Early migratory season hunters were greeted with a nice preview of fall weather this past weekend for the early goose and teal season opener.
A cool breeze from the north was perfect timing to getting those teal on the move from Canada. Blue winged teal are extremely early migrators and just a hint of fall weather can get them thinking of warmer wintering grounds. Opening weekend here for both teal and Canada Goose brought a taste of fall and solid numbers for gunning opportunities as well.
The early goose season is designed to control the resident population and this year there are plenty of them to go around. The challenge this time of the year is getting access to hunt them. Many of them are still milling around residential areas as they feed on lawns and loaf on residential ponds which are nearly impossible to hunt safely. Successful hunters are those who can find a wheat field or a freshly cut hay field that they are feeding in. Finding the water they return to for a drink during the day can be successful as well as long as you aren’t battling fishermen for a safe place to hunt.
The early goose season will continue through Sept. 15 and summer like temperatures are suppose to return. If you are out harvesting birds in this heat, make sure you get those birds on ice as quickly as possible to avoid spoiling the meat. Make sure you hydrate yourself and take care of your canine companion if you have one along as they can overheat very quickly in these kinds of conditions.
The teal season will continue for a week longer than goose lasting until Sept. 22. The action will more than likely be stagnant unless we get another cold front from the north to push a new batch of birds. Concentrate on the back waters of lakes and wetlands for these little guys. It doesn’t take much effort only needing a handful of teal decoys to be successful.
• Western Basin Lake Erie walleye and perch fishermen continue to struggle with not only unfishable wind conditions but finding desirable numbers as well. It seems mother nature is keen on keeping the boats at the docks on the weekends as the last several weekends have seen north or northeast winds which can make the lake extra rough.
Those that are getting out during the week are crying about the lack of any significant numbers any ways. The walleye are still east and the perch bite has been nearly non existent this summer. I am still hearing some good reports on walleye the farther east you go. I tried to chase them out of Huron this past Saturday and caught one trolling but the northwest wind got too rough for my fishing partner and we had to cut the trip extremely short.
The main lake water temperature has dropped ten degrees in the last three weeks and as it continues to drop, it will hopefully spark a migration back towards the western basin. The perch fishing continues to be really tough. Many fishermen talk of marking lots of fish on their sonar but they just aren’t biting. The most common theory seems to be blaming it on the large population of sea fleas that the perch appear to be filling up on. What perch are being caught seem to have bellies full of the fleas and they just aren’t interested into biting the shiners.
Hopefully, as fall continues to get closer, both the walleye and perch bite will improve and the weather will give us a few calmer days to chase them.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.