Last trip for April 4/25/14

26 04 2014

This will be my last walleye report for the month of April.  Short, sweet and to the point.

Went out 4/25/14, caught 6, kept 5 and threw back 1.

4 trips, 4 limits.  Life is Good.

The End

 

Actually there is a little more than that.  I didn’t even arrive on the water until after 8:00 pm.  With a clear sky and even clearer water I didn’t see much of a point to start too early.  By 8:30 pm I had my first fish and by 10:00 pm I caught my 5th keeper.  All 5 fish came on my 40 foot lead and a #11 Bleeding Chartreuse Rapala.  I did catch a sub legal walleye on my kicker and a #7 Fire Tiger Rapala.  Water temp was around 46 degrees and as I said before remarkably clear.

Taking a break for the next week.  I’m going to be out of town for a bit so the local male walleye population will be granted a reprieve.

Now when I come back…….Game On Part II.

 

18 to 24 inches long, all males.

18 to 24 inches long, all males.

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04/23/14 Walleye

24 04 2014

While I was at the last DWF meeting last Monday I was talking to Larry about going out Wednesday night. He asked if I was going to have an open seat. I told him I wasn’t sure but that I would get back with him. The next morning I sent him a quick message to be at my house at 6:30 pm and he agreed.

Wednesday night we arrived at the launch around 7:00 pm and by 7:15 pm we were lines down south of the cat. Surface temp was around 47 degrees and the water was very clear. I had a feeling that things were going to be slow at first and I was right. For the next hour and a half we got nothing, nadda, zip, squat, diddly. Around 9:00 pm the sun was long gone and the fish finally showed up. For the next 45 minutes it was game on and we managed to put 8 in the cooler. I figured we would have no problem getting the last two but for the next half hour we were back to nothing, nadda, zip, squat, diddly. No big deal, we had 8 nice fish all between 19 and 25 inches long. Larry’s first fish was over 23 inches long and I told him he had to throw it back because it was screwing up my average. He gave me that “Yeah Right” look and tossed him in the cooler. My next fish was the 25 incher and everything afterwards was in the 20+ inch range. At quarter after 10 we pulled lines and headed in. We both had to work in the morning and it was going to be a late night after we were done cleaning fish and putting the boat away.

Other than that 45 minute spurt it was a pretty uneventful night. No boat problems, no swimming deer, no lost equipment or hang ups and even the weather was pretty calm. No wind and it was actually quite pleasant out. If it had been a Friday night we would have stayed out longer.

Most of my fish came on a #11 Bleeding Chartreuse Rapala. I really don’t know what Larry was catching his fish on, I wasn’t paying attention. I was busy keeping the boat in the strike zone and avoiding other boats and catching my own fish.  Only thing of interest was that all the big males were spawned out.

That makes 3 trips for me and 3 limits. The Tigers Bullpen and Red Wings Power Play probably wishes they were this consistent.

19 to 25 inches.

19 to 25 inches.

 

 





Easter Walleye

21 04 2014

Since I didn’t have any family obligations for Easter I made plans to go out Sunday Evening. Most of my fish on Friday came after 8 I waited until 7:00 pm to hit the water. When I arrived at the launch there was no one take my 5 bucks (BONUS) and most of the lot was empty (Even Better). After I got my stern light post in place and checked I was on my way.

There was a south wind around 5 to 10 mph and the surface temp was right around 47 degrees. Water was a little clearer than Friday night but there was a lot of debris in the water. It looked like someone had dumped a face cord of firewood off a bridge upstream. Chances are someone’s wood pile on some beach farther up north got washed away and it had finally made its way down to my part of the world. About 20 minutes in I had my first walleye of the night, another male in the 18 inch range. Not a bad start until about 10 minutes later. I had another hit but this one felt wrong. It was a light hit with a lot of quick little head shakes. My heart sank, it couldn’t be possible, and not this early, sure enough….I caught my first fish that shall not be named for the season. To make matters worse I caught another one shortly afterwards. I was dumbfounded. 10 days ago we still had ice coming down the river and here I am catching these things. I guess God decided to punish me for not going to church Sunday morning. Fortunately it was only two but where there is one or two, tens of millions will soon follow.

Not much more happened until after dark. I wasn’t catching anything where I caught fish Friday so I pulled lines and headed farther downstream. My Friend Dave told me last Friday that he was marking a lot of fish in 15 feet of water down by the blue boat house so I started there. I stayed in that area for the remainder of the evening and managed to fill my 5 fish limit and lose another small one as well. I had caught 3 and lost one between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. My plan was to quit at 10:00 pm no matter what. The pressure was on but at exactly 9:59 pm I had number 5 in the box and by 10:01 pm and I was headed home.

2 Trips, 2 limits. Not a bad start for 2014

#11 GFR, #9 Bleeding Olive and a #7 Hot Steel Rapala took all the fish. At one point I got hung up and I busted the lip on the Bleeding Olive Rapala. Somehow I managed to impale the lip on the back hook. How I managed to do that still has me puzzled. There were about a dozen handliners out last night and from what I could see (at least the ones who had lights) everyone was catching fish. Going to try and make a few more trips this week before I head out of town for the week. Need to fill my freezer before the you know what’s show up.

 

Still trying o figure out how I managed to do this.

Still trying to figure out how I managed to do this.

Easter Walleye 2014

Again, All Males 18 to 22 inches long.

Are you Kidding me!!!!

Are you Kidding me????





Maiden Voyage 2014

20 04 2014

Finally!!!

The snowiest winter ever recorded for south east Michigan is finally over (I hope).  The birds are building their nests, tulips are poking through the ground and the days are above freezing (though the wind chill temp yesterday morning was 29 degrees).  Time to go get some walleye.  Early reports have stated that big fish are being caught all throughout the system from St. Clair to Erie.  Could this be the year I finally get that 10 pound fish?  It seems like everyone else is so why not me?  Anything is possible.  Especially now with big females being the bulk of a lot of fish being caught.  We shall see.

My plan was to go out Friday night (4/18) after dinner.  The MWC was having day 1 of their 2 day tournament on Friday so I wanted to wait until they were off the water.  I left the house around 5 and arrived at the ramp as they were going through weigh-in.  I could hear the weights of the 5 fish baskets being called out over the loud speaker as I was prepping the boat.  Most were in the 30 pound range but I did hear a 42 pound weight yelled out.  Don’t know where they were fishing , probably mid river as that seems to be where everyone has been fishing this last week.  I was headed south to my normal fishing grounds, I felt like staying close.

I started off jigging, why I don’t know.  I sometimes think I need to get it out of my system before I start to pull wire.  I really don’t like jigging anymore.  I’m to the point that the only time I want a fishing rod in  my hand is when it is my Fly Rod.  After a couple of drifts and no fish I got down to business.  I turned the boat around, pointed it upstream and out came the Rap’s.  As I was getting ready my friends Dave and Larry pulled up beside me.  They had 4 and were in the process of landing number 5 as I was lowering my baits into the water.  They told me they had lost around 6 fish as well and Larry had lost a big one.  He could never get her up off the bottom.  There was still hope.

About 20 minutes later I had my first fish of the year, a nice 18 inch eater.  He came on a #11 Pink Lemonade Rapala on my 40 foot lead.  That was followed up by another little male that I had to toss back.  The size limit here is 15 inches and he was 14.9999999998 inches long.  No biggie, the sun was starting to set and the fish were starting to get active.  About 20 minutes later I lost another small one at the boat.  Once he came off I quickly got the baits down and went back through the same area.  It wasn’t long and number 2 was in the cooler, another male on a #9 Original Black and Silver Rapala.  I was getting ready to make another run when I spotted something weird looking in the water.  I thought it might be a Cormorant at first but then I realized it was the head of a whitetail deer.  I motored closer and sure enough, it was a deer swimming upstream and headed to the shoreline below the Edison plant.  Once she found a clear spot she walked out and gave me a look of how dare you interrupt my swim and then went on her way.  I have seen deer all over the River but this was the first time I had ever seen one swimming in the water.

It was getting dark now so I switched on my navigation lights and got back to fishing, sort of.  My stern light wasn’t working.  I tried to figure out what the problem was but no luck.  I headed to a nearby dock and tied off while I inspected the pole and socket.  Eventually I got it working and was back to fishing.  It never fails, just when I was zeroed in on them something goes wrong.  I was back in business and it didn’t take long for me to get back on the fish.  Roughly 30 minutes later I had the last 3 of my 5 fish limit and I was on my way in.  I pulled up along side of Dave and Larry again as they were landing number 6.  I tossed them one of my hot lures and threatened their lives if they lost it.  I wished them good luck (I later found out that they ended up with 9 for the night) and ran for the dock.  I had my 5 and was happy.  Of course they were all males with the largest one being 22 inches long.  Only I could accomplish that.  Everyone else is landing a personal best fish and throwing back big females and I manage to catch all males, and a sub-legal one to boot.  Oh well.

For those who are wondering the surface temp was 44 degrees with a nice stain to the water.  These bright sunny days are getting the algae going and the water conditions were just about perfect, for me.  Clear skies and a NE wind made it a little chilly but it felt good to be back out on the water.  It had been a long winter and I needed to get back in to a rhythm again.  It took a little doing at first but eventually I got my mojo back and the fish were coming in.

Here’s to the rest of the season everyone, it’s finally here.

 

All Males, 18 to 22 inches long.

All Males, 18 to 22 inches long.





A Year in a Life – April

7 04 2014
Lake St. Clair Ice as of 4/6.  A good East wind and some rain should push that downstream.

Lake St. Clair Ice as of 4/6. A good East wind and some rain should push that downstream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s getting closer…..

This is the worst time of the year for an open water walleye fisherman. Actually, any open water fisherman who lives in a northern state, especially after this winter. The ice is finally breaking up and open water is more of the norm. Granted there is still a lot of ice farther north but in my little part of the world the end is in sight. I can now safely start to make plans on when I can go out without having to worry about a stray ice berg pushing me down to Cleveland.

Now that the weather is warm enough I have more of a desire to go in the garage and get the boat ready. I am going to have a Coast Guard auxiliary perform a safety inspection so I have to make sure I have everything. I always do but I don’t want to waste his time if the boat isn’t ready. Have to make a minor wiring repair and get the electronics put back in. Need to check the flares to make sure they haven’t expired and put my signaling device (A Big Whistle) back in arms reach. Life jackets, cushions, paddle, license, registration, first aid kit and the tool kit all need to go back in their usual place. Once that is done my numerous boxes of stick baits will go next. Of course I have already inspected them and replaced all the broken lips and bad hooks (Yeah Right). After that it’s on to the trailer lights and greasing the hubs. If all goes well this shouldn’t take too long. It is supposed to get up in to the 60’s later this week so hopefully I can get it all done in one evening. As much as I want to get out I know it’s still early. Water temps are still in the mid 30’s and the fish that are in the river are pretty lethargic. For me the old saying “A Bad Day Fishing is Still Better Then a Good Day at Work” may be true but I don’t want to spend my day off freezing my butt off to catch nothing. I’m shooting for Easter weekend. A fair number of boats have been out but their success has been sporadic. A few fish here and there, nothing to get excited about though this is the time to get that wall hanger. Glad I got over that.

Soon my life will be back to normal. My days at work will be spent completing tax forms and checking weather reports to see what night will be best to go. Weekends will no longer be for sleeping in. Alarm clocks will go off at 5:00 am so I can get out before the other 1,000 boats do. Evening fishing trips will be well after work when everyone else will be coming in, unless of course east winds have muddied things up. If that happens it will be a strictly daytime fishing scenario. Thankfully I have a lot of vacation time. Unfortunately I will be in San Antonio Texas for the last week of April. Doesn’t matter though, the end is near. I will have the next 6 or 7 months to fill my freezer as much as I want. I just need to get through these last couple of weeks.