Steel Update.

15 11 2015

I know it has been awhile since I posted anything but work has been a royal pain in the ……  Work hasn’t changed any but I do have a little free time to get caught up.

All year long I had been looking forward to November.  Everything I had read about Steelhead fishing in Michigan said that November was the month.  Cooler temps and the usual cold Fall rains bring the fish into the rivers.  Of course, the year I start steelhead fishing, Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate and the Fall run was late.  I found out later that I was lucky to catch the one fish I got in Muskegon a few weeks back.  No matter though, the run may be getting off to a slow start but I was bound and determined to make the best of it.

The weekend of Nov. 7th I was staying home to take care of some chores.  My to-do list was increasing instead of decreasing and I had to get started on reversing that process.  If I planned things right I figured I would get a chance to get out for a quick evening trip.  As luck would have it I was able to make a run to the Huron Saturday night.  I have to admit, living where I am now really does have its advantages.  I am 15 minutes away from arguably the best walleye fishery in the world and 10 minutes away from a river with a fair number of steelhead in it.  The Huron doesn’t get as many as the west side of Michigan but there are enough to be worth the effort.  So with my switch rod in hand I waded out to my usual spot in hopes of hooking into another fish.  As luck would have it I managed to hook a small male on my last cast.  To be fair it was my last cast only because by the time I landed him it was past sunset and I couldn’t see anymore.  Since it was after dark I couldn’t get a decent picture so you will just have to take my word for it.  It took about 5 minutes to land him but it took me forever to revive him and send him on his way.  I don’t know why he was so tired.  He made a few half ass jumps and one short run, nothing to completely wear him out like this.  Eventually he came around and swam off to fight another day.

The following weekend I was just as busy with chores but I would make sure to set aside some me time.  With about an hour of daylight on Saturday I hit my usual spot on the lower Huron River.  It would turn out to be a rather uneventful evening, fishing wise.  No steel but I did catch a rather small and unintentional fish…..the much sought after Rock Bass.

IMG_2488

This is embarrassing.

I was about to release him when I remembered the mink I saw earlier running along the bank.  I looked around for him but he was nowhere to be found.  If he was I would have tossed him an easy meal.  Lucky for the rocky that he wasn’t so I dropped him back in the water.  After that it was starting to get dark so I just headed back to the car.  Tomorrow was another day and I would try again.

Sunday morning greeted me with bright sunshine and no clouds.  Not exactly steelhead weather but I was expecting it.  Last night I got really cold standing in the water so today I was putting on the thermals and the wool.  Of course by 10:00 am I was over heating but it was better than freezing.  I started off further downstream at a different access point.  The water level was a little higher than yesterday and a little dirtier.  I found a spot to wade in and started casting.  There were a couple of other fishermen downstream so I stayed upstream from them.  The water was deeper here so I couldn’t wade out to far, that and the bottom was very mucky and wading was tricky.  After about 30 minutes I gave up and decided to go back to my usual spot.  As I was walking in I spotted a deer staring at me about 20 yards away.  So stood still long enough to let me take a pic.

I wonder if she realizes it's 11/15?

I wonder if she realizes it’s 11/15?

After she scampered off I walked down to me entry point and waded in.  I proceeded to swing an egg sucking leech pattern over and over and over again.  When I’m not catching anything I get tempted to switch flies but, like walleye fishing, presentation is more important than the lure.  That and fishing where the fish are.  I continued to work my way downstream when I finally had a hit.  I didn’t know what it was at first because it never jumped or ran.  Instead it just let me reel it right in.  Once the fish got within about 10 feet of me it finally woke up and took off.  She didn’t run far but for the next 10 minutes she would make short runs and jump about all within 20 feet of me.  Eventually I was able to get ahold of her, take a few pics and send her on her way.  I made a few more casts in the area but it was to no avail so I just packed it in.  By now the sun was high and bright so I figured I would go home and knock off a few more chores on my to do list, while the weather was so agreeable.  I was content, another fish hooked and landed and I still haven’t lost a fish yet.  Of course now that I said this my next hook up will be with a 10 pounder that will absolutely smoke my ass.

I can’t wait!

I love my leeches.

I love my leeches.

 

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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





Bass, Bass and More Bass. 9-1-12

3 09 2012

Normally I am not a superstitious person, but when a black cat ran out in front of me as I was headed to the ramp Saturday morning I should have taken it as a sign. It was a beautiful morning so I had no reason to think it was going to turn out as badly as it did. I arrived at the ramp at 6:00 am and quickly launched my boat. I still had an hour until sunrise so I put on the body baits and one pencil plug. I could make out a few weeds on the surface but nothing to bad too worry about. Fishing was slow at first with nothing except a few under sized Smallmouth Bass to show for my efforts. Once the sun came up I switched over too spoons and got ready for action. Problem was the action I was waiting for was not what I wanted.

 
Shortly after sunrise I felt a very light hit and it turned out to be a 3 inch bass. This is not un-common. These are fish from this year’s hatch which from all indications looks like a good one. That’s great for my bass fishing friends but I was looking for the toothy critters that like to eat them. For the next hour all I caught were under sized bass. I was averaging one about every five minutes. I was getting ready to change tactics up a bit when something hit me in the leg. I looked down and there was green stuff on my right thigh and on the seat of my boat. Sure enough, a bird crapped on me as he flew overhead. I just shook my head and cleaned up the mess. I switched out some spoon colors and styles and continued my run towards the stacks. As I was getting closer I noticed something running back and forth along the bank. I thought it was a muskrat at first but when I got closer I realized it was a mink. I watched him bop around for about a minute and just as I was making my turn I had another fish on. This one turned out to be a walleye but he was exactly 15 inches long so I tossed him back. The way things were going this morning I wasn’t expecting much more and I didn’t feel like cleaning one small fish. Shortly after I set lines again I had another light hit and as expected it was another 3 inch bass. It turned out to be a triple with a 3 inch bass on each lure. As I was releasing the fish off the short leads I noticed a Ring Bill Gull hovering behind me. He had seen the other bass on my 40 foot lead and was trying to get a quick meal. Just as I got my hand on the leader he swooped down and grabbed him. Fortunately from him and me all he got was the bass. I didn’t feel like trying to un-hook a gull today.

 
Once I got all my lines in I took off downstream to try some deeper water. Same results as my first spot but at least I did catch a legal bass, an 18 incher. After a quick pic I tossed him back in the water. By now it was 9:00 am so I decided to make a run farther upstream and try the channel by the Rotary Park ramp. I set up in the channel in 25 feet of water. I fished until about 9:30 am with still no walleye. I pulled lines for the final time and just headed home. I had stuff to do around the house so it was time to cut my losses and try another day.

 
Conditions this morning weren’t bad. Water is still clear but the weeds were a bit of a problem. Surface temps have been stable at around 75 degrees the last few trips. Won’t be too much longer and it will start to cool down more. That will make me and a bunch of perch fishermen very happy. Final tally for the day was one barely legal walleye and about 3 dozen Smallmouth Bass. At least I didn’t get skunked.

 

Sort of.

 
I need to go check my boat for a banana.