Newbie Fisher Gal

Discussion in 'Michigan Women in the Out-Of-Doors' started by FisherGal60, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. FisherGal60

    FisherGal60

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    6214D7AD-F22A-435C-BEE7-5BAF52F950B7.png Saturday - August 1, 2020: I decided to try fishing the St. Clair River so I wound up in the city of St. Clair at Palmer Park and Boardwalk. It was a beautiful place! But a really difficult place to fish as the current was extreme. So I threw out my lightest tackle, 8lb test, three way swivel with a 3/8oz weight and #6 hook just to see what might be out there. Was getting bites close to the wall and caught some gobies and watched the huge freighters go by lol. Tried a couple different spoons without success.
    Then tried a sinker setup but the heaviest sinker I had was 3oz and it didn’t hold. Went back to the light tackle and at about 12:30pm as I was reeling in from a forward cast and staying away from the wall I caught a very small smallmouth. So I put a casting weight on the clip of my zebco 202, but had no luck.

    Drove down just following the river looking for a place to fish; found a bait shop that had minnows and pulled into Algonac State Park. It was raining now, lightly, but steady. At the park you had to cross the road to fish as the small parking area near the river was mostly flooded. I was not too keen on standing in the rain so I continued to drive along the river as it turned into Lake St Clair. Looked at a map and saw all the places that I had stopped at in the past, Brandenburg Park, Rueisdale Park, Selfridge Boat Launch and the Metropark. Went to Rueisdale hoping it would not be raining by the time I got there, but it was, so I went to the boat launch and it wasn’t raining there.

    Started at the canal first using minnows; nothing. Then went over to the area where you can throw a sinker and it will hold. A lady fishing next to me caught a really nice sized perch; but I did not. Threw out my lightest tackle with a crawler and just let it sit. It was about 9:30pm now. I just let it sit and was casting the zebco 202 out for fun, but even let that sit as well. My car was parked right next to where I was fishing and I went to the car for something and the light tackle rod had fallen down. So I pick it up and there’s something on it; something BIG. I’m like, oh no not again, as this happened to me at Lake Erie when I reeled in a 20 something inch channel cat and the guys were yelling at me to loosen the drag; I mean the reel on this thing is not fancy whatsoever. It has no anti-reverse lever and you can turn the dial on the top, but not too far as the spool would come off. But I did turn it a little. As I’m trying to figure out how to get this fish in a DNR dude is checking licenses. He comes to me last and I explain my dilemma. I did not realize there was an opening in the railing at the corner where you could then net the fish. So I walk the fish over, but my net is in the car so I told the DNR guy and he offered to get it(the hatch was open anyhow.) He even netted the fish for me. What a nice guy! Anyhow it was a freakin 27” carp lol. Need 30” for master angler lol.

    So the sign says the boat launch closes at 11PM and right about that time a police car drove around but didn’t say anything to me. There was another person fishing and I asked her if they said anything to her, but they did not, so I kept fishing. I had the zebco 202 cast out forward with just split shot and let it sit. About 20 mins later I go to check it and the line is now at a 45 degree angle from where I cast it. Hmmm...it must have just floated that way since I only have split shot on it. I pick it up and there’s a fish on it lol, another BIG one. Reeled it in slowly and got it to the corner and a man fishing netted it for me. It was a 23” channel catfish. It was about 11:30pm now. It started to rain about 12:30am I think and I fished for a little longer but it was more of a moderate rain so I left.

    Amazing how you can use such simple, inexpensive tackle and get such big fish. I think that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of the month. Only fish ‘simple’ tackle so there will be more to come...stay tuned!
     
  2. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    Way to beat them cats up!
     

  3. retired dundo

    retired dundo

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    Great report give you credit you sure do put the time and work into fishing,I could never keep up with you..It would kill me to try and keep up with you
     
  4. Tankster

    Tankster

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    How was your lobster?
     
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  5. FisherGal60

    FisherGal60

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    38693127-5B92-4D76-B45F-A8DB64A295D2.jpeg 27FB8125-C010-44BA-946C-C5D9A3D43156.jpeg DB3B95D9-76DB-4687-AFE0-97478DBF7E04.jpeg 77698FB2-E005-4FB1-BA51-4B15BA3D8F5E.jpeg 775E133B-FE31-43BD-9328-7305C92982CF.jpeg Friday, Saturday, Sunday - August 14 - 16, 2020: Well I have another fish story. I took a Friday off from work so I could fish 3 days in a row and I decided to head west to Lake Michigan. I saw good piers in Muskegon and Grand Haven so I started in Grand Haven. Beautiful piers there. I didn’t arrive there until about 4:00pm. Some other people were fishing and they caught some sheepshead and gobies. I was only catching gobies lol.


    It was about 2 AM and I’m fishing on the grand haven North pier and no one else is around. So I had a sinker out with a worm on it on a Gamakatsu 1/0 Octopus Circle hook. And I felt a little tug. I wasn’t even sure there was a fish on the other end because it was hardly even moving. And then it started to pull. It pulled hard and seemed to be diving down. I opened the drag and just let it run. So we’re playing this game of opening the drag, letting him dive, close the drag and reel a little, then open it again as he pulled hard. We did that for about 20-25 minutes maybe. And the whole time I’m thinking I don’t think I will be able to get this fish in. First of all the line I had him on was a line that was very old and I knew it was old and brittle. But the night before I had spooled two other lines and I was just tired and didn’t get to this line. So I finally get him up to the surface. And he is massive! It was the biggest catfish I have ever had on the end of a line; it was huge. So I knew it was going to be an issue trying to get my net down to where he was. I was short by about 6 to 8 inches of reaching the fish. So I had to lift the fish on the line just that short distance to at least get the net over his head. And as soon as I did that the line broke. So thinking about it later even if I had gotten him in the net I’m not sure my net would’ve held this fish. I really can’t imagine how much he weighed; I’m not the best at estimating measurements but he may have been at least 3 feet long and I’m not sure if it was a channel or flathead catfish. His weight may have even broke my small aluminum net so either way I would have lost this fish. I know, I need a bigger net. It’s gonna be my first purchase next paycheck lol.


    Right after that the current became very strong as the Grand River was flowing out into Lake Michigan. The heaviest weight I had was 3oz and that wouldn’t even stay in one place. But I kept trying, all night, to hook another fish. I had bought ‘minnows’ at Holdens Deli in Milford on my way out (since I have an aerator, most of the fish stayed alive). I had asked the kid for one scoop of silvers and one scoop of fathead minnows but when I got to Grand Haven and opened the bucket they were all silvers, and quite large and he threw in a 5 or 6 inch creek chub lol. I’m like what the hell am I going to do with this chub. I wasn’t sure the chub would last through the night so I used him at about 3am, but got nothing. I didn’t feel comfortable fishing on the concrete pier that has no railing since I was by myself; but after sunrise and after there were a few people out there I went out onto it and cast a few with no luck. As I was heading back to the area with the railing the word was they were only catching sheepshead anyhow lol. So did you know that most of the coho salmon that made the 2019 master angler list were caught in Lake Michigan in August last year? It doesn’t say if they were caught from a boat or from shore although I’m sure many were caught from boats. But on July 29 of this year on Fishbrain a lady caught a fairly big steelhead from the Grand Haven pier from the section with the railing lol.


    Anyhow at about 8am I went back to my car and slept a couple hours and then headed to Muskegon State Park. It was not what I expected. The piers going into the channel were great, but the boat traffic was truly horrendous and there were rocks going out at least 30 feet from the pier. Even when I cast beyond the rocks I only caught gobies and 1 bluegill. So I cut my losses their and decided to go to the Portland Dam.


    I think I got there about 7pm. There were several other people fishing there from the spot where I usually fish so I moved down onto the little sandy area. At about 9:15pm I caught a 13” smallmouth; the other peeps didn’t catch anything. They left shortly after so I went to my usual spot. Caught a baby channel catfish at about 10:00pm. At about 1am I decided to go to the Portland Service Area on 96 to get some sleep. You can stay at the dam all night but usually a police car comes in just to do a drive by and if I were fishing, he’s cool with that but if I had been sleeping in my car I’m not sure that would’ve been okay.


    So I get back to the dam at about 8am and there’s people in my spot again lol. So I try fishing in the area before the dam, with no luck. But the other people left about 9:30am so I moved to my spot. At about 10am I caught about an 11” smallmouth. Then at about 11:00am I caught a new fish!! I caught a short head redhorse sucker, 13.5”. It was a gorgeous looking fish indeed. This place is my go to spot for as long as the weather stays decent and of course I can only go on the weekends :-(. I just love being at this place. At about 2:00pm I caught a 13” smallmouth; at 3:00pm another smallmouth; at 7:00pm another smallmouth then a baby channel catfish. Some of the bigger channels that I caught on Lake Erie were vocal so to speak and this baby one was quite the talker lol. I made a video of it but I don’t think I can post it on this website.


    Anyhow I’ll be heading out to Portland on Saturday, August 22. Since it’s going to be so hot I’m going to go into the river to fish. I saw about a 12 year old boy walking in it just beyond the big tree on the left in the photo and the water didn’t even go up to his knees lol. I think it will be cool to be IN the water, to be a part of the fish’s environment.


    There’s always more to come...so stay tuned!
     
  6. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    I feel that 30# salmon is s coming soon.....
     
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  7. retired dundo

    retired dundo

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  8. stickman1978

    stickman1978

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    Sounds like you are becoming a legend.
     
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  9. FisherGal60

    FisherGal60

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    So Tuesday and Wednesday were not the greatest fishing. I went to Hubbell dam both nights. They have the area on the left side of the dam blocked off with fences so you can’t fish down into where the dam comes in. But some boys climbed over the fence to fish there on Tuesday night and at about 8:30 PM one of the boys caught a 31 inch pike. I was down below the dam fishing which unfortunately is blocked with pylons and metal wire going across so you can’t even cast into the spillway. It was very weedy beyond the spillway as well. And on Tuesday night before I left I tried fishing the top side of the dam. Had no luck there either. Well on Tuesday I did catch a small largemouth bass maybe about 11 inches.

    And Wednesday night I caught nothing. It’s a pretty little place. And of course on Tuesday night I find out that it doesn’t close. So I overstayed on Tuesday night until about 1 AM. And then on Wednesday I did try to go to Kensington but that was very weedy at every location I went to there. So I decided to go back to the Hubbell dam. But with no luck.
     
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  10. FisherGal60

    FisherGal60

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    So I decided to go back to Grand Haven on Saturday and then stop at Portland. But I got a late start because I had a stomach flu or something. And I had to make sure that I could keep something down before I left. So I left about 1:30 PM. I got to Grand Haven at about 4:30pm and there were quite a few people fishing along the railing. I think most of them left at about 6 PM. Then about 8 PM or so quite a few people came down and went out on the concrete pier to fish. I decided to stay at the railing because I wasn’t confident enough to go on the pier yet.

    Of course I caught a couple gobies. But then nothing the rest of the night. The highlight of the evening was a huge freighter. It must have been as long as a football field. And when it came through it displaced my lines from where they were sitting because of the mass of the ship.

    So as some people were leaving the concrete pier and walking back I asked them how they did and everyone just said there was one guy who caught a catfish and nobody caught anything. And one group of people were a little disappointed and said they drove two hours as they were from Pottersville. Then when I finally left at about 5 AM I got to my car and the last group of people from the pier also were coming back and got to their car and they were the people that caught the cat fish and nothing else. They were disappointed as well because they said they came from two hours away and they came from Lansing. One of the guys in the group was really chatty but it was good information as he was talking about what to use for steelhead. So it was a good conversation but it set me back from getting to Portland earlier. I wanted to get there by six or 6:30 but I didn’t get there until seven.

    And there wasn’t much biting by the time I got there. I caught one smallmouth at about 8 AM and then caught another smallmouth at about 10 AM. Then I decided to get ready to go wade in the river. And as I was walking to the spot where the tree was to cross there were four people walking by. They were going to cross also. It was three young men and their mother. She wasn’t as old as I was and she was having trouble walking and navigating through those rocks. So I decided not to cross the river because there are many rocks and I just didn’t want to take the chance of twisting my ankle or my leg trying to cross that river on my own. But I did stand in the river and fish and it was really cool. I caught a rock bass and a little sucker fish while I was fishing in the river. And as I moved back closer to shore but still in the river these little fish were kissing my ankles LOL. I know they were probably attacking me but I’m going to go with they were kissing my ankles.

    Then there was this dude fishing from the corner of the island into the spillway and I don’t know why I never thought to do that. I’ve been there so many times and I just never thought to cast in there when I know that often there are pretty big fish in the spillway. So he pulled out probably about at least a 16 inch smallmouth. But he stayed a long time. I wanted to get my shot in there but I think he left about 4:30pm or 5 o’clock. But I cast in there and I used some shrimp that I had bought for Grand Haven. And I caught one that maybe was 14 inches on shrimp. I was getting a lot of bites on it but I only landed one. And that was about it. No new fishes today no red horse suckers and caught about 6 or 7 smallmouth.

    But how do I explain this, the day felt long and I mean that in a good way. I mean most of the time when I fish I always feels like there’s not enough time. That when it’s time for me to leave I feel like I didn’t get enough done. But yesterday was a good long day of fishing; I felt satisfied and content. And I think it’s because I just fished with the worms and the shrimp and did not knock myself out trying all these different things to catch a fish. If I lived closer to the Portland dam, I would definitely be going there every day after work LOL.


    So as always there will be more to come... so stay tuned!
     
  11. FisherGal60

    FisherGal60

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    So Tuesday night I went to the Nankin Dam to fish. First cast into the spillway and got snagged. Hooked up with a lighter weight and got nothing so I moved downstream. Caught a few teeny bluegill and one teeny bass. Tried the spillway later with a bobber and nothing.
    Wednesday - Decided to give Newburgh Lake a try at west end at Sumac Point. Haven’t fished in the location in a very long time. Was very weedy of course so used a bobber and crawlers. Was in one spot most of the evening only catching bluegill then moved a little more west at about 8:00pm. Caught one or two more bluegill and then BAM...finally caught a friggin bass! I know I haven’t really been trying for bass with all the river and dam fishing I’ve been doing so it felt good to catch one again. And since I don’t fish at the clubhouse like I did last year I haven’t really been trying for bass either. But it was at least legal size, 14”.

    Taking Friday off from work and heading to Grand Haven again...so stay tuned!
     
  12. retired dundo

    retired dundo

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    Nice report you sure do put your time in
     
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  13. Waif

    Waif

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    {First cast into the spillway and got snagged.}
    Oh yes. Gotta sacrifice something right off the bat sometimes.

    Great accounts Melody. You're observations are clear and logical , and you're really been through a lot of firsts discovered. Fun!

    Your feeling content with a days fishing is/was a milestone.

    Congrats on getting out!
     
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  14. FisherGal60

    FisherGal60

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    When I tried to do a selfie with it, it bled all over my skirt and I don’t know why because the hook was in its bottom lip and there was no blood there. I happened to have long pants on under the skirt so I took it off and threw it in my net to rinse the blood off. It looked like I killed someone. So I’m not throwing out anymore crawlers lol. Using minnows right now lol.

    Back to it and more to come...so stay tuned!!
     
  15. Jeffish74

    Jeffish74

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    Way to go on the whale of a fish. I very much enjoy reading your reports! If you try a small piece of dead fish or some shrimp the carp won’t touch it and the cats will not hesitate.
    I regularly fish the St Clair river and hope to hear you try it again. Walleye can be caught from shore after dark casting lead head jigs with a rubber minnow.
     
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