Traverse City Record-Eagle


May 2, 2014

Bob Gwizdz: Happy days are here again

SAGINAW — We were a little late getting started, in part because we launched at the Rust Avenue access site on the Saginaw River instead of our usual departure point, Center Road, a handful of miles upstream on the Tittabawassee.

Center Road, we were told, was “a zoo.” Isn’t it every opening day?

Greg Sochocki, with whom I’ve shared the opening day of walleye season more often than not in the last 25 years, suggested we troll our way up. Several years ago, we did the same and had five ‘eyes in the well before we started jigging — well downstream from where we’d intended because there were just so many fish. Other years, when the water lever was lower, we blanked.

So how would it be this year? Between the two extremes. By the time we got to where we wanted to fish at 10: 30 a.m. we’d boated a pair of walleyes on Rapala Husky Jerks.

The current was ripping, making Sochocki’s job on the trolling motor, difficult to say the least. On our first pass down the river, nobody had a bite. And although we were fishing relatively shallow water — say, for four to eight feet — we had to go to heavier jigs just to stay in contact with the bottom. But once we got the details worked out, well, we remembered why opening day on the Tittabawassee River is special.

Over the next couple of hours — Sochocki, who is a baker, had to leave early to deliver a wedding cake — we put a dozen fish in the boat.

“You have to get it right in their face in this strong current,” said Sochocki, who, despite being mostly a bass fisherman, knows how to catch walleyes, too. “We’re moving awfully fast and you have to have it right in front of them. If you lift it up too high when you’re jigging, you go right past them.”

Text Only

Auto Racing News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted