7/19/14 All Day Fishing

20 07 2014

Actually it started Friday night.  My friends Dean and Barry convinced their mother that she needed a summer home on Sanford lake.  Since then they have been spending a fair amount of time trying to find the fish on the lake.  Lately they have been doing well on the crappie and I wanted to get in on that.  I packed the car and after work on Friday I headed north.  I arrived at Barry’s and he informed me we had to run to his Mom’s house that night.  No problem, start fishing early.  We fished from the dock and managed to get a couple of crappie and some bluegills.  So far so good.

During the night Dean arrived and after a quick stop for some minnows we were on the boat to try a few spots.  Our plan was to target structure around the lake, mainly fallen trees and stumps.  It was pretty hit and miss at first, couple here, couple there, nothing to get excited about.  At one stop we tried by the M-10 bridge going over the lake.  No crappie but there were dozens of bluegills hanging around the pilings.  They weren’t big but this was a perfect chance for me to try my new 4wt Echo fly rod.  I tied on an a little emerger pattern and let it fly.  It’s hard to cast from a pontoon boat, especially with 3 people on board.  To make matters worse I was trying to cast under a bridge.  I managed to get the fly in there and catch a few.  Even though the fish were small they were a lot of fun on that light rod.  I think I am going to really like fishing with it. I just need more practice.  We didn’t stick around too long.  Dean wanted to go to an antique flea market so we headed back to the dock.  After a quick lunch Barry and I were back out again.  We went back to a blow down in one of the canals that we couldn’t fish earlier because someone else was already was.  The wind had started to pick up a bit so we anchored the boat upwind and drifted in to the area.  We were able to let our baits drift right into the limbs of the tree that were underwater.  It didn’t take long and soon we were catching crappie left and right.  Unfortunately the vast majority of them were around 6 inches long.  This went on for about an hour until we ran out of minnows.  We tried worms for a bit but it was obvious the crappie wanted minnows.  We pulled anchor and headed home so we could get more.  By now Dean was back and he was headed with us, after we sent him to the bait shop to get more minnows of course.  About an hour later we were headed back only to find another boat fishing there.  He was set up on the other side of the tree and I have to admit, he was one dedicated fisherman (more on that later).  We anchored away from him and were back to drifting minnows back into the tree limbs.  Only problem was that the wind had died down so know we were casting into them.  We still managed to catch fish but no at the pace we were earlier.  We stuck to it though for a couple of hours and managed to put a few in the live well.  By now it was 5:00 pm and time for me to head home.  I wanted to go walleye fishing tonight and I had a 2 hour drive ahead of me and a bunch of fish to clean.  I said my good-bye’s and was soon heading home.

After I got the fish cleaned I hooked my boat up and was headed to Elizabeth Park.  It was after 9 now and getting dark.  Not a problem since the water has been so clear and with no cloud cover nothing was going to happen until after dark anyways.  I started fishing just before 10:00 pm running Rapala’s and Pencil plugs.  The weeds were a bit of a problem but not as bad as I thought they might be with no wind.  Bugs weren’t too bad either.  I kept swapping out colors and sizes for the next few hours trying to find something they like.  I managed to get one walleye on a Chartreuse and Chrome Nite Stalker and another on an Orange and Black wooden PP.  As the night wore on the weeds steadily got worse and worse.  There must have been a mayfly hatch upstream as well because I was spotting hundreds of casings all over the river.  This was starting to get old so shortly after midnight I just gave up and headed home.  I had been fishing all day and I was tired.  I had a lot of chores to do tomorrow so sleep was a better option than dodging the ever increasing weed patches.  I’m not going to complain.  I got a few walleye and a fair number of crappie for the freezer.  Sounds like a good day to me.

Side Note:  Ok, I have always thought that I am a pretty devoted fisherman.  I have been known to ignore a lot of things in order to catch fish and I get so focused on fish that I block out everything else around me.  Earlier today I met someone who is more dedicated than I am.  As I said earlier there was another fisherman at one of our spots.  Well he wasn’t alone.  He had his girlfriend/wife along and she was sunbathing in the boat with him.  She was wearing a red, white blue bikini and was laying spread eagle in front of him in the boat.  He sat there the whole time fishing while she was laying in front of him and he wasn’t catching anything yet he kept trying.  That’s Dedication!!!

walleye

This guy appeared while I was cleaning fish.  He was alive and I have no idea where he came from.

This guy appeared while I was cleaning fish. He was alive and I have no idea where he came from.

Sanford Lake Crappie





Walleye Relocation Excercise 5/9/14

11 05 2014

After the storms blew through I thought it would be considerate of me to relocate 5 walleye from their current location to my freezer. I figure that with the annual fish that shall not be named (hence forth known as them, they or any other disparaging remark I can think of) invasion starting up that there might be some walleye that want to get out while the gettin’s good.

Now let me start out by saying that I had no business being out on the river Friday night. I thought I could get a few hours in before the storms and I was wrong. I arrived at the ramp around 8:30 pm and the thunderstorms were just rolling in. I decided to wait it out and I spent time talking to another fisherman waiting out the rain. The rain didn’t last long but the south wind never quit. Around 10 we both headed out and that was a big mistake. Knowing the wind was coming out of the south and with it being so dark I had no idea just how rough it was and it was rough. I was getting bounced around a lot and I should have just turned around and went back in. My motives were sound, or so I thought. I figured with the unmentionables moving in and having to go out of town to help my parents I figured this was my only chance for a while. Let me just say that no walleye is worth my own safety, especially when fishing alone. Even though I stuck to the west side of the river to try and keep out of the SW wind it was poor judgment on my part to continue. If I had a line get wrapped in the prop and lose power I would have drifted right into the rough water and then I would have been in big trouble. Like I said, poor judgment. Lesson learned, I made it home ok but from now on I will use better judgment.

Ok, no more preaching. By just sticking to the west side of the river and staying out of the wind I was able to pick up 5 walleye. Because those other things are in I ran chrome pencil plugs to help keep those unintentional catches to a minimum.  It worked, only caught about 10 of them and managed to catch my limit of walleye. There are a lot of nice fish still in the river, we just have to contend with the silver invasion.

Be safe out there, we have a long season. No sense getting crazy.

5-9-14 TC





Will they ever leave?

15 06 2013

June 14th 2013, Trenton Channel.  It was calm, no clouds and the water was clear.  Several boats were already on the water.  Conditions looked good, except for one thing……..THEY ARE STILL ^*(%^*(&%(*&%$ HERE!!!!!

I can’t believe this.  April 21st I saw my first S***** bass of 2013 and here it is almost 2 months later and I am still catching the darn things.

What the Frak!!!!

Well my Dad was down for my daughter’s graduation and to celebrate his 50th Wedding Anniversary with the family so we were going to make the best of it.  We were on the water at 8:30 and a few of my friends were already fishing.  I pulled up along side of my friend Steve who had been out for about an hour.  He didn’t have any walleye but he said he had only caught a handful of those “Things”.  I could live with that.  We both set up with Nite Stalker Pencil Plugs and started fishing.  About 5 minutes later my Dad had a hit but it didn’t stay on.  A little while later he decided to check his lines and they were both tangled up.  The one plug had scales on the hook.  He must of snagged one and it tangled the line in the process and twisted everything up.  While he was fixing that I pulled my lines and switched over to Rapala’s.  After 30 minutes of no unmentionables I decided to boldly go where I dare not go last month.  Rapala’s in the daylight.  Big mistake, 5 minutes later and one of those rotten little blankity blanks was on.  While I was bringing him in though the line suddenly got a lot heavier.  Sure enough a walleye had grabbed one of my other leaders.  No problem, walleye first, garbage fish later.

Not much happened for the next hour.  I did talk to my friend Jerry and he had 3 in the box and lost a few at the boat.  He also said he was about ready to quit because of all the crap he was catching.  He was running 1 bleeding copper flash Rap and a couple of spoons.  We chatted for a bit but I got hung up and he got out of the way.  My wire snapped and I lost the whole rig.  A little while alter I was all rigged up again and back at it.  That must have been the cue for the rotten little buggers to start up because for the next hour all we caught were the fish that I still refuse to name.  It was past 10 by now and I was beginning to wonder how the night was going to end.  Jerry had called me and said he got his 5 and was headed home.  I had caught one more smaller walleye and my Dad had caught nothing.  We continued to fish and I picked up a third.  By 11 My Dad had said he had had enough and we started to pull lines.  He thought we had 4 but I told him it was only 3.  Just as I started to pull in my lines number 4 hit.  He also turned out to be our largest fish of the night, a 22 inch 3 1/2 pounder.

After we packed up we pulled up along side of my friend Richard to chat with him for a bit.  He was putting the hand line stuff away and was going to switch over to long lining for a bit.  I think we talked to him for over 1/2 an hour about the wrong fish still being in the river, a lack of walleye and just life in general.   By the time we drifted down past Humbug Island I started my E-Tech from Anglers Marine in Taylor (Shameless plug) and we were headed for home.  4 in the box isn’t bad but still catching those other things has got to stop.  It’s been almost 2 months now.  Will the madness ever end?

Oh, almost forgot, the vital stats.  Water temp was 64 degrees with about 2 feet of visibility.  Clear skies and a 1/4 moon and no wind.  Number #11 DT 158 and a #7 Downriver Steel Rapala (Another shameless plug for downrivertackle.com).

6-14-13 TC





Going Home…….

9 06 2013

 

Every year I try to fish at least one new spot.  Usually it is somewhere on the Detroit River but after 35 years I’m starting to run out of places. I had always wanted to try walleye fishing on the St. Clair River so when Dan offered to take me up there I jumped at the chance. This was going to be a trip home for Dan since this was his old stomping grounds as a kid.  This was also going to be a “going home” trip for me as well but for a different reason.  Marine City was the old fishing grounds for my Grandfather and his brothers, specifically Ed and Hank, the two guys responsible for inventing the Schaller Automatic Trolling Reel.  I always get a little nostalgic whenever I am around Marine City, Marysville and Algonac but this time I was going to be fishing the same waters they did.  Tonight we were going to be fishing in Marine City, a place of some significance for me.  My Great Uncle Hank died while fishing out here.  He had a heart attack while pulling up the anchor for his boat, the same boat I own and fish out of today.  Like I’ve said before, there is a lot of history associated with my old 1957 Crestliner.

After some driving around and trying to get a few last minute fishing reports Dan decided to launch at a small little ramp just north of downtown Marine City.  From there we headed south to the Sand piles.  There were a few whippers setting up for the evening and we set up for our first pass just south of them.  Turns out we set up right in front of the DNR ramp south of Marine City.  Oops.

Fishing was a little slow at first, Dan was running chrome Nite Stalkers and I was running some custom Downriver Tackle Rapala’s.  We had to play around with the speed for a bit but eventually we got the motor set the way we wanted and we were heading upstream ever so slowly.  The current is a lot faster up here than it is in the Trenton Channel.  Since it is also over 30 feet deep we were forced to use 2 pound weights.  Normally I never wear a glove on my wire hand but with the current, depth and weight I was having a hard time holding on to the wire.  The rubber coated glove helped a lot.  After about an hour we finally got our first fish, a 3 ½ pound female on a #9 Spring Valley Special Rapala II Rapala.  After I threw her in the live well I tossed my lure back over the side.  I noticed that it didn’t seem to be running right so I pulled it out to check it over.  Everything seemed ok except for one thing.  The bill was installed upside down.  That is a first.  I swapped it out for a Rapala with a properly installed lip and I was back in business.  We made a few more passes in front of the sand piles and didn’t catch anything.  It was around midnight by now and Dan decided to head back up stream to the Belle River Edison Power Plant.  A freighter was off loading coal so we started our troll just south of the ships stern.  By the time we reached the bow I had on another walleye.  This one came on a #11 DT-158.  About 10 minutes alter I landed a small 15 incher on a #11 Clown.  Things were starting to look good and by the time we reached the north end of the plant I landed my 4th on the DT-158.  We pulled lines and headed back down to the bow of the ship to try again.  By now Dan had switched over to Rap’s and he was starting to eye all my lures.  He asked if he could borrow some of mine and he promised not to lose any.  In this area the threat of lure loss isn’t as great.  As a matter of fact I never got hung up on anything all night.  Dan did manage to lose a Nite Stalker though.  We slowly worked our way north again and I picked up another walleye on a #9 SVSII Rapala.  I didn’t know it at the time but that was going to be our last walleye for the night.  We made a few more passes but at 2:30 am Dan decided to call it quits.  That was fine with me.  It had been a long day and night and I was very tired.  I had a lot to do Saturday so I needed to get some rest.  I can’t survive on a couple hours of sleep and a few Red Bulls.  All in all it was a good trip.  Perfect weather, no major tackle foul ups or losses and we didn’t get skunked.  It would have been nice if Dan had added a few to the live well but not much I can do about that.  It was good to get out though and fish in an area that my Grandfather and his brothers fished when they were younger.  I will never get the chance to fish with my Grandfather again but his memory and guiding hand will always be there.

1st St. Clair Walleye

1st St. Clair Walleye