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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Greg, Dave (Papa), and Jake 7/1/2020

by Capt Juls on 07/01/20

Greg called me to see if I had any availability last week, and due to a reschedule I had today open for him, his dad Dave, and his son, Jake.  

He really really wanted to drift cast, so I agreed to take them out to drift....and, cast. 

I figured Lorain would be a good bet, so I told them to meet me at Vermilion to launch at 5am. They showed up on time and we headed down the river in the dark. The sky was just beginning to lighten, and my senses were heightened. Unfortunately, the sense that senses a low bridge with the antenna up wasn't working this morning, and I snapped off about 5" of the glass rod. The antenna cable was still intact and standing straight up, so I was able to use the radio still.

Not a good way to start a day....sigh  I've got one being delivered tomorrow, so I'll have that replaced this weekend.

We headed up to the Sandbar first. It was a 7-8 mile ride from the Vermilion River, I think. We set up to do some casting and Greg caught a few dinks, but nothing big enough to keep.  

I sent a text to a friend who fishes the Central Basin all the time and he told me to go 4 miles more to the east, and I would find a lot of fish. "Tell them to get it on the bottom and bring it back", he advised. I told the guys what he said, and we made our way over there. 

The lake was windier over there and was probably 2 foot or less most of the time, but there were some 3 footers rocking the boat here and there too. Not bad.

We set up for a new drift on the new waypoint and had a perfect wind to take us right down along the side of a contour in 50' of water.  There were some boats trolling around us as we drifted along. Greg caught a few keepers and put them in the box. But, it was down to two rods, because Jake was tired from staying up too late, and just wanted to hang out and not fish.

Papa Dave started asking about trolling, and they said they would like to try it, so I pulled everything out and got it ready. Down went the Ulterra and the baby ETEC to move us at 2.4-2.6mph on a southwesterly course along that break.

The dipsies were set at 65 and 70 on the one setting and 65 and 92 on the 3 setting...all those caught fish.  

A "Racy Shad" Flicker Minnow took one at 65 back, as did a "Glare" Bandit set at 30/80 w/3oz, and a Blue/Chrome Bandit set 40/85 w/3oz.

We put seven more fish in the cooler more in short time..and, they were a nicer quality than the drift fish, so they were happy with that. But, they enjoy the casting, and asked if they could do that again, so I put everything away and went towards Vermilion to find some fish. 

Just more dinks in that spot...so, not a stellar day catching wise, but the three generations of the Fish family had a good time making memories together, and the conversation was pleasant....and, that makes me happy.

I'm off tomorrow, but will be back out Friday with Kevin Conely and his son to do some trolling again.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 2 with Chad and Tiffany 6/26/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/26/20

Keeping this one short, as I have had a ton of chores to do when I got off the water today, and I'm not done yet.

Basically, the report is the same as yesterday....program wise. I went east again, but this time started further east than where I started yesterday. We got done quicker and with a better grade of fish.

That's it in a nutshell...sorry I didn't have time for a short story, but life gets in the way sometimes. 

Thanks for reading my posts though...I appreciate it very much. :)

Capt Juls

Fishing with Chad and Tiffany 6/25/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/25/20

My last two days were "blow days" and my customers rescheduled to the fall, so no report.

This morning, the winds were better. At 5:30 they were light out of the WSW, and waves were 1foot or less (but, were 1-3's the further east we went). 

The air temp was 62 degrees and the sky was clear to partly cloudy, but mostly clear.

We headed NE out of the launch and went up to the Canadian line...set up...and took it East at a speed of 2.2-2.4mph.

If you go east of Kelly's (out about 6-8 miles) watch out of the perch nets...they're all over the place and all the way up to the line.

For those visiting Lake Erie and don't know about the perch nets....Know this: they have to set them running south to north, so the single flag is on the south end of the trap net and the double flag is on the north end.  You can pass below the single or above the double, but it's best not to pass through them, especially if you're trolling! That's an expensive mess you don't want. ;)

What worked for us today were Bandits with a 2oz snap weight at 50/75, and a 3oz weight rigged 30/80 (ie: let 30' of line out...add the snap weight and let another 80' of line out, for a total of 110, and then attach the Off Shore board).

Reef Runner Mag 44 in the Bare Naked Perch at 75 back (unassisted)

Dipsies on the 1 setting at 54 back and the 3 setting at 65 back. Spoon colors were Red Headed Wonder Bread, Blueberry Muffin, and a hammered copper one with one side green with black stripes over the green.

I am fishing with this fun couple again tomorrow. They did a great job today, and picked up the dipsey program pretty quickly for never having run them before. :)

Tomorrow's winds should be lighter than today's, so it's going to be an enjoyable morning!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe and Glenn 6/22/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/22/20

I'm not even sure how to start this one, because this three day trip almost didn't happen! I made a booking error and had originally had two other fellas booked for today and tomorrow, but the other day they called and asked if they could reschedule, because they said the forecast didn't look very good. I said, "Sure, no problem. I was going to go to Wisconsin to visit family the first week of July, but have decided to stay home, so I can move you to July 1st and 2nd if you like". They agreed and moved their dates.  I was kind of happy to have a couple days off after 8 straight days of fishing, so I climbed into bed thinking I would do some catching up on my sleep. Then, I got the text....

"What time do you want us to meet you in the morning?"  I stared at my phone..."Oh no, what did I do?", I thought as the panic set in. I looked again at the name, and then the calendar and found this crew to be scheduled for next Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday!  "Okay, don't panic", I said to myself. "Who do I have on Wednesday?"  I found it was my regulars, Steve and Jeremy, who I knew would understand and help me out with this crew's third day, by rescheduling their day.
I sent Jeremy a text asking if they would mind very much changing to next week and he replied, "That's fine. I completely forgot, and booked a trip to Hilton Head, so the Universe is helping us out!"  Whew! Crisis averted!

Now, I just had to get my mind right again and in fishing mode for their three day trip....not an easy task when you let things go till tomorrow, because you think you have the day off. lol

Back to business...the alarm went off at 2:45, and I got up to feed the critters their breakfast. Checked the wind and weather forecast and found it to be a good morning. We might get a little wet, but the rain coming in didn't look like it would be much more than a misty type of rain. I could deal with that.

Per the usual routine, I hit the gas station at 4:15 and gassed up the Ranger and grabbed some ice for the coolers. I topped off the oil in the G2, because it's been two or three trips now, and I like to do it that often, so I know it will never run low no matter how long of a run I have to make. When that was all done, I headed over to Mazurik's and started getting things ready. 

Unlike the weekend, Monday's are my favorite, because there is no one at the ramp and it's nice and quiet. It gave me time to rig some rods and wipe the boat down before they got there. They showed up at 5am and we were headed out at 5:15. 

This time, I didn't go north, but rather NE. It was still dark(ish) on the water, but the lake was calm, so we took our time at a nice cruising speed of 40mph, and went 14 miles to an area I've been wanting to check out. It's usually good this time of year, but I hadn't been out there yet to check it. I figured today was a good day to go look, because if they weren't there, then it was an easy ride to go someplace else, and wouldn't take up much time.

The Commercial Perch nets are out there now, in a line for miles, so be watchful for those if you head out into the big water east of Kelly's.

Joe and Glenn had little experience running Off Shore boards and dipsies, and were ready for some training. I showed them how to attach the boards and set them out. After I got the first one out, Joe was letting the second Bandit out when I said, "Stop that one, we have a fish on that outside board". "What? Already?", Joe asked, while Glenn chuckled. Then, Glenn's first board went back while he was busy futzing with his second rod...I said, "We have another fish on over there now too". They got them both in...nothing big, just good eaters.  Back to square one...with no lines in the water. They got busy and set them out. 

We ran two Bandits on the port side and two Mag 44's on the starboard side. The Bandits were out 100 and 50 back (one ow and one high). The Mags were 90 and 60 back. Only one fish caught on the Mag side, so I swapped them out for a couple of Walleye Nation Creation Reapers at 100 and 77 back. Nothing. So, I swapped them out for the Flicker Minnows at 65 and 57 back. Both of those numbers caught fish. 

Speed again was 2.3-2.5mph.

The dipsies were set on the same program as the past week....3 setting at 65 and 75 back and the 1 setting at 54 back. Scorpion spoons on three rods and a black/gold Ripplin Redfin on the fourth. All of them caught fish. When the marks on the Helix diminished, we turned and headed back over the same trail, but the bite was slower. They definitely preferred the other direction.

As we came down by the first net we saw on the way out, we turned and headed west. One of the commercial perch boats was headed towards that first net, so I said, "Let's pick up and move over to where I was yesterday", pointing to the NE side of Kelly's and Middle Island.

We only needed three more fish, and probably could have just kept trolling, but when the screen is practically bare, it's hard to stay patient and keep on trolling.

We set up again and had our last three within a half hour....then, headed in.

The rain mostly stayed on the mainland, so it was kind of nice to be out on the lake watching it pass. It was a little drizzly when we rode in, but it wasn't bad. The rain was done by the time we got back to Mazurik's.

Tomorrow's weather is calling for southerly winds and only a 34% chance of rain, so it should be a nice morning. We might have a later start, depending on the wind forecast that I see when I get up tomorrow. I'll text the guys at 3am and let them know what time to meet me at the ramp.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 1 with Jeff, Ty, and Jacob 6/20/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/20/20

My eyelids felt like they were glued shut when the alarm went off this morning, but it was "time to make the doughnuts", so I got up and poured a cup of coffee to get me moving. That first sip always tastes so good. After a quick shower to perk me up, I went out on the back deck to take in the weather. It was warm and humid and there wasn't a breath of air moving. I knew it was going to be hot, sticky, and I was hoping the fish would be cooperative for our early start, so we could get off the lake before it got sweltering out there.

I headed into town a little after 4am to do the usual routine of gassing up the Ranger and grabbing some ice for the coolers. I pulled into Mazurik's at 4:30 and there were already 3 boats launching and two more in the get ready lanes.  I was hoping my crew didn't show up late. I was expecting them at 5:15, so at 5am I sent a text to let them know I was at the launch. I got a reply stating, "We are too". "Huh? Where are you", I wondered? I sent another text..."At Mazurik's?" But, instead of waiting for a reply, I gave Jeff a call. He said they were at Mazurik's and waiting down by the docks.  "I'll be right there", I said.  Normally, my crews show up by the boat when it's in the get ready lanes, so it threw me a bit. I'm a creature of habit ya know...lol

I backed the trailer up into the first lane, jumped out of the truck, and let the two grandsons climb in the boat, and followed behind.  Jeff backed the boat in the rest of the way, and then went to park the truck. We were on the water again by 5:15.

The lake was like glass this morning. The small annoying rollers were no longer coming down the length of the lake, so I knew the ride would be easy and enjoyable on the way out.  We headed north/northeast again and set up about 9 miles, "As the crow flies".  We set up with the program I ended with yesterday...3 Flicker Minnows behind Off Shore boards on each side of the boat, and two dipsies off each side too.

Flickers were set out initially at 65, 60, and 57  (how I write these numbers is how I set them out...longest lead on the outside board and the shortest on the inside) back on the port side, and 55, 50, and 45 back on the starboard side. The dipsies were set on the 3 setting and sent back 65 and 75'. The dipsies with the 1 setting were set out at 46 and 54 back. Speed was 2.3-2.5mph

The first half hour was slow, and I was worried I would have to figure out the presentation again. But, then, the starboard side Flicker Minnows starting producing (again, Racy Shad was the hot color). 
The spoon bite caught a keeper here and there, but for the most part, it kept the guys busy with smaller throwbacks until a board would go back. The bigger fish for us came on the crankbaits. 

Jeff has fished with me before, and brought his grandsons with him this time. Ty and Jacob had some experience with planer boards before, so the instruction on how I like them set was short and brief. With a few minor adjustments here and there, they had it down pat in no time and made my job so easy today. None of them had ever used dipsey divers before, but they caught on quick and didn't have any tangles today. :)

We were fishing for the "Captain's limit" by 7:30 and had our 24 keepers by 7:50. So, as you can see, it wasn't as "fast as you can reel", but a good steady bite that entertained my crew. "If it's okay with you, we can just go in now", said Jeff. "Is that okay with you two?" He asked, gesturing and looking at the boys. "Yeah, I'm good", said Jacob. "Yeah, that's okay with me too", said Ty.  "Well, my dog thanks you guys!" I said, "He's been wanting to go for a walk for a few days now, but it's been too hot to go in the afternoons, and I might be able to get a walk in when I get home now."

We reeled everything in, put it all away, took some pictures with the fish they caught, and headed back in. It was a fun morning they soon won't forget, I'm sure. Fortunately, I get to fish with them again tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that. They already know what we're doing and how to do it, so it's going to be a fun morning for me tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it!

According to the forecast, the wind will start out a little breezy out of the SSW and then diminish as the morning goes on.  I like it! Let's hope the fish do too! 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff Rankin, Jay, and Joe 6/19/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/19/20

This morning was basically a replay of yesterday morning, so I won't bore you with all that. :)

This morning, I was fishing with Jeff Rankin, a previous customer, and his friends Jay and Joe. They met me at Mazurik's a little after 5am, so we were again on the water by 5:15.

I headed north again, to the same spot I started in yesterday, and set a westerly course along the Canadian line. The set up was the same as yesterday:
Bandits out 65 and 40 back and the Mag 44's back 70 and 60. 
3 setting on the dipsey at 65 and 75 back
1 setting on the dipsey at 46 and 54 back
Speed was 2.2-2.5mph

Jeff had fished with me once prior, so he opted to let Jay and Joe learn how to attach the Off Shore boards and set them out in "marching soldier" fashion.  The spoon program picked up a few on that first pass, lost a few, and caught a bunch of baby walleye. It seemed the closer we got to the islands the smaller the fish were getting, so I turned the boat around and went east instead. 

The Bandits and Mag 44's were not on the walleye's breakfast menu this morning and didn't get touched in a mile long stretch, so I changed them up to the Flicker Minnow #11's on one side and kept the Mags on the other side. While I was doing that, I added another board per side, since we could legally run up to 12 rods today.   I kept it to two dipsies per side, because I would only attempt three dipsies per side with an experienced dipsey user...so, we were two rods short of a limit per person. But, it's better to keep it simple than to make it frustrating for everyone (especially me! lol).

The Flickers were out 71, 63, and 57 back on the starboard side, and the Mags were running pretty much the same on the port side. The Flickers started catching fish at 2.3-2.5mph....Racy Shad was the hot color this morning. 
After the Minnows took a couple more fish, it didn't take long for me to change out the Mags to more Flickers.  Racy Shad was on 3 lines Seasick Frog, and two other colors I don't know the name of...one was purple with a foil side and orange belly, and the other was a burnt rust shiner looking creation. All those colors took fish today.

The bigger fish came on the cranks and the smaller fish were on the spoons. One or two nice ones came on spoons too, but the majority of spoon fish were smaller. Two heavy fish were lost off the spoons too, but we never saw them to confirm what they were (but, we all know....Sheephead never come off! Ha!)

Anyhooooo....it was a busy morning and we caught our 24 fish limit (not counting the plethora of little ones) by 9:30. The guys did a good job, and learned a lot, responded well to my continual nagging to do stuff right, and had a good time...and, that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I have another repeat customer...Jeff Thompson and his son. They are doing a two day trip over the weekend. The weather looks like it's going to be a good weekend to get on the water early and off early. It's probably going to be hot and sticky...with bugs. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bill and Doug 6/18/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/18/20

Got up at 2:45... made some coffee, fed the cats, and took Dexter out back to sit on the deck to drink my cup-o-joe, while checking out the weather conditions. It was a beautiful morning. The temps were in the low 70's, the wind was pretty much non-existent, and the dark morning sky had stars peeking from behind some clouds. Turning to my dog, I said, "Ahhh...I think it's going to be a good day, Dexter. I can feel it. What do you think?" Of course, he didn't reply, but he pushed into my side with his body and snuggled. I'm thinking he agreed. :)

I left the house at 4:15 and headed to the gas station to gas up the boat and grab some ice for the coolers. Then, off to Mazurik's I went, to do some re-rigging and get ready for my customers, Bill Vogelzang and Doug Vryhof, were meeting me at 5:15. 

I met 4 guys there, in the get ready lane, that were at the ramp at the same time yesterday morning, and they told me they had a great day yesterday. I don't remember if I asked where they had fished, or if they just offered the info to me, but they told me where they were and what target depth they were aiming for too. They were running Tru-Trip Jets with spoons and hitting the 20' mark. (I don't remember how far back he said they were running them, but if you have the active target depth and the Precision Trolling App, you can match it with any bait.)

Like yesterday's clients, Bill and Doug showed up a little early and we were able to get on the water by 5:15.

Heading out of the break wall, I pointed the nose of the Ranger to the north, then, turned around and asked, "Everyone ready to go?" They both said, "Yes", so I pushed the throttle down and the big motor growled softly...putting us up on plane.

There were still smaller rollers coming from the ENE, so it wasn't a fast ride for us. I had to stop a mile out to adjust Bill's seat. The SmoothMove needed more air in it, because it had looked like Bill was going to be catapulted from the seat a couple of times.  A couple minutes later we were back on plane and headed to the Canadian border.

Once we arrived, the Helix was confirming there were fish below us, so the Ulterra and baby ETEC were deployed and set to take us west at a speed of 2.2-2.5mph.

We started out with (4) Mag 44's ((2)blue/chrome, black/gold, and a bare naked purple perch) behind two left and two right Off Shore boards at 90 and 65 back on the port side and 100 and 57 back on the starboard side. 
Dipsies were set on the 1 setting at 46 and 54 back, and the 3 setting at 65 and 75 back.  Eventually, I changed out one of the 44's on the starboard side to an "Attention Deficit" Bandit and put it back at 71. It wasn't long and a nice fat walleye hit it. "Hmmm....cool", I thought, so I put another Bandit out to duplicate it.

We had caught a bunch of fish on the first pass, so I turned the boat around to head back over our route again. I don't remember what we were talking about, but at one point Doug was talking about a day when they had fished Green Bay and were struggling with their program. The program wasn't catching fish. They were fishing deep and not catching. I don't remember which one of them talked to a guide friend of theirs and he said, "You're too deep, try the top 5 feet of the water column". So, they did, and they started catching.

"Hmmm...I wonder if that would work here", I thought to myself?  "Let's try that", I said. Adding, "I'll bring one of these Bandits up high". I set it to 35 back, which puts it at 10 feet. It wasn't out there very long when the board got tugged back violently. Doug and I looked at each other and laughed simultaneously at the results.  We set the other Bandit out at 30 feet and the two Mags at 35 and 40 feet. After that adjustment, all of them took a fish or two.

The bigger fish came on the cranks, while the spoons played babysitter to fish from 4 inches long to 20 inches. If we didn't see anything happening with the dipsey rod tips for a 5 minute stretch, we checked them to make sure we weren't dragging an adolescent around. That kept the guys very busy this morning too.

It was a fun morning and both Bill and Doug said they had a great time, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, Jeff Rankin and his crew will be fishing with me. The weather looks like it will be nice again, but hotter and more humid. Hopefully, we can get our limit and off the lake before it gets too hot and sticky.

Stay tuned....

Captain Juls

Fishing with Dan and Chris Pierce 6/17/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/17/20

Yesterday, I went prefishing after the two day blow over the weekend to try and find some cooperative fish for my customers today. My friend, Capt Jenn, and I found some and caught our limit to take over to "Back to the Wild" wildlife rescue for the Eagles and other birds of prey, and the woodland critters there that need

help to get back to the wild. :)

This morning was my first trip back after some cancelation/reschedules, due to Corona Virus concerns, and the big blow. I was looking forward to it. I was up at 2:45 and headed out the door at 4:15 to go gas up the boat and truck before heading over to Mazurik's to meet my crew at 5:15.

I got to the park at 4:45 and proceeded to check my lines on the rods. I had to pull a little line off each of the ones I was going to use and re-tie the snap on. (Another reminder to myself to get another hat lamp thingy!)  I put on (4) Reef Runner Mag 44's...(2) blue/chrome and (2) black/gold chrome.  Yesterday, I stopped out at Bay's Edge for some Scorpion spoons, because I had heard that they had just got a shipment in, and I wanted to find some more red headed wonder bread spoons. (I was going to buy all of them that they had, but I left a few, because it would be selfish of me not to share). :)

Dan had fished with me back on the 28th and 29th of last month, with his buddy Rocky...this time, he brought his wife Chris. They showed up a little early, so we were able to hit the water at 5:15 instead of 5:30 this time. 

The sky was clear, so when the darkness started to fade, a tint of blue began to seep into the sky where the glow of the rising sun was making itself known. It was a gorgeous sunrise this morning. The winds were around 8mph out of the east, and the temps were in the mid-60's. Waves were less than two feet.

We headed north out of Mazurik's. I wanted to start on the north side of Kelly's out in front of North Bay and take the waves back to the west with our trolling pass. The Ulterra and baby ETEC worked together to keep our course and push us along at 2.2-2.5mph.  The Helix was marking fish from 12 to 40 feet, so I was hopeful it was going to be an easy bite.

The water temps are still down from last week, but not by much. This morning it was 66.4 degrees. I'm sure it's warmed up with all this sunshine today though.

The four 44's were set out at 57 and 65 back on one side, and 60 and 65 back on the other side.  The four dipsies were run two per side with two different length rods. The shorter one, which would be the "inside dipsey", was set on the 1 setting at 33 back (on both sides). The longer rod, which would be the "outside dipsey", was set on the 3 setting and run at 50 and 65 back. 

We caught 6 keepers and some throwbacks at that first area, but I decided to move to the protected side of the Bass Islands, so Chris could stand up in the boat better. I told her, "Take your shoes off...you'll have better balance", so she did...and, she did. It helped a lot, because it's hard to handle dipsies when you're having a tough time standing up! She got in the groove pretty quick though and did a great job today. Woot! Woot!

The west side of the islands is still holding a lot of fish, but also a lot of smaller fish too. It's amazing how such a tiny little fish will chase down a spoon at 2.5mph and catch it. We just kept checking the dipsies on a regular basis to take the little fish off. Eventually, the right fish would hit it and into the cooler it went. :)

Dan and Chris both had a good time, and that makes me happy!

Tomorrow, I am fishing with another previous customer, Bill Vogelzang and his friend, Doug. We are planning on launching out of Mazurik's again. The winds are supposed to be around 5-6 mph out of the ENE, so I'll probably end up where we ended up today. On the west side of the islands....or, go east. Heck, I don't know...I never know until I look at the lake in the morning. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dan, Matt, and Gary 6/9/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/09/20

I left the house at 4:20 to go gas up the Ranger and get some ice for the fish cooler, before heading to Mazurik's to get some re-rigging of rods done before my crew showed up.

I pulled six rods out of the rod locker and proceeded to snip the snap off and re-tie them on...after pulling about 10 feet of line off. (That reminds me, I need to order a new clip-on hat LED light thingy...it's hard to tie knots in the dark). ;)

My crew showed up 15 minutes early, so I put the navigation light in, and we launched. Heading north, out of the ramp area, we headed for the area up there between South Bass and Kelly's. There have been tons of boats working that area for weeks now, and since we were early, we could make a pass or two before the big charters hit the water. (I would decide where to start once I marked them on the Helix).  

We started in 36-37 feet of water with one Bandit out each side, on the outside boards, at 85 and 75 back. 85 on the port side and 75 on the starboard side. (4) Reef Runner Mag 44's were on the two inside boards on each side... (Blue/Chrome, Black/Gold, Bare Naked Purple Perch, and a Red Headed Wonderbread), run anywhere from 45 to 65 back.

The Ulterra was pointed to the NE, and the baby ETEC pushed from behind to keep us at a speed of 2.2-2.4mph.

We ran three dipsies....two on the starboard side and one on the port side. The Port side was on the three setting and set to 50 back...the spoon was a red headed wonder bread Scorpion Spoon. The inside dipsey on the starboard side was a 1 setting at 33 back and was also a red headed spoon. The outside dipsey was set on the 3 and out 50 also...(that spoon, I changed out quite often until I found what color enticed them more. As it turned out...it was gold and copper today....not silver.)

After putting the 17th fish in the cooler I asked, "Do you want to stay here and catch these fish all morning, or do you want to go over to the east side of Kelly's and see if we can find some bigger fish? I was there yesterday, and we caught some nice fish. We can always come back here if we need to". 

They pulled the lines and we readied the boat for the ride. The lake had only a ripple on it, from a light SE breeze, but it was still "rollin" from the E-NE wind we had yesterday, and last night. I set a speed of 35 and we cruised on over there and set up again in 36-37 feet of water.

We had narrowed our spread down to basically 57 back on the Mags, and took the Bandits off. It was a much slower bite in the second spot, but we did catch some nicer fish there...which made the crew happy. :)

The Helix, didn't show as many fish marks as it did yesterday, so I was anxious to go find another spot with more fish showing on the screen.  We headed to the north side of Kelly's this time, and set up once again. The walleye up there were on the bigger side too, so that was a nice surprise.

We finished out our 4 person limit and then caught a half a dozen more before our time for the morning was up. The guys learned a ton...were doing it all themselves by the end of our 6 hour session, and will be able to do it on their own boat proficiently, and have the confidence to run more than just one or two boards per side. Yay! Job well done, guys! :)

I was supposed to fish with this crew tomorrow and Thursday, but since today opened up, due to a customers health, and tomorrow is supposed to blow, they were able to make it today...thankfully! 

I will look at the forecast in the morning and see what the call is then and text them a "go" or "no go" decision. Now, it's looking like Thursday will be a blow day too, but I'll make that call on Thursday morning since these guys are right down the road from Mazurik's, at "Little Ted's Cottages".

Well, time to go cut the grass again.....stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Keith, Chet, and Dillon 6/8/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/08/20

The day's weather forecast was calling for east winds less than 10mph, a temp in the mid to high 60's, and sunny skies. A good morning to go fishing.

Keith and his sons, Chet and Dillon, drove in from Iowa to fish for two days. Yesterday, I set them up with Capt Kevin Swartz and they had a fantastic day of fishing with him. Luckily, I got the second day, due to a scheduling conflict on Keith's end, so instead of fishing with them on Saturday, I got them on Monday. That meant, Kevin did all the work in teaching them how to run the Off Shore boards. My job was SO easy today....which was a good thing, because I was tired. The Dexter Meister woke me up at 1:30am. Then, I laid there... wide awake...and couldn't go back to sleep for the hour and 15 minutes I had remaining before the alarm would go off. Oh well...

Anyway....they got to work right away and set the lines. Reef Runner Mag 44's at 40/50/60 back. Speed was 2.0mph.

After throwing some fish in the cooler, I set out three dipsey rods, and showed them how to use them, since they didn't run any on Capt Kevin's boat yesterday. The dipsies were set at 50 back on the 3 setting and 33 on the 1 setting.  Red Headed Wonderbread Scorpion spoon was the hot one. I also hit the rpm button on the baby ETEC to get our speed up to 2.2-2.4mph.

We picked up and moved from the spot Kevin fished yesterday, because the Helix just wasn't marking what was there yesterday. I figured if the fish were moving, they were moving east, so we went to the east side of Kelly's and set up off of Airport Reef in 36' of water and trolled south along the edge of the reef. Again, the Helix wasn't marking a lot of fish, but it was marking some, so I said, "Let's just make a pull along this edge and then we can move again, if need be". 

An "Attention Deficit"Bandit, that was out on the starboard side at 85 back on the outside board, went back and Keith reeled in a nice 27 1/4 inch walleye. He wanted to release it, and I said, "It's your fish, but I would keep it. I can make that fish taste as good as a 20 incher...just double fillet it".  But, he let it go....and, she floated....ugh.  I said, "Let's pick up quick and go get her...I'm not leaving her floating out here". So we did. 

We went back along the track the Helix laid down to the waypoint I hit when the fish was coming in, and everyone kept a lookout for her. But, she must have revived herself, because she was gone. Whew! 

We set up again from that spot and made the same pass through there. This time, just a couple eaters would show themselves, so we moved again. This time, we headed SE to the Cedar Point area and set up again. The big fish for us today, would come in short time, and was 29 inches. We finished out their limit of 18 walleye and added another 4 from my limit for a total of 22 fish (not counting all the throw backs, sheephead, white bass, and white perch too).

The crew was happy with their two day trip, and are taking home a cooler full of fresh walleye for their family and friends, and that makes me happy. :)

My original customer for tomorrow had to reschedule, because he threw his back out...poor guy.  So, since Wednesday is probably going to blow, I called my guys and asked if they could possibly go Tuesday instead, and they said they could. So, I'll be out again tomorrow with Dan Swickrath and his crew.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls 

Fishing with Joe and Cathy Hoppe 6/7/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/07/20

Dexter woke me up at 2:45, which is 15 minutes before my alarm goes off...ugh.

I went out on the back deck with my coffee to assess the morning's weather. According to my bathrobe, it was blowing out of the NE at a nice clip. I looked at iWindSurf's forecast and found it would be diminishing to around 10mph by launch time...whew!

Joe and Cathy Hoppe came down yesterday, from Janesville, WI, and while talking to them found out they hadn't made any reservations for lodging. "Oh no", I said. "This is a tourist town, and it's Saturday night....I hope you can find a room someplace!" I sent him phone numbers of the places my customers usually stay and they were able to acquire the last room at the Country Inn and Suites.  Thank goodness!

We launched at 5:30 out of Catawba. It was closest to the place I fished last, and since Joe and Cathy are up there in years, I took my time and hopefully made it a nicer ride for them.

We set up in 24' of water and went with the waves. The Ulterra and baby ETEC worked in tandem to keep the speed around 2.0 to 2.2mph. (Sorry, I never looked at the water temp today).

I had 6 Off Shore boards out...and, running behind them were (4) Reef Runner Mag 44's and (2) Bandits. Mags were 40-50 back and the Bandits were 50 and 60 back. We caught three fish there, then came to the end of our pass, so I made the decision to move, due to the conditions and the comfort of my passengers.  I thought about heading over the F can and making a pass down the line towards H can. It's been a while since I fished west of the islands though, and as I was driving over there, I decided to make a right turn and head to Lucy's via the lee side of the islands.

The ride was smoother on that side. Once we hit Sugar Island, I made another right turn through the passage between Middle Bass and North Bass and headed to Lucy's. The plan was to make a pull from Lucy's down to the monument and then the shoal again.

It wasn't a fast bite, like what was happening down south... off American Eagle Shoal, but we had a steady enough bite to keep them happy, so they were having a good time. We also had time to talk about "stuff". :)

We had our 18 nice eaters by the time we got over Scott Point Shoal. The slowest area was directly east of the monument, but further out than where I had been fishing over there this past two weeks,  so they may still have been inside there...they just weren't out where we were. 

The Hoppe's had a good time, and Joe will be back with his grandson, in early April, as he would like his grandson to have a chance at a "wall hanger", so I'm looking forward to that.

Tomorrow, I have the Matthew's family. We will be launching out of Mazurik's at 5:30am. The weather tomorrow is calling for east winds around 8-9mph, mostly cloudy, and a temps of 59/72 degrees. In other words...a nice day! :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mark Cassell and Jim 6/4/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/04/20

It's been two days since I was out, so I was looking forward to getting back on the water this morning. I had two of my previous customers, Mark and Jim, from Wisconsin. It's always nice to get Wisconsin peeps in the boat, because they understand my Wisco slang. 

We launched out of Mazurka's at 5:30 and headed back to the area east of the monument, since that's the last place I had a great bite. There were fish there, but they weren't in the mood to eat.  We caught one, and dropped one...so, I decided to move to the area east of Kellys where my other bite was a few days ago. I thought maybe more fish would be moving through there....they weren't. Ugh...."Okay...", I said to myself, "You're this far, and the lake is flat, so you might as well go to the Huron Dump".  

The west side of the dump was sparse with marks. We didn't stay there long. The ETEC sips gas, so it was easy to make the decision to move again. This time, I headed to the north side of Kelly's and set up just outside of North Bay in 30 feet of water. 

Bandit's were run at 70, 63, and 50 back. The one Reef Runner Mag 44 we had out was set at 40 back. The Mag took three hits, and we managed to land one. The other two came unbuttoned before the board was even off. We went another 20 minutes without a hit, so I decided to move west again. 

This time, we headed down to the south passage and set up in 20 feet of water. We couldn't get all the Off Shore boards in the water with (4) Mags (Blue/Chrome, Barbie, Bare Naked Purple Perch, and Black/Gold), and (2) Bandits (Attention Deficit and Stormy Night). No big fish, but really good eaters in the 18-23 inch range.

The crew said they had a great time, and are looking to getting back out with me again in the morning.  I know where I'm going to start this time...lol ;)

The water temp dropped back down to 62.9 degrees.

Tomorrow is looking like another beautiful day on the lake with SW winds less than 10mph, cloudy conditions, and a high of 82 degrees.

It's going to be a very nice way to spend my Birthday...:)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Dell Family 6/1/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/01/20

I arrived at Mazurik's about 40 minutes before John, Steve (Pops), and Dan were to arrive for our 6am launch. I readied the boat, and picked the baits I wanted to start with, which was pretty much the same as the ones I ended the day with yesterday. 

The guys showed up and I put them in the boat. This morning was a treat, as Capt Sam, who runs "Porkchop Express", offered to dump us in. I should say, it was a treat until he started to back us in and I felt that telltale sign of a strap not getting removed from the back starboard side. "Ugh! Hold up!" I yelled. "Pull us out". He pulled forward and I went to try and undo the strap, but there was too much tension on it from the boat not being up on the roller all the way, so I had him back us in again, so I could get the boat back on the trailer as best I could. He pulled out again and Dan was able to get it unhooked. Whew! "Ok, Sam...back us in again". This time, all went as it was supposed to.  I turned to Pops, who was in the passenger seat and said, "This doesn't usually happen. Geez, I feel like an amateur!" He giggled and said, "It happens to the best of them". 

So crises averted....we headed to the west this time. I wanted to look at the west side of Scott Point Shoal on the way to South Bass Island and see if there were any marks on the Helix that would entice me to set down there. There were, but I think my intuition kicked in and I felt heading north would be better.  I didn't want to fish in that pack that's up there every day, so we stopped north of Starve and set up on some good marks.

Bandits 85, 71, and 63 on one side and the Mag 44's on the other. It wasn't long though and the Bandits were getting hit, but the Mags weren't, so I swapped them out for three more Bandits. Colors were (2) Attention Deficit (Domka color), Glare (stock), Chrome Barbie (JT Customs color), Stormy Night (Off The Hook color), and Sunspot (stock, I think?). Speed was 1.8-2.1mph.

At one point towards the end of our limit, I noticed the fish moving down in the water column, and wanted to get a bait down to 25 feet. So, looking at the snap weight info for the Bandit on the Precision Trolling Data app. it said, "74". I explained to them how the 50 / 2oz method works and had them put a snap weight on at 50 feet, then let out another 24 feet of line ...for a total of 74 feet. That put the bait at 25 feet. 

It wasn't out a minute and took a nice fish. So, of course, I had them switch up the inside board on the other side of the boat too, and it wasn't long before that one also took a fish. 

We finished out our 24 fish limit in 2 1/2 hours. The guys learned a ton, and were getting the hang of it, so they can confidently run Off Shore boards in their own boat now and catch fish too. They said they had never caught a limit until today, and were all very happy with their results.  It was a good morning, and I'm thankful for the beautiful weather we had this morning too! 

Tomorrow is a blow day. My customer has decided to reschedule to the 2021 season instead.

I have a three day trip with a Wisco crew that I have fished with several times now over the years, so I'm looking forward to that. The weather forecast for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday looks pretty good.....so, my fingers are crossed that it stays that way. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tom Sr., Tom Jr., and Rob 5/31/2020

by Capt Juls on 06/01/20

I was ready to meet my customers, Tom Felle, along with his Dad Tom Sr., and his brother Rob at 9am at Mazurik's for a 9am launch. Yes, it was a later launch than my usual 5:30 routine, but the winds from the night before were still blowing out of the NW at a pretty good clip.  At 7am, I was getting restless, so I looked at the wind app again, and it showed it slowing down an hour earlier than it was originally forecast to, so I sent a text to the guys and told them to meet me for an 8am launch instead.

We headed out, and around the break wall, to head north. The wind was around 12mph out of the NNW, so it wasn't going to be a fast ride to the fishing grounds I chose for the day.  

The Helix would show me some fish south of Lucy's Point and East of Ballast Island.
I turned the boat, so we were going with the waves, and deployed the Ulterra and the baby ETEC and set a speed of 1.8 to 2.2mph. 

I set out Bandits on one side and some Reef Runner Mag 44's on the other side. Bandits were out 85, 71, and 63 back. The Mags were back 65, 60, and 50.  We landed 5 fish in the first short pass, so the guys were able to learn to set lines and bring in fish from the outside board without tangling, and became good at it. My mind was racing, and wondering if I should stay there and deal with all the other boats up there, or go someplace else? I decided to go someplace with less traffic.

A friend told me of a better spot out of the wind on the lee side of an island. ( I'm not at liberty to give that info...it's not mine to give)....so, we picked up and headed there. We set up and ran a contour line for about 15 minutes before I decided to head back east to where I was the previous two trips.  It's a spot all to myself, and there isn't another boat within miles. There soon will be though, becasue it's a popular spot every summer. ;)

We made a tolling pass from the NW to the SE and caught the rest of their limit. Yesterday, the Mag 44's out produced the Bandits in that area 2:1. But, I can't confirm if they would have done so on the other side of the boat. Sometimes, current can do weird things and fish will only hit on one side of the boat, it seems. Once the boat turns a certain way in the current, both sides produce. My Ex, used to refer to that as "Changing the angle of the dangle".  

To make a long story short...my Wisco crew enjoyed the day out on the lake and were happy to be taking home some Lake Erie walleye.

Tomorrow, I have John Dell, his Dad Steve, and his brother Dan. We have a 6am launch set, to let Papa-San can sleep an extra half hour in the morning. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 2 with Dan Pierce and Rocky Sofolo 5/29/2020

by Capt Juls on 05/29/20

My dog Dexter woke me up at 2:30 to go outside, and it was too close to my alarm going off at 3am to go back to sleep, so I got up and took advantage of the extra time to check the weather this time, before heading over to Mazurik's to meet Dan and Rocky for their second day of fishing. It looked like it might rain, so I grabbed the rain suit and headed out the door.  I was meeting the guys at the ramp at 5:15 this morning.

We launched at 5:30, turned on the navigations lights, headed east, and got set up with the Bandit program from the day before, before the sun was peaking over the horizon.

The Helix was showing fish all over the water column again, but it was a slow bite. After three fish on the Bandits I decided to try showing those tiny brained finny creatures the old standard...the crawler harness.  We changed everything up to 1 and 2oz inline weights, because I didn't have my Tadpoles in the boat, and set them out behind the Off Shore boards.

The 1oz at 41 back took a hit first, but the fish released itself before we got the board off. Then, the 2oz at 47 back started taking fish. Rocky wanted to get down to the deeper fish on the screen, so we put a 3 oz on at 70 back and it wasn't long before that one had a nice fish on. We would end up changing things up to run four 3oz weights between 60-70 back and two 2oz weights at 42 and 47 back.  It was a little faster bite than the Bandits were for us, but it still wasn't a fast bite. It was just fast enough to keep us in the area though. At one point, I had asked them if they wanted to move, but Rocky reminded me of the old saying, "You don't leave fish to find fish",  and adding "I'm having a good time, let's just stay here". So we did.

We had their limit earlier, but the last fish of my limit was taking forever, and would never come, so we headed in. They said they had a great time, and Dan will be back in a couple weeks to fish with me again, but this time he will be bringing his wife along. I'm looking forward to meeting her. :)

Tomorrow, I have Luke Molebash and his crew. Looks like the winds will be out of the WNW this time, so it might be time to change my location to the islands again. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 1 with Dan Pierce and Rocky Sofolo 5/28/2020

by Capt Juls on 05/28/20

This was probably one of the first mornings, where I got ready to leave the house and never checked the weather. I thought it was supposed to be like yesterday, so I never bothered. Luckily, I always take my rain gear on the boat, because we needed it this morning.

There were little sprinkles of water on the windshield of the old Excursion as I drove to town this morning, so I looked at my RadarScope app to see what was up. There was a big blob of green and yellow moving across the radar screen, and headed directly towards this part of the lake....sigh.  
I hate it when the boat gets all wet.  Yes, yes, I know..."They sit in water, so are meant to get wet."  I just don't like everything inside the boat to be all wet. It messes with my anality (I think I just made up that word) of keeping the boat clean. lol

We were waiting at Mazurik's for about a 1/2 hour, to let the dark gray sky lighten up some, and let the gusty winds die a little. The wind was out of the SE with gusts to 20mph this morning. The air temp was in the mid 50's.

At 6am we launched and headed east out of the ramp. Waves were 2 feet or less in Sandusky Bay and east of Marblehead, so it was an easy ride. I watched the Helix as we traveled across the open water looking for a telltale sign of aquatic life down below. Once she started marking fish, (which look like little red dots on my screen), I would lay down a waypoint, if I marked a bunch... then, kept traveling east along a contour line to see how far I could mark them.  Once I ran out of fish, I turned the boat and deployed the Ulterra and baby ETEC. The trolling motor steered the boat with the auto-pilot function, and in conjunction with the 15 kicker, they pushed the boat along at a speed of 1.7-1.9mph.

**I find, when trolling with the waves, that keeping a back corner of my Ranger pointed at the oncoming waves is easier to keep a set speed, if one is needed.

Dan and Rocky have never used Off Shore boards before, so they hired me to show them how to troll with them.  They were fast learners and made my job easy today! We caught our three person limit on Bandits again.  Chrome Barbie (JTC color), Glare (Stock color), that new one I don't know the name of and can't find online. (I only know it's a JT Custom color that I bought at the Wharf), Attention Deficit (Domka Color), and RC Crush (DJs Custom Eye Lures).

If I think of it, tomorrow, I'll take a pic of that JT color, when we're in the boat.

We also ran a couple shallow running cranks on the dipsies....nothing to report there. They did nothing.

At one point of the morning...my Humminbird's both shut down and I couldn't figure out why it happened. Rocky, however, is an electrician and said it was a power problem.

I said, "I know the batteries were all charged before I left the house, so I don't understand".

At first, I thought it was just the back unit going bonkers, but when I saw that the dash unit had turned off too, I started to panic a little, because that would mean the starting battery was bad. I immediately when to fire up the big motor to make sure it had juice to start. It didn't. Aaarrrgggh....noooooo!

Then, I went to the main power switch to switch the lever, so I could jump the big motor. 

Then, I saw it, I had the switch in the wrong spot. I had it on 2 instead of 1, so it wasn't getting the power it needed to run everything.  Once I switched it back to position 1, everything worked again. Whew!  Crisis averted. With a sigh of relief, we went back to fishing. :)

It wasn't a crazy fast bite, but it was fast enough to keep us in that area. We had a good time, and will be going out to repeat the experience tomorrow. We are meeting at Mazurik's at 5:15.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bruce Kowalski and Chris 5/25/2020

by Capt Juls on 05/25/20

Happy Memorial Day! :)

I had a panic attack at the ramp this morning. My old 2001 Excursion decided to lock up the transmission, so Bruce couldn't shift it into reverse when he went to back the Ranger in the water.

I gave Matt Wieland a call, because he's my mechanic and also a charter Capt, who I knew was going to be headed out on the water shortly too. I was hoping he could just tell me how to fix it, so I could get my rig out of the first ramp, because it was starting to get busy. I didn't want to be "that person" who gets yelled at for blocking a ramp. lol

Anyway, Matt couldn't do anything, because they were already headed out of their channel, but his advice was helpful. He talked to Chris on my phone and the plan would be that Bruce would go get his truck, tie it to my truck, and pull it forward to take the tension off the transmission. Fingers crossed and a deep breath, it inched forward.....I stepped on the break and tried to shift it....it worked! Whew!
Good to know, so if it ever happens again, I can just start swearing and not have to panic. lol

Once that drama was over, we headed out....to the west this time. We started at Mouse and headed towards Starve. But, we didn't stay longer than 1/2 hour as the marks were too spotty for my liking, and we headed north to the monument again.

We ran Bandits 60-75 back at 1.8-19mph and picked up 7 fish there. It was a slow bite for us, but a faster bite for a friend of mine running Reef Runner Mags and Flicker Minnows. I put three flickers on one side, and ran his faster speed, but they did nothing for us, while the Bandits still did, so we replaced them again with the Bandits. 

Then, someone in a Ranger went flying by us to head back to South Bass (I think they were probably staying out there on the island?) and as they went by they motioned "Go East"! So, we said, "Why not?" Since the boat traffic by the monument was stacking up, we picked everything up and headed east. :)

We set  up on the SW corner of Gull to start and picked up two fish in relatively short order, but then nothing. I decided to pick up again and head to the east side of Kelly's. I didn't stop at KI Shoal, because I was there yesterday and wasn't too impressed. We headed down towards the Airport Reef area and set up again. We had a pullback, but a miss, before the second line was set, so I had high hopes.

We picked up two more, but it was slow. It wasn't until we were further south that we would get the rest of our fish. And, it was always a double on when they did come. We would catch two, then wait....then, catch two more...then, wait...then, catch two more. We kept turning on the active spot and finished out our three person limit there.  

The water temp finally hit 60 degrees today in the deeper water, so the west end must be getting even warmer and those fish stacked up over there in the muddier water will be moving soon...woot! woot!

Today felt more like the year 2012 to me, when we had to hunt for a pod of fish and then stay on them by doing small circles...unlike last year, where you could do one long pass and be done.  

Yes, I know there are folks whacking them very easily in areas, and some of those areas are jam packed with boats. I won't do the pack fishing, because it makes me irritable, and that's not a fun day for me or for my customers.

Today, was a relaxing day to teach two perch fishermen how to troll. They did all the work setting the Off Shore boards out, so they would know how to do it when they tried it on their own boats. They did a great job, and had it down pat by the second to last fish. Mission accomplished! ;)

I'm off tomorrow, but I will be out fishing. Capt Jenn and I are going to catch some fish for the Eagles at the "Back to the Wild" wildlife rescue in Castalia.

My trip for Wednesday is up in the air at the moment too. It's two of my favorite regulars and "Papa" is not sure he wants to fish if there are bugs like we experienced two days ago on the lake (I can't blame him..it takes a lot of mind over matter to fish with them trying to go up your nose and in your mouth and ears all the time).  The wind forecast is showing some wind now, so they may change their minds and come. I'll know tomorrow....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Todd and Josh Brooksher 5/24/2020

by Capt Juls on 05/25/20

Todd and Josh Brooksher met me at Mazurik's at 5:15, and we were headed out of the launch at 5:30. We were on a mission to find big fish, and not numbers, (though both would have been nice), so I headed NE of Kelly's to see if there were fish up at the old international C can. There wasn't another boat in sight yet, so I was hoping the fish would be there, and we could get some passes in before anyone else showed up. 

I was disappointed to find the Helix showing the area void of fish, so I made the decision to move back down to Kelly Island Shoal to make a pass along the west side edge.

We trolled with Bandits anywhere from 50 to 75 back at a speed of 1.8-1.9mph, and picked up 6 eaters for the cooler.  When Josh brought his first one in, his dad said, "That's his first walleye, ever!" Josh just smiled, and explained to me about all the other fish species he's caught over the years, and how this is his first walleye. 

Josh has served 13 years in the military and was sent up for 5 tours, and told me he was hard of hearing, due to mortars going off too close, so if he asked for something to be repeated, that was why. I wanted to hug him, but this stupid virus has us all staying apart these days. 

Anyway....long story shorter....we moved to several areas around the lake that I thought might have some big fish, and we never hooked up with a big one.  After Kelly's we hit the Canadian line west of Middle Island, the north side of North Bass Island, the west side of Middle Bass, and then ran out of time....one short of a limit.  

They had a great time, and took to running the Off Shore boards very easily, since they are both pretty skilled anglers, so that made me happy. Todd will be back in June to fish with me, and will be bringing along a friend of his. I'm looking forward to that.

Tomorrow, I am fishing with Bruce Kowalski and his friend, Chris, from Toledo. We'll be launching from Mazruik's at 5:30 again.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dean and Bruce Day Two 5/23/2020

by Capt Juls on 05/23/20

Woke up at 3am, and looked out the back door to check the weather. The fog was thick and it felt like it was in the mid 50's. Well, it is what it is. I don't necessarily like fishing in the fog, as the danger level rises, but it's doable when caution is observed.

This morning, I met Dean and Bruce at Mazurik's at 5:30 and launched as soon as a lane at the ramp became available. We headed back to the last spot we fished yesterday and set the Bandits out 60-70 back at a speed of 1.8mph.  Colors were (2) Glare, Green Clown, and (2) of a color I just picked up at Fisherman's Wharf...I think it's a JT Custom Bandit, but I can't find the color on the internet and I bought the only two they had. It's blueish with a bit of white and black splotches with an orange belly, and a gold splattering of vertical strips all over it. It's one of those Custom colors that I would usually say, "That one will catch more fishermen than fish". I fell for it myself, and I'm glad I did, because it's a fish catching color. lol

We started catching right away and on the third fish, I decided at the last second not to use the net, because it was only 17-18" fish, and swing it in. Well, just as I was going in for the hold, it decided it was going to give one last attempt at freedom and stuck a treble hook in my thumb....ugh.

With another fish hanging out there behind an Off Shore board, I asked Dean to take the fish off the hooks, and had Bruce grab the cutters out of the glove box. Then, Bruce snipped that part of the treble that was sticking in my thumb, so I could keep fishing if I couldn't yank it out. With one attempt at yanking it, I decided to just leave it and deal with it later.  It wasn't long after that we had all the rods in the boat and 6 fish in the box.

We had our three person limit by 8:15 and, because of the horrendous Midge hatch, no wind, and all the thick fog, we decided to head in, so they could get some breakfast and get the fish cleaned before heading back home.

I called my friend, who's a doctor and told him what happened. He told me to go meet him at his office and he would yank it for me. He gave my thumb a shot and froze it, so I wouldn't feel it getting pulled out. Luckily he had enough of the shank to get a good grip and it pulled out more easily than he thought it would.  It actually hurts more now that it's out than when the hook was in there.  I think I'll use the net from now on. lol

Tomorrow, I'll be fishing a new area, because it's time to go find new fish. That's part of the fun of fishing. Using my Helix to locate them... away from everyone, and then getting them in the boat. 
With that said, I would just like to remind (and, I don't mean this to be harsh)....don't expect me to always give you the location, because that's not always going to happen. I'd like to think that these blogs have helped you become better anglers and have given you the confidence to go out there and put the work in to locate them yourselves too.  It's a great feeling when you can do that.  There are fish just about everywhere right now, and will be for the next few months, so just go out...use your electronics to find some, check your Precision Trolling App for the depth and set up. 
I will continue to give you the program that is working each day though.
I hope you understand. :)

Tomorrow, I am fishing with a father and Son team, and will be launching at Mazurik's at 5:30 again.  The weather forecast is calling for scattered showers and thunderstorms in the morning, but it's only a 30% chance, so I like our chances.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dean Wallsmith and Bruce 5/22/2020

by Capt Juls on 05/22/20

This morning was a drizzling rain with temps in the mid 50's. I was meeting Dean and Bruce at Catawba at 5:30.  I left the house at 4:30, so I could go gas up the Ranger and grab some ice and minnows at Hi Way Bait. I figured if we caught our 18 walleye in a quick fashion that we could go look for some perch.

We floated the boat at 5:45 and headed west from the launch. We set up with Bandits in 18' of water at a speed of 1.8mph. The Bandits were set between 30 and 60 back on each side, and dialed into 35 back when just about every fish hit the lure at 35. It was a bit slow, we only had 15 in two hours, so I decided to head north to the islands to look for some perch. I figured we would probably catch a few walleye on the minnows too, so those last three we needed were left open for that. 

However, when we got up to the "Triangle" between the Bass Islands, the water looked pretty good, and there were marks on the Helix here and there, so we set up with the trolling spread one more time to make a pass through there. My perch spot for this time of year was just up around the corner between Middle Bass and North Bass, so we trolled in that direction.  

We did that for about 20 minutes before I said, "Let's go perch'n. We can always troll another spot for the last three walleye if the perch don't cooperate."

Well, the perch spot didn't pan out. Dean and Bruce each caught a sheepshead in 20 minutes, and that was it. So, we picked up and headed east of the Bass Islands and set up east of the monument to get those last three walleye. 

This time the Bandits were set out 60-75 back and it wasn't long before we were watching the Off Shore boards go back with the telltale sign of a fish on.  We played catch and release for the next hour and then headed in to take the fish over to Bay's Edge to be cleaned.

Dean and Bruce will be fishing with me again tomorrow, so I think this time we will be launching at Mazurik's and heading north from there.

Water temps are rising...we noted 55 degrees today.

Tomorrow's weather is supposed to be nicer than today, so it should be an even more fun day that today was. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls