Back to Walleye Fishing 8/22/18

23 08 2018

After 6 straight days of fly fishing for salmon it felt weird to be pulling wire for walleye.  It took me a bit to get the feel again but I managed to pick up 3 and a throwback in a little over an hour.  It was dead calm when I started around 8:30 pm but sometime after 9:30 pm it started to sprinkle and I felt a little wisp of a wind out of the NW.  Something didn’t feel right so I pulled lines and hauled ass to the dock.  By the time I go there the wind had picked up to a spin my boat and flip it over wind.

Go Figure.

I made a modification to a Rapala in the hopes of better hook ups with hose light hitting, short striking, lazy walleye.  Seems to work so far.  Lure still has good action and I managed to catch 2 walleye, a channel cat and a sheepshead with it.  The real test will be to see if I lose any fish at the side of the boat.

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Just one of those nights…..

22 06 2017

Ever have one of those nights when nothing seems to go right?  The kind of night when you have that feeling deep down that it is going to be a disaster and you should just stay home?  Well last night was one of those nights.  I had been debating going fishing all day.  Originally the weather forecast was calling for light west winds but that changed to SSE winds at 10 mph.

Strike One.

It was also June 21st, the longest day of the year.  That meant it wouldn’t get dark until after 10:00 pm, thus giving me a very short window of opportunity since I had to get up for work the next day.

Strike Two.

With all the warm weather I was expecting here to be a lot of boat traffic, which is never fun.

Strike Three.

The Fish Flies were hatching.

I really can’t consider this a strike since I usually do pretty well when they are hatching.  Problem is I have had nights where they covered the boat and car which is really annoying.  So keeping all this in mind I did what any logical fisherman would do, I went out anyways.  I arrived at the ramp around 8:30 pm and as expected there were mayfly casing covering the water and lots of big boats out.  I must have had a look of disgust on my face because the ramp attendant asked me if I was “ok” when he took my launch fee.  I launched anyways and became even more disgusted when I saw the mats of weeds floating downstream.  The water was very clear as well which would probably mean lots of the other fish until dark, providing they were still around.  They usually leave about the time the mayflies start up.  I headed for deeper water first until the sun got a little lower on the horizon.  I started off with a couple of spoons and a #9 CCT Rapala.  It didn’t take long and I had my first fish for the night.  Problem was that it wasn’t a walleye, it was a walleye’s smaller cousin, a yellow perch.  A first for me.  I have never caught a yellow perch pulling wire, nor on a Rapala.

If he had been a few inches longer I would have kept him.

From then on it was clearing weeds, dodging pleasure boats and catching everything else but a walleye.  Yellow perch, White perch, White bass, Smallmouth bass, Rock bass, Sheepshead.  Even after dark i was still catching this crap.  Almost two hours of this line fouling nonsense.  At one point I was surrounded by a bunch of Common Terns and Ring Billed Gulls.  I knew what was coming and before I could pull my lines it happened.  The water boiled from those other fish pushing emerald shiners to the surface and then the birds dove in with me right in the center of it all. As expected all of my lures had fish on them.  Once i got them in I got out of that area and headed north.  Shortly after that I got rid of the spoons and switched over to all Rapala’s.  That cut back on some of the junk fish but they were catching every weed floating by.  I had debated quitting but I didn’t want to go in empty handed.  It has been years since I have been skunked and I wanted that streak to continue.  Around 10:30 I finally caught a walleye.  I seriously thought about just throwing him back and heading in but I wanted some fresh fish so I decided to stick it out for a bit longer. I stayed in the same area where I caught the one and in the next 20 minutes he was joined by four of his pals.  Now I was heading in.

A couple minutes later I was back at the dock and tying off.  I was feeling a little better now but I questioned whether or not it was worth the effort.  I go fishing to relax, not stress myself out.  As I pondered this I made it back to my car where I got the final kick in the teeth.

I know it doesn’t look to bad but I knew that once I opened the hatch to put  gear away they would swarm into my Escape and I would be finding dead flies for the next week.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain, at least my car wasn’t coated like the white Border Patrol car parked next to me.

My silver lining for the night, along with the fish.

 

 





08/16/13 Report

20 08 2013

I know, it’s been awhile.  Believe it or not I haven’t had a whole lot of desire to go  out walleye fishing.  I get like this about once a year, usually in August.  Summer is winding down and my desire to chase walleye hits a lull.  Usually at this time my thoughts are turning to other things.  Hunting season is just around the corner, kids are going back to school, perch are starting up.  In other words I am just feeling the need to go do something else.  Only reason I went out this time was because my Dad was down and he needed to get out.  He was down for some tests at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor so now that that was behind him he wanted to look forward to something else.

We hit the water around 8:00 pm and as I feard the SE winds were keeping the weeds on the US side of the river.  Oh well, not much we could do about it except deal with it and that’s what we did.  I hadn’t been hearing a lot of positive reports lately so I headed down to Calf Island and figured we would make a long run up to the stacks.  Once we found some active fish I would just concentrate on that area.  Problem was we never really found some active fish.  For the next 3 hours we picked up a few when we weren’t clearing weeds off of our lines.  That was about the only drawback for the evening.  It was a clear cool night, hardly any other boats on the water and even the bugs weren’t too much of a problem.  Unfortunately the fish just didn’t want to cooperate.  We did end up with 4 and my Dad lost 2.  My 3 fish came on a #7 Downriver Steel Rapala and my Dad got his on a #9 GFR Rapala.  The water is still gin clear.  3 to 4 feet of visibility which is unheard of.  It has been like this the last month.  A lack of rain and any substantial wind has kept the water very clear.  I figured the fish wouldn’t start up until after dark but we caught most of our fish before 9:00 pm and near the Blue Boat House.  From 9 to 11 all we had to show for our efforts was a lot of weeds and 1 Sheepshead.

Still it was nice to get my Dad out on the river after a day of being poked and prodded at the Hospital.  I think our next trip is going to be up his way for some more panfish.  Unless of course he comes back down and wants to try to get into some perch.  I may do that next time I feel like taking the boat out.  After I fix the broken wire on my navigation lights and replace the bracket for my GPS.

One observation was that Elizabeth Park Marina was full of minnows.  This is not surprising but I have been hearing reports all around the lower river of bass and a few walleye being caught and coughing up minnows as they are landed.  The lower river is full of them right now so I’m sure the walleye are being very finicky as to what they will grab.  Not much of an incentive to grab an imitation lure when so much of the real thing is swimming around.  Also, I have yet to catch any 3 inch Smallmouth Bass, this years hatch.  They may just be keying in on all the minnows as well but I usually catch one or two.

TC 8-16-13