We made it back to the river for Fathers Day weekend. We rolled into town Friday morning and got on the water mid day. We were immediately greeted with a strong north wind and horrible floating weeds. We put on some miles checking water out in Lake Erie and in the lower Detroit River. All areas were clean but covered in floating weeds. There was no getting away from them. Trolling with planer boards on the lake wasn't an option as the boards would have been drowning with weeds in seconds of sending them out. After getting an idea of what was happening, we decided to check some smallmouth areas. Even in slack water spots, the weeds were nearly impossible to fish around. With that said, we did our best to deal with it and made it work.
We spent Friday late afternoon/early evening pitching Venom Tubes for smallies and got some great size fish. Green Pumpkin Goby tubes with 3/8 tube jigs were best. 8-13ft of water was key. They were hitting on the pause, in between hopping them off the bottom. We caught a bunch of smallmouth and had walleye, pike, yellow perch and largemouth mixed in. It was a great evening of fishing.
Saturday morning we chased walleye first thing. We did well in shallow water early over weed beds with our Eye-Slammer Crawler Harnesses and 2oz Eagle Claw Bottom Bouncers. As the morning moved on, the fish moved out and we found them in 15'-18' of water near channel edges. 2oz bottom bouncers pulling the harnesses at a speed of 2.2 - 2.5mph was best. Our speed varied as the current changed in various areas of the river. The harness color Brass Hammer was our best producer by far. With the floating weeds being as bad as they were, we only ran a single rod for each of us and held them in hand. Rod holders weren't an option with the weeds. The walleye were puking up all sorts of baitfish and small rockbass in the livewell. They were full of em'! We got our limit of walleye and then chased smallmouth again after. The smallmouth moved from the area we found them the day before. The south wind pushed them into some slack water and once we found them, it was game on. We caught a bunch of them!
Sunday we hit the walleye again, following the same program but in a few different areas. We started a little later but found the bite was great between 9am-10am. The bottom bouncers and Eye-Slammer Harnesses popped another limit of walleye. Same story with the floating weeds and we stuck with only a single rod each so we could navigate around them the best we could. The shallow weed beds produced a few fish and we finished in the main channel edge areas later in the morning. Bottom bouncing with the rod in hand is awesome! You get to feel the whack of the walleye!
Sunday night we got some very nice size yellow perch in various depths. They were holding between 7-10' of water near the main river channel in weeds. We even got some decent ones in the channels on our Perch Fly Rigs and Perch Slammer Rigs in 2-3' of water towards the end of the trip! We caught with no added bait and with added chunks of nightcrawlers. We also caught a bunch more smallies on tubes and spinnerbaits and some pike as well. We found a school of white bass and caught them every cast for about 45 minutes on top waters before our arms were sore! We got back to the house and apparently didn't have enough. We threw the Perch Fly Rigs around the slip and pulled more perch in! A great end to an awesome day!
Monday morning we chased walleye again with the same setup of 2 oz bottom bouncers and Eye-Slammer Crawler Harnesses. We pulled a few shallow again from the weeds as we had been doing the other mornings. We then got a handful casting our Mayfly Magic Rigs over the weeds! Pairing these with bullet weights works well to keep them above the weeds. After having fun casting for them, we moved back to bottom bouncers to finish up our limit of walleye. This final morning we finished up at the mouth of Lake Erie. Brass hammer remained our best color the entire weekend with Firetiger being next best for us. A true multi-species weekend for the books. We had an amazing time on the water. The weather was as good as it gets. Until next time!