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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Jason and Dominic DellAria...9/15/2023

by Capt Juls on 09/17/23

I met Jason and his son Dominic at Mazurik's at 6:45. Jason is a bass fisherman, and owns his own bass boat, but wasn't going to have it up here for their little family vacation. It was Dominic's birthday present to go out fishing, while they were here, so we originally planned on just a perch trip, but Jason asked if we could do some bass fishing, too. I told him, if you want to bring your bass gear, I'm up for that, so he did. 

My plan was to go hit the rocks on the east side of Pelee, but the wind forecast was a bit off, and it was going to be rough on that side, up there, so we headed to the west side, by the "Wheel". One Sheephead caught, and that was it, so we left Canada and headed to West Reef, to do a slide over those rocks. Again, nothing but one Sheephead. So, we opted to go find some perch.

To make another long story short...we hit a few spots and ended up over good marks east of the monument, in 30 feet of water. We would end up with 10 keepers. Lots of short strikes, white perch, and a couple more sheep.

They had fun, but I know it's not as much fun, as it is when you're filling up the cooler! :)

We got back to the dock and talked to a fella that had just gotten there before us, and he asked how we did, so we told him....he just shook his head and said, "We only caught 3, and that other guy right there (pointing his finger towards another boat floating at the landing), said he had 77 yesterday, and only caught 4 today".

Smiling, Jason said, "Well, I'm glad it wasn't only us." 

They were really fun to fish with, and I was very impressed at how long the young man stayed focused out there, especially on a slow catch.

Dominic was pretty excited about the Sheephead caught in the morning, because it was his first one, ever! lol

Anyway....I think with these cooler nights, the water temps will be going down fast, and the spiny fleas will die off, giving us minnow dunkers a better bite in the near future. Fingers crossed!

I'm not scheduled this week, until Saturday the 23rd, so unless I pick up a weekday trip, I'll be back on Saturday. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mel and Nick Fisher...9/10/2023

by Capt Juls on 09/11/23

Mel, and his son, Nick met me at Catawba at 6:15 for a perch trip. My prior trips were out of Mazurik's, and the perch bite was slow, so I figured since the full moon was over, and the wind was forecast to be NNE, that the bite west of the islands might be better.  So, off we went....

Long story really short....
We looked around Green Island, Rattle Snake Island, Sugar Island, West Reef, North of North Bass, Taco Bell, D Can, and the last spot between D and G cans....while we marked good fish on the Helix, we would only catch 5 yellows. UGH!!

Mel and Nick were great to spend the day in the boat with, and took the bad catch in stride, saying we worked hard for them, and that's how it goes sometimes. It doesn't really make me feel better, but we did work hard and tried many areas....always setting up on good marks.

Why did I go north you ask? Because with a NNE wind, the under current is going from the south to the north, and I was thinking that the perch might move that way with the current. 

Most of the time, we were by ourselves, but when we moved to D Can, there was around 20 boats there. I didn't see a lot of people moving around in their boats, like they were catching, so I don't think we were the only ones struggling on that bite.  

I'm thinking, maybe, it was an afternoon bite, but my trips are only 6 hours, so we weren't able to find that out, and even though I offered to stay out longer, they said they had a 4 hour drive home, and opted to head back.

Maybe next trip out, the bite will improve.....my next scheduled trip is Friday the 15th, with a father and his 11 year old son.  Fingers crossed, because it's the boy's birthday!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Sean and Linda...9/6-7/2023

by Capt Juls on 09/07/23

Sean and Linda drove down from Wisco to fish with me. They had scheduled their trip back in 2021, but due to some puppies that needed taking care of, (they own a kennel in Wisconsin, near Madison, and a resort out on the west side of Devils Lake, ND), so they had to reschedule. 

We tried again in 2022, but Mother Nature said, "Nay-Nay", and blew hard, so that trip was rescheduled too. 
Yesterday, and today, were the days they could come, but the lake wasn't too kind, as far as giving up her finny friends.

With some wind and possible thunderstorms, yesterday, we opted to try some perch fishing out in front of Mazurik's and Lakeside. We hit a total of 6 spots, with the best being out in front of the Lakeside pier, in 26 feet of water. 

We were also chased off the water by an incoming storm, a little early, so we headed in with only one limit out of a possible three. The bite was light, and the fish were like little "Houdini's", stealing our minnows, when we tried to set the hook on them.

I told them, I would add the time the storm took away from us, to this morning's trip, so we could go try for walleye first, and if that didn't work out (due to the amount of floating grass out there), that we could go perch'n again. They were happy with that plan.

So, this morning, we launched out of Mazurik's at 6:30, and headed up to Kelly Island Shoal. We made one pass over the shoal first, with crawlers, but that produced nothing, but a few missed bites and missing crawlers. Then, we set the trolling gear out to try and troll from the shoal up to the line.

Dipsies were set on the zero and three settings, on each corner with the zero settings set at 40 and 45 to start, and the three settings set at 65 and 80 to start.

The Off Shore boards were pulling Bandits set anywhere from 65 to 120 feet back. The port side ran three boards, while the starboard side ran two. We were only allowed 9 lines for the three of us.

The floating grass took the Bandits out of the equation pretty quickly, and they were put away.

We caught one walleye, one sheephead, and one giant catfish on the dipsies running spoons, but they were getting fouled with the floating grass pretty quickly, too, so we opted to just go perch fishing again.

The waves were 1-3s at the shoal, so we drove down the east side of Kelly's to the SE corner, to see if we could mark any perch there, before heading back to our spot at Lakeside. Nada....so, we drove down to the lighthouse, and set up out in 35 feet of water, out in front of it. The marks were really good, but the bottom was really soft in that spot, and we only caught one in 20 minutes, so we moved in closer to the lighthouse. 
Again, good marks when we stopped, but they soon disappeared after we set up, so we only stayed another 15 minutes, to see if they would come back around...they didn't. 

We moved back to our spot out in front of Lakeside Pier, in 26 feet of water, and started catching a few. The bite was slow, and the bite was light again, but we managed to get 20 in the box, before heading in.  We had been discussing Mexican food, and we all got hungry, and went to Casa Las Palmas for lunch. lol

The fishing was excellent, but the catching was poor again, unfortunately, but once again, I had customers with positive attitudes, and we had a lot of fun anyway.

Sean and Linda run "Dakota Sunset Resort" (www.DakotaSunsetResort.com), and come this winter, will be once again running ice fishing trips, for perch. So if anyone is looking for a good place to stay, with some great guides, check them out. They are super nice people! :)

My next scheduled trip is Sunday (perch)...hopefully, now that the cooler weather is coming back, and the full moon is gone, the bite will hopefully start picking up again.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Gene, Andy, and Drake... 8/29/2023

by Capt Juls on 08/30/23

"Grandpa" Gene, his son, Andy, and his grandson, Drake (Andy's nephew) came up from the Cincinnati area, and had signed up for a walleye trip, but due to conditions after the recent storms, and the distance to the walleye that were available, we decided to do a perch trip instead. The storms had ripped up shoreline weeds and mats of floating grass were all over the island area, which would be a pain in the butt, trying to troll the area, so that was a major factor in the decision. 

We launched out of Catawba at 6:30 and headed north.

My original plan was to hit the north side of North Bass, to check for those bigger perch, but word from another Captain said to go to D Can, so that's where we started. The marks were really good, but we couldn't get them going and left after an hour and half, with only 8 in the cooler. At that point I should have stuck to my gut, and went further north, but didn't, and went to known producing spots, instead.

I went back to the area between Rattle Snake and Green first, where I had done well in previous trips, and again...there were really good marks, but a poor bite. It seemed like every time I found a good pod, and set the Spot Lock on the trolling motor, the screen went blank. They would come and go, but when they came through, we could only get one or two at a time, so it was very slow and agonizing for me. It was very frustrating.

I told them, that if the bite turned on later in the morning, that I would keep them out, if they wanted, but Grandpa said, "No, that's okay, we'll head back around 11:30-12 O'Clock, if that's okay, we need to get back", and I said, "Of course". 

We tried 5 different spots on our way back towards Catawba, with the same experience in each spot. The best spot was where I have been several times SSW of Green in 28' of water.

Andy was doing better than Grandpa Gene and Drake, who would only catch a couple, each, while he and I caught the rest. We were allowed 120, but only ended up with only 24 for our efforts.

It was just one of those humbling days. I'm guessing that the full moon, and the clear sky at night, didn't help matters, and that the fish probably turned on mid to late afternoon...but, that doesn't help when your trips are scheduled in the morning.

They were patient, and stayed positive, so that helped....and, it was a good time in the boat, even though the bite was poor. Gene said he still wants to come back to do walleye, so I told him the best time to come back this fall. He's looking forward to that, and so am I.

On a personal side note... Several times, when Gene would turn his head a certain way, he looked just like my Dad, who I lost in May 2022, so it made me smile and warmed my heart. It was like I was fishing with my Dad again. :)

I don't have any trips scheduled from now until September 6th/7th, so it might be awhile before I'm blogging again, unless I get a trip before that. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dan and Troy Boan... 8/23/2023

by Capt Juls on 08/23/23

Dan had contacted me, to schedule a Walleye trip, but after seeing what the wind was going to do today, I called him yesterday, to tell him that where we had to go for walleye would be too rough. I didn't want to take them to Lorain, because I hadn't been over there in about a month, and wasn't going to take them for a long, rough, boat ride, for a bite that may or may not exist, where I was thinking it might. "I'm not going to take your money on a guess...and, it's going to get rougher as the morning goes on," I said.  "If you want to go perch'n over here by the islands, I would love to take you," I added.  He was receptive to that idea, and we made plans to meet at Catawba at 6:15, this morning.

I left the house at 4:30, so I could get over to Hi-Way Bait before they opened, just in case another early crowd gathered... but, that didn't happen. There were only two others there with me, when it opened at 5am.  The scoops were mostly Goldies, but they were a good size, and mixed with a few small Emeralds. 

I headed down to Catawba after hitting the gas station, looking for some Cheetos, but they were out...deep sigh.  I got to the ramp at 5:30, so I had 45 minutes to waste before my crew was expected. Luckily, they showed up 15 minutes early, so we launched a little after 6am, and headed back to my spot just SSW of Green. 

Normally, it would have been in 27-28 feet of water, but because of the NE blow we had all day yesterday, the lake level was up on this end, and that spot was now 30 feet deep. However, it was still holding fish in the area, and the Helix showed some good marks.

I deployed the Minn-Kota, and hit the Spot-Lock, to anchor us over them.

"I usually give it 20-30 minutes, before moving," I said. "It's almost 6:30 now, so if we don't get something going by 7am, we'll move". Then, I added the usual bet of "First yellow in the boat wins a dollar". And, just as I said that, Dan set the hook on a fish, and exclaimed, "I'm in!". Ha! Unfortunately, he lost it before it got to the surface. So, Troy and I still had a chance. 
Then, Troy set the hook, and again, he lost it his, too.  About a minute later, I said, "Winner-winner chicken dinner," and put the first perch in through the Catch-Counter. :)

It wasn't a fast bite, and like my last trip out, we were missing a lot of bites. Thankfully, the perch were in the mood for Goldies, even though I had brought along some frozen Emeralds to use too. We were using one of each on a two hook crappie rig, and figured we would let them tell us which they liked better, but it seemed to be a 50/50 split on flavor.
They did seem to like littler offerings, than big minnows on the hooks, so picking out the little minnows, or splitting the bigger ones in half, was the ticket for us.

We caught our 3-person limit in about 5 hours, so it wasn't a fast bite. They would come and go, but didn't stay away long enough to get me thinking we needed to move, and we stayed in the same spot from start to finish.

Dan, and his son, Troy, had a good time, and did a great job. Troy is looking forward to making a nice fish fry for his Grandparents when he gets back home, and that makes me happy!

Looks like some very not weather tomorrow with thunderstorms expected. Be careful out there. 

I'm not back out until next week, unless someone is looking to do a perch trip, and the weather behaves.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and John... 8/16/2023

by Capt Juls on 08/16/23

Told my customers, Steve and John, that we would be doing a later start this morning, due to some north winds early this morning, so I picked them up at 9:15, and we headed to Catawba to launch. We were going perch'n. 

I had woken up at 4am, got dressed, grabbed the dogs, and headed to Hi Way Bait to grab some Emeralds, before they had a chance to run out. The shiners were on the larger size, so we would be splitting them in half, to use on the hooks. I figured 6 scoops would be enough, and if there were leftovers, I could just freeze them, to use at a later date. (We only used 3 scoops, so I covered them in Wintergreen rubbing alcohol, and they are in the freezer.) :)

I hadn't been out since July 31st, with my friends, but I kept seeing people on Facebook doing well on the perch, while we were gone, so I was positive we would be able to catch some today. 

We launched at 9:45 and were over the spot I was at on July 31st, (SW of Green in 27' of water), and found the Helix showing peachy looking fish marks down below, so I hit the Spot Lock on the Minn-Kota, and let it settle in, while I got Steve and John all situated and set up, to fish.  John took the seat in the bow, and Steve took the passenger seat, while I fished out of the back of the boat.

We had a bet on the first yellow to come in the boat, but both John and Steve were set up and fishing, before I even got a line in the water. But, as luck would have it, I managed to catch the first one. Woot! Woot! Neither paid up, but it doesn't matter, I was just happy there were yellows below us.

We had a nice steady bite going, and were at 25, I think, when another smaller boat was passing by, with three fishermen..so, I waved them down, and did the pointing thing, silently telling them that there were fish below us, so they slowed down and set up about 15 yards away.  They started catching, too.

We were having fun, and were feeding as many as we were catching, if not more. Boy, they sure are good at stealing minnows!

It took about 2 1/2-3 hours to get our 90 perch...I didn't really keep track of the time, that closely, because it really didn't matter how fast we finished. We were just out having fun. :)

By the time we left, the other boat was slowly sliding over,  closer to our spot, and shouted out a, "Thank you!" when we left.  I gave them a silent salute, and a thumbs up, and we headed in.

I called Port Clinton Fish Co, but they were loaded up, with an already 2 1/2 hour wait, with 12 people in line, and there was no guarantee my guys could get their fish before the morning, so they loaded their catch in a cooler, and headed back to Chicago.

Steve will be back at the end of September, and John may be with him, but he had to check his schedule first.

I don't have a lot booked for August yet, but it looks like it's going to blow for the next two days, anyway, so I'll be rendering all the tomatoes my garden grew while I was on vacation, and making some salsa, pizza, and spaghetti sauce tomorrow. 

My next scheduled trip isn't until next Wednesday, so I may or may not have trips pop up before that. It all depends on these wacky winds.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Barry and Dave... 7/28/2023

by Capt Juls on 07/28/23

Got up early, to get some coffee in me, and hang out with the animals, before heading off to go perch fishing, with two fellas from Indiana. 

I was meeting them at the White Caps Motel at 5am. Barry said he would just follow me, to the launch. I told him we were stopping at the gas station and Hi Way Bait, before heading to Catawba, to launch. "No problem", he said. "I'll just follow you". 

Thankfully, Hi Way had their tanks full of Emerald Shiners, this morning, so I picked up 6 scoops. We only needed three scoops. But, I'd rather have some left over to freeze, or feed to my porch critters, than not have enough. :)

When we headed out of Catawba, we were greeted with a lightening horizon, and just a ripple over the surface of the lake. It was beautiful. What little wind there was, was out of the SSW....less than 5mph.  The air temp was 78 degrees at 5:30AM, already, and it was supposed to get very hot today. I wanted to find some perch and get done before it got hot and muggy out there.

As it turned out, it only took about 15 minutes of searching, before I set up the Spot-Lock over what looked to be a nice school of perch... SW of Green, in 28 feet of water. 

I got the men in their perch fighting seats and set them up with towels, pliers, and minnows. They had brought their own perch rods. "Cool", I thought. "These guys must know how to catch perch."...I smiled. Thinking to myself, "I hope that is a school of perch down there, and I hope if they are, that they are biting!" I wanted these guys to have a good morning.

"Dollar for the first yellow?", I asked. Dave said, "I'm in." Then, laughed, pointing back at Barry, and says, "Just so you know....Barry won't pay out, if you win!" To which Barry laughed, and said he would. Which reminds me...Barry caught the first yellow perch...but neither of us paid him. Oops! I meant too, and then I got distracted, and forgot to...sorry, Barry! :(

We didn't have to move once we set up, and the bite got better after about 20 minutes, and became a slow/steady bite...but, not too slow. We had our 90 by 8:45. The fish would come in waves. We would go through a flurry of catching, and then it would slow down again...then, pick up again.

It was a fun morning, and the company, and conversation, were great. Dave likes to sing... and, he knew all the songs on my playlist, so he was singing along to all the songs, keeping himself, and me, entertained. I doubt Barry could hear him, while sitting up on the bow...and, he was busy catching perch, up there. 
We are close in age, so they grew up with the same songs, that I did. 

Barry and Dave were happy to be done early, so they could get back home, to do "Home Stuff". :)

I don't have anything scheduled now until we get back from our Canadian Adventure. 

But, I might go perch'n with friends...we shall see. 

Stay tuned....

Be safe....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff, Andy, and Eric... 7/25/2023

by Capt Juls on 07/25/23

Jeff, his son Andy, and their friend, Eric, met me at the Best Western Hotel at 4:30AM. We hit the gas station for gas and ice, before heading back over to Vermilion to launch. Being a Tuesday, I figured the ramp wouldn't be as busy as it was on Saturday morning, at 5:30AM. I was right, we were the only ones at the launch at 5:15, so launching was a breeze.

Wait...wait...wait....let me tell you how my morning started.

As many of you know, my dog Alfie was supposed to have his balls....sorry, he was supposed to be neutered, this morning.  And, like a dumbass, I did my normal routine, where I give him, and Dexter, a milk bone or two, while I sip my coffee, out on the back deck. 
It was only after he ate them, that I remembered his appointment. They are not allowed any food from midnight, the night before. They had to reschedule him to the end of September, because that's the soonest date open.

I'm sure he's the happiest of boys now, even though he had no idea what was about to happen to him. 
He's also wearing a cone, for a flea problem he had, that has been dealt with, and just needs some healing time.  So, with all that going on....I'm glad he didn't have to endure that, too. 

Walk out the door to go fishing....leave my pup behind with a big cone on his head, and a dog door he can't get through.  I take a deep breath, and just keep going. I have to go fishing... I have customers waiting.

Back to Vermilion....:)

We launched at 5:15, and headed out of the river, in the dark. A couple of boats, from up river, idled past the dock we were sitting at, as we waited on Jeff, who was parking the truck and trailer.

We followed them out of the river, but both of them went west, at the break wall...we turned east.  Off we went, to the ENE (about a 1/2 ride), and back to where I was the last time over there.  There were still fish out there, but not in the numbers that were there this past Saturday.

I had a novice crew today. They mainly shore fish, but have gone on charters in the ocean, and fished by kayak. So, this was a learning trip for them. "I've always wanted to fish Lake Erie, so my wife found your website, and said, "Why don't you call her?", so I did," Jeff said. So, I'd like to thank Jeff's wife, for the referral. :)

I explained, how the dipsey is designed to dive, by securing the "mechanism", as I call it, and will rise when the mechanism is released. I explained that it always needs to go out with the "clicker" on (tension button), so it doesn't go down too fast.

And, when checking a dipsey, that hasn't been tripped, but the line angle has changed...the mechanism will need to be  triggered. I tell them, they will have to pout their "Thumb on the spool, and give it a quick flick of the wrist...with some, 
"Umph! You'll feel it release," I say.   I continue, "A fish will drag for a long time, unless you check it every 5 minutes...so, we'll be checking them a lot." 

Andy learned quickly, and was very helpful in checking and setting lines. So, he got promoted to "Honorary First Mate", for the day.

We had two dipsies off each corner. The inside rod was running at zero and set at 40 back on the port side, and at 51 on the starboard side. 

The outside rods, ran dipsies on the three setting at 70 and 80 back, to start. 

Yeck, and BadMo Arrow spoons started the morning off. I just used the same colors that worked out there the last time. They were still working.

We changed up colors, now and then, and would get hit on those too, so I don't think color mattered much. Other than the Sheephead really like pinks. 

We went through a lot of shorts, Sheephead, White Bass, and White Perch to get our 19 keeper walleye. The size of fish was all over the place. From this year's hatch, to 24 inches.

Bandits ran behind Off Shore boards on both sides of the boat. The port side ran Chrome Barbie, Pooh Bear, and Blue Shiner...105, 85, and 65, respectively.

Perch, Glare, and Blue Shiner ran on the starboard side at 120, 97, and 70, respectively. 

We had some tangles this morning, like I've never seen, and the biggest one was my mistake.  The line was so twisted....I knew exactly what happened.
When I was letting a Bandit out, and went to put the board on the line, I didn't feel the pull, that I would normally feel....and, I looked out there, to see if it was on the surface with the line around the hook...just twisting away. But, I didn't see it. I tugged one more time, and it felt like it was pulling, so I put the board on, and sent it out to the outside position. I had a nagging feeling I made a mistake, that would cost me, but I left it out there. Big mistake. lol

Needless to say, my suspicions were right...I should have brought it back in, and checked it. But, I didn't...I was busy. Oops!  So, let that be a lesson to all of you...if you suspect something, it's better to check, than deal with the consequences of the wrong decision.

My crew had a good time, and were happy with the morning, so that makes me happy!

I'm not scheduled for the rest of the week...and, later next week, my friend, Jen, and I, are headed for Meta Lake Lodge in Ontario, for a little fishing vacation of our own. Her husband Matt is going to watch the dogs for us, while we are away. I can't wait to get up there, and fish for Pike. It's a magical place. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Houghton Family... 7/22/2023

by Capt Juls on 07/22/23

Picked the Houghton men up at the Walmart parking lot at 4:45, hit the Speedway for the usual stuff, and drove over to Vermilion to launch. When we arrived at the launch, there were 5 or 6 boats in line, ahead of us.

The forecast for the day was calling for sunny, with wind out of the NW at 5-6mph, and an air temp of 80-something. As perfect a morning, that one could ask for...other than asking for a light, southerly, wind direction. ;)

We launched and headed out to the ENE for about a 1/2 hour ride. It looked nice and flat on the water's surface, but the residual rollers from last night's winds kept us from going very fast.

The Helix started showing some good marks below, so we stopped. The Minn-Kota was deployed, and the baby Merc fired up...a course to the north was set on the Terrova, and the baby Merc pushed us along at 2.3-2.5 GPS.  
I don't have a Fish Hawk report, because it wouldn't work this morning. I put fresh batteries in both the unit and the probe, and still nothing but dashes on the screen. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so I put it away, and went "old school" on it. 

As we trolled north, I would vary the direction from time to time, to see if the bite was better, one way, or another. It mattered. As it turned out...they liked the easterly troll the best. It was non-stop after that turn to starboard.

But, I get ahead of myself....

We set up with the dipsies first. Bill had limited knowledge of them, and the boys didn't have any, but they caught on really quickly on how to retrieve a fish, and set them back out again.  Orion was fine with letting his big brother be first mate, and doing all the setting, while he took the seat in the bow...where he would call out when a fish was on....that is, until it was his turn to reel one in again, which kept him busy, going from the back of the boat, to the front of the boat. 

Dipsey settings were the usual for deep water:
Zero setting at 40 and 50 back
Three setting was at 70 and 80 back to start, but the 70 was eventually lowered to 80, too.

Bandits ran behind Off Shore boards...
The port side ran Chrome Barbie on the outside at 97 back, Pooh Bear at 75, and Blue Shiner at 65.

The starboard side ran Perch at 130 back, Glare at 85, and Blue Shiner at 70 back.

All colors and depths caught fish this morning, but the spoons out-fished the cranks, once again. Yeck and BadMo Arrow spoons were preferred over the Stinger and Scorpion spoons, this morning, for some reason. I changed them out for a couple more Yecks, and it was fish after fish. :)
"Confusion" was a hot Yeck spoon, morning. The green/black/sliver Arrow caught too, but the Sheephead really liked that one, too.

I had a Ripplin Redfin out for a little bit, but it didn't catch anything, so it didn't stay out long.

Orion had never caught a walleye over 16 inches, so when he reeled in a nice 5-6 pounder he was all smiles!  And, I was all smiles!  It's been a while since I've had this nice of a grade of fish in the boat. It was nice not having to deal with all the little fish, like we do by the islands.  We didn't catch any shorts today. But, the Sheephead and White Bass were plentiful, and kept us busy in-between Walleye bites.

I don't know what happened to the morning, that the weatherman was talking about, because after the beautiful sunrise we got to witness, the sky to the west, turning dark gray, and showing a rainbow. So that meant it was raining...and, coming our way.

"I didn't know it was supposed to rain this morning...none of the apps predicted this one," I said. After taking some photos of the rainbow, while my guys reeled in, and netted fish, I dug out a raincoat for Orion to wear. The older two didn't mind getting wet, and I had a lightweight one on, from our drive out, so I was okay, too.

The fish kept coming....and coming, and coming. It was so much fun!

We had our 24 by 8:30.

The ride home was upbeat, and full of giggles....just a perfect morning. :)

I'm off for the next two days, but will be back out on Tuesday, for another trip. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike, George, and Robin...July 20, 2023

by Capt Juls on 07/20/23

I called Hi-Way Bait last night, before I went to bed, to make sure they would have Emerald Shiners available this morning, and talked to DJ. He said, "I hope so...it will depend on what we can get tonight". Meaning, they were going out to net some minnows. He said they were headed 70 miles east, to find them.  Then, he said, "I'll text you at 4:15 tomorrow, and let you know if we got them". "Okay," I said, "That will work". 

He let me know they have fresh shiners, and I should stop on out...so, I did. 

I had them put 5 scoops in a zip-loc bag, that I put on ice, and another 4 scoops in a new live bait cooler/bubbler thingy. And, later, I'll tell you why I will never have one of those on my boat ever again. lol

But, first, let me introduce you to my crew. Mike Shepperson, fishes with me a couple times a season, and has been for the last several years. I'm not exactly sure how many years it's been, but it's at least 5 or 6 years, now.  He brings different people every time he comes, and shares his love of fishing with them.  This time, he brought his friends, George and Robin, who are fishermen, themselves, so it was an easy morning.

They had scheduled a walleye trip for today, but I asked if they would mind if we went perch fishing instead, because where I wanted to walleye fish today, would have been pretty rough. After telling him that the perch fishing was pretty easy right now, and what the conditions to the east would be, it was an easy decision for them.

We first set up on some marks close to Mouse Island, but that didn't pan out. Even though there were marks on the Helix, nothing was biting there. After 15 minutes there, we picked up and moved north to deeper water.

I hit the Spot Lock, over 34 feet of water, near South Bass Island. That area had the best marks I have seen on the Helix in a long time. I was hopeful. "How about a dollar bet, on the first yellow?", I asked.  "Sounds good to me", said Mike. Robin and George were in too.  I find that, that usually gets people to focus a little harder, right off the bat. :)

After some missed bites, some Sheephead (which seemed to like Robin the best), George caught the first yellow perch, and the skunk was out of the box! The bite picked up to a steady bite for a couple of hours, and then slowed way down again, at around 9:30. It would take an hour to get their last 30, of their 3-man limit. We were done at 10:30

George would end up winning the bet on catching the last fish, too, for a winnings total of a whopping 6 dollars. :)

It was a fun morning for everyone. Except for....

When the three pleasure boats came by, and threw a big wake, which ended up toppling over my live bait cooler from the front deck, to the step....dumping the entire contents of water and shiners all over the floor in back. You can imagine my dismay at seeing all those shiner scales all over my clean floor. Arrrrggghhhh.....stupid pleasure boats. I will never be using one again, since the minnows in the Ziplock (on ice) does the job, too. Besides, the minnow dies when you rip them in half anyway, so why bother keeping them alive?  They don't lose their scales when they are in a bag, with no water, and on ice.  

Tomorrow, I'm off, but have a walleye trip on Saturday. The wind looks very good for Saturday, right now, so my fingers are crossed that it stays that way.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Franklin Family... 7/17/2023

by Capt Juls on 07/17/23

I was supposed to meet my crew at Mazurik's at 5:30. The Franklin family were driving in from Mansfield, OH. I left the house at 4:30, so I could stop, and top off the gas in the boat, get ice, and hit Hi-Way Bait for some crawlers (just in case). I wanted to get to Mazurik's, with enough time to be by myself, for the last half hour,  before they were to show up. 

Mark had texted me at 4:45 and said their ETA was 5:10. I just smiled...oh, well...so much for the alone time.  They were already there, when I arrived at 5:06. "It's much better to be early, than late", I reminded myself. 

We waited to launch. The sky was cloudy, smokey, and dark. Sunrise isn't until around 6:13, right now, so we had a lot of time.  

I readied the rods with Bandits on the starboard side, and Reef Runner Mag 44s, on the port side.  

I left the spoons on the dipsey rods, that I ended up using last, on the last walleye trip. A blue/chrome Stinger, a blue/silver-hammered Scorpion, an "Orange Crush" Yeck, and a green/black/silver BadMo Arrow spoons.

We started out in front of Cedar Point, in 35 feet of water, and trolled with the waves, in a zig-zag, to the Canadian border, kind of line. We were marking fish the entire way, but they were all very deep. We tried everywhere in the water column, and caught fish....just not all walleye, and not consistent enough for it to be a pattern. 
The spoons outfished the cranks today, by a long shot.

Bandits ran behind the Off Shore boards, at 110, 85, and 60 back, to start. We caught a nice eater on the original "Blue Shiner", at 60 back. But, that would be it for the Bandits, for the rest of the morning.

Speed was 2.1-2.3 on the Fish Hawk, and 2.4-2.6 GPS.

The Mag 44s were set at 90, 70, and 50 back. The Mags didn't produce anything, so they were changed up to Flicker Minnow 11s. The first one out was, "Pooh Bear" at 90 back. Before I could get the board on the second one, that first one loaded up with a nice fish.  I thought to myself, "Well....maybe they wanted Flicker Minnows. Fingers crossed!"  We set all three boards out, and watched them get washed for a while, before I would decide to put some crawler harnesses on.
We had one hit on the harnesses, using three oz inlines, at a speed of 1.9mph. That fish hit on it at 62 back. We lost it.
The crawler harnesses would be replaced with Spro Madeye 120's, and the speed turned up again. The port side was changed up a lot this morning. The Bandits on the starboard side, would just be changed out for different colors, and depths. 2oz snap weights were used at 50/60, 50/30, and 50/20....nothing.

Dipsies, with the zero setting, were set at 30 and 40 back. The three settings were at 45 and 65, to start.  Eventually, they were dialed in to 40 and 50, on the zero setting, and the three settings at 70 back.  
Spoons caught a lot of fish to keep them busy, but unfortunately, there were a lot of Sheephead, small walleye, and a white bass in the mix. 

We only put 8 eater walleye in the cooler this morning. It was a tough walleye bite for us, today. 
If all of the Sheephead had been walleye, we would have been done early. 

My crew did great. Alyssa, had never caught a walleye before, and now she can cross that off the "To Do Yet" list.  She caught on to the procedures of setting and retrieving dipsies, and perfectly bringing in the fish with the "Lift and Back Up" technique. She told her Dad, that they should get some dipsies and spoons for their boat, and he agreed. 
He's not a troller, but I think we may have given him the itch to go shopping for some trolling gear. Ha! 

Anyway....everyone had a fun, even though it got rough up there from time to time, and it was hard for them to move around the boat. Claudia was smart. She hopped in a seat and stayed there...perfectly content, until it would be required of her, to reel in her own fish. It got easier for Mark, when I told him to take his shoes off, because he would have better balance. "Don't worry", I said, smiling..."I don't have any hooks on this floor".  He removed them, and was able to move around the boat easier. Alyssa is a natural. She has good balance,  common sense, and can easily remember directions...giving her the honorary title of, "First Mate", for the morning. :)

I'm off tomorrow and Wednesday, unless I book a perch trip....otherwise, I will be back out again on Thursday, for another try at walleye, with one of my regulars, Mike Shepperson, and his crew....weather permitting. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Chapman Family... 7/14/2023

by Capt Juls on 07/15/23

This morning, I took long time customers out for some perch'n. Luke, is 4 years old, and it's the first time on Lake Erie. Thankfully, the lake was behaving, and it was a beautiful calm day.

We got on the perch in the first spot, but it started slow...then, picked up to a steady bite. Luke was the absolute best boy on the boat, and didn't fuss or whine, and was focused on the activities. He also like to touch the fish as they came in.

We caught 95 perch before calling it quits to go in and get something to eat, before they headed home to Columbus.

He lasted 4 hours, which is three hours longer than I thought he would last. lol

It was an awesome morning!

Sorry for the short report, but I have lots to do.

Next trip is a walleye trip scheduled for Monday...I'm off this weekend.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 2 with Bill and Max Claassen... July 12, 2023

by Capt Juls on 07/12/23

I wasn't going to write a report, because of the late start today, but it wasn't a usual day, so I wanted to share it.

The bad news is, there is a missing young man in the lake right now. His last known location was at the 36/53 line (near F Can). He went overboard last night around 10:45/11PM, and didn't surface. I don't know any details beyond that.

When we arrived at Catawba this morning, there was the Sheriff's truck, and boat trailer in the lot, along with two other squad cars, that I assume were out there with him...searching.

The USCG had their orange helicopter out looking, and that big C1 airplane (is that what it's called? I forget). That big plane that flies so slow, that it looks like it could just fall out of the sky...that one. The USCG also had one of their boats out near South Bass, too.

I listened to channel 16 the entire time I was out there, and as of 2pm, when we got off the water, he still had not been found.  So, if anyone reading this is going to be near that area, please keep an eye out for him. If you have Side Scan on your unit...use it. It may just find him.

He's 21 years old and wearing a white t-shirt, and khaki shorts.

I hope they find him soon, so his family and friends can get some closure. 

Fishing Report:

It was rougher than expected this morning. It was 1-3s on the west side of islands, so we headed up to the "Triangle", between the islands, to see if there were any fish up there, and to fish more protected water. I didn't want Bill to be uncomfortable, again.

We set up at the south end of Middle Bass, and trolled north, over 31' of water. 

Mag 44s ran behind the Off Shore boards on both sides at 50-90 back. Blue Chrome, black/gold, and purple glass perch. 

Dipsies were running on both corners again, and ran on the usual zero and three settings. I like those settings, because it is less likely to cause tangles, with that kind of separation. :)
Zero settings were at 30 and 40, and the three settings were at 65 and 70. Yeck, Scorpion, Stinger spoons ran on three rods, and the black/gold Ripplin Redfin ran on the 4th. 

Speed was 2.2 on the Fish Hawk and 2.3-2.5 GPS/SOG.

We made one long ass pass, from there, to around the north side of Rattlesnake...down the front side of Green, and down to the F Can area. 

We caught a fish here and there, but the the most productive areas were east of E Can to F Can, and F Can to Catawba.
The bite got better the shallower we got. The bite picked up over 27 feet and kept going and getting better as we entered into 24 feet.  We also had a lot more shorts to deal with there, too. The eaters were nicer, however, so dealing with all the shorts was worth it.

One Mag44 was running on the starboard outside board at 60 back, and the "IB Infected" Bandit (DJ Custom Eye Lures creation) was running at 65 back.

On the Port side, two "Blue Shiner" Bandits (original blue shiner color/stock) at 70 and 80 back.

All of those caught multiple fish.

The dipsies were brought up to:
zero setting: 27 and 30
three setting: 43 and 47

The black/gold RR was replaced with another Yeck spoon.

Copper backs were best today. "Confusion" was a hot one.

We put our three-person limit in the cooler, but did a lot of catching today. We went through tons of shorts, one cat, several sheep, and a few white perch....oh, and two yellow perch, to get the 18 eaters, so it was a lot of work, today.

Water temp is 75.5 at F Can right now.

I'm going to cut this short, because my pup is climbing all over me, while I'm trying to write this, and wants to play....so, I must go play before I go to bed.

Tomorrow is the same crew....not sure what the plan is yet. I'll decide that in the morning, when I know what the winds and forecast are.

Stay tuned.....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bill and Max Claassen... July 11, 2023

by Capt Juls on 07/11/23

Bill and Max Claassen, drove in from Iowa yesterday, to fish three days with me. I picked them up at the Best Western at 5:15, and headed to the gas station on the west side of town. I had already gassed the boat and truck up the afternoon before, at another gas station, that saved me money.  I only needed ice for the coolers, so it was a quick stop.

We went to Mazurik's, to launch. We were in the water, and on our way back to where I fished yesterday, by 5:45. The sun was just peaking over the horizon, as we rode north, showing us what a blazing orange fiery ball it was going to be this morning. It was spectacular...the camera didn't do it any justice at all. 

When we reached the line, the Terrova was deployed and the baby Merc fired up. They steered and pushed us along at a speed of 2.3-2.5mph. Once the Fish Hawk was set down to depth, it showed a speed of 2.2mph. It was time to set the dipsies.
We ran the same program as yesterday, with the dipsies set on the zero and three settings. 
The zero settings started at 40 and 50 back, but the 50 was less active, so I raised that one to 36 back, and put a gold/black Ripplin Redfin on, and it did better than the spoon at 50 back. The three settings were running at 65 and 70 back, and both were productive.

We caught a bunch of shorts this morning too, along with some Sheephead, and one White Bass.

It wasn't rough when we headed out, but it got rougher as the morning progressed. Just 1-3s with some 4s thrown in for good measure, from time to time, so not too bad, but, it was a little too rough for "Papa", because he started feeling seasick. 

When we put their 12th keeper walleye in the cooler, I asked, "Do you want to move down south where it would be a little less rough, and try for those last 6? Or, would you like to go in?" Bill asked Max, "Max, what do you want to do?", and Max replied with the usual reply of... "It doesn't matter to me, whatever you want to do". Without hesitation, Bill turned to me and said, "We can go in".  So, we packed it up and headed in.

It was a short day, today, but they still had a lot of fun, and are looking forward to going out again tomorrow. However, I will not be going back up to the line with the east winds that are forecast, (12-13mph...1-3s again), and will take them to the west side of the islands for a bit of protection, and smaller waves. I was over there three days ago, and managed to catch some keeper walleye, so I know we can put some in the cooler tomorrow, too. We just have to dodge some early morning scattered thunderstorms first, I think. At least, that's what the TV Weatherman just said on the news, at noon. 
It might be a later start in the morning...I won't know until the morning, though, when I can look at my radar, and see what's headed this way.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott and Mark... July 10, 2023

by Capt Juls on 07/10/23

Scott Smith, and his friend, Mark Delagarza, met me at Mazurik's at 5:30, this morning. We launched shortly after their arrival, and headed up to the Canadian line, to see if we could find some fish. The Helix lit up with good marks, so we started setting lines.

Both, had fished with dipsies and Off Shore boards before, so little instruction was needed...just a refresher course, since it had been a while since they use different releases on their boards, than I do. I run the OR-18 (Snapper release) on the front and the OR-16 (red release with the pin in the center of it). They use the OR-19 on the front, so they can trip it, and release the front one. 
They caught onto the dipsey program pretty quickly, and were very adept at not tangling any lines. :)

We ran Bandits behind the Off Shore boards, three on the starboard side and two on the port side, and two dipsies off each corner.

Bandit colors that did well were the Blue Shiner (Original one..not the foil one with the same name), Chrome Barbie, and one I can't remember the name of, but it's perch colored without stripes, and has a black "Shad dot" on it. "Green Shad", maybe? I don't know. Sometimes, I can remember the name, and sometimes it eludes me. lol

Anyway, we were trolling over 39 feet of water and had the Bandits set at 120, 85, and 65 on the starboard side, and 81 and 70 on the port side. Each one caught a fish, but the Blue Shiner was running on both sides of the boat, and caught 4 or 5 between them at 65 and 70 back. Chrome Barbie caught 2 at 81 and 85 back and the Green Shad caught one at 120 back.

Speed was 2.2 on the Fish Hawk and 2.3-2.5 on the GPS.

Dipsies ran on the usual zero and three settings....zero at 40 and 50. The three setting started out at 47 and 65, but both would be dropped to 70, eventually, and would catch their fair share of fish, too.

The grade of fish was pretty darn good for the island area, this time of year, so we were all happy to see that. We had a good number of young fish, too, that were carefully removed from the hook, and sent back with a kiss, and a wish, for them to survive, and grow up, to be big fish. :)

We had their two-man limit in an hour and a half, and then I reeled in 4 of my 6, when the bite slowed way down. I asked, "Do you want to grind it out for the last two walleye? Or, do you want to go try and find some perch?" They decided to go perch'n instead.  Long story short...three spots (very good marks in all three spots)...all we caught were three perch, and a half dozen sheephead. It was a bust. But, it was relaxing, and there was good music and conversation, and the guys enjoyed themselves anyway.

I have a three day trip starting tomorrow with a father and son team. I'm not sure if I'll get back up there tomorrow, due to the gusty SW winds in the forecast, but we'll see what it looks like in the morning. Wednesday and Thursday's winds look much better.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Carol and Hugh Gaylord... July 8, 2023

by Capt Juls on 07/08/23

Carol and Hugh, who live in the Toledo area, drove to my house this morning, to meet me at 5AM. Since the sunrise wasn't until 6:06AM today, we were a little early, so we took the long way into town, instead of using the hi-way. We hit the Speedway for gas, and ice, before heading over to Catawba to launch.

There must be a bass tournament today, because the Speedway was lined up with them at 5:15.

We launched by 5:45, and headed a little west, to start the morning. Neither Hugh nor Carol, have ever used Off Shore inline planers, or dipsies before. Hugh had limited mobility, so he was unable to do any of the setting up, but he was helpful with the handing off of the net. :)

I explained everything to Carol, as I set up the Reef Runner Mag 44's behind the Off Shore boards on the port side....set at 25 and 35 back, over shallower water, and, then, to 50 and 42 feet back, over the deeper water. 
Flicker Minnow 11s ran on the starboard side, at 30 and 50 back over the shallower water, and then taken off, to be replaced with two more Mag 44s at 60 and 50 back, over the deeper water. 
The port side ran the blue/chrome and the black/gold 44s.  The starboard side ran the blue/chrome and Purple Glass Perch 44s. All four caught fish this morning.  

Two dipsies ran off each corner, with the inside rods set at zero, and the outside rods set on the 3 setting.  Scorpion and Yeck spoons were on three rods, and a gold/black Ripplin Redfin ran on the fourth.

The zero settings were running at 25 and 27 back, in the shallower water (16-18 feet), but lowered to 30 and 35 when we were over deeper water (27-30 feet)
The three settings were running at 45 and 55 back (Ripplin on the 55), at all times...meaning the depth of water didn't matter for the three settings....they remained the same. All the setups caught fish.

Speed was 2.2 on the Fish Hawk and 2.3-2.4 on the GPS.  

Water temp, west of Catawba, was 75 degrees at 15 feet down (Fish Hawk). I don't remember looking at the Helix for the surface temp...sorry.

We put 10 eater walleye in the cooler and tossed back a bunch of small walleye, sheephead, white perch, and two big catfish. One was around 5 pounds and the other was every bit of 10 pounds, if not more. 

I had been watching my radar app.. (RadarScope-Pro version), to see how long we could stay fishing. The app was showing some lightning strikes in the system that was moving in, so I wanted to make sure we didn't get stuck at a busy ramp, when everyone else would decide it was time to go in, so we picked up and headed in. We were able to load out, prep the boat for the road, and load up the truck, right before it started raining.  As we drove out the park, a lot of boats were headed to the dock.  So, it was the right move at the right time. :)

We were headed to "Port Clinton Fish Cleaning", when I realized that I handed the cooler down to Carol, but I didn't tell her to put it in the back of the truck, because I would do it when I climbed down.  But, as I was walking down the steps on the front of the boat, Carol said, "How do you like those "EZEESteps"?  And, I got distracted, and told her what I thought of them......I'm pretty sure you can guess what happened next...I forgot to load the cooler into the truck.  AAAaarrrrgghh!

The sick feeling hit me when we were almost downtown, and I knew I hadn't put the cooler in the back of the truck, and I know Carol hadn't, either. OMG! It's sitting in the parking lot at Catawba. 
"Someone is going to take it", I thought. "It's an expensive cooler,  and has 10 nice walleye in it, someone will surely take it".  
I thought it would be long gone, when we got back there.
To my relief, as we pulled into the lot...there it was. Sitting there, all alone....waiting. Whew!!  I didn't want to have to buy them fish to take home, and I certainly didn't want to have to buy a new 120qt cooler! So, thank you, to everyone that walked right on by it...I appreciate it. :)

My crew for tomorrow wants to reschedule..so I'll be back out on Monday.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Three Days Fishing with Marc and Jim... 6-28/29/30-23

by Capt Juls on 07/01/23

Day 1: Walleye Fishing...

Picked my crew up from the Best Western at 5:15 and headed to Mazurik's to launch. The wind was blowing out of the north, with gusts over 15mph, so after talking with Capt Mitch Daugherty, while in the get ready lanes, we both decided to hold off for a while, and launch later. So, I took them back to the hotel, went home and grabbed the dogs, so I could take them for a walk, before leaving again.

I picked my crew back up at 8am and we headed back to the launch, and found the lake no longer white capping, and headed out.  I decided to go towards Huron to fish the dump, on a suggestion of a friend that had been there the previous day, who did well.

We set up with crawler harnesses behind the Off Shore boards, as the bug hatch was still happening, and I find during a bug hatch that crawlers usually do best. We were over 37-40 feet of water on our passes. The first pass was west to east and then the second pass was going back the other direction, over the same fish.

2oz inline weights ran on the starboard side, and 3oz weights were on the port side.  2oz at 25, 42, 55, and 62 back, and the 3oz at 20, 40, 50, and 60 back.
We caught a ton of little fish, and had to keep checking the worms, as they were getting stolen from short strikes.

Eventually, and a little too late into the trip, I switched one side to Flicker Minnow 11s, and immediately got hit on the first bait, as I was setting the second one out. Got that fish in, and the second board went back, with another keeper. I set both sides up with Flicker Minnows at 100, 80, 70, and 60 back, and ended the trip with 11 of our 18 fish limit.  Hindsight is 20/20, of course, and I should have switched up sooner.

Speed was l.7-1.8 on the Fish Hawk.

Day 2: Walleye Fishing 

Picked my crew up at 4:30, and headed to the gas station to gas up the truck, because we were headed to Vermilion to launch, this time. My plan was to hit Lorain waters for a better limit of fish. We were headed out of the river at 5:30, and went NNE to the Sand Bar, first. We fished the SE side of the bottom tip, over 48 to 50 feet of water.

This time, I set up with two dipsies on both sides, with the inside rod running on the zero setting, and the outside rod running on the 3 setting.  Yeck spoons and Scorpion spoons were on three, and a black/gold Ripplin Redfin was on the other. However, the Redfin was only catching smaller fish, so it got changed up to a Scorpion spoon, too.

Bandits and Reef Runner Mag 44s ran behind the Off Shore boards. The Bandits were set at 110 (Blue Shiner), and 80 (Green Shiner) back, and the Mag 44s were set at 90 (black/gold) and 80 (blue/chrome) back.

Speed was 2.2 on the Fish Hawk.

The dipsies shined that day, and the cranks would only catch three of our 3-person limit. 

Day 3: Perch Fishing

Long story short....it sucked.  We only managed to catch 11 of our 90 fish limit. lol
I did catch a nice 20" walleye, though, so that was a little more meat for their freezer.

At one point, Jim had minnow slime hands, and leaned over the side of the boat to wash his hands, not realizing the brand new ultralight rod under his body, doesn't bend that far, and snapped it in two places.  I had only brought three perch rods, so I had to give him mine to use, with 2 1/2 hours to go. 

The bad part is, Marc and I were the only two catching, or even feeling the bite (Jim has bad feeling in his hands), so he wasn't being very productive. It was hard to just sit there, and not fish. I love perch fishing, so I was really disappointed that I couldn't fish anymore.

Yeah, I know..."You should always have a back up rod in the boat". I thought of that, and almost brought the third rod, but thought we would be fine with just one rod per person.  It was the first perch trip of the season, so I wasn't thinking something like this would happen.

I don't usually let anyone use my rod, because I've had it since 1987, and it's my "special rod", and even had someone offer me a lot of money for it, and refused. It's just an old Fenwick Ultralight, that was broken by a dog fish, back in Wisco, that took a foot off the tip, so I made this 5' rod, my perch rod. It's been the best rod I've ever had, or tried, and can't find anything like it as far as feel and action go. I keep looking though, because one day, this rod will break on a big fish, too....and, I'll need something to replace it with. The Presso Ultralights (5') I bought for my customers have been working well, but they are still not like my rod.

Anyway....my crew, who have been fishing with me since 2014, still enjoyed the morning, and the nicer weather. The smoke that was hanging in the air the first two days had dissipated quite a bit, so it was more comfortable out there. They headed back to Wisco with enough fillets for many fish fries to hold them over, until their next visit down here. 

I'm off for several days now, because my big sister and brother-in-law are coming down from Wisconsin, to celebrate her birthday, and the 4th of July, with me.

I'll be back on the water July 6th.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Andy and Susan Teconchuk... June 22, 2023

by Capt Juls on 06/22/23

My crew was staying way out in Marblehead, so I had them meet me at Catawba this morning at 5:15.  I was looking at iWindSurf's wind forecast, and was a little concerned about the gusts to 20 from the East, and the fact that no one else was at the launch yet. As I waited on my crew, I noticed that the wind was from the SW at Catawba, at about 7-9mph, and thought that maybe iWindSurf had it wrong today.

They showed up a little late, but we still managed to launch by 5:40, and head up to the west side of the Bass Islands. It wasn't rough at all. There were some rollers from the NE as we rounded the tip of Catawba, but they were smallish, and the ride was easy. 

I figured, that if the wind forecast was correct, we would have at least 5 hours, before it started to blow, and get rough out there. I was right. It was downright beautiful in the morning up between the islands, with maybe a 6" wave from the SSE. 

The Terrova was deployed over 31 feet of water, the baby Merc came to life and pushed us along at a whopping speed of 1.9-2.0 SOG, while the Fish Hawk read 1.6-1.7mph on a northerly trolling pass.

I opted to start with the crawler harnesses again, since they seemed to catch larger fish on my last two adventures out.  Root beer colored beads with a gold hammered hatchet blade, is one of my creations to mimic the Mayfly, and does really well. And another that I make, is a perch pattern color with a gold #6 Colorado blade.

It was pretty much the same program I used north of Kelly's this past week. 2oz inlines on one side, and 3oz inlines on the other side. 
The 2oz's were set at (shortest leads on the outside) 20, 35, 42, and 50, and the 3oz leads were set at 25, 30, 40, and 50. All leads caught fish today. 

Andy and Sharon have their own boat, but wanted to learn how to run the Off Shore boards more efficiently, so they came to learn. Catching was a bonus for them.  However, we went through a lot of fish, with a lot of itty-bitties hooking up, or stealing our crawlers, so we had to keep checking the baits, to make sure we weren't dragging a 4" walleye, or dragging a bait without a crawler.  

Andy certainly got his wish on how to work the boards. He did a great job of listening to instructions, setting lines, retrieving them without tangling, and then setting them back out to their original spots again without having to move other boards to do so.  Susan, who was sitting up on the bow, was quick to notice a change in the action of a board, and let us know when she thought there was a fish on one...she was usually right! She was also very good at reeling in fish, without tangling the lines.

I didn't have to keep repeating myself, over and over, so I know I can say with confidence, that they now understand what they were doing wrong, before, and now know what to do right. They will be able to have a lot more fun and success in their own boat, now. :)

We were one short of a two-person limit, but went through close to 40 fish this morning.  One of these years, all those little fish will be so much fun, when they get bigger. I can't wait. 

The wind was forecasted to pick up around 10AM, and it showed up at 10:19....out of the east. The waves started white capping, and we fished until 11:00, then headed in. By then, it was solid 2-3s with some 4s thrown in for good measure.

My crew had a good time, learned some things, and will be taking their own boat over the weekend to practice what they learned today, and that makes me happy. :)

I have an older crew tomorrow, that I informed it would be raining in the morning (Yuck), and offered them to reschedule, I'm still waiting to hear what they want to do. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 2 with Bill and Stan... June 19, 2023

by Capt Juls on 06/20/23

Quick report...
Beautiful morning…and, no bugs! No big fish…just eaters. Ran the crawler harness program again, that we ran yesterday…15 keepers, and lost 4 more that didn’t stay hooked up well….and, one 8-9 pound catfish, 3 sheep, and 3 white perch.
Ran one dipsey on the zero setting, 30-35 back, with a Scirpion spoon, for a little while…it only caught itty-bitties, so I removed it.
Speed was 1.7mph on the Fish Hawk.
My crew enjoyed the morning, and are headed back to Iowa with fun memories and some fish for their fish fries. ??????
I might have made a bad call for my next two days with my MN crew. We will see. Yesterday, and for several days prior, they were calling for more ENE wind, gusting to 23, so I told them to stay home. They are rescheduling. But, I see it’s changed now….of course! (Insert eye-roll here).
Back at it Thursday…
Stay tuned….
Capt Juls

Fishing with Paul and Janie... June 17, 2023

by Capt Juls on 06/17/23

I was a little nervous about my customers today, since Paul is 87 years old, and the oldest I have taken out, to date. His daughter, Janie, bought him this trip for Father's Day, so they could spend some fun time together.  They flew in from Nashville, yesterday, so they were both pretty tired, but were right on time this morning when I picked them up from the White Caps Motel. 

The forecast was looking really good, and other than the thick haze that hung over all the land masses, so we couldn't see anything but water out there, it was a very nice day.

Waves were 1 foot or less much of the morning, and then, the wind laid down even more as the morning went on.  

We launched at Mazurik's, (Thanks, Mark Greisbach, for dumping us in this morning! I appreciated it very much!), and headed east/northeast to look for fish. I didn't want to go west, because of the muddy water, and I didn't want to go straight north, due to the Mayfly hatch happening.

We started out in front of Cedar Point, over 37 feet of water with Bandits behind Off Shore boards and spoons on dipsies, but I realized it was going to be too much work for me, when every time I checked the dipsies, there was an itty-bitty hanging on it.  

I wasn't getting any help with setting rods this morning, so I figured it might be a good idea to head out to the Weather Buoy, with hopes that there would be larger fish out there that were hungry, so I wouldn't have to keep reeling little fish in, and throw them back.  

My crew was up for the 12 mile ride, so I brought everything in, and secured it, and off we went.  I didn't drive fast, because of my elderly passenger.   Even though he was spry, and in very good shape, for an 87-year-old, I felt it necessary to be extra cautious. So, we took our time, and eventually made it out to the line.

Again, we set up with Bandits behind the Off Shores at 70 to 90 back, with one at 50/40 w/2oz.  
Dipsies were set on the zero and three settings, with the zero settings set at 35 and 50, and the three settings at 65 and 80 back.

I was disappointed in the lack of fish marks shown on the Helix, when we started just west of the buoy, and were trolling towards it....right on the line. My screen was void of fish (Ugh!).  Two LEWT tournament boats were going by us in the opposite direction, about 25 yards south of me, and we watched them each pluck a fish from the Lake, and put it in their live wells.

"I think what we have here is a directional issue," I said. "What do you mean?", asked Janie. I explained, "Sometimes, the fish like to bite when their food is coming from a particular direction, and we don't seem to be going the direction they like, right now".  I started to make a turn, and halfway through it, the outer Bandit, which was a "Nitro Shad" color at 90 back, got bit. It was on the slow side of the turn. 

Another Nitro Shad, set on the same side with the 2oz snap weight also went back, so Janie was reeling that in while I took Paul's picture with the fish he just caught.
When I put my phone down to take the board off for Janie, I could tell the fish wasn't there anymore. "Hit and a miss," I said. "At least we know they like that color today," I added. 

We spent an hour over there, and I decided it was time to head back towards the west to try over there.

I stopped where I had fished two days ago, and there were a bunch of boats there, so we set up and headed to the west on our trolling pass. We would only catch one more keeper, on the three setting dipsey with a black/gold Ripplin Redfin at 65 back, and a couple shorts. We ran out of time.

It was not a stellar day for us, but they still had fun being together, and enjoying the lake. They both said they would like to come back and try it again another time, so that makes me happy. :)

I'm going to go out of Huron tomorrow, with my two day crew of a Father and Son team from Iowa. The weather is looking good for both of their days, and hopefully, we find some fish willing to bite. I may have to pull out the crawler harnesses, if the Mayflies are over there, too, but I'm hoping I don't have to.  Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls