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Bob Gwizdz: Fish walleye just off bottom to foil high wind, waves - Traverse City Record Eagle

We’d only been fishing a few minutes, dragging minnows along a steep drop-off on Gratiot Lake, way up in the Keweenaw, when Mark Martin announced that he “had one going.”

I turned and watched. Martin had hit the thumb bar on his bait casting reel to allow it to free spool, but he kept his thumb on the line so when the fish ran a bit, he could keep a minimal amount of pressure on it.

“You don’t want to just give it slack or the fish may drop it,” said Martin, who has forgotten more about walleye fishing than I’ll ever know. “If you give it slack, the fish might decide it’s not alive and not a worthy target. You want the fish to feel some resistance — like it’s trying to get away.”

Martin fooled with the fish for several minutes, then dropped the rod tip, reeled up until the line was tight, and struck.

“Got him,” he said.

I went for the landing net and Martin brought the walleye upside the boat and steered into the basket. We were in the plus column.

And just a minute or so later, I felt a fish take my bait. I did my best to imitate what I’d just witnessed Martin doing. And I scored, too.

We were on a nearly 1,500-acre lake because what we’d planned to do that day — fish Copper Harbor for splake — was out of the question. Lake Superior was angry and had been all morning. Finally, around noon, we decided that if we were going to fish at all that day, we’d have to go somewhere we could hide from the wind. So Martin chose this steep-sided lake because we could stay on the north side — it was a north wind — and still control the boat.

Apparently everyone else was spooked by the wind; we had the lake all to ourselves.

We were fishing in fairly deep water; we started fishing in about 40 feet and before the day was through we’d go as shallow as around 30 feet and as deep as 65. We caught fish at just about every depth in between, but the best action was right around the 45- to 55-foot mark. Shallower and deeper we caught ‘em, too, but most of them were short of the requisite 15 inches to put them in the live well.

“Not a lot of guys would start out this deep,” Martin said, “but it’s a great fall pattern. The fish want to be near the deepest water in the lake around the steepest drop. They can run the minnows up toward the shallows and pin them against the bottom.”

It was, in a way, similar to fishing with tip-ups through the ice; when the fish took the bait, you wanted to let them run with it until they stopped — the theory being that the fish grab the bait, take off, then stop to swallow it. Even still, we missed a lot of bites, either setting the hook prematurely or waiting too long until the fish lost interest or smelled a rat or, for whatever reason, dropped the minnow.

But we caught plenty of them, too, though only about every third one or so was a keeper.

Martin had his rods and reels rigged with 6-pound fluorocarbon line with about 4 or 5 feet of similar leader behind a half-ounce tunnel sinker and a single No. 4 hook on the business end. But I noticed that Martin was fishing it almost like a jig: picking it up, letting it down and picking it up again, staying in contact with the bottom, but not dragging it. The line was running at a minimal angle from the rod tip, not straight up and down, but not that far from it.

“You don’t want it dragging on the bottom,” he said. “There are too many logs and other junk on the bottom and, if you’re dragging it, it’s easy to get hung up. You want to be just off the bottom, not dragging on it.

“We could do this even in high winds,” he added. “The other day we were catching them with waves breaking over the bow. As long as you can keep the trolling motor in the water and you can control the boat, you can fish.”

We were using small sucker minnows and dace. Martin sets minnow traps in the creeks that run into (or out of) the lakes up here, so he’s using native minnows that the...

Source: www.record-eagle.com

Fishing report, Nov. 8 - The Columbian

White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing.

Walleye fishing has slowed in the Columbia River.

Warm water fishing in local waters is slowing.

Angling for late-run coho salmon is still spotty in area rivers.

Trout fishing in high elevation lakes should remain good until snow closes access.

Holdover trout from spring plantings are biting in some local lakes. Trout plantings ahead of the Black Friday fishery will start in about one week.


The Columbia River mainstem is closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead from the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco.

Grays River — 18 bank anglers released 5 coho. One boat/three rods had no catch.

Skamokawa Creek — No anglers sampled.

Elochoman River — Three bank anglers had no catch.

Abernathy Creek — One bank angler had no catch.

Mill Creek — No anglers sampled.

Germany Creek — One bank angler had no catch.

Cowlitz River — I-5 bridge downstream: 22 bank rods had no catch. Two boats/four rods released one chinook.

Above the I-5 bridge: 53 bank rods kept four coho jacks and released 10 chinook, four coho jacks, one steelhead and three cutthroat. Eight boats/21 rods kept one coho and 18 coho jacks.

Kalama River — 57 bank anglers kept two chinook, one chinook jack, one coho, one steelhead and released one chinook, one coho and one steelhead.

Lewis River — 86 bank rods kept six coho, two coho jacks and released two coho and two coho jacks; 15 boats/37 rods kept one chinook jack, seven coho and four coho jacks.

East Fork Lewis River — Two bank anglers had no catch.

Salmon Creek — Six bank anglers had no catch.

Wind River — No anglers sampled.

Klickitat River — 46 bank anglers kept two chinook, 16 coho, four coho jacks and released four chinook.

Fishing Rule Changes

Grays River — Until further notice, release all Coho from the mouth upstream to the mouth of the South Fork.

West Fork Grays River — release all Coho from the mouth upstream:

Cowlitz River — Until further notice closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River. Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400 feet, at the posted markers.

Washougal River, including Camas Slough — Closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.

Toutle River — Release all Chinook, from the mouth upstream to the forks.

North Fork Toutle River — Release all Chinook from the mouth upstream to the posted markers below the fish collection facility.

Wind River — From the mouth to 400 feet below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.

Drano Lake — Closed to all fishing in the waters downstream of markers on a point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.

White Salmon River — from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.


Bonneville Pool — Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

The Dalles Pool — Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

John Day Pool — Weekly checking showed 11 walleye kept, plus two walleye released for one boat (two anglers).

Source: www.columbian.com

Fishing report - Petoskey News-Review

Thunder Bay River: Those targeting trout and salmon up near the 9th Street Dam had increasing catches of Atlantic salmon along with a couple Chinook. Coho, steelhead and lake-run brown trout. The Atlantic salmon are currently spawning. Fish were taken on spoons and crank baits as well as by those stripping streamers, bottom bouncing or floating spawn bags and flies. A couple walleye were taken by those casting crank baits. A few yellow perch were caught by those still-fishing with minnows and wax worms.

Au Sable River: Good numbers of Atlantic salmon are being observed and the bite picked up a bit for those using streamer flies, egg patterns, casting spoons or spinners, and bottom bouncing or floating spawn bags and beads. Most of the Atlantics are actively spawning. These fish have been picky and change day to day, so anglers should be willing to change their rig or move to find fish willing to bite. A couple steelhead were taken on spawn bags and beads. Most were small, but a few larger fish were caught. Those casting spoons or spinners caught a couple pike or the odd Chinook that was extremely dark and decaying. Walleye were caught down near the mouth when casting jigs.

Source: www.petoskeynews.com


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