Weekend Report Part II

26 06 2017

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Where are all the handliners?

I understand that fewer people fish now and even fewer pull wire but no one else on a perfect weather Friday night?  That’s just ridiculous.  That was the case though this past Friday.  I was the only one fishing the Trenton channel.  Just me, no one else, nadda, zip, no ah ah.  I can’t understand it either.  It was a near perfect night.  A slight breeze, partly cloudy skies, no weeds and temps in the low 70’s.  There weren’t any pleasure boaters out either.  Just me and the fish.  I started at 9:30 pm and was done less than an hour later.  5 more for the freezer, 1 throwback and only 2 blankity blanks.  Like I said, a near perfect night.  Maybe everyone is believing all the social media hype this past Spring of no fish.  How the commercial fishermen caught them all.  How the DNR are mismanaging the walleye population.  How tribal fishermen are secretly catching all the fish to sell to Estonia, oh wait, that’s the Lake Trout.  My mistake.

One very small item of note is this little guy.  I pulled him out of the top walleye as I was cleaning him.  I posted the pic on Facebook and told everyone that it is the smallest fish I ever caught while pulling wire.  No one has figured out how I managed to do that yet.

 

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Since Friday night went so well I decided try for a repeat.  This time I invited my friend Larry along to get in on the easy fishing.  Conditions were about the same except for the wind coming out of the SW but it was nothing to be concerned about.  We did see two other handliners out though but one of them was an upstreamer so I really don’t count that boat.

We started at 9:15 pm and it wasn’t long before I had one in the cooler.  Larry didn’t even have his lines in the water so of course I started giving him grief about it.  It continued as I landed numbers two and three, tossed back a couple of undersized ones and lost one at the boat.  I suggested he start adding to the cooler otherwise it was going to be a long night for him.  After that initial flurry things slowed down.  We managed to pick up 5 more over the next 2 hours but it was one here and there.  Just about the time I was thinking about moving to a different location one of us would catch or lose one and I would change my mind.  On our last run we lost 3 in about 5 minutes.  Larry was having a tough time with snap swivels.  Three of them broke and he lost a couple of lures because of it.  I know that feeling, I lost 3 lures and 3 fish one night because of that.  All of my snaps were replaced the next day.  Around midnight we packed it in.  The weeds were getting worse and even though it was a no moon period the blankity blanks kept feeding after dark.  No sheepshead though but I did catch my first channel cat for the year.  We both thought it was big walleye until he was in the boat.  It was still a pretty good night.  We ended up with 8, threw back 4 and lost just about as many.  The fish were anywhere from 15 to 20 inches.  Most came on #9 Rapalas in original or bleeding olive.  No pictures tonight, Larry took his home and I just cleaned mine without taking a pic first.  Just refer to the Friday catch picture and block out one fish.

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Sunday was supposed to be a day of fly fishing but 20 mph SW winds took care of that.  I walked around the lagoons at Sterling State Park to scout out the area for fishing opportunities.  I was hoping I could wade around instead of taking my kayak.  Still undecided about that.  I might go back this upcoming weekend.  The weather is looking pretty good for the rest of this week.  I’ll go walleye fishing at least once, possibly more.  Still trying to find an area with some active carp that I can cast a fly to.  It would be great if I could find a Mulberry Tree along some water.

 

 

 





SSP Walleye 04/18/15

19 04 2015

With my boat still down and river fishing pressure being absolutely ridiculous my friend Chris decided to take his boat out for its inaugural run on Lake Erie.  We had originally talked about going up to Lexington to try for some Spring Browns and Salmon but the threat of a NE wind and bad fishing reports kept us closer to home.  We arrived at the Sterling State Park ramp around 6:30 am and we were pleasantly surprised that there was no wait to launch.  A stark contrast to the river where lines have been over a mile long and wait times for launching averaging over an hour.  Several minutes later we had the boat in the water and we were slowly making our way out to Stoney Point.  Winds were dead calm and the water was very clear.  The only drawback was the amount of debris in the water.  Lots of logs and blow downs all over the bay.  The big blow downs were easy to spot, especially when they had gull sitting on them.  It was the smaller logs that had us nervous.  We slowly made our way out and managed not to hit anything.  We set 4 lines pulling Reef Runners and Deep Diving Husky Jerks in various colors anywhere from 35 to 80 feet back on Off Shore Planer boards.

Wow, 3 shameless plugs in one sentence.  I should drive for NASCAR.

The first thing we realized was that we couldn’t get the motor to idle low enough to a speed we wanted.  We were running around 2 to 2.1 SOG and we needed to be down around 1.4 SOG.  We started to make a “S” pattern troll to try and get at least 2 lures at a time down to a slower speed.  About 30 minutes later we had our first flag down and Chris reeled in the first walleye into his new Lund, a nice 25 inch fish.  This one hit a purple RR little ripper so we dug through the lure boxes for something smaller and purple.  Chris found a purple Flicker Minnow and put that out while I swapped out my DDHJ’s for Shad Raps.  It wasn’t much longer when we had our 2nd fish on.  A few minutes later Chris netted our biggest fish of the day.  A 27 inch spawned out female that went around 7 pounds.  Things were looking good but as soon as we started to get a little cocky the fish decided to serve me a big piece of humble pie, or in this case Silver pie.  That’s right, my next fish was a $#(&$)(&$%#&#)%_)$#@@#)(*)(&^$(*&%(&#$@$_#_%#_  Silver Bass!!!  I swear that no matter where I go I just can’t escape those things.  No matter, he was quickly release and my custom painted Fire Tiger Shad Rap was run back out.  Not much longer after that Chris noticed that my outside board was drifting back.  The flag was still up but with the board drifting in towards my inside board we knew we had a fish on.  I marked the spot on the GPS and started to reel in the fish while Chris got the other rod out of the way.  Trolling for walleye with multiple boards out takes a fair amount of team work and a clear are in the boat.  While I was reeling in the fish Chris cleared the port lines and made sure no other boats were getting to close.  This fish was being very difficult and we thought it might be a 10 pounder or possibly a big catfish.  I slowly reeled him and and Chris eventually removed the board.  A few minutes later he was in the boat, a rather upset male in the 24 inch range.  Not as big as we expected but a nice addition to the live well.  We fished for about another hour until the wind started to shift to the NE.  We knew this was coming and any type of an east wind on Erie is nothing to mess with so we pulled lines and headed in.  We accomplished what we wanted to do today.  The first shakedown cruise was in the books, made some notes on what to change and get (drift sock, plug for live well and a first aid kit) and we put 3 nice fish in the live well.  Not a bad day, except for that one unmentionable.

The best part of launching at Sterling is that they have a fish cleaning station and it was open.  4 fishermen were there cleaning their 4 man limit.  I was a little surprised to see this since I did not recognize their boat but I soon found out why.  They fished Huron Ohio near Cedar Point.  They were just stopping here on their way home to clean fish.  Can’t say that I blame them.  I would do the same thing if I could.  No sense messing up my fish cleaning station at home if I don’t have too.  A few minutes later our fish were clean (need to remember an extension cord for the electric knife) and we were on our way home as well.  Not a bad morning and by the time we got home the NE wind really picked up and the flags were horizontal.  Everything pretty much went according to plan.  Can’t complain when it all works out.  Especially since we were able to catch walleye without having to compete with the 1,000 plus boats on the Detroit River.

Chris Walleye SSP SB SSP Walleye 1 SSP Walleye 2





Have Kayak, Will Fish Part II

20 05 2012

Next July my family, girlfriend and I are planning a long weekend camping trip to Harrisville Michigan. Since my siblings are kind of novices at this tent camping stuff I suggested a trial run campout at Sterling State Park. Of course I had an ulterior motive, I wanted to go take the kayak out again and fish the Lagoon at the park. Last year I did pretty well on the Largemouth Bass and I was hoping that it would repeat. In this case though history did not repeat itself.
Normally any time I go camping it is a safe bet that it is going to rain. This weekend was the exact opposite, clear skies and sunshine. As a matter of fact it has been awhile since we have received any rain. Because of this the water levels are down on the Detroit River and Lake Eire and the SSP Lagoon was no exception. The other thing that changed from my last time here was that the water was very clear. Normally that is no big deal but the low clear water seemed to make the fish skittish and they would scatter as I paddled up on them. Another surprise was all the minnows that were chasing insects on the surface. I thought they were small panfish at first but to my surprise it was minnows, by the thousands. That bothered me, with all this baitfish I really wondered just how responsive the bass would be. After about 30 minutes I found out that they were going to be difficult. I started off with my usual tube baits but they didn’t produce this time around. I switched over to some spinners and then cranks but still nothing. After about an hour I gave up and decided to come back out again after dinner. Besides, I was close to the Bass Pro Shop south of Toledo Ohio and I wanted to stop in.
After a dining on bacon wrapped barbecued walleye and a pineapple upside down cake that I baked in my Dutch oven I launched my kayak once again. Kelly came by for moral support and to enjoy the cool evening air. I fished the west side of the lagoon first and still nothing. I pitched my tube bait up around a few blow downs and some reeds but still no fish. The sun was starting to set so we made our way back to camp. I decided to make a few final casts by the fishing pier when I finally hooked into my only fish for the weekend. He smacked a white tube bait as I was twitching back towards the surface. A quick picture and he was back on his way. No Skunk this day.

Another entry for the Season Long Challenge

The next morning my sister-in-law Karen wanted to go try out her new custom fishing rod I had made up for her. She is taking this whole being a Schaller thing to heart and wants to learn how to fish. At first she wanted my Dad to teach her because he isn’t as species specific as I am…..she’s starting to come around. A pack of wax worms (purchased at Bass Pro), a small teardrop, one slip bobber and she was ready to go. Things were slow at first but I spotted a group of bluegills in the shallows and soon Karen was bringing them in left and right. She ended up catching about 30 bluegills in various sizes from a couple of inches up to about 8 inches in length. Didn’t matter, she was having fun and all she had to do was reel them in. I did everything else. In a couple of years I will get to teach her daughter Katie how to do this. I can’t wait; teaching kids to fish is one of the great joys in life for a devoted fisherman. I know my Father and Grandfather did.

One of the smaller ones