Juls WFA Blog
 Call Capt Juls: 419-835-7347
Juls Walleye Fishing Adventures
Lake Erie Walleye-Perch Fishing Charters-Running 7 days a week!
Email: RNGRGAL@gmail.com
HomeYour CaptainRatesWeatherPhotosRecipesContact BlogVideosReviews
6-Pack Charters & Hotels

Insert text here.

Juls WFA Blog

Just a Quick Note....Available Dates for Spring...:)

by Capt Juls on 01/11/22

My typical season starts the last two weeks of March, (if the ice is out, and I'm not sure if we'll get ice this year yet), so I thought I would let you know what dates are open right now through the end of June. The rest of the season usually doesn't start filling up until June, so there's time for the later months, if that's what works better for you.
If you're interested in fishing with me this year, please contact me asap, so I can get you on the calendar! The dates are filling up, so don't get left out, because you waited too long to book your date(s)...??
This is what's open right now....
April 18, 19, 24, 26, 27, 28, and 29th
May…8, 16, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, and 31st
June…6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30th

Later months still have a lot of availability too, if you're looking for a summer fun getaway!
Thank you! I look forward to fishing with my regular customers again, and getting to know, and fish, with new customers in 2022!
Capt Juls

Fishing Report for December 10th, 2021

by Capt Juls on 12/10/21

Just a quick update on the walleye fishing in December, here on Lake Erie's Western Basin...:)

The fish are still stacked up from Cleveland to Huron, and are slowly making their way west. 

Cedar Point, and north, to Kelly Island Shoal, is holding good numbers of fish right now too.

The Bass Islands are a little slower, but should start getting more active as the water temps cool even more. There were a lot of fish on the north side of Kelly's just last week.

The water temp this morning, on the south side of South Bass Island was, 38.4 degrees.

There are reports of nice sized fish being caught out of the Michigan waters of Lake Erie right now too.

The usual programs I've written about all season are still working.

Speeds are being reported anywhere from 1.3mph to 2.2mph, with 1.8-1.9 being reported the most.

December's forecast is calling for a warmer than usual month, so there might still be days you can get out. Most docks have been pulled from the launches, but there are still courtesy docks that can be used, to help you launch and load. 

Good luck, if you get to get out there before Christmas....maybe I'll see you out there!  Ho! Ho! Ho!

If I don't....have a wonderful Christmas, or whatever holiday traditions you follow, and I'll see you next "year"! 

Stay tuned....;)

Capt Juls

Fishing with Pete 11/9/2021

by Capt Juls on 11/09/21

Pete showed up at Mazurik's all alone, so it would just be him and me this morning.

He showed up at the park a 1/2 hour early, so we were able to get on the water just as the sky was beginning to lighten. It was still dark enough to need the navigation lights on, but because the sky was mostly clear, it didn't take much sun power from the horizon, to light the sky up pretty quickly. The air temp was a crisp 43 degrees at 6:30.

We set up where I ended yesterday. The Ulterra and baby 15 were deployed, and set for a speed of 2.2mph, and running a SE to NW line.  We were fishing over 34 feet of water, with Bandits running only 35-45 feet back behind Off Shore boards. Bait colors with white in them did best for us yesterday, so I just kept those bait colors on each of our 6 rods this morning.

Pete already knows how to run boards pretty proficiently, so I just told him the leads I wanted on the port side, and he got busy setting lines.  Both sides started with 45 on the outside board, 40 in the middle, and 35 on the inside board.  

As we were both setting out our first baits to 45 back, a fish  hit mine as soon as I stopped the line from going out, and it started to dive. That fish must have been sitting on the surface to have hit that high in the water column. 

Uffda...now, that I'm sitting here, and that thought just crossed my mind, I could kick myself....I should have caught that thought out there on the water. I should have tried one side "nose bleed high", to see if that was the case. I didn't target the top 5 feet of the water column after that happened, and I probably should have. But, it's easy to see now, in hindsight, but at the moment, I missed it. Lesson learned.....I'll remember that next time it happens. :)

We got the rest of the baits out and proceeded to catch 4 or 5 more nice eaters in that area.  Since Pete was fishing alone today, I thought I would waste some time and drive to the north side of Kelly's to check up there. I thought to myself, "If we don't get any up there within an hour, then we can always move back down here". But, we never had to move again, because we found some up there.  Same leads, and a steady pick. We had three on at one time, but while Pete reeled in one, it got off, so he grabbed the next rod, and he got that one in. The third one managed an escape and lives to see another day. Lucky fish. ;)

We had our 12 fish by 9:45, even with a leisurely drive to the north side of Kelly's earlier in the morning. So, it was a relaxing and fun morning fishing with Pete. The lake was flat, and the winds were calm....it was a grand morning!  He said he would like to come and fish with me again, and wanted to bring his son, who is an avid bass angler, competing on a college bass team, so that makes me happy!

I'm off for the next 5 days, and then I have a three day trip scheduled with a couple of my regulars from Wisconsin. But, we'll see what the weather has in its forecast for next week, as it gets closer. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Rick and Kirk 11/8/2021

by Capt Juls on 11/08/21

I was looking forward to walleye fishing this morning, so I was a little ancy, and left the house too early.....again.

It's hard for me to time when I should leave the house in the morning now, because I have to run to the heated storage bldg to pick up the boat first, instead of just walking out to my driveway. I miss that. But, it's also super nice for it to be in a clean and heated storage building for the cold months.

Anyway.... I was picking my guys up at the Country Inn and Suites at 7AM, so I knew I should leave by 6:00, so I could hook up the boat, go get it gassed up, and throw some bags of ice in the cooler, before heading to their hotel.

Rick and Kirk are brothers, who drove in from Indiana to fish with me. Well, actually, they were scheduled to fish with me back on April 22nd, but we didn't get the trip in due to wind. So, they rescheduled a couple of times over this past summer....only to find more wind. 
But, Mother Nature was kind, and we were finally able to chase some walleye out on the lake this morning.

I showed up at their hotel at 6:30... I was a 1/2 hour early. I texted Rick, and told him I was early, and out in the parking lot, but explained that they could take their time, if they needed it.

However, Rick was already outside by his truck and boat, and ready to go, so he just had to let Kirk know. It only took him a couple of minutes to come down and jump in the truck. We hit Dempsey's launch around 6:50, and we were on our way out by 7.  The brother's goal today was to learn how to run inline planer boards more efficiently, because their experience using them in their own boat, yesterday, was somewhat problematic from what he described.

We didn't run far, and worked an area from 17 feet deep out to 30 feet. We set up with Bandits set behind 3 Off Shore boards on both sides, along with one dipsey off each corner. The dispsies would prove worthless for us after 2 hours, so I removed them and put out a 4th board on each side.

The leads were short today. At one point, I had one side deeper and one side higher in the water column.  Early in the morning, we were set at 20, 30, and 40 back on one side, and 50, 40, 35 back, on the other side, and caught fish on the 35 and 40 settings, and one on the 50 setting.  But, as the sun got higher in the sky, I changed up one side to run deeper (as we moved out to the deeper water). The deeper side ran 110, 97, 77, and 63 back, and the higher side ran at 50, 45, 40, and 35 back.  35, 40, and 45 back were the hot leads, but 97 back also caught a couple.

Our speed was kept between 2.0 and 2.4mph.  The water temp was 52.4 degrees where we were. 

I had the guys setting lines, and reeling in boards, and netting their own fish...with some "instruction" from me thrown in there from time to time, because that's the only way to get someone to learn quickly. Make them do it. I have every confidence in the world, that these two will be able to jump in their own boat tomorrow and repeat what we did today

The brothers did a fantastic job this morning, and managed to boat our 3-person limits....with only one tangle to speak of, and it was a minor one at that. They said they learned a lot and are feeling more confident about using inline boards now, too. So, that makes me happy...:)

Tomorrow, I have another walleye trip, and will be headed out of Mazurik's around 7AM with Pete Knaar and his crew. 

I did bring the boat home for an overnight visit with my driveway, so I could leave at a normal time tomorrow.  Only going to be a low of 50 degrees overnight.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Marc and Grace 11/6/2021

by Capt Juls on 11/06/21

This morning, I was meeting my crew at Mazurik's at 8:15, but as usual, I was up early and moving, so I left the house early to go and get the boat, gas it up, put ice in the perch cooler, and securing some Emeralds from Hi-Way Bait, before heading over to the ramp.

I showed up an hour early, so I putzed around in the boat, and then talked to others in the get-ready lanes, while I waited on Marc and Grace, who were driving in from the Cleveland area.  Thankfully, Marc knows my habits and showed up a 1/2 hour early too.

We launched, and headed towards the Marblehead lighthouse just as the sun was coming up. The big orange ball had the perfect backdrop of a clear blue, yet slightly dark, sky. It was beautiful this morning.

The air temp was around 40 degrees, I think. I didn't actually look at the temp info in my truck, but it was definitely a lot warmer than yesterday morning.

The wind was light out of the south, and forecast to be nothing more than 5-15mph.

I didn't look at the water temp though...sorry.

We set up east of the point, and about 1/3 mile from the nearest boat, after the Humminbird showed some perchy looking marks below us. I deployed the Ulterra with a touch of a button, hit another button and boom...we are "anchored" with the Spot-Lock. 

Marc and his daughter Grace are the kind of people that are just happy to be on the lake and fishing, and as Marc says, "The fish are just a bonus to the day", so it just makes the fishing so much more relaxing.

We made the usual monetary bet of a dollar for the first keeper "yellow" to get in the boat.  Marc won that one. Then we made a bet on the 30th fish to go in the box, and I won my dollar back. Then Marc said, "Ok, five bucks for a double of keepers...each time". I didn't think anyone was going to get that one, since it was a slow, but steady bite, this morning. However, I was wrong....I did catch a double about an hour later.  So, now, I'm up 6 bucks...woot woot!  
Then, we had a dollar bet on the 60th fish, and Marc won that one, so I gave him his dollar back. 
The last bet was for the last fish, and it was worth 5.00 this time. Marc and I each had one coming up at the same time.  Mine hit the boat first, so technically I won, but I said, "Your's is bigger, so you win". He laughed, then replied, "It's a draw".  
So, I kept the 5 bucks I had won. Woot! Woot! 

We only kept 81 of our 90 perch today, because of time constraints. Grace had to get back home to go to work this afternoon.  

The bite was pretty light most of the time...and, most of the time, it just felt like a little more weight on the end, when I would go to jig it a little. If it felt different in any way, I would set the hook, which resulted in more catches than misses.

A bonus was two nice walleye that bit my minnows. One was maybe 3-3 1/2 pounds and the other was just a 17 incher.  When you tell Marc, "Get the net"....he jumps... fast! lol  Thanks Marc! :)

All in all, it was a fantastic morning on the water with two good people that I have known for a long time now.  A very good day...and, that makes me happy! 

I'm off tomorrow, and will be cleaning the boat.  I'll be back out walleye fishing on Monday with Rick Baker and  his buddy, so we'll probably be going out of Huron again.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy 11/5/2021

by Capt Juls on 11/05/21

Steve and Jeremy drove in from Columbus this morning to take advantage of the nice weather that was forecast for today, and met me at the Huron boat ramp at 8:20.  Capt Sam, who runs the "Porkchop Express Charters", dumped me in the water around 8am, before the crew showed up, so all they had to do was jump in the boat when they got there (Thanks, Sam!). 

Due to witnessing a deer/car collision on their way up, and stopping to check if the lady was hurt, they were behind schedule by a few minutes, but we were on our way by 8:30. :)

We headed out the Huron river, towards Vermilion, and set up in 38 feet of water. The Ulterra and the baby Merc were set towards the ENE from there, so the path would allow us to visit slightly deeper water as we traveled further out. When we hit 42.7 feet, the boat was turned towards shore again, to get back to that 40' area. That seemed to be the best area for us this morning. 

The Bandit colors are pictured in this post. I do not know all the names of them offhand. Most are custom colors by DJ's " Custom Eyes Lures", Mike Schlimgen's "Slim Shady Customs" , or "Domka Outdoors". Every color pictured caught fish today.

Bandits behind Off Shore boards, unassisted, between 60 and 120 back (I used 120, 91, 85, and 63 back on the starboard side and 115, 89, 77, and 63 on the port side). Speed was all over the place....sometimes it was as slow as 1.5 and sometimes as high at 2.2mph.  But, most multiple bites came at a speed of 1.8.

We caught 24, but only kept our 18 that we were allowed, and headed in after only 4 hours. Even though they were in both of the brawls too, we went in early, so they could get the fish cleaned and get something to eat, before heading back to Columbus at a decent hour. 

They were pleased with the grade of fish this morning, even though we didn't find any tourney fish this time. They will be back next Friday, weather permitting, to try again. :)

I originally had tomorrow scheduled for a walleye trip with my regular from Wisco, Vito Centofanti, but he had a family obligation to take care of this weekend, so he had to cancel. He's rescheduled that trip to March. 

So, I thought I had tomorrow off, but while we were fishing this morning, I got a text from another regular, Marc Miller, who lives near Cleveland, and asked if I had tomorrow available for a perch trip.  He's been trying all season to get his daughter Grace out with me again, and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. We all love perch fishing...:)

The winds look pretty good for a Marblehead perch trip....12-14 out of the south, so all we need are cooperative perch tomorrow. Fingers crossed! 
It will be an 8:30 start out of Mazurik's.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Troy, Brad, and Taylor 10/24/2021

by Capt Juls on 10/24/21

I was up early this morning, to check the weather, and make sure that the winds were still forecast to be light, and the rain wasn't coming in until this afternoon.

All was well, and my perch trip for the morning was still on.

I hit up A & J's for some Emerald Shiners, and then went out to Marblehead to fetch my boat from the heated storage building, and head over to Catawba to meet my Crew.

This morning, I was fishing with Troy, his brother-in-law Brad, and Brad's son, Taylor. They were out on their own boat yesterday and only caught 4 keeper perch over by Lakeside, so they wanted to go out with me this morning. I wasn't sure what kind of bite it would be, but since it was going to be a nice morning, I thought it couldn't hurt to try.

I met my crew at Catawba, and we were launched by 7:45. There was an extraordinary amount of foam at the launch this morning too. At first glance, one would think it was a sheet of ice, but it was just thick foam (from the wind, and algae bloom dying, I think. I don't know for sure). It was icky, to say the least.

We headed out towards G Can first.  Brad, who was sitting shotgun, pointed out some perch net flags in front of us.... I was really surprised to see them so far out, because again, I have never seen the perch nets set on the west side of Catawba so close to the cans...so I slowed down to take a look to see if there were any perch in that area. But, the Humminbird didn't mark much there either, so we kept moving toward G.

We didn't find the marks I was looking for near the can, so we kept moving north and followed the "Picket Fence" line. When we got as far as Round Reef, I decided to head over the D Can, to see if anything was happening out there. No one else was there when we arrived, and there were some marks down below, so we decided to give it a try.

"Dollar for the first yellow?", I asked. They were game, so that dollar went to Troy. Brad bet 5 dollars for the first double yellows that could be kept. He won that one, and then they wanted another dollar bet on the 120th perch, so we were all scrambling to keep bait on the hooks and be on the bottom for that last fish, but the perch gods smiled upon me, and let me have that dollar....woot! woot!

At one point, Brad's rod broke right at the handle, which really surprised me, because it was bought new in the Fall. It's one of Jann's Netcraft's new perch rods, and they are nice rods. Hopefully, the other ones I bought do not follow suit. I'll take this one back, and I'm sure they will replace it for me.  

I didn't have extra perch rods on the boat, so I let Brad use mine. Mine is an old rod I've had since 1987 and is very special to me, so even letting someone touch it, let alone use it, is very hard for me to do....but, it was the right thing to do, since he's the customer.   I sat and twiddled my thumbs until I remembered that I had electrical tape in my glove box. There was enough rod handle there to attach my reel to it with the tape. It would just be a little awkward to use, but it would do the job just fine.

I was fishing again, so all was well in the world, except that I didn't get my rod back to use. lol

I took a picture of a little bugger that was mixed in with my minnows. Can anyone identify it? I thought at first glance it might be a baby smallmouth fry, but I'm not sure.

The crew had a good time, and will be back next June to learn how to run Off Shore boards, and that makes me happy! :)

The weather is turning to crap for the next week, and my next trip is scheduled for next Friday, but I doubt we'll get that one in either, due to wind, but I can hope. Let's all hope that November is kinder to us wind-wise, than September and October have been.  Fingers crossed....:)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Clayton, Todd, and Dale 10/19/2021

by Capt Juls on 10/19/21

Clayton, Todd, and Dale, who drove in from Bismark, ND this past weekend, had a perch trip scheduled with me this past Sunday, but once again Mother Nature decided to be kind of bitchy and blew, so we rescheduled for today. They have their own boat here, a nice Lund, so they were able to fish some quieter waters as they scouted around the area.

I got up  early, as usual, and hit up A and J's Bait for some Emeralds. Their answering machine said they had "100% Emeralds" in their scoops, so that's where I wanted to get them from. However, that 100% was not accurate and in the 7 scoops I bought, there was at least one scoop of FatHeads (a minnow I'm familiar with from living in Wisconsin). But...no worries...I'm not complaining here, and I'll tell you why later in my report. :)

I had originally planned on a 9am launch, to let the "Frost get off the Pumpkin", before we headed out, but the air temp at 6:30 was 51 degrees, so I called Clayton and asked if they could meet me an hour earlier at Mazurik's, so we could get an earlier start. "No problem", he said. "I'll wake the others and get them moving. We just need to make a few sandwiches, and we'll see you over there".

I left the house at 6:55 and headed to the heated storage building to pick up the boat, and head to the gas station to fill it up, and grab some ice for the cooler. I brought the "Catch Counter" cooler, since I had new springs put on it two weeks ago, and a new counter put on it, yesterday. I wore the other ones out, and my counter wouldn't go above 39...the second digit in wouldn't go past 3 for some reason (probably fish slime goo in there or something). But, that's a problem when you need to keep an accurate count before heading back into the dock where the ODNR might be there waiting to count your catch. 

I got to Mazurik's around 7:30 and got things ready while I waited on my crew to arrive. They showed up at 7:45, and we were on our way a short time later.

I hadn't been out perch'n since I had the two brothers from MI out 10 days ago, so I wasn't on a good bite, and I told them so. I gave them the opportunity to save their money and just take their boat out, but Clayton said, "We drove all this way to fish with you, and that's what we want to do". So, with the pressure off, I headed to the Marblehead lighthouse, where I had been hearing about some nice catches the day before.

We stopped in the area, and set up on one spot that had some fishy marks, but they turned out to be big Gobies and small walleye, so we didn't stay there long.  They had told me that the day before, they had seen a perch net on the east side of the Cedar Point break wall, and a lot of marks near one end of it. "We don't know what they were though", said Todd. To which I replied, "Most likely, those were perch. Do you want to go check it out? If they're not, we can always move again". They all agreed it was a good idea, so we started heading over there.

There were a lot of Seagulls flying around, and sitting on the water, out in the middle of the passage between Marblehead and Cedar Point...where the Sandusky River flows out, and they caught my attention. I looked down at the Humminbird to find a large school of fish below us, so I immediately got the boat off plane, and stopped it. Could these be perch? Gosh, I hoped so! "Look what we have here...these marks look very good...let's try this first, before we head all the way over there", I said.

The Ulterra was deployed and the Spot-Loc was engaged to hold us over the marks on the screen. The wind was blowing out of the west, and the waves were 2 feet or less, so it wasn't bad at all.  Everyone else was packed up over by the lighthouse, and we were probably between a 1/2 and 3/4 mile east of that pack, all by ourselves.

The water temp today was 65.8 degrees right there.

"Dollar for the first yellow?", I asked. "Yeah, sounds good", they replied.  Todd won that dollar. But, we had a couple more bets throughout the morning, to keep it interesting, and I would end up with an extra 5 bucks in my pocket. Woot! Woot! Fun times...lol 

Fish size ranged anywhere from 4 1/2 inches to 12 inches. The little ones got tossed back to have a chance to grow bigger. There were a lot of little walleye from this spring's hatch that got thrown back too. They are such cute little buggers at that stage in life...I can't help but give them a little kiss before I let them go....hoping one day, they will come back to me as a trophy walleye. :)

Clayton asked if Sheephead were good to eat, and I told him that I had never eaten one, but that I know of people that had and said they weren't that bad. So, when he caught one, he decided to keep it and fry it up, to see for himself. Todd thought that was disgusting, so I think Clayton plans on sneaking it into a fish fry, to see if Todd would even notice.  I've been told that when people did serve walleye and Sheephead mixed in together, most people couldn't tell the difference.  I have not tried one, and probably never will. When I have Bluegill, Perch, and Walleye to eat anytime I want, I don't think I'll be choosing to eat a Sheephead.
I secretly have a soft spot for the big dopey looking creatures anyway, and enjoy letting them go on about their merry little lives.

We ended the morning with a nice cooler of 120 perch. And, wouldn't you know it...the largest of the perch caught today came on the FatHeads. Go figure! lol

I did get on the radio when we were done, to ask if anyone in that pack was doing poorly and wanted my spot, and gave the numbers, the description of my boat, and said I would wait 5 minutes before leaving, but no one answered, or  headed our way, so we left.  Either they didn't have their radios on channel 79 or they were catching well enough to not want to leave their spots.

I did run into a ODNR Wildlife Officer that I see down there from time to time....he was off duty, and launching his boat with his young son, and his Dad, I think (I couldn't see who was backing up the trailer, so that's only a guess). He asked how we did, and I told him. I gave him the exact numbers we were at, so they could go there and get on them too. He thanked me, and launched his boat while we loaded out.

My guys had a good time, as did I, and they are scheduled to be back here for three days in early April, and that makes me happy!

My next trip is scheduled for Thursday of this week, with Steve and Jeremy (longtime regulars), but the forecast is showing dark red and maroon colors, which means 30+ mph winds, and another blow day, if it doesn't change drastically for the better. Uffda! I've rescheduled them so many times this season, it's not funny.

The next scheduled trip is Saturday, with Joe Wirthman and his crew. We will be chasing walleye, I think. I have to confirm that, though, since I can't remember off the top of my head if it was walleye or perch. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bob and Bruce 10/7-8-9/2021

by Capt Juls on 10/11/21

I had a three day perch trip with brothers Bob and Bruce from Michigan. They've been perch fishing with me every fall, for the past 5 or 6 years now, and always book 4 days, hoping to get all their days in. Normally, we've been able to get them all in, but this year the wind kept us off the lake for the first two days they had booked. Luckily, I had the day after their trip scheduled as a day off, so we used that one to get a third day in, so losing only one day wasn't so bad. :)

The first day (7th) we struggled to find them. We launched out of the Portage River and searched all over the area west of Catawba to the cans, and hit 5 or 6 spots, but never got into them. We ended the day with only 15 perch. 

Day two (8th), while I was at A&J's bait shop waiting on them to open, so I could get some Emerald Shiners, I was given some info that there were a lot of perch up by D can, so we launched out of Catawba and headed there first. The Humminbird showed some decent marks, so I set the Spot Lock on the Ulterra and we stayed put in one spot for the next 5 hours. We caught 75 nice perch there, and when the bite died, we opted to check a spot on our way back to the ramp. We stopped off at F can to see if we could pick up a few more, but it was slow there too, and we only caught 4 more.

Day 3 (9th)...
We headed straight back to D can and set up once again, and enjoyed a beautiful day on the water. The weather was perfect, and the fish were slow to start biting, but then started biting pretty steady. They would come and go in flows, so the trick was to stay put and not get to impatient when it slowed down again. We kept 88 nice perch and threw back about half that number in little perch, little baby walleye, and white perch. We did catch one 20 inch walleye, that Bruce was excited to keep for a dinner too.

The brothers enjoyed their three days of perch'n, even with the very slow day one. Time spent together, fishing, was the most important thing to them, but catching some Lake Erie "Gold" was the icing on the cake for these two. :)

My trips for Monday and Tuesday have been rescheduled. I had to make the call yesterday, for two gents who were driving in from 6 hours away, and it was showing gusty winds for Monday, so they cancelled given that info.  My Tuesday trip has been rescheduled to the 25th.  My next trip is Friday, if the winds allow.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dean, Scott, and Randy 10/4/2021

by Capt Juls on 10/05/21

Sorry...this is going to be a short report, because I didn't have time yesterday to get it done, and I'm short on time this morning. :)

We launched out of Huron at 7:15 yesterday morning, and headed north out of the river. The air temp was 66 degrees, winds were light out of the south, and the water temp was 68 degrees. Skies were partly cloudy with a forecast for some popup showers around 9am.

We ran out to the dump and set up in 40 feet of water and set the Ulterra on a course to the NNE, towards deeper water, at a speed of 2.2mph.

It's basically the same program I ran two days prior with Bandits behind Off Shore boards, with 20z weights on one side of the boat, and unassisted Bandits on the other side of the boat.  We dialed in the unassisted side to 120 back, and put them all at that depth, since every fish caught on that side was hitting that outside board at 120 back. Once we moved the two inside baits down too, they started catching too.

The dipsey program wasn't working as well as it did two days ago, but we did catch some on them. 

We caught around 30 fish, but only 18 of those were keepers, so we went in with only three of our four-person limits.

The rain did show up around 9am, and I tried to stay north of it as it passed, but we did end up catching the edge of it and got rained on. It was a good thing they all brought their rain gear, because it was more than just a sprinkle. lol

Dean, Scott, and Randy, who came down from Wisconsin last Friday with their own boat, had similar success out of Huron the day before. They wanted to fish with me to learn some tips and tricks with the planer boards, and wanted to learn how to run the dipsies, because they had never run them before, but wanted to. They mentioned they were nervous about trying them on their own, because they were afraid of tangles. They learned how easy it was to run them and were planning on buying some for their next adventure out. :)

I'm still having an issue with my 36V battery system draining superfast, so it wasn't the battery charger that got changed out the other day, after all...it's something else.  Hopefully, the culprit can be found and rectified this afternoon, or tomorrow, because I have two perch trips Thursday and Friday, and I need that Ulterra's Spot Lock to last out there! Fingers crossed!
(And, before someone tells me I need to buy new batteries....no, it's not the batteries themselves....they are the Odyssey Extreme 31 AGMs...and, they are in great condition, and less than a year old! lol). 

Gotta run....have a great day!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Josh, Mark, and Doug 10/2/2021

by Capt Juls on 10/02/21

This morning, I had Josh, Mark, and Doug, who live in the area. Josh's wife, bought him a gift certificate for Father's Day, because he has been a long time reader of my blog, and always wanted to fish with me, so he could learn a few things. We had to reschedule a couple of times in September, due to wind, but today we finally got out.

Josh and his crew, use big boards when they troll, but wanted to learn about running the Off Shore planer boards, and dipsies. Doug had used dipsies before, but was only confident to run one per side, because he was hesitant to run more for fear of tangles, and he runs another brand of inline planer boards, so he had some experience already. Josh and Mark were newbies to the inline board presentation, so I knew it would be easy to teach them, since they would learn it "my way". lol

I met them at Mazurik's at 7:15, and we hit the water shortly after.  The air temp was warmer than yesterday's 48 degrees, with a low of 59 this morning. The high for today was forecast to hit 80 degrees by late afternoon. The wind this morning was SSE at 9 when we left the dock and headed east towards Huron. The sky was partly cloudy.

We weren't going to make that 23-mile run again, like yesterday, because the winds were supposed to pick up for the first few hours and then die down again.  We set up north of Huron in 40 feet of water and headed north with the waves.  I was hoping they wouldn't build to more than 1-3's, and they didn't. As we headed further from shore the waves got bigger, but then stabilized, and never got any bigger than 2-3's. By 10am, the wind and the lake were laying down again, and it was back to 2 feet or less.

Our first pass, was about 3 miles long, and the water depth was 44 feet where we stopped to head back to make another pass through our line again. We picked away at them the entire way. It was never a fast bite, but rather, it was a slow steady bite, and we managed to get our 24 keepers in 5 hours.

The guys did a great job learning, and asking a lot of questions, and when my trolling motor batteries died after only 2 1/2 hours, I was then stuck in the driver's seat to steer the boat with the kicker (it's tied to the main, so at least I could steer with the steering wheel). I'm guessing an outage at my house two days ago must have blown my MKC-460 charger, and after using the batteries yesterday, there wasn't enough juice left in them, to use them all day today too. Luckily, I think ahead and had a brand-new charger in the building where I keep my boat in the winter. Matt Wieland did the diagnostics, and installed the new one this afternoon, (Thanks Matt!), so she should be good to go on Monday for my next trip out. Whew! Crisis averted. :)

Anyway, since there were four of using the boat today, we were allowed 12 lines, but only ran 10. Since they were still learning, it was easier to just run three Off Shore boards per side, and my usual 2 dipsies per corner, just to keep it simple.

When we set up for the second pass, I told my crew that I had to steer the boat with the steering wheel, so it was up to them to do the entire set up. I trusted them, since I had watched them for the first three hours, and they listened, so I waited till they were all set up to look back and see if I had to correct anything.  Only one planer board was riding too close to another, so they adjusted that, and we were back in business. But, that was it...they did a fantastic job setting the presentation.

Giving someone who wants to learn, the instruction and the trust to do it, and letting them actually do it, will give them the confidence to take what they learn and do it in their own boat. And, as we all know, when you have confidence...fishing is a lot more fun!

On the first pass, we ran Bandits behind the boards and did 2oz weights on the starboard side, and unassisted baits on the port side.
The 2oz program was 50/75, 50/60, and 50/35. Colors were that purple/white/black-splotchy one with the pink on it, Green Clown, and Sun Spot.

The unassisted program was 120, 110, and 85 back. Colors were Fruit Dots, Blue Chrome, and Sun Spot.

All of those caught fish at one time or another.  

The dipsies were running the usual zero and three settings. 
On the zero settings, one ran the Red Headed Wonderbread Yeck Spoon, and the other ran a Slick Alwive #7 Flick Shad.
On the three settings, one ran another Slick Alwive, and the other ran a Black/Gold Ripplin Redfin.

Zero settings were 48 and 70 back.
Three settings were 77 and 85 back.

The Yeck spoon caught a few, as did the Flicker Shad. The Ripplin Redfin caught nothing today, so it was changed out to a copper/orange Yeck spoon and caught one pretty fast, but that was it for that one, so it was changed out to a Scorpion spoon (don't know the color, but it was silver with white tape/a iridescent edge/black dot). That one caught one almost as soon as it was set out, but I'm not sure if it caught anymore after that, I was mostly facing forward trying to control the boat.

The Flicker Shad running on the zero setting at 70 back was changed out to a #7 Flicker Minnow in the purple/chrome/red belly, and that one took the most fish for the day, I think.

Speed was 2.2-2.4 mph. If I went slower....no bites....if I went faster...no bites, so we tried to keep it in the speed zone they wanted today. That little I-Troll dial thingy is pretty awesome for dialing in the right speed, and it doesn't make me miss my baby ETEC so much. My baby E had the button on the tiller handle that basically does the same thing. So, that makes me happy. :)

When we picked up, ran back, and made our second pass...we took the 2oz weights off, because the unassisted Bandits were producing more than the weighted side. But, the rest of the program was the same. We finished up with 15 minutes to spare, so we took a nice easy ride back in and enjoyed the fine weather, before the rain forecasted for the late afternoon.

Josh, Mark, and Doug all said they learned a ton, and are looking forward to practicing what they learned on their own boat, and I can't ask for anything more than that. Mission accomplished! Woot! Woot!

Tomorrow, is a day off....my crew is here through Tuesday, and I was able to move them to Monday, due to a cancellation for medical reasons of one of my Monday crew, so we don't have to fish in the rain tomorrow...yay! lol

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tom and Liz 10/1/2021

by Capt Juls on 10/01/21

Well, hello strangers! It's been a while. The month of September was a disaster with all the wind we had, not to mention a monsoon that hit us last week. Ugh...but, today was a better day!

Left the house at 6:30 and picked my crew up at the White Caps Motel at 6:35. We hit the gas station in town to top off the boat, and grab some ice for the coolers, then headed to Mazurik's to launch.

I was told there was a decent bite near Lorain yesterday, so the plan was to make that 23-mile run and see what we could do over there. As we headed out, the sky was clear, and I knew it was going to be a ride looking right into the sun, which made it hard to see my Humminbird screen with black dots in my eyes, but we made it. 
The air temp this morning was 48 degrees at 7am, and the water temp was 67 degrees.
Winds were light out of the SE at around 5-7mph, but there were still some slight residual NE rollers from yesterday's wind, so it was a weird ride out there. (The ride home would prove to be much nicer, as the winds laid down to almost nothing....smoothing the lake's surface, for an even nicer ride back in. But, I digress....let's catch some fish first!)

As we approached the end of my "go to" line on the GPS, the silhouettes of boats started to appear on the horizon, and my heart started beating a little faster. It's not often, that I will make that long run over there, but today was the day to do it. And, I had been off for so long that I wanted to catch fish more than my customers even did!

Tom and Liz, who live in MI, were looking forward to catching some fish, and I didn't want to disappoint them.  I always say, "Expect the worst and hope for the best", before every trip, because you just never know what Lake Erie is willing to give you on any given day.

After we reached a good starting point, south of the other handful of boats there, the 400 was shut down and the Ulterra and baby merc were deployed, and set to a speed of 2.2mph, with a course headed to the NE, towards Lorain.

We could only run 9 lines today, so to keep it simple...we ran 8.  Two Off Shore boards pulled Bandits with 2oz snap weights on each side and two dipsies were running off each corner.

Bandit colors that worked for us today, were Sun Spot, Blue/Chrome, Green Clown, and a purple/white/black splotchy paint job one with a pink chin (I don't remember the name of that one...it's a custom color).  
50/50, 50/57, 50/60, and 50/85 were the best leads.

Dipsies were on the zero and three settings on both sides and ran spoons and cranks.
The Red Headed Wonderbread Yeck spoon, of course, was doing its job this morning on the zero setting at 58 back early, and then 65 back later in the morning.
The #7 Flicker Shad in the Slick Alwive color was on two dipsies and killing it. It ran on a zero setting at 70 back and a three setting at 80 back. It probably caught most of the fish.
The other three setting dipsey ran a Black/Gold Ripplin Redfin and caught a couple too.

The first fish was just a regular eater, and I thought to myself, "Sheesh, I could have stayed over by the islands for these little guys", but then the next several fish that came in had me as excited as my customers.  They weren't monsters, but when you're used to catching 1-3 pounders by the islands, and the 4-6 pound fish start coming in, it's almost as exciting as seeing a 10-11 pound fish coming in during the spring run. lol

We managed our 18 fish limit and started our long ride back. We made a stop out in front of Cedar Point, and the lighthouse, so Tom could get some nice pictures of them from the water to remember the day.

They had a great time, and Tom said he would like to come back again next season, so that makes me happy!  :)

Tomorrow, I have a crew that had to be rescheduled a couple of times this season, due to wind, but with the wind forecast for tomorrow, we can get out, but I will not be making the run I did today. We'll have to find a new spot closer to home. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff and Darren 9/15/2021

by Capt Juls on 09/15/21

Well, hello there! Seems like forever since I last wrote a report, but it's only been two weeks...lol

I've been getting emails, messages, texts the past week asking if I was okay, because I hadn't written any reports since August 29th. Thank you for reaching out, but, yes, I am fine! I just haven't been out due to wind, cancelations, reschedules, and scheduled days off. Who knew, when I scheduled the days off, that I wouldn't need them. It seems every day that I had scheduled off, it was nice out, and when I had a trip, it was blowing....deep sigh. I just couldn't win this month! Uffda!

Anyway, I got back out today with two gents who I had to reschedule three times, due to wind, and we finally got out.  Jeff and Darren have only used big boards before and wanted to learn how I run my Off Shore boards, so the goal today was to get them comfortable using them.

We launched out of Mazurik's at 7:15 and headed north to the east side of Gull Island Shoal to start. The wind was 11mph out of the NNW this morning, and the waves were only 1 and 2s.  The sky was black to the east, from the storms that passed through overnight, but it was clearing to the west. The forecast was calling for the wind to die down a little as the day progressed. The air temp was 61 degrees when we launched and would reach the low to mid 70s by noon.

We set up with three Off Shore boards on each side and one dipsey off each corner. The water was stirred up, and a little cloudy, between Gull and Kelly Shoals, but I could still see the motor's cavitation plate, so I didn't worry about it too much.

I went through the instruction of how to attach the planer boards and send them out, and explained why I do things the way I do (basically, cutting their learning curve to a minimum, and heading off any mistakes they might make), and they caught on very quickly.  I have no doubt, that they can go do this in Jeff's new Hewscraft with confidence. 

Unfortunately, they didn't get much practice bringing in fish from them. The bite was very poor, to non-existent, all morning.  We only caught three keepers in that 15 1/2-18 inch range, one white bass, and one throw back....that's it. 

We trolled from Middle Island, to Kelly's Shoal, to east of Kelly's, and down to Cedar Point, and that's all we had to show for it. The marks were so scattered and sparse, that it had me scratching my head.  Last year, at this time, there were a lot more fish in these areas than what I was seeing this morning.

My guys were really fun to fish with, and the weather was pretty darn nice today too. There were no bugs, the air was cool, and the sun even came out, so other than a poor bite, there was nothing to complain about.  Jeff and Darren said they had a great time and learned what they came to learn, and will be buying the Off Shore products very soon, and that  makes me happy.

The only baits that caught fish today were on the Walleye Nation Creation Boogie Shad at 30/30 with 2 oz, the Red Headed Wonderbread Yeck spoon... on the zero setting dipsey at 42 back, and the Watermelon Scorpion spoon on the same setting. 

Other baits we ran were Ripplin Redfin, Bandit, Spro Madeye 120, and the Mag 44. Other than the one fish on the Boogie, the rest just got washed all morning.

My two day trip for tomorrow and Friday, were cancelled by the customer yesterday, because two of the three crew members are suffering the effects of COVID and couldn't make the trip, so they will be rescheduling to the spring.

I've got perch trips lined up for next week, which I'm looking forward to, so we'll see how that goes.

I did mark what looked like good perch areas out there on the east side of Kelly's, but never in enough numbers to make me want to go set up on them. I think we'll be headed west next week.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Two Days with Jack, Jake, and Braden 8/28-29/2021

by Capt Juls on 08/29/21

I didn't do a report yesterday, because it was so dismal on our perch attempt, that there wasn't anything to report, but a whopping 6 perch in the cooler. lol 

But, after thinking about it, if I tell you where I went, then you might nave to waste all that gas looking there too.

We left Mazurik's before the sun came up, and headed north, between the islands. I wanted to check an area that had held perch in late August, that I had fished before. They weren't there.

We headed up to Lucy's Point....a scattered population, but no schools of perch that would keep my guys entertained.

Then, we headed up to the red buoy on the north side of north bass to check there.
We set up on a rock pile with the Ulterra's Spot Lock, and fished it for about 20 minutes.  Nothing. We left.
he next spot was over on the east side of Sugar Island.  There were some drifters in there, so I made sure to keep off their line and set up on the edge of the channel in 27 feet of water.  

We caught some white bass, 6 nice perch, and a couple of sheephead.  The wind shifted, so now the drifters were on a line with us. Since the bite had died and the lack of perch numbers there, we decided to make another move. 

 The wind had picked up, so we moved back around to the east side of the islands, and tried looking around that deep hole on the north side of Ballast Island....again, just a scattered fish mark here and there on the Solix. 

By now, I'm frustrated... lol   The wind was really picking up now, so we headed down towards Mouse, and fished the NE side of it. The current was ripping from the east to the west, even though the lake naturally flows from west to east, and the wind was also blowing from the WSW.   We had good marks below us, but the only thing that was caught there in 20 minutes, was a catfish. 

As we were moving....again....the boys looked so dreadfully bored, that I said to Jack, "Today is a bust, If they want to be done, we can go in", so he turned around and asked them both if they wanted to go in, and they quickly shook their heads, "Yes", in unison. lol We were done. It was brutally hot, and a very tough perch day for us. 

So, if that information was helpful....glad I could help. :)

On to this morning....

I was fishing with Jack Marcus and his two sons, Jake and Braden. Both boys are in high school and fishing on their high school's bass fishing team, and Jack brought them over to Ohio, from Illinois, to fish Lake Erie with them.  They stayed at the Kalahari Water Park Resort over in Sandusky, which I thought was brilliant, because who wouldn't want to go relax in some cool water after a hot day on the lake? Admittedly, I was a little envious. :)

This morning's forecast, was calling for light winds from the SW, partly cloudy skies by mid-morning, and a temp in the high 80s by 11am.  My crew met me out on Marblehead, at Dempsey's boat access, at 6:15. We headed out the Bay Point Marina access, and over to the east side of Kelly's, and set up in 37 feet of water. 

The Ulterra and the kicker were humming along on a ENE direction, at a speed of 2.5 mph as we set up.  I showed Jake and Braden how to set the baits, running behind the Off Shore boards, with the 2oz weights.
They put the Guppy weights on at the 40 mark, and then let out another 50-75 feet, before attaching the boards.  (For those that don't know what a Guppy is, Guppies are snap weights from Off Shore Tackle Co.)

The port side ran the tried and true Black/Gold Ripplin Redfins (2) and the two dipsies off the corner. 

I kept it simple, by only running two boards per side, and 2 dipsies per side, even though we were allowed 12 lines out. 

The dipsies were set on the usual starting numbers....the zero setting was at 40-45, the 2 setting at 70-75, and the 3 setting at 80 or 91.

The spoons were the NASCAR Stinger spoon, a Watermelon Scorpion spoon, and Copper Yeck spoon with orange tape on the edges, and a Walleye Nation Creation Boogie Shad (shallow diving crank).

The port side, ran Ripplin Redfins too...another Black/Gold and a Black/Chrome.

Everything caught fish this morning.  We ended up with their three-man limit, and one of mine. A couple fish were lost, and the rest were shorties we would find when we periodically checked the divers for weeds or little hanger on'rs.

The bite was very good early, and then got steadily tougher as the sun got higher in the sky, and it got hot out.  The crew was given the option of going in after their limit was met, or to keep fishing, and they opted for the first option.
When we were picking everything up to head in, we found that one of the black/gold Ripplin's had been bit off. The snap was gone, and there wasn't any curly line at the end to indicate that the knot came undone. It was a clean cut, like a muskie hit it. I never saw it happen, and the weight was still on it, so it didn't change the board's action at all....deep sigh, at least I know it was towards the end, and not out that long, because we kept having to clean the lines, baits, and boards from all the floating grass out there, and we had just done that side about 15-20 minutes prior to pulling lines.

Jack, was a great net man for the boys, as they reeled in the dipsey fish. It took a few tries to get the "Reel down to the dipsey, then lift, and back up" routine down, but they eventually got it mastered, and did a great job putting fish in the cooler. 

From the talk on the radio, it sounded like it was pretty tough out there for a lot of people, once the early morning bite slowed down...so, it wasn't just us. 

Tomorrow, I have a perch trip again, but this time, instead of searching for them around the islands again, I'm headed west....way west. Fingers crossed! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike and Billy 8/27/2021

by Capt Juls on 08/27/21

I was off for a couple of days...one due to weather and the other, due to a scheduled day off, so it was time to go back to work this morning.  :)

The sunrise is later now...and, today, it was at 6:57am, so I had my crew meet me at Mazurik's at 6:15 for a 6:30 launch. Mike and Billy fished with me last year, so I knew we were going to have fun today. It was still dark when they showed up at 6:00, so I got things ready, while we waited for a lighter sky. 

We headed ENE out of the launch at 6:30, and fished out in 41-43 feet of water with a plethora of baits.

The dipsies were in use, of course, and were set on the usual settings...

Zero settings were running anywhere from 40 to 60 back....numbers used were 40, 45, 50, 54, and 60.  A "Nascar" Stinger Spoon was the hot bait today, so we put out two. But, it was the zero dipsey that ran it on the starboard side that got all the hits. The other one didn't do as well. Other dipsey baits used successfully were the Boogie Shad, Scorpion Spoon, and the Ripplin Redfin.

The two setting was at either 70 or 75 all morning, and did well enough to not want to change it. 70 was probably best.

The three setting was between 70 and 91....at 70, 75, 80, and 91.  80 was best.

Rippling Redfins ran behind the Off Shore boards, with 2oz weights at 50/80 and 40/80 on the starboard side. (For the new guy reading this foreign language for the first time, it means...let 40 or 50 feet of line out, put a 2oz snap weight on the line, and then let out another 80 feet, (for a total of 130 feet of line out), and then put the inline planer board on the line).

We started out with Reef Runner Mag 44's on the port side, with 2oz weights, but they didn't produce today like they did earlier in the week, so they got changed out to Spro Madeye 120's (unassisted/no weight), at 120 and 80 back... and, the Golden Perch was the only one to catch a fish...so, they got changed out to the #7 Flicker Shad and a Yaleye Mooneye Minnow with 2oz snapwieghts at 40/80 and 30/80 back, respectively.

Speed today was, 2.5mph.

We were on an easterly troll, when we spotted nets up ahead, and a commercial boat getting fish out of them, so we turned and headed north for a bit. We hit a flurry of bites going that direction, and had a couple of keepers and the rest throw backs to show for it.  The ratio of keepers to throw backs this morning was probably 4:1.

One lucky fish escaped our cooler by wiggling out of the hands of Billy, who was trying to measure it. I had already told him, "It's a keeper" (over 16"s and a fatty), but it slid over the back of the transom in one smooth move and was gone. Oops!
Then, that last fish seemed to take forever, but it was worth the wait for it. She was a nice 23 or 24 inch eater. 

It was a hot and humid kind of morning, so I took my neck towel to keep on ice until I needed it. As it would turn out...I would need it a lot! Whew, it got steamy with no wind out there today! I'd still rather be hot than cold, but that was a little too much, even for me. lol

Mike and Billy had a great time, and are looking to get back here in the spring again, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I get to go perch fishing with Jack and his two boys. I can't remember if they are his sons or his son's sons. I'll find out tomorrow. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff, Jeffrey, and Christian 8/23/2016

by Capt Juls on 08/23/21

I had to be extra quiet this morning, because my sister and brother-in-law, who were staying with me over the weekend, and are not used to getting up as early as I am, were still sleeping.  It messed with my routine a bit, but, seeing and spending quality time with them, was worth every kink in my neck from sleeping on Dexter's couch for the past three nights. lol

I told my crew I would pick them up at the White Caps Motel at 5:45, but when I arrived 10 minutes early, they were already standing outside waiting on me to arrive.  After the usual greetings and putting their stuff in the boat, they jumped in the truck, and we headed through town towards Marblehead. 

The boat and truck were already gassed up...so, we only needed ice this morning. We headed to Dempsey's to launch, and were in the water by 6:20.  We cut through Bay Point Marina, and headed NE when we got out on the lake. 

The lake was pretty calm at that time, so it was mostly flat with a little ripple going across the top of the surface. The forecast, was calling for wind to pick up a little later in the morning, but it would be nothing to worry about. It was SW to start and then was starting to switch to NW by the time we ended the morning.  Waves were never over 2 feet.

What worked....just about anything worked.

We set up with Baby Spros (85s), on the port side, behind Off Shore boards, and ran them 120, 100, and 65 back with no weight. 
On the starboard side, we ran a Ripplin Redfin 50/90 w/2oz (total of 140 back...weight on at the 50 mark) 
A #7 Flicker Shad at 40/40 w/2oz
A Yaleye Mooneye Minnow 35/35 w/20z
The starboard side eventually was swapped out to Mag 44's at 50/90, 50/75, and 40/40...and, the port side was changed to the Adult Spros (Madeye 120s), because the speed was blowing them out and twisting the line with the Babies.

Dipsies were set on the zero, two, and three settings and ran spoons.
The zero setting ran at 45, 50, 54 at different times.
The two setting ran at 75 and 80 back, and the three setting ran at 90 back.

Speed was at 2.5mph.

Everything caught fish!  Colors were all over the place too, but the Red Headed Wonderbread took the most.

It wasn't a slam fest on the keepers, but it was always busy in the boat bringing fish in. A lot of them around Cedar Point are in that group just under 15", so next year, those fish will be nice, healthy keepers. I can't wait. :)

Jeff, and  his two sons, had a great time. I let them do the netting, since they seemed capable, and they did not disappoint. No one got "fired" from net duty this morning, like they usually do. lol  
I usually don't let customers net, but since they were there to have fun and spend time with each other, I didn't think it would hurt to let them try it. If they lost fish, I don't think they would have cared. 

Jeff told me on the way in that he wants to make this an annual trip, so he can spend this time with his boys for as long as they want to. Jeffery and Christian both agreed to the idea, so that makes me happy! :)

I thought I had a trip tomorrow, but I forgot to remove the name that was listed, because he said he came down with COVID, and would be rescheduling for a September trip instead....oops. My bad. Looks like I have an unexpected day off. But, I'm not complaining...I need a good night's sleep tonight.

My next trip is Wednesday, and my crew is coming in from Wisconsin. John Stanzyk and his crew want to start with perch and then if there's time, they want to try for some walleye.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dave and Tracy 8/17/2021

by Capt Juls on 08/17/21

When I woke up this morning, I already knew the forecast was looking great for today. So, I slipped out of bed and poked my head out of the back door, to make sure that Mother Nature wasn't pulling one of her fast ones on us again. She wasn't.
I smiled, when I saw all my garden spinners at a dead standstill. "Good, light winds today", I muttered to Dexter as I scratched the top of his head. I closed the door, and headed to the kitchen to make my morning coffee...Dexter followed behind, looking to get a treat, or two. 

I left the house at 4:30, even though I didn't need to meet my crew until 6:15, over at Catawba. I wanted to stop at the gas station, and then hit Hi Way Bait for minnows, because they still open at 5am...(most others open at 5:30, or as late as 6am now). 

No one had Emeralds around here that I know of, so we were using Golden Shiners from Hi Way. They were a perfect size Goldie...about an inch and half long.

Then, I hit up Herb's Bait for some frozen emeralds. I was not impressed with them, because the cups were full of scales that had fallen off the minnows...super messy.   I like freezing mine in Wintergreen Rubbing Alcohol, because...1. They firm up. 2. they like the flavor, and the scales do not fall off of them, like they did with the salted/frozen ones. 3. The water never fully freezes, so thawing them takes no time at all.

Jannette's Bait had Goldies and frozen too.

With minnows in my possession, I headed over to Catawba to get the boat ready, and wait on my crew. Dave and Tracy, from the Toledo area, showed up right on time.  

We headed NNW out of the ramp for about 8 miles, and after setting down and looking around with the Solix, we set up using the Spot Lock on the Ulterra. To this day, I'm so glad I don't have to drag an anchor up over the side of the boat anymore, and just let the motor hold us in place. Such a treat.

Anyway....it was perching. Tracy and I used crappie rigs that I make myself, and Dave used a spreader. At 2 1/2 hours in we only had 45 of our 90 limit, and I could sense a slow-down in the bite, as the sun got higher in the sky, this morning.

Once we had 56 perch in the cooler, I decided that maybe we should move, rather than wait any longer to see if anymore were going to roam through again. It seemed to me, that they had moved, and weren't coming back anymore, so we moved.

We would move three more times, and not find a good bite in any of those spots, even though the Solix showed some good marks below us.  The only difference between our first spot, and all three other spots, was the clarity of the water. The marks looked the same as they did in the first spot, when the bite was good, but the algae was a lot worse, which made the water murkier.

They called it with a 1/2 hour to go...so, we came in 4 short of their two-person limit. But, the good news is, there was a fella at the ramp that had come in after us. He didn't feel his 5 perch were worth the effort to clean, so he asked Tracy and Dave if they wanted them. Of course, they said, "Yes." 
So, we ended up taking 61 perch to the cleaners, for a total of 20 pounds (or, 3 fish to a pound).

Dave and Tracy commented on how relaxing it was, how nice the weather was, how much fun they had catching fish....so, you know what that makes me.... that's right...that makes me happy! Another adventure accomplished. 

Tomorrow's forecast, is calling for light winds out of the south, turning variable, and staying below 10mph. It will be cloudy, and there's a chance for rain at 10am. Temps will be in the low 70s most of the morning.

I have two repeat customers that I have fished with for a few years now. I call him, "Santa", because he looks like him, and he plays one sometimes at special events. Cally Morgan, and his friend, Bill, will be walleye fishing with me for the next two days, and then I'm off for the weekend. I have family coming to visit. Woot! Woot!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Casey and Ryan 8/13/2021

by Capt Juls on 08/13/21

I didn't do a report on my August 4th trip, because I was heading to Wisconsin to visit family early the next morning, and I don't like to announce on social media that I will not be home for a week....know what I mean? And, there was a lot of stuff to do before I left, like cleaning the house, cutting grass, and packing the car.

Anyway, I got back in town Tuesday morning, and I was supposed to fish Wednesday and Thursday, but my client had to reschedule at the last minute, due to work, so we'll see him in September instead. There were storms and wind anyway, so it all worked out, and I got a short, needed vacation from my vacation. lol

I was supposed to do a fly in this past week, up at Meta Lake Lodge, but the border didn't open on time, (two days late...grrrr!), so I went up to visit with my family instead. It was a nice visit, but I'm glad to be back home.  And, you're welcome....I leave, and Momma Nature doesn't blow...I come back, and she's all pissed off again.

Today's wind wasn't bad. The forecast was for SW winds with gusts up to 15mph. Down inside, it was really nice...and, up by the line, it was only 1-3s. 

I had Casey and his son, Ryan. They have fished with me before, so only a refresher course was needed for them to be helpful setting the lines this morning.

We started with 4 Spro Madeye 120s behind the Off Shore inline boards, all weighted with 2oz Guppie Weights (same as a snap weight...the name of the weight, produced by Off Shore Tackle is, "Guppy", because it looks like a little fish with a smile on it), but it does the same job as a teardrop shaped clip on weight. So, if I say, "Guppy"...that's what that is.  (I just try to clear up any confusion, before I get emails asking what I meant.)

Colors we started with were the Golden Perch and the Purple Glass Perch. The Golden Perch took one I think from the moment it was set, but because of the rougher conditions this morning, and the lack of anything to gauge it against...I let it ride for a while.  That one was set 50/85 (total line out was 135...the weight was put on at 50').  

Purple Perch did nothing today, even though my last few times out it was a hot color. The port side Spros were changed out to Yaleye Mooneye Minnows at 30/80 back with 2oz. They didn't catch anything today either, even though that set up was pretty good last week.  So, those were changed out one more time to Bandits and put out 50/75 and 50/70 with 2 oz Guppies behind the OST boards.  This last set up, along with the original sets on the starboard side, would end up pulling short fish around for a while, because we never could tell they were there.  

I need to loosen up the springs on the Tattle Flags, because I have them set pretty tight for larger fish. But, since we're in the middle of summer and the smaller fish, I need to be able to detect those little suckers better.  Who knows how long we grumbled about the slow bite, but you can't get bit if a little walleye is hanging on it.....deep sigh.

The dipsey rods were running two  on each back corner, and set on the zero and three settings. The inside, shorter rods, were set on zero...and, run back 40-65 back. The port side ran the Red Headed Wonderbread Yeck spoon and the starboard side was a silver/black Ripplin Redfin. 

The longer rods, which were set on the three settings, ran at 75 and 91 back. 

Speed was 2.3-2.6 mph

We fished out east of Kelly's...just off the reef in 43' of water, but the fish were scattered around there. We took that contour, north... close to the line, and then headed back inside, where we did a little better.  We only ended up with 8 keepers and the rest were throw backs, or junk fish.

I will see Casey and Ryan this fall, and again, in April 2022, so that makes me happy, and we will hopefully get a better cooler full than what we had today. They are a lot of fun to fish with, so I'll be looking forward to fishing with them again.

Tomorrow's trip has been rescheduled, due to strong NE winds in the forecast. My customer, Mike Smith, of Michigan, has already moved that trip to April of 2022 too. He's looking to test drive the Ranger 621 FS Pro, to test its "Fishability", so he can decide if he wants to purchase one in the near future, or if he would prefer to buy something else.  That's a really smart way to buy a boat, I think. 
Fish out of it first, and spend enough time in it, so you know if it would fit your style of fishing too. 

I had Sunday down as a scheduled day off, so I guess I won't be out again until Monday, unless Sunday's weather is looking good. Then, we may go fun fishing for some perch.  I finally have another perch trip on Tuesday, so I'm really looking forward to that, and need to find some...woot! woot! 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Kevin and Rich 8/3/2021

by Capt Juls on 08/03/21

Today was day two of two for my crew from Iowa. Yesterday, Kevin and Rich were quick learners on setting the dipsies, but the fish were less enthusiastic on biting. We did a later launch out of Vermilion, and found fish, but they were tight to the bottom most of the day, so we only manage a two-man limit, instead of the three we were allowed. 

Dipsies, set on zero ran between 55 and 65 back. Baits running behind the 3 setting were at 80 and 91 back. Speed was 2.3-2.7mph. We ran the trough of 2-3 foot waves, caused by wind from the WNW. It was around 13mph when we headed out, but had calmed down quite a bit by 2:30 in the afternoon. 

Overnight, the winds were calm, so the lake had time to calm down. The forecast for this morning, was light winds from the SSE. It would be calm when we headed out...pick up a little for a couple of hours, and then lay back down for the rest of the day. 

We hit Mazurik's at 5:45 and were headed out of the breakwall by 6am. The sky was partly cloudy on the rim of the earth, but otherwise, clear.  Another beautiful sunrise was shared on the water, and it gave hope to a fun morning. 

We finally set down about 16 miles to the ENE, where the Solix showed some good fish below us. Again, they were close to the bottom, but not quite as tight as they were yesterday, so I was hopeful it would be a better bite this morning. 

Kevin and Rich knew the routine, so it was a lot easier to get going with the set-up. We started with what worked yesterday, and it wasn't long before the first dipsey set on zero/65 started bouncing with the telltale sign of, "fish on!". 

The black/chrome Ripplin Redfin ran on three dipsies and the other was a "Gold Digger" Yaleye Mooneye Minnow. The Gold Digger consistently caught the largestof the eaters that we kept, but the Black/Chrome took the most. The Red Headed Wonderbread Yeck spoon caught as soon as it was put out too....though, typically, smaller fish.

It turned out to be a great morning. Kevin and Rich had fun setting lines and reeling in fish, and best of all....just relaxing, and enjoying the great weather. The conversation was much more fun today, than yesterday, too.  Familiarity, opens people up a little more, I think. They are planning on coming back in the spring, to try for some pre-spawn piggies, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I have a group of 2 or 3, for walleye. I wish it was perch, but everyone still wants walleye, so I patiently wait to fish for my little friends....deep sigh.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with TJ and Daphne 7/31/2021

by Capt Juls on 07/31/21

Sunrise was at 6:31 this morning, so I had my crew meet me at Mazurik's a little before 6am, so we could be launched by 6am. The half hour before the actual sunrise is great for driving on the lake. It's light enough to see everything, but there's no big fiery ball in the sky yet, to blind you when you're headed ENE. :)

TJ and Daphne have their own boat, and have started to use inline boards, on the few trips they have been up here. Today, TJ wanted to learn how to run dipsies. "We have some dipsies", said Daphne, "But, they are still in their packaging", she added with a giggle.  "That's okay, dipsies are the easiest thing in the world to run, and you'll have all the confidence in the world, after this trip, to use them on your own boat", I said.  I wasn't lying. Dipsies are the easiest thing in my arsenal to use. 

We set up north of Cedar Point in 41' of water and let the Ulterra and baby Merc guide us on a NNE trolling pass.

Running two dipsies off each corner:

The "inside dipsies" were set on the zero setting, and the "outside dipsies"  were on the three settings.  The port side zero setting was set to 54 back and the starboard side zero setting was set to 65 back. The three setting on the port side was set to 65 back to start, and the starboard side three setting was set to 91' back.

A Black/Gold Ripplin Redfin ran on the starboard side 3 setting, while a Yaleye Mooneye Minnow ran on the three setting on the port side.  The two inside dipsies ran spoons...the larger BadMo spoon on the starboard side and the Red Headed Wonderbread Yeck spoon on the port side.  

Speed was 2.5mph.  I usually start with that, because the "Precision Trolling Data" info for the dipsies is based on a speed of 2.5mph. I adjust from there.

(3) Bandits and (1) Spro were running, unassisted, behind the Off Shore boards between 45 and 75 back. Blues with white in them were a good color today.

We caught our three-person limit by 10:15, and took a nice leisurely back in.  

The forecast was a little off today. I was expecting a relatively calm lake, other than some residual NE rollers from last night's wind, and less than 5mph out of the south. Well, it wasn't less than 5, and it wasn't out of the south. It was a SE, and sometimes NE wind...it kept switching around. The waves were no more than 1-2's, unless some knoob with a pleasure boat drove by too close, plowing through, and throwing a big wake.  I wonder if they think they will lose their way if they deviate from that straight line they are driving on out there. I don't get it....but, I digress.

Anyway, it was a nice morning. Cool enough to wear jeans and a light jacket, and sunny.  TJ and Daphne had a good time and said they learned a lot, so mission accomplished...and, that makes me happy! :)

I'm off tomorrow, and have the same crew for Monday and Tuesday. They are driving in from Iowa, and we will be targeting walleye. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls