Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weekend Update # 2

There was noise coming from downstairs as I awoke from a good night of sleep. My sons were playing with their toys as they normally do on weekend mornings around 8:30. I grabbed my glasses from the nightstand and made my way down to the living area and kitchen. My son grabs my leg and gives me my morning hug.

Still a little tired I see that Gene had not slept on the couch as usual on Saturday night. I walked outside to see if his car was at the house. It was not but as I rounded the corner Mizike had the garage door open and was gathering his gear to put in the van. I gave him a funny look and asked about the 9:00 time that we were originally going to start loading. He said that he could not sleep and had already been to wash and vacuum the van to prep it for packing.

As I smoked a cigarette still half asleep I called to make sure Gene was up and on his way. Right after I got off the phone Thomas called and said he was about at the house. It had been quite a while since we had been fishing together so I gave him directions until he reached the house.

As I took a shower Gene showed up and the 3 continued loading the van. The shower helped me wake up and gave me focus on the day. I started to get excited. We were about to set off on an adventure to one of the greatest walleye fisheries in the world.

We finally had everything packed and sent the wife and kids off to church then it was our turn to get on the road. The 3 hour trip to the lake went quick with all of the joking and talking we were doing. Once we arrived to Port Clinton we stopped at a gas station to get some cash. The ATM was down so we continued down the road to a bank ATM to get some cash to enter the big fish competition and to tip the first mate on the head boat.

Next, we continued on to Fisherman's Wharf. It was pretty quiet near the store. It was Sunday and a lot of the crowd that had been there for the weekend were already on their way home. We found a spot to park and went into the store to get paid up. The store was unusually quiet as well and we were able to pay for the boat rather quickly. When we paid there were only 6 of us signed up. That was pretty exciting, that meant we would be able to fish off any part of the boat we wanted.

We picked up some Subway to take on the boat with us then came back to the van to wait to load into the boat. After about an hour of waiting in 95 degree heat we finally loaded. The boat we were originally going to take was out of commission due to the batteries not taking a recharge so they put us on another boat that still needed gas. We sat on the boat for almost another hour before taking off. That was a little frustrating because the captain and first mate said the last trip out they had found the walleye and caught most of their fish on the last drift. The conditions were changing and I knew that if we did not get out there to catch some right away we might not keep up with them or find them that evening.

The boat was filled up and we headed out for our 6 hour instead of 7 hour trip. We travelled further North than I have been in the head boats. I wasn't worried since we had taken plenty of beverages with us to keep us occupied on the trip out.

Once we arrived to our destination there were 3 to 4 foot swells. There were only 11 of us fishing but I decided I was going to fish off the bow so I could cast and reel instead of drift. It was rough on the bow because it lifted and lowered more with each wave than the rest of the boat. I was having a hard time getting my sea legs and had to hold onto the rail several times to keep from falling.

I finally figured out that it would only toss us around once out of 4 or 5 waves and the rest of the time I could manage to get a cast out and start reeling. The front of the boat paid off as I had my first hit as I was slowly lifting my harness off the bottom. I reeled it in and had a fairly large white perch. Mizike had a white perch on just about the same time. We fished for a while longer before the captain finally pulled in the first walleye. I followed with a small 16 incher.

One other guy on the boat caught a walleye on the first spot we tried. We had caught a few more white perch and some sheep heads. Finally the captain decided that he had lost the walleye they had been on earlier and made a half hour trip back towards port clinton.

Fishing there was not any better. Thomas caught a small walleye and the rest of the boat caught a couple more walleye as well as some yellow perch and more white perch. One guy on the back of the boat also caught a nice catfish. We were fishing a sunken ship.

It was probably a good thing we moved from the last spot because a storm had came in and looked like it was over where we had been. The captain commented on that being the reason we were not getting a good bite. The barometric pressure was changing and had shut off the bite.

The last 2 times we had been out the bite was slow. I am wondering if Lake Erie is getting fished out since they have not had a good walleye hatch for several years. The fish we had caught were just moving into keeper size. That could be a possibility. It could be that we just had 2 poor trips out to Erie due to the weather this year.

It was still good to be out there fishing. I might have as good of luck in the inland lakes but the potential to really get into em' goes way up when you go to Erie.

I will probably wait until next year to go back. I guess I will have to find some saugeye around home to catch to eat or live on crappie until next year.

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