Christmas Wish List

18 12 2013

From what I have been told I am impossible to shop for.  How difficult can it be?  I am an outdoorsman, there should be plenty of options out there.  Problem is I am not a “mainstream” sportsman.  My whole life does not revolve around Whitetails or Largemouth Bass and it seems that all products are geared towards those two species.  Just turn on the TV to the Sportsman channels and you will get  steady diet of deer and bass.  My needs are a little more speciaialized and I am very particular about the equipment I use. 

Item #1

Now those who know me would probably expect this to be a butt load of Rapala’s.  Thruth is those that know me know I already have a butt load of Rapala’s and I really don’t need anymore (yeah right).  Actually, what I need is something to get me through those winter months when the ramps are iced up and I can’t launch my boat.  This year I am going to try Steelhead fishing.  Yeah you read that right, Steelhead.  I already have all the accessories, all I need is a rod.  This of course will have to be left up to me because no one in my family has any clue as to what the difference is bewteen one fishing rod or another.  I can already picture my sister in law picking out an Ugly Stick and a Zebco 404 reel to go with it. Not even close.  After the Christmas rush is over I’ll take a drive up to Andy’s Tackle and pick out one to my liking. 

Item #2

This isn’t something I really don’t need but it would be nice to have.  Problem is once you buy one it is already obsolete and the newer version is already in production.  I could really use a new Depthfinder/GPS for my boat.  Something in color of course and it doesn’t have to be in HD though I’m sure if I cave in and buy one I will go all out.  My current graph is an old B/W Eagle and while it works I never really know if that grey blob is a fish or just junk.  A color one will help.  Then again I wonder what the point is, I always fish the same areas and if I don’t catch fish in one area I move on to the next.  If I was fishing the lake a lot I would already have one but my river spots don’t change much.

Item #3

Speaking of river spots its time to re-visit my Canadian ones.  Last summer in the Channel was rough and they were hammering away at the walleye in Amherstburg like thay always seem to do.  I didn’t buy a CDN license in 2013 because I did so well in 2012 in US waters that I didn’t feel the need.  Big Mistake!!

Item #4

Last but not least I have one more item I want and it isn’t fishing related.  I want a new .22 rifle for squirrel hunting.  Though there is nothing wrong with my old Marlin Model 60 I am seeing the need for a clip fed rifle and a more powerful scope.  My eyes aren’t what they used to be and trying to put the crosshairs on the noggin of a squirrel is getting to be more and more difficult.  Granted getting a new scope would be a cheaper alternative but I want a rifle that can shoot squirrles out to 50 yards and shoot any type of .22 ammo I feed it.  My current rifle is a tube fed semi-auto and while it is fun to shoot it can be tempermental.  I may not be able to squeeze off many quick shots with a bolt action but I will be able to shoot all the boxes of sub sonic .22 ammo that I have right now.  With the current shortages of ammo, having a rifle that can shoot just about anything I can find is a definite plus. 

Well there it is, my wish list for this Christmas.  What’s on your list this year?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Mark Schaller

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Shameless Plug Walleye Report

5 05 2013

After 35 years my old MERCURY 20 HP outboard had finally seen it’s last day.  After thousands of hours on the river and great lakes it was time for a new engine.  After talking to fellow DWF member Tom at ANGLERS MARINE in Taylor Michigan I purchased a new 25 HP EVINRUDE E-Tech.  The crew at ANGLERS MARINE hooked it all up and bolted it down to my old CRESTLINER last Friday so I decided to take it out and run it the next day.  Since the White bass had moved in I decided to wait until the evening.  Besides I needed to time get used to a new engine and all the little bells and whistles that came with it.  That and I needed to mount my SCHALLER AUTOMATIC TROLLING REEL, my EAGLE depth finder and LOWRANCE GPS back onto my boat.

I did get out a little bit before dark.  I wanted some time to run around on the river and get acquainted with my new toy.  I have never owned an electric start engine before so just pushing a button was a pleasant change.  I have to admit I really like my E-TECH.  I have nothing against my MERCURY but I really wore that engine out.  I just need to get used to the sound, or lack there of, of the E-TECH.  I have trolled for so many years with the MERC that I could tell by the sound of the engine when the RPM’s were just right for the speed I wanted.  Need to spend a few hours now and learn that sound again.  Nice thing about the E-TECH is that it has a toggle switch that will increase or decrease the RPM’s by 100 with just a push.  That’s a nice little feature to have.  I can give the lures a little push every once and awhile to see if I can trigger a strike.  OK, enough love for the E-TECH, time for the fishing results.

I set lines around 7:30 pm.  There were a few other Handliners out but it was still early.  The Tr-Hull nave was in full force along the Gibraltar/Trenton side of the river.  Not a good omen.  I put on a #11 COPPER CRAZY TIGER and a #9 SPRING VALLEY SPECIAL II from WWW.DOWNRIVERTACKLE.COM.  I also put on a SPIKE SPOON (He will be missed) in a RILEY SPECIAL pattern.  I figured I was going to get a few White/Silver Bass but I was expecting to pick up an occasional walleye until it got dark.  Turns out I was pretty right in my prediction.  I just wasn’t expecting how it would happen.  Most of the bass came on Jim’s Holographic lures.  Pretty much 95% of the bass I caught came on those lures.  I expected the spoon to catch most of them but I only caught 2.  My first walleye came on the spoon and the walleye that was 14 15/16 inches came on the #11 CCT.  Even after it got dark I was still catching the bass on the RAPALA’S.  Eventually I got fed up (not hard to do when it comes to those rotten little things) and I swapped out the RAPALA’S and replaced them with some NIGHT STALKER Pencil Plugs.  I have a lot of wooden pp’s but the eyelet is set to far back and the crank bait snaps that I use can’t get through the eyelet.  The NIGHT STALKERS are plastic and the eyelet is far enough forward so I could attach them with the crank bait snap.  3 walleye came on the 40 foot lead and a chartreuse  with black dots NIGHT STALKER.  I also hooked in to something big but I never got it in.  Once I got my hand on the leader I could hear it rolling and splashing way behind the boat.  I knew this wasn’t going to last long and I tried to throttle down some to relieve the pressure but it was to late.  I fished until about 10:30 pm but the wind was picking up and it was getting cold so I headed in.  I had 4 in the cooler and sometimes 1 short of a limit is no big deal.  The best thing was that I never caught a single white bass on a pencil plug.  Don’t know if that will hold true during the peak of the run but I will find out.

So I ended up with 4 in the box, 1 throwback and lost probably a Muskie.  Surface temps are at 53.5 degrees and the water is very clear, over 2 feet of visibility.  NE wind with a partly cloudy sky.  Back to a night fishery again, especially with the you know what’s in town.

One more plug….

May The 4th Be With You.

May the 4th Be With You walleye

May the 4th Be With You walleye





Pre 4th of July Walleye

5 07 2012

After the storms had finally passed through the area I hooked up the boat and headed to the channel. At first it looked like it was going to be a perfect night, cloud cover with a slight breeze. Neither one lasted. About 8:30 pm the clouds cleared out and the breeze left as well. Oh well….it’s not like I was going to quit just because of that. What should have made me stop was an engine that still didn’t want to cooperate. It started stalling once again and the only way I could keep it running was to increase my speed. I could never find the sweet spot between too fast and too slow. If I had been catching fish I wouldn’t have minded but after an hour the only thing in my cooler was a bottle of water. At some point I checked my lines and noticed that my main line wasn’t at the angle I desired. This made sense since I was trolling at a faster speed than I normally do. I switched over to a heavier weight and almost immediately I started to catch fish. They weren’t the right species but at least it was something. Around 9:00 pm I got a triple but unfortunately it was 2 Smallies and 1 walleye. Once I figured out what line the walleye was on I got him in and dealt with the other 2 later. I was still having the engine problems but at least I was putting walleye in the box. I managed to pick up a couple of more walleye but what really bugged me was that I lost 4 right at the side of the boat. I had only lost 4 fish for the whole month of June and now I matched that in one evening, 3 in about a 10 minute span. I lost every fish on my 40 foot lead and a #9 Copper Crazy Tiger Rapala (Custom Paint Job by Downriver Tackle). Yes, the hooks were sharp, brand new Mustad Triple Grip hooks. I don’t think the fish were getting hooked all that well to begin with. I also had about a dozen Hit & Spit’s that night.

 
I kept at it though determined to get my limit. Around 10:30 I hooked into what felt like a pretty good fish. As I was brining it in I realized that it wasn’t a walleye or a Smallmouth Bass. Even when I had it along side of the boat I couldn’t tell what it was but I knew once I flipped it in, a channel cat. That was a first for me, I have never caught a channel cat in the Detroit River before. It was a nice 20 inch fish and very fat. I got the hook out of her jaw and sent her back to the bottom. Not much more happened that evening and I just gave up around 11. The bugs were really starting to get to me as well. I had 3 and with my engine acting the way it was I figured I better not tempt fate. Didn’t want to need a tow in like the boat I towed in the other night.

 
Just before it got dark I saw an Osprey flying back towards Humbug March. I had seen him the other night but that time he had a Smallmouth Bass in his talons. Tonight it looked like he was going home hungry. Still strange to see Osprey and Eagles while fishing for walleye on the Detroit River. This river certainly has come a long way since the 50’s and 60’s.

Final tally for the night was 3 walleye measuring 15 to 18 inches long. All of them came on a Riley Special and a Pink Shiner spoon. All the walleye I lost at the boat were on the Copper Crazy Tiger Rapala. The water temp was 76 degrees and still ridiculously clear. Maybe the storms from the past few days will dirty things up a bit.