Memorial Fins and Feathers weekend, minus the Feathers.

30 05 2017

As in life, things don’t always go as planned.  Originally, my Memorial Day weekend was supposed to be 3 days of fishing and turkey hunting.  Due to weather, water conditions and other circumstances beyond my control all I got to do was fish for walleye Friday night.  Even that trip didn’t go as planned, actually the results were not what I figured they would be.

I left the house Friday night around 9:00 pm.  With the blankity blank run still going on I wasn’t even going to try until after dark.  I was planning on running pencil plugs as well with the hope of keeping the blankity blank catch rate to a minimum.  With that in mind I started fishing around 9:30 and shortly afterwards it began.

1,2,3,4,5,6, Hey look….a walleye, 7,8,9, Oh cool, another walleye, a third walleye….we’re cookin’ now 10,11,12,Dink,13,14,15, well at least I’m not catching them two at a time, 17,18,20,21, another walleye, I should just quit now, 22,23,24,26, that’s it, I’m done, time to pull lines.  Holy Crap, number 5, the streak continues.

That was the night in a nutshell.  I got my 5 walleye and the blankity blanks were just active enough to annoy me but not so bad that they drove me off the river.  Around 2 dozen of them in 2 ½ hours of fishing isn’t bad but when I am walleye fishing that is all I want to catch, walleye.  What I was really expecting was a lot of undersized walleye.  I had heard reports about fishermen catching 30 and 40 undersized walleye in order to get a limit of 5.  I didn’t want to deal with that along with the blankity blanks.  The longer the lures are out of the water, releasing unintentional catches, the less time they are in the water trying to catch the targeted species.  This was another reason why I was running pencil plugs.  I was hoping the bigger bait and lack of action would keep the blankity blanks and the undersized fish at bay.  It worked to some degree but it also created a headache.  One of the drawbacks with a pencil plug is that when a blankity blank grabs it the extra hooks catch the fish in odd places.  That creates a tendency for them to come in sideways and pinwheel, which leads to tangled leaders.  I got brave at first and ran 3 leaders but once I realized that the blankity blanks were not going to leave it alone I ditched my kicker to cut down on the tangles.

There were about 6 other boats out fishing tonight as well.  Most of them were south of me but one stayed in my area for a good part of the evening.  At one time they got close enough and I could see that they were bring in blankity blanks two at a time.  I was able to see what they were using for lures, #9 Clown Rapalas.  That’s as bad as wearing a Vote Hillary 2016 t-shirt at an NRA convention.  You’re just asking for trouble.  As the night progressed the other boats thinned out and by 11:00 pm I was the only one out.  By 11:30 I had 4 in the box and was debating just heading in.  I had to get up early the next morning and I needed some sleep.  I decided to stick it out to 12 and then go in no matter what.  I pointed my boat towards the Edison warm water discharge, figuring I would make my last run through there.  After I made my pass I started to pull lines.  I put my 40 foot lead over my right shoulder as I pulled my 20 and started to wrap it on my spool.  As I was bringing it in my reel started unwinding and my 40 foot lead started heading back off the stern of my boat.  At first I thought the line got hung up in my prop but that wasn’t possible.  The lure was 40 feet back, on the surface and probably only 10 feet of line in the water.  I dropped my spool and placed my foot on it to keep it from falling over.  I grabbed hold of my 40 foot lead and to my surprise I could feel that slow head shake and weight of a walleye.  I minute later and he was in the cooler and I went back to putting everything away.  10 feet of water and that walleye came up and grabbed the lure off the surface.  Sometimes it pays to be lucky.

So that was the beginning of my 3-day weekend.  One I had originally hoped would be full of fishing and some hunting but it didn’t work out that way.  I was fortunate to catch a limit of good sized fish.  I was expecting a lot of throwbacks and maybe a couple of just barely 15 inchers.  Instead I was able to keep my walleye limit streak intact for 2017.  I’ll probably try again Friday or Saturday this coming weekend.  At night.  With Pencil Plugs.  Unless the blankity blanks have left, which I highly doubt.

 





10/29/13 Pre-Halloween Eve TC Walleye

30 10 2013

Well after a two week hiatus because of kidney stones and bad weather I was finally back on the river.  With the sudden drop in temperature over the last two weeks I had been itching to get out.  Now that the planets had all aligned I had my chance.  My friend Richard showed up at my house around 6:00 pm and by 6:30 we were lines down and fishing.  I had heard scattered reports that the water had dirtied up some.  I guess my definition of dirty water is different than most other people.  Still looked pretty darn clear to me.  Good thing though was that the weeds were pretty much non existent.

I got a call from my friend and handlining mentor “Sparky” earlier today telling me he got 4 and lost 1 on a #11 Blue and Silver Rapala.  I of course set up with almost the same thing.  I was using a #11 Bleeding Blue Shad Rapala.  Very similar to the traditional blue/silver model but with a pearl finish and red hooks and lip.  Fish didn’t care.  I caught 4 on that lure on my 40 foot lead.  Richard was pretty much along for the ride for the first few hours.  Around 9:30 pm he finally hooked in to a 24 inch male that he caught on a custom painted clown pattern Rapala he painted himself.  It was the only fish he caught but it was also the biggest of the night and it made up for his slow start. 

Now for the vital statistics.  Like I said the water is still very clear and hardly any floating weeds.  Surface temp was 48 degrees and in the Edison discharge lane it was 52 degrees.  Three walleye were taken in the discharge area and the other two out in the middle of the river near the Catamaran.  We did not catch anything else, only walleye and they were hitting very light.  No hard strike, just weight at first and an occasional head shake.  Every fish was hooked on the trailing hook.  We didn’t lose any but a few were close to having the hook ripped out of their mouth.  Clear sky, no wind, cold temps but very calm.  All in all it was a pretty good night on the river.      

TC 10-29-13