10/20/18 Walleye

23 10 2018

Oops, forgot I went fishing again.

Went out last Saturday morning to try and stock the freezer some more before winter sets in.  Since the temps bottomed out last week and we saw our first snow flakes, winter could come sooner than expected.  Surface water temps were around 52 degrees and there were no surface weeds to deal with.  There were plenty below the surface though and I had to check lines on a regular basis.  I started fishing around 7:00 am and packed it in around 10:00 am.  Not much to report other than it was cold out.  One other boat was out trolling along the Edison Discharge and I saw him catch a couple of fish.  No signs of any gizzard shad yet.  I’ll try again this weekend.

 

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A Year in a Life – September

25 09 2014

September is an odd month.  Walleye fishing can be very hit and miss as the fish start to transition form their summer feeding patterns to their fall/winter pattern.  I have had more days where I come up empty handed in September than any other month.  This never bothers me because I am actually thinking more about small game hunting than I am  thinking about fishing.  I still got out, except this year with my boat being down, but it is not as frequent.  I’m kind of in a holding pattern until the water temps get down to that 50 degree range.  Getting there can take awhile or it can happen in a week, it all depends on the weather.

When I do go I experiment more with lure selection this time than any other.  By now the lower river is full of yoy smallmouth bass and the emerald shiners are stilla round and they are bigger as well.  Some Gizzard Shad may have started to show up but the bigger run is still months away.  Knowing all this I will run everything from #13 to #5 Rapala’s and spoons.  It all depends on what is most abundant.  I pay particular attention to the warm water discharge to see what is jumping and just how many crane’s, herons and eagles are in the area.  If I see lots of minnows I’m sticking to the smaller size lures in natural colors, especially if the water is still clear, which it usually is.  If some shad are in though out go the #11 and #13 Rapala’s.  I usually hold off on the bigger lures until October when it is colder but you never know.  I don’t waste a lot of time dragging the same bait around.  If it’s not producing in the first half and hour it is getting replaced.  I mean I really play around now.  Different sizes, styles, colors, action, speed….anything to try and trigger a strike.  Now it could just be that their aren’t any fish in the area.  The smaller ones that were around all summer may have moved back out to the lake and the bigger fish haven’t moved in yet.  I don’t know for sure.  I don’t have any tracking beacons on the fish.  I do wish I could get access to all the movement data on the walleye swimming around with the radio transmitters in them.  THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!!  Since I don’t I just have to keep trying and hope that it gets better in October.  Either that or I just go out and shoot squirrels which most years is more productive.





What exactly is a Polar Vortex?

21 01 2014

Polar Vortex.  Who comes up with this crap?  When I was younger and it was cold out it was just that, cold out.  Now they have to give it a name, what ever happened to just saying it is colder than a witch’s left…..well you know.  One thing this cold has done is give me a serious case of fishing withdrawal and the colder it gets the worse it gets.  My original plan was to do a little Steelhead fishing on the Huron and AuSable River.  Last time I checked most of the Huron from the mouth on up was frozen or there was so much shelf ice that fishing was darn near impossible.  The AuSable isn’t much better.  I go out and buy a new fishing rod and take the time to tie up a bunch of fancy jigs and all I can do is stare at both of them. 

This Sucks!

There is a silver lining to all of this and it has to do with the water levels.  During our last cold spell when we all about froze are butts off (see, isn’t that better than Polar Vortex?) meteorologists made a few comments about the Great Lakes.  I read that it is estimated that up to 60% of the Great Lakes could freeze this winter.  This would help prevent evaporation and keep the water levels from dropping like they have during our previous mild winters.  I’m all for that, water levels were getting so low that boat launching was problematic at some ramps, especially with any type of a west wind.  Hopefully northern Ontario is getting record snow falls like we are as well.  Of course if this does keep up the ice will still be flowing downstream in April.  So I guess I have to pick my poison, early fishing or long term relief?  I’ll take long term relief. 

  1. Of course this extreme cold and deep snow is going to have other affects both good and bad.  A major freeze like this will kill off the gizzard shad which area known predator of walleye fry.  Of course they are a food source for adult walleye as well.  To bad the freeze doesn’t have the same effect on White Bass.
  2. The deer herd is going to take a beating if this keeps up.  This will make the farmers and AAA happy but the deer hunters and the industry that supply’s them won’t be so thrilled.  Those guys seem to have enough to complain about it as it is, they really don’t need anything else.
  3. I also read that the Straits of Mackinac froze over, here come the wolves.  I’m kind of on the fence on this.  I have no desire to hunt a wolf but I believe that the numbers have to be kept in check.  It would be cool to see one in the wild but I am not a farmer who has to worry about his cows disappearing.  Their control should be left up to the DNR not the general, uneducated public.
  4. The ice fishermen should be loving this.  They haven’t been able to get out on to Brest Bay the last couple of years but they can this year.  What really cracks me up though is all the bitchin’ I hear in the Spring about guys keeping female walleye.  Guess what they are catching through the ice out on the lake?  Yep, female walleye.  How come I don’t hear anyone complaining about that? 

I just realized that I am basically rambling on about nothing.  Bottom line is that it is just cold out there.  Bundle up everyone, it doesn’t look like it is going to get above freezing until next month. 

Time to go tie some more flies.





Sad Day

30 11 2013

It happens every year, the one day we fishermen all regret.  The final trip until Spring.

Today was that day.  Originally I was planning on going Sunday but with a chance of snow in the morning and a change in the forecast for today I changed plans.  I planned for an afternoon trip so once it hit half time for The Game I was on my way.  I launched at Lake Erie Metro Park (all docks were in except for 1) and by 3:00 pm I was on the water with lines down.  Surface temps were 34.2 degrees with a nice stain to the water.  No weeds but that South wind made the water a little bumpy.  I ran #13 and #11 Rapala’s in Pink/Pearl and Blue/White.

I fished for 2 hours without a single hit.  There were two other boats out there long lining and I didn’t see them catch anything either.  Around 5 I headed in and a few more boats showed up to give it a try.  More power to them, the sun was setting and the temps were dropping.  A few interesting things I noticed.  There were a lot of Blue Herons lining the west shore.  I could see a few minnows jumping at the discharge along with the gizzard shad.  Also, the water temps in the discharge lane was just over 40 degrees, a 6 degree difference.  Still no fish though.

Wile I was at the dock I decided to winterize my engine.  If anyone out there is considering a new 25 hp engine I cannot even begin to sing the praises of my E-Tech.  While I was putting stuff away I put the engine through it’s motions and 2 minutes later my engine was winterized.  All set for next Spring.

Or the next warm spell.





Post Sandy, Early November, Edmund Fitzgerald Anniversary, Pre Veterans Day Walleye.

10 11 2012

I think I covered everything.

Well after almost 2 weeks of no fishing because of what “Sandy” did to Lake Huron all the way down to Erie I finally got out.  Morning fishing had been kind of rough but with the water being dirty I was optimistic.  Besides, I had things to do in the evening so I didn’t have much choice.  I started fishing around 7:45 am by the Catamaran.  The water was dirty but I could see my prop which for me isn’t too bad.  From what I had been hearing I expected it to be a lot worse.  Surface temps were also 43 degrees which was a big drop from the last time out.  This much of a drop might have caused a turnover on Lake St. Clair which might have added to the length of dirty water.  No matter, I was here now and determined to catch fish.

I set up with the same 3 lures I used last time out, a #11 Bleeding Blue Shad, #9 Bleeding Copper Flash and a #7 Bleeding Olive.  About 15 minutes in I had my first walleye on the #11.  He was barely hooked on the trailing hook.  10 minutes later I had another one on the same lure and he too was barely hooked.  When I first started I was the only boat out but by now a few bass fishermen showed up and started fishing the Edison discharge.  I stayed in my area and hooked another in a few minutes.  I didn’t think I was going to get this one in as I was being bounced around by the wake of a cabin cruiser that decided to do a doughnut around me.  This one was barely hooked as well and I lost him at the boat.  All it took was a split second of slack line and he was gone.  Oh well….it happens.

Since all 3 fish came on the #11 I decided to swap out the smaller lures for some bigger ones.  I put on a #11 Bleeding Chartreuse and a Smithwick Clown.  I was heading towards the discharge area and I noticed a lot of Gizzard Shad jumping out of the water.  There were a few Blue Herons staked out along the edge trying to pick off an easy meal.  A Bald Eagle also took up a roost on a nearby tree.  As I turned right and started to head east I picked up another fish.  Something didn’t feel right and it turned out to be a snagged shad.  After I turned him loose I headed back downstream and set up to make another run.  No sooner did my weight hit bottom when I had another fish on.  This turned out to be another walleye and he grabbed the Smithwick.  I made a loop back through the area but no other takers.  I fished until 10:00 am before I pulled lines and headed for home.  I would have liked to stay out a little longer but I had things to do at home.

Final tally was 3 kept and one lost.  Don’t know how much more I will be able to get out this year.  With the water being this dirty fishing after dark is out of the question.  Next weekend I will be up deer hunting so my next opportunity will be Thanksgiving weekend.

Water Clarity, you decide.