2015 Lake Erie Walleye and Perch Hatch Numbers

23 09 2015

Looks like Lake Erie had a good hatch for this year.  If I figured correctly the walleye population should get a 20 million fish boost.  I’m curious to see what the TEC numbers for 2016 will be and what the estimated population is.  This hatch won’t be counted with the estimated population.



Of course the down side to this is that next summer (2016) we are going to be catching a lot of 8-10 inch walleye.  In 2017 they will be barely legal so we will have to do a lot of sorting.  2018 should be a fantastic season.  Wonder if they will increase the daily limit for the Detroit River in 2018?  Probably not.  If Canada increases their daily limit I might have to start fishing Amherstburg again.

The population really needed this boost, especially if we have another warm winter like they are predicting.  Hatches after a warm winter have been historically poor.

Weeds Still Suck

22 09 2015

Originally I had no plans to fish last night (9/21/15).  I was planning on going out on Thursday since I had the next day off from work.  Figured I would be able to stay out as long as I want and maybe experiment with some other lures.  What changed my mind was the wind forecast.  The forecast called for NE, E and SE winds all week.  That meant that by Thursday I would have needed a brush hog to find any clear water.  So I figured last night would be my best bet.  Unfortunately the weeds were still bad, not as bad as my previous trip but bad enough.  I only fished for about 90 minutes and managed one 18 inch walleye and one 19 inch Smallmouth (which really made a mess of my leaders).  Both fish came on the same blue and white pencil plug I have been using for the last month.

No pictures this time.  I figured everyone has seen enough pics of an 18 inch walleye and by now everyone should know what that pencil plug looks like.  Water temps was 68 degrees and the water is still extremely clear.  Weeds were all throughout the water column.  Mats on top and single strands below the surface.

Taking a break for awhile.  Got enough fish for my mom’s fish fry so I’m good for now. I’ll wait until the water cools down some more and we get a few days of west winds.  I’m hoping a few new fish will move in from Erie.  Not that I did that much damage to the local population but it would be nice to get some new fish in the river.

Warm winter ahead???

18 09 2015

If this is true I could be walleye fishing till Christmas.  I may not freeze my ass off to for Steelhead either, providing the temps get low enough to trigger the run.



Bump and a Headshake, 2 Fish.

17 09 2015

I don’t think I would get the same reaction from Roger Rabbit as the version from the movie.

Made a quick trip last night to see if I could catch a few more for the ever looming fish fry.  I can sum up the night in 2 words…..Weeds Suck!  They were horrendous.  If I didn’t catch a fish in the first minute my lures were down I was pretty much screwed.  Every time I brought them up I would have weeds on the shank and each lure.  The two I did manage to catch each hit the lure within the first minute they were down.  Not my idea of a fun night.  After about an hour I gave up.  There was one other boat out with two fellow handliners in it.  They had 3 and were giving up, they had had enough of the weeds as well.  Can’t say that I blame them.  I would have preferred to stay out longer.  It was a nice night and my girlfriend Susan was along for the trip.  She has been wanting to see first hand how I catch walleye and unfortunately I had to cut the trip short.  The two I did mange to catch were nice fish in the 18 to 20 inch range.  Both caught in the middle of the river from where the “Cat” used to be.  No Cats or Smallies but I did catch one over zealous Rockbass.  Water is still very clear and 68 degrees.  It needs to drop about another 20 degrees before things really get interesting.  I hope.


3 more for the freezer 9/13/15

14 09 2015

I had some more free time Sunday night so I decided to see if I could add to my Mother’s request for a fish fry for her friends.  I thought I had enough but she keeps adding people and time is running out.  I got a late start and arrived at the ramp around 8:30 pm.  No one at the gate and I was the only car in the lot.  Kind of spooky being the only person there after dark.  I quickly launched my boat and soon I was heading downstream to my usual starting point, right where the “Cat” used to be.  I started off with the same two Rapalas and Pencil Plug I have been having all my success with.  If it’s not broke why fix it?  As it turns out it would be somewhat broke tonight and try as I might I couldn’t get anything going on the Rapalas.  All my walleye tonight came on the same blue and white Pencil Plug.  I needed to check my boxes to see if I have anymore of these pp’s tucked away.

I only ended up with 3 walleye, it could have been 4 but 1 walleye made a kamikaze death charge right at my prop and off he came.  They must teach them that at walleye survival school because that is the second time I have had one do that to me.  Water is still very clear and the surface temp has dropped 5 degrees from the previous trip on Wednesday.  It should warm back up again later this week as temps get back up into the 80’s.  Weeds were not an issue, the skies were clear, the wind died down to nothing and as I said before I was the only one out there.  The only other boat I saw was the Homeland Security boat around 9:00 pm.

Nothing else to report other than I caught another channel cat and a couple of smallmouth bass.  From what I have been reading it sounds like the bass have moved into the lower river.    Wish some bigger walleye would move in.  One or two 25 inch fish would cure my fish fry needs.

I know I’m going to jinx myself for saying this but this is 4 trips now and I still haven’t lost a lure.


Somewhat Windy Wednesday Walleye

10 09 2015

As I sat at work I repeatedly looked out the window to see if the skies were remaining overcast.  When 5:30 pm rolled around the clouds were cooperating so I decided to hook up the boat and go.  I should have left earlier but I had a few things to take care of first.  By 8:15 though I was on the water and lines down.  It didn’t take long and I had my first fish on for the night.  Only problem was that it was another one of those weak ass hits that have been all to common this summer.  Like all the others before him he came off right at the boat.  Luckily, a few minutes later, I landed numbers one and two in short order.  They each came on a #9 Rapala, one Black/Silver and the other Gold/Silver.  I tried to stay in the area but the NE wind made boat control difficult and as I was untangling lines I drifted downstream.  About 10 minutes later I was back where I wanted to be and another fish was on.  This one would turn out to be either the dumbest or most unlucky fish alive (well not anymore).  I hooked this one on my 20 foot lead.  As I was about to flip him in the boat he came off.  As he swam away he headed right towards my kicker lure that was still in the water.  Now either he grabbed it or by shear dumb luck he hit it mouth open and got hooked.  I didn’t care, a quick flip and he was in the cooler as well.


After that incident the rest of the night was pretty uneventful.  I landed two more walleye to finish out my limit by 9:00 pm and I also caught my first channel cat for the year.  My last fish came on the same blue and silver pencil plug that has been producing so well for me as of late.  As it turns out it would also be my biggest fish of the year so far, a whopping 21 incher.  Last year that was my average size, this year it is my biggest.  Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Other than the 15 mph NE wind, conditions were just about ideal.  Water is still clear and the west winds from the last few days kept the weeds to a minimum.  As I had stated earlier the skies were overcast at first but by 9 they were starting to break up.  I didn’t care, I was already on my way home.  That makes 3 limits on my last 3 trips, no lost lures and no equipment malfunctions.  I’m beginning to think I have a guardian angel watching over me.

FullSizeRender IMG_2338

9/1/15, Year 2 of Michigan’s Experimental Early Teal Season

2 09 2015
My nephew Finn is excited.

My nephew Finn is excited.

I forgot just how much fun it is to muck around in a marsh at 5:00 am swatting mosquitoes as I set decoys.

That was how I started my day on the Panko unit of Crow Island State Game Area.  My friend Barry who is a Wildlife Tech for the DNR had scouted this spot earlier and thought it would be a good spot to try.  When we first arrived there were already half a dozen trucks in the parking lot.  Not surprising, I’m sure some of them arrived the night before and the hunters spent the night in their blinds.  Not me, I like to hunt ducks but I’m not that dedicated.  Getting here at 4:45 am was pushing it for me, especially since that now we get to sit for the next two hours and wait until legal shooting hours.  Thank God we had a pair of Thermacells.  If I ever meet the man at Coleman who invented these little gadgets I’ll buy him a beer.  Those things are worth their weight in gold when the mosquitoes are thick.

Once we got the decoys set we just sat in our chairs and talked about how much we missed hunting in North Dakota.  Barry used to work for the USFWS out there and I would visit him every October for one week of bird hunting.  I miss those days of never seeing another duck hunter.  Now, back here in  Michigan, I can’t throw a rock without hitting one.  We weren’t there 10 minutes when a another group came long and set up about 50 yards to our left.  We told them it was ok to set up next to us but if we knew what they were going to do later we would have said otherwise.  Around 6:30 am, with another 30 minutes to go until legal shooting time, we had some teal land in our decoys.  Some more flew in and landed in the spread to our left and they shot.  Everyone, and I do mean everyone on the marsh let them know that shooting hours hadn’t started yet.  Normally they would have been ok if it was the regular season or hunting geese.  Since this was the early teal season the DNR pushed legal shooting hours back to sunrise which was 30 minutes later.  This was done to help ensure the hunters could easily identify the ducks as they came into range.  Apparently this group hadn’t read the regulations very closely.  Barry and I just chuckled as he pulled out his observation form and wrote down the incident.  As part of this experimental season DNR personnel are supposed to set up in the hunting areas and observe.  They have to keep records to see if people shoot early, sky bust and most importantly shoot or shoot at any ducks that are not teal.  For the most part hunters are careful but every once in awhile someone makes a mistake and something else gets shot.  We were being extra careful today.  There were a lot of wood ducks flying around and I didn’t want to make that mistake, especially with Barry sitting right next to me.  I didn’t make any mistakes but I do believe a hen shoveler that flew past us did get shot by another group hunting to the south of us.  With the amount of shooting we heard and the lack of shooting from us I really wonder just how much these hunters were paying attention.  We didn’t have a single teal come into range until about an hour after that first initial early shot.  That pair made it through unscathed thanks to my looking in the wrong direction.  We did manage to shoot a couple before it got to hot and muggy for our liking.  At least I didn’t get a wet ass like last year.

So that was it for this year.  We saw a few teal, saw a ton of wood ducks along with a Bald Eagle and a Kingfisher that had a death wish.  Not a bad way to spend a morning, especially since I wasn’t at work.

Morning view, before it got to hot.

Morning view, before it got too hot.