This year was a interesting one for sure.
The number of Walleyes caught by the little wife and I was down this year. We had two keepers and they were small. It will be interesting to see what the upcoming season will produce. The numbers and size's of the fish have been going down since 2002.
Smallmouth seem to be on the same decline. We caught a lot of fish but nothing over four pounds. The fall bite was none existent. We did find a few new spots in Soda and Potholes that are holding fish but the numbers and size is down. Most of the Smallmouth we caught this year were 1 to 3 pounds, the fours and five's that we usually get in the fall never showed. The same trend seems to be on at Moses as well.
Largemouth are not a main target for us so I don't have much on them. we did catch a few more this year, 4 pounds was the biggest.
We did not see the numbers of birds this year (Cormorants and Pelicans). Last year the largest number of Pelicans that we counted in a single day was 150 this year it was 6. The past few years we would see flocks of Cormorants 50 to a 100 birds and this year we saw flocks of 10 to 20. This count was on Soda.
On the upside we are finding more big Crappie in more place's. The numbers are still not up enough for us to keep any but its a good sign to see them spreading out. The Bluegill are also getting a foothold on there comeback. I am seeing more big schools of fish with the Aqua-View. Perch are still small but starting to show improvements, heading over to check the ice tomorrow.
I got together with an old friend this year and we took a trip up to the Pend Orellie, neather of us had been up there for many years. As kids we fished it for the Largemouth but now it has Northerns in it. We would have had a good time just being on the river again, seeing the places we had shot Deer and Ducks as kids. The spots on the banks were we used to hike in and fish. We could even see the old logging road up the hillside that we used to just murder the Grouse. The number of Bald eagles we saw was incredable, they were everywere we were and we coverd about 10 miles of river, (it was cool). But back to the fish. My buddy John tied on a number 6 blue Fox inline spinner, chartruse, and I put on a Mepps Muskie Killer with a white buck tail. At the end of the day we had 6 Northern Pike in the boat, biggest was just 8 pounds but it was my first and I am proud of it, lol. As neather of us had ever eatin a Pike, we kept them all to give them a try. Well I tried em but there are others I like better. Deb and I are going to make a trip back up there this year and fish it for a few days. I want her to get a big one. My boy has takin some to 20 pounds and has told me of bigger ones that he has seen. If you get a chance to fish the Northerns you should give it a try, it is fun but a big Carp on a ultra lite is fun too.
We caught our first Trout in two years so might have to give them more attention this winter.
All in all it was a OK year.
Deb and I are wishing you all a very Merry Ho! Ho! Ho! and a happy and safe New Year.
YellowBear NAFC. AMI. NWWF.