Last week I headed to Green Bay with my 18.6 War Eagle, my two golden retrievers Ruby and her 5 month old pup “Red” for two days on the water and one night camping. My plan was to fish for walleye and see what I could catch.
The old Chevy is said to be doing 350,000 miles this week and it still has its original engine, transexual and exhaust. To be honest, I was very pleased to see him do a great job pulling the War Eagle to Little Suamico where I would launch at Geano Beach.
Whenever you put a boat in the water with a camping and fishing plan, it’s a big deal to have all the right gear. I had the gear and got some great tips on landing and that was to head into 27ft of water and hang around with night track harnesses.
Last time I launched at Geano Beach was with a canoe and I limited walleye and caught a 47 inch musky on a caterpillar harness. I had no idea the musky was a musky and he tugged at me for half an hour before I saw him.
The previous time, I was three miles from shore, fishing with the War Eagle, and got a call from Jeff Moll telling me a big storm was coming. I got hit hard on the ride back to launch and it was one of the top 10 “I should have died” experiences of my life.
Today would be different, almost no wind, sunny skies and it looked like there were at least a hundred boats on the water. I would pull two crawler harnesses or a crankbait which I would change about every two hours as I experimented.
I had been hanging out for four hours and hadn’t had a hit when one of my rods with a caterpillar harness started to bend and it was fish. The fight was great and soon I scored what would be a 27 inch walleye. As far as I’m concerned, my trip was a success.
It seemed like my action was slow but steady, three hours later I had my next strike and this time I caught a 24 inch walleye, and was a very happy camper. It seemed like 27 feet of water with my harness back, 100 feet behind my planer board was the right number and my third and final shot of the day came just before dark, and that was another 24 inch walleye.
I drew lines, headed to private land that was secluded and beautiful, built camp, and slept on the sand with my two pups.
I had broken camp and was on the water before sunrise with high hopes. I joined the growing group of deep sea anglers and let me tell you it’s a crowd out there. Trolling with planer boards is a game of skill and common sense, especially when you’re alone. You have to be wise or you’re going to have an almost constant problem with other trolls and when you catch a fish, especially a good one, getting it in the net and not messing up your other lines is a very cool challenge.
I didn’t get hit until I had been fishing for three hours and my first shot was an 18 inch walleye and it made me feel like I was doing something right. In some ways, I’m extremely patient, and when it comes to trolling and tipping, I’m very patient. You need to check your lines at least every fifteen minutes or you’ll be weeded out, which means you’re wasting your time.
It would take me another three hours before I had another chance, and that fish would be another 24 inches, which made me very happy.
The puppies were awesome in the boat and to keep them cool I just put wet towels over their bodies, and they were fine. Red and Ruby are still struggling and Red is probably the nicest golden retriever I’ve ever had.
I needed a trip like this and was grateful it worked out with relative ease. Live big! Sunset.