A Year in a Life – September

25 09 2014

September is an odd month.  Walleye fishing can be very hit and miss as the fish start to transition form their summer feeding patterns to their fall/winter pattern.  I have had more days where I come up empty handed in September than any other month.  This never bothers me because I am actually thinking more about small game hunting than I am  thinking about fishing.  I still got out, except this year with my boat being down, but it is not as frequent.  I’m kind of in a holding pattern until the water temps get down to that 50 degree range.  Getting there can take awhile or it can happen in a week, it all depends on the weather.

When I do go I experiment more with lure selection this time than any other.  By now the lower river is full of yoy smallmouth bass and the emerald shiners are stilla round and they are bigger as well.  Some Gizzard Shad may have started to show up but the bigger run is still months away.  Knowing all this I will run everything from #13 to #5 Rapala’s and spoons.  It all depends on what is most abundant.  I pay particular attention to the warm water discharge to see what is jumping and just how many crane’s, herons and eagles are in the area.  If I see lots of minnows I’m sticking to the smaller size lures in natural colors, especially if the water is still clear, which it usually is.  If some shad are in though out go the #11 and #13 Rapala’s.  I usually hold off on the bigger lures until October when it is colder but you never know.  I don’t waste a lot of time dragging the same bait around.  If it’s not producing in the first half and hour it is getting replaced.  I mean I really play around now.  Different sizes, styles, colors, action, speed….anything to try and trigger a strike.  Now it could just be that their aren’t any fish in the area.  The smaller ones that were around all summer may have moved back out to the lake and the bigger fish haven’t moved in yet.  I don’t know for sure.  I don’t have any tracking beacons on the fish.  I do wish I could get access to all the movement data on the walleye swimming around with the radio transmitters in them.  THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!!  Since I don’t I just have to keep trying and hope that it gets better in October.  Either that or I just go out and shoot squirrels which most years is more productive.

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Washago Pond Hog Tied Bluegill

12 09 2014

Went back to Washago pond the other night to just play around for a bit.  Action was pretty slow with only a few smaller fish caught.  I did see some decent surface action farther out on the pond then I could cast.  I’ll have to bring my waders along next time and see if that helps.  Only thing of interest was the way I caught this one bluegill.  Somehow I was able to wrap the leader around his tail when I set the hook.  He was basically hog tied and I brought him in backwards.  I haven’t done this to a fish since my salmon tight lining days on the beaches of Harrisville.  He was released none the worse for wear to fight another day.   

If you look closely you can see the leader going from his mouth and around his tail

If you look closely you can see the leader going from his mouth and around his tail





Labor Day Weekend Fin and Feather Extravaganza!

5 09 2014

It’s not to often that I get to combine my favorite past times in to one weekend but when the opportunity presents itself I take advantage of it.  Or in other words, when opportunity knocks……Shoot!

It all started on Friday evening.  Earlier in the week I had made plans to meet up with my friend Dave and his son on the Huron River in Dexter for some smallmouth fishing.  We  had talked to some of the guides at the Huron River Fly Fishing Festival a few weeks earlier so we thought we would give it a shot.  Dave had arrived earlier since I had to work so I met him on the river.  Fishing was slow but we gave it our best shot.  I ended up catching one small fish on a foam hopper pattern I tied up the night before.  Dave caught one as well but I can’t seem to remember what on.  I think it was a streamer patter of some kind.   I didn’t stay long, I still had to pack for my trip north.

The next morning I was up bright and early for my first stop, Auburn Michigan and my friend Barry’s house.  We were going crow hunting so after a quick bite to eat we were on our way.  Our first stop was near Sanford lake on some state land.  We heard crows off in the distance so we took up hiding spots and turned on the caller.  The crows never came in so we packed up and moved on to the next spot, sort of.  When we got to the end of the road there were several crows sitting out in the middle of the road.  We turned around and set up again.  This time they came in but to far out of range.  After a short ride we set up in another area and a couple of crows snuck in behind us.  Barry was able to knock one down and that was it.  Just as we were packing up the storm clouds started to roll in and the rain came down.  Oh well, so much for crow hunting.  I said my good bye’s and headed up to my parents in Oscoda.

The next morning found my father and I on Lake Huron in hopes of catching a few salmon.  We set up about a mile out from the river and ran spoons and plugs.  There weren’t many boats out, only about a dozen and most of them out on the horizon.  We gave it our best shot but all we really did was wash lures.  Around 10 we headed in for breakfast.  A little later, as we were putting the boat away, I heard some crows mouthing off across the street.  I quickly grabbed my stuff and took a short walk.  I found a small group of scrub oaks to hide in and then turned on the crow distress call.  It didn’t take long and soon I had a crow in range.  1 quick shot and he was on the ground.  I missed a second one flying behind him and quickly re-loaded.  A couple of seconds later 2 more came in and after 2 shots they were both down as well.  I love early season stupid crows.  The remaining crows quickly left the area so I gathered everything up and headed home.

The following morning found me standing waist deep in a small inland lake for the early Goose and Teal opener.  This was the first early Teal season in Michigan in almost 50 years and I was going to give it a try.  I had shot both teal and geese in years past on this lake but without doing any pre-season scouting I wasn’t expecting much.  I did have plenty of wood ducks and mallards fly around me but no teal or geese.   It was a pretty uneventful morning except for the part where I waded into a hole up to my neck in mucky water.  What Fun!

After a hot shower and some lunch I had my Dad drop me off at Foote Dam so I could try some more smallmouth fishing.  I took the fly rod along but with the wind picking up I decided to stick to tossing tube baits into all the log jams.  Fishing was pretty easy with lots of smaller bass in the 8 to 10 inch range.  Not exactly the size I was looking for but I was catching them pretty regularly.  Eventually I did find some bigger fish but unfortunately I lost them at the side of the boat.  I still need to remember to set the hook harder.  The main thing is that I was catching more and bigger fish and learning more about the river.  When I first started fishing here all I caught were rock bass and 1 smallmouth.  since then I haven’t caught any rock bass and more smallmouth.  Now I am catching more and bigger fish.  Hopefully soon the bigger fish will out number the smaller ones.  I may even use my fly rod more once I get a little more confidence with the area.  This trip was cut short though by the rain.  About 30 minutes from where I was going to be picked up the clouds opened up and down came the rain, in buckets.  A wet ass twice in one day.  What Fun!

That was the last of my fishing any hunting for the weekend.  Home was a long drive away and I was tired.  I would make a few stops along the way but eventually I got home around midnight.  I had a long day of doctor’s appointments ahead of me and I needed some sleep.  It won’t be long and squirrel, grouse and woodcock will be open and I will be headed north again.  Until then I’ll get some rest and prepare.

Huron Sunrise Dam Water Stupid Crows Smallie