of 60 to 130 feet to no avail. At this point, I told Kurt that we would try a different approach… motor around at about 8 mph and look for fish on the sonar before dropping our lines again. With this tactic we ended up near an indian fishing net (a well-marked one) and caught several more lakers, although nothing big. By this time, it was getting near supper time and we were getting low on food, in fact OUT of food, but since the fishing was good, it was hard to pull the lines to go in. At this point, Margaret called and gently reminded me that we were going to go out to eat tonight, “…but don’t hurry home” she said “I’ll just take a rain check on it for another night.” What a great wife!
We came home with 6 lake trout after releasing 3 and loosing more than our share, but we had a great time!!
Still doing charters all the way into October if the weather permits with 3 schduled for next week and 2 more after that.

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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