7/11 Free Slurpee Walleye Day.

13 07 2014

So what do free Slurpee’s and walleye fishing have in common?  Absolutely nothing, I just thought I would throw that out there.

Hit the water again Friday night (7/11).  Originally my Dad was supposed to tag along but he was to tired so he opted out.  It was supposed to be an extremely beautiful night out so I went anyway.  Partly cloudy skies, full moon, slight breeze.  Almost picture perfect except for two things.  Ridiculously clear water and lots of floating weeds.  I forgot the Gold Cup races were going on so that meant a lot of boat traffic.  With the wind out of the south there was nothing to push the weeds mats to Canada.  They just kept floating down stream, all night long, wherever I went.  It was like they were following me everywhere.

I started fishing around 8:00 pm farther downstream down by Calf Island.  I wanted to try the deeper water first until the sun started to set.  Good theory but it really didn’t pan out.  I didn’t catch my first fish until 9:30 pm on a Limeade spoon on my kicker lead.  I ended up catching 2 and losing 1 on that lead and lure.  The one I lost made a Banzai charge right at my prop as I was bringing him in.  It worked, out came the hook and he lives for another day.  Shortly after the suicide charge I swapped out my two long leads for a couple of Pencil Plugs.  One Blue/Chrome plug and a Green/Yellow with black dots plug.  This one was painted up for me special by Jim at downrivertackle.com.  My dad and a friend of his had a lot of success on this pattern years ago and I have not been able to find it anywhere.  They bought all of them from The Tackle Box on the corner of Eureka and Telegraph.  That store has been gone for a long time but I managed to find one plug in my Dad’s tackle box.  I sent it to Jim along with a dozen other plugs and he painted them up perfectly.  I only caught one but it was picture perfect.  I was watching my graph when the depth dropped from 13 to 16 feet and then back up again to 13.  I saw some marks that could be fish and it seemed like the perfect ambush spot.  I trolled along hoping that as the lure from the top lead passed over a walleye would swim up and grab it.  One did and he hit it hard.  A minute later he was in the cooler and I was looping back around to see if I could repeat it.  No such luck.  I made a couple of passes but nothing happened.  I stayed in the area for about another hour but it was hopeless.  In spite of it being such a nice night I gave up.  The weeds were getting to be too much.  Even though the full moon was providing enough light for me to see the mats the lures were still getting fouled.  There will be another day.

So I went 3 for 4 tonight.  Not to bad considering the conditions.  It is supposed to cool down this week and the winds will be coming out of the west thanks to another polar vortex.  That should keep the boats and weeds to a minimum.  Unfortunately as I was leaving I saw the FLW trailer in the lot.  That means the channel will be over flowing with Smallmouth Bass next week.  Oh Joy.

7-13 Walleye Green lures


7/22/13 Evening Walleye

23 07 2013

Over the weekend handliner wannabe and avid walleye fisherman Tom contacted me with some questions about pulling wire.  His main objective was for me to come over and check out his boat to get my input on how to set it up.  I then offered to do him one better, I told him to meet me at Elizabeth Park Monday night and he can ask all the questions he wants while we fish.

By 8:00 pm we were on the water and setting lines.  He brought his own shanks/leaders and weights and after a few questions about leader lengths and spacing on the shank he was set up.

Rule of thumb here is for every inch up the shank from the top of the weight is equal to 1 foot of leader length.  For example a 20 foot leader should be attached to the shank 20 inches from the top of the weight.  If you have a factory shank that has clevises every 6 inches then the leaders should be 6,12,18,24,30 and 36 feet in length.  My suggestion was to run a 6, 18 and 36 length leaders if he wanted to run 3.

Not much happened for the first hour, only caught a couple of bass and 1 small walleye.  Once it got dark and that full moon cleared the trees things really started to take off but not the way I wanted.  We were losing fish on a grand scale.  At one point Tom and I made a pass through one area and we each had one on and lost both of them at the boat.  A few minutes later we each lost another one.  We kept at it though and by 10:30 we had 10 in the boat with 1 throwback and 6 lost fish.  They were hitting very light tonight, most times it felt like there was just extra weight.  I was even convinced that I hit a pile of weeds only to find a walleye dragging along the surface.  Tom got the big fish of the night, a 22 inch 3 1/2 pounder that he got on a #9 Jointed Bleeding Copper Flash Rapala.  All my fish came on a #9 SVSII, #7 Downriver Steel and a Riley Special Spoon.  I even caught a few walleye on the spoon after dark on the kicker lead.  Sometimes the standard rules of body baits after dark do not apply.  Also, as I was bringing in my lines a walleye hit my 40 foot lead just as I got my hand on it.  Either that walleye followed it all the way up or he was cruising just below the surface.  I wasn’t going to complain, he’s in the freezer now.

The water is still gin clear but the floating weeds were a bit of a hassle.  We could dodge most of them while it was light out but after dark it was problematic.  Surface temp was 78 degrees with a South wind between 5 and 10 mph.  Like I said earlier there was a full moon out and clear skies.  Only drawback was the bugs, annoying little things.  All of the fish came from an area just north of the Catamaran on the Grosse Isle side of the river.  We worked the area pretty hard until we boated our 10th fish.

No pics this time.  I sent Tom home with his 5 and mine are sitting on ice until I can clean them after work.

FYI……the FLW trailer was in the lot at Elizabeth Park so that means lots of bass boats real soon.

Also, when we arrived the break wall was under water, when we got back we could see the top of it.  The water on the river had dropped 6 inches in just over 2 hours.  That’s a lot of water moving downstream.

TC Walleye 8-28-12

29 08 2012

Decided to try the river again Tuesday night to see if I could redeem myself after the abysmal night my father and I had last week. When I arrived everything was back to normal, the FLW had cleared out and the parking lot was pretty much empty. I got the boat ready, launched and headed downstream. I noticed a couple of dead smallmouth under the bridge, must have been a couple that didn’t survive the tournament. To my surprise there was a barge docked at the Edison plant off loading coal. In my 30 plus years of fishing down here I have never seen that before. I wondered how a ship that size moving through water 10 feet deep was going to affect the fishing. As it turns out it didn’t bother it at all.

The sky was clear and the sun still up so I decided to try a little farther downstream in some deeper water. The water was still clear as well and very few floating weeds. I set up in the middle of the river north of Calf Island in about 16 feet of water. It wasn’t long and I picked up an “eater” on my kicker with a Metallic Bone Denny Spoon. By the time I reached the Blue Boat house I picked up two more on the same lure and leader. I swung back around and made another pass and picked up a small 12 ½ inch walleye. Back into the water he went so I can get him next year. The sun had set by now so I swapped out a couple of spoons and replaced them with some Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogue’s. They are a plastic floating body bait with small bb’s inside that produce a rattle when fished. I don’t know how much of a difference that rattle makes but my Dad will swear by it. This is the same lure he caught the two walleye at the same time on one lure on two different occasions this Spring. By the time I was up at the Catamaran I hooked into a walleye on the longer bait. After I got him into the boat I was lowering the weight down to the bottom when another walleye hit the Clown Smithwick. This one was right at 15 inches so I tossed him back as well. Things were going pretty good so I figured it wouldn’t be a problem getting a better fish. As I neared the Stacks I had another hit and it turned out to be another undersized walleye on the Clown Smithwick. I was nearing the end of my run and beginning to question tossing back the 15 incher. There was another boat coming up on my port side so I turned to give him some room. When I did I had another hit. This was a heavier fish and I carefully brought him in. I hadn’t lost a fish all night and I didn’t want to lose this one. It wasn’t long and I was flipping in a nice 23 inch 3 ½ pound male, also on the Clown Smithwick. That was my fifth fish so it was time to head in.

Five keepers, 3 throwbacks and nothing lost. Not bad for a couple of hours of fishing. Nights like this are a blessing, relaxing and peaceful…..especially since I didn’t have to share the boat with a cricket.

Weeds, weeds and more weeds. 8/21/12 Trenton Channel

22 08 2012

I was out tonight with a person I met through the Michigan-Sportsman website. Tom usually jigs or runs bottom bouncers in the same area I pull wire. He expressed an interest in learning how to catch fish my way so I agreed to take him out. Since he lives in the “Level Pebble” we made arrangements to meet at the launch. I arrived a little after 7:00 pm and found that half the launch area was blocked off for the FLW. I guess next week I will be catching a lot of Smallmouth Bass. Oh Joy!!

Tom arrived a little later and after a brief chat with him and a few of my friends that were also heading out we launched the boat. We set up in my usual starting point and dropped lines after a brief explanation of how this all works. It didn’t take long and I caught my first walleye of the night on my good old Riley Special spoon. Fishing slowed a little after that with only the occasional Smallmouth Bass being caught. Tom was able to hook into a couple of smaller Smallmouth’s as well but still no walleye. As the evening progressed the floating weeds slowly began to increase in number and size. When we first started out they were staying on the west side of the river but they were appearing in the middle and the east side as well. Once it got dark they became downright unbearable. It seemed like we were clearing lines every 5 minutes. This gave Tom a lot of practice in leader management but he wanted to get that experience bringing in fish. I managed to catch a few more walleye and ended the night with a double, unfortunately Tom didn’t catch anything. It happens and the weeds didn’t help his chances of success any. This was the worst the weeds have been all year. I don’t know what triggered it but it wasn’t welcome. As we were getting ready to leave we pulled up along side my friend Dan and he only had one fish and was debating quitting as well. I must have made up his mind for him because once I said we were heading in he started to pull lines as well.

After we pulled the boat Tom, Dan and I stood around at the ramp for awhile and just talked about fishing in general. I’m sure we could have stood there and talked for hours but it was getting late and I had to work in the morning. Tom had to get going as well since he promised to take his wife out bass fishing at a local inland lake in the morning. I told him that if he wants to go again just give me a call. Hopefully the weeds won’t be as bad and I can get him into some fish.

No pictures again tonight. I gave the walleye to Dan and in turn he promised to give me some geese when the season opens on Sept. 1st. They were caught on a #9 CCT Rapala and a Riley Special spoon. I did get a new digital camera so I should have pictures from the next trip.

Quick Trip Walleye

15 07 2012

Weekends are meant for sleeping in, one of these days I will do just that. I woke up this morning at 4:30 am and lay in bed hoping to fall back asleep. Around 5:30 I gave up and decided to hook up the boat and head out for a few hours. Originally I didn’t plan on going fishing this weekend. The Gold Cup races were going on upstream and the FLW was in town. That meant a lot of boat traffic, a lot of floating weeds and a lot of Smallmouth Bass. I figured I would be out early enough to avoid the boat traffic but the weeds and Bass were debatable.

I arrived at Laker Erie Metro Park around 6:30 am and quickly got the boat launched. The shallow areas were thick with weeds but the channel was clear. I slowly made my way out and then north up the river to the Catamaran. As expected the water is still very clear but the skies were overcast, I hoped it would last. It didn’t take long after setting my lines and I had my first fish on, another channel cat. I have never caught channel cats down here before and now I have two in the last few weeks. I released him and as I was getting my lures back down I picked up what was to be the first of many Smallmouth Bass. With the FLW holding their tournament at Elizabeth Park most of the Bass caught and released after weigh in hang out in the channel before heading back out into Lake Erie. He was a chunky 16.5 inch fish and was soon followed up by another chunky 16 inch fish. Eventually I hooked into a walleye but I lost him at the side of the boat. He was barely hooked and I knew he was going to come off before I even got him close. A few minutes later I had another walleye on, this one I got in but he was a sub legal fish so back into the river he went. About 10 minutes passed before I hooked into another walleye. This one turned out to be a 22 inch 3 pound male. Shortly after I put him in the cooler the clouds started to break and out came the sun. So much for my overcast skies. Once the sun broke through the fishing slowed down drastically. I would pick up a few undersized Smallmouths here and there but nothing to get excited about.

Around 8:30 a fellow club member pulled out from the discharge area and came over to see how I was doing. As he pulled up I hooked into another fish, another Smallmouth and my biggest one for the day. I told Larry the area was full of them and that I hadn’t caught a walleye in the last hour. He pointed his boat north and headed up to Wyandotte. A mutual friend had told him he was doing pretty well up there and decided to give it a shot. After Larry left and I released the fish I headed downstream to try some deeper water for a bit. All I caught were more Smallmouth Bass so I decided to pack it in. I had things to do and it was starting to get hot. Besides, the bigger pleasure boats would be pulling out and starting upstream to watch the race. I had fish for dinner tonight and that was all I really wanted. There will be other days, I’ll just wait until the evenings.