7/3/17 and the Trip that Almost Wasn’t.

5 07 2017

So there I was, sitting in the Emergency room of my local hospital Monday night, July 3rd.  My original plan was to go out walleye fishing but a little carelessness on my part delayed that.  I had found a F7 Rapala and I was going to put it in one of my lure boxes in my boat.  I had it in my left hand and as I climbed in the trailing hook caught something and pulled the lead hook into my left middle finger.  50 years of fishing and I had finally done it, buried a hook past the barb.  After uttering a few expletives my daughter drove me to the emergency room to have it removed.  It must have been a slow night because just about everyone on staff had to come by and see.  They must have had a few new people on staff because the doctor brought them in to demonstrate how to remove a hook.  After a little guidance on my part as to where the best place was to use the wire cutters and class was over. About an hour later I was all bandaged up and sent home.  A few minutes later I was hooking up the boat and heading out.

We were able to save the lure.

My original plan was to start around 8:00 pm.  My Facebook memories were full of pictures of walleye that I had caught on spoons around this time.  I figured I would give it a shot and see if history would repeat itself.  My own carelessness prevented that from happening.  Instead I was on the water right around sunset.

 

Late start but a pretty one.

There was still a fair amount of boat traffic but I figured it would end soon so I wasn’t too worried about it.  I did see a good amount of floating weed mats which was discouraging.  I just shrugged it all off, at least I was still fishing and I didn’t have to get up in the morning so I could stay as late as I wanted.  Turns out I was going to need to do just that.

I set up in the same area I have been all year.  I figure I will keep starting here until the well runs dry.  My Grandfather once told me that you don’t leave fish in order to go find fish.  Besides, the area is close to the ramp and it only takes a minute or two to get there.  I started off with a J9 Chartreuse, a F9 Original and a F7 Black and Gold Rapala. Dave had done so well with a J9 Original the other night I thought I would give it a shot.  As it would turn out the only walleye that liked it were the little ones.  I didn’t get my first legal fish until after 10 pm.  I had switched out my F9 Original for a F9 Clown after I busted my 20 foot leader on a snag.  I made up a new leader and put on the Clown since I was all out of Originals.  As it would turn out it was a blessing in disguise.  After my second fish on the Clown I switched out my kicker for a F9 Black Holographic and slowly picked away at my 5 fish limit.  All the fish came from the center of the river, across from the DD boat.  This is when a GPS comes in so handy.  After the second fish I was able to see how close together they were and I was able to concentrate on that area.  If not I may have come up a few fish short for the evening.  It still took a few hours to fill the limit but I was also dealing with a lot of weeds, catches of other fish, lost fish at the boat and numerous head shakes and gone.  I stuck it out though and shortly after midnight I caught my fifth keeper.  Time to go home.

A few observations from the night.  Winds started off from the south and were very light.  They eventually worked their way around to an “in your face wind” out of the north.  By midnight the wind disappeared completely.  Weeds were a pain but somewhat manageable.  The water is still very clear.  At one point I was shining my headlamp down in the water as I was clearing weeds from my line and I could see walleye cruising about two feet below the surface.  They were barely legal size fish but there they were.  Whenever the light would hit them in the eye they would just swim back down, into the darkness.  As near as I can figure they were probably chasing baitfish that were feeding on the spent mayflies on the surface.  On more than one occasion I saw a few fish break water throughout the evening.  No big hatches but there were still plenty around.  I had to pick them off of me and my car once again tonight.  The blankity blanks are still in.  Caught about a dozen of the ones that don’t know how to read a memo.  One of them was a Master Angler size fish but I wasn’t about to turn it in.  Getting a Master Angler award for a fish I despise so much would be hypocritical.  Lost about 4 at the side of the boat and I had about a dozen head shakes.  Most of the fish were hitting very light, especially the 25 incher.  She grabbed the lure and it was just dead weight.  I thought I hit a pile of weeds at first but once she gave a shake I got serious.  She will be going into the smoker this weekend.





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