7th annual report! The weather was absolutely beautiful at 75º and the fishing was great - however, the catching was lousy.
This year's edition included the largest crew yet - nine guys on a common mission to fish our feet off, drink beer, and tell fish stories. As I suspected from my pre-trip report, catching fish was a challenge since the river flow was above "action stage" in which the Army Corp of Engineers opens all but one of the gates on the dam. We had a very large, very late season blizzard in April that sent melt waters through the Mississippi system right when we were fishing (May 4-5). By next week, the river level will have dropped from 12' to 8' which is about normal for springtime levels.
Nine guys fishing hard from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for 2 days netted 40 perch, 1 bluegill, 1 walleye, and 9 northerns as keepers to eat. We also caught a small sturgeon, several redhorse suckers, a bullhead, several sheepshead, and a crappie for release. We usually catch that many in one good morning! This year it worked out to about $145 per fish fry - but the annual outing is priceless for relaxation, fishing with friends, and shaking off the winter cold.
I broke out my Japanese keiyru rod to try to change my bad luck with a spinning reel, but it didn't work. I'll have another chance for keiyru fishing on Memorial Day weekend in a canoe. The bite was so slow on Saturday, I took some time to practice making muffins with a small campstove system. They turned out extra yummy since we were out in the open air and ready for calories of any kind.
On to some pics:
Best shirt...[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The gates are open![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Water everywhere...[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Dry-baking kit using a campstove[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Tastes great![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Getting ready for filets[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Until next year...go fishing this year!