Limited out for the first time

Discussion in 'MICHIGAN LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by DLB-in-GR, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    I fished Sessions Lake in Ionia today and for the first time I limited out on channels. I have caught 6 a couple of times, 7 once, but never the limit of 10, until today. This was the first outing I have made this year. I fish from shore during the day and was set up in one spot; its hard to move around a lot once I get all set up with all the gear I think I need. The new 3 rod limit helped me a lot. I was using Secret-7 dip bait and dip worms, fished on the bottom, with no sinker. Largest fish today was 21", smallest 13", all perfect for a fish fry I can now host for a couple of my friends next week.

    I also caught a half dozen 'gills for my 85 year old grandma, she loves fresh bluegill and can't get out herself of course. The 'gills were not interested in biting, they were interested in surface feeding on some sort of bug that hatched which I could not mimic. The 'gills have not spawned yet, big ones full of eggs were schooled all over where I was fishing but they wouldn't really bite or pay any attention to anything I had. I didn't see any boaters getting any 'gills either, not even the fly fishers.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. DANNYfrmINDY

    DANNYfrmINDY New Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Martinsville, Indiana
    Glad to see ya had a great day on the water. Many more to come. Loved the pic.
     

  3. bream reaper

    bream reaper Member

    Messages:
    460
    State:
    Indiana
    Congrats on the nice batch of eaters!
     
  4. Gr_Cat

    Gr_Cat New Member

    Messages:
    78
    State:
    Michigan
    Nice day! I just started fishing Sessions myself. I fished near the beach while the kids played about a week ago. It was so windy the water was all churned up and it was tough even gettin a bluegill to bite. I gave up shortly there after. I'd love to take my son there for some channel cat action. You'll have to PM me any info you have on this lake. I'd appreciate it! Best of luck next trip out.
     
  5. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    Now get busy cleanin. LOL! Nice catch.
     
  6. Gr_Cat

    Gr_Cat New Member

    Messages:
    78
    State:
    Michigan
    Ok public humiliation time. So I had all day Saturday off, planned to try to mimic Doug's outing at Sessions. Here's how it went. Got up late around 9AM, to very gloomy rainy day. Wife made plans to take kids to "the mall", while I did my thing. Grabbed all my gear and headed to the flat river to catch some fresh chubs. Got about a dozen in a half-hour, nice big ones, some were actually really cool looking with a lot of vibrant red color to them. Headed to Sessions lake and tried a spot near the picnic area, looked decent for channels, but it was shallow there and tons of weeds. Sat there for about 2 hours without a single bite, with 3 poles out, one with a live chub, 2 with cut chunks. Speaking of cut chunks, what do you need to cut bait? A sharp knife right? More on that later.

    Needless to say it was closing in on noon, and I felt like moving. Started rounding up all the gear, so I thought anyways. Got packed back in the Jeep, and headed for the next spot on the lake. This time I tried in deeper water with no weeds near the dam. Well I got unloaded after walking about 20 minutes around the lake started to set-up and went to cut up a new chub. What the hell, where is my knife??? You have got to be kidding me! I left it back in the first spot. I loved that fillet knife enough to go back to retrieve it, so i grabbed all my gear and hiked back to the Jeep to go get my knife. You probably guessed it by now that it was taken! Yep I was too late (20 mins past), and someone nabbed my knife. ARGH. I knew I should have brought my boat, my alzheimers can't get me as bad when everything gets thrown in my boat! I was so pissed.

    Ok so I retried there near the dam, knifeless, well using my little spare pocket knife, and fished in a sharp drop off area, im guessing it was really deep here cuz the sinkers/bait just kept on sinking! At least 30-40'! And after sitting here for about 30 mins without a bite, I figured the channels would be seeking warmer water. Duh!

    Next and last spot I went to was the "old beach" area, and it is a really long hike thru a very rustic trail through some really thick vegitation! Remember, I do have a boat, I was regretting not bringing it from the minute I got there. (Alzheimers again). I went to the far end of the old beach to a point. It was extremely shallow here, but not much weeds a very sandy bottom. I threw out my rigs and was actively getting some decent strikes, but nothing would swallow the baits.

    Cell phone rang, wife on the other end getting back from the mall, around 6:30pm. I'm still fishless, I could'nt even get the bluegills to bite on a worm under a bobber! I felt cursed! Sun started coming out and the day was heating up. I called it around 7. 7 hours without landing a single fish! I suck!

    After getting back to the Jeep, I felt something on my chest. OMG a friggin tick! I got myself into a mass of ticks walking to that old beach area! I took myself almost naked in the parking lot, looking for more of the little suckers. Found about half a dozen on my clothes. As I was driving home I got a couple more climbing around on me.

    To make matters worse my little boy is fishin' down in Ohio with my dad, and he has been for almost a week now, and they are catching so many fish they lost count. I'll attach a photo of my son and one he caught.

    To sum it all up, I went home with less than what I came with. That's never the goal of fishing! -1 nice fillet knife, -blood from ticks. LOL.

    If anything, I just hope someone reads this that also thinks they have bad luck, cuz this one ranked right up there! :confused2:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    I feel really bad that you had such a bad time at that lake. I know with the right patience, bait, perseverance you can find them though, I know this because I went out Sunday to the picnic table and got 9 more! A couple of nice 3.5 lb-ers to make my drag sing as well. All were within 13" - 22". I am now a firm believer in "Secret 7" dip bait from Team Catfish. My best outing there before was using Sonny's, I got 7 once and 6 a couple of times using Sonny's. This year I have been out twice and gotten 19 in total using just "Secret 7". I am after the smaller eaters anyway, I think they taste better and would rather have a full stringer of those. The 3.5 lb-ers are nice, but I take anything that is legal (12" or bigger). With the dip bait, I have never gotten a fish that was too small, the small ones don't get hooked or something. Over 25" gets a picture and put back in the lake to make someone else's day.

    Good luck next time. Wear lots of deet, I forgot to mention that some places you hike out there have ticks. If you ever hike down to the creek off the spillway, down the big hill, you will get covered in them, but the fishing can be good in there too. I use 40% deet spray and still throw the clothes straight in the washer as soon as I get home.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Gr_Cat

    Gr_Cat New Member

    Messages:
    78
    State:
    Michigan
    Rub it in Doug, rub it in :) Thanks still for your info! :wink:
     
  9. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    No problem, any time I can help you get some bug bites, hike all over God's green earth, and lose your best knife, give me a hollar :big_smile:. I tried to give you more rep, but they want me to spread it around more first. Maybe someday you can tell me something about Flatheads on the Grand, which I know nothing about, other than what I have read on this forum. The only catfish I ever got from a river was a channel while sucker fishing on the Flat, the covered bridge at Fallsburg, and that fish almost cost me my rod because I was using a forked stick. That was back in '94, just fishing crawlers on the bottom, and purely an accidental catch. He wasn't big, but he did amaze the people at my Calvin College dorm where I took him and cleaned him :smile2:.
     
  10. ROYDOG

    ROYDOG New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    Charlotte, Mich
    Great job on the 2 nice stringers, hey and thanks for the lead on the dip bait....I just got off of the site from ordering some and WOW! the videos on team catfish are awesome.....thanks again brother!!!!!:wink:
     
  11. Gr_Cat

    Gr_Cat New Member

    Messages:
    78
    State:
    Michigan
    Wow you pulled a channel out of the Flat? Thats cool, I've never caught a cat anywhere on the flat other than at the mouth where it dumps into the grand in Lowell! Yeah I usually flathead fish, just started to channel cat fish around here. I'm usually out at night fishing a log jam somewhere in some remote section of river. I'm determined though to not let Sessions skunk me all summer long. I'm gettin back out there with the boat, and it will happen LOL!
     
  12. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Doug congrats on catching the limit. I think you got it figured out.
     
  13. Northstar

    Northstar New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    Michigan
    GR Cat, that's a great story. I think most of us have been there. It seems every other time I go out something happens. I have lost of forgot just about everything over the years. Licence, Wallet, Registration, Fix lights on damn trailer, Plug lights in, licence plate, remove straps from boat before putting in, bait, poles, line, battery, spot light, hooks, weights, anchor, plug in bottom of boat, knife, cooler, lighter, keys, cell phone, smokes, anchor line, gas, oil, and the only thing I did not lose or forget while fishing was my virginity and the beer.
     
  14. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    I am beginning to believe that myself. Thanks for the compliment. I went out to Sessions again today (Saturday) and limited out again, that's 29 fish for 3 trips, so I think I have something figured out at least. A bigger stringer today, 15 pounds total, all great eaters. All caught from one spot using Secret 7, not bad for a few hours in the afternoon.

    I had a couple of bites on cut bluegill, but from the way the bites acted, and the fish didn't eat the bait, I think I may have found a turtle (or rather, he found me). I'm still looking for a 10+ pounder out of that lake again to CPR. The new three rod limit lets me fish for eaters with large bass rods and have a larger pole baited with cut bait, a very nice addition to our regulations.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    As with last year's experience, the first week of July hasn't been a very productive one fishing cats at Sessions. I think it may be the spawn because the fish that I do catch are much darker in color and some have eggs. The bite is way off, maybe 1 fish per hour, which is unusual. I fished all morning yesterday (7-7) and came home with only four fish. They were not nailing the bait as they usually do either, they were pecking and dropping it, causing me to have to hold a rod and set the hook as soon as I saw any line movement at all. Normally the fish grab the dip worm and take off, there was none of that. Bluegill are spawning on Sessions Lake as well, and a cut piece of 'gill with gut sack, including egg sack, did produce a bite, but after the catfish pecked out the gut sack, he immediately hit the stink bait that was right next to it and I got him.

    In the picture, one fish looks "normal" in color to me (sorry, I am color-blind), and the rest look darker than usual. These fish were on a stringer most of the morning, but when I caught them they were even darker. Is there a way to tell physically if the fish is in spawn mode (other than color) or maybe by taking water temp?
     

    Attached Files:

  16. deerhunter3161

    deerhunter3161 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Michigan
    I'm not to far from there and was wondering how long where you able to stay out at nite and fish , I know that the park close's but don't know when and what end of the lake wher you on when you fished south end by the stumps and log's ???? I had a fella that I know fishes it for the walleye and have caught a large channel cat he said about 23 to 24 inch , he said it was a pig nice and plump.
    Scott.:eek:oooh:
     
  17. jmanion8

    jmanion8 New Member

    Messages:
    424
    State:
    Kansas
    Sounds like a great day on the water! That'll be a nice little cookout!
     
  18. deerhunter3161

    deerhunter3161 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Michigan
    yup I fish the thornapple river and catch a great deal of cats down ther and when the water was high just a little while ago I tried the secret dip and caught a bunch of nice cats but when the water leavel went down they didn't seem to like it as much as cut sucker or cut bluegill. but I'm intrested about sessions lake trying to tear up some nice cats with the girlfriend she dosen't always do as well as me when it comes to fishing for those cats even in the same boat , I keep tell'n her she isn't holding her mouth right ..
    Scott:wink:
     
  19. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    I do all of my fishing from shore, but you'd have an advantage in a boat, as you could move around more easily if you weren't catching much in one spot. The lake has many shore fishing spots and I've done well at most of them (even some from the handicap dock), but I have my favorite spots. I have gotten them all over the lake, the largest was 31" from the South end, back in '97, before I got into catting (I was bass fishing and he hit a bass worm!) I think back by the stumps would be a great spot to try, but its inaccessible to me from shore. The fish in my avatar was caught last year, 24" (5.6 pounds), on Sonny's dip bait from shore. If you check the DNR Master Angler list, some big ones have come from Sessions, and of course the rumors of 20 pounders float around among locals. I usually have a rod out with cut or live bluegill hoping for a 10+ pounder now that we can use 3 rods. They have been planting channels in that lake since they built it in the 80's, you can get the stocking info at the DNR website too I believe.

    I usually fish in the morning or any time of the day in June, but in July and August when it gets hot I don't usually arrive until after 4pm. The park closes at 10pm, but I don't know how strict they are about it (they won't close the gate at the entrance or anything), or what they do if you are camping and want to stay later (the park itself is technically a day use area, so you'd need to ask). I'm usually out of there by dark, I'm not really set up for night fishing anyway.

    Good luck! It seems that the channels in that lake are not heavily targeted by most of the fishermen, so its chock full of eater sized ones and I have to believe large ones too. Secret-7 and Sonny's are good baits there, as well as live bluegills.
     
  20. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    They are still biting at Sessions. I got out this morning and caught 9, largest was 22 1/2", loads of fun on a bass rod. Great eating too. I was getting hits on Sonny's and Secret-7 both, so I switched to Secret-7 and one rod with a lively bluegill. No action on the live bait, even bloodied up and swimming. I haven't gotten the science of using live bait I guess, I'll keep trying.

    Here is today's catch.
     

    Attached Files: