Detroit Sports and More

Detroit Area Sports and the Great Outdoors

Could one more trade with the Cowboys be in store?

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 27, 2009

More news about Greg Ellis leaving the Cowboys is surfacing. He has been up and down with management, publicly discussing his future with the team at times. It appears he will not be with the Cowboys this season, one way or another. Will all the talk about Kevin Carter coming to Detroit, I think it may be a better move to grab a guy like Ellis. He prefers a 4-3 End position and is capable of double digit sack totals still. A 12 year vet, he is described as a leader in the locker room and as a guy that is well liked.

A solid DE at 6’6″ and 262 lbs. Ellis can play both the run and pass although he is a pass rusher first. I think on this Detroit team, with Grady next to him, he could get 8 or 9 sacks. Combine that with DeWayne White at 6 and you have a decent pass rush. Not great, but respectable. Bring I Kevin Carter and Cliff Avril to spell your starters and you have a rotation of guys that can get the job done.

I will be watching this situation as closely as I am able.

Posted in Detroit Lions, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

My quest for a state record…..

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 26, 2009

Last year I went fishing with my father. It was a simple trip, a semi-tradition I suppose. Usually on the 4th of July or Memorial Day we try to go fishing in the morning. It’s always for something to keep, never sport fishing. Bluegills are the main target, sometimes Walleye, Crappie, or Perch are on the menu too though.

Last year we did the traditional Bluegill trip on a small row boat at a friend’s house. The lake is private and quieter than most. It is a very large lake and has very good water clarity. That day was windy though and things were getting stirred up a bit. The west/southwest winds were pushing 1-2′ waves across the open water. We were fishing in a 14′ row boat with a 30 lb. thrust trolling motor. It’s not much for fighting winds and waves.

The wave action was creating some interesting breaks along the north shore so we found a bay and nestled up into it. Being early in the year the pollen was floating on the water and settling in the slack areas. It made identifying the slack easy and gave a nice visual to cast to. We set up our bobbers and worms and casted them to the break. We caught Bass, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Perch, Rockbass, and even a Smallmouth. It was fun fishing.

The break was producing lots of fish but not many really big fish. We started casting to the other sides of the boat in slightly deeper water. We started catching nicer fish. 9″ Gills started filling the stringer.

Then I got a BIG surprise.

I hooked into what felt like a decent Bass. Then it turned sideways, which is a trademark for a Bluegill, so I knew I had a good 9″ or better Gill on. When I grabbed it from the water I was stunned. It wasn’t a Bluegill, it was a Pumpkinseed Sunfish.

My first impression is that it was deformed, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I had caught Gills over 10″ before but never a Pumpkinseed. It looked like it had a helmet on, kind of like the old leather football helmets. It’s head, directly above it’s eye, went straight up and made it have almost a square appearance.

I knew I had something special so I decided to get some measurements. The length came in right at 10 1/8″ and the weight was 0.97 lbs. on the digital scale. For a Bluegill that’s nice, but not special. For a Pumpkinseed, that’s HUGE. The official state record is 10″ and 1.34 lbs. Looks like mine needed to fatten up some. Being Memorial Day I imagine it will by fall.

This experience got me thinking, the lake is healthy and has good numbers of above average fish. The lake could produce a state record perhaps? I think I will see if it can….

Posted in Fishing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Dontrel Willis: What a game last night!

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 20, 2009

With all of Hockeytown focused on the game 2 match up with the Black Hawks, little attention was given to the Tigers game against the Rangers, a high powered offensive team riding a seven game win streak. Willis was making another start after not looking special in his previous outing.

The first was a little rocky, but the Rangers left some men stranded and earned no runs. Earning just one hit over the next 5 innings the Rangers did not score any runs against Willis. He managed to go 6 and a third scoreless innings, giving up one hit along the way. His 5 strike outs to just 2 walks was also encouraging.

Add to his performance the fact that the bullpen shut out the Rangers, bringing the shut out total to 6 this season. Up from a total of just 2 all of last year.

It’s one game, which usually carries little meaning in baseball, but, at least for Tigers fans, it should be a game to remember.

_Dave

Posted in Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Sports | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

More Spring Fishing

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 18, 2009

Shore brush, great for fishing....

Trying something different.....one of my favorite species in Michigan.

Trying something different.....one of my favorite species in Michigan.

A few pictures from some of my favorite lakes in Oakland County, MI. The picture to the left is a beautiful spring pumpkin seed and the right is some great shore line structure on a lake I grew up on. The lake isn’t pretty and that’s part of what makes it so much fun to fish.

If you look closely you can see a stump on the bottom of the right picture. The lake is full of wood and tires.

The fish on the left was taken on an ultra light spinning rod. The lure is a bit unusual. I used an ice fishing teardrop style jig and slid it inside a micro panfish tube, about 3/4″ long in total. Tipped with a Gulp! waxxie it will catch Gills, Perch, Bass, Crappie, and more. It’s a lot of fun to mix things up every now and then.

With Memorial day coming I hope to get a couple of my friends out on the water, Memorial Day and Independence Day are usually when I go out with my Dad but he’s out of town this year. Hopefully in a few years the tradition can include my son, Cullen, shown here ready for an airsoft battle.

Watch out!

Watch out!

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What happened to Responsible Hunting?

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 8, 2009

All around the United States people hunt for deer. It is as American as Credit Cards. Through remarkable management efforts the opportunity to harvest a deer has never been better. The problem is the quality of deer has dropped to next to nothing in many areas.

There are places where a six point with a 13″ spread is a nice deer. What about a six point 13″ deer is nice. I understand that getting a deer in some areas is difficult enough and is still an accomplishment, but you may as well shoot a doe. The average buck with a 14″ or less spread is a year and a half old. It’s a kid in deer years, not a baby, but about a 7 year old.

” But there aren’t any big bucks where I hunt!” You know how many times I’ve heard that? Well, just maybe, if you let them live another year, that’s right, just one, they’d be much bigger. You see a two and a half year old deer is going to be 15″-18″ wide typically and have seven or more points. Not a giant, but much bigger. A teen if you will.

If you can be patient for two years, that buck, at three and a half years, will be 17″ or better and sport seven or more much larger points. These are general numbers and can vary but no matter how you add them up, the deer are much bigger.

Can we not hold off for two years and eat a doe? Is it that hard. Seriously, if I told you that you could have a doe this year and next and a wall hanger buck the year after if you didn’t shoot a buck the next two years would you take it? I know that you may not get those deer but letting them live certainly increases the odds.

Most hunters sacrifice time hanging stands, putting in food plots, and sitting in the cold for countless hours yet we can’t pass up shooting a small buck? Come on everyone. Let them live, create something special for yourself and your future generations. Practice responsible harvest.

Let them go another year.

Let them go another year.

Posted in Hunting, Michigan | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Get Your Food Plots Started Now

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 5, 2009

Here the author is clearing diseased Ash trees to make room for a food plot.

Here the author is clearing diseased Ash trees to make room for a food plot.

It’s that time of years, forsythia is blooming, apple trees are blooming, and the grass and trees are beginning to green. The warm temperatures are finally here to stay, well for a few months at least.

With the knee jerk reaction to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shut down baiting last year. A few guys were still found munching on an apple or two on stand, some had a hard time explaining the Sugar Beet they were nawing at, but for the most part baiting shut down. Deer patterns were altered significantly and many hunters had to adjust if they wanted to fill a tag.

With the new regulations food plots have become even more popular. A certain TV Show, with a certain comedian, displaying big southern bucks taken on ranches that survive thanks to land management using food plots haven’t hurt either. The truth is that these days most of us do not have the time or resources to spend weeks in the woods. Many of us are lucky to be able to hunt on the weekend at a friends, instead having to find the nearest pumpkin patch to try our luck at a swiss cheese deer.

If you have a spot of land where you can hunt and make some minor adjustments, then you need to take a close look at food plot hunting. It is truly superior to baiting at drawing in deer. Food plots have several advantages over traditional baiting tactics.

First, plots are always there and the deer know it. Deer will establish a regular feeding pattern often times. They become a natural part of the environment and a place where deer can feed with little pressure. This gives you a few key advantages; first, you can establish a pattern for many deer. Noting when they visit and which routes they use. Second, deer are far less wary on a plot, causing them to act more freely. There’s nothing more irritating than drawing on a deer only to see it get spooked by the wind before you shoot.

Second, plots provide year round nutrition. This impacts the overall health of the herd and can result in bigger bodies, increased antler growth, healthier fawns, and less “die-off” in winter.

Third, plots are easier to work with. Food plots can take a lot of effort to establish depending on the size and quality to want to achieve. They can also be as simple as throwing seed onto the ground a few times. The quality is up to you. More importantly though is that once established, they are there. You don’t have to throw a wet bag over your shoulder or carry a pail by your side. There is nothing to worry about in the fall, unless you want to do some fall plantings to enhance the plot. Instead, the work is all done in the spring, under ideal weather conditions, and at your leisure.

Basic food plot set-up requires mainly a few hand tools but power equipment and even a tractor or ATV with the right implements can be used. For small, simple food plots you can get away with a few items from your garage.

First step, pick a spot. This requires only a shovel and maybe some pruning shears. Food plots should be placed in a place that receives over 4 hours of direct sunlight. The vast majority of the plants used for plots prefer sun. You can put them right out in the open for full sun or in a wooded spot with partial sun. Shade is not recommended. There are some specialty seeds that allow for minimal light but the general rule should be more than 4 hours of direct light.

Once you have found some areas that fit the light requirements, it’s time to check the soil. Take your shovel and turn the dirt over in a few spots where the food plot would be. You looking for dark, moist earth if possible. Trying to plant on hard packed clay or bare, dry sand takes a lot of effort and offers poor results in most cases.

If the spot has ground that you can work with and gets adequate sunlight, then it’s time for the final test. Can you hunt nearby. Plots will draw deer, plain and simple. You have to be able to take advantage of that fact. Being able to hang a tree stand or setup a hunting blind nearby is imperative.

If you have all three requirements met than you have found your spot and can begin preparation. This is the most labor intensive part of the process. You’ll want to clear vegetation. Pruning shears, a gas powered weed trimmer, a leaf rake, a steel rake, a chainsaw, a tractor, and round-up are all items that can get the job done. It all depends on the size of the plot and how much clearing is needed. I think it’s important to remember that clear cutting an area for a food plot is not the most responsible thing to do. Leaving a few small trees or pieces of brush will provide security for the deer.

Clear the land and till up the soil if needed. You want bare dirt or close to it for larger plots. For small woodland plots, having grass or other small, natural plants mixed in is a good idea.

Check back for more information regarding plot seed choices and final ground preparations.

Posted in Hunting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Detroit River Walleye Fishing Trip May 1, 2009

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 1, 2009

Sean had a decent morning.

Sean had a decent morning.

I was able to get out for a few hours this morning to see how the Walleye action was doing on the Detroit River. I was fishing with friends near the Mud Island and the Ecorse River Inlet. The weather conditions were ideal with very little wind, about 5 mph or so out of the West/South West, overcast skies, and temperatures in the mid to upper 50’s.

There was very little boat traffic to start the morning and the overall boat traffic was moderate to low as the morning went on. The drive out was beautiful, we launched around 6 am and were still under the city lights as we idled out to the big waters. The Ambassador Bridge could be seen in the distance with it’s lights on.

We spent the entire morning on the U.S. side of the river. We fished in the areas around Mud Island, drifting from buoy to buoy and starting the process over. My friend Sean, from up in Minnesota, was along for the ride and it was his first time on the river. He was the first to hook up and caught a nice keeper Walleye early on. We had several hits after that but didn’t boat another fish for a short while. Our Captain (well it’s his boat anyways so Captain it is) Mike was next to boat a fish. I finally got in on the action and then had a run of good luck. By 9:30 am we had seven nice keeper fish in the boat and had thrown back several more smaller fish. We also caught a few White Bass and Sean and I each were each surprised by a Small Mouth Bass. All in all it was a successful morning.

Other commitments forced me back ashore around 10 am and Sean and I left Mike behind to catch some more fish.

We ran into Captain Jon Bondy with some customers, they were boating fish throughout the morning as well. You can visit him at http://www.fishstclair.com . I would strongly recommend using a guide the first time on the water. The amount of knowledge you can gain on one trip is worth the cost alone. It is a lot of water to cover and knowledge is key to success.

The water was pretty cloudy and visibility was low. I found the most success came by keeping the jig within inches of the bottom. Most bites were being had about an inch or two off the bottom. I was quickly popping the jig up, sometimes pausing it, and always keeping tension on it so I could feel every bite.

I’ll upload a picture when I get a chance. Until then, get out and make some pictures of your own!

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Water Quality Report for the Detroit River

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on April 30, 2009

The Detroit River is warming up and is back on trend. The water is very muddy though with recent storms and rain water rushing into the water system. The Canadian side is especially muddy. You should probably stick with the US side for the most part. Walleye numbers are on the rise right now with limits being caught despite the tough conditions. You may have to brighten things up or add some scent to help get that extra bite in the low visibility conditions. Good luck on the water. I’ll be out there tomorrow morning and hopefully I’ll have another report and some pictures to share.

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Spring fishing at it’s finest

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on April 29, 2009

I love spring fishing in Michigan!

I was lucky enough to catch this and several other bass in the 20″ and better class the other evening. In about 25 minutes I managed to catch 5 bass. It was a great way to start the spring. This fish pictured is a nice 22″ bass. I caught them on a Zoom Super Hog in Neon Flash. I can’t say where though…

Posted in Fishing | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

 
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