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Topics - alleymad

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Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - Webber etc... 3/13/2018
« on: March 13, 2018, 08:08:52 PM »
I fished last Tuesday and today.  Put some pics up in the other thread, but wanted to make a more specific condition / tactic type of report.

First, the river is still hustling along pretty well.  A lot lower than It was, but still moving...

It is also really clear considering what It looked like a couple of weeks ago.

Last week I got bit on fire tiger husky jerks and blue and white lipless crank baits.  Tossing them upstream and banging them through rocks, then pausing.  The lipless crank was getting hit on the fall on slack line (hard to keep contact with It because of the current) and I missed several fish and also lost several probably because of weak hook sets.

Today, I tried everything.  It all failed.  I didnít even get a bite.

I will point out that they changed the rocks and whatnot above the coffer at Webber and the flow right along the bank is making life difficult for me.  Used to be I could manage my line pretty well to keep my lures from getting dragged by the current.  That is much more difficult than It was before because the fast current area is about three times as wide as It was last year...

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Lower Peninsula Fishing / Saginaw River - 11/14/2017
« on: November 15, 2017, 10:53:28 AM »
Father in law and I went to Saginaw.  Fished the entire stretch of the river including up the Tittabawassee and all the way to the north side of Saginaw.

Didn't catch anything until we were downstream of 1st street.  Then we caught a gob of walleye.

All small - 5" to 14".  We each got at least 30 fish. 

Fish would hit anything.  Green was working best, along with white and purple.

Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - Webber Dam 10/29/2017
« on: October 30, 2017, 12:38:52 PM »
There are some walleye around.  Got one nice keeper on my third cast then fished for a couple hours with nothing.  As soon as the sun went down I landed 3 more dinks and lost another nice keeper. 

Husky Jerks, with the current, just fast enough to get action out of the lure, banging off the rocks, white and firetiger both got bit.  Bite was VERY subtle (like so light it felt like I picked up a leaf on my hook).

No steelhead seen.

Lower Peninsula Fishing / Impromptu Fishing Trip
« on: October 20, 2017, 03:40:34 PM »
So - I am going to be fishing tonight in the Lyons area, likely going to target some walleye - if any locals are down, I am open to sharing a spot on the river...

Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - all over - 10/01/2017
« on: October 01, 2017, 09:45:30 PM »
Tried Webber Dam.  Got nothing.  Coho are all dead and stinking on the bank.

Tried a couple different places in Lyons.  Got nothing.

Went downstream a ways and found all the fish.  Caught dozens of little 8-10" smallmouth on a Panther Martin spinner, black and yellow with gold blade.  Caught many more dozens on a piece of crawler about a foot under an eighth ounce sinker.  Caught a channel cat on a perch colored Shadow Rap.  Caught a flathead on a gold lipless crank.  Got a lamprey on the Shadow Rap as well.

Got two nice walleye after I sorted all the bass out.  Then my line went insane and I quit.  Walleye on pieces of crawler:

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Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - 7/25/2017
« on: July 26, 2017, 11:32:12 AM »
Epic fly hatch.  EPIC.

Even the gar were slurping the flies off the surface.  And the snapping turtles.

I fished from about 9:45 pm until about 2:00 am.  I didn't get a single bite until 1:00 am.  Coincidentally, all the flies were done and the surface of the river cleared up. 

If any one wants a state record carp I'm pretty sure there are a couple in the river around the Lyons area.  Unless they were buffalo and not carp...

Did get a couple 5 pound-ish channel cats on the trusty crawler.

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Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River 7/9/2017
« on: July 09, 2017, 11:32:34 PM »
Caught gobs of fish today.  Started at Webber Dam and got a few smallmouth but it was pretty tough.  Moved downstream and got a bunch more smallmouth, several suckers, a few small channel cats and a couple small flatheads.  Also got a really nice walleye.

Got the flatheads on a gold/silver lipless crank crawled along the bottom.

All the rest of the fish I caught came on crawlers.  1/4 ounce sinker seemed to work well.

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Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - 6th Street Dam
« on: July 04, 2017, 11:39:24 PM »
There are chromers in the river.  Hooked 4.  Landed none.  Fail.  Pink or green.

Caught a bunch of catfish.

Started in Lyons before I drove west and got some walleye and bass.

Caught fish on crawlers and Shadow Rap. 

Lost steelhead on the following:

Husky Jerk HJ12 fire tiger
Whole crawler
Gulp pink trout worms
Yellow and pink Jr Thunderstick

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Fishing Tips and Techniques / Summertime River Walleye from the Shore
« on: June 16, 2017, 01:19:00 PM »
Walleye can become incredibly hesitant to bite during the summer months when the water warms up and the flow drops. 

There are a couple of things that are more "general rule of thumb" for fish in the summer that are not necessarily specific to walleye:

1) Fish will bite after dark.  Bass, bluegills, crappie, catfish, and walleye (along with an occasional gar which is more of a nuisance as they are expert bait stealers when targeting catfish).  In fact, fish will generally bite significantly better after the sun goes down.  I routinely pull fish out of holes that have been hammered during the day by folks reporting that fish are not biting. 

2) Live bait will outperform everything else. 

That being said, here is how I target walleye in the river when the flow is low, the temp is up, and the mosquitoes are thick:

Rivers in Michigan typically follow the "rapids, hole, gravel, flat, rapids" pattern.  Rapids will be characterized by faster current constricted to a narrower run of the river and characterized by bottom structure that is primarily rock and (in the more urbanized settings of lower Michigan) concrete chunks.  Often, these rapids will be located on the upstream side of a bend.  As the water picks up velocity and then makes the turn on such a bend, a few interesting things happen.  First, the water gets oxygenated.  Second, the water scours the river bottom on the outside of the bend when it is high in the spring.  Also, baitfish, crayfish, worms - fish food in general - will be getting carried downstream by the swifter current.

Directly after the big rocks that make up the rapids will be the hole - the deeper spots you will find in the river.  Often, the hole is combined with an outside bend to form an eddy where the water circles back and flows opposite to the main current. 

There is one spot in particular in each of these holes that will almost always hold a decent fish - the first 3 feet of water at the very head of the hole, directly below the rapids.  To have a shot at catching this fish, you will want to cast slightly upstream and work your bait or lure with the current.  Let it wash down through the rocks and drift through the area directly under the rapids.  Many times you will get bit on the first or second cast, and more often than not this will be one of the better fish available in the particular run.  If you get bit and either don't hook the fish or the fish gets off, you will want to stop fishing that pocket for 15-30 minutes in my experience.  Give the fish a chance to re-position itself and get comfortable again.

I use this very particular location to figure out what bait or lure I am going to focus on.  I always start with suspending cranks, then transition to a jig and soft plastic, and then try either a crawler, half crawler, leech, or (if I have them) a big creek chub.  If I cannot get bit in 10 casts, I switch.  If you catch that first fish, keep fishing that same spot.  Other fish will move up and occupy that prime spot that is now vacant.

Now, continuing to focus on the same rapids / pool area, my next location will be downstream, but not necessarily right along the seam.  You will pick up some little guys right there, and tons of smallmouth and catfish, but the bigger walleye will feel too exposed.

During the day the bigger fish will position themselves right at the point of any timber that lays in the pool / eddy, just out of the current.  Be prepared to horse them out.  They will also lay on the UPSTREAM side of boulders or humps in the channel.  And the final spot they will hide is the secondary pool directly behind a big lay-down.  I am talking about the one made by a tree, not a stick or rock. 

At night, these fish will move out from their cover and up onto the flatter area on the side of the river channel opposite the hole.  There is normally a bit more current and the water they are in is typically three feet deep or less.  These are actively feeding fish and are the ones you can catch just by casting and retrieving pretty much anything artificial that they can see in the dark.  If you are catching small ones, don't be afraid to try a bigger bait.  You want to hit the bottom, but not drag on it.  Start by tossing upstream and working with an up and down pattern with the current, then work against the current with a slow steady retrieve.  Work it as slow as you can.  Finally, try to dead stick - throw the crank out, reel it down, and let it float for 10 seconds or more, then barely twitch it.  You may only get two or three twitches in a cast if you are doing it correctly. 

In the dark, I do best with 3 1/2" to 6" jerkbaits that are green.  Particular pattern doesn't much matter, as long as it is green.  I have a couple of go to lures: HJ12 in firetiger, Matzuo Zahnder Shad in perch or (on occasion) brown and silver, Shad Rap 07 or 09, X-Rap 10 in silver or perch, Shadow Rap in olive or carbon.  I also have an assortment of other brands, and they all seem to work, depending on the size I want.

For the artificial, I don't worry about leader and such.  I tie cranks directly to my braided line.  I like Power Pro in either 8 pound or 10 pound test.  I have experimented around with leaders and fluoro, and snaps, and swivels, and I truly believe that a fish is either going to hit a crankbait or not, regardless of how it is attached.

Now, the reality is that in the middle of summer during the day I am most often going to be resorting to a half of a night crawler.  I use a very simple set up:

1/8 to 1/2 ounce bell or dipsy sinker.  I use the least amount of weight that will let the sinker tick along the bottom and drift, but not get washed up to shore.  Under 1000 cubic feet per second (CFS)  of flow it will be 1/4.  Under 750 CFS it will be 1/8 or no weight at all.  Over 1000 CFS 3/8.  Over 1500 1/2.  Obviously, I vary this as the particular location in the river will also dictate the correct weight but these general rules of thumb are a good place to start. 

I use a white bead and then a small black swivel.  I use 8 or 10 pound fluor for a leader.  I tie on a size 4 baitholder hook.  I use a leader that is between 6 inches and a foot long. 

The single most important thing to do is to hook the crawler correctly.  Feed the point of the hook into the mouth.  Run the crawler up the shank.  Pop the hook point out JUST AHEAD OF THE SECOND COLLAR (orange band).  Then spin the crawler half a turn and run the hook through the crawler just behind that second orange piece.  I pinch the crawler off and leave 3/4 to 1" hanging off.  You want it to be completely straight on the hook, with just a small piece of the tip of the hook exposed.  Cast it out and let it drift.

You can use the current to get a drift downstream to one of those trees or humps or boulders I talked about.

I don't typically park the bait.  When it stops bouncing along because it washes into the seam, I let it sit for maybe a minute before reeling in and casting again.  Letting it sits allows bass, suckers, and catfish to find it, which is fine if you just want to catch fish, but which won't typically get you walleye for a stringer.

General Fishing / Crawlers
« on: June 14, 2017, 02:04:27 PM »
Quick question for any one:

Since I cannot buy the styrofoam coolers with 100 crawlers from Gander Mountain any longer, does anybody know where I can get them in that quantity?  I don't really want to order them online...

As an added bonus, if they came in bedding instead of dirt that would be a huge plus...

Let me know.  Thanks!

Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - 6/11/2017 - Lyons area
« on: June 12, 2017, 11:59:45 AM »
Spent the entire day from about noon until after dark fishing.

Got a fat female smallmouth on a blue / white lipless crankbait just crawled along the bottom.  Only fish I caught in all that time on anything artificial.

Ran through 45 nightcrawlers and a dozen leeches.  Caught a ton of smallmouth, including a nice one about 19" that resulted in my phone going for a swim, which is why no pics...

Got 3 catfish, best one was maybe 4 pounds or so.

Two walleye, both about 15" - wasn't keeping them so I didn't measure them.

Caught some poison ivy on my legs.  I think of that as a bonus...

1/2 ounce dipsy sinker, bead, barrel swivel, 10" fluoro leader to size 4 hook.  I did experiment with longer leaders, but it produced no increase in either number or quality of bites, and kept resulting in me getting hung up.  It appears as if there is a branch in one of the holes I fish that has a gob of line around it as I was struggling to drift my bait with getting hung up in it.

For as low as the flow is volume-wise, the current downstream from where the dam used to be in Lyons is higher than it was when the dam was in place.  Which is why I am having to use the 1/2 ounce sinkers - last year at these flows I was tossing 1/8 ounce sinkers, but those are just getting washed up to the bank and snagged still, even when I am using my long steelhead rod to manage the line and current.

Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - 6/4/2017
« on: June 05, 2017, 01:48:58 PM »
Finally a warm day.

Spent the better part of the day fishing in the Grand.  Tried a few spots.  Got a couple channel cats on various crankbaits.  Also a couple little bass.  Switched to a crawler when it got light out after the rain went away and caught gobs of smallmouth ranging from about 2" to about 12".  No trophies.

Did have one fish get away.  3 ounce sinker with 2 feet of fluoro lead to a 10/0 hook and a 10" sucker got bit.  Thought it was a turtle until it realized it was hooked.  Got off less than three feet away from me grabbing it.  I cried and left.

I did note where it lives.  Figure I will give it a few days to chill out and then go catch it.

General Fishing / Webber Dam
« on: May 25, 2017, 03:25:51 PM »
Anyone have any insight as to what is going on with the powerhouse?  I would really like it if Consumer's would let some water flow through there...  River cranking along at over 2000 CFS and no flow on the east side at the dam is kind of annoying me (and hampering my walleye catching ability)...

Lower Peninsula Fishing / Grand River - 5/16/2017
« on: May 17, 2017, 02:52:28 PM »
Fished at various locations on the Grand.  Got sunburned...

Started at Weber Dam - the powerhouse was closed so there was no water coming through the east side.  Floodgate on the west side was raging.  So I moved.

Tried a couple of different spots around Lyons.  Caught some suckers and bass on pieces of crawlers.  Had to use like 1/2 ounce of weight to slow the drift down.

Caught several smallmouth on various green suspending crankbaits.  Didn't matter which crank, as long as it had green in it.  Fish were pretty aggressive, hitting on the first or second crank after the cast landed.  All were about 10".

Caught a Rat L Trap.  Liked the way it looked so I replaced the hooks on it and decided to try it out.  Threw it into a tree on the first cast.  Also snagged three other crankbaits, a blade bait, and about 10 ounces of lead, along with a couple hundred yards of about 50 pound test mono. 

General Fishing / Gander Mountain
« on: May 07, 2017, 03:00:26 PM »
Liquidation sale.

Gift cards good though 5/18.  Use them or lose them.

Should be some good deals available for a couple days...

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