Another Night, Another Limit.

11 05 2020

My original plan was to go out Sunday evening.  Mother Nature got her panties in a bunch and decided to make Sunday a miserable weather day.  Saturday was going to be my only option so once the wind died down I packed up and headed out.  Pretty much the same story as the rest of my trips.  Started after 9 and slowly picked away at the fish until I got my limit by 10:00 pm.  Fishing was definitely a bit slower tonight but the last two fish made up for it.  I have caught a few doubles this season but this one was a first.  At first I thought it was a bigger fish or a foul hooked one.  Lot’s of weight and not a lot of movement.  As it got closer I shined my headlamp onto the fish and I could see 4 eyes looking back at me.  I had two walleye on the same lure which, in 45 years of walleye fishing, was a first for me.  I flipped both of them in, which closed out my 6 fish limit, and headed for home shortly after that.

Water conditions are still very clear.  I have no idea what the temp is and was surprised to see only 3 other boats pulling wire.  With the way the fishing has been I expected a lot more.  Not that I mind, it’s a lot easier to stay on an active group of fish if I’m not dodging other boats.





May the 4th Trip

8 05 2020

Since I had absolutely nothing better to do, the evening of the 4th, I decided to take a crack at putting another limit in the freezer.  I suppose I could have embraced my inner geek and watched the last Star Wars movie but I figured I had plenty of time.  Especially since the winds weren’t looking very favorable for the remainder of the week.  I arrived at the ramp around 9 pm and started fishing shortly after that.  In the first 5 minutes I had numbers 1 & 2 in the cooler.  I was just getting ready to make my turn back through the same area when I boat came up from behind and beat me to it.  I waited for him to pass and picked up number 3 shortly afterwards.  After another pass number 4 was in the boat.  After I started to set lines my top two leads got tangled, as I was separating them another fish hit my kicker.  I couldn’t do much about it since I had a handful of Rapalas.  I lost him and eventually got everything straightened out and lines in.  A few minutes later I had another fish on and it originally felt like a bigger fish.  It turned out to be another double and they managed to tangle up all my leaders.  After I landed both of them I just wadded the leaders and threw them in the bucket and headed for the dock.  Not bad for 20 minutes of fishing.

I may try again this weekend.  Forecast is looking iffy for the next few days with snow in the forecast for today (5/8).  Hopefully Sunday.





Pandemic Pickerel

27 04 2020

This has been a walleye season that will never be forgotten, unfortunately it won’t be because it was so awesome.  Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the the fact that Michigan was hit hard, a Stay at Home order was issued mid March.  Shortly after that certain outdoor activities, like golf and motorized boating, were banned as well.  As one can imagine it pissed off a lot of people.  So much so that I cut ties with a lot of people I knew.  This ban on boating showed the true colors of some people and just how selfish they are.  I have friends and relatives that are Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists that are going into work every day to fight this pandemic.  Their lives have been turned upside down more than most and some fishermen have the audacity to cry like a little boy who had his ball taken away.  Like our Governor or not there is no reason to compare her to Hitler, you know, that mass murderer who was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people.  All this because they couldn’t go walleye fishing for a couple of weeks.  Their selfishness made me re-think my association with a lot of fishing groups and I basically cut ties with all of them.  They may say I am over reacting but a lot of these same people were behind the stay safe stay home order until their fishing was taken away.

Needless to say it only lasted a couple of weeks so once the ban was lifted I got my boat ready and headed out last Saturday night.  Most people were off the water by the time I started (7:00 pm) so I had a clear shot to my usual spot.  I set lines and a couple of minutes later I had my first fist of the 2020 season.  For the next hour and a half I picked away at them and by 8:30 pm I was done and headed for home.  My friend Dave was out as well and he was on his 5th fish waiting for #6.  Because of the great hatches we have had the last few years the DNR raised the daily limit to 6 per day.  Currently the population is estimated to be around 116 million walleye.  Next year the estimate is expected to be around 150 million walleye.  I’m going to have a lot of easy fishing for many years to come.

A couple of things of note is that the water was gin clear.  So clear I didn’t expect to catch anything until after dark.  It was overcast though so that helped.  Water temp was around 49 degrees and none of those unmentionable fish were caught.  Only downside was the NE wind that started to pick up as the sun set.  The rest of the week is looking questionable for wind direction and rain so I probably won’t get out again until the weekend.  The way the weather is going I figure I have about two weeks before those other fish show up.  Hopefully by then the local river temps will be up enough to get the carp active.  One can only hope.  The Covid 19 pandemic has thrown our whole lives into dis-array but I’m not going to freak out about not being able to go fishing because of it.  I know people who have been infected and died.  If me staying home can save one life then I will gladly give up fishing for awhile to help prevent the spread.

1st limit of the year.

 

 





Labor Day Weekend 2019

3 09 2019

I was able to get out a couple of times this past Labor Day weekend.  Walleye on Friday night and fly fishing for Carp Monday morning.  I probably should have gone walleye fishing each evening but I figured the weeds would be really bad with it being the non official last boating weekend of summer.  From here on in it should be pretty quiet on the water, except for the occasional storm.

I launched my boat around 8:30 pm Friday night and headed to my normal starting area.  The water was clear and their weren’t very many surface weeds.  Boat traffic was at a minimum and after sunset I was the only one fishing.  I though for sure there would have been a few others out, shows how much I know.  Not much happened at first.  I lost a few larger fish and caught a couple of smallmouth.  The fish were barely hitting, I would pull the wire forward and then there would be dead weight.  This went on for the first 90 minutes.  I managed to get tangled up in some old fishing line twice and the weeds were starting to thicken up.  I seriously debated just going in but it had been 3 years since the last time I got skunked and I wanted to keep that streak going.  I’m glad I stuck it out, around 10 the fish got active and I picked up my 5 fish limit in about an hour.  After that I packed up and headed for home.

 

When I went to bed Sunday I had every intention of sleeping in the next day.  I spent the last two days cleaning up and throwing out stuff from my house and I was tired.  I awoke around 6:30 am and eventually just gave up and got out of bed.  I figured I would try for landing a carp again at some new water.  My luck fly fishing for carp this year had been pretty poor so I wasn’t to optimistic.  I rigged my my Scott Flex 8 wt and headed to the Huron River.  At my first stop I soon found out that the water levels were up some and it was a little stained.  I started to feel a little better about my chances.  I saw a few fish out in the middle of the river and I made a few half ass casts towards them.  Past experience has told me that if they aren’t actively feeding my chance of hooking up was slim and nill.  After awhile I gave up on those fish and worked my way upstream.  I saw some bubbles on the surface underneath the shade of an overhanging tree.  I went into stealth mode and as I got closer I could see a pair of carp feeding in the shallows.  I carefully dropped the fly next to them and waited for one to turn my way.  After a few seconds the larger fish did and I gave the fly a twitch.  That did it and he pounced on it.  I set the hook and off he went, towards a log jam.  I jumped in the water after him and tried to steer him away.  Fortunately I was able to keep him clear of the logs and after a few minutes I landed him on the bank.  A quick pic and he was soon swimming away.

Like I said, I jumped in.

After that I took a moment to compose myself.  My Ross reel got dunked and was full of muck so I had to clean that out.  I sat at a nearby picnic table while I figured out my next move.  I pretty much trashed this area and two kayakers just paddled down so that meant they spooked anything upstream.  After about 20 minutes I started hiking upstream to new water.  I followed a drainage ditch to the river and carefully worked my way up to the edge of the water.  Apparently I wasn’t careful enough because I spooked two fish that were in the area.  I slowly backed out and figured I would come back in about 30 minutes or so.  I tried some more areas but I didn’t see anything.  I walked back to the area I spooked the pair of fish earlier and worked my way to the edge again.  I could see a silt cloud in the water so I just waited until I could verify where the fish was.  After a minute or so the tail became visible and I could make out the outline of a decent size carp.  He started to turn away from me and then up went his tail and he went into full on feed mode.  A cloud of muck arose all around him so I took advantage of his blurred vision and moved into position.  I dropped the fly about 6 inches to the left and waited.  He started to turn towards it and when I gave it a twitch he pounced on it like a cat chasing a laser dot.  A quick hook set and off he went.  Once again I was back in the water, doing my best to keep him clear of any obstructions.  He ran underneath one sunken branch which I had to clear out of the way before I could even think about landing him.  Eventually I was able to steer him towards the middle of the river where I could keep him under control.  A few short runs later and I was steering him towards the bank.

I was 2 for 2 and feeling pretty good.  It was getting later in the morning though and the sun was clearing the trees.  The fish were hanging in the shadows on the opposite side now so my chances of landing another one were dwindling.  I drove to another section of the river and saw some more carp but they weren’t very cooperative.  I did see one closer to the bank but there was no way I could sneak up on him.  He was in the middle of a log jam anyways so I doubt I could have even got him out of there if I had hooked him.  Bikers and runners were starting to fill the trails along the river so it was time for me to go home.  I’ll stop by next weekend before I head to Schultz Outfitters Fall Kick Off on Saturday.

 





7/20/19 Walleye

24 07 2019

Went out.

Caught five.

Came In.

The End.





Memorial Weekend Fishing, 2019

28 05 2019

My 3 day weekend started a bit early when my boss told me I could leave early.  I was planning on fishing tonight anyways but now I had a few extra hours to relax and get things ready.  Normally I’m all set and ready to go whenever I want but tonight was going to be a little different.  Since I had extra time I thought I would go out early and fly fish of those other fish until it got dark.  I planned on using my Redington Hydrogen 4wt switch rod.  I haven’t caught a fish on it yet and I haven’t really cast it much since Schultz Outfitter Demo Days last year.  I figured this would be a good opportunity since the chance of me catching something was pretty much guaranteed.

I arrived at the launch around 8:00 pm and was surprised to see the water had risen even more.  The Wayne County Sheriff had built another dock so they could reach their boats and all the ramps were partially under water.  This is starting to get serious.  I read a report earlier that Lake Erie is expected to rise another 6-10 inches in June.  If that happens the boardwalk at Elizabeth Park will be under water.  I was still able to launch my boat but I need to remember to bring my knee boots next time.  I set up downstream of the Edison discharge and started fishing.  It didn’t take long and I had my first one on.  When these other fish are in a person could literally catch on on every cast.  It’s a perfect opportunity to introduce a kid to fishing, it’s also a terrible time for a handliner.  Most of the fish I was catching were big females in the 15 to 16 inch range.  My biggest one being 16 1/2 inches, which qualifies for a Michigan DNR Master Angler entry.  Normally I never send these in but they have a cool patch this year and I want one.

After about an hour of messing around with these fish I packed everything up and headed over to my usual walleye starting point.  Since the other fish were in thick I started off with Pencil plugs.  The action wasn’t fast and furious but I was able to pick up 4 walleye before I called it quits around 11:00 pm.  I could have stayed out longer to get my last fish but I was tired and I had things to do tomorrow before I had to attend a wedding in the afternoon.

After the wedding I headed up to my Mom’s to take care of her chore list and hopefully get some time on the river for Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon.  With Spring being a few weeks late the fish were still in the river.  Once the chores were done and I ate dinner I was headed to the AuSable.  I took two rods with me, my “meat” rod Redington Chromer 7 wt and my new Echo Full Spey 7wt.  I have yet to cast this one so I was eager to try it out.  I had two different Skagit heads to try out, one new and one old leftover from my Ross Reach which I broke.  I started with the old one first.  Casting was a bit of a struggle, I’m not used to casting these bigger rods, especially after casting a light weight switch rod.  It took some time but I was able to make some decent casts.  Next time out I’ll try the other line.  Demo Days is coming up next weekend and I can always visit the Scientific Angler tent to try out their Skagit heads on it.  There were a lot of people out fishing as well and not a lot of catching.  As a matter of fact there wasn’t any catching.  I could see a few fish but not any great numbers.  I was fishing downstream, away form the crowds at the tail end of a large pool.  I was watching some of the other anglers when it happened.  That tell tale hit and shake of a fish.  I set the hook and the fish was on, for about 2 seconds.  Just like that the fish was off.  As I was looking downstream I could see the fish rolling and jumping.  I figured he had my hook still in his mouth and was trying to shake it.  I brought in my line and to my surprise the fly was still there.  Guess he just felt like putting on a show or he was thumbing his nose at me.  Either way at least I know I am starting to get this river figured out.  My last two trips I have hooked a fish on each one.  Hopefully the third times a charm.  Unfortunately it will have to wait until the Fall.

On my out out I did pick up a few empties and carried them out for recycling.  Not to bad for a Memorial Day Weekend.  Figured they would be a lot more garbage.  It would be even better if I never found any.





Mental Health Walleye Trip 5/14/19

15 05 2019

5/14/19 and the Barbarian Horde still hasn’t taken over the river.

Thank God!

Earlier I had a routine doctor appointment that got a little out of hand.  It was supposed to be a follow up but it turned into a bit of a health scare and an all day event.  Everything is ok now but the one test sent me into a panic so I figured my best course of action to relax was to go fishing.  I would have liked to have gone out earlier but since it was such a beautiful day I opted to start after sunset.  The annual “Other Fish” invasion was on the verge of exploding and I didn’t need that to add to my stress.  With that in mind I launched right around 9:00 pm.  As expected the water was clear and still running high.  As a matter of fact, based on the water levels on shore, it looked a little higher than last time out.  Remnants of the Tri-Hull navy were coming in as I was getting ready.  I was hoping they were still early.  In a few minutes I would find out that my prayer’s were answered.  My first two fish were a couple of those little buggers but that was it.  After that it was all walleye for the next 30 minutes.

No specific color or lead out produced the other tonight.  I caught fish on all of them.  As a matter of fact, I have stuck to the same 3 or 4 patterns all season.  All have consistently produced, except for that one night with my cousin when the new pattern produced half the fish caught.  Still a fair amount of debris in the water and the current was really humping.  Had to kick up the rpm’s on my motor a bit to keep some forward momentum.  If I didn’t I soon found myself going downstream instead of up.  Lot of head shakes and probably a few scrapes tonight.  When I got home I found a few scales on one of my Rapalas.  I think I bonked a couple on the head with my weight as well.  There has got to be a lot of fish in the river right now.  I would like to think they are all walleye but I know better.  About a dozen other handliners out tonight, most I’ve seen all season.  A little late to the party but that’s their business.

I felt a lot better after I got the fish cleaned and the boat put away.  Going back up to Port Austin this weekend to chase Smallmouth Bass.  I’ll try for the walleye again after I get home.