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Peter
PETE
RIEDESEL

Just Fishing

Holiday Weekend Report

Tue, May 27, 2014

Cam and I spent the winter dreaming about hitting the Wisconsin muskie opener with a great friend. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out. So Cam and I decided not to reinvent the wheel and hit shabby Saturday morning. We knew the long weekend would make the lake crazy busy and it did. We had a little quiet time the first half hour and that was about it. We heard of a few fish being caught but it wasn’t by us. We had the most follows of the season seeing about 10 muskies boatside without a bite. At mid-day Cam counted 37 boats within sight of us. If you include areas we can’t see I’m sure there were more than 50 boats on this 350 acre lake. I was disappointed we skunked but not surprised. We knew we needed another plan for Sunday.


We went over many possibilities on the ride home. We figured all the state parks were going to be crowded. We considered making a longer run but this probably wasn’t going to decrease the fishing pressure. Its times like this I wish I had an option to fish private waters as this would limit the number of people on the lake. I knew the cooling lakes were mostly always heavily pressured and the fish were used to the commotion this causes. With the water temps in the 60’s I knew Heidecke can often be good for stripers so that became the plan.


We were in line about 7th at 5;10. By the time were headed for the gate at least 25 boats were in line. Launching went smoothly and we were racing to our first spot by 6:20. It was fun to put the throttle down and zip across the lake. We fish mostly horse power restricted lakes so puttering along with a 9.9 does get old. It was different to fish small plugs without leaders on light outfits. We fished a couple spots before I finally got the first bite. I landed a nice 3 pound striper and we were off the skunk. Cam was thinking he needed to change to my lure when he leaned back on his first bite. The fish ran and then exploded into the air, smallie! What a great way to start the day.


 Cams smallie

 

As you can see from the picture it was calm and sunny. These aren’t usually good conditions anywhere but especially at Heidecke. Fortunately we found some willing fish and continued catching nice stripers and the occasional white bass.

 


nice striper

 

As the sun got up and the boat traffic increased it got tougher to get bites. We still got a bite here and there and the numbers started to add up to a good day of catching.

 

another striper

 

Stripers are a great fighting fish. After not catching anything Saturday it was exciting to get so many hard pulling fish to the boat. With the calm conditions it got pretty hot pretty quick. We decided we’d had our fun and headed in around lunch.


As crowded as it was Sunday I figured it would be even worse Memorial Day. Not only that but my fishing buddy wouldn’t be joining me. He volunteered his day to carry the American Flag in Ottawa’s Memorial Day parade. Now I’m already proud of Cam as it relates to fishing and I’ve mentioned it here. Knowing how much he loves fishing I was really blown away by this act of respect for our country and those who served. My wife and daughter took lots of pictures.

 

Cam and the Flag

 

I went back to Heidecke and fishing was ok but much slower. Still, I got a few nice bites.

 

Pete's striper

 


another striper

 

I finally pulled the plug when it seemed like there was a boat everywhere I looked. Besides that, the heat was really starting to get to me. I headed home satisfied that we had gotten the best out of a tough holiday fishing situation. I’m looking forward to much less boat traffic next weekend.


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