Day 6 – Shameless Plug Day.

23 08 2018

I really had no idea what the plan was for today, maybe catch some salmon?  One thing I knew for sure was that I was going to wear my Mad Viking Tackle Co. hat to get some picks for my friend’s company.  The other thing was wear a t-shirt I was given in the hopes of winning a free one.  The Stick It Vinyls runs a monthly contest for the person who can post a pic on Facebook showing the farthest distance from their office in Michigan.  Hopefully it wouldn’t rain today and I would be able to accomplish that.  We went downstream again but this time we were a lot closer to the lodge than yesterday.

I planned on using my Spey rod today and swing flies.  Didn’t have much of a choice since I broke two other rods.  The Scott Flex would still be coming along but my plan was Swing or Die today.  We set up at our first spot for the day and pretty much stayed their.  We had no reason to leave, it was full of Pinks and Chum and they were very grabby.  Even managed to land a couple of Silvers as well.  Actually the fish were so thick in this spot I was pretty much catching them at will.  Even when I wasn’t trying I was hooking fish.  Bring in my line to make another cast, hook fish.  Set anchor for my next Spey cast, hook fish.  Drag fly through water with lunch in my hand, hook fish.  Release fish from net after removing hook, hook fish.  At one point I got bored spey casting so I grabbed my Scott Flex and took a position on shore, after I made a lot of noise, overlooking the pool.  I spent then next hour casting to Pinks and watched them do all kinds of Pink things.  I watched them chase my fly, bump it, grab it and let go, follow it for 20 feet only to refuse it at the end, ignore it and even attack it like their life depended on it.

It was a lot of fun but it had to end.  Eventually the fish figured out that anything pink would cause them a lot of stress.  We moved on to another spot for more of the same until it was time to head back to the lodge.  During our run to the next spot I got to hear one of Tim’s now famous quotes after we saw a Bald Eagle and an Osprey on the same sand bar.

“Bald Eagles and Ospreys are the same bird, one just has a better publicist”.

We beached the boat at this spot and when I jumped out I began to have second thoughts about fishing here.

As a point of reference that reel is about 6 inches in diameter.  It still amazes me that I am sharing all of this with so many bears.

Not to much longer after that we headed back to the lodge.  I think the guide wanted to get back early since we were late the previous night.  Jessie was happy to see us back on time as well.

 

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AuSable Smallmouth 7/29/14

4 08 2014

The next morning I decided to take the kayak out and paddle down the AuSable.  This would be the first time this year that I have been out kayaking.  My Dad dropped me off at Foote Dam and he was going to pick me up at the Whirlpool ramp later, about a 3 hour trip.  I started off with a crankbait but after quickly losing it to a log jam I switched over to the old reliable tube bait.  That did the trick.  They weren’t huge like the ones I catch on the Detroit River but at least they were being caught on a fishing rod and not with wire.

One thing of interest was that a lot of the smallmouth I caught were spitting up crayfish as I was reeling them in.  Not surprising since I caught most of them near rocky edges.  I did manage to pull a few out of the many log jams but the majority were caught near the rocks. On area in particular was a rocky ledge that ran for about 100 yards downstream.  I managed to hook and lose 4 in that spot.  I really need to remember to set the hook a lot harder when I get a hit.

It was very peaceful on the river.  My only company was a couple of bald eagles and a family of river otters.  No other people the whole time on the water.  Pure serenity.

 

AuSable Downstream II Bald Eagle Smallie 1 Smallie 2





December Walleye

2 12 2012

December is a time that most people spend scrambling around getting ready for Christmas.  Shopping for presents, Christmas parties, visiting relatives and everything else that goes along with the holidays.  As for me I’m watching the weather to see if I can get that last trip in for the year.  Every year is hit or miss, last year it was a miss, this year was a different story.  Earlier in the week the weather forecasters were calling for 50+ degree days for the weekend.  That sounded great but with a warm front usually comes a lot of SW wind.  Well Saturday came, no rain, no wind and warm temps.  Time to launch the boat.

Originally I had planned on going alone but I talked to my friend Chris earlier in the day and since he didn’t have anything else going on he decided to come along.  We hit the water at about 3:30 pm and headed downstream to my usual spot.  Surface temps were 39 degrees with about 2 feet of visibility.   Not exactly the crystal clear water I had been hearing from some people.  If I had known it was going to be like this I would have started earlier.  Never the less we set up and started fishing.  I was running Rapala’s in size 11 down to 7 and Chris was running a pair of Smitwick Rattlin’ Rogue’s.  There were very few surface weeds but again there were plenty below the surface.  We weren’t constantly checking lines but we could tell they were down there.  Not much happened in the first hour.  About the only excitement we had was watching a pair of Bald Eagle’s fly around us and roost in the trees along the Solutia property.

Around 5:30 I finally had a hit on my kicker and a #7 Bleeding Original Shad.  While I was bringing her in Chris got hung up and his shank busted above the lures.  He lost the whole rig but after a few minutes I got him set up again and we were back to fishing.  During this time I swapped out my two bigger lures for a #11 GFR and a #9 Downriver Steel custom Rapala.  We fished for about another 30 minutes when Chris told me his hand was starting to get sore and cramp up.  Things were slow so we pulled lines and headed in.  We only got the one fish but I was able to keep my streak alive of 11 straight months of catching a walleye in the river pulling wire.  If we get another warm spell I will try again.  It is kind of nice being out there fishing at night when the homes along Grosse Isle have their houses all lit up with Christmas lights.  It would be nice to get out again but at the same time I am hoping for a lot of snow this winter.  The water levels are way down and it is only going to get worse unless we get a lot of snow.  From what I have been hearing that even if we get a record snowfall this winter it still won’t be enough to get the river back up to pre-drought levels.

21 inch, 3 pound female

21 inch, 3 pound female





Post Sandy, Early November, Edmund Fitzgerald Anniversary, Pre Veterans Day Walleye.

10 11 2012

I think I covered everything.

Well after almost 2 weeks of no fishing because of what “Sandy” did to Lake Huron all the way down to Erie I finally got out.  Morning fishing had been kind of rough but with the water being dirty I was optimistic.  Besides, I had things to do in the evening so I didn’t have much choice.  I started fishing around 7:45 am by the Catamaran.  The water was dirty but I could see my prop which for me isn’t too bad.  From what I had been hearing I expected it to be a lot worse.  Surface temps were also 43 degrees which was a big drop from the last time out.  This much of a drop might have caused a turnover on Lake St. Clair which might have added to the length of dirty water.  No matter, I was here now and determined to catch fish.

I set up with the same 3 lures I used last time out, a #11 Bleeding Blue Shad, #9 Bleeding Copper Flash and a #7 Bleeding Olive.  About 15 minutes in I had my first walleye on the #11.  He was barely hooked on the trailing hook.  10 minutes later I had another one on the same lure and he too was barely hooked.  When I first started I was the only boat out but by now a few bass fishermen showed up and started fishing the Edison discharge.  I stayed in my area and hooked another in a few minutes.  I didn’t think I was going to get this one in as I was being bounced around by the wake of a cabin cruiser that decided to do a doughnut around me.  This one was barely hooked as well and I lost him at the boat.  All it took was a split second of slack line and he was gone.  Oh well….it happens.

Since all 3 fish came on the #11 I decided to swap out the smaller lures for some bigger ones.  I put on a #11 Bleeding Chartreuse and a Smithwick Clown.  I was heading towards the discharge area and I noticed a lot of Gizzard Shad jumping out of the water.  There were a few Blue Herons staked out along the edge trying to pick off an easy meal.  A Bald Eagle also took up a roost on a nearby tree.  As I turned right and started to head east I picked up another fish.  Something didn’t feel right and it turned out to be a snagged shad.  After I turned him loose I headed back downstream and set up to make another run.  No sooner did my weight hit bottom when I had another fish on.  This turned out to be another walleye and he grabbed the Smithwick.  I made a loop back through the area but no other takers.  I fished until 10:00 am before I pulled lines and headed for home.  I would have liked to stay out a little longer but I had things to do at home.

Final tally was 3 kept and one lost.  Don’t know how much more I will be able to get out this year.  With the water being this dirty fishing after dark is out of the question.  Next weekend I will be up deer hunting so my next opportunity will be Thanksgiving weekend.

Water Clarity, you decide.





Therapy Walleye 6/20/12

20 06 2012

Location: Trenton Channel
Date/Time: 7:30 am to 9:30 am
Water Temp: 71 Degrees
Water Clarity: Still Stupid Clear
Weather: Hot, Hot and more Hot
Wind: S light at first but stronger as the day wore on
Water Depth: 13 feet
Presentation: Handlining 40/20/6
Lures: Metallic Blue Spoon, Riley Special

There is nothing quite as therapeutic as fishing. I don’t care how bad life may be, one trip on the river cures any depression or turmoil in one’s life.

Work and life in general was really beginning to take a toll on me lately so I decided to take a day off. Originally I was just going to leave early so I could take my daughter to a doctor’s appointment. After checking to see how many vacation days I had left I just decided to take the day off. I needed a break and this day was just as good as any other. I wanted to get up earlier and get on the river at sunrise but I overslept. No big deal, the walleye weren’t going anywhere. I launched the boat at 7:30 am and a few minutes later I had my first fish in the cooler. I picked up 3 more in the next hour but once that sun cleared Grosse Isle the fish shut down. I switched out spoons and tried different locations but by 9:30 it was getting too hot and I pulled lines. I had to pick my daughter up by noon anyways so I needed time to clean fish, shower and pick up a new license plate bracket for my trailer. I noticed that it was barely hanging on the trailer, one good bump and it would have been gone. I stopped at Vicar’s Trailer and picked up a metal bracket instead of the cheap plastic one that came with the trailer. Anyone reading this that has a boat trailer may want to go check their trailer plate as well. A replacement plate only costs 5 bucks but who wants to spend time at the Secretary of State office?

So I ended up catching 4 more walleye this morning and just like I said would happen I lost my first fish for the month. As I was flipping one in the line slipped through my fingers and back into the water he went. No big deal, I think he would have been too small to keep anyways. Everything came on my short leads. I couldn’t get anything going on my 40 foot lead. I must have tried a half a dozen different spoons but I didn’t catch a thing. Only other boat handlining today was up south of the free bridge in 24 feet of water. I watched him for a bit and he just kept motoring up stream. Don’t know if he caught anything or not but he covered a lot of water. There were a few remnants of the tri-hull navy fishing the Edison discharge for the few remaining Silver Bass that have yet to return to Lake Erie.

Couple of side note items for today. A bald Eagle swooped in on me as I was bringing in a smallmouth. He must have seen it splashing on the surface as I was bringing it in. That could have been interesting if he grabbed it. I also started wearing a glove on my left hand to cut down on the cuts and scrapes from the fish. It’s just a brown jersey glove but it seems to help. I just have to remember to take it off before I stick my hand in the cooler to grab something to drink.

A front is supposed to come in tomorrow and start to cool things off a bit for the weekend. Hopefully it does and the guys fishing the DWF tournament this weekend won’t fry out on Lake Erie.

Still haven’t lost a lure.

The best kind of therapy for what ails you…..walleye in the box.