End of July Quick Walleye Report

31 07 2013

Wen out both Monday (7/29) and Tuesday (7/30).  Monday night I was out with my friend Chris and we picked up 5 and lost 1.  Tuesday I was out with a Co-Worker and we caught 3.  Slow nights for sure.  Water is still gin clear, hardly any wind each night which made dealing with the bugs a pain.  Very few floating weeds which is understandable with the west winds we had for a few days.  PIcked up a couple of the fish just north of Calf Island in 20 feet of water.  The rest came from between the Catamaran and the Stacks.  One interesting difference from last Monday where i destroyed them to this week is the water level fluctuations and the temps.  Last Monday (7/22) when I launched the breakwall at Elizabeth Park was covered and by the time I got back 6 inches of it was exposed.  Monday and Tuesday of this week the break wall was covered in some areas.  Also, on the 22nd the surface temp was 78 degrees.  Last night it was 70 degrees.  What the temp is at the bottom of the river I have no idea but I’m wondering what that has done to the bite, along with all the boat traffic we had over the weekend with the FLW in town.  115 bass boats ripping up and down the channel can’t help matters much.  We didn’t catch as many Smallmouth Bass either but the ones we did get were some tanks.  Several in the 18 to 20 inch range and oh did they make a mess of things.

No pictures of the fish but here is a pic of the lures that caught them.


Van Etten Perch 7/27/13

29 07 2013

I spent this past weekend up at my parents place in Oscoda.  I used to go up there on a regular basis but 4.00 dollars a gallon for gas kept me at home more than I wanted.  My brother and his wife were also planning on coming up and they wanted to go fishing.  Not a problem, my Dad had wanted to go perch fishing on Van Etten Lake so this seemed like a good opportunity.

After a breakfast of homemade waffles Dad and I got the boat ready.  I don’t fish for panfish too much so I had to do some digging for the proper tackle.  #11 Rapala’s aren’t exactly the best thing for perch, though it would be interesting to see the perch that would grab one.  A few minutes later I had everything I needed and we were on our way.  A friend of my Dad’s had caught a bunch of big red ear sunfish earlier in the lake so we were off to try and find the same spot.  Of course we never found it.  We were slowly trolling around trying to find a drop off from 5 to 8 feet of water.  I had one rod rigged up with a sinker and baited hook and I was dropping it in until we found some fish.  I picked one perch and then another so we dropped anchor and got after them.  I was using my sister-in-laws rod so I handed that back to her and got my brother set up.  Soon everyone was catching fish but me.  I had yet to get my rod set up.  I was going to experiment.

I really hate using bait, especially worms like everyone else was using.  I had been following another blog (D & B Ice Adventures) about a guy who fishes for panfish in Vermont A LOT.  He and his fishing buddies use a lot of small artificial jigs so I was going to give it a shot.  I was hoping this would work because it would be a lot easier and cleaner.  It did.  I dropped down a small chartreuse jig with a white plastic body and a few seconds later I was bringing in my first perch.  This was great, the water was clear enough that I could see my white jig.  The second it disappeared, set the hook and bring in the fish.  This went on for about the next hour.  Eventually the bite started to slow down so we started to move around to find another active group.  We tried a few more spots but with no luck.  We had a fair amount of fish and it was past lunch so we headed in.  We had other things to do today and the skies were starting to look a little menacing.  50 perch and 1 big red ear sunfish was nothing to complain about.  All that was left now was to drop them off at Wellman’s for cleaning.  Which, by the way, they scaled and filleted for 10 dollars.  I will gladly pay that if I can keep from cleaning panfish.

Now for the vital stats.  Water was clear with about 5 feet of visibility.  We were fishing in 5 feet of water near a drop off to 8 feet.  Weeds were kind of sparse and a few bare patches here in there.  There was a light wind out of the SE and it was overcast.  Everyone else was using a #6 gold plated hook baited with a leaf worm tied above a bell sinker.  I was using a small chartreuse jig with a soft body bait (pictured below).  I would twitch it and bounce it around to keep the perch interested.  They would grab it as it was going up, down and even just sitting there.

All in all it wasn’t a bad way to spend a morning.

IMG_1405 IMG_1406 IMG_1409

7/22/13 Evening Walleye

23 07 2013

Over the weekend handliner wannabe and avid walleye fisherman Tom contacted me with some questions about pulling wire.  His main objective was for me to come over and check out his boat to get my input on how to set it up.  I then offered to do him one better, I told him to meet me at Elizabeth Park Monday night and he can ask all the questions he wants while we fish.

By 8:00 pm we were on the water and setting lines.  He brought his own shanks/leaders and weights and after a few questions about leader lengths and spacing on the shank he was set up.

Rule of thumb here is for every inch up the shank from the top of the weight is equal to 1 foot of leader length.  For example a 20 foot leader should be attached to the shank 20 inches from the top of the weight.  If you have a factory shank that has clevises every 6 inches then the leaders should be 6,12,18,24,30 and 36 feet in length.  My suggestion was to run a 6, 18 and 36 length leaders if he wanted to run 3.

Not much happened for the first hour, only caught a couple of bass and 1 small walleye.  Once it got dark and that full moon cleared the trees things really started to take off but not the way I wanted.  We were losing fish on a grand scale.  At one point Tom and I made a pass through one area and we each had one on and lost both of them at the boat.  A few minutes later we each lost another one.  We kept at it though and by 10:30 we had 10 in the boat with 1 throwback and 6 lost fish.  They were hitting very light tonight, most times it felt like there was just extra weight.  I was even convinced that I hit a pile of weeds only to find a walleye dragging along the surface.  Tom got the big fish of the night, a 22 inch 3 1/2 pounder that he got on a #9 Jointed Bleeding Copper Flash Rapala.  All my fish came on a #9 SVSII, #7 Downriver Steel and a Riley Special Spoon.  I even caught a few walleye on the spoon after dark on the kicker lead.  Sometimes the standard rules of body baits after dark do not apply.  Also, as I was bringing in my lines a walleye hit my 40 foot lead just as I got my hand on it.  Either that walleye followed it all the way up or he was cruising just below the surface.  I wasn’t going to complain, he’s in the freezer now.

The water is still gin clear but the floating weeds were a bit of a hassle.  We could dodge most of them while it was light out but after dark it was problematic.  Surface temp was 78 degrees with a South wind between 5 and 10 mph.  Like I said earlier there was a full moon out and clear skies.  Only drawback was the bugs, annoying little things.  All of the fish came from an area just north of the Catamaran on the Grosse Isle side of the river.  We worked the area pretty hard until we boated our 10th fish.

No pics this time.  I sent Tom home with his 5 and mine are sitting on ice until I can clean them after work.

FYI……the FLW trailer was in the lot at Elizabeth Park so that means lots of bass boats real soon.

Also, when we arrived the break wall was under water, when we got back we could see the top of it.  The water on the river had dropped 6 inches in just over 2 hours.  That’s a lot of water moving downstream.

Roar on the River Smallmouth/Walleye Report 7/20/13

21 07 2013

Short and quick this time.  Parents were coming down this weekend for my daughters graduation party so that meant one thing, time for Dad and I to go walleye fishing.  Since the Roar on the River boat races were going on this weekend we decided to get an early start.  By 6:00 am we were on the river with overcast skies, clear water, no weeds and a light west wind.  Almost perfect conditions.  We set lines and started our first pass by the catamaran.  I was running a custom #9 SSVII rapala and a couple of spoons.  I don’t remember what kind because I didn’t catch a single walleye on a spoon.  My Dad, on the other hand, caught all of his fish on a Riley Special spoon (my suggestion).

We also caught a lot of smallmouth bass, I mean A LOT of smallmouth bass.  We averaged 3 to 4 bass per every walleye we caught and they ranged in size from 5 to 19 1/2 inches in length.  Most of them were legal size and they seemed to be everywhere and grabbed everything we had out there.  At one time I had a double of two 16 inch fish that was quite a handful, a handful I didn’t want to deal with.  The last one of the day turned out to be the biggest and also the most entertaining.  Just as I was about to lift her into the boat a bass boat was buzzing by us at high speed.  I waited until they were right along side and I lifted her out of the water.  That brought them to a screeching halt.

We ended the day with 7 walleye and 1 throwback.  Not a bad haul but I would have preferred to not have to deal with all the bass.  I quit counting after the first hour but we caught them from beginning to end.  At least they weren’t as numerous as those “other” bass.

One other little tidbit.  I pulled a dead goby out of one of the walleye, size #9, take note everyone.   Roar on the River 1 Roar on the River 2 Roar on the River 3 Roar on the River 4


7/2/13 Walleye Report

3 07 2013

After expereincing what seemed like endless rain storms for the last 2 weeks I jumped all over a favorable forecast  for Tuesday July 2nd.  At first the forecast was calling for a 50/50 chance of thunderstorms.  By 3:00 pm that changed to a zero chance of storms so it was game on. 

I hit the water around 7:30 pm and ran all spoons, the same 2 I finished up with last Sunday and a larger Chartreuse/Black ladder back pattern.  After 45 minutes all I had for my efforts were several Smallies, a Silver that still didn’t get the memo and a 24 inch Channel Cat that about pulled the wire out of my hand when he hit.  After I released the cat in front of the cat I swapped out the spoon on my 40 foot lead with a #9 clown.  Shortly after that I had number 1 in the box.  After that I swapped out all my spoons for Rapala’s in size 9 and 7.  Didn’t make any difference, the rest of my one man limit all came on my 40 foot lead and that #9 Clown.  By 9:30 I was done and heading in.  Got to love nights like this.

Now for the vital stats.  Water temp was 70 degrees and about 2 feet of visibility.  Some floating weeds but nothing to get all worked up over.  Partly cloudy skies and just enough of a breeze to keep the bugs away.  Largest fish was 25 inches long and the smallest was 21 1/2.  Total weight for all 5 was just under 19 pounds.  I also had the whole river to myself.  A couple of stragglers from the tri hull navy were anchored by shore but no other handliners.   

TC 7-2-13 Smallie

18 Inches of Line Tangling Fury

A Cat by the Cat.

A Cat by the Cat.

Total Catch

Total Catch

Last Day of June Report

1 07 2013

While I was down at the range a friend of mine texted me to see if I had been out fishing lately.  Because of weather, work and family obligations it had been a few weeks so I told him unfortunately no.  He said he hadn’t been out in awhile either and was thinking about giving it a shot.  My reply was “7:00 pm my house, be there”.  He was.

We hit the water around 8:00 pm and set our lines.  I was running 2 spoons and a #9 SVSII Rapala.  Chris was running two spoons as well.  Not much happened for the first 15 minutes until I had a hit.  It seemed promising at first but after a few seconds I realized it was a smallmouth.  A few minutes later Chris had a hit but after we heard that tell tale splash behind the boat we both knew he hooked into a smallmouth as well.  Both fish were released unharmed and none the worse for wear.  A few more minutes passed and then it happened.  Chris hooked in to another fish and it was one of those Blankity, Blank, Blank, Blank Bass.  Someone forgot to send this guy the memo that the run was over and that he and the other 5 we ended up catching were supposed to return to Lake Erie.  They are supposed to be out there in massive schools annoying the snot out of the planer board brigade. 

Eventually we did get into the walleye.  We fished until 10:00 pm and ended up with 7 walleye, lost two, a few extra smallies and no lost equipment.  I also had my first double of the year.  Chris ended up catching 2 on a Riley Special.  I caught my 5 on a limeade spoon and an orange and black spoon I picked up earlier this year.  I posted a picture of it on a post a few months back asking the question “Which one will be the big producer this year?”. SO far it looks very promising for this spoon.   The Smallies really liked the SVSII Rapala. 

Sorry, no pictures.  Iphone battery was dead and I temporarily misplaced my other camera.  Next time, which will be soon.  Water clarity is great and very few weeds.  Mayfly hatch is in full swing so there were a lot of casings on the water but mostly on the west shoreline.  All the fish came in the middle of the river just north of the Cat.  Speed on my L/R tack was around 1.5.  Only picked up one fish making a starboard to port turn.

It’s On Like Donkey Kong now guys.