After missing our traditional May fishing trip in 2017, I was excited to be back again! Big group this year – 13 men. Fred Bouwman, Mark Wanous, Denny Kramer, Kendall Strawmatt, John Burkhartzmeyer, Jerome Spindler, Mark Cunningham and his son-in-law Ben Flemke, Ron Cunningham with his two sons Peter and John and their buddy Charlie Skinner, joined me for a trip in May 2018.
Peter, John and Charlie jumped out of the truck to trim the trees fallen over the old logging road. The logging road is tough on equipment, but just one flat tire.
The trapper fixed the culvert that the beaver had dammed up to flood the road last year, but more parts of the road are at risk.
The GPS stated the obvious.
After one of the longest winter in recent memory, we were surprised to see the trees and flowers in full bloom. A warm, dry May lead to a fire ban, even after heavy rain the day before we drove up. Cool wet weather was quickly replaced with warm temperatures and blue skies. Wind blew from all 4 directions in the span of 5 days, but the wind made for outstanding fishing! A morning mist welcomed us back home.
Fred caught the biggest fish of the trip on the very first morning. Fred wrestled a 41.5″ Northern into the boat. He played in well, even while fishing with just a jig without a leader and having the fish make several dives, including one under the boat, before finding the net.
Walleye fishing was exceptional! Fred and I had our limit caught, cleaned and on ice before noon. John caught a 22″ Walleye – with instruction from Uncle Mark to “Don’t Horse It”!
Ron took Peter and Charlie to fish for Northerns at the mouth of Lost Lake Creek without success. They then went back to our old camps and found a Moose rack and a “mystery deposit” that was not solved until later that night.
Ron had trouble with the old Evinrude outboard motor, which required a slow tow back to camp.
The blue Walleyes were abundant.
Great fishing, limits of nice fat Walleyes like Peter’s stringer were common.
Sunday was great fishing! I rarely count fish, but on this day, I caught 42 Walleyes and 15 Northerns (including a 35″) – how fun is that! Ron caught a 36 and 35″ Northern. Charlie landed a 36″. Denny caught 22″ and 19″ Walleye. Spinny landed 20″ and 19″ Walleyes. Mark Wanous caught a 20″ and lost a big fish 😦 Lots of big fish caught this day! Nice to stand up an clean these fish.
A great day to enjoy our beautiful lake!
Memorial Day was remembered with patriotic music while thanking Denny and Mark W. for their service to our country.
Monday was a day of adventure. Lost Lake got it’s name in the 1980’s when Mark Cunningham and I hiked from the main lake, along a small creek to a lake we had found on the map. As a storm came in, we lost our bearings and ended up wandering around in the woods for 5 hours. Hence the name Lost Lake. We left two canoes near the creek over 20 years ago to make it easier to enjoy this beautiful lake.
Peter had hiked up to Lost Lake with me in 2016 and had a lot of fun catching big Northerns in crystal clear water from a canoe. This time Peter would lead John, Charlie and Ben to Lost Lake. They were confident and excited to get started when they left the boat, even bringing a Heineken mini keg.
I had not marked the coordinates of where the canoes are on my new GPS, so this device was of no help. I did load the track this group took to find Lost Lake from the GPS when I got home. The lower blue track line shows the 2,511 yard walk past the south end of Lost Lake to where they turned around to find the east side of Lost Lake to walk around the lake to find the canoes at the mouth of the creek, a brief paddle casting for Northerns on the west shoreline and finally the 471 yard walk straight back to meet us at the boat. Total walking of 1.7 miles! The Legend of Lost Lake continues!
As these tired guys approached the boats, 3 of them fell into a deep watery hole that John turned into a swim.
They were happy to enjoy a cold drink at the end of a great adventure!
Fishing on a main lake was very good. Ken and I both landed 38″ Northerns.
Ron caught several nice walleyes and a perch.
Ben caught a fat 23″ Walleye
Charlie caught a big Walleye and had a nice stringer of big fish!
Fred had great fishing along the spot we call Slip Bobber.
John caught the largest Walleye – 26″
Fred and I followed Ken and Spinny up the creek, over a beaver dam to Clear Jack Lake. Great fishing for Northerns and a number of big Walleyes were caught on spoons.
While on Clear Jack Lake, we visited the memorial plaque for our buddy Tim Fischer who left us too soon 10 years ago. The memorial is on a large rock outcropping on Tim’s favorite lake.
We ate very well. We tried a new recipe for Blackened Walleye Tacos – Easy, tasty and the guys ate a lot of fish!
1. Marinate clean Walleye fillets in lime juice
2. Heat charcoal grill
3. Sprinkle both sides of the Walleye fillets with Blackened seasoning
4. Lightly spray grilling pan
5. Cook Walleye fillets on grilling pan, flip once – done when fillets fall apart
6. Mix sour cream 16 oz, 1 teaspoon garlic salt and 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
7. Warm tortilla shells on griddle or oven
8. Serve with spicy sour cream sauce, shredded cabbage, shredded cheese and salsa
The Ziploc Bag Omelet experiment was a big hit – each guy could pick their own ingredients.
In our third year at the new site, we have a better setup at the landing and camp.
Wildlife sightings included a bear on the drive in, a moose on the drive out and another bear just south of Grand Portage. A fox at Ryden’s did not seem afraid of vehicles or people. Eagles, loons, geese, ducks and seagulls were abundant.
Good group of guys!
Great trip! Great weather. Active fish, some big Northerns and more Walleyes over 20″ than I can recall!