Electing to fish on Voting Day

I tried floating some spawn sacks off the East Wall today from 2:30 to 4:30, but the Grand River wasn’t producing for me. The weather was mostly sunny with temps around 45 and light wind, and the water was very clear. There weren’t many people on the river today, and I was the only one on the Wall for much much of the two hours. A guy casting spoons joined me around 3 p.m., and caught a spawned-out, white-tailed king salmon. The surprisingly aggressive fish took his spoon in the mouth and also had a spawn sack in its jaws.

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Grand River, downtown Grand Rapids, Nov. 1, 2012

I made the short trip downtown around 11 a.m. to fish off the East Wall on a cold and windy day. Winds were blowing from the North/Northwest, which made casting off the wall difficult.

I started using King salmon skein attached to a No. 8 hook on a snell knot and another No. 8 stinger hook about an inch down. I didn’t have any luck with that, so around noon I switched to orange spawn sacks on the same rig and quickly had my first taker — a monster carp with a lamprey sidekick. For better or worse, the giant bottom feeder got off my hook.

There was a dead period of about one hour. The wall was crowded, but no one was pulling anything up. A fisherman walking by said he had a steelhead on his stringer, but from much earlier in the day. The wind started dying down, and the sun established itself in the sky.

Finally around 1, my bobber went under, and a long, slender fish darted off with my line. It looked too narrow for a steely, and when it surfaced, I was surprised to see a nice-sized northern pike on the line. It measured 33 inches, and although I didn’t get a weight, it couldn’t have been more than 8 pounds.

33-inch northern pike caught by floating spawn under a bobber at 6th Street Dam in downtown Grand Rapids.

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The worst day of fishing is better than doing just about anything else

Welcome to the blog.

Like so many anglers who cast their poles before the morning sun can cast a shadow, I am captivated by fishing. Even when the bite is slow, there is still the serenity of an aquatic highway winding between aged oaks and maples, and the anticipation of seeing the bobber go under.

The purpose of this blog is to chronicle fishing trips across the state of Michigan. The primary region — for now — is the southwest part of the Lower Peninsula. Other parts of the state will be covered periodically, as time allows.

This blog was not created with the intention of giving away honey holes or secret spots. Exact locations of catches will be rare, but access points will usually be provided.

There will be pictures. Lots of them. Because who doesn’t like that?

There will be some water temperature reports, observed stream levels, gear reviews, fish recipes and anything else that fits the general theme.

Mostly, this is a place for me to write about something I love to do, and if it helps you catch some fish, you’re welcome.

-Patrick

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