Fisherman - Bryan Lang
Fishing Status - Tournament Fishing Partner, All around Good Guy!
Species - Walleye
How Big - 5lbs. 8 Oz.
Tackle - 1/4 oz. Jig in Chartreuse
Where At - Detrobiand Bay - Lake Sakakawea, Garrison, ND
Status - Still Swimmin'
The Story -
Bryan caught the walleye pictured here pre-fishing for the ND Governor's Walleye Cup, July 2001. Having combined tactics from several days Bryan spent on the water prior, and results of the "Great River Energy Employee Tournament" I had fished with Stan the previous weekend, (whom you'll meet later in the album, and who is employed at GRE). We wandered back in a little pocket that really shouldn't have held fish, and caught walleye until we were almost tired of catching them that week. (The operative word there being, "almost!")
This hawg came in the first half hour of fishing in the selected spot, we took a quick picture and released the fish in hopes of finding it again come tournament time. We hadn't made more than 30 feet trolling at a snail's pace, before he landed this one's twin. A second walleye at 5lbs. 5 oz.! Which was promptly released as well.
We filled the livewell with our limit of walleye in the 17 to 19 inch range, in an hour or two that morning. And, landed 4 total over 20 inches that went back in hopes of finding them at tournament time, slow trolling Lindy's and hopping jigs right under the boat, in 2 - 5 feet of water. We felt we had the tournament pay line in our sights, for sure that first day.
The next day was a total bust however! We went back to the same spot, but got in a bit of a hurry. We were trying to find a few fish simply to satisfy our curiosity, that the day before was not a freak event, and in our hurry lost sight of what was working for us and never landed a single walleye. Realizing our mistakes that evening, we managed to get back into our game by tournament time.
The bay we were fishing produced close to 50 walleye the first day of the tournament, unfortunately the bigger fish simply were not there. Anticipating their return, we released all but two fish over 18 inches, hoping to find the bigger fish we'd found pre-fishing the following morning of the tournament.
That was not to be however, as storms packing 70 mph winds crossed the lake that night, killing the bite in our spot. The winds pushed warmer surface water across the lake, and cold clear water from the deeper parts of the lake replaced it. Surface temps in the little pocket we'd fished so well that week, dropped 9 degrees from one day to the next. We went from water so dirty one couldn't see the bottom in 2 feet for three days, to water so clear you could count the rocks at 8 1/2 feet. The second day of the tournament was back to searching for a bite, like everyone else.
Reasoning all the warmer surface water had been pushed southeast across the lake, we headed that direction in hopes of finding a bite. We found our salvation spot across the lake in Wolf Creek, and found some of the most generous fishermen ever to grace a lake there as well.
Recognizing we were in the tournament, both boats on the spot, there when we arrived, allowed us to take our line on the structure, in hopes of mounting a charge for the tournament money. Had we not been crowded off the spot by other boats moving in as the day progressed, we'd have likely made it too. In two hours time we had 3 triples on, putting 5 walleye over 17 1/2 inches in the livewell! Thanks in most part, to the generosity expressed by the skippers in the two boats there upon our arrival.
If someday this web site should ever be viewed by a few fine fishermen, that allowed a red Lund to take their line, on a little island in Wolf Creek, during the 2001 ND Governor's Cup......
Many thanks guys! It was great fishing beside you, and you're welcome in our boats anytime!!!
Rocky & Bryan
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