Over the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with some great people and the weather had been nothing short of fantastic. I learned a thing or two, hit some bonanzas some days, struck out on others and definitely added invaluable hours to the experience bag. Here are a few highlights.
This nice 5.2lbs surprise decided to say hello during an evening walleye chase. Smallies and Walleyes I’ve found are never quite far apart. They are more similar in their respective behaviour and location than a lot of people tend to realize. Both love baitfish, either can be found deep or shallow at times and both are usually found on the same structure. One thing is for sure, even though my main target is walleyes, I will never pass the opportunity to photograph a beauty like this one. These slab smallies are a blast. Especially on a day when there was a tourney on the lake. I bet a few of those bass guys would have loved to add this one to their collection that day.
I’ve had very successful days and so-so days on the water, but for the most part with a little work I’ve been able to put a decent stringer together. I’ve been releasing pretty much all of my fish this year with only a few kept when I get hungry. My only complaint so far, weekends are too short and too far and few between. 😉
As far as walleyes go I have yet to break the 7lbs mark, but these golden beauties are all I need to make me happy. All of these fish are still swimming and ready to fatten up for the colder months coming soon.
I found this girl tucked into a weed bed in the middle of the day as the sun came down and the jet-skiers buzzed around. I am always really happy to pull fish out of weeds. Most people don’t think thick weeds when they’re looking for Walleyes but they can be fish magnets at certain times and especially when the wind is kicking up. It’s not often you can find them tucked right in there but when you do they are usually hungry and hit your bait like a freight train. For me there is nothing like the feeling of a 6lbs+ fish coming out of the weeds, hammering your lure and head-shaking his weight around. I absolutely love catching big walleyes in the thick stuff.
There was a time when I was a kid you’d catch pike out here all the time. They are far and few between now and nobody seems to really know why. Could it have something to do with predatory fish feeding on Round Gobies? Could it be a parasite or virus? Who knows. It doesn’t look like it’s the MNR’s top priority to find out either. I would like to know personally what is going on with the pike and hopefully by learning about their very rapid decline in our waters we can prevent our other precious gamefish species from suffering the same fate.
I have to say as far as summers go this one’s shaping up to be another memorable one. The more I fish the more I realize how lucky I am to be able to not only put walleyes in the boat with regularity but to be able to simply get out and enjoy the outdoors. The older I get, the more I realize fishing isn’t a competition, it’s not supposed to be stressful or frustrating, it just is what it is; a way to create memories and live nostalgia all at once. It’s about enjoying the present moment and sharing that feeling with others, it’s about discovering, learning and perfecting an art. In a nutshell, fishing is like any other sport or hobby. Whichever one you choose, the rewards come with the time you put in, and perhaps even more so the people you share that time with. Those rewards however I have found are not always quantifiable or tangible, but rather spiritual and existential in nature. It’s not how many or how big a fish you catch (although it helps), it’s about the time spent doing it.
Until next time, Stay Outside….