Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks On Thanksgiving In Houghton Lake

The time of the harvest is complete for another year. The deer season is almost at an end. My pond hopper 2 man boat is waiting to be put away until spring. A light dusting of snow warns us of what is soon to come. It's Thanksgiving, a time for gathering together with family and friends to indulge ourselves in the bounty of our mother earth and to give thanks for what we have.
I have almost everything I need and I want for very little. I am thankful for the kindness that others have shown me. I am thankful for family and friends who overlook my faults and love me unconditionally. I thank my maker for my reasonably good health and the talents and gifts that I have been blessed with.  I am thankful for the good fishing I have had this season. I am thankful for this home.
I'll be writing soon about Tip Up Town USA. The snowmobile season is almost upon us. Sledding and cross country skiing and of course, ice fishing. I'm also thankful for my 1 follower, thanks Mike.

Also a special prayer for my niece Lisa.

Until next time, stay safe, stay warm, stay well,

Ken Stephenson

Monday, November 22, 2010

Houghton Lake Fishing Report-Reedsburg Dam Pt 2

Dead Stream by Reedsburg Dam

Hi Again
It was a beautiful day here in Houghton Lake, with temperatures close to 60 degrees. So I took advantage and went fishing. I jumped into the Ford Explorer and headed west along M-55. My first stop was Lymans on the Lake bait shop to get some live shiners. Now what I call shiners are called "blues" by the folks at Lymans. Their a bit larger than minnows. I was after Northern Pike today. As I mentioned in my previous post the Pike are biting at Reedsburg Dam (on the riverside west bank). I arrived at my destination around 11:00. Once I made it down the hill and had my folding chair setup, and after several tries to get a blue on my hook, I was ready to fish.

With my brand new orange, weighted styrofoam bobber made for using in foam covered waters, I cast my line to where I thought the big ones would be waiting. I expertly dropped the bait just this side of the fast moving current. The bobber no more than hit the water and it disappeared under the foam. Like any good angler I  gave the pole the required jerk back and up over my head. After all I was after the big one and I needed to be sure the hook was set. But there was no tension in the line. Still my boober was gone. I heaved back again expecting the pull and jerk of the hooked fish. Nothing. Then I realized I had forgot to reset the bail on reel after I had made my cast. The strike had been so quick I forgot to give the reel a crank. So instead of setting the hook I had paid out an extra twenty feet of line.

I figured the fish was long gone or had swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker (maybe even my brand new orange weighted styrofoam bobber made for using in foam covered water). And was happily sitting under some rock and laughing at me (if it is possible for a fish to laugh). I began reeling in line until I had taken up the slack and gave the pole an easy flick. Bam! The pole came alive as the Pike on the other end decided to make a fight of it.

Now I don't usually go for Northern Pike. I go after Walleye, Perch, Sunfish, Bluegill and Bass. Just whatever happens to be biting where I wet my line. But this is the first time catching Pike in a river. Not only do you have to work the fish to the shore but also guide it around the rocks. All told I caught 5 Northern Pike, 3 were of legal size (24"), the other two were only about 20" long. There was a sixth one but I only had him for about 5 seconds and my line broke, setting my brand new orange, weighted styrofoam bobber made for using in foam covered water, free to float around the currents. It did eventually make it's way to shore so I was able to retrieve it. Hey, it's not the money (approximately .70 cents) it's the principal of the thing.

Until next time, stay safe, stay dry and hang on to your bobber.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Santa Has Arrived at the Houghton Lake Playhouse

It's a cold fall day here so the jolly old elf and his entourage should feel right at home. The parking lot at the Houghton Lake Historical Playhouse was over flowing with cars, trucks and suv's as children and parents came to welcome Santa and Mrs Claus. The big guy promised yours truly a new "lucky" fishing hat and a warm pair of hunting socks. Often being mistaken for the man himself, I vow once again to start my diet and lose weight (after the New Year or possibly the Superbowl).

Santa encourages everyone to give a donation to Toys for Tots and Project Hope to help the less fortunate this holiday season.

And so...with a ho ho ho...I must go...peace.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Santa Comes to Houghton Lake Playhouse Sunday

Santa Claus is coming to town!!!

To the Houghton Lake Historical Playhouse to be exact. Houghton Lakes Merchant Association will be having it's annual Santas Workshop this sunday Nov 21 from 10am to 4 pm. Admission is free. Children can visit and get their picture taken with Santa. Also Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and friends and much more entertainment including crafts and face painting.

Also there will be donation drop boxes for Project Hope and Toys For Tots.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Houghton Lake Fishing Report-Reedsburg Dam

Reedsburg Dam 

I have been fishing by Reedsburg dam (off of county 300, north of M-55), fishing on the stream side of the dam. The eastside (the side with the stairs) has Perch hitting on nightcrawlers. The east bank (where all of the big rocks are) has the big ones. Just hooked a large Pike a couple of days ago. Of course the leader to my jighead broke before I could get it to the shore. What a fight. He won the first round, but round two is coming up soon. If your fishing with youngsters this could be a good place to try. Right now fish are hitting all day but morning (too cold for me) and 2 hours before sunset seem to be best times.

Theres also one of the best state campgrounds in the area right there at the dam. Actually one of the best in Michigan if you don't mind rustic camping (gotta love those vault toilets on a hot summer day). So if you have a hankering to go a campin' and a fishin', this is a great place to do it.

Just a quick note. The fish are mostly hitting on minnows and large shiners right now. I've caught some decent size Perch with nightcrawlers but for the big ones THINK SHINY MINNOWS. For the big ones stay just on edge of the mainstream towards the dam. Use a bobber about 12-16 inches above the bait. You can fish the bottom but you'll probably get caught in between the rocks and lose your rig. Also use a large bright bobber. The red and white ones are hard to see in the foam.

Until next time, keep warm, keep safe and keep fishing,
Ken Stephenson

Monday, November 15, 2010

2010 Firearm Deer Season Starts With A Bang

Althought the bow season for deer began on October 1st, the most anticipated is the firearm season which begins on November 15th. The number of hunting licenses purchased this year have been reported as down from previous years. Several factors have ben attributed to the slow sales with the primary reasons being the slow economy and opening day being on monday this year.
Still the first day here in Roscommon county found many a buck hanging from local buck poles.

Buckpole at Freds Of Roscommon

 As the weather cooperated though not to the extent some would wish. With the temperature around 32 degrees there were reports of a light dusting of snow in some areas that quickly melted. A few inches of snow on the ground are preferable for tracking movement of game. Also blood trails standout in the white snow making it easier to locate the deer after the shot has been taken.
So a little cold, a little damp and a lot of fresh air, what more could you want. Maybe a 14 pointer?