While I could of easily opted for a warmer trip, my mind stayed on the glory of the cold and dark. The burbot promised a worthy adversary and would quench my need for the cold water fish, the ones seldom traveled for. There was probably never a worse time to plan a fishing trip, so with that in mind I never knew if I was going to pull the trigger or not. In the 11th hour it was decided I was spending the weekend on the shores of Lake Erie. My dad offered to come along and off we went. We made it to Lake Erie in good time, we got to the bait store right before it closed and got set up soaking baits just before dark.
And then it came, the lights went out, the winds picked up, they REALLY, picked up. I’m used to hunting and ice fishing but there was literal frost forming on the grill we were actively cooking hot dogs on, the chill coming off the Great Lake was something formidable. I guess until now I never knew what people meant by “feel it in your bones”, but I do now, I felt that cold in my bones. The mist from the lake weaponized into a coating of ice I got to wear through the night. To compensate for this I paced back and fourth constantly between the rods the entire night, changing fresh bait every hour. It just wasn’t meant for me, not even a tap was afforded to me by the Lake Erie burbot, not for lack of trying though.
It was my first time using AirBnb and I was pleasantly surprised by how superior the experience was to that of a hotel. The next morning I woke up refreshed, I tried to no avail to jig up these trophy perch I kept hearing about. Demoralized by the all to familiar PA skunk beat down, I caught out of the corner of my eyes a truck veer off the road. BUSTED! I see creek access!!! I’m sure the guy wasn’t happy to see me catch on. The moment I spooked a steelhead I knew I may be onto something. Alas that was the only big fish in the area, it became quite apparent micro fishing trip was the way to go if I didn’t want to drive home with my tail between my legs.
The shiners didn’t make it easy, I had to jig for them. The first one is what I think is a mimic shiner. It shook itself off the hook, then out of my hand, splattering more scales than I thought it had I took a quick pic and put it back hoping it would live. Unfortunately I didn’t bring a photo tank, didn’t think I’d need it burbot fishing!
The next fish took a little coaxing but once it struck it had a distinctly more authoritative bite, soon in my hand was the Emerald Shiner. I knew what it was fairly quick because I had used them for bait the night prior.
My dad and I headed to a local sushi place and he mentioned he wanted to see elk. So off we went, except we didn’t quite see them where we thought we would, my dad thought these were pet elk, that’s how close we were, but they weren’t! I got a few photos and quickly got out of the way of a nice local family with small children who stopped to take in one of this states true wonders.
The burbot may of bested me a second time but I’ll keep trying until the job is done, making victory all the sweeter.