Sunday, February 20, 2011

Budd Lake Fishing Report 2/20/11

Chachi with his 26- inch long 7-pound Budd Lake walleye 

Prefishing pays off for Chachi.  Last weekend the kids and I hiked through the deep snow to prepare our fishing plan for the Frost Bite Fishing Contest that took place today on Budd Lake.  This morning when the teams were released to fish Chachi and I headed north to our go to walleye spot.  Shortly after getting our holes drilled and in position three other teams arrived and setup on both side of us. This wasn't a big deal, but it was going to make it difficult for us to move and scout for fish.  We made a quick decision to pack up and move to our second spot located at the South end of the lake where we had fished last Sunday.  Good thing for fishing pressure because it moved us right into lots of walleye.  We drilled our normal setup of 25 holes then took the camera and tip up gear to setup our still baits.  On our second hole we spotted a nice walleye a foot of the bottom on the break in 12 FOW and we placed our first tip up.  Moving on we found more walleyes which was very encouraging and helped us get our tip ups set quickly.  While scouting we found a mix of fish activity with most of the walleyes cursing the break and then we found several fish just laying flat on the bottom.  Well what looked like a jackpot of fish turned out to be a very slow bite for the most part.  At 9:20am Chachi yelled from the shanty that he had hooked a big fish and sure enough it was a big 20-inch large mouth bass.  It was the big bass we prayed for in the summer contest, it was just delivered seven months late.  With the edge of the early morning just about to wearing off we got our first flag at 10:33am.  Being the first fish of the day and possibly a money fish Chachi gave me the line and he held the video camera.  Well this is the big fish that got away story and it hurt at the time.   The fish spooled three quarters of the line on the reel before stopping, then I set the hook and thought I lost him, then the fight was on all the way back to the hole only to find that we couldn't control the fish or get him into the eight inch hole.  We worked hard, but the big walleye never gave us a head shot and he ended up breaking off on the third attempt.  The heart breaker was that I'm positive this fish was 10-pounds or better and would have been a great ice fishing trophy.  After the loss and a big adrenalin headache I reset the tip up and headed off to jig without any luck until around noon when we started seeing walleyes again.  Then at 1:15pm with hope fading we had a flag in the big walleye hole and this time Chachi would have the line.  We got to the hole to find the reel hung up on the ice.  I picked up the tip up and then he fish started spooling line like crazy.  Chachi waited for the fish to stop and then set the hook. With the fish hooked Chachi worked the fish to the ice where we lost the fist fish and with only 45 minutes left to fish Chachi got the walleye straight in the hole on the second try and pulled it into my hand.  With the fish on the ice it was now an awesome moment for the twelve year old fishermen and I have to say this was one of the best walleye fishing trips I have ever been on.  I've caught hundreds of walleyes and everyone of them made my day, but getting to be part of my nephews first big walleye and seeing the excitement was awesome.    I know this will be a fishing trip he will always remember and I'm sure he will tell all of his friends how he won the walleye division with his 7-pound 26-inch last minute Budd Lake walleye.

Good Luck...
Caught on a Tip Up in 14 FOW at 1:15pm

Chachi and Uncle Den

20-inch large mouth 9:20am