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AKRISONER

AKRISONER's Semi-Annual Report 2019 v2

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Hi Guys,

Looking back its been longer than I thought. Its been over 6 months  since I last told you guys whats been going on in my life. The boat is away in her slumber for winter and we are in that terrible limbo period between no ice and enough ice to walk on. I somewhat planned it earlier this year to finish up getting my Project Management Professional Designation that I have been working on over the past 5 years. I of course timed it right into the period where fishing is limited by ice and bad weather. Well after taking a 4 day intensive crash course and then studying intently for a month straight I took the exam on Friday and to quote Ricky "I passed with flying f-k-in carpets"

Now that my mind is a bit more free, there aint much fishing to do, and work somewhat quieting down as we head into the holidays I figured it was time to post up yet another AKRISONER's (eh-kree-one-ers) somewhat semi annual year in review!

When we had just left off, Bass season had just opened, we had had some absolutely incredibly spring fishing. the bugs were bad but the bites were good. Once July hit though, I dont know what tipped it off, but it set off one of the most challenging summers of bass fishing up on G bay I have experienced.

My catches were less notable size wise but this two faced smallie was interesting.

 

Ive seen the black spot patterns on smallies many times, but this guy had the most extensive black marking I have ever seen on a fish!

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My girlfriend, her beginners luck having long dried out, is now learning the finer details of what it takes to catch fish consistently.

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You dont catch a PB every trip, her face telling as much HAHAHA!. Her luck the previous couple of years was just ridiculous, she still had the biggest pike caught at the cottage in the past 3 years!

Bites were tough to find, when you got them the size just wasnt there. In some ways it was a blessing in disguise. The smallie bite being junk meant i spent way more time learning how to flip and punch. I can honestly say I am now a flipping addict. Aside from a good topwater smallie bite, i may not enjoy anything more than flipping. Georgian Bay's recent high water has caused large expanses of forest in the back bays to be reclaimed by the lake. The areas I fish have within 2 years become an incredible timber fishery. If you want to talk about Bass and their movements, It became 100% obvious that those fish are opportunistic as all hell. They go where the best cover is even if that cover didnt exist two years ago. Flipping the flooded trees takes me back to fishing santee and guntersville. In fact sometimes I swear to god the laydowns at guntersville and up on G bay are almost indistinguishable. Whats scary though is that when the wind blows hard enough the dead trees regularly fall! Multiple times this year ive been fishing near them when a gust of wind knocked over nearby trees!

Spending a lot more time in the back bays brought a couple of really cool new experiences due to situations that I was aware of, but had never specifically tried to capitalize on. The first one being the late summer collection of gar that occurs in a couple of my largemouth spots. They seem to just one day appear in droves. Im talking trophy sized gar, some definitely close to 50 inches if not over. Admittedly I have absolutely no friggin clue what so ever to what I am doing when it comes to gar. One particular hot sunny day in the pads flipping I switched it up on a particular clear patch and tossed out a small sized spook, and not realizing that the gar were there, one charged my spook but didnt bite. This was quite literally the first time I had ever had a gar act aggressively towards one of my lures. Ive had them swipe at crank/wakebaits in the past, but generally even they spooked any of the fish with any size. It was only the tiny ones that were aggressive. This fish however was a decent size. The Gar having settled right back into sunning itself on the surface of the water was open for me to make a quite approach and begin flipping my spook until i felt that I had the perfect line to bring the lure right past his mouth. Sure enough as my spook walking approached it, he began to get excited with his fins fanning, I brought the lure right up to his mouth and gave it a twitch and he swiped. Knowing i needed to bury those trebles into that bony nose i set the hook hard and he was hooked. He went airborn and gave me a decent little fight and sure enough I had caught my first gar on a topwater none the less!

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a quick photo and release later i then realized I was completely surrounded by hundreds of these things. Big small and in between there were gar absolutely everywhere. I kept using the same technique, kept getting bites, even hooking up but could only manage to land one more. I even had an absolute giant on at one point but I couldnt keep it pinned. He t-boned the spook and had it clearly sideways in his schnoz, one extra jump and off he came. Regardless a really cool experience and maybe something I will have to exploit a bit more when the bass fishing is slow. The one thing I cant get over is how damn weird they feel to hold. They stink like a pike and feel like a sheet of metal!

To switch it up, a big part of my summer has now also been diverted to fishing a small set of tournaments mainly based around the kawarthas, 2 of which are hosted by my close family friends and two others by the trailer park that they have their trailer in and the finale a small family tournament hosted by me for the first time this year! (more on this later)

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I love fishing the tri-lakes because they are just so very different then G bay, it challenges me as an angler and summer largemouth fishing offshore is something that I have a driving desire to continue learning. This year I learned a lot fishing those tournaments and I hope to continue to understand deep offshore weed structure and how largemouth relate to it. 

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Spent time graphing, pre-fishing, learning and fishing hard. Some of those weekdays off of work alone on the water learning were absolutely awesome.

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The lakes were what they always were, punishing during the tournament and more than gracious while fun fishing before and after the tournament. One particular July weekend, we didnt catch 5 keepers all day saturday, feeling dissatisfied we went out and did some flipping on pigeon, sure enough in the hour and a half we were out there in the absolutely howling wind, we hooked up with a 15+lb sack and a couple of muskys to boot. go figure lol

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My buddy dave actually won the tournament earlier in the day so perhaps it was his luck in the boat that did it. What a contrast, he had close to 20lbs for his days fishing, meanwhile I had about 4lbs until i started fishing with him!

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That tournament wrapped up, back up to my place I went to do one of my favourite things, taking my neice and nephews fishing, they are all old enough now to learn how to use spinning reels so a few weekends were spent teaching them to drop shot and catch smallies. The boys arent even scared to hold the fish anymore, Ashley not so much. 

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My nephew Hudson is 10 now and has good command on a spinning reel, it was time to take him out fishing for real in the bassboat and teach him how to cast work a topwater and catch on his own. He loved the boat ride,i drove it like a tournament for him that day 55mph through the channels and narrows a big grin on his face the entire time and wouldnt you know it, a 10 year old is a better person to guide than his Dad...the main reason is that he listens to every word i say! Hudson became a pro with the Pop-r

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To quote him to his mom when he got back from fishing "today was the best day of my life" I think I felt the same way the first time i started catching smallmouths on topwater as well :P

More tournaments on the tri lakes, more time spent fishing grass...youd think I had been getting a little sloppy or something!

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Then came the time, my best friend was getting married and a trip planned much earlier in the year saw 25 of his friends all make the trip down to Nashville for his bachelor party (I know 25 people?! his wedding also had 400!...if i died i dont think 25 people would even show up to my funeral lol) I saw my first college football game the Georgia Bulldogs vs the vanderbilt commodores. Nashville is an incredible city, great times were had along with far far too many alcoholic beverages.

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Back home we came where cooler september weather had arrived and finally the fish were doing things that I was accustomed to again.

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Another family tournament this time on stoney lake had me thinking I was finally going to take the trophy after struggling all year. The format for this one is a series of 3 5 hour sessions over the weekend. Session one we went out and caught pretty darn good for Stoney at that time of year. We had close to 11lbs for our 5 fish including a 4lber.

 

Figuring the other guys did ok we got back to the docks to find out that Jamie the host for this family tournament didnt make it back for weigh in. Sure enough his outboard was having electrical issues so out we went to tow him home.

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Once at home we weighed fish, they had 2 fish for 1.2lbs and their boat was toast. The other two boats literally got skunked. I had a 10lb lead. I figured if i caught a limit of fish again there was basically no way to catch me even if I only caught dinks...the other guys got skunked again. I decided to go fun fishing in the evening since we weren't going to do the second leg due to the motor issues but with no main motor those guys went out on the next morning  go figure  I caught a limit of 5 bass that weighed 4 lbs and they caught 13 something and I lost both the big fish and the biggest weight. Needless to say I was a little rattled.

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My following weekends were not much fishing and a lot of work on our boathouse up at our house. I spent 4 full 9 hour days on weekends in the lake in late September replacing a crib (about the worst work you can do, diving under 6 feet of water to pick up 150lb rocks, hauling them to shore, replacing the crib and then filling it back up again) and then the next weekends jacking up the boathouse to try and get the beams out of the now high G bay water. Weirdest of all of this was a bowfin that had taken up residence in our boathouse cribs that basically had no fear of humans at all. He would swim right up to you while you were working in the water.

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One evening I snuck out for a quick largie bite and explosion after explosion in the pads had me thinking that the bass were feeding. It was dark and out I casted my frog when it got absolutely smoked, I set the hook hard and a hell of a battle ensued, I figured I had finally caught a PB largemouth, not being able to see anything in the black water, This bugger got bass flipped over the side of my boat lol.

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Once the work settled down a late september warmup hit...past experience told me that sometimes when you get those hot calm days in late september and early october where the water temperature spikes, the fish come up almost into a spring trance, youll find smallmouth up feeding with their backs nearly out of the water. That weekend was one for the books.

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We put down a bag just short of 20lbs for our best 5 fish, double headers, top water strikes, sight fishing in 3 fow of water, crankbaiting on shoals you name it we were doing it and just hammering big smallmouth after big smallmouth.

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What a riot! Then a week later, back to the cold fall weather. The fish moved back out of the edge and started stacking up and feeding on bait. Find bait, find hungry hungry smallies nearby.

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This time it was my turn to host all of the guys up for our family fishing jam and the lake was setting up beautifully. Having put a small no fishing zone to keep everyone on their toes, i headed to it the day before just to see how the fish were patterning up. While on the phone chatting with my brother on speakerphone, I was catching some pretty decent fish when i hooked into one and I immediately said to my brother "hold on this one feels really big" She came from the front of the boat and made a run to the back and then around my motor just to keep things interesting. As i swung her around away from the motor i yelled "oh my god thats huge" continuing the battle on the 8lb test dropshot i am crying "dont come off!" and into the net she went, just a beautifully thick healthy fish 5.86lb and not even a lot of gut on her, just pure muscle and size.

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I figured if I lost my little jamboree I was hosting, it didnt matter I had just caught a pb smallmouth whatever came next didnt really matter. The next day we headed out, and the magic begun. I had a few places in mind related to a small chain of shoals plus a couple of main basin points. We started on the shoals and proceeded to catch fish after fish after fish. We had a limit in about 25 minutes and the spot just kept producing for almost 3 hours. After things started to slow down, we moved. We found a musky, a couple of big pike and a couple of small bass so off we moved again. We upgraded one fish at the next spot, but with only 2 hours left in the day my partner and I agreed, maybe our original spot had replenished after resting for 5 hours, lets give it one last shot to see if we could upgrade. Upgrade with did we culled two more fish and pulled in the big fish for day a beauty 4lb+ smallmouth.

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returning to the docks for weigh in, The guys started weighing and I looked at the fish they were weighing and i said to myself, omg there is no way in hell we have won, everyone had clearly laid a beating to em out there. I didnt see a single fish under 2lbs easy. When it came to weigh our bag, the scale showed 16lbs I couldnt believe it, we had won by 2oz. Everyone was within 1lb of each other the lake had absolutely produced a pile of sacks that day. The boys even went back out in the evening and Dave hooked up with another 5lber plus the guys bagged a couple of 4's just ridiculous numbers and size. All told I think between the boats we had all caught over 100 fish on the day and only a handful were less than 2lbs.

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Work made the call a week later, and it was off to thunder bay for the first time to do a meeting, and with a free flight to thunder bay, i was also going to have a look around and wet a line. I ended up doing a bit of fly fishing, but the river was pretty blown as thunder bay had just had a big rain storm 2 days prior. It was nice to do some fly fishing again.

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Thunder bay was absolutely beautiful as well.

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I made a quick drive out to kakabaka falls (spelling?) as well. It was far more impressive than i expected...the size and volume of it was astounding! It was also quite cold, with the mist putting a layer of ice on everything. 

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Fall was in full swing indeed.

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Even the November Great lakes Gales were early, that one particular storm that devastated the shorelines of lake erie, I headed out musky fishing in it. Usually when I go fishing in intensely bad weather I get rewarded. Well if you can call a blood blister rewarding after the gearing on my Abu reel exploded and jammed my finger all into the spool rewarding, then i guess it was a really successful musky trip in 100kmh winds.

The good news was though that with the arrival of crappy weather, the walleye were getting hungry. An annual tradition up at our place my brother brought some of his buddies for our walleye weekend.

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The season as a whole this year was definitely not as crazy as previous years for numbers,

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there were good days and slower days mixed in. No skunks but only one day with the insane numbers that we have grown accustomed to. Some great fish caught and a few lost. The cold snapping right in before october was done.

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That called for my favourite chore of all (intense sarcasm), removing the docks and marine rail systems while the snow flied and the lake froze. Just out for a casual dip in the snow.

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A few more odd jobs around the cottage, I learned to service an outboard carb for first time, it sort of felt like a right of passage.

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The motor is all ready for next years musky trolling, the boats are away and im sitting here itching to get on the ice while it pours rain outside. I guess we shall see what happens as the week winds on. Early forecast calls for some very cold nights up near north this week, hopefully not too much snow and maybe just maybe Ill be able to throw the lifejacket and rope on and sneak out onto the ice in front of my place and wet a line again. After all of that month of studying its due! Cheers till next time.

Edited by AKRISONER
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Great Pics Man!  
 

Not going to lie, I did not read it all.  But congrats on passing the PM Exam!  I was thinking about doing the same things to add to me Engineering background. 

 

I'll have to hit you up for some details this winter on the ice!

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haven't had time to browse here for awhile and post like yours are one reason why I love this place. awesome year end report, killer photos. hope you post a hard water slaying when the time comes ;) 

Edited by woodenboater

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Most anglers thought Rice was my fav tourny lake but it was Tri Lakes. Also my most wins came on Tri Lakes.

As a tournament guy the most fun for me was taking my fishing apart and reassemble. Or learning.  

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On 12/9/2019 at 4:28 PM, NAW said:

Great Pics Man!  
 

Not going to lie, I did not read it all.  But congrats on passing the PM Exam!  I was thinking about doing the same things to add to me Engineering background. 

 

I'll have to hit you up for some details this winter on the ice!

Lets definitely get out again this winter!

 

On 12/9/2019 at 7:24 PM, gordy28 said:

Looks like a great back half of the year

Nashville is a blast for sure and congrats on getting your PMP designation

Cheers

Andrew

 

Cheers and nashville is really really cool. If you like live music its a must go

On 12/9/2019 at 10:22 PM, woodenboater said:

haven't had time to browse here for awhile and post like yours are one reason why I love this place. awesome year end report, killer photos. hope you post a hard water slaying when the time comes ;) 

The lake is frozen, just how much is tbd! I will hopefully be wetting a line through a hole on saturday! and hopefully the line isnt getting wet because ive fallen in with it lol.

On 12/10/2019 at 9:40 AM, mamona said:

Thank you for the report. It looks like you basically live on the water during the season.

Ive been living 50% ish of my time at the lake now and loving it!

17 hours ago, LostAnotherOne said:

I enjoy your reports AKRI.  Not enough of them on the board.  Ice is just around the corner.

so soooooooon Cheers!

1 hour ago, Garnet said:

Most anglers thought Rice was my fav tourny lake but it was Tri Lakes. Also my most wins came on Tri Lakes.

As a tournament guy the most fun for me was taking my fishing apart and reassemble. Or learning.  

tri lakes kinda has it all if you are a bass angler, slop, grass, shoals, deep, shallow you name it. I could go get a bag of 5 smallies or a bag of 5 green ones, dependent on your mood. Im nowhere near a good enough LM fisherman, soooo much to learn still.

39 minutes ago, BillM said:

Always a good read, great report man. 

cheers bill!

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Just now, Moosebunk said:

Great mixed bag amidst alotta bass. Was a strange fall this year for the fishing.  Bring on the ice and 2020, best to ya.

 

I need to learn a thing or two from you about 1. writing reports as good as yours and 2. how to land those monster gar!

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11 minutes ago, Moosebunk said:

Great mixed bag amidst alotta bass. Was a strange fall this year for the fishing.  Bring on the ice and 2020, best to ya.

 

We had a fall this year?  lol!  

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Nice read, have a room to rent LOL I would love to live directly on a lake. We are somewhat spoiled down here, I have Lake St Clair at the end of my street, Detroit river and Erie close by

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