4/27/18 Walleye

30 04 2018

This past Friday I took out a friend who I owe many a trip.  Richard took my father and I out, while my boat was down, and that trip turned out to be the last time my Dad and I ever went fishing together.  We didn’t catch many but at least we got to spend time on the river, one last time.  So with memories of that final trip on a constant loop in my mind we headed down to my usual spot on the Trenton Channel.  As expected, the water was clear and there were about 3 dozen other boats on the water.  It was a 50/50 mix of jiggers and handliners but as the sun started to set the jiggers were becoming fewer and fewer.  Boat control tonight was going to be a problem with a North wind blowing at over 10 mph.  I was hoping it would die down as the sun set but it didn’t until we were done, a couple of hours later.  The fishing wasn’t fast and furious but once it got dark and I found them we managed to pick away at our 2 man limit of ten.  We also managed to catch about 1/2 a dozen throwbacks and lost a number of fish as well.  All total I think we boated about 17 fish.  Once I landed number 10 Richard started to bring in his lines when he hooked one as well.  Since it wasn’t any bigger than any of the fish we already had he tossed it back.  During all our catching I managed to get my first double of the year.  I also got one on the surface.  As I was landing a fish on my 20 foot lead another walleye grabbed the lure on my 40 foot lead off the surface.  Near as I can figure another walleye must have followed up the one I hooked, hoping he might get any missed scraps.  He’ll never make that mistake again.  Around 10:00 pm we started to pack it in and that was when the wind finally started to die down.  No matter, we were done.  Took a little longer than I expected but Richard enjoyed himself and that’s what matters.


18 04 2017


April 17th is probably a new record for the earliest I have ever caught one of these things.  Fortunately it was only one of two but where there are two, millions more are waiting.  This will probably be the last week of decent fishing until the invasion is in full swing.  Glad I didn’t wait until this week to start.  The fear of them starting to show up soon was the driving force as to why I went out Monday night.  Normally I would have stayed home with a 10+ mph NE wind but the thought of my window of opportunity being slammed shut spurred me on.

I figured the water would have cleared up from the previous week so I didn’t even get on the water until after 7:00 pm.  Visibility was a lot better so I set up, dropped lines and started my usual Trenton Channel trolling pattern.  I was basically killing time until it got dark.  I might get lucky and pick one up before then but I figured I wouldn’t catch any walleye until about 8:30 pm.  I was pretty close, I hooked one and lost it around 8:15 and my first keeper came after 8:30 pm.  The wind made boat control difficult and I spent more time than I wanted trying to fight through it.  Eventually I started to pick away at them and by 9:30 I had 3 in the cooler.  I was beginning to debate leaving when I caught a forth but that fish came about 10 minutes later.  I then convinced myself that I would leave at 10 no matter what.  At 9:58 and 34 seconds number 5 was in the cooler and I was headed home.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Now for the conditions.  Like i said earlier it was  NE wind the whole time I was out and it never let up.  Skies were overcast when I started but as the sun set the clouds broke and the stars began to shine.  Water has cleaned up considerably and it doesn’t look like it will be clouding up again anytime soon.  I didn’t get a water temp reading but I’m betting it is 50 or greater.  Most of the fish came on the #11 Blue/Silver Rapala.  Only one came on the GFR which was on my 20 foot lead.  Everything else on my 40 and the *&^&%$^&%(^#* came on my kicker.

No more trips until probably Friday and that will be a late one.  SE winds tonight and rain the next couple of days.  My hands need a rest anyways, they are trashed.  I’m a perfect 20 for 4 trips on my boat so far.  The only night I didn’t pull a limit was when I went out with my friend Jerry.  I got 4 that night and we quit early when we both got hung up and our lines tangled.  I’m not going to complain though.  24 walleye in 5 trips is nothing to be upset about.

Easter Walleye

21 04 2014

Since I didn’t have any family obligations for Easter I made plans to go out Sunday Evening. Most of my fish on Friday came after 8 I waited until 7:00 pm to hit the water. When I arrived at the launch there was no one take my 5 bucks (BONUS) and most of the lot was empty (Even Better). After I got my stern light post in place and checked I was on my way.

There was a south wind around 5 to 10 mph and the surface temp was right around 47 degrees. Water was a little clearer than Friday night but there was a lot of debris in the water. It looked like someone had dumped a face cord of firewood off a bridge upstream. Chances are someone’s wood pile on some beach farther up north got washed away and it had finally made its way down to my part of the world. About 20 minutes in I had my first walleye of the night, another male in the 18 inch range. Not a bad start until about 10 minutes later. I had another hit but this one felt wrong. It was a light hit with a lot of quick little head shakes. My heart sank, it couldn’t be possible, and not this early, sure enough….I caught my first fish that shall not be named for the season. To make matters worse I caught another one shortly afterwards. I was dumbfounded. 10 days ago we still had ice coming down the river and here I am catching these things. I guess God decided to punish me for not going to church Sunday morning. Fortunately it was only two but where there is one or two, tens of millions will soon follow.

Not much more happened until after dark. I wasn’t catching anything where I caught fish Friday so I pulled lines and headed farther downstream. My Friend Dave told me last Friday that he was marking a lot of fish in 15 feet of water down by the blue boat house so I started there. I stayed in that area for the remainder of the evening and managed to fill my 5 fish limit and lose another small one as well. I had caught 3 and lost one between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. My plan was to quit at 10:00 pm no matter what. The pressure was on but at exactly 9:59 pm I had number 5 in the box and by 10:01 pm and I was headed home.

2 Trips, 2 limits. Not a bad start for 2014

#11 GFR, #9 Bleeding Olive and a #7 Hot Steel Rapala took all the fish. At one point I got hung up and I busted the lip on the Bleeding Olive Rapala. Somehow I managed to impale the lip on the back hook. How I managed to do that still has me puzzled. There were about a dozen handliners out last night and from what I could see (at least the ones who had lights) everyone was catching fish. Going to try and make a few more trips this week before I head out of town for the week. Need to fill my freezer before the you know what’s show up.


Still trying o figure out how I managed to do this.

Still trying to figure out how I managed to do this.

Easter Walleye 2014

Again, All Males 18 to 22 inches long.

Are you Kidding me!!!!

Are you Kidding me????

08/16/13 Report

20 08 2013

I know, it’s been awhile.  Believe it or not I haven’t had a whole lot of desire to go  out walleye fishing.  I get like this about once a year, usually in August.  Summer is winding down and my desire to chase walleye hits a lull.  Usually at this time my thoughts are turning to other things.  Hunting season is just around the corner, kids are going back to school, perch are starting up.  In other words I am just feeling the need to go do something else.  Only reason I went out this time was because my Dad was down and he needed to get out.  He was down for some tests at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor so now that that was behind him he wanted to look forward to something else.

We hit the water around 8:00 pm and as I feard the SE winds were keeping the weeds on the US side of the river.  Oh well, not much we could do about it except deal with it and that’s what we did.  I hadn’t been hearing a lot of positive reports lately so I headed down to Calf Island and figured we would make a long run up to the stacks.  Once we found some active fish I would just concentrate on that area.  Problem was we never really found some active fish.  For the next 3 hours we picked up a few when we weren’t clearing weeds off of our lines.  That was about the only drawback for the evening.  It was a clear cool night, hardly any other boats on the water and even the bugs weren’t too much of a problem.  Unfortunately the fish just didn’t want to cooperate.  We did end up with 4 and my Dad lost 2.  My 3 fish came on a #7 Downriver Steel Rapala and my Dad got his on a #9 GFR Rapala.  The water is still gin clear.  3 to 4 feet of visibility which is unheard of.  It has been like this the last month.  A lack of rain and any substantial wind has kept the water very clear.  I figured the fish wouldn’t start up until after dark but we caught most of our fish before 9:00 pm and near the Blue Boat House.  From 9 to 11 all we had to show for our efforts was a lot of weeds and 1 Sheepshead.

Still it was nice to get my Dad out on the river after a day of being poked and prodded at the Hospital.  I think our next trip is going to be up his way for some more panfish.  Unless of course he comes back down and wants to try to get into some perch.  I may do that next time I feel like taking the boat out.  After I fix the broken wire on my navigation lights and replace the bracket for my GPS.

One observation was that Elizabeth Park Marina was full of minnows.  This is not surprising but I have been hearing reports all around the lower river of bass and a few walleye being caught and coughing up minnows as they are landed.  The lower river is full of them right now so I’m sure the walleye are being very finicky as to what they will grab.  Not much of an incentive to grab an imitation lure when so much of the real thing is swimming around.  Also, I have yet to catch any 3 inch Smallmouth Bass, this years hatch.  They may just be keying in on all the minnows as well but I usually catch one or two.

TC 8-16-13

Vacation Walleye Day 2

30 04 2013

Results for today were a lot different.  About the only difference in the conditions was that the wind was out of the south and the surface temp was up to 49 degrees.   Picked up the first one right away but it took longer for the second one.  I had a guest today and he caught it so that was a good thing.

I had my first casualty to day, busted the lip on a #7 Clown.  I scraped a walleye with that lure as well.  When I realized I busted the lip I brought it in and found scales on both hooks.  Kind of re-affirms my belief those quick hit and gone fish are ones that are being snagged by the lure and never hooked up.

We didn’t fish too long.  My fishing partner for the morning got hung up and the main line got tangled in the prop.  It pretty much peeled the nylon coating off of about 30 feet of line.  The reel is ok but I will have to replace the line. Something else to do tomorrow.  Think I’m going to take the day off from fishing.  Got some things to do here around the house.

04-30-12 TC

Vacation Walleye Day 1

29 04 2013

This Monday marks the first week long vacation I have taken in almost 5 years.  Normally I take a lot of 4 day weekend vacations but this time around I decided to take a whole week.  The original plan was to fish for a few days then act as chaperone for my Daughters Senior trip.  Her trip was cancelled so I decided to take the whole week anyways.  After the way the tournament went I began to question my decision.  I was hoping to catch a bunch of walleye but after last weekend I wondered if I was going to catch any.

Well I know for sure I won’t get anything sitting at home so I got up bright and early this morning and hit the river.  I thought if I got out there before sunrise I might get a few walleye before the Silver Bass wake up.  Well turns out I was sort of right.  Problem was the walleye didn’t wake up either.  I started at 6:30 but I didn’t get my first fish until 8:00 am.  I should have known, the water was still dirty and with no sunlight nothing was going to happen anytime soon.  Still I kept at it and by the time 10:30 am rolled around I had 5 in the boat.  It was a long morning but I got to see a few things I normally don’t see down their to keep me occupied.  Just after sunrise I watched a mink run up and down the bank on Grosse Isle.  He was probably looking for an easy meal.  Normally I see them on the Trenton side but never running over someone’s park bench on the island.  Later on I spotted an Osprey circling overhead.  I had seen one last year but he didn’t stick around for long.  I’m curious to see how long this one stays.  Sure do wish he liked cormorants.

Not for the vital statistics.  Like I said earlier the water is still dirty and the surface temp was 47.5 degrees.  Not much of an increase from Saturday.  Winds were non existent today which was a nice change of pace.  I started off running #11 GFR, #9 Bleeding Olive and a #7 Clown.  My first 3 fish came on the clown so I eventually swapped out the #9 for a #7 GFR.  My last two came on the #7 GFR.  Normally I like to run the big baits but I do what the fish want.  I did catch one 14 1/2 incher on a Smithwick Rattlin’ Rouge but all the keepers came on the smaller baits.  I only caught 3 of the fish that shall not be named.  I was worried that I would get more since the early remnants of the tri-hull navy had started to show up in the Edison discharge.  They were pulling those things in left and right.  Won’t be too much longer and they will infest the whole river system.

Hopefully day 2 will go as well.  At least I will sleep in a little later.

4-29-13 TC

4/22/13 Quick Trip

22 04 2013

This will be a short report.

Weather was holding up so I decided to give it another shot tonight.  On the water by 6:30 pm and by 7:00 pm I had nothing in the box and lost 4.  This was going to be one of those nights.  Fortunately it didn’t last, by 7:45 I had 4 in the box and was working on #5.  It was starting to get dark and there were a lot of boats out tonight.  Jiggers, a few hardcore handliners and a lot of wanna be’s.  I figured it would be best to get off the water before everyone else so I decided 4 was good enough.

Now for the specific’s.  Water is still stained with a surface temp of 45 degrees.  SE wind made things a little choppy.  #11 GFR and a #7 DT Goby caught the fish.  Started off with a #11 Clown and a #9 Bleeding Olive but I switched them out after about 30 minutes.

Tonight 4 was good enough for me.

Tonight 4 was good enough for me.


Maiden Voyage for 2013

14 04 2013

In the immortal words of Colonel Hannibal Smith……….  “I love it when a plan comes together”.

After a couple of weeks of rain and high wind I saw a small window of opportunity.  Sunday morning was going to be cold but the winds were supposed to be light.  I knew the MWC was in town so I figured I would get out on the water before them and hope I could get my 5 before the tournament started.  It was an ambitious plan of attack, 5 fish before 7:00 am.  I stopped at the Trenton police station and picked up my pass for the Rotary park launch.

Phase 1 of the plan done.

A few boats were already launching so I got my boat ready and waited my turn.  By 6:15 I was on the water and heading south.

Phase 2 of the plan done.

By 6:30 am I was at my favorite starting point (Free handlining trip to the first one who can guess what it is).  Water was dirty with less than a foot of visibility and a surface temp of 40 degrees.  I was going big today; size 13 and 11 Rapala’s.  I was itching to find out how well my new Spring Valley Special II Rapala’s were going to work.  I didn’t have to wait long, at 6:40 am I felt that old familiar head shake and my first walleye for 2013 was in the boat and it came on the #13 SVS II.  That was quickly followed up by 2 more.  By now the weekend warriors were starting to show up.  As I was pulling in #4 a boat stopped right alongside of me to ask how I was doing.  I told them this was my 4th and I had been out for 15 minutes (I just love being a show off).  I trolled around them and was heading east when #5 hit, the smallest one of the day and on the #11 GFR.

Phase 3 of the plan done, time to head home.

That was 5 fish in less than 20 minutes and I was heading back to the dock by 7:05 am.  I lost one other fish as I was flipping him in.  He was barely hooked and he came off as I lifted him out of the water.  All the fish were hooked by just the trailing hook.  None of them hit hard but they were full of fight as I was bringing them in.  I couldn’t have timed it any better, the tournament boats were just starting to head out and I was past most of them as I was heading in.  One boat lost a white bag as he went flying by, I spun around to pick it up.  It was a bag full of swim noodles with shanks and leaders all wrapped around them.  Hope he didn’t need them because there was no way I was going to catch him.  I figured I would just drop it off at the tournament trailer when I was done.  When I got back to the Rotary Park ramp it was almost full and 3 other boats were getting ready to launch.  One group of fishermen asked how I did and I gave them all the specifics.  A few minutes later I was all loaded up and heading home rockin’ out to Dee Snider and The House of Hair.

I love it when a plan comes together……

TC 04-14-13

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