No charge to launch and/or park at Springstead Landing on the TFF. This landing normally has plenty of parking, toilet facilities and hand operated water pump.
A few more pictures:
Four fisherman from Ohio on a flat water hot sunny day, still managed a nice catch.
A good bite day on perch and walleye.
A good bite day in the rain.
In general a very good season, they don't bite aggressively everyday but there has been a lot of good ones.
MOON PHASE (85%)
61° - 65° F
61° - 65° F
Enjoyed some smallmouth fishing yesterday, rather enjoyed running the boat and watching my customers catch fish. I met Father and son Dick and Jeff for an annual outing with their flyrods. We were greeted with fog on the water, a cold north wind and air temps in the low 50's, the day did warm a little as time passed.
We started on a shoreline that was our best producer last year, the wind was blowing in but being proficient fly fisherman it wasn't insurmountable. We worked the best part of the shoreline and found only rock bass and a pike that would take the offering. I was really surprised it was prime territory for shallow bass. I worried the cold front might have put a big damper on the bite.
Jeff suggested we try some calm water, one of my favorite smallmouth islands was only a mile away, not a big island but big enough to provide a break from the north wind on its southern side. Again perfect structure, a mix of different size boulders with open areas of sand and small pebbles.
The fish were there, not sure why I never took up fly fishing, I never loose enthusiasm watching the fly rods bend into a u-shape with a smallmouth at the end of the line.
Dick took one of the bigger fish of the day on a yellow popper, it was the only fish taken on the surface. Jeff who for two days last year cast nothing but poppers somehow knew the bite wouldn't be on the surface, he tied on Clauser minnows in an olive green color and conehead wooly buggers, black bodies and white legs. He broke in a new St. Croix 7 wt. fly rod , he was really impressed with.
At days end I netted 18 smallmouth, 6 or 8 pike, they also caught about 30 rock bass, not as many as most years but for the conditions we were pleased. Oh I did catch a few fish, on one island shore I saw an approaching down tree, scrambled for a crawler and my jig rod and in 4 or 5 casts caught two walleyes and a rock bass.
Most of the fish were pretty tight to shore in a foot or two of water, the calm water was defiantly key to active fish. Some of the most fun to be had on the TFF, not sure how much longer they'll be shallow in numbers but they were yesterday.
In comparison, I used to fish a stretch of river/flowage between dams in Ontario that had a 13" Walleye limit. The residents complained about the restrictions and the size limit was removed. After that, everything was kept, and I do mean everything. Walleyes are now decimated. That was small acreage compared to the TFF, so I don't know if the shear size of the flowage is it's salvation.
Overall, Walleye restrictions have proven to be effective in maintaining a consistent quality fishery.
Then there are the tournaments and the live well culling that takes place. ( I don't know if the TFF has Walleye tournaments, I hope not.) A fish that swims away from a boat after being in a live well does not necessarily survive, but you will never convince live well cullers, tournament promoters and participants of that fact.
MOON PHASE (85%)
Do any of the guides emphasize catch and release for walleyes? Or for that matter the active fisherman who fish the TFF on a regular basis? It may be time to consider adopting this strategy. The musky fisherman rarely keep a musky, the same is true of the bass fisherman and most northerns are released as they are considered too bony. It seems the walleye fisherman keeps almost everything that is caught. This selective harvesting allows all the walleye's competitors to out compete them. In addition the closing of the Minocqua chain has placed increased pressure on the TFF as now guides that used to fish there are bringing clients here. Is there a Walleyes Incorporated like a Muskies Incorporated? If not maybe there is a need for one.