Weekend Update

5 06 2017

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

This past Friday evening started off pretty much the same as the prior one.  I was back walleye fishing in my usual spot at 9:30 pm.  Conditions were pretty good, partly cloudy skies with a slight NW breeze.  Boat traffic was a little higher than normal and in about 30 minutes I was about to find out why.  No matter though, I got set up and started my usual routine for night fishing when the other fish are in.  About 5 minutes in I had my first fish on and it turned out to be a 23 inch male walleye.  That was soon followed up by a second 21 inch male.  I was beginning to think that maybe the other fish had left.  That things would get back to normal.  That I wouldn’t have to constantly be pulling lines in to remove unwanted accidental catches.  I was wrong.

1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,16…..

Around 10 pm I sensed a flash of light behind me and then a resounding boom.  Grosse Isle was shooting off fireworks, thus the reason for the increased boat traffic.  Shortly after the start of the show I picked up a third walleye and it would turn out to be my last one for the night.  Once the show was over all the boats headed for the docks and after that it was nothing but the other fish for the next few hours.  My last fish of the night turned out to be a white perch that had a brush with a muskie.  When I flipped it in the boat it had teeth marks across both sides.  Lucky little bugger.

 

Hope I never lose that Blue & White PP. It’s the only one I have.

 

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Chores.  I did find another Blue & White Pencil Plug while I was cleaning out the garage.  Day wasn’t a total waste of time after all.

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Sunday started off with me attending Demo Days at Schultz’s Outfitter’s.  This is an annual event full of fly fishing, tying classes and demonstrations.  I signed up for the Micro Spey – Trout and Smallmouth class presented by Tom Larimer.  When spey fishing first arrived in Michigan it was all about Steelhead.  Lately though there has been an interest in scaling things down for the resident Brown & Rainbow Trout and Smallmouth bass.  Tom has been heavily involved with this, working with both G. Loomis in developing fly rods specifically for this and lines from Airflo to go with them.  Since I enjoy spey casting so much I wanted to learn how to incorporate what I have learned so far into catching the aforementioned species.  Class started off indoors at first with discussion about presentation, reading water and fly selection.  After that we wadered up and were standing in the water casting.  Tom brought along two prototype rods from G. Loomis and worked with each of us on our spey casting.  I like to think that I am getting better but after watching Tom I quickly realized I have a long way to go.  He did point out a couple of small items that I need to work on.  A couple of the finer points of setting “the anchor” that when done properly make a huge difference.  When I don’t do it things get ugly.  Just like anything else that is new I need to practice more.  I figure I’ll go down to the river a few times a week with my spey and switch rods and do just that.

Later that evening I grabbed my 5wt fly rod and headed to Washago Pond in Willow Metropark to play around with the bluegills.  Susan and I used to go to the park about once a month in the Spring and Summer.  She would read and take pictures while I fished.  Afterwards we would drive around and look at the deer or whatever other critter might be out and about.  Now it’s just me and the fish.  When I arrived around 8:00 pm it was dead calm and no sign of any surface activity.  Usually the swallows are skimming the surface trying to pick off newly hatched bugs, not tonight.  Undeterred from the lack activity I walked over to the edge of the pond, tied on a #14 Elk Hair Caddis dry fly and went at it.  The fly wasn’t on the surface for a second when the first bull gill smacked it.  About a minute later he was in hand.

The first of about 2 dozen.

This continued on for the next hour.  Every other cast resulted in another nice gill.  Eventually my dry fly started to turn into an emerger/sub surface fly and then a slow sinking fly.  I could of changed flies but it was still working so I didn’t bother.  The last few caught were strip sets.  I would see a subtle swirl where I thought my fly was and once I gave a tug I could feel the weight.  I must admit though, I tied that fly right.  It never fell apart, even after being almost swallowed by most of the fish.  Around 9:00 pm fishing started to slow down so after one more fish I packed it up and went home.  My elbows and wrists were getting sore from all the fly casting today anyways.  I can always come back.

In the immortal words of Porky Pig….”That’s All Folks“.

 

Afterwards I drove around the park to watch the deer, just like Susan and I used to do.  There were about a dozen of them out, most with their summer cinnamon tan already.  No fawns yet, they are probably hunkered down somewhere safe from the resident coyotes.

Perfect way to end the weekend.

 

 

 

 





A year in a life – February

14 02 2014

This is getting old.  The last estimate I read was that 87% of the great lakes is covered in ice.  The last picture I saw of Lake Erie looks like the entire lake is frozen.  Normally I spend February getting ready but this year there’s no rush.  Besides, there is a 2 foot snow drift in front of my garage door that I would have to remove before I can get to anything.  Kind of hard to get excited about any walleye fishing with all the snow on the ground.  I figure it won’t start getting good until after Easter.  I’m sure a few people will be out dodging ice bergs with the hope of catching that wall hanger.  I’ve pretty much given up on that dream so I’ll wait until the males move in so that I can fill the freezer. Speaking of which the supplies are running a little low.  Hope I have enough to get through Lent.

In the mean time I’ll keep on tying flies and completing little odd jobs to make a few extra bucks.  When it does start up I will be in full attack mode and gas and launch fees add up really quick. I did manage to secure the date for my tournament, May 9th and 10th.  Now all I have to do is nail down the weigh-in site.  I am trying to work out something with Sharkey’s Tavern on Grosse Isle.  Thought it would be a nice change to have it at a restaurant that might possibly serve walleye chowder and have something to drink afterwards if we want to stick around and BS.   

For all you guys that are married now would be a good time to get as many honey-dos out of the way as possible.  It’s not like we are doing anything else.





Weeds, Weeds and More Weeds.

19 09 2013

Weeds to the left of me,

Weeds to the right of me,

In to the floating mats, trolled my little boat.

It had been almost 2 months since the last time I went out fishing by myself.  Normally I do that once or twice a week but with so much going on I haven’t had the time or desire to go.  That and I have had a lot of requests from other people to go fishing so I’ve had a fair amount of company.  Not that I mind but sometimes I need those solo trips.  Unfortunately this one did not go like I had hoped.  Actually it did go as I thought it would.  Lots of floating weeds and few or as in this case no fish.

I was lines down by 7:00 pm and at 7:01 pm I was clearing weeds off my lines.  This was going to be a long night.  I started off on the east side of the river hoping the weeds wouldn’t be as bad.  The last few days have been E or SE winds so I figured the Grosse Isle side wouldn’t be as bad.  I was wrong, it was bad.  I found out later that I was also right.  The west side of the river by the Edison Plant was impossible.  I made one very short trip through that area and never returned.  I just stuck to the middle of the river and made the best of it.  I did catch a few small bass and I lost one on a Riley Special spoon on my kicker.  Now one may ask how do I know that a 2 second head shake was on my kicker, simple, it was the only lure down at the time.  My 2 number 9 Rapala’s were in my hand so I could clear the weeds. 

So that was my excitement for the night.  2 ½ hours of dodging weeds and the occasional pleasure boat making its last run for the year.  Nothing interesting except for a ring bill gull that had a green hot-n-tot stuck to its head.  I tried to net her but she could still fly so no luck. 

Full moon, clear sky, ridiculously clear water and a slight SE breeze.  No bugs, no fish but lots and lots and lots of floating weeds.  Come on West Winds!!

Oh yeah, surface temp was 65 degrees and still lots of shiners in the Elizabeth Park marina. 

At least I didn’t have to pay to launch. 

Next up….Salmon Time.





4/21/13 Fishing Report

21 04 2013

This one will be short, sweet and to the point.  Went out this morning with Dan and we caught 10.

The End.

 

 

Just kidding…..The morning started out a lot better than the last 3.  It was cold but there weren’t any bone chilling horizontal winds.  Dan was still at work so I decided to get out early and ahead of the crowd.  I would have about an hour before he showed up so I hoped I could locate some active fish before he called.  The water was dirty but I’ve seen worse.  I threw out the same 3 lures I used a couple of days ago and started my search.  I figured nothing was really going to happen until after sunrise.  Fishing success in low light conditions with dirty water is hard to come by.  I was hoping the clear morning would enhance the situation.  Turns out I was right.  Twice in one week…..I’m on a roll.

I picked one up just south of the stacks around 7:30 just before Dan called.  I pulled all my lines and headed back to the ramp to pick him up.  About 30 minutes later we were back to fishing, or in this case catching.  It didn’t take long and Dan was flipping them in.  I managed to get another keeper and a throw back but Dan was relentless.  I was using brighter colored Rapala’s and he chose the original Black and Silver in a size 9.   Turns out it was a wise decision.  I sometimes forget to try the natural colors in dirty water.  After his 4th fish I was trying to find some originals myself.  We were keeping a close eye on a fellow handliner that was bringing in fish on a regular basis.  We noticed he was using smaller lures so I swapped out my #11 and #13’s for some #9’s.  By now we had 8 in the cooler and we were trying to pick up the last 2.  It was just after 10:00 am and the catching had started to slow down.  We weren’t seeing any fish caught and I was debating heading in.  Dan had been up for the last 12 hours and he had to be tired.  Luckily number 9 had just grabbed my #9 SVS II.  A minute later he was in the cooler and the lines were back in the water.  Five minutes later number 10 grabbed a #9 Bleeding Olive and we were pulling lines.  Not a bad morning, just over 2 hours of fishing and we had a 2 man limit, 1 dink and a few lost fish.  We didn’t see any jiggers catch anything and that made us chuckle.

All that was left was the picture taking and some fish cleaning.

He's lucky he gives me venison otherwise that reel would not be allowed on the boat.

He’s lucky he gives me venison otherwise that reel would not be allowed on the boat.

My fish 04-21-13

 

 

 

 





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





Boblo Island Walleye 6-27-12

27 06 2012

Took the morning off to try get some fishing in before my afternoon of errands and dr. appointments. I had sent an e-mail to my friend Jerry the other day to see if he was going out and if he wanted company. His answer was yes, providing I bring him some more rhubarb from my garden. No Problem.

I arrived at his house bright and early and after a brief discussion Jerry decided we should go try the Amherstburg Channel. He had heard from a fellow DWF member that they were catching a lot of walleye in that area. We both had our Canadian licenses so east we went. After a short boat ride around Celeron Island and the south tip of Grosse Isle we were soon passing the north end of Bois Blanc Island, better known as Boblo Island. Back in the day this island used to be an Amusement Park. Now all that is left is the needle, a few docks and some old buildings on the south end. The north end is now luxury homes that can only be accessed by a ferry crossing in Amherstburg.

We set up in the channel on the NE side of the island. There were a few other hand liners just north of us so Jerry pointed the boat upstream and headed their way. We fished around the area for about 20 minutes but all we got were Silver Bass (my favorite) and Sheepshead (my other favorite). We saw more boats farther up stream so Jerry said pull lines and we headed north. We started again in about 30 feet of water and we were on the fish this time. We stayed in the area for the next hour or so and picked up 8 fish. Our depths varied from 20 to 30 feet and we picked up fish at all depths. There was no real pattern as we caught fish all over the area and on several different color spoons. Around 10:00 am we started to pack it up so that we had time to head back and clean fish. I told my son Jacob that I would pick him up around 11 and the hour would be just enough time to get everything done.

Once we were back at Jerry’s I took a quick picture of our catch and Jerry started cleaning. This was alright, I didn’t have to drive the boat, all I had to do was fish and now someone else was cleaning my catch. Life is Good. Jerry kept a couple for dinner tonight for he and his wife Sue. The rest he gave to me which was much appreciated. My family is planning a get together for the 4th and I have been told I am cooking fish.

No pictures of the spoons today.  I forgot but then again I would need to take a picture of 7 different spoons.  We caught fish on every lead and just about every color in our combined arsenals.