Tournaments all over Pool 13 & 14

I went fishing Saturday, the river finally dropped enough where I can fish wingdams and the weather finally broke, it had been really hot and muggy. I caught a walleye and a walleye tournamnet boat moved in on me. So I left, I can’t show someone exactly where I catch fish and how. I went to another spot and caught one fish and a walleye tournament boat moved in on me. So I left and went to another spot, a tournament boat went by, saw me, turned around and came and moved in on me. Since there was 2 big Bass tournaments, or maybe there was 6, who knows, but I know there was at least two because of the strings of boats running down river and strings of boats running up river at the same time. So I decided to quit early and could have a peacefull day on Sunday since all the tournaments were on Saturday.

I went out Sunday, caught a fish and a Walleye tournament boat moved in on me. It was another circuit, different boats but they do the same thing. They all fish the same spots all the tiome and when they look for fish, they just ride around looking for locals or competitors that have been catching fish. There was two big Bass tournaments going on as well. Strings of boats running up and down river at the same time. So I went to another spot, a walleye boat went by, saw me, turned around and moved in on me. So I moved to anopther area, a boat went by, saw me, moved in on me. So I figured it was a good time to go looking for new spots but every boat that went by stopped and started fishing, or went by real close they they could lock me in with gps. I sure hated to quit early but fishing was so frustrating it just wasn’t worth the stress.

I woke up this morning and the nice weather was gone. It was stormy, hot and humid. I only caught one small fish. I had been doing ok, but now after all the fishing pressure I didn’t catch any. Now the river is on the rise again and turning muddy and the heat is back. I feel like I got robbed.

The tournaments are out of control, but with so many tournament guys complaining about regulations there is little the DNR can do. I can’t even go out to take photos without guys moving in on me.

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How Big Really Was That Big Fish

How Big Really Was That Big Fish? No matter what you say people will say it was less. Even if you have a photo, they think they can tell your fish wasn’t as big as you claim, because they saw a photo of a fish someone held in front of the camera so close it looked 100 times bigger than it was. I posted a video of a 10 pound lake erie walleye that was over 10 pounds and was 31″ long. I didn’t even weigh it, getting the length was enough for me. It was after spawn so they lose the eggs and body fat and weigh much less. It would have weighed 14# maybe before spawn and less after, all depending on how much body fat they lose. It was a beefy fish that was closer to 11 pounds, but people on youtube kept saying it was less. It didn’t matter what I said, they would say it was less. It’s funny how people make such a big deal out of how big a fish was. If you catch a bass in the 5 pound class, everyone will say it is 4 pounds. I guess it’s just a jealousy thing. That and some people really are liars. It’s usually the same people who tell you you’re fish wasn’t that big, but when they catch one it is much bigger than it actually is. I was catching Bass on lake erie in the Fall one year and the guy I was with caught two 18″ Bass. He started telling me they were over 5 pounds after he released them. Having caught 100’s of 18″ smallmouth in the Fall, I know they are in the 4 pound class. Maybe in the spring they could be full of eggs and weigh 5 pounds. I told him they were 4 pound class and he got so mad he wouldn’t go out in the boat anymore after I caught a 21″ fish that really did weigh 5 pounds. So that video in youtube I decided to keep claiming it weighed more every time some dumass made a nasty comment about how small the 31″ walleye was. It’s up to 31 pounds now. The video states in the beginning that its a 10- pounder, but people get so mad before they even watch it that they miss that part. I have to remove most of the comments because of name calling. So I just made this cartoon:

How Big Really Was That Big Fish

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About My Photography

The local paper did a story on me last month. I guess what I do is unique. No one would go through the trouble I do unless they fish. So here is what I like to do. I have always enjoyed nature and watching wildlife. I bought a good camera in about 2004 and slowly moved up to a DSLR which I went to in 2010. Like everyone else, I bought the camera and then went around looking for things to take photos of. I think I could delete most all my photos from the first few years and for the last three years it all came together and I have more good photos than I know what to do with. I just keep replacing what I have with better photos of the same thing.

With high water we get so often anymore, fishing can be tough and I am on a retirement budget so I can’t make long drives to fish where the good fishing is like I used to. So if the fish aren’t biting, I go looking for wildlife to take photos of, which is mostly birds. On windy days I like to go to the Rock River and drift down river. I enjoyed doing this so much, it became part of my everyday on the water. I guess it started by going deep into backwaters on the Mississippi River, getting away from it all, looking for birds or wildlife. The drifts on the Rock River were much more successful. The river has a lot of curves so I can get out of the wind, and even though I stand out like a soar thumb, going around curves I could catch wildlife by surprise. Even better is to have the sun at my back to blind what ever was in front of me.

When I go to the Mississippi River, I try to find places where I can drift or troll. Sometimes I don’t even fish, I just go to get photos. It is gambling, I am betting I will see something and usually do. This year the water has been high on the Rock and my drifts are so fast it is hard to get photos, so I have been going up to the next pool to a backwater lake to troll around. I was more than happy with what I saw there and from now on when the wind is right I will be going in there instead of the lower pool. This year I saw a coyote, a few deer, river otters which are extremely rare around here, night heron which I have never seen before, green heron whom use lures to fish for their catch, an eagles nest with 3 eagle chicks, adult eagles bringing back who knows what to the nest, lots of blue heron, egret, pelicans, cranes, cormorants and lots of cool songbirds. I heard a deer give birth. I had an otter feeding right in front of me, and swam around to look at me without the sun in it’s eyes. I watched the eagle chicks grow up and fledge. The fishing wasn’t very good but I always saw enough to get me to want to go back.

On the Mississippi River the year started out seeing Falcons hanging around the clinton bridge feeding on pigeons. They tolerated me pretty well. They hung around for a couple weeks. I would also troll and drift around and one morning I saw 3 pileated woodpeckers making a big racket and teasing a Sharp shinned Hawk, trying to get it tio leave. One climbed up a tree and faced it within inches, until the hawk tried to catch it. It then used a wing to lure the hawk and quick dodged around the tree. I saw a mink and noticed a huge wound on it’s back and eagles sitting in trees nearby. One eagle had a huge gash in it’s throat and I think I just missed a fight between them. I am watching a family of mink now, where I saw a family last year. They are different mink, not sure what that story is. There is a family of ground hogs in the same exact place. Mink will attack and eat ground hogs. There is an eagle’s nest right there too, with only one chick. These eagles don’t like people this year. Last year they were pretty tolerant, probably a story there. There was a merganser duck hanging around there, but it is missing. Could have been a meal for mink or eagles. I didn’t think it would last long. And that’s why I keep going, hoping to catch some of this action with my camera.

One of the reasons I like to take photos instead of fishing is that I don’t have to worry about guys following me around. It is still annoying though when I see guys following me when I am just taking photos. The other day I went up to the dam to do a drift and the 3 boats fishing up there all followed me down one of the cuts. It would be funny, but they spook all the wildlife away.

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Fisherman and Hunters should Vote Democrat

Fisherman and Hunters should Vote Democrat but they don’t because their bait shop and gun shops tell them democrats want top take their guns away and make restrictions. But it’s all lies so they can sell you more guns. When people worry guns will be outlawed, they stock up on guns and ammo. It’s a scam.

The truth is republicans want to screw rivers and lakes up. They want to do away with protections, regulations to keep waters pollution free, they want to do away with stocking programs, they want to let farmers have run off of chemicals and mud when it rains, let farmers cut down all their trees, do away with public lands and parks, take away your SS pensions, take away your medicare and medicaid, tax you more while giving tax breaks to the rich etc etc.

Democrats are also gun owners, hunters and fisherman. They are the smarter ones that know what is going on. Ya we want common sense gun regulations so guns don’t end up in the hands of criminals, but no restrictions for hunting, target shooting or just owning guns. Republicans put guns in the hands of criminals and they will be the one’s ruining it for all gun owners when mass shootings become common.

Save our water and public lands, get the criminal republicans out that only care about big business and the rich. Also keep in mind, FOX news is for the rich, not hunters and fisherman, don’t get brainwashed by their lies.

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Fisherman Stealing Fishing Spots

There is a constant stream of fisherman running through boat ramps and every look out they can find to see where other fisherman are fishing. Some will drive a lot of miles to check out where everyone is fishing. Years ago I had a friend stop by and ask if I wanted to go for a ride to check the river out. I said no, but he insisted, he didn’t want to drive all the way by himself. So reluctantly I agree. It didn’t make much sense to drive all that way to look at the river. Well he didn’t want to look at the river, he wanted to drive through all the ramps and look outs to spy on people. He was so excited as he was showing me his spotting scope and how powerful it was. He was laughing and saying “I can even see what lure that guy is using”. My response was “I don’t do this sort of thing, let’s go home”.

Every ramp I use I see a constant flow of fisherman. I hang around areas to take photos so I get to see just how many people do it, and there are hundreds. They might be from the quad cities, or rockford, but mostly just locals from clinton. They drive through every ramp, they go to every lookout with their binoculars or spotting scope. They might be on the bluffs over looking the river where they can see for miles. They stop right on the road, highway or bridge and watch. I have seen then hide behind trees, rocks, or be in a boat and hide behind islands. I have had people admit that they were hiding behind an island looking to see where I went during a tournament to help a competitor out.

One day I drove down to a secluded ramp looking for wildlife after being out fishing in the morning and some guy came flying down, did a quick circle and sped off. I just drove down the road, didn’t see any turkeys that I was looking for, and then left and I noticed one dead squirrel and 2 dead rabbits that weren’t there a few minutes before, so it was that guy, some bass fishing tournament angler looking to see where everyone was. He probably hit 10 ramps between Albany,Clinton, all the way to Savana.

The other day I was fishing a small spot and I could hear a dog barking, and had a feeling I was being watched. About an hour later here comes some boat racing to where I was fishing, barking dog in tact, doing the exact same thing I had been doing. I took his photo and noticed it was the same guy that did it to me last year, different spot and he has a new boat. These guys think that is how it is supposed to be and don’t realize they are stealing.

I used to fish tournaments and I always thought it was a coincidence that someone pulled up right next to me. One of the last tournaments I fished a boat did that and the fish I had found the evening before had moved 50 feet and so he pulled up right on them and we didn’t catch any. We went to the next spot where I shock off a 5 pounder the day before and a canoe held up a 5 pounder to show us. I ran to the 3rd spot, a bank where we could get a limit and a guy from work was fishing from shore, he said he had a limit and a guy that worked with us told him to go there because the guy I had with me told him where we caught fish.

I have learned to always look behind me. I have had people who like to follow me hide near the ramp and find when I get to my spot they were behind me the whole way and I just showed them my favorite spot.

I have fished walleye tournaments and had guys see me catch fish, and when I moved to check another spot and come back, there they sat and didn’t move for 2 days. This is common in tournaments, they think it is normal, but it is stealing. I have seen FLW hold tournaments on the Mississippi River and some of the better fisherman would have a pack of boats follow them around and watch them. Again, they think this is what fishing is all about. Its all about spots, you just have to catch guys fishing in spots and then steal them. But it’s not. I have to get patterns going every time I go. I have to hit many spots, watch the river levels and consider the time of year. If people have to just steal spots they are losers and might as well give up fishing. Some like to claim “well I’m just learning” but here is no excuses, stealing is stealing.

There is nothing wrong with seeing where the crowds are, like if they’re biting at the dam area, but if you are watching a boat with a scope, and you go there to where you saw him fishing, you are a lowlife thief.

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