Sorry for the delay in finishing this story, but here is the rest of the trip.
After the tournament was over on Saturday, Mike and I wasted no time in heading south. He headed for home, and I headed to Mille Lacs for 4 more days of fishing. This time of the year can be brutal on the big pond for the simple fact that extreme sun and heat can cause for long and agonizing hours on the water. The next four days proved to be just that. During those days on the water clouds were an extreme rarity along with absolutely no wind. The sun however, was always there and very very hot (brutal).
Saturday night Mike Ernst came up to fish the evening and morning on Sunday, so as the sun was fading we ventured out onto the water to try our luck at the dusk bite as well as into the darkness. Our thoughts were proven to be correct. The fish that we were seeing were lazily sitting around with no thoughts of chasing a bait. We planned on having things turn around after dark, but once the daylight slipped away, all hell broke loose on the bug factor and fishing was not even close to possible. They were not mayflies, but they were similar and they came by the billions, literally. It was the biggest bug hatch that I have ever witnessed in my life, which quickly ruled out any night fishing for the rest of my trip, which was a huge blow during this heat.
Sunday morning we hit the water at first light. We saw close to 20 muskies early, with two fish being hooked, and several other close calls. We managed to loose both hooked fish which was unfortunate, but the action was there. We switched gears by 8:00 AM and targeted the smallies for a while, then switched to my infamous shallow water walleye bite for some sight fishing for the big ones. This worked, but as the sun got higher, we couldn't take the heat and called it a day.
After a fairly good morning on Sunday my hopes were still pretty high for my guests Don Murray and Ed Benecke who traveled many miles to battle the big ones. Monday morning was our first time on the water. The conditions were terrible to say the least, but we saw many fish early on with some close calls, but no muskies in the boat. One of the best parts about fishing muskies on Mille Lacs is the bonus large northern pike that swim this water. Don managed about a 37" which was the highlight of the morning. To escape the heat, Don and Ed decided to hide indoors during the heat of the day, and return for the evening bite that we hoped would take place. This turned out to be a mistake on this particular day, because a brief gust of wind and clouds came through and the fish turned on for myself . I boated a 45" muskie which doesn't really have the same appeal when fishing by my lonesome. By the time these boys could get back out on the water, the clouds were gone and the lake turned into glass again. At the end of day one we managed to see nearly 40 different fish, catching one and having 3 others find their way off the line.
Day 2 was more of the same for us. It was very frustrating to have so many large fish swimming around the areas we were fishing only to have them watch the lures go by as if they weren't even there. With night fishing not even being an option, we were forced to fish the heat and hope for the best. We didn't land any muskies on Tuesday, which was a total bummer, and we even got to see the nasty side of Mille Lacs. Our evening got cut short due to a very large and intense storm that came in a couple of hours before dark. With hopes high from a big front moving in, we tried to fish till the bitter end in hopes of landing a quick one before the rain and wind hit, but it just made our drive back to the landing a lot more interesting. The lake went from complete glass to 4 footers in a matter of 30 seconds as 50 mph gusts came tearing in. The only positive to this front was that we were able to witness the most intense and amazing rainbow any of us had ever seen. With all of the unfortunate turn of events that took place we all decided that we would skip our morning excursion and cut our losses. With the weather being so unbearable, it made for very tough fishing on all of us. Not all trips end with a ton of fish, but that didn't take anything away from the fun that Don, Ed and myself had on our days on the water. These gentlemen were truly class act individuals, which made for many great stories and laughs. Thanks for the fun time guys and I cannot wait to do it again!