My boat's been stored for winter as I didn't manage to sell it over the past few weeks, though I might have found a buyer for next season.
Anyway, fishing has been super slow lately. Went out for a few short outings to some spots around town, nothing much doing except for some small perch...
The following recap is a summary of what this season was like for me:
Ice fishing for pike was terrible. Though I only went on a few outings, perch were the only fish I caught consistently through the ice this season. Was really looking forward to ice out by the time April came around.
On my first outing, I started off the season beating my personal best carp (and any other fish I've ever landed), with a monster 32.5 lb carp. That had me super pumped, really no better way to start off the season.
That carp turned out to be the first and last of the season for me. Though did some guided carping trips during the spring, my clients fought and landed all the fish, I merely put them onto the spots and provided the gear. Still not sure I want to attempt any more guiding next season, it really took the fun out of it for me when the bite was slow.
Moving onto pike, I had big plans after the the good 2007 and 2008 seasons I had. This season turned out to be a big let down as far as pike too. My biggest all spring was under 4.5 lbs, and I managed a 6.5 pounder up North during July. I really hope they'll be back to their old hunting grounds next season.
Walleye were abundant as in previous years, though my size average went down drastically. To be fair, I didn't really target them as often, and the smaller 14-16 inchers are better eating anyway.
Bass were the one area where the season was phenomenal for me, especially largemouth bass. I can easily say it was my best overall bass season ever. I landed close to 300 bass, the vast majority on lures, including my biggest largemouth at 5.25 lbs. I re-discovered top water fishing like never before, to the point where I'm almost sworn off anything except for the rush of a topwater hit. Though I was exposed to new killer tactics such as wacky rigged Senkos and tubes, nothing beats a good topwater bite. To me, it's fishing at it's best, combing ultimate relaxation with ultimate excitement. The season was highlighted by my yearly trip up North for the bass opener, 6 days of perfect 30 degree weather, great fishing with family and friends, who can ask for anything more?
After most of my spots got overgrown during July, I got into night fishing for channel cats, something I had been missing for most of my fishing career. Yes I caught some nice ones here and there, but I really targeted and caught them like never before. They kind of replaced the poor carping season I had, as most of the ones I caught were over 10 lbs, the biggest a 14.5 lb fatty. Still fishing at night during the summer was extremely relaxing. Sipping cold beer from a lawn chair, waiting for the baitrunner to start screaming, fighting the big ugly cats (and eels) in the current were quite a blast, hope to get back into it next season.
I started dabbling in sturgeon fishing late in the season as well. Did manage a couple in the 7 lb range, hope to put some more time into targeting sturgeons next season as well.
The kids all had great bass and panfish seasons as well, I'm sure they'll be itching to go out by the time the ice melts as well.
The tacklebox is just about empty now. All my lures are sorted and stored for next season, as are my rods and rest of my gear and terminal tackle. I was lucky enough to sell of the vast majority of my musky gear which was never really put to use, I even got back everything I spent and then some.
I'm already dreaming of next spring and we haven't even seen any snow yet! I can't really say I'm looking forward to ice fishing, but I know myself well enough. By the time first ice is safe enough, I'll have long since been suffering from cabin fever and convinced myself the "the big one" is waiting for me right under my feet... OK, maybe not. But I'll likely attempt taking the kids out for some perch and possibly some stocked brookies.
Hope you all had as great of a season as I did, good luck toughing it out for the next 6 months.