Wednesday, March 3, 2010

February Grand Rapids report

I got back on sunday (it's wednesday as I write my report) from my little fishing adventure in Grand Rapids. I was a tad bit weary after 30 hours of fishing in three days, but now feel up to the task of reporting my results.

Fist of all I didn't even know if my vehicle was going to make it up there. I have been loosing radiator fluid, and found out that my water pump was leaking like a sieve and was losing about a gallon a week...yikes! But I did make up and back without a disaster, so I thank the Lord for answering my prayers in that regard. Fishing buddy and friend Andy drove up seperately because he had to leave saturday afternoon, and I would stay until sunday late afternoon. I found a really cheap motel to stay in both days, so that helped out with the overall cost of the trip.

Weather-wise, we expected clear blue skies, high pressure, warm weather in the lower thirties for all three days, and virtually zero wind, and that is exactly how it was. Absolutely georgeous fishing weather! We stopped at the bait shop on the way to the lake and the report was that the fishing has been slow on our target lake, but I had a feeling we would do better than "slow". We got to the lake about 8:30 friday morning. It turned out that the lake was more snow-covered than I expected, and that would hamper our mobility. There was an unplowed, barely used road going out to the main basin, so that had us a little worried, especially since the road was a tad bit high by the landing, but we made it onto the lake ok. The snow depth was inconsistent, so we had to stick to the road otherwise we risked getting stuck. We were fortunate in there was another little used road that led to the area we wanted to fish. We even got stuck on a patch of ice, but got out of it. Whew! Our area of focus was a flat area in the 14-16 foot range. There was little evidence that others had hit the spot, so we were glad of that.

We started out deeper and I started drilling toward shore. We found some bluegills after some searching, so I drilled a bunch of holes in the general viscinity. My Strikemaster auger was not cooporative either. The throttle got stuck, so I had to drill holes unable to throttle down. Then, my pull rope decided to not go in the final 8-10 inches too, so I was not able to drill as much as I wanted to. I was beginning to wonder if my auger would just fail me completely! Fortunately the throttle cable was just frozen, because with the warming of the day it got "unstuck". The pull rope didn't get any worse either.

Andy found a good spot to set up his Eskimo Quickfish(3) on, and was onto some fish with very little moving around. With my fish-trap, I did alot more hole-hopping than Andy, but we probably both caught about as many fish. He caught some slab crappies along with a mess of decent bluegills, nothing huge though, except for a one-eyed gill he said was close to 10". The crappies were loners, coming about a foot off the bottom. Andy favored his Fiska's Balance loaded on both ends with spikes, or T.H.E. jig. He caught his crappies on T.H.E. jig.

I started out using the red-glow Fairy jig and the larger L.A. Atomic Stealth jig, both good producers on this lake in the past, but the panfish wanted nothing to do with those presentations. I also tried the Lindy Flyer jigging spoon, but no interest there either. So I decided to try a small #12 Fiska's Marmooska style jig in black with glow dots with a Gulp! waxie in either pink or red and the fish really took a liking to that. I also had pretty good luck on an olive colored Gill-Getter with glow green-bottom and Gulp! waxie threaded on. I caught my crappies on this presentation, as well as bluegills. So I pretty much stuck with those two presentations the whole three days, but did catch some fish on a #12 green-glow Diamond Jig too. Basically, the fish didn't want larger profile, so sticking to small stuff was key.

The bite started out slow on day one, and by the time Andy left saturday, the bite picked up with many active pods of fish that would charge my presentation. Now that's fun! I had to hole hop to keep on active schools.

Averall, the size of the bluegills were a bit disappointing for this lake on this particular trip, with the majority of the gills in the 7"-8" class. The 9-10" class were few and far between with no catches bigger that 9.75", which I caught at least a half dozen. Because of the snow cover we (I) stuck to the same general spot all three days. So I don't know if the smaller fish were just dominating the flat we were fishing with the larger ones relating elsewhere, or if the overall size-structure was down. I tend to think the former. I would classify the fishing as "good" not "great", but much better than I had produced down here in the metro area the past few weeks.

That's the report, now for the pictures. I have much to learn about taking fishing pictures, but am getting better and better. I have a difficult time keeping my ugly fingers out of the way. That, and holding the camera away from my body while holding the fish close to my mug and taking a pic that way. It's tough getting into the right position every time. For every picture posted on CCOTD, ther are about 5-6 that are poor quality.

Enjoy the pictures.


Michael Thompson said...

Nice sunfish caseycasem! that lake really puts em out eh!

Casey Nygren said...

You got that right Mikey!