The Schluter family from the Park Falls Wisconsin area joined us for the third consecutive year aboard Rainy Lake Houseboat’s Chairman II. Paul, Jeff, Karen, David and his children Hunter, Elsa and Meghan, Pam, John and Jonathan Smilie arrived on Saturday afternoon and cruised up to beautiful Anderson Bay. Paul and Jonathan opted to fish their way to Anderson Bay with guide Norm Wood.
Chef Jim Black prepared a meal featuring sirloin steak with red wine shallot sauce on Saturday evening. Paul and Jonathan came back with Norm after catching walleyes and smallmouth up to 18” long. Upon docking in Anderson Bay the girls quickly found that the blueberry season was extended this summer. They picked a couple of bowls of berries for blueberry pancakes. After dinner a nice family bonfire was lit in the natural rock fire ring. There is nothing quite like a campfire and a full moon rising over Anderson Bay.
Sunday the gang was ready for fishing. Chef Jim served stuffed French toast with homemade wild rice stuffed sausage links for breakfast. Walleyes would be the quarry. Guides Jon Balaski, Bill Dougherty, Kevin Erickson, Tony Snyder, and Norm Wood were ready to gather those walleyes with our guests for a noon walleye shore lunch.
The walleyes were cooperative on reefs in 20-22 feet of water, jigs and minnows seemed to be the best baits. Sunday was overcast with some light sprinkles in the morning. During the afternoon Jon Balaski took Pam and John after Rainy Lake’s big boy crappies. Norm, Paul and Jonathan, Kevin Erickson, David and Hunter fished smallmouth bass with tube jigs and flukes. Bill, Jeff, Mehgan, and Tony, Karen and Elsa fished walleyes getting into nice big walleyes with all kinds of nice 16 inchers.
The picture is a snapshot from Jon Balaski’s Humminbird 1198 C sonar unit. What you are seeing is a school of crappies Suspended about 13 feet below the surface in 26.6 feet of water. Next is what happens when you fish the jig just above the suspended crappies.
On Monday we had a choppy north wind, it took us a little longer traveling to Anderson Bay from base. On Monday two boats went back after crappies after Jon, Pam, and John’s big Sunday afternoon crappie fishing. The crappies did not disappoint. Paul, Jonathan and I traveled to an old favorite fishing area that I guided in when I was a little squirt. We fished for walleyes and they were biting fabulously both on minnows and leeches. The walleyes ran big 18-23 inches. They were feisty. Giving our St. Croix fishing rods a good test and did they ever perform.
The Schluter’s are the owners of America’s greatest fishing rod company located in Park Falls, Wisconsin. I have fished St Croix rods for quite a few years, I used to design custom rods for customers and a friend Spike Vold built them. We used all St. Croix custom Avid blanks. After a bit of time I realized the selection of St. Croix built rods made way more sense to use, find the rod of liking and purchase it.. St. Croix makes it easy to find a fishing rod to meet your needs. Their catalog and web site stcroixrods.com both show you different models for different species and above all the rod for the technique you will apply fishing for your favorite specie.
My rod locker has eleven St. Croix rods in it. 4 Triumphs, 2 Eyecon”s, 1 Legend Extreme, 3 Avids, and a Premier. My guests get to use my rods and find out why St. Croix lays claim to “the best rods on earth”.
Our last afternoon was a combination of walleye , and smallmouth bass fishing. Chef Jim finished the evening by serving a meal of his marinated pork chops, wild rice, and garden fresh green beans.
We left Anderson Bay at 6:00 AM on a glorious blue sky morning. On our way in close to base we saw a bald eagle submerged in the water. The eagle has captured a large fish with it’s talons. The fish was too heavy to lift and the weight of the fish pulled it into the water. He was paddling the fish towards shore to eat it until we came along on the Chairman II. The eagle broke away from the fish got up out of the water and flew to a near by island. What a neat ending to a Chairman II houseboat trip.