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George and Mikes EXCELLENT adventure!


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Well, the moment is finally here. We embark tonite on the ice fishing trip of a lifetime! Leaving MT tonite, gonna drive to Nelson resevoir in Eastern Montana for some jumbo's and walleye fishing on Friday. Fri night we drive to Devils Lake to fish with Jeff Dosch on Saturday and on our own on Sunday. Sunday night we drive to Black Duck MN and stay with the fine folks at the Drake Motel and then some local fishing on Monday, a sleeper house with Kelley on Monday night on URL. Then its off to LOW with a night at the Morris Point Lodge, fishing for eyes Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning then Back to Bemidji to finish off the week fishing with Brian Jones on the Cass Lakes chain and some other secret spots!!!

I have been waiting for this trip for 2 years and its finally here! Looks like we are just behind this cold front, could be a little chilly! on Devils Lake, but it looks to be moderating for the early part of the week. If anyone would like to hook up and show us Montanans how to fish your waters, my cell # is 406-249-0556. Looks like we are going to be in good hands with the folks/places we have chosen, so look for our reports after the 23rd!!!

Look out slabs/jumbo's/eyes/ laugh.gif HERE WE COME!!!!! grin.gif

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You guys better hit up the Brainerd Ice Fishing Extravaganza on the 22nd on Gull Lake. It's quite an amazing event. You might even win a new truck to drive back to Montana. That would be one he!! of a way to cap off the trip.

Either way, Good Luck. Sounds like a great time.

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well, by the 22nd we will have to be heading back west not south....maybe next time. And thanks to Matt Johnson for recommending Brian Jones, he has us well hooked up and we aint even in the water yet!

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Yes, my tongue is hanging out, drooling over the prospect of the trip you guy's are taking.I'm terribly jealous.You should do well at URL.Was just there this last weekend and they are snapping!Best bet for me was a red head,chartruese body Glow Demon with a whole crappie minnow.Do you go ice fishing for trout in your great state of MT?

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Well, as someone once said, "Yeah, the bites been a little off the last couple a days" Or was that everyone that said that? We obviously couldnt have picked a worse time to go on this epic due to the extreme cold front that dogged us until the end, but, we caught fish everyday so it wasnt all bad. What does ever live up to the hype anyway!!??

First off, I just want to say that every single person we met/stayed with/fished with was awesome. From Malta Montana to Devils Lake to Black Duck, to Washkish, to Cass Lake and every other stop we made we had a blast. We werent even 50 miles into the trip home and we were talking about next years trip.

The word for this trip was COLD!!!!!! It was -25 for the first 2 lakes we hit, Nelson Res in Malta, MT and Devils Lake. Jeff Dosch hooked us up with Ross Sensiba from Devils Lake and Ross put us on fish right off. We had to work em to make them commit but we caught some nice perch, not any huge ones but keepers. We also caught a few eyes, but no real size to them. We were right back out at it first thing Sunday morning, but I think the high pressure was starting to takes it toll on the fish.

We arrived at the Drake Motel Sunday night and we were advised of a lake with a good blue gill bite, but we would need a 4 wheeler to get to the spot. NO PROBLEM, we had one! When we woke to MINUS FORTY Monday morning, we knew it would test our gear and it did, after an hour of jump starting and ethering the quad we got her going and warmed up good, but the 20 minute drive to the lake was too much and she refused to start again. So we ventured onto the ice with auger in hand and after about 600 pulls we decided that we werent going to fish that lake that day and to top it off when I went to turn the choke off, it snapped off in my hand! So back to Black Duck to the gas station where they were nice enough to take a tank off another auger and sell it to me. We were back in business and off to URL where our sleeper awaited us.

We got to URL and found Kelly P and Patsy got us all settled into our sleeper. Due to some cancellations and a lot of equipment problems, we got placed in a 5 man house that was just awesome. We got in took off out coats and started catching fish. we only caught about 6-7 crappie, several perch and then what would be the big fish of the trip, a 29.5" northern. The bite was non existent thru the night, and we woke to near white out conditions but at last the high pressure front was gone, or so we thought.

At this point the plans changed, we decided not to go to LOW due to the winds and snow and decided to go fish the smaller more sheltered lakes around Black Duck. Our plan was to go back to the lake that had beat us the day before, as we now had the quad up and running and it had warmed up to about zero. Well, one mile across the lake and the clutch or tranny in the quad let go and we were stuck on the lake. We pulled the 2 man back to the truck, 1.17 miles by GPS, then after consulting with a local, we drove my pick up out to where the quad was, loaded it up on the trailer and headed towards Cass Lake, beaten again by this lake that shall remain nameless.

For the next 2.5 days, Brian Jones of First Choice Guides in Cass Lake tried his darndest to get us on fish, putting us on some of his favorite lakes. We caught some fish, but for the most part they would look, but not bite. Every one we talked to was amazed at how slow the fishing had gotten. On Thursday night we decided it was time to head back west, and try to get ahead of the front. We fished Cass Lake early Friday morning and caught some decent perch and a few eyes, but we had to get on the road.

We fought a snow storm all the way to Minot ND where the roads turned to solid ice all the way to Wolf Point Montana. We spent the night in Glasgow and then fished Nelson Reservoir all day Saturday where we caught many many nice 10-12 inch perch and several small eyes. It was the most action we had on the entire trip and as the sun set on us we packed up and got started on the long drive home. It was 2:00 AM Sunday morning when my head hit my own pillow for the first time in 10 days.....

It was an awesome time, you cant fish for 9 days straight and NOT have a good time. The only real bummer of the trip was that my Dad in Florida suffered a stroke Sat morning and I got the call Sunday morning that he had passed away. frown.gif This was the guy who taught me to fish when I could barely hold a pole and even tho he and my Mom divorced when I was young, every weekend I spent with him from the time I was 10 till I was about 15 included fishing somewhere. He knew the Lord though, so I know he and I will fish again someday....

I would like to give some special thanks to the people who made our trip a success, in order of appearance....

Jeff Dosch and Ross Sensiba of Devils Lake ND

Dianne and Mike at the Drake Motel in Black Duck, MN

Kelly P and Patsy of Kellys fish House Rentals

And especially Brian Jones of First Choice Guides of Cass Lake, MN (Thanks Brian for your hospitality and dogged determination to put us on fish)

All of these people are associated with Fishing Minnesota.com and you would be well advised to utilize their services when you are in their areas of expertise

All in all, while this has been the condensed version, it was a trip to remember for years and years to come....

Now, where are they biting around here???......... grin.gif

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So sorry to hear about your Dad. I pray God's Grace, Peace, and healing on you and your family as you go through this time. I'm glad to hear he was a believer. I hope to be fishing with him as well one day(maybe he can give my Dad a few tips while he's "up" there...before I arrive grin.gif).

Although the weather didn't work out exactly as you hoped, I admire your persistence, and am glad you had a great time in anycase. Way to adapt to the conditions thrown at you tongue.gif!

Thanks for the report and kudos to all those involved. Maybe on next years trip( grin.gif) you can hit the metro, and us in town FM'rs can show you our stuff. Let me be the first to invite you.

See you next year!

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