Monday, November 2, 2009

Things to do when the Fish don't bite...part #1

Got back from Oscoda, Michigan, last night....yep, a day early, but that sometimes happens when the fish aren't biting, at least not biting in the form you are accustomed to...

From the Beginning____

Nick and I took off from Celina about 9:30am Thursday. Although he temperatures were scheduled to be 'Indian Summer' like in both Ohio and Michigan with plenty of sunshine, that didn't see to want to work out. We drove up US 127 for about 250 miles before crossing over on Michigan 61 towards Standish and the Michigan "Thumb"...we then proceeded the last miles up US 23 to our destination north of Tawas City, Oscoda. We arrived about 4 O'clock and I guess we should have saw what was going to be our luck, or lack of it for the weekend at that time. We rolled into the little dump on Lake Huron called Aurora Resort to find a new management team on hand...and instead of the $25 a night for the rooms, the manager and his wife demanded $45. Well $45 for a one bedroom, 2 bed motel with a space heater seemed, at least in the off season, pretty steep, especially considering there were no other customers.

So we turned them down, and headed north on 23 towards the Oscoda city limits...after back tracking a bit, Nick pulled the Saturn into an again group of cabins with a sign that said...Blue Horizon Court "Spend a Night, Not a Fortune". We pulled the car into the parking area where 2 guys about our age with tossing the Corn Hole Bags into the game slots out back...I jumped out and was greeted by Jerry, and 101st Airborne Vietnam Vet, from Kentucky, who was staying for the winter in one of the single room cottages, and the owner manager, Bob Laliberte....I told Bob about our luck or lack of it with Aurora, and he said, he could beat the price, but would set us up in one of his 2 bedroom cabins with complete kitchen, cable TV and it's own heading system{no space heater required}...and we could have it for $50 a night...hummm, not much doubt there, The Aurora for $45 or Blue Horizon for $50 with twice the space and much nicer in general. It was a no-brainer. So I plunked down $100 for the first 2 nights, and we were ready to move in, unpack, and go fishing.

At the mouth of the Au Sable River, where it meets Lake Huron, there is a large Marina with a bait, tackle shop with gun store called the Bunyan Town Tackle and Marina with the "Lock, Stock, and Barrel" gun store. We had purchased our fishing license with lifetime DNR Sportscard{required to purchase an out of state license}....we stopped in and picked up our license and talked with the owners.

As luck would have it, as we were walking out, I noticed a pickup truck with a Vietnam Flag as the front license, with a K-9 Dog Logo and SPS{Security Police Squadron} on it...the driver was just getting ready to leave when I tapped on his window...a fellow Air Force Cop from the Vietnam War I had discovered...we talked for about 10 minutes and invited Bob to our Mini Reunion in March in Dayton, and also invited him to join the Vietnam Security Police Association. He had heard of the VSPS, but was not yet a member. He promised to take a look at the web site:

as we said our good-byes and he drove away....

The Fishing___sort of____

The reports we got were as expected...the Salmon run was finishing up and most had moved out into the lake...Steelheads were moving in, but large numbers had not been taken. Seems most folks were having better luck at the Marina, where the river met Lake Huron, and they were catching mostly Walleye there. Nick and I were old Walleye fisherman from as far back as the early 1980s when we would take the 22 footer out into Lake Erie and usually take our limit a time or 2 per day....we were really not looking to take Walleye, but we would see how things went.

One thing that was going on was the coming front and rain...1 to 2 inches of the wet stuff were expected, and it was going to start Thursday night. So we decided to grab supplies, including a bottle of Drambuie and Chili fixin's and at least eat well, if we were going to struggle catching what we wanted. So we grabbed some Bratwurst, Chili Beans, with ground beef, and the other ingredients that go with it, Romain Lettuce, and other fixin's for the salad....and tossed in a case of Miller Lite...we had a supply of 20 or so Cigars in a variety of hand rolled shapes and sizes, and some Folgers Coffee....

We were ready to try our luck at fishing...if that did not go as well as last year{when we brought home over 50 pounds of Salmon Fillets}, we were still going to eat well, drink well, and have plenty of good Cigars to sample.

back later with part 2


A few photos of the first days at Oscoda...more, along with the continued story over the next couple of blog posts....Top Left...a Morning Sunrise off the beach at the Blue Horizon as it comes over Lake Huron. (2) The Blue Horizon office looking out over the Lake (3) Our 2 bedroom cabin (4) Nick and me with Cigars and Drambuie on Thursday night (5, 6, 7} Some of the home cooked fare...Chili, Fresh Salad, and smoked Bratwurst with cheese filling (8) Rainy Friday Morning at the Pier as the Au Sable flows into Lake Huron (9) Cigars and Coffee were the constants for after breakfast...Cigars and Drambuie and Beers were the constants after the fishing was done in the evenings.


Mushy said...

Just a little envious!

Deborah Wilson said...

Not envious here - just jealous! lol

Looks like you guys had a good time - I love Bratwurst sausage - but they are best cooked on the grill...with corn on the cob.

Shrinky said...

You didn't go hungry I see - shame about the fish, but with good company, shared food, and a few raised glasses, I am sure you made the best of it!

mike phillips said...

PRH,I stumbled on to your site a few months ago and have been reading your blog and really enjoy it.We have a lot of the same views.I saw where you and a buddy make an annual fishing trip to oscoda,michigan at the foote dam.
I am from southern Ohio and we used to go there way back when with a motor home and about 10 to 12 of us,and oh what a time I looked a the dam in your pictures,and man what memories that brought back to me.
I would love to make that trip again someday.
Mike phillips

PRH....... said...

Thanks for stopping by Mike...we are planning on being up this year on October 28th for 3 or 4 days....we plan on a party, whether the fish bite or not!