The 2nd Coming………Almost

22 06 2014

Weekend Report.

I decided to give it a shot Friday night after I got word that my fellow handliner compadre Dave was going to head out.  It looked like the rain was going to clear out before dark so I made plans to hit the water around 8.  Of course the rain didn’t completely quit but a little sprinkle was no big deal.  When I arrived at the ramp I was pleased to see that the water levels were way up.  As a matter of fact they were at the highest levels I had seen in years.  Not surprising with all the rain we have had.  After I launched the boat I pointed her downstream and headed towards the only other boat on the river, Dave’s.  I pulled up along side and asked how he and Larry had been doing.  No walleye yet but only 1 Silver Bass.  Oh Happy Day could they finally be gone?  We shall see.

I went downstream a bit more and set up behind them.  I started to follow them for a bit but once I saw both of them bringing in Silver Bass at the same time I made a right turn and avoided that area.  Didn’t matter, I found them as well.  Oh well, can’t have everything.  It wasn’t too much longer before I felt that old familiar headshake that I have missed so much.  A few seconds later and I had my first walleye in the box.  I would end up with 3 for the night, 2 on a #11 Clown Rapala and 1 on a Red Wonderbread Nite Stalker Pencil Plug.  I ended up catching about 20 Silver Bass.  Once it got dark they pretty much shut down.  The only problem was the weeds, not the ones on the surface but that stringy moss that seems to hang around the bottom.  It seems like I was clearing lines every ten minutes.  I’m sure that wasn’t helping my catch rate.

I did catch one fish that surprised the hell out of me.  I have caught just about everything the River has to offer but not one of these.  As a matter of fact after 40 years of fishing the Detroit River this is the first one I have ever caught.  I have picked up a few in the canals around Grosse Isle or Gibraltar out of my Kayak but never in the middle of the river while walleye fishing.  When it first hit I wasn’t quite sure what it was.  There was to much weight for it to be a Silver Bass but it was fighting too much to be a walleye and not enough to be a Smallmouth Bass.  I hoped I wouldn’t lose him because I really wanted to see what it was.  I was careful and eventually I got him in, a Largemouth Bass.  That was a first and I will probably never repeat it.  Largemouth Bass are not known to hang out in the area I caught him in, Smallies yes, Bucketmouth’s no.

Around 11:00 pm I finally called it quits.  3 fish wasn’t too bad, I didn’t lose any lures and no damage to the hands.  The Silver Bass are definitely thinning out and by next weekend they should all be out in Lake Erie terrorizing the Planer Board Brigade.

Conditions weren’t bad.  Surface temps were 67 degrees and the water clear.  No surface weeds but that moss below was a pain.  The NE winds were calm for the most part but they did pick up as the evening progressed.  Not a bad night after not getting out for a month.

Sunday morning I headed for the river again and hit the water at the crack of 6:20 am.  I wanted to start earlier but I overslept a little.  The water temps were about the same as Friday and it was still clear.  A few surface weeds and a fair number of dead Mayfly’s and casings.  It was overcast as well and I hoped it would last.  I started running spoons and a #9 Rapala at first and it wasn’t long before I was into the Silver Bass.  They were in small schools much like Friday night,  3 or 4 right away and then nothing for about 20 minutes.  Problem was the walleye were scarce as well.  I didn’t catch my first one until almost 9:00 am.  I ended up with 2 and I lost one at the boat as well.  I caught about a half dozen Smallmouth Bass ranging for a minuscule 3 inches to a 20 inch pig.  Boy was he a handful.  Around 11 I gave up and headed home.  I had a long list on yard chores waiting for me and they weren’t going to get done on their own.

Conditions weren’t bad at first.  Light winds and overcast skies.  Water was still clear with about 3 feet of visibility.  If it continues to stay that way I am going to stick to evening fishing.  I may try over at Amherstburg this weekend in deeper water.  Hopefully some of the smaller eaters will move back into the river by then.  Once they do it will be Game On II.06-20-14 Walleye

First Largemouth Bass Ever on the "D".

First Largemouth Bass Ever on the “D”.

TC Walleye 6-22-14

The Pig

The Pig

The baby

The baby


7/22/13 Evening Walleye

23 07 2013

Over the weekend handliner wannabe and avid walleye fisherman Tom contacted me with some questions about pulling wire.  His main objective was for me to come over and check out his boat to get my input on how to set it up.  I then offered to do him one better, I told him to meet me at Elizabeth Park Monday night and he can ask all the questions he wants while we fish.

By 8:00 pm we were on the water and setting lines.  He brought his own shanks/leaders and weights and after a few questions about leader lengths and spacing on the shank he was set up.

Rule of thumb here is for every inch up the shank from the top of the weight is equal to 1 foot of leader length.  For example a 20 foot leader should be attached to the shank 20 inches from the top of the weight.  If you have a factory shank that has clevises every 6 inches then the leaders should be 6,12,18,24,30 and 36 feet in length.  My suggestion was to run a 6, 18 and 36 length leaders if he wanted to run 3.

Not much happened for the first hour, only caught a couple of bass and 1 small walleye.  Once it got dark and that full moon cleared the trees things really started to take off but not the way I wanted.  We were losing fish on a grand scale.  At one point Tom and I made a pass through one area and we each had one on and lost both of them at the boat.  A few minutes later we each lost another one.  We kept at it though and by 10:30 we had 10 in the boat with 1 throwback and 6 lost fish.  They were hitting very light tonight, most times it felt like there was just extra weight.  I was even convinced that I hit a pile of weeds only to find a walleye dragging along the surface.  Tom got the big fish of the night, a 22 inch 3 1/2 pounder that he got on a #9 Jointed Bleeding Copper Flash Rapala.  All my fish came on a #9 SVSII, #7 Downriver Steel and a Riley Special Spoon.  I even caught a few walleye on the spoon after dark on the kicker lead.  Sometimes the standard rules of body baits after dark do not apply.  Also, as I was bringing in my lines a walleye hit my 40 foot lead just as I got my hand on it.  Either that walleye followed it all the way up or he was cruising just below the surface.  I wasn’t going to complain, he’s in the freezer now.

The water is still gin clear but the floating weeds were a bit of a hassle.  We could dodge most of them while it was light out but after dark it was problematic.  Surface temp was 78 degrees with a South wind between 5 and 10 mph.  Like I said earlier there was a full moon out and clear skies.  Only drawback was the bugs, annoying little things.  All of the fish came from an area just north of the Catamaran on the Grosse Isle side of the river.  We worked the area pretty hard until we boated our 10th fish.

No pics this time.  I sent Tom home with his 5 and mine are sitting on ice until I can clean them after work.

FYI……the FLW trailer was in the lot at Elizabeth Park so that means lots of bass boats real soon.

Also, when we arrived the break wall was under water, when we got back we could see the top of it.  The water on the river had dropped 6 inches in just over 2 hours.  That’s a lot of water moving downstream.

Roar on the River Smallmouth/Walleye Report 7/20/13

21 07 2013

Short and quick this time.  Parents were coming down this weekend for my daughters graduation party so that meant one thing, time for Dad and I to go walleye fishing.  Since the Roar on the River boat races were going on this weekend we decided to get an early start.  By 6:00 am we were on the river with overcast skies, clear water, no weeds and a light west wind.  Almost perfect conditions.  We set lines and started our first pass by the catamaran.  I was running a custom #9 SSVII rapala and a couple of spoons.  I don’t remember what kind because I didn’t catch a single walleye on a spoon.  My Dad, on the other hand, caught all of his fish on a Riley Special spoon (my suggestion).

We also caught a lot of smallmouth bass, I mean A LOT of smallmouth bass.  We averaged 3 to 4 bass per every walleye we caught and they ranged in size from 5 to 19 1/2 inches in length.  Most of them were legal size and they seemed to be everywhere and grabbed everything we had out there.  At one time I had a double of two 16 inch fish that was quite a handful, a handful I didn’t want to deal with.  The last one of the day turned out to be the biggest and also the most entertaining.  Just as I was about to lift her into the boat a bass boat was buzzing by us at high speed.  I waited until they were right along side and I lifted her out of the water.  That brought them to a screeching halt.

We ended the day with 7 walleye and 1 throwback.  Not a bad haul but I would have preferred to not have to deal with all the bass.  I quit counting after the first hour but we caught them from beginning to end.  At least they weren’t as numerous as those “other” bass.

One other little tidbit.  I pulled a dead goby out of one of the walleye, size #9, take note everyone.   Roar on the River 1 Roar on the River 2 Roar on the River 3 Roar on the River 4


Last Day of June Report

1 07 2013

While I was down at the range a friend of mine texted me to see if I had been out fishing lately.  Because of weather, work and family obligations it had been a few weeks so I told him unfortunately no.  He said he hadn’t been out in awhile either and was thinking about giving it a shot.  My reply was “7:00 pm my house, be there”.  He was.

We hit the water around 8:00 pm and set our lines.  I was running 2 spoons and a #9 SVSII Rapala.  Chris was running two spoons as well.  Not much happened for the first 15 minutes until I had a hit.  It seemed promising at first but after a few seconds I realized it was a smallmouth.  A few minutes later Chris had a hit but after we heard that tell tale splash behind the boat we both knew he hooked into a smallmouth as well.  Both fish were released unharmed and none the worse for wear.  A few more minutes passed and then it happened.  Chris hooked in to another fish and it was one of those Blankity, Blank, Blank, Blank Bass.  Someone forgot to send this guy the memo that the run was over and that he and the other 5 we ended up catching were supposed to return to Lake Erie.  They are supposed to be out there in massive schools annoying the snot out of the planer board brigade. 

Eventually we did get into the walleye.  We fished until 10:00 pm and ended up with 7 walleye, lost two, a few extra smallies and no lost equipment.  I also had my first double of the year.  Chris ended up catching 2 on a Riley Special.  I caught my 5 on a limeade spoon and an orange and black spoon I picked up earlier this year.  I posted a picture of it on a post a few months back asking the question “Which one will be the big producer this year?”. SO far it looks very promising for this spoon.   The Smallies really liked the SVSII Rapala. 

Sorry, no pictures.  Iphone battery was dead and I temporarily misplaced my other camera.  Next time, which will be soon.  Water clarity is great and very few weeds.  Mayfly hatch is in full swing so there were a lot of casings on the water but mostly on the west shoreline.  All the fish came in the middle of the river just north of the Cat.  Speed on my L/R tack was around 1.5.  Only picked up one fish making a starboard to port turn.

It’s On Like Donkey Kong now guys.

Shameless Plug Walleye Report

5 05 2013

After 35 years my old MERCURY 20 HP outboard had finally seen it’s last day.  After thousands of hours on the river and great lakes it was time for a new engine.  After talking to fellow DWF member Tom at ANGLERS MARINE in Taylor Michigan I purchased a new 25 HP EVINRUDE E-Tech.  The crew at ANGLERS MARINE hooked it all up and bolted it down to my old CRESTLINER last Friday so I decided to take it out and run it the next day.  Since the White bass had moved in I decided to wait until the evening.  Besides I needed to time get used to a new engine and all the little bells and whistles that came with it.  That and I needed to mount my SCHALLER AUTOMATIC TROLLING REEL, my EAGLE depth finder and LOWRANCE GPS back onto my boat.

I did get out a little bit before dark.  I wanted some time to run around on the river and get acquainted with my new toy.  I have never owned an electric start engine before so just pushing a button was a pleasant change.  I have to admit I really like my E-TECH.  I have nothing against my MERCURY but I really wore that engine out.  I just need to get used to the sound, or lack there of, of the E-TECH.  I have trolled for so many years with the MERC that I could tell by the sound of the engine when the RPM’s were just right for the speed I wanted.  Need to spend a few hours now and learn that sound again.  Nice thing about the E-TECH is that it has a toggle switch that will increase or decrease the RPM’s by 100 with just a push.  That’s a nice little feature to have.  I can give the lures a little push every once and awhile to see if I can trigger a strike.  OK, enough love for the E-TECH, time for the fishing results.

I set lines around 7:30 pm.  There were a few other Handliners out but it was still early.  The Tr-Hull nave was in full force along the Gibraltar/Trenton side of the river.  Not a good omen.  I put on a #11 COPPER CRAZY TIGER and a #9 SPRING VALLEY SPECIAL II from WWW.DOWNRIVERTACKLE.COM.  I also put on a SPIKE SPOON (He will be missed) in a RILEY SPECIAL pattern.  I figured I was going to get a few White/Silver Bass but I was expecting to pick up an occasional walleye until it got dark.  Turns out I was pretty right in my prediction.  I just wasn’t expecting how it would happen.  Most of the bass came on Jim’s Holographic lures.  Pretty much 95% of the bass I caught came on those lures.  I expected the spoon to catch most of them but I only caught 2.  My first walleye came on the spoon and the walleye that was 14 15/16 inches came on the #11 CCT.  Even after it got dark I was still catching the bass on the RAPALA’S.  Eventually I got fed up (not hard to do when it comes to those rotten little things) and I swapped out the RAPALA’S and replaced them with some NIGHT STALKER Pencil Plugs.  I have a lot of wooden pp’s but the eyelet is set to far back and the crank bait snaps that I use can’t get through the eyelet.  The NIGHT STALKERS are plastic and the eyelet is far enough forward so I could attach them with the crank bait snap.  3 walleye came on the 40 foot lead and a chartreuse  with black dots NIGHT STALKER.  I also hooked in to something big but I never got it in.  Once I got my hand on the leader I could hear it rolling and splashing way behind the boat.  I knew this wasn’t going to last long and I tried to throttle down some to relieve the pressure but it was to late.  I fished until about 10:30 pm but the wind was picking up and it was getting cold so I headed in.  I had 4 in the cooler and sometimes 1 short of a limit is no big deal.  The best thing was that I never caught a single white bass on a pencil plug.  Don’t know if that will hold true during the peak of the run but I will find out.

So I ended up with 4 in the box, 1 throwback and lost probably a Muskie.  Surface temps are at 53.5 degrees and the water is very clear, over 2 feet of visibility.  NE wind with a partly cloudy sky.  Back to a night fishery again, especially with the you know what’s in town.

One more plug….

May The 4th Be With You.

May the 4th Be With You walleye

May the 4th Be With You walleye

Pre 4th of July Walleye

5 07 2012

After the storms had finally passed through the area I hooked up the boat and headed to the channel. At first it looked like it was going to be a perfect night, cloud cover with a slight breeze. Neither one lasted. About 8:30 pm the clouds cleared out and the breeze left as well. Oh well….it’s not like I was going to quit just because of that. What should have made me stop was an engine that still didn’t want to cooperate. It started stalling once again and the only way I could keep it running was to increase my speed. I could never find the sweet spot between too fast and too slow. If I had been catching fish I wouldn’t have minded but after an hour the only thing in my cooler was a bottle of water. At some point I checked my lines and noticed that my main line wasn’t at the angle I desired. This made sense since I was trolling at a faster speed than I normally do. I switched over to a heavier weight and almost immediately I started to catch fish. They weren’t the right species but at least it was something. Around 9:00 pm I got a triple but unfortunately it was 2 Smallies and 1 walleye. Once I figured out what line the walleye was on I got him in and dealt with the other 2 later. I was still having the engine problems but at least I was putting walleye in the box. I managed to pick up a couple of more walleye but what really bugged me was that I lost 4 right at the side of the boat. I had only lost 4 fish for the whole month of June and now I matched that in one evening, 3 in about a 10 minute span. I lost every fish on my 40 foot lead and a #9 Copper Crazy Tiger Rapala (Custom Paint Job by Downriver Tackle). Yes, the hooks were sharp, brand new Mustad Triple Grip hooks. I don’t think the fish were getting hooked all that well to begin with. I also had about a dozen Hit & Spit’s that night.

I kept at it though determined to get my limit. Around 10:30 I hooked into what felt like a pretty good fish. As I was brining it in I realized that it wasn’t a walleye or a Smallmouth Bass. Even when I had it along side of the boat I couldn’t tell what it was but I knew once I flipped it in, a channel cat. That was a first for me, I have never caught a channel cat in the Detroit River before. It was a nice 20 inch fish and very fat. I got the hook out of her jaw and sent her back to the bottom. Not much more happened that evening and I just gave up around 11. The bugs were really starting to get to me as well. I had 3 and with my engine acting the way it was I figured I better not tempt fate. Didn’t want to need a tow in like the boat I towed in the other night.

Just before it got dark I saw an Osprey flying back towards Humbug March. I had seen him the other night but that time he had a Smallmouth Bass in his talons. Tonight it looked like he was going home hungry. Still strange to see Osprey and Eagles while fishing for walleye on the Detroit River. This river certainly has come a long way since the 50’s and 60’s.

Final tally for the night was 3 walleye measuring 15 to 18 inches long. All of them came on a Riley Special and a Pink Shiner spoon. All the walleye I lost at the boat were on the Copper Crazy Tiger Rapala. The water temp was 76 degrees and still ridiculously clear. Maybe the storms from the past few days will dirty things up a bit.