A good friend of mine called me on Monday and asked me if I would be interested in going fishing tuesday morning. He said it would be his last trip in his boat before he put it away until spring. Of course without any arm twisting or second thought I told him I would. Tuesday morning rolled around and I went down in my man cave to begin preparing my rods for the day ahead. My phone rang and when I answered I got a pleasant surprise. My friend that I was going fishing with looked at the weather reports and decided that Lake Erie conditions would be good enough for us to make one final trip before winter. Previous to him calling me, the plan was to keep it local at one of the lakes around us. I haven’t done so well at local fisheries, so this news excited me. Our last trip their we did very well catching my favorite species….SMALLMOUTH. My friend also caught a monster steelhead. My hopes were very high. I just had a feeling that we would do well. We had success last time trolling, and we kind of accidentally stumbled upon the smallmouth. This time our game plan was to fish for perch for a little bit, and if that doesn’t work then we were going to troll for steelhead or smallmouth. Upon arrival, the lake was surprisingly calm. I know the weather wasn’t supposed to be bad, but anytime I see Lake Erie calm I am surprised. After we launched the boat we stuck to our plan and went looking for perch on the fish finder. On our last trip there were tons of boats on the water, but this time there was only one other boat. This should have been a sign of things to come. We pulled up to our first spot and went fish less. After fishing that spot for a while we moved on to two more spots, and after 45 minutes we had zero perch. Both of us eager to get back to the success we had trolling last time, decided we spent a enough time fishing for perch. I felt trolling it wasn’t a matter of when we would catch fish, but rather how many we were going to catch. We went right back to the break wall that yielded so many fish the last time. We were using the same lures and the conditions were very similar. It just seemed everything was in our favor. The fish finder was showing fish, the conditions were good, we weren’t competing with other boats, and we were executing the plan we had in place. Only problem is the fish decided not to cooperate. We trolled for hours without catching a fish. Occasionally when we would see a school of fish, we would stop and drop different baits down to entice them, but we never had any takers. Once again for me, it was very frustrating. This has been the worst fishing year of my life in regards to numbers caught. I have never been skunked so many times in one season. There was one exciting moment for us. We were on inside of the harbor on our last troll of the day. We were only going about two mile per hour, and I decided to cast out a vibe beside this collection of leaves in the water. Mind you, I did this while we were trolling so the boat is still moving. I just figured I would be able to jig the bait up and down a few times before the bait was to far behind and I had to speed reel it in. I jigged the bait up once and then went to do it again and it felt like I snagged a tree limb or something big. My friend that was controlling the boat asked “Do you have a fish?!” and I told him I that I hooked a tree limb that was under water. He stopped the boat and I began to retrieve the limb. I was pulling and pulling and it wasn’t coming to the surface. I started to think that maybe there was a fish on the end of the line, but every time I stopped to see if their was a fish, there was no feeling of anything fighting back. I finally reeled it about three quarters back to the boat and we saw a fin! Whatever kind of fish this was…it was HUGE! As I continued to reel it in right beside the boat, we realized that I somehow snagged a giant walleye on its back. I have no idea how it happened but right before us was about a 10lb walleye (my friend thought 12lbs). I am a bass fisherman, so you can imagine how I was feeling knowing that I had a gigantic walleye on the end of my line. Up to this point there was no fighting, but when she got a glimpse of the boat, the fight was on. My drag was singing and I was pulling like crazy to get it back up by the boat. My friend grabbed the net and was ready to net her so we could get the hooks out her back, take a picture, and then release her. As I pulled up one final time to get the fish in the net, she took off into a straight nose dive. In the process the hooks got caught in the bottom of the net and freed her. It was really disappointing because I specifically was thinking “wow I almost was able to call my blog something else other than A November Skunking”. It was neat to see a walleye so big. I couldn’t have kept her because she was hooked in her back, but it would have made for some nice pictures. I had a great time, and anytime I get to fish Lake Erie, I am very happy man. This brings a close to bass fishing for me until spring time. All future reports and blogs will more than likely be about steelhead or trout. Hopefully their will be more to report on though than why I didn’t catch any fish again!!!
This is a blog for people that have an equal passion for photography and the outdoors......OKAY....maybe not so equal! There is something about the outdoors that some of us just get. Something that drives us to get up at 3:00 am and to sit in the woods with below frezzing temperatures. Or fish for hours upon hours waiting for your first bite. It's not just about the animal or the fish, it's about the experience & memories. This blog is to be a meeting grounds for sharing those memories. Rather than be a blog where we share photos of the "kill" or the catch, let's focus on the experience. Let's focus on the why we do what we do in the first place.......THE MEMORIES.
Stuff I like (all)
Winter Storage: Winding Down
By: Jordan Truttschel - Fishidy’s College Fishing Expert
As the cold air and freezing temperatures begin...