Thank you! I normally save all of my thank yous in my final fishing report for my final paragraph in the report. But this year has been so good, so very special that I thought it would be only appropriate to start out with sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has made it all possible! And before I thank anybody, I think the biggest thanks of all needs to go out to the big guy up above that has blessed us all with this greatest fishery on earth. Thank you God for beautiful Lake Erie (most of the time, lol!) Thank you for giving us all the most unbelievable crop of fish that any of us has ever witnessed over the many, many years. 2018 has certainly been AMAZING! On a personal note, thank you for keeping me and all of my passengers safe. Thank you for giving me the health to still be able to do this job at this insane level after all these many years. And thank you for all of the success that I have enjoyed along the way. Speaking of success, I would truly be dead in the water if it weren't for all of you guys, my sponsors! YOU GUYS ROCK! My many guests that faithfully come out each and every year. You make this all possible for me. I have the best bunch of guys (and gals) that fish with me on earth! We’ve developed many wonderful friendships. Many that now go well beyond just fishing. To all of you I say a deep heart felt THANK YOU! I am humbled by everyone's loyalty and generosity. It is all greatly appreciated!
Someone else that I don’t think I thank nearly enough is my lovely wife Joyce. Many of you have met her on the weekends as she has first mated for me here the last handful of years or so now to give me a little break from running solo everyday. Although she herself has a full time job Monday through Friday, she graciously comes out on the weekends and works very hard along side of me to help all of our guests have the most enjoyable, successful trip possible. She is a real people person. Bubbly and always smiling! This year with the extreme fast pace of fishing that we all experienced and enjoyed I sure did appreciate having some additional help at least on the weekends. It was CRAZY out there! And long after everyone has left, on the weekends Joyce is busy scrubbing the boat, doing the windows or doing whatever else that needs to be done or that I would happen to ask of her. Many months before the boat even ever hits the water each spring she works very hard right along side of me getting everything done to the boat that needs to be done each year. So much cleaning and countless coats of wax that she has done over the many years. THE TROPHY truly stands tall when she first hits the water each and every year! For all of your help and time Joyce I say THANK YOU and I love you! We make a great team out there!
The fishing this year has been beyond tremendous. This past week again was no exception. Once again we lost a few a few days due to bad weather as I feared in my last report but the days that we got out the Walleye fishing has been nothing short of ON FIRE! Nothing seems to change this year. Day after day the massive schools of fish are still out there and seemingly going nowhere. Everywhere we go seems like too. And they are so aggressive and willing to hit most anything. The bulk of the fish are the 3 year olds that I have been writing and talking about now for a long time. Hatched in the spring of 2015. The ones that were mostly all under size last year and we were throwing back by the hundreds each week. I kept saying last year to everyone, “wait till next year!” And this year, sure enough they grew into nice keeper sized Walleyes. Fast and furious with rarely a throw back. Just so many mature Walleyes in the lake right now. And just when you think there is no way, no how it can get any better... The states Division of Wildlife officials have just officially announced that this springs Walleye hatch is the second highest, most successful hatch that has ever been recorded! WHAT!!! We have sooooo many Walleyes already now in the lake and we have yet another record crop of Walleyes coming? Are you kidding me! I can not begin to imagine what the fishing will be like if we get anything close to what we already have out there which in itself would easily carry this lake for the next 10 plus years. Many of my more local groups know about the spillway in Linesville, PA on Pymatuning lake where the Carp are so thick that the ducks literally walk on the fish. That's my vision of Lake Erie and the Walleyes here in a couple of years! Ha!
So this year is about a wrap now. As I mentioned before in a report or so back, this will be my final fishing report for the 2018 season no matter what. As I also mentioned I do plan on leaving the boat in the water for another 2-3 weeks however. I don’t have much for trips booked so if anybody wants a late season fishing trip as long as these Walleyes hang around here, I am willing to give it a shot. There are plenty of days to choose from as well. If not, I am very satisfied with how things went for me this year. It was another great year business wise. I truly am LIVING THE DREAM at RIVER MARINE, the summer home of THE TROPHY. It was really a fun place to be this year. Lots of exuberant and happy people all hanging around waiting to have their catches cleaned at the end of the trip. Or what I like to call, the after party! Ha! We sure had some good times! OK, there is one final group of people that I didn’t mention but that I would like to thank before signing off. It's all of you that have followed along each week here with my little blogs. My faithful readers. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading them nearly as much as I have enjoyed telling my story each week. So until we meet again next year whether it be on the water or in print, I wish everyone a very safe, warm and healthy offseason. And Happy Holidays too! Cya in 2019!