Friday, July 25, 2014

Holy St. Clair

Joe and I spent 4 days fishing on the hallowed musky grounds of Lake St. Clair with guide Mike Hulbert. There's way too much to tell about the interesting geography of this lake, the incredible fish populations and everything that goes down in 4 days of musky fishing, so instead I'll keep this short and put up some pics. We had a massive cold front come through, but on a lake like St. Clair and fishing with a guy like Mike, you're still going to catch fish. We boated 17 muskies to 48.5 inches over 4 days, had a few come unglued, a few more missed opportunities and lots of lookers.

One thing I will say is that I could not have had a better time fishing with Joe and Mike. We knew Mike was the best musky fisherman on St. Clair, but we had no idea we'd spend half the trip belly laughing and having such a good time. Mike put a ton of effort into making sure we caught as many fish as possible, keeping us out for up to 13 or 14 hours a day. The conditions didn't permit the double-digit days he'd been having of late, but we were happy. Mike has a pretty full schedule, but if you're looking to cast for muskies on this phenomenal fishery, I'd sincerely consider giving him a call before trying anyone else.

Thanks Joe and thanks again to Mike for an amazing trip.

A few pics for Day 1 shore fishing.

Musky pics...........

Monday, July 21, 2014

Third Time's A Charm

Matt with a 20-pound carp.

When: Monday, June 30th, from 5am to 2pm
What: Carp fishing with Matt
Weather: Partly cloudy, warm (but not as bad in the shade). 61 degrees warmed to 82, wind calm to variable at 6mph and S to 8mph.
Barometric Pressure: 30.06in to 30.10in to 29.99in.
Relative Humidity: As low as 50%
Sunrise: 5:29am
Sunset: 8:32pm
Moon: Waxing, 3 days after new. Rise 8:41am. Overhead 3:36pm.
Water Conditions: Murky.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lazy Sunday Morning

Joe with one of two nice Union County
largemouth he caught on a lazy Sunday morning.

When: Sunday, June 29th, from 5am to 11am
What: Carp fishing and bass fishing with Joe
Weather: Warm and sunny with clear, high skies. Wind calm to variable at 3mph and SW at 3mph. Temps in the high 60's.
Barometric Pressure: 30.25in.
Relative Humidity: 70% down to 64%
Sunrise: 5:29am
Sunset: 8:32pm
Moon: Waxing, 2 days after new. New. Rise 7:45am.
Water Conditions: Stained at both locales. Low tide at 5:15am on the river.

Even though Joe pulled out two nice bass at the buzzer today, I couldn't help but notice this was my second straight trip without a fish.

I definitely got a bit spoiled, with the last month being one of the best fishing months of my life. It's been almost six weeks since I've gone two consecutive trips without a fish. Turtles don't count.

But it's always a pleasure getting out, and especially seeing friends catch fish. For awhile I didn't think we were going to score anything today, but Joe turned that around with a spinnerbait in the final moments.

We decided to stay close to home on Sunday morning, and picked out a spot to do some carp fishing and try for bass while we waited for a run-off. True to form, my hot spot was covered in carp, many of which were breaking the surface. However, for whatever reason, they just did not seem to want to eat. Or at least they did not want to eat what we were offering.

This was the second carp trip in a row that fish seemed to be everywhere but on our hooks.

We sat it out for almost 3 hours, then decided to try another spot. The next produced the same number of carp, but now, we didn't even see any signs of life.

We sat it out for another hour and then decided to try one last spot.

The next spot didn't look any more promising, but there were some sparse weeds that looked perfect for spinnerbait fishing.

So Joe tied one on, and first

He landed it, we took a couple pics and repeated the same process a few minutes later.

Both were solid fish, especially for a pressured Union County pond. And I got to put a picture up on my report instead of another sob story of getting skunked, or turtled.

Still, I couldn't help but notice that I'm fishless in the last two outings.

Hopefully that changes soon.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Formidable Adversary

Mark took the liberty of landing this massive snapping turtle for me.

When: Friday, June 27th, from 6am to 1pm
What: Carp fishing with Mark and Joe
Weather: Warm and humid, overcast to mostly cloudy. Calm wind to N at 6mph E at 7mph and variable at 3 mph. Temps in the mid-80's before noon.
Barometric Pressure: 30.09in and rising
Relative Humidity: As low as 37%
Sunrise: 5:26am
Sunset: 8:31pm
Moon: New. Moonrise 5:51am. Overhead 1:17pm.
Water Conditions: Muddy and warm.

My buddy Chris Lido put it best when he said, "the snapping turtle is a formidable adversary."

Turtles, and in particular snapping turtles, can be an outright nuisance to carp and catfishermen. They often steal bait, get tangled up in the line and every once in awhile, they get hooked. Getting them off the line is a bit tricky, especially when they're over 40 or 50 pounds with a huge head and sharp jaws that try to take your fingers off with every move.

Mark invited me to do some carp fishing on Friday in his neck of the woods after musky fishing on Wednesday. Joe came along and between the three of us, we had no shortage of carp tackle, carp rods and carp bait. Joe got started early by landing a carp on a mulberry under a mulberry tree, but things got quiet for awhile after that.

We tried different baits, different rigs and different flavors, but it was just one of those days when there were carp around and they just didn't seem to want to eat.

It happens.

As we were nearing the end of our fishing session, some telltale bubbles started appearing around one of my baits. Unfortunately, these were not the telltale bubbles of a carp. Within minutes, my line took off, but not with the speed at which a carp would take it.

I had a turtle on the line.

And it was a big one.

I tussled with a big snapper for a few minutes, and although I would normally try to liberate it from a distance, Mark was all about landing it for a photo op.

Better him than me.

It took Mark a minute to haul the beast up the bank, but he eventually succeeded. We snapped a few money shots, Mark took the hook from its paw, and we set it free no worse for the wear.

That would be the biggest thing we landed, but Joe added a couple other carp to our haul.

Once again, it was pleasure fishing with Mark and I learned a ton from his vast knowledge of carp fishing. Looking forward to catching some big carp with him, and hopefully a few big muskies as well.