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Juls WFA Blog

Day 3 with Bryon Haro 3/25/2020

by Capt Juls on 03/25/20

This was Bryon Haro's third day with me, so he already knew the morning routine, which allowed us to move faster and get on the water by 7am. The sky was just getting light, the temp was around 36 degrees, and the wind was calm to light and variable. Other anglers were pulling in the parking lot, getting things ready,  while others launched their boats.

The docks were pretty quiet when we launched though, so our timing was pretty good. There was only one other boat at the dock when I walked back from the parking lot.  Bryon's from MN, and has had several Ranger boats over the years, and has fished on the NWT and FLW Co Angler side for several years now too, so I was comfortable letting him pilot the boat while I parked the truck. 

Yesterday, when we had one hour left to fish, I asked Bryon, "Do you mind if we go over to Clinton Reef to check it out? It should be holding fish, if that water isn't too dirty". Bryon said, "Sure, let's go".  So, we ran over there and looked at the water. It was perfect. It was 42.5 degrees  (3 degrees warmer than it was by F can yesterday), the stain was the right mixing color and I could see just a little more than the cavitation plate.

We set up with Bandits 25/30/40  and 25/35/31 behind the Off Shore boards. Speed was 1.4-1.5mph 
Colors were:
Red Headed Wonderbread
Taco Salad
Pooh Bear Chart
Green Clown
RC Crush
And, one DHJ12 that you can see in my photo album on page 34. I don't know the name of the color and I'm too lazy to go searching for it.

Anywhoooo......Long story short...yesterday, we found an excellent bite over there. The fish were healthy chunkers from 3 to 8 pounds...and, hungry too! We had doubles and triples going and ended up with 15 nice fish in 1 hour.

I knew where we would be starting this morning...:)

I was thankful we were able to sneak away from the dock unnoticed, so we wouldn't have any followers. (Sometimes, it's nice to have a good spot all to yourself, if only for a day). With Bryon behind the wheel, we headed back to the same area....a whopping 3/4 mile from the launch. Bryon got the boat up on plane and a very short time later shut her down.  

We set up in the same area as we ended yesterday and waited for the fun to begin. It didn't. In the first hour we had two pull backs and two nice eaters...then, nothing. I was beginning to worry that the walleye had moved out. Then, I remembered the wind was from the east yesterday, and it might have moved them west. So I said, while pointing my finger,  "They might have moved west from here, let's just keep going that way".  

It wasn't much longer, when the chaos ensued! Doubles, triples, and a Quad all happened in short order. One of those fish was a big walleye that had a Lamprey attached to it too, which was a surprise to see. This is only the second or third one I've personally seen in my 21 years fishing Lake Erie.

We had our limit by 9am and then played catch photo and release for the next 4 hours. We were still hoping for a decent "Fish-O" to get a picture of, but we were running out of time. 

I was letting Bryon run the Ulterra at the time when I said, "Turn the boat south, and we'll see what happens". He was just getting out of the turn when the fast side of the boat's board went back. He looked at me, to question whether I wanted to reel one in too, and I said, "You're closest, you take it", and laughed. The last fish of the day was a fat 28 3/4 piggy. Not quite his personal best, which is 29 1/2 inches, but still a great fish to end the trip with.

Bryon had a great time, and I enjoyed these past three days very much too. It was very relaxing for me to have a very good fisherman in the boat. We caught 40+ fish today, and couldn't have asked for a better bite. 

After getting the fished cleaned over at Cutcher's in Oak Harbor, Bryon hit the road to get a few hours under his belt on his way back to Minnesota. 

I am now in the state lockdown mode with most others.

I will be resuming my charters on April 10th, unless something else happens that won't allow me to go.

So until then....I wish everyone good health and hope they stay safe from this virus.

And, so it goes...Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 2 with Bryon Haro 3/24/2020

by Capt Juls on 03/24/20

FYI:  I am shutting down my charters after tomorrow's trip with Bryon, until April 9th, due to the implemented State Lockdown here in Ohio. The lockdown is supposed to end April 6th. 

Today's trip was a fun one with Bryon. We easily caught upwards of 40 fish today, so it was a good time. We didn't get any piggies today though, but maybe we will tomorrow.

The wind was really light out of the ESE at 7:30, but it picked up a little more around 11am.

We set up a couple miles NW of the Catawba launch with Bandits 45 to 65 back at 1.0 - 1.1mph. and caught our 12 pretty quickly...and, then, we continued to play catch, photo, and release until 1:30pm.

Speed was 1.3-1.5mph

I'm fishing with Bryon again tomorrow and then I spend two weeks working in my gardens.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bryon Haro 3/23/2020

by Capt Juls on 03/23/20

Before I get to the fishing part of my blog, I'd like to just update you on the situation here in Ohio as far as the Corona Virus goes...The state is on lockdown, or "shelter in place" until April 6th.

1. I got word from both the ODNR and the Police that we are allowed to keep fishing. Just use common sense and keep space between you and use hand sanitizer. The state ramps are not planning on closing unless something drastically changes for the worst.

2. Like most other states now, our restaurants and bars are closed, but are still doing carry out and delivery for food.

3. Grocery stores and gas stations are open.

4. Hotels are iffy....some have closed and some are staying open for the time being. If you are coming in and have reservations someplace, you should call and find out what the status is for your stay.

Okay...now, for the fishing part of the report...

I only had one person today...Bryon Haro, so it was easy to keep space between us in a 21 foot Ranger. :)

We launched out of Catawba at 7:45 and headed towards the cans. The water was very stained, but I could still see the cavitation plate, so we stopped and set up with Bandits back anywhere from 35 to 65. We caught 4 small fish and I wasn't seeing the marks on the screen like I wanted to, so we headed north to a little cleaner water.

We stopped a little SW of Niagara and set a course with the Ulterra towards D can.
The marks up there were disappointing too. We did manage to catch two more there though, and they were a little chunkier than the ones to the south. 

The wind was picking up out of the NNE, and the clouds were spitting a cold rain, so you can imagine how enjoyable that is when the boards are not going back at a steady pace....sigh. 

Next stop was Starve. We picked up one fish there, but the marks were fantastic. The fish however were not cooperative to our offerings, so we headed back to the west and gave it another shot.  The bite was better there, but it wasn't fast and furious for us, as it sounded on the radio for some others.  Bandits back 40-60 over 23 foot of water was most productive for us.  Speed was anywhere from 1.2 to 1.7mph  There was no real pattern to dial in on today.

Water temp dropped from 40.0 degrees there last Thursday to 38.9 degrees today.

We managed our limit of eaters, and the biggest was a 26" fatty that hit after we already had 12 in the cooler, so we took a picture and sent her back to finish her journey to the spawning grounds.  We caught three or four more after we had our limit and then it was time to head in.

Bryon is a very good fisherman and has fished several NWT and FLW events on the Co Angler side, so we had a lot in common too. Despite the crappy weather, it was an enjoyable day on the water with him.  We are fishing together again tomorrow, and the weather forecast is better than it was today, so it's already better than it was today! Ha! ;)

We'll be launching out of Catawba again.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jim, Doug, and Chuck 3/19/2020

by Capt Juls on 03/19/20

I left the house this morning at 6:30 and headed straight for Catawba Park. I was meeting Jim, Chuck, and Doug there at 7:30. I figured I could wipe the dirty spray off the boat, before they got there. The roads were wet from all the rain we had last night.

The morning was quiet, there was no wind, and it was foggy. The visibility was maybe 1/2 mile. The air temp was around 37 degrees.  The parking lot was bustling with anglers walking back and forth from their trucks to the boats, getting ready to launch.  It's kind of weird talking to people right now, since we have "rules of engagement" that need to be followed...but, so it goes, eh?  Whattaya gonna do? All we can do is wash our hands and avoid getting it the best we can. Good luck to everyone! :)


After the G2 warmed up to temp we headed NW of the launch to the cans. I had prefished there the day before with Capt Jen, and did well, so I thought we would start there.  Well, we didn't stay there long...we only went 5 for 7 in the first pass, which seemed too long. There were a lot more patches of blank screen on the Helix than there was with fish on it. So, it was time to move.  

We headed over towards G and H cans and set up in 23' of water. Bandits were run 35/45/55/and 65 back and at one point or another they all caught fish. White bodied baits (RC Crush was our hot color today) along with Khaki, Humblebee, Purple Tiger, and Pooh Bear Chartreuse (another hot color today). Speed was 1.4-1.6mph

We caught our 24 and had several "hit and runs" that took the board back, but popped off a short time later.

The water temp got up to 40.0 degrees at 1:30 today, so that's a good sign that Spring is here. Woot! Woot!

The crew did a great job and learned a few things to take to use on Jim's boat when they are fishing together. Mission accomplished, so that makes me happy. :)

I am not fishing tomorrow. I won't be back out until Monday.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Chris, Lyle, and Steve 3/12/2020

by Capt Juls on 03/12/20

What a start to the morning. I left the house and had running lights on my trailer. I pulled into the gas station to fill the Ranger and left the truck running. I pulled away from the gas station and noticed that my running lights went out. I blew the fuse again...sigh. I'll have to figure this one out.

So, then, I drive over to the Country Inn and Suites to pick up my crew and realized that I never confirmed where they were staying when I talked to them yesterday. I just assumed they were there, because that's where they usually stay when Chris brings his own boat over from Wisconsin. Luckily, I was early as usual, and found out that they were at the Commodore Perry Inn, over by my house. I didn't want to drive all the way across town again with no trailer lights, so I called Chris and told him where I was and he said, "No problem. We'll meet you at Big Bopper's". That helped.  Apparently, I'm out of practice....I usually confirm where they are staying so I know where to pick them up. 

After a hearty breakfast, we headed over to Catawba to launch. The launch was busy, just as the night was lifting and the sky began to slowly brighten. 
It was a cloudy morning with a very slight ESE wind and the air temp was 41 degrees. The water clarity is cleaner than expected west of the islands, and pockets of fish are holding in the slightest of stained waters.

We had a steady slow bite at D can early this morning and went 8 for 10 there in a couple hours.  We ran Bandits on the starboard side and P-10's on the port side again. Bandits were run anywhere from 63' to a 100 back (unassisted), while the P-10's did their thing at 20/20 and 30/30 with a 1oz snap weight.  Speed was 1.1-1.2mph.

We discussed staying out there or going back to the south to an area we both hit yesterday... (they were with Capt Kevin yesterday). We chose the later.  The set up was the same. The colors were mostly white bodied baits with oranges, greens, purples and black. 

At one point we decided to try going faster rather than slower and I upped the power level on the Ulterra to 5 1/2-6 which pulled the boat at 1.5-1.6mph. Boom! A double within seconds of the baits speeding up! A P-10 at 30/30 pulled a porker 28" that we guesstimated at 9+ and maybe even 10 pounds because of the size of her belly. 

To make this long story short....we ended up with 21 of our 24 fish limit. We also missed 8 more that came unbuttoned before the board was off. 

The guys had a good time, and so did I. They are a lot of fun to fish with. Chris left me a bunch of Venison breakfast sausage too and everyone knows that makes me happy! :)

I'm not scheduled for another trip until Saturday the 22nd with a new customer, Pete Petros.  

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mark, Cassie, and Cassie's Papa 3/11/20

by Capt Juls on 03/11/20

Even though I was out fishing with friends in January and February of this year, today was the official start of my Lake Erie charters for the 2020 season. Woot! Woot!

Mark, who is the Produce Mgr over at our local Kroger store, his girlfriend Cassie, and Cassie's Dad David, met me at the Catawba Ramp for an 8am launch. They were right on time, and we got the Ranger in the water.

After letting the G2 warm up to temp, I got her up on plane and we headed out. It wasn't fast by any means, because there was a layer of fog we had to deal with this morning. With a course set to Starve Island, I kept a look out for silhouettes of boats in the edge of the fog, hoping that we didn't come upon one.  We didn't.

I slowed the boat when we got to the inside contour on the south side of the hole there. Using the "Legacy" iPilot option, the compass was set to a westerly direction as we traveled in from the east. Powering the Ulterra to level 4 we trolled away at a whopping speed of 1.1mph.

Bandits were run on the starboard side, while P-10's were run on the port side. The Bandits were set out at 100/80/75, 50/25 w/2oz, and the P-10's were 30/30 with 1oz or 2oz. Colors that caught today were: Barbie, RC Crush, a white one with a black dot on the side, and a green belly...a purple one with splotches of purple on the head and tail and a yellow/orange combo with black dots in the center...(I can't remember the names of all these colors...sigh). Oh, and Pooh Bear/Chart took a few fish too. :)

We caught 6 walleye there, but I didn't mark the kind of fish I'd usually like to, so we headed west next. We set up just east of F can, on that large contour that runs NW/SE through there, close to that can. I usually call that one, "The Highway"...I'm sure you can guess the reason why. ;)

We caught one there relatively quick, so I had high hopes for a better bite. I began to think it was not a good move.  And, just as I thought that, I see the Coast Guard boat flying up on my starboard stern. Three of us began to clear the boards on that side in case they wanted to come up to the boat. And, just as we started that, the boat came off plane, turned away, and got up and left again. I waved...one of them waved back.  We set the Off Shores back out to their marching positions and continued trolling.

I didn't like the cleaner water we were in, so the decision was made to go find a little dirtier water and some better marks and set up there.  While we were doing that, the USCG shows up again. We were both running mid 30's to low 40's. It was a crossing situation, I was the stand on vessel, and they kept coming. I sped it up, and they hit the blue light...I stopped...lol  No winning that one. No worries though, they just wanted to check my charter license and nothing more.  They asked how we were doing, and we said we had 7 walleye. He said, "That's the most I've heard of so far this morning". So, we were feeling pretty good that the slow bite was not only affecting us, and was happening to others.  He also asked that if I knew of any, or found out about any, illegal charters to let them know. They are cracking down, and I'm glad to see that! I told him I would, and with a wave, we went on our way.

I decided to go back to Starve since we did our best there, and hoped to repeat what we did earlier in the morning. Unfortunately, I think we only caught one more there and lost a board sinker before we even took the board off.  Meanwhile, I was given info from a friend to go back where we had left earlier, because that bite had turned on. So we did.  The fog was beginning to lift so we could see land and blue pockets of sky, which put us all in a good mood. We hurried back to the west and set up.

We had enough time for a 1/2 mile pass from the NE to the SW before the crew had to get back to the dock....we caught 5 more relatively fast, and lost one. The best performers were the Bandits at 63 back and the Barbie P-10's at 30/30 1 oz.

We ended the trip with 13

Water temp was 35.6 on my Helix today.

They had a good time and were happy to just be outside and fishing. They caught some fish for a fish fry, and as an add bonus, they spent some quality time with family. They were a lot of fun to fish with too. Very relaxing and calm. My favorites. :)

Speaking of favorites...tomorrow, I have a charter with one of my previous customers, Chris Utter, and his friends. I'm sure those of you that know me, or follow my blog,  knows about the venison breakfast sausage Chris brings me each spring to make my biscuits and gravy. It's the best! Anyway....I'll be fishing with them tomorrow. My friend, Capt Kevin, had them today. 

The weather looks like it's going to be pretty darn nice tomorrow. I hope everyone gets a chance to get out and enjoy it too.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

The New Ranger is Here and Ready to Go! :)

by Capt Juls on 02/17/20

I picked up the new Ranger 621 FS Pro back on the 7th, and got some aftermarket things installed, and she's ready to go!

The EZEESteps are on, so it makes getting in and out of the boat easier and safer for my customers, and myself. :) 

The MoDog Running Rod Rack is installed, so it makes running with rods out of the rod locker safer for my rods.

The Cisco Rod Holders are all set up in the tracks and ready to rock and roll. 

She's gassed up and the 300 G2 has a full tank of oil in her, and all my gear for the spring bite is loaded.

I do have one last thing to install next Monday, and that's the Evinrude Nautilus 3.5 gauge that needs to be installed on the dash, so I have engine info at my fingertips. 
The new RIDE touch screen system that Ranger is using doesn't allow the Evinrude's to display any engine info, like the ICON or Nautilus does.  The RIDE system will show engine temp, RPMs, and allow me to manually trim from the touch screen, but it doesn't give me the auto trim, and any alert messages.
The Nautilus will give me back my auto trim and just give me the peace of mind of knowing exactly what is happening with my motor at all times. 

As I understand it, the new RIDE is most compatible with Mercury's and Lowrance Electronics, since that's what Ranger pushes. But, I like my ETEC's and my Humminbird's....so, a rebel I will remain! Ha!

If anyone is looking to book a Lake Erie Walleye trip this spring with me, here are the open dates as of today (2/17/2020)...

March: is dependent on if there is ice or not....so, the days I've already booked are the following: 22, 25, 28, 29 30, 31  Other dates in March might be workable depending on the weather.

April Open Dates: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30

May Open Dates: FULL

June Open Dates: 4, 5, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25th thru the 30th

July Open Dates: Everything except the following: 6, 13, 14, 16, 17

August Open Dates: Everything except the following: 6th thru the 16th

Sept. Open Dates: Everything except the following: 18, 21, 22, 23, 24

The fishing should be pretty phenomenal this season, so if you want in on some of this Lake Erie fun...book your trip sooner than later! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing for the Heck of it...1/28/2020

by Capt Juls on 01/28/20

Headed out this morning at 11:30 from Huron with my friend, Jenn Weiland. She's the "Her" part in "H & H Charters" (His and Hers). 

The wind was from the WNW at about 5mph, which put a small chop on the lake's surface. I pointed the Ranger's nose into the waves and drove about 3 miles into them.  The Helix was marking fish the entire way, so my hopes were high for a decent bite.

With the Ulterra deployed, and a speed set to 1.2-1.3mph, I set a course for an ESE troll from the WSW side of the Huron Dumping grounds. We started in 37 feet of water and trolled out to 40 feet. Keeping the waves on the port side corner of the stern. That allowed the speed to be controlled easier.

Our program was, Bandits 70-100' back, unassisted, and also 50/24 w/1oz. We narrowed down the program to 70-75 back unassisted with the 50/24 1oz set up too.  We went 12 for 14 in just under 3 hours. White bodied bates with green and orange on them seemed to outperform the darker baits today.

The water was a bit stained, but not so bad that you didn't think you could catch something in it. I didn't even look at the water temperature on the Helix, so I don't know exactly what it's reading right now...sorry.

The Huron ramp was wide open with no floating ice anywhere. There was wood debris by the ramp, but it's not that bad either. The water is nasty though and will leave a dirty scum line on your boat. :(

We are expecting light winds all week, and temps in the mid 30's. The nights will be colder, however, and with light winds, that's a recipe for skim ice at the ramps in the mornings.  I have a feeling though, there will be boats going out all week, as the winds look fantastic until Saturday afternoon. Sunday is supposed to start blowing again.

Jenn and I had a good time, and it felt great to be back on the water today. Woot! Woot! :)

So, if any of you are able to get out there the rest of this week....it will be a pretty good bite all week, I think. Good luck and be safe if you go! :)

Not sure when I'll be out again.....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing for "Back to the Wild" Wildlife Rescue 1/15/20

by Capt Juls on 01/15/20

This morning I drove the jeep over to Jenn's house so we could hook my Ranger up to her Yukon, because I didn't know if the ramps would be icy or not, and she has 4WD. My old Excursion is only 2WD.  

I took the dogs with me, so they could hang out with her two dogs while she and I fished today. We were meeting John Thompson, who drove down from the Detroit area, to fish with us too.

We left Catawba ramp around 8am and headed over towards G Can. Once there, I turned the boat and let the Ulterra troll us back towards Catawba at a whopping 1.3 mph.  The water temp was 34.7 degrees.

We started out with Bandits on one side and P-10's on the other. The Bandits were on the starboard side at 45/55/65 back unassisted behind Off Shore boards. The P-10's were at 30/30 1oz, 30/40 1oz, and 25/25 2oz. The Bandits were catching fish, but the P-10's didn't do anything, so we didn't waste any time changing them out to Bandits too.

Colors that caught fish today were: Buck Fever, Green Flash, Pooh Bear Chartreuse, Red Headed Wonderbread, Huff Daddy Chrome, Fire Tiger, and two I can't remember the names of...and, I'm too tired to go searching for them on the internet. ;)

There was a light fog on the lake, but visibility was pretty good. There was absolutely no wind when we started, and that lasted for about an hour and a half, until a SE wind began to whisper its approach. A 1/2 hour later it was blowing around 10mph...putting a little chop on the water's surface.

The water was muddy inside near the ramp, so I was worried that maybe we launched out of the wrong ramp and should have gone north of Kelly's, but a mile out it was looking very fishable. The water was stained, but I could still see my cavitation plate and prop on the G2. 

The purpose of today's trip was to catch some walleye to take over to the "Back to the Wild" Wildlife Rescue in Castalia, OH to help feed the birds of prey, and other furry critters that like to eat fish.  

We only fished three hours and headed back in with 11 of the 15 walleye we had on today. They were perfect eaters, and the size the Eagles would normally grab with their talons, if they were able to go fishing too.  

After saying thank you and goodbye to John, Jenn and I headed back to her house to take care of the dogs, and change our clothes, before heading over to the rescue center with our catch.

Neither of us had ever been to the center, so it was a real treat to get a tour of the place while someone took the cooler of fish in back to do what they do with them.
They were kind enough to wash out my cooler before putting it back out by the truck for us too! :)

They have a really nice place out there, and are always in need of food, supplies, and monetary donations. They are a non-profit that runs completely on the generosity of good hearted people. The tour was very interesting and informative, and I highly recommend a visit there for anyone that wants to see what they are all about, and how well they take care of the animals. 

Many are rehabilitated and set back out in the wild, while others are injured in some way, and can never be released. One of the 7 Eagles they had was a 28 year old female they've had for 17 years now. She cannot be released back into the wild, because she is blind in both eyes, due to a bout with the West Nile Virus. They nursed her back to health, and now she lives a very peaceful life with the best of care.

We didn't see everything, because we were both starving, and it was getting chilly out, but what we did see was very cool. There were several owls and hawk varieties, a Bob Cat, an Arctic Fox, a Crow, Great Blue Heron, some Ducks, and of course, the Eagles.

They said that they really appreciate getting fresh fish, and that what doesn't get put out right away is put in the freezer for a later use. They ask, however, that if anyone does bring them fish that the fish not be a "bottom feeder".  

So, from now on, I will start keeping those eater sized Sheepshead and White Bass, and take them over to the rescue. Castalia is about 20 minutes from the lake, so it's not a huge inconvenience to drop some fish off for them from time to time. :)

It takes a lot of work, dedicated workers, and money/supplies to run a place like that, so if you find you have an extra dollar you can donate, to help them help the wildlife....please click the donate button below this post to do a good deed. Thank You!!!

The Cleveland Boat and Fishing Show starts tomorrow and runs through Monday the 20th. The weather is turning crappy again, so I don't see any more fishing for me anytime soon, but if it changes...I'll let you know! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tom and Bob 12/28/19

by Capt Juls on 12/28/19

Tom and Bob drove in from Cincinnati this morning and were meeting me at Mazurik's for an 8am launch. The Ranger was already gassed up, so I only needed to get some ice for the fish cooler, and hit Big Bopper's for some breakfast, before heading to the ramp. 

As I was leaving Bopper's, I got a phone call from Tom at 7:15 stating they were at Rt2 and 250 in Sandusky. I said, "You're only 20 minutes out", and headed to the ramp to get the boat ready for the day's trip. I was happy to see there wasn't any ice at the ramp this morning, but bummed that I went to the trouble of securing a friend's 4WD Yukon, because my Excursion is only 2WD. (Thanks Jenn Wieland!) Better safe than sorry though...I've done the ice thing before and it isn't fun.

It was still dark at 7:20 as I readied things. The boat was unstrapped from the trailer, the Ulterra turned on, kicker motor was put up, the G2's built-in "transom" saver was disengaged, the Humminbird's were turned on, the radio was turned on, and the rods were pulled from the rod locker and set up with the baits we would start out with.

As I waited for my crew to show up, I helped other guys in line move their rigs up, so the line didn't back up too far, and bottleneck by the big tree...if you've launched there before...you know the tree I speak of. ;)
We also discussed fishing results from yesterday and game plans for today. 

My crew finally arrived at 8am, and we launched. The sky was gray and the air was heavy with fog that had a 3-4 mile visibility. The air temp was 35 degrees, and the water temp was 34.3 degrees (or, it might have been 33.4...I can't remember). There was just the tiniest of breezes out of the SE putting small a ripple on the lake.
We headed NW out of Mazurik's, where I fished a few weeks ago with friends.  I had marked fish there yesterday, as I passed over the hole, while running from one spot to another, but didn't stop there.  

We started with a "24 Karat" P-10 on each of the outside Off Shore boards...run at 30/30 1oz. A Red Headed Wonder bread Bandit 100 back unassisted ran on the starboard side, a "Pooh Bear Chart" Bandit 100 back UA was on the port side, an IB Frozen Bandit at 50/24 1oz ran on the port side, and a "I can't remember what color it was" Bandit also ran on the 50/24 program on the starboard side. :)

Everything eventually caught fish and we had 9 in the box and released 3 18" fish in the first two passes. It was a fun morning, but when the bite slowed a bit (as more boats worked the small area along that south edge contour with me), I decided to go back to the area I fished yesterday with Steve and Jeremy, and look at some different scenery.

 We headed to the west side of Catawba and set up with P-10's 30/30 on the starboard side, while Tom pulled out his box of lures he brought along to try. Both sides of the boat were catching fish and a couple of times we had doubles on. It was a nice steady bite today and the guys had a good time.

Tom set up this trip, and brought along his cousin Bob. Bob, is a Captain too...he said he had just retired and sold his 13 boat fleet down in Cabo. That's pretty freak'n awesome (that he had that life, I mean...not that he retired). Tom said he's been fishing this lake for 30 years, and was happy to get out today. It's not often you get to fish Lake Erie at the end of December, so it was nice to get the opportunity. 

Looks like I'll be off the lake all week, so it's back to abusing my body at the gym to remove all the Christmas goodies I ate this past week, and walking the dogs.....deep sigh.

The Ranger is back in heated storage until the next weather break that allows me out on the water again. So until then, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy, Safe, and Successful New Year!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jim Renaldo 12/7/19

by Capt Juls on 12/07/19

I woke up at 3am this morning, and thought about what I was going to do today. I was meeting Jim Renaldo at Mazurik's at 7:30. I grabbed a cup of coffee and took the dogs out back to do their thing. I took a quick look at the wind forecast, and smiled. I like it when the colors are light blue, because that means it's less than 10 mph out of whatever direction it's blowing. This morning it was a turning wind. It blew yesterday out of the WNW, and then, overnight, it laid down and calmed right down. 

I  was coffee'd out and decided to leave the house at 5:30, so I could head over to Mazurik's early and spread 3 gallons of a 5 gallon bucket of salt across the three easily accessible lanes (docks are out and blocking the first ramp), so when I got there later it wouldn't be all ice. My Excursion is only 2WD, unfortunately.

The temps were only in the high 20's, and wouldn't warm up to 35 degrees until around noon.

After I did that...I headed over the Big Bopper's to meet Jenn and Matt Wieland for breakfast. We normally all hit the gym together in the mornings, but since I was going fishing, we had breakfast together instead. They would hit the gym without me today...(oh darn...lol)

Jim drove in from the Akron area, and was early. I got a text while I was eating breakfast telling me that he saw my boat at Bopper's on his way in, and would meet me at the ramp....he was 45 minutes early (6:45).  The sunrise wasn't supposed to happen until 7:45, so I planned on launching at 7:30. I finished my breakfast and headed over to Mazurik's at 6:50.

There were already several other boats in the get-ready lanes, unstrapping their boats, rigging rods, and putting their cold weather suits on. I pulled up as far as I could and got out to do the same.  It was still dark enough to need our navigation lights, so I plugged mine in after the Ranger was backed into the water.

After picking Jim up from the courtesy dock, we idled out of the ramp area as the 300 G2 warmed up to 120 degrees. I hit the throttle and we headed north to the north side of Kelly's. I kept an eye on the Helix as we drove out and didn't mark a single fish. Hmmmm....that's odd.  After stopping to get the sunrise picture, so I could say, "Good morning" to my Facebook peeps, we drove on. 

I stopped in North Bay, thinking that because it was still so early, those big fish might be in shallow. We marked some good fish, but there weren't a lot of marks....not enough to keep me there after running some P-10's for a while though. After thinking out loud, "Yesterday, was a WNW wind, so this area might be dirty..we won't really know until it gets light out, and we can see the water", I said. Jim agreed. So, instead of just turning the boat north to deeper water, we picked everything up and headed to the east side of Kelly's, near "Airport Reef", where I was the last time out.

The water temp in 30' of water in North Bay was 34 degrees. The water temp on the east side of Kelly's was 38 degrees.

There were great marks there, so we set up with Bandits on one side and P-10's on the other. The Helix was showing fish all over the water column, so I thought it would be a great bite.  Nothing.
We fished that area for a couple of hours, trying different baits, speeds, colors, etc. Nothing.

I could see the cavitation plate, so I didn't think it was too bad, and probably stayed longer than I should have.  We left and headed back to the north of Kelly's. 

As I drove by the NE corner of Kellys and the southeast end of Kelly Island Shoal, I turned and drove up the west side of the shoal. There were fish stacked from 35-48 foot of water....and, the water was cleaner. I had a better feeling than where we were prior.

We ran Bandits anywhere from 35 back to 50/50/ with a 2oz Guppie weight and varied the speed from 1.2mph to 2.0mph. 1 P-10 was running with a 1oz Guppie aat 30/30 too. 
Once we found some fish to bite...every presentation took a fish in short order. The speed was 1.4-1.5 when they hit, and that was an east to west trolling pass from the middle green can on the shoal to the hump between the shoal and Gull Island Shoal.  The water temp there was 37 degrees.

We would only catch 9 fish today, and they all came out of the one spot near the hump that we kept turning around on. IB Frozen was our hot color today, as it took most of the fish. (By the way, we didn't keep any fish today as he didn't need any and I didn't either, so it was their lucky day. They got a kiss and were sent back to grow a little bigger. We didn't get any big fish today. They were all just good eaters. :)

The weather is changing for a few days next week and it's going to get cold. So, my boat is now resting comfortably in heated storage until the weather breaks and the conditions allow another venture out on Lake Erie. :)

I have a couple of people that still want to get out if the weather and lake allow, so if that happens, it happens....if not, I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful winter.  I hope you have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! And, if you read this, but don't celebrate Christmas....Happy Holidays to you! I wish everyone safe winter travels, and I hope to see you next season! 

Reservations for the 2020 season have begun and I couldn't be happier with how many have already signed up. I just want to thank all of you! I look forward to fishing with you next spring! Woot! Woot!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Chris and Kelly Literski 11/29/19

by Capt Juls on 11/29/19

Chris and Kelly drove a little over 2 hours this morning, coming in from MI, and met me at the house at 6:50am. We headed over to Anchor's Away to pick up the Ranger, and then on to Mazurik's where we launched at 7:30.

I figured the water would be dirty over by Starve Island after the NW winds yesterday, where I had been fishing the past two outings, so I headed to the east side of Kelly's this time. I wasn't marking the fish like I had hoped, so I kept going north along the outside edge of Airport Reef and up to the southeast side of Kelly Island Shoal. The Helix lit up with some good marks in between the two spots, so we set up and started trolling NW. 

Bandits were run at anywhere from 65 to 120 back unassisted, and 50/50 with a 2oz Guppie weight...at 1.5-1.8mph. The marks on the Helix ran out pretty fast going that direction, so we made a turn to go back to the SE, and ran across them again. We picked up a little walleye on the 50/50 rig sporting a Red Head Bandit.

As we maneuvered around the area of Airport Reef...staying in 40-43' of water...we picked up a fish here and there. It was not a fast bite today for us, and we only ended up with 17 fish in the box, with the biggest being a fat 25 incher.

It was a decent day to be on the water today...light north wind with waves 1 foot or less, cloudy skies, and an air temp in the mid to high 30's. The sun popped out once, and it felt like it warmed up 10 degrees, but that was short lived when it disappeared behind the clouds again. The water temp was 40 degrees.

I have canceled the next three scheduled charters due to the wind forecast and temps. Good luck to those die hards looking to win a boat or big cash this weekend....please don't push the limits, and stay safe. No amount of money can replace you amongst your family and friends. 

My next scheduled trip is next Saturday....

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Capt Jenn and Capt Eric 11/26/19

by Capt Juls on 11/26/19

Today, I took Capt Jenn Wieland and Capt Eric Litton out for a day of Brawl'n and just plain old "fun fishing".

Jenn met me at my house and we drove over to Anchors Away Marina, where my Ranger is happily sitting in heated storage, to pick it up and go gas her up. We stopped in Hi Way Bait to see if they had a Bandit color I was looking for to replace one I lost last Saturday. Then, we headed to Mazurik's to meet Eric.

Eric showed up a little before 8am, so we were launched by 8. After warming up the 300 G2 to its recommended temp of 120 degrees we headed out. I headed back to Starve Island, where Jenn, Matt, and myself fished last Saturday.  The fish were stacked in there last weekend, and I was hoping they were still there. They were.

Down went the Ulterra and the "Baby ETEC" to set a trolling pass from the east to the west along the 40' contour on the south side of the deep hole there.

Bandits were set at 120 back on the outside Off Shore boards...unassisted. The middle boards had 91 back on the starboard side and 50/50 w/2oz on the port side. The inside boards had 50/65 w/2oz on the port side and 50/50 w/2oz on the starboard side.  (Speed was 1.5-1.7 into the current and 1.7-2.0 going with the current.)

I don't remember all the names of the colors we used, but the color didn't really seem to matter. We had dark bodies, white bodies, and colorful bodies out there and they all took fish. 

We lost another one of my favorite Bandits when the decision for a net was decided against, and the line snapped when the bigger than we thought fish was lifted. I just hope she wasn't hooked bad and was able to drop the bait, eventually, so it doesn't interfere with her eating or breathing for that matter. That always makes me feel bad. :(

We had a very good bite going on and had our 3 person limit in short order. If one board went back there was usually one or two more that wanted to come visit us in the boat.  We released a lot of fish today and caught close to 40 fish (I lost count) in the 5 hours we fished. It did slow down around noon though. 

The weather was absolutely beautiful today with a light wind around 3-5mph out of the SW. The morning was sunny, with a temp in the 40's to low 50's, but the clouds rolled in around 11:30 and cooled it off a few degrees. The jackets were on and off all day long. 

We didn't catch any giants, but they were a good selection for the freezer. The fish were 18" up to 27" and on the chunky side. 

I heard of two 13 pound walleye caught today, but neither one was in the Fall Brawl. (Sucks to be them right now...heheh). For 30 bucks they could have had a chance at a new boat or wads of cash. Oh well....maybe they will re-think that next fall. :)

I have a trip this Friday, but haven't really decided if I am driving to launch out of Huron or stick to launching out of Mazurik's. I guess I'll decide that morning when I factor in all the conditions. I'm leaning towards Mazurik's though, since everyone will have off on Friday and it's the last weekend for the Brawl, so I'm guessing Huron will be a zoo.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 11/18/19

by Capt Juls on 11/18/19

Last night the winds were calm and the temps were in the 30's. The sky had cloud cover so the lake would be dark, and the fish might not feed as well as they did during the full moon. Today I would be fishing with my regulars, Steve and Jeremy Chapman. I found out while we were fishing, that this was a present from Jeremy, to his Dad, for Steve's Birthday. :)

We were launching out of Mazurik's this morning, because I didn't think Huron would clean up enough overnight last night. 

I had gotten a call from Capt Eric Litton this morning with some info. Now, understand, I would tell you the location if it was mine to give...especially, since it's November and there aren't that many boaters out there as in comparison to the seasonal months with charters. So, helping you is what I like to do. But, I'm not going to give someone else's info to you, since it's not mine to give. Sorry!

I can tell you we started in 41 feet of water and made an easterly trolling pass. With the "Baby ETEC" and the Ulterra working together to keep us on course at 1.6-1.9 mph, we got busy setting lines.

We ran Bandits 90-120 back. Chrome Bandits ran on the starboard side and White bodied baits ran on the port side. "Anger Management", 'IB Frozen', and 'Buck Fever are the chromes and Red Headed Wonderbread, Fruit Dots, and RC Crush were the whites.

We only had 5 of the 6 Off Shore boards out when the first board went back with a tug and some wiggles. Anger Management at 120 back was the first to take a fish. While Jeremy was reeling in that one, the middle board not he port side went back (RC Crush at 100 back) "Get that fish Papa", I said pointing to the port side. Then, the fire drill began. Another board was going back (IB Frozen at 110 back). We netted Jeremy's fish...and, then, he picked up the rod with the third fish on and started reeling (That one was the Buck Fever at 100 back). Steve's fish came in and then another board went back (the Fruit Dots Bandit at 110 back).

We had one board in the water, but soon, it too would go back and we now had 5 fish in the boat and no rods in the water. We never could get 6 rods out and most times it was only 3 before we got busy again. We caught our 3 person limit in approximately an hour and half, and had also thrown back 3 18" walleye, so they could get bigger.

Steve had great weather, great fishing, great catching and a lot of laughs for his birthday, and said it was one of the best days on the lake, and that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow and Wednesday look really good for fishing, but I'm not booked for either day, so I don't think I'll be out.  My next scheduled trip is Saturday.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Marc Miller, Cody, and Conner

by Capt Juls on 11/18/19

The parking lot was 1/2 full already, and the get-ready lanes were full too. I could feel an air of excitement around me as I stepped out of the truck to go free the straps that bind my gal to the trailer, and turn everything on. 

I met my crew at Huron for a 9AM launch, but they showed up early, so we were able to head out at 8:30. 

The ramps were ice free at 30 degrees, thanks to the guys from "Fish Huron" and "The Church of Perch", who put buckets of salt down there for everyone to use. Thanks guys! I'll get a bag to help replenish it if I'm that way again soon. :)

The lake was muddy. The temp in the river was 38 degrees and the lake temp was 42.2 degrees. It was the color of chocolate milk and had a steady roll coming in from the ENE. The wind was out of the SSE at 8-10mph, so it was creating a weird current too.

I ran over to the Vermilion area first, and marked a ton of fish in the 36-40' range, so we set up. I didn't have a good feeling though, because of the water clarity. I couldn't even see my cavitation plate on the motor. We ran three Off Shore inline boards per side and started with Bandits at 90-100 back, unassisted on the outside boards... and, then, 50/50, 50/75 with 2oz Guppie weights on the two inside boards.  Colors were Red Headed Wonderbread, Fruit Dots, RC Crush, and Red Head. 

We caught nothing.

I decided to make a move to the north until we found cleaner water. We hit the 29/24 line and the Helix lit up with fish. They were deep. I felt better that the water was cleaner, but the fact that they were so close to the bottom had me thinking they were in a negative mood at the moment. We set up with the same program and colors and crossed our fingers. The radio chatter gave me the impression it was slow for most out of those who went out of Huron.

Marc said, "Conner has never caught a walleye before, and he's been trying from the piers lately, but hasn't had any luck yet. I hope we can get at least one for him". The pressure was on...just like on a tournament day, when you know you have to produce, or make excuses. lol

Luckily we caught two fish in that spot, so Conner can officially say he's caught a walleye now.  Conner wasn't feeling well from the NE rollers and was fighting nausea as well as he could. He was a trooper though and hung in there. I decided to move again. 

This time, we headed to the area out from the airport on Kelly's in 44 feet of water. Again, lots of marks, but this time the water was a little cleaner. I had higher hopes for producing results in this area than the previous ones, but we would only catch one more eater.

At 2:00 it appeared the fish were moving up in the water column, which usually indicates they are ready to start eating again, but we had run out of time and had to head back in. They all said they enjoyed the day fishing, and were ready to go. Conner wasn't going to argue, even though he was feeling better than he did earlier, so we packed it all up and ran back to the launch with our near empty cooler. lol

At the ramp, I heard the same from everyone else too. "We only got 1", said the guy putting his boat on the trailer next to us. Another guy said they got 3, and another said they got skunked. The most I had heard of during the day was 8.

Oh well...tomorrow is another day!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bob and Bruce Brenton 11/6/19

by Capt Juls on 11/06/19

Bob and Bruce drove in from MI this morning and met me at my house at 7am. We headed to town for the usual gas up and bait/ice pick up, and then over to Mazurick's to launch. We hit the water at 7:45 and only had to wait about 5 minutes for the ETEC to warm up to temp before I could put the Ranger up on plane.

The lake was flat this morning, but for a few rollers from the WNW, as we headed to the east side of Kelly's. We had missed the sunrise from the water, which was too bad, because the sunrise was gorgeous this morning! The air temp was a cold 32 degrees with a 10mph south wind.  

(The water temp was 47.7 degrees in the morning and 48.1 degrees at 1:45PM when we came back in.)

We stopped up on the NE corner of Kelly's Island in 37-38' of water first. It was actually that spot from my first day with Mary and Nancy last week, where I said the current was busting through there and it wasn't until the end of the day when I realized we should have stayed in that first spot and used heavier weights.

Well, today that spot didn't have that same current, so the regular 1oz weight was enough. I had marked some perchy looking marks on the Helix, so I deployed the Ulterra and hit the Spot Lock button. As the Ulterra made the usual adjustments to point the bow into the wind and hold us on that spot, I got the boat ready for fishing. Towels laid, minnows given to each of us, and rods handed out. 

I dropped the weight down and hit bottom and found a soft bottom. I prefer the harder bottom or rocky areas when I'm perch'n....that's not to say, you can't catch perch on a soft bottom, you can. I just prefer the harder bottom. :)

We didn't get bit in the first 10-15 minutes, so we left and headed north to the green buoy on the NE corner of the shoal. I didn't mark a lot, but there were some marks over a good rocky bottom. so we set up again.  

Gobies.....huge stinking Gobies....deep sigh. Bob caught a rock too. lol

I headed south again, towards the lighthouse, keeping an eye on the Helix as we rode there, hoping to find a school of gold on the way. We didn't. I didn't see anything at the lighthouse either, so I turned the boat and headed west to the Lakeside Pier area.  There were 6 or 7 boats not too far off the pier, but I was another 1/2 mile outside of them.  I saw some marks in one of my spots from last week, so we set up again.


I looked to the west again and headed to Mouse Island. We set up in 30 feet of water just off the north side of the island. Finally...we found some that would bite. It was a slow bite, and we only caught 32, and one bonus 3 pound walleye in that spot, but we stayed there. A few more boats come over to try there too, but I don't know if it was just a pack mentality, or if they knew something I didn't know. lol
I'm guessing it was just a tough perch bite today, and people were just looking around like I was... and came over  by us hoping there was a bite.

Bob and Bruce had a good time, and so did I. It was a fun day, and that makes me happy! :)

Hopefully, the next scheduled dates won't be canceled due to wind/weather. Bob and Bruce were booked for 4 days, but will be rescheduling three of them to the 2020 fall season instead.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Day Two Fishing with Mary and Nancy 10/29/19

by Capt Juls on 10/29/19

I picked my crew up at 6am from the White Caps Motel and we headed into town to gas up the truck, pick up minnows and ice from Hi Way Bait, and stop off at Bopper's for some breakfast. (I know, I previously said that we would be hitting Berardi's in Huron for breakfast, but they didn't open until 7am, so it was a timing thing. Besides, Big B's has Pumpkin Pancakes with caramel sauce and whipped cream right now....and, just for the record, they are delicious!)

After breakfast we headed to Huron to launch and were at the mouth of the river just in time for the sunrise....timing is everything....and, it's a good way to start my day off on a good note. lol

The plan was to find some piggy perch over by the Castle, or near Vermilion, where I was last Friday. 

The Helix wasn't showing me much when we passed out in front of the Castle though. There were a few boats there already, but I didn't see them doing much at that time, so I headed to Vermilion to check it out.  The Helix showed about the same marks that were there this past Friday, but we only caught 3 there, and they were not pigs like the last time. Well...one was...but, the other two were just your average 8-9 inchers.

I asked Mary and Nancy if they wanted to go try to do some walleye fishing, as they had never trolled for walleye before. They were both interested, so I pulled out the trolling rods and Off Shore boards while they kept fishing.  When I was ready, I turned the Spot Loc off and turned the Ulterra's head 90 degrees, to turn us around, so we could head east. We were 1/2 way between Vermilion and the Castle by this time.

I set the speed at 1.5-1.6 mph. We ran 6 Bandits out 100-117 back (unassisted) behind the boards, targeting the suspended fish in the 19-20 foot range over 35 to 36 feet of water. The water temp was still 55 degrees today, so it didn't go down any since yesterday. 

Mary and Nancy did very well in learning how to attach the boards, and set them out in marching soldier fashion. I explained what they will do when a fish is on, and, then, how to bring in a board from its place in the line up. They did very well, and learned quickly. They seemed to enjoy it too, so that made me happy. :)

The Bandits colors that worked for us today were: Red Headed Wonderbread, Black Headed Wonderbread, RC Crush, Golden Boy, and Blue/Chrome. 

After we put 10 nice chunky walleye in the box, we went to see if the perch bite had turned on more as the day progressed, but we would only catch a few more. I think there were a total of 7 or 8 perch today, so that was a bit disappointing.  If we wouldn't have wasted so much time this morning looking for perch to bite, we could have easily gotten our 3 person limit on walleye in less than two hours, and, then, gone to find some perch. But, we all know how that goes, eh? lol

The walleye bite was very good, and the walleye bellies are getting plumper each and every day. I can't wait for next spring to come already. It's going to be a great year next year....barring any bad weather, of course.

My trip for tomorrow has been rescheduled to the 2020 season.  And, my next charter is scheduled for Monday. But, as of right now, the wind forecast is not favorable, so....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mary and Nancy 10/28/19

by Capt Juls on 10/28/19

Mary and Nancy drove in from Columbus this morning and were to meet me at Mazurik's at 7:30. I had left early this morning, so I would arrive there at 7am. I wanted to tie up some crappie rigs for our perch trip today. They had beat me there and were a 1/2 hour early!  But, because they are women...it didn't surprise me one bit, and it made me chuckle, because it seems I'm usually waiting for men to arrive on time. ;)

It was still dark, so I said we would be waiting until it lightened up, and that I was going to tie up some new rigs for the rods.

By the time I was done, another Ranger owner pulled in the get ready lanes, so I asked if one of them would dump us in, so the ladies didn't have to help me. They were kind enough to dump us and go park my truck for me. Thank you to whoever you were! Much appreciated! :)

We headed to the northeast of Kelly's to perch fish, and set the Spot Loc on the Ulterra in a spot that the Helix was showing fish on the bottom. But, the current up there was tremendous and the lines were almost horizontal, so we changed locations to the "Stone Dock" on the NW corner of the island.

We caught a bunch of small perch, some sheep, and some white perch there. I decided to move north towards Gull Island Shoal and try by the buoy. My Ulterra was acting unlike it ever has though, and instead of pointing me into the wind, like it's supposed to, it had me stern into the wind, and left me scratching my head. I couldn't figure it out.

We moved again, back down towards the stone dock, but moved out to deeper water this time. The first time, we set up in 27 feet of water. This time we were in 34 feet. We caught some small ones again along with some keeper sized fish too.  They were not coming fast though. On the bright side though....the Ulterra seemed to be working like its supposed to.

I kept looking to the west, and wondering how dirty the water had gotten after the blow. Yesterday, when I looked from shore, while driving into town along the lakefront, the water looked muddy out there, so I was hesitant to go that distance only to find it was not fishable.  I asked the gals, "Feel like taking a ride to the west? If the water isn't bad, we should be able to find some that are more willing to bite." "Let's go!", said Nancy, and Mary agreed. So, we headed to the E and D can area.   Long story short....we bombed there. lol

I headed over towards Mouse Island only to find more of that swift current. I dug some heavier weights out of the box and had the ladies put them on to see if that would get the baits down in a more vertical fashion....and, it did.  After doing that though, I was kicking myself inside, because I hadn't thought of putting a heavier weight on in the first spot this morning....duh!

There were a lot of marks on the Helix in that Mouse area, but I think they might have been shad and not perch, because something should have hit, or been snagged if those had been perch.  We moved over to the Lakeside spot I had used a couple times in the past couple of weeks, and we found some decent sized ones to put in the box.  Nancy finished off the morning with a big fish. She thought it was a sheepshead, so I kept fishing. Then, I looked over the side and said, "OMG, it's a good walleye! I'll get the net". Nancy had hooked a nice 5 pounder, and in the box it went, much to her delight.

I will be fishing with Mary and Nancy again tomorrow. It looks like the last nice day of the week, so we're going to  head over to Huron and go out of there in the morning.  We'll stop for breakfast at Berardi's before heading the ramp at 7:30.

In case you're wondering, the water temp was only one degree cooler than this past Friday and registered in at 55.3 degrees.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 10/25/19

by Capt Juls on 10/25/19

I left the house at 6:15am this morning, to meet my crew over in Huron at 7:30. After hitting the gas station to gas up the Ranger, and Rickard's Bait for some minnows, I headed east down Rt 2.

I got to the launch at 7:05 and shot Jermey a text asking what their ETA was. He said they were 20 minutes out. That gave me time to ready the boat and rig up some Bandits on the rods before heading out.

The plan was to target walleye first, and then if we put some in the box, we would go try to find some perch out of Vermilion. Fall used to be fantastic for perch'n out of Vermilion, in years past, so I wanted to see if it still happened there.

We trolled the Bandits at 100 back (unassisted), 30/30 2oz, and 50/50 2oz at 1.5-1.7mph just NW of Vermilion at the 27/24 line.  The 100 back, and the 50/50 2oz back, caught 8 walleye. Red Headed Wonderbread, Black Headed Wonderbread, RC Crush, and Seasick Frog all caught fish. The common denominator was the white bodies.  

The water temperature was 56 degrees.

After we put the walleye in the box, they wanted to go try for some perch.  We headed in towards the mouth of the river and when we hit 36 feet of water, I slowed to boat down to look for some fish on the bottom with the Helix.  We stopped in 33 feet of water about a mile west of the mouth of the Vermilion River and set the Spot Loc on the Ulterra.

We had Emerald Shiners today, so we hooked them up on the crappie rigs and sent them down. After a lot of missed bites, by all of us, Steve finally caught a perch...the smallest one of the day by the way, and that one was 7 inches. The next one, was on the end of my line...it was a piggy perch that went 12 inches. A good sign that we were in a decent area. It gave them positive thoughts at the very least.

It wasn't a fast bite, but steady enough that we never thought about moving. Only 24 perch were caught before it was time to head in. They went 15 pounds at Bay's Edge Fish Cleaning....or, 1.6 fish per pound. ;)

Several times today, I heard them say to each other, "This is the best trip we've had so far". Now, mind you, Steve and Jermey have fished with me several times each year for the past 8 years now. I know we have had fast walleye bites and filled the cooler with our limits, and we have had perch trips that were "up and down" and filled the cooler with our limits. So, I had to ask, "Why?".  Jeremy said, "We've caught some nice fish today, and had a lot of fun!" He added,  "It's not all about how many we catch".  Steve agreed. 

I understood. I also understand that as a new Dad, and the fact that this is the first time back on the water in over 4 months, that just being out on the water today, was probably enough to make him very happy. The nice fish we caught were just a bonus. 

It was a very fun day, and that makes me happy. :)

I'm waiting until the AM to make the call on tomorrow's scheduled trip with Jack Marcus and his two boys. They had a Saturday/Sunday trip scheduled, but it looks like Old Mother Nature is going to blow again. Sunday is out for sure, but I'm holding out  hope we can get out of Catawba and try for some perch on the protected side of the island tomorrow. It's not looking good right now. The forecast kept changing all day for the worse....deep sigh.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tim, Matt, and Wyatt 10/18/19

by Capt Juls on 10/18/19

Well, the two days earlier this week that I had scheduled didn't work out. Mike didn't want to come down to only get one of two days in, so he rescheduled his trip to next July.

Today, I had my regular customers, Tim and Matt McGlothlin and Matt's son Wyatt. Tim is also the happy new owner of my 2019 Ranger 621 FS, but he's offered to let me use it until the 2020 Ranger arrives next spring, so I'm still scheduling dates until the ramps are too icy to launch from. Woot! Woot! Thank you Tim!

However, all my days in October are booked right now, but I have plenty open for November and December. I don't care if you're in the Fall Brawl or not. You do not need to be a brawler to go out with me. However, if you are a brawler....I'm signed up too, so that won't be a problem. ;)

This morning, we hit Ala-Carte in downtown Port Clinton for breakfast before heading to the gas station and over to Rickard's to pick up some minnows and ice. Rickard's will be closing their doors forever come November 10th, so I wanted to make sure I still got to see their smiling faces a few more times before they left us for good. I sure will miss them!

We launched out of Catawba at 9am. The wind was out of the northwest at around 11mph, so it was a bit bumpy, but not bad. I headed to my last known perch spot from last Wednesday, near E can, but it was super muddy, and the marks weren't showing up on the Helix like before, so we didn't waste much time there. I said, "Let's head north and see if we can find some cleaner water. Maybe, we'll find some up there."  

We moved up past Niagara where the water was a bit cleaner...."cleaner" meaning, I could see the cavitation plate, at the very least. The Helix showed some decent marks, but they turned out to be babies. All we caught there were young perch no bigger than 5-6 inches, so we moved again. 

This time, we moved northeast towards West Reef, and found the water was a little bit cleaner there too. The sonar showed decent marks, so the Ulterra was deployed and the Spot Lock anchored us one more time. (That machine makes it so easy to move around, because I know I would not want to move much if I had to raise and lower an anchor each time).  We were set up just off the west side of the reef in 33 feet of water and started to get into a little better bite. We managed to put 21 keepers in the box, so it wasn't a great bite, but it was enough to stay interested.
If all the little perch we threw back today were keepers we would have had a much better box to show for it. But, that's the way it goes, and I'm actually happy to see those little buggers, because they are the future of our perch fishery. 

I let Tim drive us back to the launch when it was time to go in, so that made him happy. They enjoyed the nice weather after the wind laid down, and the sun warmed things up, and were happy to be on the lake today....and, that made me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I have a walleye trip with Jeff Robinson and his crew. We'll be launching out of Mazurik's around 7:45...to catch that sunrise on the water.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls