Last Trip 10/26/15

27 10 2015

It never ceases to amaze how quickly my attitude can change with just the flick of a switch.  Unfortunately the change wasn’t a pleasant one.  When I arrive at work it started off as a normal Monday.  Just about everyone was talking about the Lions latest debacle while I got my Pepsi and headed to my desk.  While I was checking emails and running my daily bank reports I got a message from my boss.  The Senior accountant we hired in June just resigned and only gave one weeks notice.

Day ruined.

That means everything he did as part of our monthly process just became my responsibility again.  Looks like I’m going fishing tonight.  I had already planned on going out tonight but now I was contemplating making this my last trip for the year.  Daylight savings time is this weekend so evening trips are pretty much out.  It looks like I will be putting in a lot of late hours anyways.  That will leave only the weekends and right now I want to go Steelhead fishing more than Walleye fishing.  So it looks like that when I pull in tonight the motor will get put through winterize mode.

I hit the water around 6:30 pm and set up in my usual spot.  What was very clear and about 55 degrees, no surface weeds and from what I could see not much below the surface.  The wind was pretty much non existent and there was a full moon just barely starting to rise in the east.  I started off with all Rapala’s in sizes 11, 9, and 7.  As it turns out I would change lures constantly throughout the night.  I was hoping for a few fish but all I ended up with was one 22 inch male, my biggest fish of the year and I caught it on the smallest Rapala I ran all year.  Like I said before, it’s been a strange season.

Around 8:30 I decide to call it quits.  It had been a slow night and my heart really wasn’t in it.  I had fish for the winter and Steelhead fishing will be starting soon.  Once I tied off at the dock I put the engine through it’s winterize mode.  About a minute later it was done and I was pulling it out and heading for home.  There’s always next season.

 

10-26 walleye

 

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10/21/15, The trip that wasn’t.

22 10 2015

I had been thinking about going out walleye fishing all day long.  Nothing new but for some reason today I was feeling anxious about it.  It could have been because I hadn’t been out in over a month.  It could have been because the temps were dropping and I was hopeful that some bigger fish had moved in.  It could have also been because my inner voice was trying to tell me that something terrible was going to happen and that I should stay home.

I should really listen to my inner voice.

I rushed home from work and by 6:15 the boat was hooked up and I was on my way.  I arrived at the ramp at 6:30 and much to my delight no one was there to collect my money.  So far so good.  I pulled into position and started to get ready.  The wind was out of the south but it didn’t appear to be to bad.  I unhooked the trailer lights and released the stern straps.  I put my stern light in and pulled the switch.

Nothing.

I checked the connections on the battery and still nothing.  I check the bow lights and they were off as well.  I tried to turn on my Depth finder and still nothing.  I scratched my head for a second and checked the connections again, still nothing.  I pulled the battery out and checked everything over and it all looked good.  I tried to start the engine and absolutely nothing.  Only conclusion……Dead battery.  First time I have ever had that happen to me.  I must have left something on from my last trip and completely drained the battery.  Oh well, I hooked everything back up and headed for home.  Once I got the boat put away I hooked the battery up to the charger and sure enough 0.0%

Stupid Inner Voice.





New Spawning Reef by Grassy Island.

20 10 2015

I wonder how many boats will be piled up here next Spring?

http://michiganradio.org/post/building-comeback-detroit-river#stream/0

It’s great to see this.  So many people still view the Detroit River as a cesspool.  I get tired of trying to explain to people just how clean the river is now.  Every year my Dad would be amazed at how much the river has improved from when he was a kid.  He always said the river was the color of coffee with 2 creams.

Not anymore.

 





I love October

6 10 2015

There’s just something about his month that makes it better than any other month of the year.  The cool breeze in the air, the change of the season from summer to Fall, the colors and most of all just about everything is open.  For a hunter and fisherman nothing beats October.  The fish are starting to go into their pre-winter feeding binge.  Steelhead are starting their trip back upstream.  Several hunting seasons open up.  So much to do and so little time.  Heck, back when I was in college I probably spent more time afield and on the water then I did in class.  Now with work and other responsibilities my time outdoors is not as much as I would like but I still try to squeeze in as much as possible.  Weather permitting…..

Saturday Oct. 3rd would start my month long obsession with trying to get in as much hunting and fishing as possible.  It was opening day of waterfowl season for Zone 2 and that means Wood Ducks in my favorite spot.  My friend Barry had counted 26 woodies there the day before so the outlook was promising.  All we could do now was hope that they didn’t decide to ride the 20 mph winds out of there during the night.  As legal shooting hours approached we had a few singles fly through and a pair landed about 75 yards down from our position.  With the overcast skies visibility was poor so it was hard to keep an eye on them.  Not much more happened for the next 10 minutes or so and then it started…..

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We had ducks coming in from all different directions.  Wood ducks are known for appearing without warning here but this was ridiculous.  Barry was shooting, I was shooting, Dean was shooting.  I was drawing a bead on a second duck when two landed in front of me.  Of course I focused on them and forgot about the other one but as they took off Barry shot and I lost track of them as well.  A few seconds later I singled out a lone drake and dropped him with one shot.  As I was confirming where he fell Barry shot another one in front of me and Dean was shooting at one flying over the top of us.  After several minutes of chaos we had 7 ducks down.  Barry shot 3, Dean shot 2 and I shot 2.  Now it was time to go pick them up before we lost track of where they were.  I launched the kayak and started retrieval duties (I miss my dog).  Of course as I was picking up ducks more started to fly in.  Dean took a couple of shots but missed.  After some searching for the seventh duck I was on my way back to shore.  After that flurry things were really quiet.  We only saw two more ducks and I managed to shoot one of them.  Dean left to go squirrel hunting but Barry and I stuck around for a bit longer to see if any mallards might fly in.  We had our wood duck limits filled so it was mallards from here on in.  Not that it mattered, we didn’t see any wood ducks either.  By 9:30 I launched the kayak again to go pick up decoys and head back to the truck.

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We decided to go try for some squirrels in the ridiculously high winds before lunch.   Squirrel hunting was pretty slow, understandable with the winds as high as they were.  Each of us managed to shoot a black squirrel.  Mine made two mistakes.  The first was running through the tree tops when I walked by.  The second was stopping to take a look to see what I was doing.

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The winds were picking up so we headed back to the house for lunch, check the weather and to clean ducks and squirrels.  After a quick bite we cleaned the critters and debated what to do next.  The NE wind was blowing right at the house and their were whitecaps on Sanford Lake.  It was starting to drizzle a little so of course I went fishing.  Dean and Barry had been doing pretty good on the crappie and the thought of taking home a dozen for a meal or two was quite appealing.  Getting rained on wasn’t.  No big deal, I had dry clothes and a warm house to retreat to if necessary.  We were fishing with minnows and slip bobbers right off the dock in about 12 feet of water.  It was slow but Barry and I managed to catch 15 crappie on and off for the next few yours.  The weather would go from drizzle to down pour and back to drizzle all afternoon.  When the rain got  bad we went in, when it stopped we went out.  It really is nice having a house on the lake.

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By 5 o’clock the rain and wind had stopped completely.  We had a window of a couple of hours before the next front moved through so we grabbed the .22’s and headed back into the woods.  It was a pretty quiet evening.  It looked like most of the squirrels decided to stay holed up for the evening.  Barry and I managed to shoot 3 more before we called it quits.  It had turned out to be a pretty good day and I was not going to get greedy, besides Barry had shot 5 the day before and I had them to add to my freezer as well.  I could have stayed to hunt and fish tomorrow as well but I needed to get home.  Susan wanted to go to a flea market the next day and the group that was supposed to go with her backed out at the last minute.  I didn’t want her to go alone so once I finished cleaning the last 3 squirrels and fish I was headed south.  There will be other days.

So the final tally for Friday and Saturday was 8 Wood Ducks, 11 Squirrels and 15 Crappie.  All that was left now was to seal them up and put them in the freezer.

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I love October.