What’s in store for 2014.

3 01 2014

So it is snowing outside, the wind chill it is something below zero and the boiler is out in my office building.

Is it Spring yet?

This of course has me thinking about what I am going to do this year?  What new adventures await me?  Last year wasn’t all that exciting, mostly the same old same old.  I did go Fly Fishing for a weekend on the AuSable river.  This was something I hadn’t done in years and I forgot just how enjoyable it was.  I plan on doing more of that this year along with a few other things.  With that in mind here is a brief run down of what to expect on this blog for 2014.

A year in the life of a die hard walleye fisherman.

I had this idea awhile ago about what goes through a walleye fisherman’s head for a year.  Not just a weekend warrior type but one who is constantly thinking about catching walleye.  This year I plan on putting that into words.  Starting in January I will post monthly entries of what it is like to be a walleye fanatic 24/7/365.  Granted some months are going to be more about planning and prepping instead of fishing but it should be interesting.

There is more to life than just walleye.

This year I am also making a concerted effort to go fishing for other species.  I forgot how much I enjoy fly fishing so there will be more of that in my future.  Not just for trout but panfish as well, maybe a few Smallmouth or Largemouth Bass if I ever get some bigger flies tied up.  Speaking of fly tying I will also be making a few posts about some of my own creations.  Winter time is tying time and with the weather being what it is I might as well.  If the weather ever does break I will be making a few Steelhead trips too.  I still have to get the rod and tie up some jigs but that won’t take long.  Hopefully I will be able to hook into a few on my local stream the Huron.  If not I will have to go visit my parents and take my chances along the AuSable. 

Another plan is to do some fishing out of state.  First on the list is Dewey Lake in Kentucky.  My girlfriend has friends down there she likes to visit and Dewey lake is only a few miles away.  It is an 18 mile impoundment that is supposed to have some walleye in it, panfish and Striped Bass.  Hopefully I can make this work.  I’ll need to do some checking to help cut down on my paddle time in the kayak.  18 miles is a little too much water to cover by kayak.

The big out of state trip for 2014 is Alaska.  For years my Father and I tried to put together a trip but it seemed like every year we wanted to go something happened.  This trip almost didn’t happen again when my Dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer but that is under control so we have been given the green light.  The last week in July My Father, Brother and I will be flying up to Homer Alaska for a week.  Currently Halibut, Silver Salmon (Coho), Big Rainbows and Grayling are on the agenda but that could change depending on weather and what is hot at the moment.  The cabin we are staying at has WIFI so you can expect updates and pictures from the field as they happen, or at least that evening after dinner.     

Back closer to home the DNR have been stocking Atlantic Salmon in Lake Huron.  This spring those 2013 plants should be showing up and I hope to get a few.  The AuSable was one of the planting areas so my Dad and I are making plans to target them.  If what I have read is correct they should start showing up in the harbors and rivers about the same time those other fish show up in the “D”.  I hope so, it will be a nice change of pace.

Another change of pace during the “Invasion” will be the St. Clair River.  I made my first trip up there last May and I plan on going back.  I am thinking about staying at Algonac State Park for a weekend and jig by day and pull wire by night.  I may even make this an event to see if other people want to tag along and share resources.  Always easier to zero in on the fish when you have multiple boats out.  That way we can also compare notes and tactics to help improve everyone’s success. 

Can’t forget about hunting season either.

I really, really, really miss small game hunting.  Unfortunately I don’t have the access to private land around home like I used too.  All my small game hunting is up around Midland or Oscoda and I can’t get away for the weekend like I used too.  Hopefully that will change this year and I can post a few items about Grouse, Woodcock and of course Squirrel.  There may even be a post about an early Teal season hunt.  The DNR is pushing for Michigan to have an early Teal season.  The USFWS always shot it down but it looks like they may let it happen in 2014.  If so I know of a few spots that hold a fair amount of Green Wing Teal.  I won’t make any plans until I know for sure but it would be nice.    

Well there you have it, 2014 in a nutshell.  I’m sure I won’t get to do everything I want but if I can pull off half of it I will be happy.  I do know it is going to be a lot of writing and picture taking.  Speaking of picture taking I’m debating purchasing a GoPro video camera.  If so I may have videos to post as well.





Going Home…….

9 06 2013

 

Every year I try to fish at least one new spot.  Usually it is somewhere on the Detroit River but after 35 years I’m starting to run out of places. I had always wanted to try walleye fishing on the St. Clair River so when Dan offered to take me up there I jumped at the chance. This was going to be a trip home for Dan since this was his old stomping grounds as a kid.  This was also going to be a “going home” trip for me as well but for a different reason.  Marine City was the old fishing grounds for my Grandfather and his brothers, specifically Ed and Hank, the two guys responsible for inventing the Schaller Automatic Trolling Reel.  I always get a little nostalgic whenever I am around Marine City, Marysville and Algonac but this time I was going to be fishing the same waters they did.  Tonight we were going to be fishing in Marine City, a place of some significance for me.  My Great Uncle Hank died while fishing out here.  He had a heart attack while pulling up the anchor for his boat, the same boat I own and fish out of today.  Like I’ve said before, there is a lot of history associated with my old 1957 Crestliner.

After some driving around and trying to get a few last minute fishing reports Dan decided to launch at a small little ramp just north of downtown Marine City.  From there we headed south to the Sand piles.  There were a few whippers setting up for the evening and we set up for our first pass just south of them.  Turns out we set up right in front of the DNR ramp south of Marine City.  Oops.

Fishing was a little slow at first, Dan was running chrome Nite Stalkers and I was running some custom Downriver Tackle Rapala’s.  We had to play around with the speed for a bit but eventually we got the motor set the way we wanted and we were heading upstream ever so slowly.  The current is a lot faster up here than it is in the Trenton Channel.  Since it is also over 30 feet deep we were forced to use 2 pound weights.  Normally I never wear a glove on my wire hand but with the current, depth and weight I was having a hard time holding on to the wire.  The rubber coated glove helped a lot.  After about an hour we finally got our first fish, a 3 ½ pound female on a #9 Spring Valley Special Rapala II Rapala.  After I threw her in the live well I tossed my lure back over the side.  I noticed that it didn’t seem to be running right so I pulled it out to check it over.  Everything seemed ok except for one thing.  The bill was installed upside down.  That is a first.  I swapped it out for a Rapala with a properly installed lip and I was back in business.  We made a few more passes in front of the sand piles and didn’t catch anything.  It was around midnight by now and Dan decided to head back up stream to the Belle River Edison Power Plant.  A freighter was off loading coal so we started our troll just south of the ships stern.  By the time we reached the bow I had on another walleye.  This one came on a #11 DT-158.  About 10 minutes alter I landed a small 15 incher on a #11 Clown.  Things were starting to look good and by the time we reached the north end of the plant I landed my 4th on the DT-158.  We pulled lines and headed back down to the bow of the ship to try again.  By now Dan had switched over to Rap’s and he was starting to eye all my lures.  He asked if he could borrow some of mine and he promised not to lose any.  In this area the threat of lure loss isn’t as great.  As a matter of fact I never got hung up on anything all night.  Dan did manage to lose a Nite Stalker though.  We slowly worked our way north again and I picked up another walleye on a #9 SVSII Rapala.  I didn’t know it at the time but that was going to be our last walleye for the night.  We made a few more passes but at 2:30 am Dan decided to call it quits.  That was fine with me.  It had been a long day and night and I was very tired.  I had a lot to do Saturday so I needed to get some rest.  I can’t survive on a couple hours of sleep and a few Red Bulls.  All in all it was a good trip.  Perfect weather, no major tackle foul ups or losses and we didn’t get skunked.  It would have been nice if Dan had added a few to the live well but not much I can do about that.  It was good to get out though and fish in an area that my Grandfather and his brothers fished when they were younger.  I will never get the chance to fish with my Grandfather again but his memory and guiding hand will always be there.

1st St. Clair Walleye

1st St. Clair Walleye