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by Bret Amundson

Last weekend I passed through Brainerd before heading up to Ely.  Two different fishing tournaments were taking place, despite weather being less than ideal.  While the tournaments went off without a hitch on Saturday, my opportunity to hit the water and wet a line on Sunday did not.  I had planned to bass fish with Mandy Uhrich and it just wasn’t going to happen.   We tentatively rescheduled for Wednesday and I headed northeast.

As the days passed, the weather was getting better, but the fishing wasn’t.  The storms, high water levels and cool water temperatures seemed to shut fishing down everywhere.  With a couple of nice days in a row, I called Mandy and said, “Let’s go!”

SD_Hunting_C2_300x250I got out of Ely a little behind schedule because of work that had piled up and also because I stopped and had lunch with the Veterans on the Lake guys as they were selling brats to raise funds for the resort. I have never passed up a brat, so I stopped by.

Once I was on the road it was smooth sailing. Windy-but decent weather. I even passed a few friends along the way.

Finally Mandy and I hit the water on a small, out of the way lake in the Brainerd area. To our surprise the parking lot at the landing was full of trucks and trailers. We’d have a little competition tonight.

Our trolling motor fought valiantly in the strong wind and we worked tube jigs and spinner baits around docks, weed lines and windy points.

Roadside porcupine
Roadside porcupine

I’d catch more fish tonight than on any of my boating excursions in the last week.

61814 - mandy bass 2Full disclosure: I grew up throwing spinner baits at docks and fallen trees and I’m dumb when it comes to walleye.

But that doesn’t mean Mandy didn’t put me on the fish. She worked that big rig into position despite howling gusts that wanted to push us sideways.

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Mandy Uhrich works a tube jig

As the daylight faded, we snapped a few pictures and headed back to the landing. Apparently everyone else had the same idea as we found ourselves at the end of a long line of floating boats watching and waiting to load up and head out.

I was just happy to get out and feel the familiar slam of those big-mouthed creatures.

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Bret Amundson finally gets a fish picture!

The trip isn’t over yet, but the remainder seems to be more “office” work than “field” work unfortunately.

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