This morning I had Frank and Bill from Frabill on board. Fishing was OK. It was nice to have a morning where the wind wasn’t howling. We fished the usual places and found a few The action wasn’t hot and heavy but enough to keep everyone happy. T-Man Super Swimmers caught the majority of our fish today.
On our way to another spot, we came across a hen wood duck with a ton of young. I counted 24 in this picture. I wanted to get closer for a better pic but she wasn’t happy and I didn’t want to separate any of them from momma.
I have never been so frustrated with the spring run before… Just when things look like they are ready to get going good, the fish disappear again. I was out on Monday, I did over 30 miles on the river and found nothing. The water was cleaning up but still pretty dirty. I decided to give it a day off and try again this morning.
Mike and I found a few fish right off the bat. The clarity was much better and the fish were willing to come up. We doubled up on keepers in the first 5 minutes or so.
We did OK for the remainder of the morning… We had another 3 keepers and a bunch of smaller fish. We had hits on just about everything we threw. The Sebile Stick Shadd was a blast. We used both the floating and suspending versions and caught on both. Houdini’s in Arkansas Shiner did well as did the Magnum Super Spooks. We caught fish in up to 12 feet of water but most were in the 4-6 foot range. I’ll be back out on Thursday and Friday, hopefully things continue to improve!
After closing up Conneticut Outfitters for the day, Mike swung by and picked me up at 6:30 and we headed out for the night bite. The river was barely launchable where we were, but we managed to get the boat in the river. We headed straight to the mouth of a creek that has a decent run of alewives. There the water was much cleaner and warmer than the main river. We immediately saw signs of life. I tied on a 9″ Reaction Strike Revolution Shad and began fan casting the area. On the second cast, I had a big wake come up behind the lure and follow it for 20 feet back to the boat. This happened several times without getting a hit. We weren’t worried, the lures were the perfect immitation of an alewife, we just needed it to get a bit darker out. As it began to get dark, we could see and hear stripers smashing bait on top… It was only a matter of time…
I have no idea what time, but it was good and dark out, we began getting hits. It was just a slow and steady retrieve with an occassional twitch. The hits were vicious! We threw lots of different lures from soft plastics to wood… Bombers, pencils, spooks, Slug-Go’s, Houdini’s and danny’s but in the end, all of our fish came on the big Revo Shads.
It was a great night on the water, no wind at all and no bugs (yet). It got chilly towards the end but we were dressed for it. Here are a couple of pics of the two largest fish for the night.
I had the chance to join the crew lastnight on Squantz and jumped on it. We met at 7:30 at the ramp and were in the water by 8. The shocking is most always done at night as the fish are shallow and easy to spot in the floodlights. Our target for sampling were largemouth, smallmouth, trout and walleye.
I was a newbie to the shocking surveys and was surprised at how structured the surveys are. It makes sense that there needs to be a consistent survey though so that the samples can be compared over previous years. Water clarity is measured (we has a little less than 6 feet), water temp and weather conditions are noted. We had very specific zones, each zone received exactly 500 seconds of shocking. The probes hang off the bow of the boat and cover roughly a 10×10 area. A generator runs and builds up a charge that is then passed into the water by stepping on a pedal for a determined number of seconds. The boat is bumped in and out of gear and creeps along the shoreline at a crawl.
Two of us stand on the bow with long handled nets and scoop up the stunned fish. The fish are dropped in a livewell to recover and two technicians take them out one at a time. Sex is determined, the fish are measured and a scale sample taken. At that point the fish are returned to the lake and swim off under their own power. There is a counter that tracks the total number of seconds that the probes are in use. 500 seconds was the limit last night, at that point we make our way on to the next zone.
We had walleye everywhere and BIG ones! It was tough to keep up with them as they appeared out of the murky water. We were scooping 4 and 5 at a clip and dropping them in the livewells. In one spot we had close to 30 fish in the well and the techs were doing their best to keep up with us.
Taking scale samples
Big walleye… Almost 30″
Fast and furious
I had a blast. It was great to see how the studies are done. We wrapped up jut a bit before midnight and sampled well over 100 fish. There were quite a few smallies, a couple of big largemouths and some beautiful browns in the mix. Most often we were with spitting distance of the shore and in less than 4 feet of water. I was amazed at how many big fish were in so tight to shore. Thanks to the DEP for the invite, I had a great time!!!
It’s been tough to find much time to fish these days with Connecticut Outfitters being so busy, so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it. Mike met me at the house around 6:30 tonight and we loaded the gear in my truck and headed out in the monsoon. Another inch or so of rain is forecsat for tonight. The main river is cranking and dirty in our area so we went to a creek that I had found alewife in earlier in the week. I knew the water would be high but at least there would be some visibility…
I had a decent fish roll on my Revo Shad on my very first cast but he never came back again. There were plenty of alewives around, I actually snagged one as he was trying to mate with the lure on the retrieve.
I played with a couple of other lures and sizes as it got darker but finally tied on a black and purple Bomber… That’s what the wanted. I only got one fish to the bank but dropped another and missed 3 other fish. It sure felt good to get the dust off the rod. It only gets better from here!
I haven’t posted a report in a while, I feel like I’m in a rut lately… Crappie, crappie, crappie. Tough to complain when we ae catching slobs every time out but I need to change things up a little.
This morning was more of the same. Same place, same depth, same pattern, same results. We were fishing Lindy Rattl’n Flyers tipped with fatheads. Most fish were in 32 feet of water suspended between 20 and 24 feet down. Some of the hits were extremely aggressive with fish flying in and pounding the jig, other hits were very light.
The conditions were MUCH better today with ZERO snow on the ice. The last couple of days really helped things out. I measured 13″ of ice, half was white, the rest was clear and black. I checked White Oaks on the way home and was thrilled to find that I could down the access road again. I may finally get to fish it on Wednesday for the first time in almost 3 weeks!
Sometime around dawn, Mike stuck a huge fish. The rod was doubled over and line was coming off the reel. I never thought it was a crappie the entire time he was fighting it and was stunned we it came to the hole. It was a gorgeous 18″ crappie that was incredibly well fed! A couple of quick pics and se went back down the hole. Mike has promised to try to smile for the pics inte future…
After seeing the weather forecast last night, I decided to stay home this morning. At least that was the plan… I was wide awake before 5 and bored out of my mind by 7. I got my stuff together and was on the ice by 8.
The sleet had slowed down just before 10 so I left the comfort of the Recon and roamed around opening my old holes. There weren’t as many fish out in the deeper water, but the crappie were of decent size. I had close to a dozen in total. I didn’t stay much longer, as it had finally started to rain. It was instantly freezing to everything and made it very hard to read the screen on the flasher. I was off the ice by 10:30. Not a bad couple of hours on a day I wasn’t planning to fish…