October is usually the start of some fantastic Fall fishing on the lower Detroit River. Bigger walleye move back in, chasing the gizzard shad to fatten up for winter. This year though, the timing is just a tad bit off because of the hot summer we had. Everything is running a little later than normal. I had debated waiting a few more weeks but when I heard that fellow handliners, Dave and Larry, were going to be out I decided to give it a shot. Safety in numbers and we could cover more water to help us key in on the active fish. Great theory, to bad it didn’t work.
I arrived at the ramp just after 7 p.m. and the few pleasure boaters that were out were on their way back in. As I got my boat ready I noticed that the marina was full of weeds. I did not want to see that. I was hoping it was just the Marina but as I was heading south I could see mats of weeds everywhere. This was not going to be fun. I set up in my usual area and sent a text to Dave and Larry. They were farther south, down by Calf Island, so I just stayed up closer to the stacks. If either of us started to catch fish we would let the other know. About 5 minutes in I had my first walleye. As I was flipping him in he came off the lure and slid down the edge of the boat until he hit my reel. Once he did he fell right back into the river.
For the next hour it was mostly clear weeds off the lines. Shortly after 8 I did manage to catch a 19 incher. About 10 minutes later I caught a short. I was starting to get a little optimistic but those feelings were quickly crushed when I hit a huge mat of weeds. After spending the next minutes clearing them off my lines and off my prop I was back at it. By now it was 8:30 and I told myself I would stick it out until 9. At 8:55 I landed one more that was just over 15 niches. A couple of minutes later and a quick text to Dave and Larry and I was headed home. The weeds were just to much to handle. If the fishing had been better I would have stuck it out but this was one of those nights when it just wasn’t worth the effort. Living only 10 minutes away makes these judgement calls a whole lot easier.