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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Matt, Brian, and John 5/21/2022

by Capt Juls on 05/21/22

Matt, Brian, and John came up yesterday, from Cincinnati, and were instructed to meet me at Mazurik's at 5:30, this morning. I showed up there at 4:45, so I had time to change out baits, and get the dipsey rods ready for their first use of the season.

The crew showed up at 5:25, and we were launched by 5:30.  We weren't going far, and I'm pretty sure everyone already knows the area, because there were 100+ boats scattered throughout the South Passage. But, being one of the first ones on the lake, we were able to get a first pass in, without any interruptions in our navigation.

I've been hearing, lately, that spoons were taking fish at higher speeds now, so I thought it was time to pull out the dipsies this morning. I love the dipsey program. It's so easy to run them. It takes little time to check/change baits, or see if a small fish is hanging on. 

We ran the inside dipsies on the zero setting, and the outside dipsies on the 2 setting.  Zero settings were set at 25 and 27, and the 2 settings were set at 31 and 35, and sometimes 40. Scorpion Stinger spoons and Yeck spoons did their job. Colors didn't seem to matter...I had a little bit of every color down, and they all took fish.

Speed was 2.5  mph.

Two Bandits ran on each side of the boat, but only two walleye were caught on them. Blue chrome at 37 back, and Carrot Top at 43 back, running behind the Off Shore boards.  

The spoon action was very good though. It kept my crew VERY busy, reeling, re-setting, checking every odd wiggle in the rod tip, to see if it was a fish...then, re-setting the dipsey again...only to turn around, look at it, and ask, "Is that a fish? It looked like a fish hit it". "There's only one way to find out", I said, pointing to the rod, and smiling.  I said, "Be my guest". He laughed, and picked it up. Sometimes, there was a fish, and sometimes, there wasn't.  

We caught a few short fish this morning too. I've only caught two short fish all spring, so far....until this morning. I think we had about a 1/2 dozen, or so. 
The rest of the fish, were anywhere from 16" to 22".

We had their 3 limits in about 3 1/2 hours, but then struggled to get our last limit. We got done a little early, due to a system that was pushing through, so we ended with 22 today. I think we lost about a half dozen too. But, that's going to happen when you're fishing with spoons.

The two larger fish in our cooler were caught on the Bandits.

I'm off for a few days, and will be back out later this week.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 2 with Jim and Gary 5/18/2022

by Capt Juls on 05/18/22

Left the house at 5am, to go pick up my crew from their motel, at 5:15. It's only a mile down the road, so I thought I would be able to jump down the Tik-Tok rabbit hole for 5 or 10 minutes, before they came out, but they were already outside waiting for me to arrive... Ha!  They climbed in the truck and we headed to the other side of town to gas up, get ice, and get to Mazurik's to launch.

When we arrived, we were the only people there. There were no trailers in the parking lot. Just a long haired black cat, that was going back and forth across the park, from the parking lot, to the rocks, and back, was the only other being to make itself known.

Another rig showed up just as we were getting ready to drive down to the launch...then, another, and another, and another. "Good timing", I thought to myself. "It's going to get busy, shortly".

"Hell yeah, first ones in the water today! Woot! Woot!" I was excited! I put the throttle in reverse, and saw that bow start to twist to the side. "Oh, %$#^&!", I said,  "I left a strap on... I'm, an idiot." The boat that came in alongside us, in the get ready lane, was launching now too. I shouted over to them, "Hey, any of you guys have muscles?"  
"Yeah, what do you need?", said the driver of the truck, as he started walking towards me. He was already bending over to pull his pant legs up, as he walked.

I think he already knew what I did, because he saw me trying to get the bow of the boat back on the roller, so I could winch it back in place. He splashed right in and lifted the bow of that Ranger like it was a car topper canoe, and placed it back inline with the roller...then, proceeded to winch it back up, so we could pull forward and undo the strap.  My hero! Thank you, you anonymous person with muscles. (If you're reading this...I'm sorry, I never got your name.) :)

"Okay, the strap is undone...let's try this again" I said to Jim. Jim starts to back us down and I put the throttle in reverse aaaaand she'ssssss not coming off the trailer. "Noooo! Awww, COME ON!  I truly am an idiot". (She says, hanging her head and shaking it). Yes, that's right, I forgot to undo the winch strap. 

A positive: Thankful for the EZEESteps, because otherwise I would have bruised my ribs trying to climb in and out of the boat as many times as I had to this morning.  I stepped down, and undid the winch lock....ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz, ZZZzzzzzzzzz, Zzzzzzzzzz...it whirred, as the handle went around and around at breakneck speed.
When it stopped, I pulled the boat forward and unhooked it. "Well, at least it was easier than a back strap", I thought.

I took a deep breath, to calm myself down, because by now, we were at a very busy launch. A dozen boats had launched, or were getting ready to launch, during my fiasco. I apologize for blocking a ramp for 5 minutes this morning. Sorry! 

We headed north out of the ramp, and hit the north side of Kelly's first. We only picked up 5 or 6 there on a very long pass. Then, we moved to the west side of the Bass Islands, where we were yesterday, and picked up another 3 or 4. We worked at it, but it was slow for us. The puzzle pieces weren't fitting together for us today, and never really dialed anything in, other than they liked most the leads 30-50 back. A couple were caught deeper, but most were higher fish.

Jim and Gary had a good time, and learned a ton. They are both off to other adventures in the outdoors, in just a few weeks. Jim's going to Lac Saul (sp?), and Gary is headed to Big Bay de Noc for a couple of weeks. Good luck gentlemen! It was a pleasure fishing with the both of you. Safe travels in your journeys. :)

Tomorrow, I have a repeat crew, that I've had for a few years now, they are always a fun time too, so I'm looking forward to fishing with them again. 

The forecast is for mostly cloudy skies, 20mph winds gusts, from the west in the am, but diminishing by 9am. It will be a little chilly in the morning, with air temps only in the low 60's.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jim and Gary 5/17/2022

by Capt Juls on 05/17/22

Two of my fellow Walleye Central.com members fished with me this morning. Jim is from MN, and Gary is from Indiana...(that might be the other way around, but that's the way I remember it..lol)

They met through WC and have become good fishing friends over the years. They traveled here to fish Lake Erie, and that's what we planned to do.

When I got up this morning, there wasn't much wind on my back deck yet, but after looking at the iWindSurf app, I knew that wasn't going to last long. The little arrows out on the buoys and islands were registering winds all over the place. To the west it was 20 out of the NW, and over on South Bass Island, it was reading 23 out of the NW, while Kelly's Island read only 3mph out of the NE. Marblehead started at 3mph and jumped to 16 within an hour.

With a forecast like that, I would normally cancel and reschedule if I could, but the TV weatherman said it was going to be 5-15 out of the NW, so I figured it would settle down and be fishable, if we gave it a little time.

I picked my guys up at the White Caps Motel, since it's so close to me, and I told them what I thought. I asked, "Are you hungry? We can go grab some breakfast and let it settle down a little, before we launch". They were agreeable...but, as we drove past the lake, down on Lake Shore Dr, I saw that the lake wasn't white-capping, so I said... "On second thought, let's just go to Catawba and check out the conditions...we'll make a decision from there. Again, they were agreeable.

We stopped for gas and ice...when I was pumping gas, I felt the wind gusting, so I made the decision to go get these guys some breakfast first, so we could waste some time. Jim and Gary were happy about that.

After a quick breakfast, we headed to Catawba to launch. We launched at 6:30, so it was too late to get my sunrise picture, but it was a beautiful morning. The winds were starting to lay down, it was a cool 50 degrees, I think...( I didn't check the exact temp this morning, but it felt like 50, to me). :)

The ride out on the water between the islands, known as the "South Passage", was rough. It wasn't bad, but it was a bit gnarly, due to the washing machine affect the winds were creating with the waves. It didn't know if it wanted to go NW or NE this morning.  I think we got a little of both.  But, the winds...they did lay down, and it was a beautiful morning to be on the lake. Blue skies, sunshine, fishing, friends, good venison sticks, and walleye make for a wonderful memory...don'tcha think?

We made it to the islands and set up in 31' of water with crawler harnesses on the starboard side, and Bandits on the port side.

Harnesses used (2) 1oz inline weights, and (2) 2oz inlines with (2) #6 Colorado blades and (1) #5 Hatchet blade, and (1) Bad Mo blade
1oz at 30 and 41' back behind the Off Shore boards
2oz at 25 and 27 feet
Speed was 1.6-1.7mph

Water temp was 58

We had two pullbacks on the harnesses at 25 back and 41 back...and caught two at 30 and 25 back. We went a long time with no action, so I felt the Bandits needed a chance at a faster speed, or the crawlers needed to go slower. So one, or the other had to come off. I chose the crawlers, because if I could get the crank bait bite going, then I don't have to mess with crawlers. I kind of feel sorry for them, as I hook them to their fate. lol

We ran Bandits on the starboard side at 35, 43, 53, and 61 behind Off Shore boards, and the port side ran at 30, 40, 50, and 60 back. 
Speed was 2.0-2.2mph.  
Eventually, all numbers took a fish at one time or another. Two took two fish. We only caught 12 today, so it wasn't a great bite, but we caught their limit to add to their fish fries, which made them happy, and that makes me happy. 

We used Chromes, painted, and glass baits. Colors were blue/chrome, perch chrome, Taco Salad,  and some I just don't know the name of anymore ...sorry. 

Jim, Gary, I will be out tomorrow again. I think we might launch out of Mazurik's and see what we can find. A southeast wind is forecasted for tomorrow....but, it will rain on us in the morning...then, clear, until around 4pm, where it will start raining again.  I hate fishing in the rain...it's sooooooo....it's so, wet. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Short Trip with Richard...5/15/2022

by Capt Juls on 05/16/22

My crew for the two day trip, that would have been Saturday and Sunday was rescheduled, and I moved Richard from Monday to Sunday afternoon.

I normally don't do any afternoon trips, but his flight didn't land him in Akron until 10:30am yesterday... and, then, he had an hour and a half drive over here to Port Clinton....so, I made an acceptation. I didn't want to reschedule him, again.  

The forecast today (Monday/Im writing this late, because it was way past my bedtime when we got done with everything last night. lol) is for gusts to 25 out of the west.  

He was staying at The White Caps Motel, so we launched next door, on the Portage River at 2:30. It was just him, so I was making it a 4 hour trip, instead of the usual 6 hour trip.  2:30 in the afternoon for other people is just that...2:30 in the afternoon....for me though, 2:30 in the afternoon is 6:30pm , since I get up so early. (Dinner time for most people, is when I'm usually going to bed).

We headed north out of the river, and fished the water west of the bass islands, in 30' of water. 

The Blue Chrome Bandit took 5 of his 6 fish at 30-40 back, at a speed of 2.0mph. Sunspost took his 6th fish at 30 back, too.

Water temp was up to 67 degrees yesterday, which is 10 degrees warmer than it was on Friday, when I was out last.

Richard and I had a relaxing time floating around out there, and had some good conversation.  He served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as a Marine, but is out now, due to injury. He's a super nice guy, and I wished we had had more time yesterday, but it is what it is.   He said he had a great time, and wants to come back again for another walleye trip, and possibly a perch trip, before the season ends... and, that makes me happy!

I have a two day trip for Tues/Wed, and so far the forecast looks good. Tomorrow, is a NW wind at 5-10, and sunshine. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mark and Jim 5/12/2022

by Capt Juls on 05/12/22

Mark and Jim are two more of my long time customers. I think I met them for the first time, the first year, when I started guiding 11 years ago. :)

The morning's forecast was looking like another beautiful day to be on the lake. Clear skies, kind of warm, but still a little chilly in the mornings...and very little wind out of the ESE. It was probably around 3 mph, so there was just a ripple on the water's surface, when we headed out of Catawba, at 5:45.

"Are you going to be warm enough?", I asked Jim, who was only wearing a sweatshirt, with a flannel over it, and a pair of jeans.  Mark wasn't dressed much warmer, so I asked him too. "No, I'll be fine", he said.  "Okay", I thought to myself...while wearing jeans with my suit that has the fuzzy warm lining, and is windproof..."They're going to get cold".  I know how chilly it can be on the cooler mornings...especially, when the water temps are still only in the mid-50's, right now.  I knew they weren't dressed right, but I can only do and say so much.

Anyway...to the fishing...
We caught their limits, and some of mine..before moving to another spot. The first spot was where every boat in the western basin was this morning, I think.  I was one of the first to the area, so our first pass was pretty easy, and we caught most of our fish in that first pass. Once it got crowded, it was time to leave.

Bandits behind Off Shore planer boards at (port) 80, 70,60, 50....35, 53, 67, 77 (starboard) Guess which side I set up...;)  All numbers caught a fish, or two, today.

Speed was 1-8-2.0 mph...we caught at slower speeds and higher speeds too.
Water temp was 55.7

The second spot was up by North Bass, and we caught 2 on Bandits at 75 and 80 back at 1.8 mph.

Colors used today in the order of their catch rate...
Carrot Top
Chrome Barbie
Taco Salad
Chrome Perch (but, to be fair..(insert LetterKenny echo here! Ha!).. it didn't get put on until late morning, and did catch one pretty fast, so it might have been a better one to have out longer today) :)
Blue Chrome let me down today....weird.

Mark and Jim did a great job today, and will be back at it again tomorrow. They will also be back to fish with me again in June and July, and that makes me happy! 

I think we'll be launching out of Mazurik's in the morning.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with John 5/10/2022

by Capt Juls on 05/10/22

I was able to kind of salvage a lost two day trip, due to big winds, by filling the second of the two days, with a willing customer. I had told him that the bite might be a little tough after the lake got riled up, like it did, but he still wanted to come.

John, drove in this morning from 4 hours away.  I told him we could start later, so that he didn't have to start driving at 2AM to be there by 6AM, when I usually meet my crews.

I was at the park for a half an hour, re-rigging stuff before John pulled in, in his shiny blue truck...a half an hour early! "We're already off to a great start", I thought to myself..."He's a half an hour early, yay! I like this guy already." :)

We launched out of Catawba, and did a half a pass at Clinton Reef. The water looked good there, but we didn't stay long. Nothing was happening, so we picked up and headed north to the islands. We set up between the bass islands and did a short pass in there too. I wasn't marking anything and nothing was happening...so, we left. 

Next, we headed down to G Can and set up with Bandits on the starboard side, and Flicker Minnow 11s on the port side. By this time, John has easily learned how to run the Off Shore boards, and is running his own side.  His side was set up with the Flicker Minnows at 75, 65, and 55. Perch Chrome, Blue Shiner, and Purple Shiner.  

The Bandits are running 18, 33, and 47...colors are Carrot Top, Sunspot, and Furmi-Nuff

Speed is 1.7-1.8 mph

Water temps is 51.7

We catch a small 17 1/2 inch eye on a Carrot Top Bandit at 18 back, and then, one on the Chrome Perch Flicker Minnow at 75 back.  This second fish, was John's first personal best at 24 1/2 inches long. I didn't weigh it, but it was all of 3 1/2 to 4 pounds. 
We caught another small eater....I don't remember what it was on, sorry.
Then, we caught a bigger fish...John's Newwww Personal Best...which was a nice 29 inch specimen. It made John very happy, and that makes me happy. :)

Long story short....we caught a few more, but that was it. 5 in the cooler and 2 shorts that we had to throw back.  We tried changing out the Flickers for Mag 44s, but they didn't catch either. Then, we changed those out for the Ripplin Redfin with 2oz snap weights...they didn't catch either, so they came off. Then, we tried using the Jointed Deep Husky Jerk....fire tiger, blue/orange belly, purple/white/orange belly....those didn't produce either.  We changed directions and headed into the waves this time, since the waves had calmed down to 1 foot or less....nothing.

It was a tough day of fishing, but it was certainly the day to be on the lake. While she didn't give up her fish, to us anyway, the lake was relaxing. The wind was out of the SSE at 13mph at 7:30am, the air temps was in the 50s, and rose to the 60s, as the day went on. The sky was partly cloudy, so when the sun did come out, you could scan your eye over the water's surface, and see the clear mud-lines out there. 

I had a good time fishing with John. He put no pressure on me, even though the results were not what either of us wanted, but I had anticipated. I had let John know yesterday, that he could back out, due to a predicted tough bite, if he wanted, but he kept the trip..."I just really need to get out of this office for a little while", John said. Sounded rational to me, so that's what we did today....we caught a fish here and there, tried to understand and solve the world's problems, we smoked a cigar, listened to good music....and, enjoyed the morning.  Mission accomplished, I think. 

Would we have liked to catch more fish, this morning? Hell, yes! But, it is what it is. Tomorrow, is another day, and another chance, to catch them. I hope the currents straighten themselves out, and the bite turns on. Seems they are pretty scattered right now.  

Tomorrow, I have a repeat customer, from Wisco, who I have fished with for a few years now. He's always a good time. I don't know if he is bringing his wife, or his buddy this time, so I guess I'll know in the morning.

The forecast is looking pretty awesome for the next 5 days, so if you get out on the lake, good luck to you, and be safe! Know the right of way...lol

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike, Huey, and Karen...5/5/2022

by Capt Juls on 05/05/22

After two days off, due to a weather cancellation, Mother Nature gave us a reprieve, this morning, with very light NE wind, that was blowing around 3mph at 6AM.  

The lake was as calm as the wind, but still had some small rollers coming in, from the NEA wind last night.  The sky was partly cloudy, and starting to lighten to the east. We launched, and headed north out of Catawba. On the ride up, the sun poked its nose over the eastern horizon, and begged for its picture to be taken....so, I stopped the boat, and took its picture...how can you say, "No", to the Sun? :)

We hit the area from West Reef to Rattle first...nothing.

Then, we hit Niagara to Round....started picking at them on the west side of D Can.

Then, Round to G Can....and, finished up there, between F Can and Catawba.

Bandits and Spro Madeye 120s, run between 40 and 80' behind Off Shore boards, and Flicker Minnow 11s from 40-75 back, at a speed of 1.7-1.8mph.
Bandit colors that worked today were:
Carrot Top
Taco Salad
Blue Chrome
SeaSick Frog

Spro Colors that worked:
Pink Lemonade
Lime Crush
Blue Chrome

Flicker Minnow Colors:
Blue Silver foil dk orange belly
Slick Sunset

Water temp today was 48.9 at West Reef, and 49.7 at G Can...

It was a slow pick, but steady enough to keep them all interested, and focused. 
"Tell us another story", said Karen. "Every time you tell a story, we get a fish on". And, sure enough, Mike starts to tell another story, and a board starts to go back. It was the little things that kept it fun this morning. 

Mike and Huey, have fished with me several times over the years, but Huey's daughter, Karen, never has. She caught on quick, and did a great job. Huey is 83 now, but still has his sea-legs, so moving around the boat was not an issue for him either. Mike took command of the bow seat and only came down when it was his turn to reel in a fish.  I can't blame him...it's the best seat in the house, when it comes to being able to watch the boards, pretty much simultaneously, on both sides..without any obstructions to limit the view.

We were one fish short of their 3-man limit, before our time was up. Lost fish don't count. All of them want to come back again, and that makes me happy!

Looks like another blow this weekend, starting tomorrow....and, I just had a reschedule for this Monday/Tuesday's crew. They were flying in, but have decided that with the forecast and conditions for Monday, it would be better to try it again in the fall.

So, with that said...it looks like, at this point, Tuesday is going to be fishable,..and, I now have Tuesday available, sooooo... if anyone is interested in a last minute trip...contact me asap. Thanks! 

I'll be off the next several days, so I'll be working in my gardens....planting stuff. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff and Bart 4/30/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/30/22

The wind forecast for this morning was showing 15-20 out of the ESE, but when I went out on the back porch at 3am, it was hardly blowing at all.  I was hopeful that it wouldn't be as rough on the lake as I knew it would be at 15-20 today.

After gassing up the truck and boat, and getting ice for he cooler, I headed to Catawba to meet my crew at 6am.  I got there early, of course, and got things ready, so when they arrived we could hit the water before the launch started getting busy with all the weekenders that show up on the weekends.

Jeff, and his Son-in-Law Bart showed up right on time. We launched, but didn't go very far....maybe a 1/4 mile out of the launch.  The Ulterra was deployed and set on a westerly course. There was no need for the kicker motor at the time, because there was enough wind behind us to work with the trolling motor, to keep us at enough speed without having to go over power level 4 on the remote.

We set up with Bandits at 20, 30, 40, and 50 on the starboard side, and 25, 35, 45, and 55 on the port side. Same colors as yesterday...(2) Chrome Perch, (2) Blue Chrome, Chrome Barbie, and (3) Carrot Top....at a speed of 1.6-1.8mph.

We started catching, and put one limit in the boat fairly quickly, and went 8 for 10 on the first pass. After two miles, the bite died, so we picked up to make a run back up and reset for another pass.  However, it didn't produce like it did earlier in the morning, so we lowered the port side Bandits deeper...80, 70, 60, and 50 back. Eventually, all the leads would take a fish at one time, or another, so to make a long story short...we ended up going 15 for 19 this morning on two passes.

Jeff and Bart caught on quick, and did a great job of setting and retrieving the Off Shore boards. "You're a great teacher", Jeff said, and Bart agreed, so that makes me happy!

Bart, who has served  a very long time in the Army, and was a mechanic, thought of something to help my crews when attaching the back OR-16 clip on the back of the board, and told me about it. (He probably got tired of me telling him to bring the board back in to "fix it".)   
I turned, and looked him in the eyes, and giggled when I replied, "Are you playing Engineer now? (Pause) That's a VERY GOOD idea. Let's try it." 
You see, sometimes, the back clip that is used with a split ring on the Tattle Flag system gets twisted, when putting the line in behind the pin, and if it isn't noticed, it can make the board run a little funny.  So, Bart's idea was to add another split ring, to the split ring that is already there, to make it longer, so it's easier to handle and make sure it's in the right position before the line goes in the release.
Freak'n brilliant idea! So, easy.

We tried it, and it worked wonders...so, now I'm going to add another split ring to the split rings on all the boards tomorrow. Thank you for the idea, Bart! :)

This was Jeff's second trip with me, and Bart's first. They both want to come back again. They were having fun, and were happy with their limit of fish to take home to Indiana.

I'm off tomorrow, and need to catch up on the house cleaning, and boat cleaning. I'm scheduled to fish on Monday with another repeat customer, Jeff May. Fingers crossed for nicer weather next week!  

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Grant, Brandon, and Aaron 4/29/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/29/22

Grant, and his crew, are another group that I had to reschedule from last fall, and again in March. We managed to finally make it out this morning.

My crew met me at Catawba at 6am, and we headed north out of the launch at 6:15.  The 10 mile ride wasn't bad, but the waves were like a washing machine. Some were from the SE and some were from the NE, creating a very choppy surface, so it wasn't a fast ride out. 

The air temp was a little warmer than yesterday, so the fingers weren't freezing this time. The water temp hasn't come up since yesterday, and is still hanging in the 47-48 degree range.

We set up in 30' of water, with the same Bandit program running behind the Off Shore boards at 75, 65, 55, and 45 on the starboard side and 80, 70, 60, and 50 on the port side. Speed was 1.5-1.8mph.
We went 3 for 5 fish out there, when the east winds started picking up, and the waves were getting bigger. I didn't want to keep trolling west and have to make a longer run in heavy seas, if it were to keep building, so I decided to pick up and take them closer to the Bass Islands, where it was more sheltered from the wind.

We set up with the same program....colors used successfully were:
Blue Chrome
(2)Carrot Top
(3)Chrome Perch
Chrome Barbie
Pink Lemonade

Grant has his own boat, and does a lot of striper fishing, so if I was busy, I was letting him net some fish too.  Anyway, at one point, Brandon is reeling in a large walleye, and it gets to the back of the boat, comes up really close to the motors, (because I'm not back there yelling, "Keep the rod out to the side"), and Grant tries to net it in an awkward position, and pulls one of my oopses of catching the hooks, and the fish, on the outside of the net.
Unfortunately, he didn't have a chance in hell, to do the "flippy-thing" with the net to get the fish inside it, because of the location, and lost Brandon's fish. 

I shouldn't have laughed out loud, but it just came bellowing out, and I couldn't help it. Aaron laughed too, but Brandon was not laughing. He wasn't mad either, but he was definitely disappointed. Grant was too, and was a good sport with all the chastising and ribbing he took from both of his friends over it.
It would have been the biggest fish of the day for them. Oh, well....as Brandon later asked, "It's good Karma, to put some back every now and then, right?" :)

We ended the trip with 14 in the box...and lost 5.  Not a stellar day, but not bad either. They all had fun and were happy with the results.  After they put the fish in the cooler they brought along, they couldn't have fit one more fish in it anyway. lol
(The cooler pic I took, and posted, was when they had only put 1/2 the fish in the cooler, when they were transferring them from my cooler, at the end of the day).

They did a great job today, had a good time with each other, and let me be my salty self, so that was fun for me...lol  They said they want to come back again, and that make me  happy!

Tomorrow, I wanted to reschedule, due to the wind direction and speed, but my crew is already in town and really just wants to get on the water, even though I told them I am not going to where I was today, in those winds, and there really isn't anywhere to hide from that wind direction, except west of Catawba. I told them that the fish haven't been over there in numbers, but that I have caught a few there this past week.
They want to go, even knowing all that, so we will go. How long we will be out will be determined by the crew. ;)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff and Lee Burr 4/28/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/28/22

Jeff wanted to take his Dad, who was visiting from California, out today, because they both love to fish.  Thankfully, Mother Nature was not throwing a tizzy-fit again, so we were able to get the trip in.

I met them at Catawba at 6am, and we were headed out by 6:15.  It was still dark, and the east wind was still blowing a bit, so since I couldn't read the waves in the dark, I opted to make a pass down inside by Clinton Reef first. The water clarity was much better than I expected, but we only caught one there.  They just aren't in there, like they have been in the past this time of year, so that's disappointing.

Since they have never used Off Shore boards before, it gave me a chance to teach them how to set the boards, and talk about how to get fish in from the outside boards without having to clear any inside boards, and how to reset an outside board back into place, easily.

They were quick learners, so once the sun was up, we picked up the gear and headed north.  We stayed on the west side of the islands, to have some protection from the early morning northeast wind, which was blowing around 11 mph, and managed to pick up 6 more up there.  We made one more move to finish out there limit. We went 12 for 17, so it wasn't a stellar day, but they were happy as could be with their limit in the cooler. :)

The usual program I've been running lately was still working....

Bandits anywhere from 45 yo 85 back at 1.5-1.6mph.  Water temp dropped from 50 degrees two days ago, to 47.3 today.

Colors that caught today were:
Blue Chrome
Black Headed Wonderbread Chrome
Pink Lemonade
Carrot Top
Chrome Perch

The weather was "hand-freezing" cold in the morning, but by mid-morning it had warmed up, and the wind had laid down to around 5 mph, so the windchill was gone too.  It was a beautiful day on the lake this morning, and the father/son team had a great time and made some lasting memories together.  They also said they would like to come back and do it again, so that makes me happy!

Tomorrow's crew are repeat customers. The wind forecast is ESE at 10-15 in the morning, and by 12pm or 1:00 it will start picking up, so I'm hoping we have a better bite in the morning, so we can get a 4 person limit in the boat before that wind picks up, and it gets really rough.  Fingers crossed! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Frank and Ray 4/26/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/26/22

It's the end of April, and after a beautiful weekend of summer-like weather, when we think it should be getting warm, with stable weather, good old Mother Nature says, "Hold my beer, watch this!" Boom...it was chilly, with a moderately gusty WNW wind this morning. 

When I stepped out on my back porch to check the weather at 2am, it wasn't freezing, but it was chilly.  I'm so tired of wearing layers, and just want to get in my shorts and flip flops again...(she sticks her bottom lip out, to pout).

I had gassed up the boat yesterday on my way home from my trip, and was planning on launching close to my house this morning, so I had to drive my "dog-hauler" car across town to the gas station, to pick up ice at 4am, because there are no open gas stations on this end of town.  Dexter enjoyed the early morning ride with his head out the window, and his ears flopping in the wind, though, so that was nice. :)

This morning, I was fishing with repeat customers, Frank Smith and his friend, Ray. They met me at the river launch a little before 6am, and I was all ready to go when they got there. We did have to wait 10 minutes for it to be light enough to see the channel markers on the way out of the river, though. 
It can get pretty shallow if you don't stay in the channel. And, those markers are big metal poles, so I didn't want to hit one...even at a no-wake speed. By the time we were in the water, I could just make the poles out...and, the sky was lightening by the minute, so by the time we were at the mouth of the river, it was light enough that we didn't need to have the navigation lights on anymore.

We headed over to H and G cans to start. We set up with Bandits and Spros, running 25, 30, 35, and 40 back behind the Off Shore boards, on both sides.
Speed was 1.5 to start, and eventually adjusted to 1.8mph.
Today, was the first time I saw the water temp hit 50 degrees...it was jumping between 50.9 and 51 degrees, by the cans.

We went 5 for 7 in that area on the 25, 30, and 40 foot leads. Then, the bite just went poof....gone.  We picked up and moved back up and went a little further back to the NW, where there was a little cleaner water, but that was a bust.

Then, both Capt's Bobby Green and Sam Downing sent me messages telling me there was a good bite to the east of where I was, and said,  "They are biting". So, we picked up and moved east a few miles, and set up again. Thanks, guys! I appreciated the info! :)

This time, the leads were a little deeper....the port side ran the Spros at 75 (outside), 65, 57, and 47....but would eventually be changed out to all Bandits, since the Bandits running on the starboard side were out-producing the Spros for some reason.  The starboard side baits ran at 100, 80, 60, and 50 back. I kept he Spro program for the new Bandits, and they were getting hit now, too.

Bandit colors that did well were:
(2)Chrome Barbie
(2)Blue Chrome
Black Headed Wonderbread Chrome
Pink Lemonade
Carrot Top

We had a few doubles, and a nice steady pick happening, so my crew were on cloud nine after a slow start. They did a great job setting the boards out, and reeling in their fish, without any tangles. 

Frank and Ray fish together a lot out of Frank's boat, and wanted to learn some tips and tricks by fishing with me. Apparently, it worked, because I heard Frank say more than once to Ray, that he learned something new today, and he's going to start "doing that" in his boat. Ray agreed. 

We all had a good time, and finished just as the time was running out, and we headed in with three limits in the cooler. Yay!

They want to come back in the fall, and that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow, has a small craft advisory posted, so my trip won't be happening. The crew for tomorrow, wants to reschedule to this fall, so I'll be cleaning the boat tomorrow.

Back at it on Thursday...wind forecast for Thursday right now is less than 10 out of the north. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with a Guy Who Shall Remain Nameless, Matt, and Neal 4/25/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/25/22

I left the house at 5:15 this morning...it was raining. Shaking my head, I asked myself, "Why did you bother cleaning the boat last night, ya dumb ass?" lol 

I asked my crew to meet me at Mazurik's at 6am, so I had lots of time to stop for ice, and get there early, to get things ready.  It had stopped raining by the time I got to the park, so that was a relief.  

I have one guy that wants to remain nameless, so let's call him "Rudy". Rudy, Matt, and Neal arrived ten minutes early, so I said, "We have lots of time, it's still too dark to see yet". "No worries", Rudy replied. "I know how you like to be early, so we didn't want to be late". I giggled, and nodded in agreement.

We launched, and headed back up to the north side of Kelly's where I finished up yesterday. We set up with the colors and program I used yesterday too. Okay, I know it's a pain to go have to look it up, so I'll say it here again. 

Bandits on the starboard side at 80, 70, 60, and 50 (longest leads on the outside).
Colors were: Furmi-Nuff, Blue Chrome, Carrot Top, and Chrome Barbie.

Spro Madeye 120s ran on the port side at 75, 65, 55, and 45 back behind the Off Shore boards.
Colors were: Chrome Perch, RC Crush, Marvin, and another RC Crush.

Speed was 1.8 mph
Water temp was 48.2 degrees

We made a pass along the line that was so good yesterday, but they moved out. We caught 2 fish in that area in a 1 mile stretch. I asked, "Do you want to pick up? I have a couple other areas I would like to check out." Rudy said, "You're the Captain, whatever you want to do is fine with us". So, we picked up and headed northwest, to the line. (For those of you new to the lake lingo...that would be the Canadian line). :)

We set up with the same program in an area that I've fished before at this time of year, and it didn't disappoint. However, there weren't a lot of fish up there, like there can be from time to time, but we did manage to find a small pod of fish, that we could keep turning on, and going over...picking up 5 or 6  on each pass. There was only one boat that showed up by us, but they turned and went more east, towards the small pack that had formed out there, so we had the spot to ourselves the entire time. Yay! I love when that happens. 

While we were fishing, we had a little baby bird come and rest on the boat. It looked absolutely tuckered out. All its little baby feathers were all puffed up on its tiny little body, and it looked like a little puff ball. It stayed with us for about a 1/2 hour, before it had the strength to continue on its journey.  I didn't see it fly off, because we were bringing a fish in, but I hope it went towards the islands, instead of back out from the way it came...that was all open water.  
It was the cutest little thing, and I'm so glad it figured out we weren't going to hurt it, and it made itself right at home. I don't think there was a place on the boat, that it didn't go. It's too bad I keep the boat so clean...it might have found something to eat, otherwise. 
I did try giving it bread crumbs, but it must be a bug eater, and doesn't like things like that.  Oh, well...I didn't have any bugs on board today.  I hope it made it somewhere safe. 

We ended the trip with 24 of the 28 fish we managed to entice with our pretty painted baits this morning. It rained on us, but no one seems to care when the fish are actively biting, right? That was the case with us too. 

On a side note...I'm able to give the new Blackfish Gear I bought a few weeks ago, a good review, now that I have tested it in all the necessary conditions it will be used for. It passed the cold test, by being the lightest and warmest set I've owned in the past 21 years. Now, it has passed the wet test. 
Even though the outer layer gets saturated, there must be a waterproof lining that keeps the water from getting to the inner fluffy fleece, because the inside was still warm and dry...no dampness at all.  
I am not sponsored by this company. I'm just really impressed with their StormSkin line, and want everyone to know how great it is. I've looked for a set like this for so long, and it's finally a real thing that anyone can get. And, the best part is, it's less expensive than the best rain/ice suits out there right now.
Okay, enough free advertising for them...back to the story....

It took me a little bit to remember that I have fished, twice, with the one who shall remain nameless, and with Matt....(this is another reason I write these reports, because I can't remember anything!)
This was Neal's first time with me... they all did a fantastic job! And, they all said they would be back again, so that makes me happy!

Tomorrow, I have another repeat customer, Frank Smith, and a friend he's bringing along, so I only have two guys tomorrow.  With the west wind forecast tomorrow, I'm thinking we will be launching out of the river in the morning, and hugging the west shore, to head towards the cans. I hope those fish are still around there.  Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Casey, Amy, and Molly 4/24/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/24/22

Casey, is another customer that has had to reschedule several times, due to weather, so it was nice to be able to get him and his wife Amy, and his daughter Molly out this morning.

I told them to meet me at Mazurik's at 6am. I got there around 5:20, so I had some quiet time to myself and could get things ready for the trip. Pulling rods out of the rod locker, the line was checked on each one, and snaps retied, if needed. I kept all the color selections on from the day before, because they all worked yesterday, so I figured they would work again today. As they say, "If it's not broke, don't fix it". 

Karl and Anthony, my crew from yesterday, showed up in the get ready lane with their boat, so Anthony dumped me in, so I could sit at the courtesy dock while I waited on my crew. They showed up right on time, and we were headed out at 6:15. 

With the wind forecast for today (10-20 w/gusts to 30), and the fact that my crew was under-dressed for the cool morning, and the wet spray I knew we would face, I opted to try a pass from Mouse Island to Scott Point Shoal first. We picked up one little walleye there, and I decided to move, because the top of the shoal was getting more and more drift boats on it, and I didn't want to  get in their way, or get pushed off where I wanted to be....I didn't see a good outcome, so we moved.

We headed to the lighthouse area and made a pass from there, to Kelly's, with two fish to show for it.  Ugh...what to do...what to do? We picked up again, and headed to the monument area. The sun was up, and it was warming up a little, so I figured it wouldn't be too cold for them.  We found some good water color there, and a few fish marks on the Solix, so we set up again. One fish there too....ugh, ugh, ugh!

We picked up and moved again...this time to the north side of Kelly's, to an area I like this time of year. It was there that we found what we were looking for...hungry walleye, and plenty of them. 

Bandits ran on the starboard side, but I changed out the Bandits on the port side, to Spro Madeye 120's this time.   The Spros running behind the Off Shore boards were out 120 (outside board), 97, 77, and 53'.  
The Bandits were out at 80, 70, 60 and 50.
Speed was anywhere from 1.8-2.2mph.
Water temp was 48.7 degrees.

Spro Colors were:
Chrome Perch
(2) RC Crush

Bandit colors were:
Chrome Barbie
(2) Carrot Top

I got the port side set up, and was helping Casey get the Bandit side set up when we hit a triple on the Furmi-Nuff, Carrot top, Marvin, and RC Crush...(leads were 97, 80, 53, and 50).  A little chaos got them excited, and a little less board...lol  

We would work that area for the rest of their time, and put a total of 17 fish in the cooler, for their next fish fry. We had two pullbacks that didn't stay on, but the rest made it to the boat, and were hooked pretty well, so they were hungry.

My crew had a good time today, and went home happy, and that makes me happy! Casey said he would like to book another trip, and said, "Just let me know when you need a day off, and I'll schedule my day"....(that means, it's going to blow! Ha!)

Tomorrow, I have a crew that has been fishing here the past several days with different charter captains...all friends of mine, so this should fun. They wanted to fish on different boats and in different areas, so knowing where everyone else was, this will be a new area for them. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Karl and Anthony 4/23/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/23/22

Finally, after rescheduling Karl and his nephew, Anthony, for the third time, we finally made it out on the lake.  I hadn't been out since the 12th, due to wind/weather reschedules, so I was happy to get back to work, too!  Karl drove in from Chicago, and picked up Anthony in Indiana on his way over here last night. 

The day's weather forecast sounded promising. An early morning start, with an east wind reading of 18mph at South Bass Island, would change to light south-southwest winds of less than 10 mph were expected later in the morning. The change showed up mid-morning. However, it never changed direction until around noon.  The gusty east wind dissipated around 10am, and changed the 2 feet or less waves, to 1 foot or less, so no matter the direction...it was nice out there. 

Just a side note....Mark this day, as the first day this gal got to go barefoot in the boat, too. It warmed up enough out there to take the shoes off and set my little piggies free! Woot! Woot! Okay...okay...who cares, right?  I get it, but it's a big deal to me...lol :)

We started out in relatively shallow water not far from Catawba...17 to 18 feet, to be exact.  
We ran Bandits behind the Off Shore boards with the shallow program I ran the last time out, which was 15, 20, 25, and 30 on the port side, and ditto on the starboard side.   
Colors used today were:
"Furmi-Nuff" and "Psycho Killer" new colors by (Mike Schlimgen-slim Shady Baits)
Taco Salad
Chrome Barbie
(2) Carrot Top

The Psycho Killer, and Carrot top, both at 30 back, on different sides of the boat both took a fish early, so we changed up the port side to all 30 foot leads, and changed the starboard side to 25, 30, 33, and 40.

We would put 8 fish in the box and watch a big fish swim away after losing it at the back of the boat. I didn't get a good look at it, because I was letting Karl net that fish for Anthony, but he got the hooks caught on the wrong side of the net and was unable to get the fish in it. It got off and swam away. It wasn't a trophy fish, but it would have been the biggest one for us today.

Now, let me first tell you, before you tell me that I should never let a customer net a fish, blah blah blah.... that Karl, is not a novice, and has fished with me on several trips over the years. He owns his own boat and does a lot of salmon fishing on Lake Michigan, so he's a well seasoned angler. It was just one of those things....I'm just glad I didn't knock it off with the net, because even though Anthony said, "That's okay", Karl and I could hear the disappointment in his voice.   I almost did the same thing later in the day, but was successful doing the flippy-thing with the net, to get the fish inside the basket. :)

Anyway....we worked that area for about an hour before deciding the wind was laying down enough to venture north.  We headed up towards Niagara to see what was happening up there.   There were a lot of boats around, but they were spread out enough that it didn't feel crowded at all, so we set up south of the reef and headed west.

We set the starboard side out at 110 (longest leads on the outside), 97, 77, and 57 and the port side at 100, 80, 75, and 50.  It was a very slow pick up there, but the 110 lead with the Furmi-Nuff color hit twice, and Carrot Top hit at 75 back. 

Speed was anywhere from 1.5-2.0mph...because when we did turns, we caught fish on the fast side and the slow side, so there was no real pattern to the speed. If I had to narrow it down, though, I would say that we mainly stayed in that 1.7-1.9mph range the most.

Water temp, down inside, was at 46.8 degrees, but out by Niagara my Solix was reading 45.1 degrees.  But, when the sun came got high in the sky, it didn't take long for that surface temp to start warming up. When we left Niagara, to head back down inside for the last hour of fishing, it had warmed up one more degree there.

We had set up again, with a short program of 25, 30, 35, and 40 on both side (deep leads inside with short programs), and it wasn't looking very promising, until we hit a couple pockets of fish, and it would get the adrenaline going again
We would have a double on at one point, and then a quad on. However, we only got two of the 4 fish in the boat out of that quad. Some were slamming the baits, and really hooking themselves, but others were not, and would pop off before the board was taken off. Oh, well...

It was the nicest day of the year so far, and we all agreed that it felt great to be out there on such a nice day. A good time was had by all, and they went back to Little Ted's with a cooler full of fish to clean.  Karl and Anthony will be out in their boat tomorrow, giving it a try on their own. Hopefully, it won't be too windy in the AM.

The wind forecast for tomorrow is 15-20 out of the SW with gusts to 30mph. But, hopefully, the gusty stuff won't happen until later in the morning. 

Karl is coming back in November to fish with me for two more days, to fish the Fall Brawl, and that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I have Casey Everette and his wife, who had to reschedule from last Saturday to tomorrow, because of the wind last Saturday, so we will meet at Mazurik's in the AM and see what the conditions are, then.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Just an Update....Lots of Reschedules....Stupid Wind!

by Capt Juls on 04/21/22

I'm still alive...I just haven't been out since the 12th, due to wind and reschedules.

The problem with April is the unstable weather, cold water temps, and groups that schedule more than one day. So, when the groups are traveling a long distance and they may only get one of their three or four days in, I tell them to stay home, and reschedule.  All of them are appreciative of the info, so they are not here sitting on shore looking out at the lake, wishing they were fishing.

Sure, others go out in nasty conditions during the spring, but they are either using bigger boats, or they are cowboys in tournament style boats, going on days that are not particularly safe.  I prefer to make sure my customers have a safe and fun trip.
Fishing in 3-5s is not fun,  because most people can't stand in the boat when it's that rough, so if it's not fun for them, it's not fun for me, and I prefer that everyone have fun out there.

Water temperatures are rising and are in the mid to high 40's now, so we're getting there.  The bite has been good when we can get out though, and the fish are hungry.

My crew for today and tomorrow has rescheduled, so I will not be out until this Saturday. It feels like it's been a month, even though it's only been 9 days.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know why I haven't posted any reports lately.  I'm fine....Mother Nature is just being a whacko this spring.  Let's hope she takes here meds soon and straightens out!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Aaron, James, and Brian 4/12/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/12/22

Aaron, James, and Brian came from SD to fish Lake Erie, and wanted to experience all the things they have heard about our fishery here.

They stayed at the White Caps Motel, or what I call a compound...I call it that, because they have so much more than just motel rooms. They also have cabins, mobile homes, and RV's to rent, so I hate just calling it a motel. They are also one of the few places here that has a fish cleaning station on their premises, too.  They've done some fantastic remodeling on some of the cabins and mobile homes that I'm envious of, and I really want their designer's name now. lol

Anyway, back to fishing...we launched out of the Portage River this morning at 6:30 and headed NW out of the mouth of it, to the Cans.  I shut the motor down over 20 feet of water and deployed the Ulterra and the baby Merc...got them in sync to a speed of 1.5mph and set a course to the west.

We started at the same area I fished on Sunday with Pat Barrett, and used the same program to start, which was Bandits up high.

Both the port and starboard sides were set the same distance back behind the Off Shore boards with 15 on the outside, then 20, 25, and 30 anchoring the inside boards. We only ran 4 per side, because it wasn't necessary to have more out. There's something to be said for, "Keeping it simple". :)

Water temp was 44.9 when we started and up to 48 by noon. That sun was warm today, for sure!

The colors we used, and all worked, were:
(2)Blue/Chrome.....of course. 
(2)Taco Salad
Chrome Barbie
IB Infected
Chart/Blue Back

Before I get any messages or emails... Yes...I do normally run the longer leads on the outside boards, but when the leads are so short, I prefer to have those really high baits out away from the boat as far as possible and the deeper, longer leads, on the inside.  When they are this short, and most of the fish are coming up to the surface when they get caught, tangles are not an issue.
If I were running long leads, say 50-130 back, then my long leads would be on the outside. The longer lead on a bait, on the outside, will have a better chance of clearing the inside lines as it comes in. 

We had doubles and triples this morning, and had a 3-man limit in less than 2 hours and over 40 fish by noon. Brian caught the only "Fish Ohio" that went 29 1/2 inches and weighed in at 9.5 pounds. He excitedly said, "That's the biggest fish I've ever caught!" 

They were amazed at the size of the fish (Averaging 4 to 6 pounds, I think), and when I said, "Those are what we call 'eaters'", they laughed...mentioning that the average size where they fish back home is 14-15 inches.

Needless to say, they had a great time, and did an excellent job learning how to set the boards out, bring the fish in, and setting the lines back out again, in the spots they came from, and did the "boat dance" very well. :)

The weather today was absolutely beautiful, but once again, Mother Nature is going to throw a hissy fit again for the next three days and blow a lot.

Unfortunately, they are going home a day early. 
My Thursday/Friday crew has been told to stay in MN, which I was sad about, because I really enjoy fishing with Bryon Haro. He's fished with me the past two springs, and we always have a great time. He was bringing his nephews, so they could experience this lake too. He's already rescheduled to next spring, though, so I just have to wait another year to fish with him again... deep sigh.

Weather permitting, I'll be back out this weekend. Fingers crossed! 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls


Fishing with Pat Barrett 4/10/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/10/22

My three day trip, with my North Dakota crew (that would have started Friday) rescheduled, so when I saw the forecast had improved for today, I contacted Pat, who was on my "Call me if you have an opening" list. He lives about an hour away, so it was convenient for him to agree to go on short notice.

We met at the ramp and headed out at 7am. We started out near K can with Bandits and one blue/white/orange belly jointed DHJ12.  I had put the DHJ out first...65 back on the outside board on the starboard side, and then proceeded to put out the other two Bandits running on that side at 50 and 30 back.  Pat set up with Bandits  on the port side at 15, 25, and 40 back.  Speed was 1.3-1.4mph. Water temp was 42.4 degrees.

The DHJ board was running weird, so I thought that it was just a different pull on the board than the Bandit, and let it drag out there for a bit.  Then, it started to bug me, and I had Pat pull it in. Sure enough, it had a fish hanging on it....just a 17 inch fish.  Then, his 15' lead took off, and he reeled in a nice 6 pound walleye.

We would go for 4 1/2 hours with just those two fish...making a couple of moves during that time to try and find some more active fish, and trying other baits, like the Flicker Shad and the Flicker Minnow.  Nothing...so boring. lol Ugh..

On the third move, we only moved up a mile ahead of us, to save time, and set up again.  We trolled North to South for about a 1/2 mile, and when I saw the water getting too dirty, I made a 90-degree turn, and headed east. 

As soon as we made the turn, the first board at 15 back took off, and while reeling that one in, the 25  went back, then his 35 back. Once those fish were in the boat, I didn't have to be hit with a baseball bat to know that I needed to bring all my baits up higher, too.

I took the jointed off, because it had done nothing since that first fish, and put another Bandit on. Colors that worked were Taco Salad, Blue Chrome, Chrome Barbie, and RC Crush.  We ran both sides at 15, 25, and 35 back, and proceeded to put 9 more fish in the cooler, since the first two fish, giving us 11...in less than a 1/4 mile.  We turned around to see if it was directional, or if that was just a really active pod we hit.

As it turned out, it was a directional deal for us. They really liked it going from west to east, and when we made the turn again, to head east, we caught another 4 in short order. We were done. Time was up, so we headed in with our 12.  

Three lucky fish got to live to swim another day, and one of them was a "Fish Ohio". :)

Pat had a lot of fun, and is a very good fisherman in his own right. I let him set his side up, and I worked my side. He did a great job, and learned a few tricks that I taught him, that he can use on his boat now.  He said he had a great time, and that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow, I have a three-man crew from the MN/SD border Right now, it's supposed to be pretty gusty from the south, so we'll give it a go, and if it's too rough to fish, then we will head in and try again on Tuesday. Tuesday's forecast looks fantastic, and should be a stellar day on the water. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Day 4 Fishing with "Doc", Tom, and Heath 4/5/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/05/22

Pretty much a repeat of yesterday, so I won't bore you with what time I left the house, picked up the boat, etc. You're welcome. :)

We were headed out the river at 6:30am. The program was the same as yesterday. Fished from 39-44 feet of water with Bandits and P-10s.  

The morning started with a triple right away, then we caught one more after that. Then, it went a bit slow for a little bit. Then, it started being a slow, steady bite. The fish from yesterday had moved a little bit. The P-10s didn't stay on for more than 2 hours, when 7 of 10 fish had come on Bandits, so the P-10s were switched out to Bandits too.

It wasn't until after 10 am, when I changed direction from a S to N pull, to a NW to SE pull, that it got super fun. Someone flicked on the light switch, and those walleye were jumping all over our Bandits. We had doubles and triples going and cleared almost every rod out of the lineup, before we could get another bait back in the water again.

Bandit color with depth were the following...running (unassisted/no weight) behind Off Shore inline boards:
Cotton Candy (or if you prefer..."Pink Lemonade") @ 97 back and 130 back
(2) Taco Salad @ 120 
RC Crush @ 77
Sunspot @ 97
Blue Chrome @ 77 
Chrome Barbie @ 71

We only ran 4 boards per side, because my guys are from MN/SD and can't run more than one and two lines, respectively, so we kept it simple.  They did a great job setting the boards out, and eventually, they were getting better at remembering what number each bait was supposed to be set out at, and where in the line up they were supposed to go. It's easier to remember that stuff when you do it all the time...I get it. :)

By the time we ended the trip, we had gone 38 for 49, and kept our 24. Their arms were getting tired from reeling in that outside board, because we all know that one goes back most often!  When the thick fog rolled in, we fished for another 1/2 hour and then headed in at noon.  We only had a short ride back to the launch, so it wasn't too bad for us. 

They all said they had a great time, and would like to come back again next spring, and that makes me happy. :)

With the weather for the rest of this week/weekend, and multi day trips planned with two different groups, coming from very far away, we all decided it was best to reschedule them.  I am extra safety conscious this time of year, when the water temps are this cold. Call me crazy....but, I'd rather be safer than sorry.  

Speaking of water temps....it was 39.4 degrees today. I haven't seen it hit 40 yet anywhere that I've been, but it has to warm up sooner or later.

Mother Nature has got to straighten out pretty soon...Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Day 3 of 4 Fishing with "Doc", Tom, and Heath 4/4/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/04/22

Left the house at 4:45 and drove across town, to hook up the boat, take it to get gas and ice, and get back to the building before my crew was to meet me there at 5:45. The plan was to trailer the boat to the east and launch over there, since it was going to start raining mid-morning, and a shorter run on the water is much better than a long one. :)

I will preface this report with the fact that I was given a location by my friend, Capt Bobby Greene, last night, so it's not my information to give out. I will only say that it was to the east, and that it would have been a very long run from Mazurik's. 

What I can tell you, is that we targeted 39-43 feet of water with Bandits and P-10's.
Pretty much the same program from Saturday's trip. Bandits ran on the starboard side and P-10's ran on the port side.  I even left the same Bandits on that we used on Saturday.

Taco Salad ran 120 back behind the Off Shore board...
Chrome Barbie ran 97 feet back...
RC Crush was 77 back...
And, Pink Lemonade or Cotton Candy (whatever you want to call it) ran at 67 back.

P-10s with 2oz snap weights:
Marvin was at 20/20 behind the Off Shore board....
Nascar was 21/21...
Lemon Lime Crush was 17/17...(at one point we kept the weight at 17, but dropped it back to 60 total, to make it deeper...that worked too)
Blue Chrome was 24/24....

Speed was 1.2-1.4mph

Everything worked today. We had lots of doubles and fire drills going this morning, and my crew was absolutely fantastic! Luckily, they remembered their "training" from Saturday, and did everything right. It made my job so easy! All I had to do was take off boards and net the fish. lol

We only had one tangle bringing the last fish in, but that was due to a crazy fish that just didn't want to play right. It, of course, was on the outside board, and took out the other three coming in. Normally, it would be okay, but this was one hell of a tangle with the lines and three of the 4 lines had to be cut. So, we took those reels off and replaced them with 3 fresh ones I grabbed from storage, that were already calibrated, and ready to go for tomorrow.

Anyway....my crew was awesome (can't say that enough), and we had their limit by 8:30, and my 6 by 9:45, I think.  It slowed down a little when we turned and changed direction, to go back over the line we were on, so we picked everything up and made a run back to where we started, and set up on our line again, going the same direction we were going the first time, which was to the east.

I have this crew for one more day, and tomorrow's wind forecast is looking very good, so we will be doing a repeat of this morning. I hope those fish decide to hang out for one more day, at least. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with "Doc", Tom, and Heath 4/2/2022

by Capt Juls on 04/02/22

Steve, Tom, and Heath, along with three others I don't know the names of yet, arrived from South Dakota, yesterday.

It's always tough to tell your crew to drive that far, after a big blow, and an iffy forecast, but the first of their 4 day trip was going to be a gentle weather day, compared to what we have been experiencing the past week and a half, and the rest of the forecast looked like they would get 3 of their 4 days in, if we were lucky.

I explained to them what the conditions were, and that they could make the decision to drive all that way, or reschedule to another time. They chose to come and fish.  This is a two boat deal, since there are 6 people in their group, so I teamed up with Capt's Matt and Jenn Wieland, of H & H Charters on this one. I had 3 people, and they had the other 3, so it worked out well. 

I hadn't been out since the 21st of March, due to rescheduling three different crews, and it was time to get back on the water.

I left the house early, and headed to the boat, where she was kept warm and dry over in Wieland's heated storage building. I was meeting my crew at 7am at Mazurik's, since sunrise wasn't until 7:17 this morning, and the other 3 were meeting the Wieland's at their boat over in Marblehead.  After gassing up my boat, and getting ice for the cooler, I drove to Mazruik's and got there at 6:10am.

I got to the head of the get-ready lanes, and....well...got things ready.   
I sent Steve (a/k/a "Doc") a text at 6:25 letting him know that I was there, and was ready to go, when they were. They showed up 10 minutes later, and we were in the water by 6:45.

My first plan of attack, was to hit the east side of Kelly's, find clean enough water with fish in it, and set up with cranks baits.  After driving around for a little while, taking note of water temps in different areas, we went back to a spot that had a water temp of 38.9 degrees, and was a little warmer than the other spots that we stopped and checked out. It wasn't too muddy, and I could see the cavitation plate too. I was feeling hopeful.

It was a slow start, and we only had 4 in the box, when I told them, "Let's pick these up and head to another area I want to try". They made speedy work of getting all the lines in, and we headed further east to find cleaner water. When we found the water clarity I like best, we found some pretty good marks there too, so we set up with a heading from the west to the east to start. The bite was much better in this second spot, and the guys were having way more fun there.  

When the fish marks ran out, we made a turn and went from east to west, and continued to catch once we were over that pod of fish again. We ended up going 17 for 23 for the day, which is actually better than I thought it would be, so no one was complaining. The weather was beautiful, even though it was chilly. The sun was out most of the morning, which is something we haven't seen in days around here, so that was appreciated by all. 

We started out with P-10s on the port side and Bandits on the starboard side.  The P-10's were running with 2oz snap weights at  20/20, 30/30, 35/35, and 40/40.  Bandits were running unassisted at 45 to 120 back.  The Bandits caught at 120, 97, 85, 77, 63, and 45 at a speed of 1.2-1.4mph.

We changed up the P-10 side to Spro Madeye 120's, but they did nothing. Then, we switched them to Reapers, and we caught one at 100 back, but eventually, I took all of them off too, and replaced them with Bandits.

Colors that caught today were:  Taco Salad (best color...we had three of those out), Chrome Barbie, RC Crush, Blue Chrome, and Sunspot.

We will be off tomorrow, and back at it on Monday and Tuesday.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls