|Hello Everyone and Happy New Year ! 2009. Wow, has this decade flown by. And while it seems that the new fishing season is a long way off, in reality it will be here before you know it. Every year I get started preparing the boat for the new season around the first of March and we are always back in the water at our spring dock location at the western basin by the last week of March. By April the 1st, we are back in business chasing the Walleyes around the reefs and islands and jigging up some of the nicest fish of the entire year. I can hardly wait !|
While again this isn't exactly a fishing report, every year about this time of the winter I like to take a look back upon the season that just passed and also start to set my sites on the new fishing season that is upcoming that holds promises of even bigger and better things. Still it will truly be hard to top the 2008 fishing season that we all experienced aboard "The Trophy" last year. We literally had well over 1000 plus guests enjoy some of the best fishing I've personally ever witnessed in 32 years of fishing Lake Erie.
If you did not go home with your limit of Walleyes or Perch last season you were certainly a rare exception and probably one of those that drew a tough weather day on the big lake. Fishing started out great at Port Clinton last spring and we never once experienced a slow period till we were done for the year. After moving the boat to Ashtabula for the summer months by the end of May, we again opened up heavy in the Walleyes and we were all quite amazed at the sheer size of fish that we were catching. There is no reason to believe that this trend will not continue in to 2009.
On the downside, as a business operator 2008 will not go down in my books as the best economic year we ever had. Paying close to $5.00 a gallon for fuel for most all of last season truly hurt all of us big boat operators. I know it took a big toll on my operation. It was a real slap in the face only to see fuel prices ease AFTER THE SEASON HAD ENDED ! I am not buying into the fact that fuel will remain this cheap again next summer. Every year we go through the same scenario. After Memorial Day weekend prices soar upward again and at the end of the season after Labor Day when most of the consumption drops off, it eases again. I have seen it every year. It's just that last year was the worst.
For 2009 we have adjusted our summer trolling trip rates slightly to adjust for the economy that we live in. These offshore trips are where we took a beating the last several years and I can not continue to bring myself to beg for tips anymore to try and off set the situation. A few years back we tried a fuel sur-charge system and that was even more confusing. Anyways, all of the spring trips at Port Clinton will be offered at the same rates that were in effect the last several years. I can live with those because we don't burn quite as much on most days at Port Clinton as we do off the shores of Ashtabula.
The other downside of 2008 for me was the collapse of the River Marine marina where I have always been docked at Ashtabula into the Ashtabula River. If you're not familiar with the story you can read up on it on my August 10th Ashtabula fishing report found on my website www.trophycharters.com Basically what happened was that they dredged the river too close to the rivers edge and most of the frontage of the marina tumbled into the drink. The sea wall bulkheads, docks and everything was lost. Fortunately no boats were damaged. Anyway there is strong talk that everything will be rebuilt by this summer. We will just have to see how it all plays out. If not, I will be docked just on the south side of the bridge where I ended up last fall after the collapse. I will keep everyone posted ...
Lastly, our websites pictures on the home page and the photo album page have all been updated with fresh pictures from last season. Check them out and see if you made the cut ! Also right now is the time to book those last remaining last days that we might have open for this year. As most of you know, I book up very fast mostly thanks to all of you that keep coming back year after year. And for that fact I sincerely thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. Again, I am looking forward to seeing all of you, my friends aboard "The Trophy" in 2009 for another adventure on the big water !