Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lake Erie Club Tourney

I was able to take off Friday from work in order to make it to Lake Erie early to practice for the club tournament and hang out with the other members at the cabin.

Steve and I got out on the main lake at a decent time. We fished some rock breaks with no success then found some largemouth on the point of a marina break in about 10 feet of water. There seemed to be a lot of fish and it looked to be a good spot for the tournament. Then the trolling motor died about 1 1/2 hours into fishing.

We pulled back off the water and went to a marina to get some replacements. The next time out we started from Dempsey ramp and went back out to the main lake to find some more spots.

The lake was getting rougher than anything I had ever been on with my boat. It wasn't bad for Erie but I was worried. We fished for a few minutes then went back to the Bay to play it safe. We fished around the bay and only found 1 more bass.

It was time to meet up with the rest of the crew so we headed to the cabin. We had a few drinks then went out to eat. The place we ate seemed kinda fun so after a while back at the cabins Steve and I went back to spend the evening.

We got back late and early the next morning we were up for the first day of the tournament. We fished out of the Portage River ramp for the first day. It was a paper tournament since you cannot keep the bass this time of year.

I had my first keeper on pretty quickly using the whacky MiRketti in really shallow dirty water. I missed at least 4 other fish. It got to me pretty fast once that bite turned off. We moved to another area and I caught a short and a drum. We moved to several different places with no luck besides non species.

I liked the shallow spot we tried earlier so we went back. Steve got his first keeper and then I saw a fish a ways back surface after some bait. I cast to the spot and bounced the shaky MiRketti. I had a hit instantly and the fight was on. I got him close to the boat then he shot between the boat and the trolling motor. As he went by I saw a flash of green and got really excited. I got him back on the right side of the boat and Steve netted him. A couple seconds after we got him out of the water we realized it was not a bass. I thought it might be a Bowfin a.k.a. dogfish. I took a picture and it was confirmed later by a member of O.D.N.R.

We went back to a spot I liked earlier with clearer water. We ended up fishing 1 bank the rest of the day filling our limits. Steve had a good bag. I had all smaller fish. I had some good fish on but they kept throwing the hook. They would hit and head straight at the boat. It was an odd bite that everybody agreed made it harder to get a good hook set.

That night we got to bed a little earlier after spending some time with the other members at the cabin. Throughout the night a huge storm rolled in. I think it was the same storm that dropped the tornado near Toledo which was only 30 miles away.

This morning we awoke to high winds 15-25 mph. The skies looked angry and it took a while to convince myself to take my boat out. I am inexperienced on big water. I convinced myself that we should go.

We came out from behind the break wall and the waves felt huge. We all started out accross the bay and the waves got bigger and bigger. Still not as bad as they can get but uncomfortable for me to drive in.

We made it close to our destination and I remembered one of the members mentioned a sand bar that stuck out. I looked down at the depth at the wrong time and managed to make it over the wave we were riding. We speared the wave in front of us and wall of water came over the boat. I kicked the power up and got the nose lifted again to ride that wave the rest of the way to our safe area.

I found out later that every boat in the club ended up spearing waves. Andy ended up getting a bad one and it took his but seat, windshield and messed up the electrical in his boat. I haven't heard how he got back, but he ended up back at the ramp and went back home.

We fished in a safe area for all but an hour. I was able to fill my limit, and upgrade a couple times and Steve got 3 small fish. The wind had died down for a while but was picking back up. We decided to shoot back across the bay before it got worse. We made it back quicker than expected and with no problems. It was still rough but not as bad as the morning.

We fished a break wall and Steve caught a smallmouth. We fished for a while longer and were on the point of the wall when I felt a tick on my line. I set the hook and battled for 15 minutes with a 6 1/2 pound catfish. Every time I would pull him close to the surface he would dive down again. It was a blast fighting him in.

It was a great time fishing with Steve. We joked around a lot and had a lot of fun. We had some excellent fishing at the same time.

A majority of my fish came on a purple 10" powerworm and the shaky MiRketti. I tried a lot of different things but all I could catch on the other presentations was non-species fish. Some of the other guys had luck with a variety of lures from senko's and anything rubber to crankbaits and top water. It seemed that if you had a confidence bait you could catch fish. I had a little over 14 pounds for 2 days with 10 fish. The winner had about 22-24 pounds. I caught tons of bass and had a great time at a great fishery.

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