Ash Rapids Lodge Fishing Report 2016!

Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, and Musky–that was the menu served to us during our week at the Ash Rapids Lodge on Lake of the Woods August 12-19, 2016!  Former Iowa State President, Greg Geoffroy, invited me to join his wife, Maria, brothers Max and Dave Rothschild, along with Greg’s East Coast buddies, Bob Matthews, Phil Deshong, Steve Weinreb, and Gary Weber for a week fishing together on the big Lake.  My last trip with them was in 2013 so I was anxious to find some more spots to catch fish this trip!  Max brought his Lund boat while Greg and Maria fished out of his Lund boat for the week.  A guide, Shawn, was hired to rotate the East Coast anglers from my boat to the guide boat so everyone had a chance for different fishing experiences.  My Ranger 620 and the Evinrude 250 E-tec handled the big water easily and even allowed us to slip through some pretty “skinny” water to remote lakes.  This trip, we ate a light breakfast in the cabin, packed sandwiches for lunch, and ate off the Lodge food menu each evening.  Greg brought plenty of wine for the group–I discovered all these PhDs really like their wine!  A highlight for me during the week was helping the novice anglers learn how to present baits and catch fish!  I had rigged up a number of snells with a “slow death” hook, three beads, then either a Mack’s Smile Blade or a Spin-n-Glo floater.  The bait of choice was half an Uncle Josh pork nightcrawler threaded on the hook.  We did not need live bait to catch our fish.  A real surprise during the week was how many smallmouth took the pork baits off the bottom bouncers along with the walleye and pike.  Our two largest walleye were caught on the Spin-n-Glo–Steve and I each caught one just under 27 inches in the same general area.  The bigger pike were caught casting bigger casting baits.  Dave had a smaller musky early in the week but there were no big musky takers this trip.  Another thing we did in my boat was cast #7 Berkley Flicker Shads in the firetiger and chartreuse/white patterns in front of weed beds–the walleye were hanging out in the deeper water in front of the weeds, so we’d cast to the weeds and bring the baits back to the boat.  I caught some fish on #9 Berkley Flicker Minnows, too.  We managed to put in some trolling runs in deeper water running #600 Reef Runners with limited success.  The fish this trip seemed to be right on the bottom.  I just didn’t mark very many suspended.  All in all, we had stable weather with a couple really warm days and raining coming during the night early in the week.  In this report, I left out all the side “stories” many of you have experienced on similar fishing trips–the busted prop, electronics not working, losing glasses over the side of the boat, making sandwiches but forgetting to pack them,  missing the big musky because the net was stuck, etc., etc., etc., (fortunately, not me!)–but I can tell you more when you see me!!  Thank you, Greg, for inviting me and thank you to all my fishing partners during the week!  And, thank each of you for taking time to read this report!  Spike

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