Monday, November 19, 2012

Making Memories on Little Bay de Noc

Even though the most popular outdoor sport in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is the Gun Deer Season, a fair amount of fishermen have taken to the water rather than the woods to take advantage of some of the best Walleye fishing of the year for trophy Walleyes!  Unfortunately for me, I spent the past 4 days in the woods with nothing to show for my efforts, while my friend Steve hit the water and enjoyed the great weather and awesome fishing with his son in Little Bay de Noc!

During the day Walleye fishing can be tough this time of the year, but as that sun hits the horizon the Walleyes begin feeding!  With falling water temperatures and much less daylight, Walleyes have an instinctual urge to fatten up for the winter.  This coupled with the females developing spawn produces the heaviest Walleyes of the year!

Steve and his son spent the daylight hours rigging with Suckers and Chubs along the breaks searching for Smallmouth Bass, Walleyes, Pike, or whatever else that would be willing to eat a 6" Minnow!  The daylight hours proved to be slower than the night, but they still managed to tangle with several Smallies, including this one that went 20" and 5.3 pounds!

As the sun began to set, the two packed up their jigged sticks and swapped them for 6 trolling rods.  Deep Reef Runners were their baits of choice, and they chose to fish an area near Butler Island.  Before they could get all 6 planer boards in the water, a planer board sank back!  For the next 2 hours, the father and son had constant action setting lines, reeling in fish, netting fish, taking pictures, and sharing the enjoyment of the night. 

By the end of it all, the two had reached their limit of 10 Walleyes, all in that 20-24" range, and were also able to release a couple fish between 25-28".  This was the first a a two night trip, which had already made the 5 hour one way trip worthwhile.

The next day, the two slept in, cooked up some fresh Walleyes for breakfast, and hit the water by mid-afternoon.  Rigging Chubs was again on the itinerary, since the two had such a blast fighting those Bay de Noc bruiser Smallies!  The two were only able to land 1 Smallmouth on this trip, but also managed a Walleye during the day which was a nice bonus for Steve's son!

It was once again that time when the sun hit the horizon and the trolling rods were once again called on.  The two again set lines and began catching fish as the daylight faded into darkness.  The two already had enough eater Walleyes from the prior night, so this night became a trophy mission.  With most of the fish in that 20-24" range, Steve knew right away that he had something special on when he watched his outside planer board disappear into the frigid depths.  Sam was instructed to clear the other lines as Steve had no choice but to open his bail and let the fish take line.  Once Sam had the lines in, Steve handed him the rod and fired up the motor and threw it in reverse.  This was the only way the two would be able to gain line on this mammoth fish!

After a 15 minute battle in the darkness, Steve put the net under a giant Walleye!  This fish had fought like no other Walleye the two had ever seen!  The two of them just let out screams of joy as the fish was finally in the boat!  The fish topped the scale at 13.2 pounds and measured just over 31"!  This was truly a fish of a lifetime for anyone, especially 12 year old Sam!

The two were able to spend a weekend together enjoying the fantastic fall fishing that Bay de Noc has to offer, and more importantly create memories that will last a lifetime!

No comments: