Late Fall on Leelanau

Had a remarkable couple of days up on Lake Leelanau.  Caught numbers of walleyes cranking and jigging.  We have had a blast learning some new ways to fish walleyes.  Wandered onto pods of smallies and some jumbo perch as well.  Caught fish all over the place in lots of different depths.  

Had a chance to fish with Karl and his dad, Leon.  Both of these guys are phenomenal fishermen.  Spanked fish both days - probably ended up with over 60 eyes for the two days we were out.  Water temps were 51-52 degrees.  

Best Fall Ever on Lake Leelanau?!

Fished over the last week on Lake Leelanau with a combination of guide trips and family and friends fishing outings and enjoyed a tremendous bite for both walleye and perch.  Water temps finally dipped in the the upper 50 degree range, and the fish put on the feed bag.  

Fished all over Lake Leelanau and found fish everywhere.  The walleye were awesome, but the perch might even be the bigger story.  We found lots of quality perch in the 10-12+" range and caught them on plastics, crankbaits, jigging raps, and live bait.  

Color was huge with the crankbaits.  We found specific colors ruled.  We also found cadence to be significant (and it shifted daily).  Super impressed with this fishery - probably one of the best in all of Michigan if not the upper midwest!

Summer 2016 Product Review: Okuma Helios Spinning Rods/Reels

Had the chance to fish Okuma's Helios line of spinning rods this summer and overall I was very impressed.  The Helios spinning rods are super lightweight, yet powerful.  A Helios combo weighs a little over 10 oz, yet have no problem handling the powerful surge of a smallmouth or the thrashing nature of a big lake trout.  I also love Okuma's lifetime warrantee - I haven't needed to replace one of these rods yet, but I know from other Okuma rods that I have broken that they have one of the best customer service departments and warrantees out there.

This summer we tested the medium heavy action rod for lake trout and we are planning on adding two more to our guide program.  The rods have incredible feel and yet gave us the power we needed to set the hook in 100' of water and move big fish.  

What I personally love about the rods is that their lightweight nature helps some of my joint issues.  I have battled tendonitis in my right elbow, brought on largely from repetitively setting the hook or snapping a bait to get a reaction.  These rods help me a ton primarily because of their lightweight.  I would highly recommend Okuma to anyone looking for a high end rod at a reasonable price (www.okumafishing.com to see more about the product).

Incredible Jig Bite on Leelanau (5/27)

When you think about fishing conditions and walleyes, you would think sunny, flat calm conditions would create the most challenging of situations.  But what we experienced yesterday morning was just the opposite.  We had Robert and Tom out and these guys had a chance to learn how to fish jigs and plastics and experience tremendous success.  Fish were up shallow gorging on wigglers (5-8 fow).  There was one moment when I hooked a fish and lost it and looked up and saw walleyes swimming in front of me!

The Charlie Brewer Slider on an 1/8oz Old Fart Lures jig head was spot on again!  In my estimation, this plastic with an extremely slow drop speed meets the walleyes right where they are at when they are eating wigglers.  A walleye doesn't need to exert any energy to slurp up a wiggler and so they don't want to chase anything (that's why you will see fish follow and not commit).  The Sliders that we're experiencing the most success on are 3" green pumpkin with a black tail and watermelon red/black/gold flake.  We also caught some fish on a Zoom fluke.

Guide Trip Houghton Lake - May 22

Had the privilege of fishing with Ken and his two sons, Joe and Luke.  We had a great day and caught a ton of fish.  Lots of walleyes - ended up with 5 legal fish (out of 20).  Lots of crappies - some big ones up to 14".  Pike were on a terror.  And caught some big bluegills too.  Joe had the chance to savor some big gills and crappies on the Rapala ultralight cranks.  Overall, a lot of fun and a beautiful day.  Water temps started at 58 and ended close to 65.

 

 

Multispecies Madness on Houghton Lake

Had the chance to take out a friend of a friend (and now a friend of ours), Bill.  He is an expert fisherman, so all we had to do was put him close to fish and the rest was easy.  Our goal was to catch walleyes, crappies, bull bluegills, and smallies - and we accomplished our goal.

We ended up with lots of walleyes (only 6 legals), plenty of crappie for a fish fry (my guess is we kept close to 30), a handful of big bluegills, and some beautiful smallmouth bass.  Water temps started at around 58 and ended at 62.  We had a flat calm day and could actually see the bluegills stick their backs out of the water.

All fish were either caught on plastics (thanks Charlie Brewer for the sliders! www.sliderfishing.com), a Rapala rippin rap or ultra light crankbait,  a piece of nightcrawler (for the gills), or a bobber and floating spider.  What an incredible day - another tremendous memory from Houghton Lake!

Fishing in Wind on Houghton Lake (at least we didn't get snowed on again!)

We finished the second day (May 16) of guided fishing on Houghton Lake with some great walleye fishing.  Our game plan was to reposition ourselves around the lake where we could be able to successfully stand up in the boat.  

Water temps were around 50 degrees.  We were far more interested in catching walleyes today and we ended up with 9 legals.  Micah got his limit (great fisherman at 13 years old - all caught jigging plastics).  The story of this spring for us has been dropspeed and so the weight of the jighead has made all the difference.  The other key for the way we jig is our line.  We prefer Gamma Edge fluorocarbon in the 8lb test class.  This line has proven itself time and time again to be super sensitive (bite feels like you're using braid), with the added bonus of a little stretch when you get a fish that just grabs the jig.  Our line is a critical component of our system.

Matt had his daughter and one of his son in laws out with him this afternoon - everyone caught fish and had a great time.  I still have spaces open in May and fishing is going to break loose with this warm weather forecasted!  Go to www.nofishleftbehind.com for more info!