Observations from the Water – this Past Week (20-26 Dec)
Happy Holidays! Happy Winter solstice! We’re a handful of days into winter now and the temperatures haven’t been below freezing yet. It almost broke 50 degrees on Christmas Day. Although the weather was mild and enjoyable most days this past week, the water never cleared enough to make it worthwhile to fish…with clients at least. This is the longest I’ve gone without guiding a trip in over 3 years. I just keep telling myself that the conditions will improve at some point…that point looks near.
Although I didn’t fish with clients, I still fished with friends – we had to get out of the house. Sure, all the big water was muddy, but an unacceptable amount of time had passed since we last wet a line, so it had to be done. As an example of how poor the water color was – when we were taking the boat out of the water at the Lewiston launch on Thursday, a gentleman asked politely if we had lost our minds. I replied that we had.
Here’s a quick rundown of the week:
- Monday – we fished the Lake Ontario bar. Water color was borderline but as I said, we had to give it a try. I hooked and then quickly dropped a lake trout. That was the extent of the action.
- Tuesday – we fished Lake Erie (you know I had to do it). We caught a couple bass in the mud but then we lost the breeze and the waves dropped. So…we went for a joyride. It was a gorgeous day that was too nice to spend inside.
- Wednesday – no fishing. The water color improved slightly – only to go to crap again that night due to more wind/big waves.
- Thursday – we fished the Lower Niagara. Water color was less than 1’ of visibility (that’s why that gentleman thought we were crazy) but we had some live bait left over from our Lake Erie session so we figured we’d give it a try. I caught a walleye in Devils Hole. That was the extent of the action.
- Friday and Saturday – no fishing – festivities.
- Sunday – recovery from the festivities and a little bit of recon
Yeah – kinda depressing but it was time spent outside and we never skunked.
Looking Forward (27-Dec – 2-Jan)
A couple weeks ago, after that huge wind storm destroyed the water and dashed any hope of fishing in the short term, my buddy Chris chuckled to me, “So, I guess we’ll be fishing again after the New Year!” He was joking…slightly. I didn’t think that kind of a “forced break” was possible. Well…
I’m optimistic about this upcoming week…if the forecast holds. As of this writing, the water color is close to good. Tomorrow morning, it’ll be good enough. After a couple more low-wind days, I think it’ll be excellent – hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday. My friends that fish the banks have been doing very well lately (that always seems to happen when the water is dirty) so I’m confident the fish are there and chewing. If you have friends and/or family visiting for the holidays, take them fishing – it should be a good week for it.
This will be our last Observations from the Water for 2021 – Happy New Year! Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2022!
Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,