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We're starting to see the end of the Whitefish/Lake Trout season wind down around here. Our season closes on the 15th of March, and for the past month and a half, it's been horrible! Well, I shouldn't say that - I'm catching more whitefish than I was last year... but that shouldn't say much!
Working at a local tackle shop gives me the ability to hear a ton of fishing reports on a daily basis. I've heard from two type of people: The first group is the majority and it's that February sucks. The fish are all over the place but the bites are hard to come by. The second group are the guys who break away from the groups and travel to find the fish. These guys are having double digit days. Both sides are using the same baits: Meegs with Mizmo Tubes, Vibratos or the new Darters by Set The Hook. From my point of view, the baits aren't what's catching the fish. It's location and patience.
With that said, I knew the day I was going to have. It was going to be a ton of marking and maybe a few bites. Even though I knew, I always go out hoping I'm going to slam them or at least get a monster - you can't win if you don't play.
We decided to head down to the Oro side of the lake, searching for close to shore shoals in the 30-40ft range. I had just dislocated my knee a few days ago so walking a ton wasn't something that was going to happen today. I would have stayed home to be honest, but I had made plans with Bob and Bryan for the day and I couldn't let them down - plus I was buying Bryans old sled... so there was that... Anyway, the shoal was a bit of a walk but we found a quick drop off that turned into a flat connecting to the shoal. We decided to fish that.
The day started out blue skies with little wind but I knew the afternoon was going to get pretty windy - so I setup the hut... or at least attempted to. While getting it up I managed to snap one of the roof poles. Apparently, people with these Rapala Sherpa huts have that issue. I did manage to get it up and keep it together during the wind but that doesn't mean I was a happy camper. I honestly felt like this was an omen for the day.
As expected, we started marking fish pretty quickly. I felt a few bumps but just couldn't hook up. I finally managed to grab a hook set on one though! I could tell she wasn't too big but the way this year has been going, beggars can't be choosers. I got her to the hole and sadly noticed that the hook set landed in her gills and out through the plate. Even though she wasn't too big, I decided to keep her as putting her back with that much damage would likely end up in a lost fish. I couldn't bring myself to do it.
The rest of the day ran out like that, tons and tons of fish - almost every 15-30 minutes. I could feel hits but they were so fast I couldn't connect with them. As of writing this, there's one more week left. I don't know if it's going to "turn on" or not but at least I can say this season has been much more successful than last years and I can't be anything but thankful for that!