“Blue” Full Moon Walleye 8/28/15

29 08 2015

What a week.  This was my first full week at work in almost a month and it was brutal.  I was so stressed out today that I swore at some random guy at work who was trying to push his political agenda on me.  Normally I just walk away but I was compelled to share a few sentence enhancers with him.  That brief and unpleasant confrontation was the final determining factor, I was going fishing tonight.

After a quick dinner at the local Coney Island with Susan and her nephew I was hooking up the boat and heading for the river.  By 8:00 pm I was lines down and fishing.  Fellow handliner aficionado and owner of the Mad Viking Tackle Company  Steve Schoonover was out as well.  He was farther downstream than I wanted to be so I didn’t talk to him right away.  We would chat later as I was pulling in my second fish of the night.

I started up by where the “Cat” used to be with a pair of spoons and a Blue and Silver #9 Floating Rapala.  About 20 minutes later I was pulling in my first walleye of the night on the Rapala.  A few minutes later I had a second one on but I knew I was going to lose this one.  A cruiser was passing me on my starboard side to close for me to turn into the fish.  It was a light hit so I figured he was barely hooked.  I was right, just as I got ready to flip him in the hook came free.  The people on the bought let out a collective “Awww” and I just smiled.  I had a different word to describe the outcome.

It was around 8:45 pm now so it was time to ditch the spoons and break out the pencil plugs.  I put on the same blue and silver one I used last week along with a Black and Silver #9 Rapala.  About that time Steve pulled up along side of me and asked if I had my limit yet.  Just as I was about to answer I had another hit.  Steve got out of the way and less than a minute later this one was in the cooler as well.  I trolled around for two more hours and eventually picked up the rest of my limit.  I tried different color Rap’s and PP’s but all my fish came on the Blue and Silver Rap and the Blue and Silver PP.  It was a Blue kind of night.

Couple of observations about tonight.  First off it was a full moon which means chrome and pearl colored baits.  Glad I kept some of the pearl body ones on because the chrome wasn’t cutting it.  I also noticed that one of my Nite Stalker PP’s had no action at all.  It was like dragging a pencil through the water.  Wonder how long that has been going on?  I may have to check all my Nite Stalkers to see if anymore are like this.

Awhile back I mentioned how walleye seem to hit a PP center mass and get all the hooks in them.  One of the walleye tonight really did just that, one treble in the lower jaw, another in the upper jaw and one in the eye.  Good thing he was legal size.  He wasn’t going to survive this ordeal.

The water is ridiculously clear, so clear that even in the dark I can see the fish 3 feet down with a headlamp on.  There isn’t even any algae in the water.  I can’t remember a time when I have seen it this clear this late in the season.  I know a lot of people that are complaining about how difficult the fishing has been during the day.  This has got to be the reason why.  The walleye are just waiting until the evening.  The way I see it is if you want to catch fish adjust!  It’s pretty simple.

Later

08-28-15 walleye

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Thanks Dad

23 08 2015

This was going to be a tough night, not because of the conditions but because this was my first fishing trip since my dad passed away.  While he was battling cholangiocarcinoma there was always that glimmer of hope that we would be able to get out one more time.  Unfortunately he was never able to get any strength back to make a night of pulling wire enjoyable.  Our  last trip together was last October on my friend Richard’s boat.  I will be forever grateful to Richard for taking us both out.  We didn’t catch many fish that night but we did get to spend a few precious fishing hours together.  Since then I would call him while I was fishing and tell him how I was doing.  He was always happy to hear my voice and the sound of my Evinrude running in the background.  We would talk about all the trips we made and how we would get out fishing again soon.  That trip never did happen and now the reality of never fishing with him has really set in. No phone call, no pictures emailed to him in the morning and no plans for future trips.  It was going to be a tough night.

I started fishing around 8:30 pm down by the brown boat house in about 18 to 20 feet of water.  The water is still clear so I started with a couple of spoons and a #9 Black/Silver Rapala.  Not much happened the first 15 minutes so I pulled lines and headed upstream to where the catamaran used to be.  About 1 minute later I had my first walleye of the night on and a few seconds later he was in the boat.  He hit the Michigan Stinger spoon (sorry Jim), one I recently found in my Dad’s garage.  Once I got him in the cooler I dropped my lines back and it wasn’t long before I had another hit.  This one was one of those dead weight hits that I have grown to despise so much.  I didn’t even need to guess what lure it was on, my 40 foot lead and the Rapala.  Just like so many fish before him he waited until he got up to the side of the boat to make that last head shake and throw the lure.  This was really getting frustrating so I witched things up a bit.  I moved the one Rapala to my kicker, added a #9 Blue/Silver Rapala to my 20 foot lead and added a big blue and silver pencil plug to my 40 foot lead.  Maximum hooks for hopefully maximum hook ups.  That seemed to do the trick.  The next two fish came on the pencil plug and each fish had all three treble hooks in them.  I don’t know what it is about these lures but the walleye seem to hit them right in the center and get all the hooks in them.  I’m not going to complain.  It took a little while but I finally got the forth and fifth fish between 10:30 and 11:00 pm and they each grabbed one of the two Rapala’s.  A good way to end the night.

While I was fishing I noticed some lights south of me.  It was a strand of about 2 dozen rising up from the trees to the night sky.  It looked like that old CNN stock footage from the Iraq war where the flak was headed up to hit a plane that wasn’t there.  Eventually I realized it was a group of people releasing a bunch of paper lanterns.  I’m sure it was a tribute of some kind but it seemed fitting for me to be the only one fishing tonight and to see that as I was thinking about my father.  All around it was a perfect night and not as hard as I thought it would be.

Thanks Dad.

 

8-21 walleye

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Dad (6) Dad (7) Dad (11) Dad (13) Dad (17) Dad (32) Dad (19)

 





The rest of the story.

3 08 2015

As I said earlier I went Atlantic Salmon fishing.  I had been wanting to do this for quite some time but I never really had the opportunity.  I know fishermen caught them from boats that would tie up to the Edison Plant and fish the discharge.  Somewhere along the way I had a purist streak come over me and I felt the need to catch one on a fly.  After a little poking around I came across Rod Trudel of On The Fly Fishing Company in Canada.  A few emails later and I had a morning trip booked to swing flies for Atlantic Salmon.

I met Rod bright and early at 5:00 am (the sadist).  He told me that with the current heat wave the fish were retreating to deeper water early so he wanted to get an early start.  He also wanted to get to his favorite hole before anyone else did.  After we crossed the canal we made our way into the water.  Now you might think anyone can just park their car and walk to the spot to start fishing but I wouldn’t recommend it.  The current here is fierce and if you don’t know the area you run the risk of going swimming.  As a matter of fact I watched to other anglers do just that.  Fortunately for them they weren’t near any of the holes that are rather deep.  This stretch of river is very deceiving and one side of a rock may be ok but the other side may be over 20 feet deep.  In other words don’t be cheap.  Pay the money for a guide if you ever think about doing this.  Saving a few bucks is not worth risking your life.

Back to the fishing.

We originally set up between two boulders that created a seam on each side of me that I could swing a fly into.  It was still dark out but we could see salmon swirling on the surface chasing caddis flies (the bane of my existence today) and the occasional mayfly.  I worked this area and several others, casting small tube flies and muddler patterns.  Nothing worked though but for 7 hours I tried.  Rod was determined to get me into a fish but by noon we just gave up.  I wasn’t alone though.  There were about 6 other fishermen in the area and they didn’t catch anything either.  Rod had a couple of theories, one being the cold front that moved through and dropped the temperature about 25 degrees.  The other being the millions of caddis flies that were in the area.  He said the fish were gorging themselves on them.  They were so thick that I am still finding them in my car and waders.  Oh well, it happens.  The good thing about all this is that Rod told me he would take me out again free of charge for another crack at them.  All I had to do was arrange a date.  Not many guides will do that now a days.

Glad to see that some still do.