Monday, May 21, 2012

Walleye Opening?!?

It was nice to receive a message from Chris that our spring fishing trip was going to be closer to home.  Every year we head to Canada or the UP to fish for walleyes.  Chris suggested the Hodenpyle Pond of the Manistee River for this year's trip.  It is only 22 miles from my house and I have always wanted to try fishing there.

Hodenpyle Pond is an interesting piece of water.  There are lots of stumps to watch out for.  I started packing.  Since we were camping and fishing, that meant I had to make two trips to the Pond.  First I made the 22 mile trip hauling my fiberglass Scamp trailer.

Then I returned home and got my 16' fishing boat. Chris brought his boat hauling RV trailer from Interlocken and Mikey-Pikey came up from Grand Rapids.  Pike and Walleye season opened so we we ready to go fishing.

Chris got the fire started using his own method of various sizes of timber.  Yes, it was a little cool this time of the year and a campfire is one of the traditions.

We should have noticed that we were the only people going out fishing.  Everyone else was snug inside their trailers.  This was our first time so we scouted around all day looking for some spots to fish.

Pre-spawn "catch and release" smallmouth bass fishing was pretty hot!    About this time, I was glad to have my lined jeans on!  We were tossing deep-diving minnow plugs.

This was my favorite lure.  I liked it so much, that I left it stuck in an underwater stump to mark my favorite fishing spot.  We would troll or drift along and cast out to likely spots.

I told you it was Walleye and Pike opening.  Well, here is one of the pike.  I didn't use steel leaders but I was ready to add one if a pike inhaled one of my lures and cut my line.

Another smallmouth bass.  We wanted to get some Walleyes!  We tried everything that would go down deep where the walleyes stayed.  No luck.

Chris brought some sausage, burgers, and other stuff for the grill, which was luck for us because we weren't getting any walleyes to eat!  We had a few beers around the campfire and planned our strategy for the next day.

After we got up and out the next day we tried the stumps that were closer to west side near M-37.

I got 4 pike and 12 smallmouth bass but nothing to take pictures off.  Mikey switched over to Chris's boat so I was fishing by myself.  We share Mikey back and forth as we think he is a jinks to us.  Not really. But  the next day, Wow, did I catch fish!

Mikey-Pikey was trolling with Chris across the lake.  When he got back to the dock, he was grinning ear to ear.  I knew something was up.

Mikey caught the only keeper walleye on the trip.   He is now Master Walleye King of Hodenpyle Pond for 2012.  Chris managed to come in second place in the walleye division.

Soon, it was time to pack up for home.  It was interesting to watch Chris stow his fishing boat inside his RV trailer.

Chris cut out the back of the RV to make a ramp and installed a power winch up front to pull his boat up inside his RV trailer and a hand winch to crank up the back door ramp.  Pretty clever.  Of course he removed a lot of stuff from inside to make room and added a extra plywood floor.  Not fancy, but very functionable!

See how close the boat fits inside.  Check out the back door in the next shot.

This makes a great camping/fishing RV!   OK, another Fish Camp over and plans are under way for the next one.  I got a call that my cousin, Tim, from NJ was coming over and his old college roomate, Stan, from VA.  With the river blown out it should be an interesting fish camp coming up.  Stay tuned!