|Happy 2015 New Fishing Season! And oh yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR too! We are now officially at about the half way point of the off season. It seems like the time between putting up the boat at the end of the fishing season and the end of the holidays goes faster and faster for me each year. A blur is the best way I can describe it. And I know as fast as that time went by, these next couple of months or so between now and splashing the boat again for the 2015 fishing season are going to fly by just as fast! But before we look forward, lets take one final look back at the fishing season that just passed by.|
Last year was the strangest start to the spring fishing that we ever had. I put the boat in a week later then ever and even at that it was another week before we could get out because the lake was STILL FROZEN! After a few trips lost because of that, we finally got things rolling and the season was under way in earnest. Our spring stay at Port Clinton ended up being a good one. “The Trophy” went on to boat 615 spring Walleyes and even a couple of rare Lake Erie Muskies! If it weren't for the usual amount of crappy cold early spring rough water days and the lost trips along with the first hint that we were in store for a White Bass year from Hell, I would say it was almost great!
We returned to our home port of Ashtabula as per usual on Memorial Day weekend and the big Walleyes were stacked up and already waiting for us. We went on to have a phenomenal June with the near shore, high in the water column fish. But along with the Walleyes, the nuisance White Bass were there as well in big numbers waiting for us and it made things very difficult for us. We spent many wasted hours reeling in and resetting lines needlessly just because we simply could not keep the junk White Bass off. That and all the tangles that they always seem to cause. Day after day. It was just the beginning of a long summer for me with them. But even with all of that, we weeded through all of the junk and put together day after day, rack after racks of amazing world class Walleye catches! It was truly amazing!
The rest of the summer went on about as well as could be expected. The fish moved offshore like they always do and we started fighting the elements as much as we did the fish. Both the good ones and bad. And it’s never as easy when you are way offshore fishing. Even the slightest of winds can make for challenging waves out there. And the numerous White Bass followed the big Walleyes offshore as well. The days, weeks and months eventually slipped by and by the time it was over we added about another 2,400 Walleyes to our Walleye count and ended up boating right around 3,000 Walleyes total aboard “The Trophy” for the year 2014. Many of the fish in the 24” to 30” inch plus range. A very good year as far as that goes!
The final leg of our season, the Perch season in the fall was great as it almost always is! We did have a few tougher days in the beginning and the very end but for the most part, most days were “ just about as good as it gets”! We even caught a few more Walleyes incidentally! We ended up pulling the boat out of the water mid October, a couple weeks earlier then usual and it ended being a good call as our fall weather really deteriorated rapidly. So, all in all, lots of fish, lots of great memories made and just like that my 28th year of full time chartering was in the books!
So as I get ready for my 29th year in business, I have to wonder what the new fishing season will bring and just how much longer I can continue to do this at least at this level. Every year is just a little tougher on me then the year before. I must admit, some of the days it’s just not as much fun for me anymore out there. I shudder at the thoughts of having another year of battling all of the junk fish like last year just to get my guests their needed Walleyes. And the rough water wears me out way faster then it used to. I feel beat up and tired all the time it seems like. This job is very physical and is really a much younger mans job. At least at the level that I have been operating at. But I will show up again this year, do my very best and hope for just a little kindness on the part of Mother Nature and the fishing Gods.
This year I am really going to strive to encourage my trolling groups to come as a group of four anglers. I don’t care so much about having that 5th person on the drift fishing trips or on the Perch trips but it just dismays me when I know I have to put 5 limits of fish in the boat when I have 5 people for the day and the price that I am going to have to pay to try and catch that many fish. Many days we don’t do so no matter how hard I try. It seems like we can usually catch 4 limits before things slow way down to almost nothing and if we have to catch more, we just end up battling the rest of the day catching crap fish and getting ourselves further and further from the harbor in usually rough water. It just is so much better for all involved when the trolling party is held down to 4 people. Once again I am going to simply“ask” people to try and do this for me and for themselves. Try and keep the party size down to four people if at all possible. If I make it to 30 years and maybe beyond, this might just be my policy. Time will tell. But for at least this year, there are no changes what so ever planned for 2015. Same dock locations, same rates, same everything.
So that’s it for this mid winter update. Check out the new pictures that are up now on our websites home page slide show and the album page from some of last seasons finer catches. If you’re one of our guests from last year, see if you made this very special cut! And if we tentatively set a date aside for you for this coming year or even talked about it, now is the time for you to confirm your trip or trips. Letters and brochures for most of you that are on the mailing list will go out later towards this months end. It won’t be long now and we’ll be back in the water for “Just another day on the Trophy”! Year of 2015! See you SOON!!!