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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Mike, Bob, and Tom 4/17-18/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/18/21

Yesterday, we fished on the east side of the bass islands and north of Kelly's, but had a tough bite. We only went 9 for 12 out of a 24 fish limit. Though, it didn't seem to bother my crew who said they were just happy to be out on the lake and fishing on such a nice day, it always bothers me a little when I can't get the fish going. It can be very frustrating to say the least. That was yesterday, and as they say, "There's always tomorrow"...and, in this case, it was true, since I had the same crew for this morning too. :)

This morning: 
I hit the gas station, and topped the gas tank off in the boat and put some ice in the cooler. Polished the windshield, topped off the oil, and headed off to the launch, where I was meeting my crew at 6am. I got there at 5:30 which gave me time to ready things before they came.

They showed up at 5:45, and we hit the water at 5:50am.  It was dark, but the sky was beginning to lighten up on the horizon. A dark thick band of clouds rimmed the lake's horizon, and a clear center with glistening stars offered hope of a nice day ahead.

The forecast was calling for mostly cloudy conditions all day, so the clear sky was a nice surprise, and created a beautiful sunrise. :)

We hit the cans and started with a setup of Bandits, Spro Madeye 120's, and a couple Jointed DHJ12's.  Blue/Chrome and Buck Fever Bandits were running between 40 and 50 back, the Golden Perch and Marvin Spro's were running 50-60 back, and the blue/orange belly and clown jointed Rapalas were running at 65 back.  Our speed was between 1.6 and 1.8mph.

We stayed on one path, gong from SW to NE, doing "S" turns... constantly...and picking away at the walleye willing to bite. We had 10 fish on the first pass, when I decided to turn it around and see if the bite was better in the other direction. It wasn't. We didn't get anything in the first 15 minutes, so I told them to "Pick them up, were going to run back up and set up again. They like the other direction better."

I know there were fish out there if we had kept going, but I wasn't sure the setup would work over deeper water too, so we made the move back.

The wind changed direction three times while we were out there. When we launched it was out of the south. Midway between our first pass it started to come out of the SW, and then by the time we picked up to move, it was out of the west.

I adjusted our starting point, due to the wind, and got lucky. There were hungry fish in the area, and we were alone.  It didn't take long to start picking away at them again. My crew was having a good time, and trading off reeling theirs in. But, when we hit an area where the bite picked up, it became controlled chaos with lots of laughs.  Doubles and a couple triples made their day.

Bob said to me, "I'm going to be calling you, I want to bring my boy over here for a trip soon too"....and, that makes me happy. :)

We caught our 4 person limit this morning and the guys were impressed with the grade of the fish too. They were mostly in that 3-5 pound range, which in any other state would be awesome fish. But, to those of us who live and work on this lake, we call those "good eaters". lol

I'll be out again tomorrow with another crew that is here for two days. But, it looks like we're only going to get tomorrow's trip in, because Tuesday's forecast is looking nasty with 15-18mph NE winds right now. So, unless that changes drastically, Tuesday will be a no-go. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe and Glen 4/14/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/14/21

My eyelids were heavy when the alarm brought me out of a deep sleep this morning. I laid there with my cat, Hemingway, for about 3 minutes and got up to put the coffee on. A quick look at the phone to get the latest weather and wind forecasts told me it was going to be a good day to be fishing on Lake Erie.

Winds were forecast from the SW at 5-15mph, and the weather was going to be sunny and cooler. The air temp was in the low 40's when we launched at Catawba this morning, (But would climb to the mid to high 50s by noon).  The water temp today was 50-51 where I was, west of Catawba.

Program:  Spro Madeye 120 in the "Golden Perch" color was catching at 50 back.
Bandits were catching at 40-65 back. I use numbers like 43, 57, 61, because I like odd numbers. Maybe it's a superstition, but once I started it, I couldn't stop it. (shrugs her shoulders and gives an impish grin). ;)

Bandit colors that worked for us: Khaki, Sunspot, Blue Chrome, Buck Fever, and Nitro Shad.

A "Purple Glass Perch" DHJ12 caught on at 65 back too.

Speed was 1.5-2.0 depending on direction. Into the waves was 1. 8-2.0mph and with the waves was 1.4-1.5mph.

Joe and Glen had a great time, in fact on the ride back Joe said, "Hey Glen, this is the best day of the year so far!". I laughed and said, "That's going in my Blog". Ha!  

We caught a 3 person limit, and Joe reeled in his personal best walleye to date, that weighed in at a whopping 11.2 pounds and was 31 inches long. It was a beautiful specimen, with huge lips. The best kind. The kind, that when they get on top of the water and open their mouths....a person can't help but get excited to see a fish with a mouth big enough to stuff a grapefruit in it. That gets a person pretty excited. :)

I was supposed to fish with them again tomorrow, but with cold weather and NW wind again, we decided to reschedule tomorrow's trip to another date in July (earliest openings). They opted to go for two more days in July, and put the deposit down.  They fished with me in June last year, and it was a quick bite as they recalled, so they wanted to try earlier for a little slower fishing, so they could learn how to run the Off Shore boards better.  It's hard to learn stuff when you're too busy reeling in fish! But, now they want to come back for that quick fun bite again.

They did a great job today, and we all had fun, so that makes me happy! :)

Friday is being watched, but will most likely be a blow-day too, if the forecast doesn't change for the better.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Brad and Brian 4/12/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/12/21

I took yesterday off, due to the forecast, that didn't really happen, so I took the opportunity to go to bed early and get up even earlier than I normally do. I was up at 2am, and did some computer work, while sipping on some hot coffee. 

I was feeling much better than the day before, so that was a relief. I went out to the boat at 4:45 and took ten rods out of the rod locker, and stripped the reels of line, down to their backings. It was time to respool with fresh line, and recalibrate them.

The equipment was ready for another round of abuse now. 

This morning, I took Brad and Brian, from the previous crew of four from Red Wing, MN, along with me, and Tom and Stan, who I had on Saturday would be taking Brad's boat out.  After meeting at Catawba at 6:15, I went over the program with Tom and Stan, and showed them on their GPS where I was headed.

The program was Bandits at 40-60 back at a speed of 1.4-1.7mph. Tom and Stan had never run Off Shore boards, or any inline planer boards before, but they learned very well on Saturday, so I had every confidence they would get-r-done today.  Well, they did. They had their 2 man limit in their boat before we had 8 fish in our boat!  Well done, Grasshoppers! :)
They continued to fish and play catch and release until we were done.

At some point we lost them, and I was scratching my head on what I was doing wrong.  Well, nothing was wrong...we just weren't on the right line.  I decided to move further west and found a spot all to myself, so we set up again.  

If any mistake was made by me this morning, it was this:  I took the blue/chrome and Buck Fever colors off, because I was told darker colors were working best. I put them back on, and we had a steady bite going again. Uffda.....I should have known better. lol

At one point we had two Nitro Shads and 6 Buck Fevers out. The Nitro Shads were at 60 and 45 and the Buck Fevers were all at 45 back. Once we got the set-up right, and in the right area, it was pretty consistent.  

Brian caught his personal best walleye this morning too. It was a spawned out 30 inch fatty that weighed in at 9.6 pounds. When the fish hit, it hit on Brad's side of the boat, so he grabbed it. He knew instantly that it was a big fish, so he didn't hesitate to hand the rod over to Brian, because he knew it would make his day. That's just the kind of guy Brad is.  He owns Buck Point Resort up there in Minnesota, so he's used to good customer service, and it shows. The whole crew was very laid back, and a lot of fun to fish with.

Brian was so happy...and I could see that made Brad happy, and since both of them were happy, that made me happy! But, what really made me happy was to see Brian release that big fish back to the lake after a quick pic, measurement, and her weight taken. She swam back down, so she's going to be around for someone else to catch again. Heck, maybe she will one day be the new state record that I hope to catch some day. (One can dream, anyway). 

They will be here the rest of the week, fishing on their own. They said they have enough fish, so they might just be playing catch and release, and looking to take more pictures of big fish to hang on the wall. :)

Tomorrow I have a new crew made up of a Father and Son. We will be launching at 6:30 and fishing west of the islands again tomorrow. The weather is looking very good for tomorrow, so that makes me happy too!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Stan and Tom 4/10/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/10/21

Brad, Brian, Stan, and Tom drove in from Red Wing, MN yesterday, and are here for the next week.  Brad Brought his boat along, and hired me to help them get a program down to use for the rest of the week.

I don't take four people in my boat (only up to 3), so two went with me this morning and one went with Brad in his boat.

I had warned them prior to this morning, that if my second vaccine shot gave me a fever like it has for so many others, that I would not be running today, and would move their second day to Monday, since I had scheduled it off. Brad said, "Okay, just let me know". I told him, "I'll let you know by 4:30, so you have time to get ready if we do go". 

Well, I woke up at 3:30, and other than a bunch of soreness in my left arm, I felt pretty good. So, I texted them and told them to meet me at Mazurik's at 6:15.  However, I arrived there at 5:35, so I could be at the front of the get ready lanes while I waited on them and futzed with stuff in the boat.

I got to talk to several others who had pulled in to get ready and hit the water early too. Then, after thinking about it, and remembering that it was a Saturday (every day is Saturday to me), I texted Brad and told him I was there early, and that they should try to get there sooner than later too, since it was going to get very busy by 6:15. He said they were on their way. They showed up at 6:15, but luckily, the ramp wasn't that crazy yet.  

We both got launched and idled out of the break wall to let the motors warm up, before taking off for the north side of Kellys.  It looked like that's where everyone was heading to, when they left Mazurik's this morning.  I hate fishing in packs, so I told my guys we would make one pass, and then it was going to get crowded, so we'll go find another area to fish.

Brad set up behind us with the program I gave him, which was the same as yesterday's Bandit program. 
Bandits 42-65 back and the Spro Golden Perch at 80-100 back. He didn't have a Spro, so I let him use one of mine. He would tell me later, that it didn't catch anything for them. However, it caught 4 or 5 in our boat (in another spot we had moved to)  Brad and Brian had stayed where we started and boated their limit and some they caught and released.

After a one fish pass on the north Side of Kelly's, I moved north some more and let the Helix tell me where I should fish. Once we found some marks again, we set up with the same program. All of  the following took fish at a speed of 1.4-1.6 going against the current and 1.7-1.9 going with the current, or cross-current.

Blue Chrome at 55, 65, and 75 back, Buck Fever at 42-45 back, A green chrome back with an orange belly and a spot on the side took a few too at 57 back (I don't know the name of that one...I think I'll call it Green Sunspot)....and, of course, the Spro Golden Perch at 80 and 100 back. :)

We ran three Off Shore boards per side until Stan and Tom became more comfortable with working with them, and then we put a 4th one out on each side.  Longer leads were run on the outside boards and the shorter leads were run on the inside boards.

Both guys were dumbfounded by the average size of our Lake Erie fish, and even more excited when larger fish (25-27 inches) came in the boat, since neither had ever fished here before. They were having a very good time this morning, and that makes me happy!

I'm cancelling tomorrow, due to the forecast of gusts to 30mph out of the south, and swapping my Monday "Off day" with it, so they can get their second trip in with me. Monday, I will be taking Brad and Brian with me, and Stan and Tom will be taking Brad's boat out and putting to use the lessons they learned with me today. Good luck guys! You'll do great! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing With Al and Kim Quinn 4/9/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/10/21

I always call my customers the day before their trip, to touch base with them about it. I called the Quinn's, who live in Cleveland, to discuss the wind forecast, so they knew what to expect wave-wise. I was then informed of Kim's inclination of getting seasick if it's rough, so I told them what I thought (going by the forecast at that time), and gave them the option of rescheduling if they wanted to wait for calmer waters.  I also gave them the option of waiting to make a decision in the morning, since they were staying here in a Port Clinton hotel for the night.  They agreed to wait and see if the forecast would change for the better.

iWindSurf was wrong yesterday, so I had hopes that it would be wrong this morning too. It was.  The forecast was showing gusts, 18-20mph, but that's not what was happening at the launch when I showed up there at 6am.  It was blowing less than 5mph. 

It was a beautiful morning, even though everything was wet from the storms that rolled through here yesterday afternoon. No one else was there yet, so it was really quiet, except for the early morning birds that were starting to wake up and chirp. The air was damp, but it wasn't cold. The smell of the lake, felt comforting and inviting to one's soul. The sky was mostly cloudy around the edges of the lake, but clear out over the lake.

We left the dock at 6:45...and, like yesterday it was still on the darker side of light as we drove north, for a handful of miles.  

Kim had never fished on Lake Erie before, but she's been reading my blog, which she said she enjoys, and wanted to come and try it. 
Al is a retired MNR officer (Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources),  bush pilot, and an airplane engine mechanic, so he was in. They gave the trip to each other as an Anniversary present this year...and, that makes me happy!

We set up in 37 feet of water. The Bandits were running behind Off Shore boards at 42/65/80 (inside board to the outside board) on the port side, and 35/55/75 on the starboard side.  Colors were Buck Fever/Blue Chrome/and a Spro Perch on the port side, and a Sunspot/Buck Fever/Blue Chrome on the starboard side.

All took fish. Then, as the sun got higher in the sky I dropped the Spro Perch back to 98, and it took two fish. So, we took the blue chrome off the starboard side and added another Spro Perch at 100 back, and it too took fish.

We had their limit by 10:00, so I asked them if they wanted to stay out or go back in, because it was getting a little windier. Kim said she was doing well, and wanted to keep fishing, so we did.  I decided to pick everything up and make a run back up to where we started, because a SW trolling pass was better than the NE trolling pass going the other way. 

Speed was 1.3 going SW (into the current) and 1.9-2.0mph going NE (with the current).

I put the boat up on plane and drove back to our starting point. I throttled down and turned the boat around, and pushed the button to deploy the Ulterra. As it was deploying, I heard a weird sound like the trim on the kicker motor when the compartment lid hits the tip of the baby ETEC's tiller handle, where the trim button is. So, I looked back and didn't see the lid interfering with anything, but saw that my big 300 G2 was trimmed all the way up and that the trim was still trying to trim up. I couldn't stop it, other than to turn the main power off to the boat.

Luckily, the kicker motor works when the main power is turned off, so I fired it up and started to head in. 
I got on the phone with Ryan over at Dubbert's, who is a highly trained ETEC technician, and has done any and all my service on my ETEC's over the past several years. Whether it be just setting them up initially, a warranty job, or just a regular service that was needed. He is my go-to guy.  

I explained to him what happened and what was happening, and he told me he thought it was probably the trim relay switch going bad.  He said, "I have one here at the shop. Get the boat over here and I can swap it out". "Thank you!", I said. "I'm coming in on the kicker, so it will be about an hour before I can get there". 

Because of Al's background and experience, I asked him if he was good at controlling a tiller boat, and he said he was, so to his satisfaction, I let him drive us back to the dock. He kept me entertained with fun stories of his adventures over the years on our drive back in. Kim must have heard these stories many times before, because she kept telling him to stop. lol  

When we got back to the dock, Capt's Matt and Jenn Wieland were there to help us get the boat loaded on the trailer, which was very nice of them...Thanks you two! :)

I was able to get the boat over to Dubbert's at lunchtime and Ryan took time away from his lunch to get my motor fixed up. It took him probably 10-15 minutes to swap it out. I watched how he did it, and there is no way that would have been done on the water by anyone....especially me!  They do not make that one easy to get to...at all. lol  Thanks Ryan...my Hero! :)

Then, this afternoon, I had to get my second Covid vaccination, so I've got tomorrow's crew on call, so they can go tomorrow instead of Sunday. 
Sunday looks like it's going to blow, so I have them on Monday too. If Monday is fishable, I can get their two days in by fishing with them tomorrow and Monday and taking Sunday off. If I'm not running a fever, and feel well enough to fish, we will launch at 6:45 again.  Fingers crossed!  I've heard many say they had no problems with the first shot, but the second shot kicked their butts.  I hope I'm not one of those "Many". ;)

Time for bed now....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott, Jason, and Beano 4/7 and 4/8, 2021

by Capt Juls on 04/08/21

Since I'm combining two days of fishing in one report, I'm going to shorten both of them, so you don't have to read a book, and I can get done, so I can go help Jenn and Matt move some big heavy stuff they just had delivered, and walk the dogs before the rain comes in. :)

My crew drove in from Iowa and Minnesota on Tuesday afternoon, and gave me a call to touch base with me about their trip when they got in town, like where to meet, and what to bring, etc.   

Day one (4/7):

We met at Mazurik's at 6:30 and hit the water a little before 6:45 when it was light enough to see any floating stuff out there. Good news is, the floating stuff is getting less and less, so while it's important to keep a good lookout (as always), it's less butt puckering when there's less to hit. lol

We headed north out of the ramp about 11 miles and set up with Bandits running 43 to 65 back at a speed of 1.3-1.4mph.  Blue Chrome, which was hot the day before wasn't so hot yesterday for us, and neither was Buck Fever. The perch pattern chrome baits took most of the fish. The number of fish caught wasn't great, but it was still fun. They caught 15 of their 3 man limit, but to be fair ("To be Fairrrrrr"...<---that's for any "Letter Kenny" fans...you know what that means. Ha!)   But, to be fair...they did have a bunch of fish come unbuttoned, so if they had stayed on they would have had their limit. ;)

We discussed the wind forecast for the next day and decided that, because it said it was supposed to be 15mph (sustained) out of the East that we should launch from Catawba and ride the trough up the west side of the islands and try there instead of the east side again.

These fish are moving....fast.  You can make a pass and mark them/catch them, and then go to make another pass, and they are just gone. When it slowed down for us yesterday, we didn't have enough time to go searching for them and set up again, and I made the decision to stay put and keep the baits in the water. They agreed, that it was the best thing to do.

Day 2 (4/8)

We launched out of Catawba at 6:39 and headed north. The sky was just getting light...that in-between time of light and dark, but more on the dark side, if you know what I mean.

We drove about 12 miles and set up with Bandits again. The usual set up that's been working, with a few up higher in the water column. When I did a radio check on 79, Capt Mike Mochan responded with "Loud and clear, 79". Then, he asked, "Is this Juls?" I said, "It is". And, he said, "This is Moke, good luck". I said, (because I'm shameless) "Have you got a program for me?" And, he said, "Chromes 45-65 back at 1.3mph". "Thanks, Capt! You're the best!", I said.   

I instructed the crew to pull the lines and reset... although we had the right colors on, we were set up at 25-45 back for those early morning high fish, before the sun hits the horizon to high in the sky, kind of fish. :)

Before we switched up, the boat to my port side was reeling one in, and the boat to the starboard side was reeling one in, and my boards were just out there moving forward in marching soldier fashion, and I wanted to see one of those soldiers go AWOL and run backwards too.  After we switched it up, we started to catch fish too. Thanks for the info Moke! Much appreciated! 

Today, the blue/chrome and Buck Fever were hot again. Sunspot also took its fair share of fish too.  The Perch Spro only took one, so it was retired for the rest of the morning and Chrome Barbie went out, but she failed to entice any biters either.

Scott, Jason, and Beano did a great job both days and made my job a lot easier, since I didn't have to set boards, or net fish, unless needed.... all I had to do was drive the boat and keep them on some fish.

And, to make a good morning even better, was the fact that those forecasted winds never hit 15mph. I would guess they were less than 5 out of the NE up there this morning, so the waves were 1' or less. Woot1 Woot!

We finished the morning with only 19, because they wanted to cut the trip short, so they could get back to Iowa and Minnesota at a decent hour. Jason, who was driving to MN, had to run to MI first, to pick up a table his wife wanted, so he won't get home until around 2am tomorrow morning. What a thoughtful husband, eh? :)

Scott sent me a text saying, "136 pounds of fish for two days, we don't see that in Iowa! Ha! Ha!"  Needless to say, they had a good time, and that makes me happy!

Tomorrow, the winds are supposed to be gusty out of the south at around 20-25mph, so I'll have to figure out another spot to fish that won't be so rough as way out there.

I have Al Quinn and his wife Kim. Al is a retired MNR officer, so I'm looking forward to chatting with them and hearing any stories he might have for me. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe and Jerry 4/6/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/06/21

Woke up at 3:30 this morning, and did the usual routine that most of you who keep up with my blog know already....coffee, shower, feed the beasties, and head on out to the gas station to gas up the boat, before meeting my crew for the morning.

I was running a 1/2 hour earlier than when I told them I would meet them, so I could strip off some line from the reels that we would be using today. I didn't want any big fish we might catch breaking the line from any nicks there might have been in the line.  

When I showed up, they were already standing there waiting on me! I have to give it to the Wisconsin folks...they do like to get up early! Since it was still dark out, and we had 45 minutes before the sky would be light enough to head out safely (still a lot of logs floating around the area), I told them my plan to strip some line first, and they agreed it was too dark to do anything yet anyway.  They talked and kept me company while they sipped their hot coffees.

At 6:45 it was light enough to head out, so we launched and headed to the North side of Kelly's, to 40 feet of water. We set up with Bandits running 42-80 back at a speed of 1.4-1.5mph.  The Helix wasn't showing me the marks that I wanted to see though, so we didn't stay there long and headed west a few miles.

We set up again with the same program...colors being Blue/Chrome, Buck Fever, that one I don't know the name of from the last trip, and the Golden Perch Spro Madeye 120.  Blue/Chrome and Buck Fever were on both sides....blue/chrome was at 65 back and Buck Fever was running at 42 back. The Spro was at 80 back and the other two baits were 75 and 60 back.  

Blue Chrome and Bucky took the most fish this morning with the Spro a close third. I tried other colors, but those three were the only ones they ate for us.  A lot of the fish were barely hooked, but Joe and Greg did a fantastic job bringing theirs in, so we didn't lose any today. 

They both said they had a great time.  Joe is looking forward to coming back in May with his wife, and his Grandson. This was Greg's first time here, and he said, "This was 150 percent better than anything I could have expected from all the stories I had heard about Lake Erie walleye fishing".  And, you know what? That makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow, I will be fishing with a crew of three from Iowa, I think. His area code is from Iowa, so I'm thinking it's a good guess. Ha!  I have them for two days, and tomorrow is looking like another beautiful day, but Thursday might be a little windy and rainy, but I really don't think the rain comes in until the evening on Thursday. Fingers Crossed.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Zach Rambo 4/4/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/04/21

As usual, I woke up 15 minutes before the alarm was set to go off at 4am, so I got up and made some coffee to start the day. I checked my phone to get the latest wind forecast for the morning, poured a cup of coffee, and headed out the back door to stand on the deck, while the dog did his business.  That allows me to get a sense of how to dress for the morning, or a determination of how many layers of clothing I'll need for the trip.  I always say, "I'd rather have to take layers off, than to want them, and not have them"....being warmer is always better than being cold. 

I had brought the boat home yesterday, from the building, so I didn't have to go get it this morning. That allowed me to spend a little more time here, before I had to head out.

I left the house at 6am, even though I was meeting Zach at Mazurik's at 7am. Sunrise was at 7:13 this morning, so an earlier launch was needed in order to get that sunrise shot from the lake. :)

I wanted to get there early, so I could get in the get ready lane before it got too busy. Zach must have had the same line of thinking, because he was already there and texting me at 6:37. lol  He came over and introduced himself, and we got ready to launch.  The ETEC was warming up while he parked the truck and trailer, and by the time he got back she was ready to go.

We headed east out of Mazurik's, along with a plethora of other boats headed that way too.  We fished the east side of Kelly's in 38 feet of water for a few hours, and caught 6 fish there. 

Bandits were running from 45-100 back first thing in the morning, but were eventually brought up to between 42 and 65 back. 

Blue Chrome and Buck Fever (Purple back/Silver Chrome sides and belly) Bandits did the best for us. The Perch and Black/Gold Spro Madeye 120's caught at 45 back.

After we made a few circles in the first area, we picked everything up to move and find another spot with less boat traffic on it. So, we headed to the north side of Kelly's to check out the water conditions and see if the Helix would show us some good marks that would interest us enough to set up there.

There was a big pack of boats close to Kelly's, so I headed north. I didn't feel like being around other boats, and hoped that one of my favorite spots might have fish there now that some fish are post spawn, and moving east already. 

Well, they were, but they were moving fast. We got a few fish on the first pass, and thought we had something going, but the marks on the Helix ran out, the further east we went, so we turned around and headed back over the same line and all those marks were already gone.

I turned the Ulterra to the south and went through the area at a different angle...then north again at another angle, and it suddenly became a steady bite. 
Blue/Chrome at 65 back and Buck Fever at 42 back caught the most. Margarita (I think?) caught two, a DHJ12 run 50/18 with 2oz took one right away, but then did nothing for the next 1/2 hour, so we took that one off.
Spro Golden Perch at 45 back took one nice one too.
I had another Bandit that took two fish at 45 back, but I don't know what it's called....it's got a purple back, pink belly, chrome sides with three or four small dots on the sides. It's the first time I ran that color, but I think it's a winner. I need to find more of that one. 

Water temp on the east side of Kelly's was 44.9 and north of Kelly's was 46.4 degrees.

Speed was interesting today....
Zach had brought along a FishHawk (https://www.fishusa.com/Fish-Hawk-X2-Trolling-System), so we set it up when we were trolling, so we could see what the difference in speed was between the surface water and the current down below. 
It didn't surprise me that there was a difference in the speed, but it did surprise me by how much.
In one spot we had to do 1.8 to 1.9mph SOG to reach a speed down below of 1.3mph. I'm still not sold on the fact that I should buy one (at 700.00 each), but I am sold on the fact that when I'm playing with speed, even in the cold water, that I need to up my speeds more than I usually do, if needed.

We caught 17 walleye this morning, and threw 5 fatties back. The larger ones are still swimming, since Zach forgot his cooler and said he didn't need any fish today, so we kept them for the "Back to the Wild" rehabilitation center over in Castalia, OH.
The folks working over there were grateful for the food for the Eagles and other fish eating critters that are there.  Zach was given an offer to take a tour of the place, so I thanked him for the day, and was going to head home to put the boat away. But, before I could leave, he pulled an "Easter Bucket" out of his truck and handed it to me, saying, "Happy Easter". It was full of the traditional easter treats we all grew up with, so it was a nice surprise. Thanks, Zach! :)

I have tomorrow scheduled off, but will be out fishing with my good friend, Scotty Bogen, on his boat. We used to fish together a lot before he got a job promotion and had to move to state for a handful of years.  He got another promotion and the company sent him back to OH again....Yay! 

He's a hell of a fisherman, and we always have fun together.  Capt Jenn will be going with us too, if she isn't too beat from a late day of fishing today. We shall see.

My next trip is scheduled for Tuesday with Joe Hoppe and his crew, which I think is his wife, if I remember correctly.  He was scheduled for last year, but it blew and he had to reschedule to this season.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Ross, Rowdy, and Shawn 3/29/2021

by Capt Juls on 03/29/21

The alarm was set for 4:00 this morning, but I was wide awake at 3:30, so I got up to make some coffee and check the weather for the day. My crew came in from Iowa and Kentucky Saturday evening, and missed out on their first day of fishing, due to a NW blow.

Prior to those winds, the lake was cleaning up nicely from the last blow, that muddied up the lake, and the bite was improving ever so slightly. But, this last wind muddied it back up inside west of the Bass Islands and Catawba.

There wasn't a satellite picture to look at this morning, because of the cloud coverage yesterday, so it meant I would be driving until I found some clean water.

At 6:00 I drove over to the heated building where the boat is comfortably staying out of the elements, and got it ready for the day's events.  Once she was cleaned up and hooked up, I drove over to the gas station to top off the gas tank and grab some ice for the cooler.

Ross, Rowdy, and Shawn were staying with the rest of their crew of 9 over at Hi Way Bait and Tackle, so I told them I would meet them there at 7:30. I was early of course and showed up at 7am. Okay, so one part of me was looking forward to going fishing, and the other part was not looking forward to the muddy conditions we were going to be facing.

We drove over to a launch on the west side of town and motored out of the Portage River and headed NW. The wind app was saying the wind was WNW, so I thought I would hug the west shore running out. But, the app was wrong, and it was more NW than west, so it was a bit bumpy on the ride out. It wasn't bad by any means, but it slowed us down, and used more gas for the long ride out, than it would have had it been a flat lake. 

It was so muddy inside, that we couldn't see but an inch or so of the motor underwater.  So, I kept heading north, hoping to find cleaner water near the reefs, or a little further out, north of the reefs, and south of B can, but it never cleaned up on the line I was running.  So, with that knowledge, and knowing it always stays a lot cleaner on the east side of the Bass Islands....we headed there.

We drove the north passage and emerged on the east side by Lucy's Point. There were very good marks there, but the water was a little to chocolaty for my liking, so we didn't set up there.

I gave Capt Kevin a call to find out where he and his crew were, since this was part of a three boat deal, and he told me to head south. I arrived to find a pack of boats there, and found my hole to set up and start trolling without interfering with anyone else's trolling pass.  

Long story shorter...we set up with some custom colored Bandits that Ross brought along, that a friend of his painted for him. They were initially set out at 120, 90, 65, and 25 back (unassisted). And, on the starboard side, the Blk/Gold Spro Madeye 120 was set out at 100, and three Bandits ran at 80, 65, and 45 back. 
The leads that caught fish today were 25, 50, and 65.

They are here all week, but the weather is looking iffy for the next three days, and Friday is calling for fishable winds, but the lake is going to be torn up again...and, it will be right after a cold front, so I don't expect to catch very much....if they even decide to stay all week.  

Ross did say this trip was as much about the camaraderie as it was about the fishing.... "Catching fish is just a bonus for this trip", said Ross.  

These guys all grew up together, and are lifelong friends that live in different states, or different parts of the same state, and don't get to see each other that often....so, I get it. Even if they are stuck on land all week...they get to hang out and catch up.

If they want to fish on Friday, I'm not going to tell them, "No." I just told them what to expect, so they can make an informed decision on their plans.  

Honesty is always the best policy....at least in my book it is.

Tomorrow's trip will be determined tomorrow morning after I see the latest forecast. At least we had clear skies today, so we have a good satellite picture. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Whacky March Weather and Fishing....

by Capt Juls on 03/28/21

March started out pretty nice, but by the time my charters were scheduled to start the weather turned whacky, and the fish got lockjaw.

I have rescheduled several trips since my last fishing report, due to winds, mud, and a poor bite. I felt it was better to reschedule the trips, than to take them for expensive boat rides.  Watching the fishing reports from other captains that took customers out, it proved my thinking correct. While they caught a few fish, there were very few limits caught in the Western Basin, since the first big blow back on the 19th.  

The water clarity was beginning to improve this past Thursday (26th), but it blew hard again overnight on Thursday and through Friday.  The lake didn't get as muddy after this blow, as it did after the first blow though...as I thought it would, so the trip I cancelled yesterday might have been okay.  It was one of those tough calls a person has to make when there isn't a satellite picture to see how muddy it got after a blow.  The customer for yesterday was given the info as I saw it and chose to reschedule.

So, my friends, Capt's Matt and Capt Jenn Wieland, and I went fun fishing out on their boat yesterday, along with our friend Steve Jackson, because it was a nice day. Since their boat is on a channel back in Sandusky Bay, we fished the Marblehead area.  The marks were very good, but the bite was still off for the amount of fish that were showing on the screen.  The water clarity was very good.

We ran Bandits anywhere from 24 to 100 back and took some fish at 51, 65, and 100 back at a speed of 1.2-1.5mph.  P-10's didn't take any fish, so they were replaced with Bandits. The bite improved as the morning went on, so I'm guessing the afternoon bite might have been better. We fished for four hours and took 7 fish.

The water temps were mid 40's now....44-46 depending on location over there. That means some of the fish have most certainly started spawning now. This coincides with the full moon happening right now too. They don't all drop their eggs at the same time though, so they will be spawning for the next several weeks. 

Now, if Mother Nature would just settle down and stop throwing hissy fits, that would be nice. :)

Today's charter was the first of a 7 day trip with a crew from KY, but Momma N has a different idea for today, because she said, "Nay-Nay not today"...and is going to blow out of the WNW today at a sustained windspeed of 20-23 with gusts to 30mph.....deep sigh.

Hopefully, it won't muddy things up too bad, and tomorrow's trip will be successful.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bryon, Matt, and Zach 3/20/2021

by Capt Juls on 03/20/21

It blew hard out of the NE for the past two days, and last night the wind laid down to a calm level, which gave the lake time to settle down.  

Bryon Haro, had fished with me last year at this time, and we had a very good trip that day. I had texted Bryon yesterday morning to let him know that I felt the bite would be pretty tough this weekend, due to the muddy lake conditions, and told him it wouldn't be anything like that day. I offered him the chance to reschedule, get his deposit back, or go... and pay for an expensive boat ride.  First, he was going to reschedule, but then he contacted me about an hour later asking if he could change his mind? I said, "Yes", and laughed. 

He was bringing his two nephews with him, and they both start either school or a new jobs soon, so he wanted to bring them here to have a relaxing and fun time.

Well, it was relaxing alright. lol  The bite was tough for us...we only managed to go 5 for 6 in the 6 hours we were out there.  The "Brown Marble" Spro Madeye 120 (stock color) at 80 back and 100 back took 4 fish. The "Golden Perch" Madeye took one at 80 back. Speed was 1.2-1.4mph.

The weather pattern is going to hold, so maybe some stability will get these fish to turn on better.  The bluebird skies and bright sunshine will help to warm up that dirty water tomorrow and Monday, so I suspect by Tuesday the bite will be much better.

I had reports of Bandits and P-10s run with 2oz snap weights at 20/20 and 3030 working too, but they didn't do diddly-squat for us today. We ran a snap weight off each corner and changed it up often, since it was the easiest one to change. ;)

I have the same crew tomorrow, so that makes me happy! They were a lot of fun and very "chill", which made my job much more enjoyable on a tough bite. Fingers crossed tomorrow is a better bite!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

First Trip of the Season! Fishing with Grant, Brad, and Mike 3/13/2021

by Capt Juls on 03/13/21

Well, folks this was the day...the first trip of the season!

Grant, who lives in Indianapolis, has been trying to get out fishing with me for a couple of years now, and it has never worked out weather-wise, until today.  His friend, Brad, drove in from Iowa to meet him and their other friend, Mike for the ride over to Port Clinton yesterday afternoon.

Grant brought his Tracker boat with them, so they could fish if I couldn't take them. I had my first COVID vaccine shot yesterday, and was worried that I might not feel up to it, because of some reports of people feeling feverish and achy after getting their shots. But, luckily, that wasn't the case with me. I felt nothing out of the ordinary other than a little soreness at the injection site. Whew!  I expected something like the symptoms I got when I got the Shingles shot last fall, which were those exact symptoms.

Anyway, Grant called when they hit town at 5:30 last night, and I told them I could take them if they still wanted me to.  I told him to talk it over with the guys, because since they had a boat they needed to decide if they wanted to save 450.00, or pay me to take them out the next morning. He called back in less than three minutes to let me know they wanted me to take them. I smiled, and said, "Cool, I'll text you the plans on where to meet in the morning"...:)

I went to bed early and got up at 3:30. I had my usual 2 cups of coffee while I took care of emails, pm's, and social media stuff,  and fed all the beasts that live here. 

After a hot shower, I threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt, grabbed my jacket and drove over to Wieland's Auto and Marine, where the boat is being stored until more stable weather arrives and I can bring her home again.

I hooked her up and hit the gas station for some ice for the cooler, and to top off the gas tank. (I top it off for every trip I do).  Once she was in the driveway, I topped off the oil in the G2 too.  She was already clean, so now I just had to change into my warmer clothes and wait for my crew to arrive at my house, so we could head west to launch.

The wind was light out of the NE this morning and calming to less than 5mph for the rest of the day, so I wasn't in a hurry to launch. I figured the longer we waited, the nicer the ride out would be.

As per my usual rule of not divulging information when it is given to me, I have to honor that this time too. Since it was my first trip of the season, I asked a good friend, Capt Gary Zart, for some help since he's been out every day this past week and slaying the walleye. He didn't hesitate and gave me the general location and program he was running, so that we could have a good start to the season. It worked....my crew and I had a blast today! So, thank you, Gary! It was much appreciated by all. :)

What I can tell you, is that direction and speed was important.  We started with a NE to SW troll and didn't touch a fish. As a couple of boats headed the opposite direction neared us, both of them had fish on, so since I'm not real stupid, I immediately turned the boat around to go back the other way. But, we never quite made the 180 turn all the way when we started hooking up with a NNW trolling pass, so we just kept heading in that direction, and kept catching fish.

Bandits out at 65, 70, 75, 85, and 105 back at a speed of 1.1-1.4 mph. Blue Shiner was the hottest color at 75 back....so much so that I ended up putting 4 of that color out. The other colors that did well were the Chrome Barbie, Green Clown, and RC Crush. Blue Chrome didn't pull any....weird. After we limited on their three limits, I put a Yaleye Mooneye Minnow down 30/30 with a 2 oz snapweight and it caught a nice walleye within minutes, so maybe I should have had a couple of those out too. Next time, eh? (A little Canadian speak, since the fella that makes the yaleye Lures is a Canadian)...??

Mike brought in the first fish, and that's when I found out it was his first walleye, ever, and his first time to Lake Erie. We caught our 24 walleye, with the largest being a 29" 10.88 pound fatty. Brad caught that one, and since Grant is also a Taxidermist, he said he would mount that one for Brad. I offered them an old towel and some garbage bags, so he could properly take care of it on ice, while they traveled with it back to Indiana tomorrow night.   

They are planning on fishing tomorrow, but I told them that the NW wind forecast is going to make the lake pretty rough, so they needed to be careful in the smaller boat.  Who knows...they may not fish tomorrow, and just head home.

They all had a great time, and said they would remember this day for a long time. The weather was absolutely perfect today. It was a lot warmer than I thought it would be...or, maybe I was just over-dressed for what I thought the conditions would be, but it got warm.

My next scheduled trip is a two day trip with Mike Zralka and his friend. Mike is another one who has been trying to fish with me for a while now, and the weather keeps saying, "No, no you're not...not today", and that's what it looks like it's going to do for the 18th and 19th of this week too now....(as of this writing anyway). The forecast is calling for sustained winds at 35-38 and gusts to 52 mph out of the NNE on Thursday and NW winds at 10-14mph on Friday.  Ugh....:(

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

The Ice is Breaking Up!

by Capt Juls on 02/22/21

Morning everyone...

I just wanted to let all of you out of staters looking to come over soon, that the ice is breaking up!

The latest satellite picture from yesterday shows big cracks opening up in the Western Basin (west side of the islands) and really broken up ice and open water east of Kelly's. 

With the warmer temps this week, and big SSW winds forecast for the next few days, we might see a lot more open water west of the islands later this week. The winds will break off chunks of ice and blow it away from this side of the lake. 

The temps will be above freezing most of the week and hit a high of almost 50 next weekend.  I don't think we're out of the winter mode yet though, but I doubt very much that any more ice will be forming on the lake as we head into March. :)

I'm just 4 weeks away from the first scheduled trips, so hopefully, it will be all open water by then. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

The Cold is Moving In This Week....2/5/2021

by Capt Juls on 02/05/21

I'm so bored. Like everyone else just trying to get through this winter, while this pandemic still thrives, doing nothing social other than walking my dogs with my friend, Jenn, and her dogs, getting groceries, and the occasional lunch out, I try to keep my sanity by thinking about the coming season. I long for warmer weather and open water!  I don't ice fish here on the big lake, and even if I did, there isn't any safe ice out there yet.

We have very cold temps for the next week or more, so that may change. But, this morning, the winds are very strong out of the SW, so any ice close to shore may break off and float away, so hopefully, there isn't anyone dumb enough to attempt it today. There always seems to be that one guy though...just say'n. lol

On the agenda during this bitter cold. I plan on taking advantage of being stuck inside and changing out all the electrical outlets in my  mobile home. They are all 30 years old now, so I figure it's better to be safe than sorry.

Something happened the other morning, that I can giggle at now, but when it happened, it freaked me out.

Long story short, my male cat Hemingway, decided that he would just choose a random wall in my workout room and take a piss. Well, he's a "high pisser", meaning he doesn't squat to pee, but rather reaches his rear end as high as he can, and lets go.  He only does this when he's feeling poorly or is mad he can't go outside.  He wasn't feeling good this time. He urinated above an electrical socket, and it dribbled in the outlet. 

I happened to get up to go pee myself, right when he was doing his dirty deed, and I heard a "Pop" and then some sizzling. I thought it sounded like a broken water line, so when I got up to go investigate, I immediately saw from the dark room, the outlet sparking and a tiny flame coming from it.  Thankfully, the electrical panel is in that room, so I could find the right switch to flip, to turn the power off to that room.

I can't imagine what would have happened had I not woke up and had to pee! So, lesson learned here....most cats will not kill you, but there is always a chance they can! Ha!

Matt and Jenn came over that morning, and Matt swapped out the outlet for a new one, and left me several more to change out the other ones too. He showed me how to hook up the wiring, which looked easy enough, so I'll be doing that for the next day or two. I have 14 I want to replace throughout the house.  I also need to re-label the electrical panel, because whoever wrote out the labels before had the worst cursive, and I can't make out any of them, except the furnace...just because it looks like it might start with an "F". lol

I know this isn't fishing related, but I thought it was kind of funny enough to share. :)

Stay warm everyone and have a great day!

Come on Spring!!

Capt Juls

Thoughts on Spring Fishing...1/26/2021

by Capt Juls on 01/26/21

It's another crappy gray day in Ohio. The weather is spitting rain and snow this morning, but the roads are fine. Winds are out of the NE around 9mph.

There's some ice clogging up the ramps, and floating around on the lake, so it's going to need some warmer weather to open it back up again, before we can hit the open water again in our boats.

I'm going to go to the building today and putz around in the boat and clean some things up. I bought new flares, and a "Light SOS Beacon" because the old flares were out of date as of February 1st. I wanted the light beacon to replace the handheld flares, and since they were the same price, it was a no brainer. I bought replacement flares for the little gun thingy though, because they will get up higher in the sky and increase the line of sight in case I'm too far away from other boats to see the beacon. I hope to never need them. :)

Time to get busy...have a great day everyone!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Some Thoughts continued from yesterday....1/25/2021

by Capt Juls on 01/25/21

Yesterday, I talked about what rods I use for trolling, and mentioned that I spend more on the reel than I do on the rods. Don't confuse price with quality. Higher prices do not alway equate to a better product. 

With that said, I started trolling with the Diawa SG27LC's, which proved to be bullet proof for the most part, and lasted for years. They were only 50.00 to 60.00 twenty years ago when I started building my arsenal. Now, they run about 100.00-110.00 each. Sure, you can find deals on them from time to time, or even find used ones at a great price, but that's the going rate right now for a new one.  

I've started replacing them with the Shimano Tekota 500's though, but because of their high price tag (200.00-210.00), I haven't replaced all the reels yet.  All my trolling rods are using the Tekota's, but my dipsey rods are still using the Diawa's.
The drag system on the Tekota's is very smooth, and has held up for the years that I have been using them.  They changed the design of the reel last year, so my reels don't all match, but the quality hasn't changed, so that's the same. :)

I run mono line on the trolling rods that I use with the Off Shore inline planer boards and I run 30# Power Pro on the Diawa's that run the dipsies. 

A 6 foot mono leader is run behind the size 0 dipsies I run. I do use a snubber with the dipsies too. Do I really need to? I don't know, but I'd rather be safe than sorry if a big fish hits. It gives the hard running dipsey a little give, so any hard tugs are cushioned by the snubber.  "It's better to have and not need, than to need and not have", I always say. :)

My Off Shore boards are set up to stay attached to the line until I take it off at the boat. Since I teach my customers how to set and run the boards, I don't want to use the set up that lets the line release from the front arm, because it wouldn't take much to lose a board, if a customer doesn't get that back release attached the way it should be. Having to pull everything in, and go find a board (especially if it's rough out), is just a pain in the butt. It's just one less thing to worry about.

I run the Snapper (OR-18) release on the front of the board and the red (OR-16) release with the pin in the center on the back of the board. I also run my boards with the Tattle Flag system. 

When trolling, I put the longest leads to the outside and the shortest leads on the inside. That allows me to bring in that outside board in behind the inside boards without having to clear those inside boards first. Does it prevent tangles every time? No, of course not. The fish's actions will have a say in that matter. ;)

But, most often, it works.  TIP: Sometimes, the board that has a fish on will need to be let out a little(slowly...keeping tension on the line) to give it more space to clear the other boards. Then, what I have my customers do, is move to the opposite corner of the boat, and point the rod tip as far forward out that side of the boat as possible. This pulls the board across at an angle further back than it would if a person was pointing the rod out of the same corner of the boat that the fish is coming in on.  

Most eater sized fish will come to the surface as they come in, while the bigger fish try to stay deeper. It's the big girls that will catch other lines on the way in, so if you think  you have a big fish on and it looks like you might tangle, then clear those inside lines if you need to. Yes, it's more work, but it's worth it so you don't lose a potential trophy fish. Every fish is different, so reading the boards and determining what needs to be done at any given time needs quick thinking and execution.

Well, that's enough for this morning. I'm out of coffee, the dog needs a walk, and I need to get on with the day, so that's the end of today's thoughts. 

I'll think of something to update the blog with tomorrow. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Just Some Thoughts While the Ramps are Frozen...1/24/2021

by Capt Juls on 01/24/21

As I sit here to write this, I can look outside my office window, I see a cold gray January day. It's quiet...so quiet, that even the birds are not stirring out there. It's 32 degrees and there's a light SE wind.

It's January 24th... the ramps froze up yesterday, so we won't be launching any boats until they open up again.  I don't see that happening any time this coming week, since the temps will still be in the teens at night and a high in the low 30's each day. The winds will be out of the NNE most of the week, and switching to out of the west on Friday.

Sunday, is forecast to be a high of 43 with 99% chance of rain, so maybe that will help to break up the ice a little. At the time of this blog, the forecast doesn't reach out past Sunday on my DarkSky app, so I can't see into the second week.

Like everyone else this time of year, I'm thinking about getting back on the water. There are things to take care of before the season begins, like re-spooling all the trolling reels, cleaning parts of the boat that typically get ignored throughout a season, and going through bait boxes to inspect, fix, or replace crankbaits.

I had the boat out last Saturday to try out the new Ulterra 31AGM batteries that replaced the 2 year old Interstates that wouldn't last more than 2 1/2 hours in the cold weather. They worked great and still had a full charge after 4 hours. Now I'm able to have more confidence in my equipment, knowing it's not going to crap out on me in the middle of a guide trip.  (For those that want to know what I replaced the old batteries with...I went with the Odyssey Extreme 31's.)

The line on the reels gets changed out several times during the season. I use a larger diameter line for the backing, so I'm not spooling on unnecessary amounts of the good line. 
Everyone likes the line they use, so find one that works for you. I use the 20# test Sunline Supernatural in green. It has a line diameter of .018, which is only .003 larger than the 10# Trilene line the "Precision Trolling Data" info is tested with. It's worked well for me for the past two seasons, so I'll stick with it again this upcoming season.

The reels then get calibrated, so they are all the same when I start fishing.  
The reels have to be done several times a season, because of the number of trips I do.  And, by "several", I mean, that it's about every 6 weeks.

Line is stripped off for Knicks in the line, or so that the planer boards are not getting attached in the same place all the time, or the most common...the tangles that happen sometimes, and can't be undone without cutting the line.

It's important to know that the baits are where you want them to be, and if a reel isn't calibrated, the bait not going to be where you think it is.

To calibrate a reel is simple.  It's easier and faster with two people, but can very easily be done by yourself too. I'll describe this as a single person doing it.

1. Measure 50 feet and 100 feet on the ground with a measuring tape and mark them with something.

2. Put something at the zero mark to hold your fishing line as you walk it out and measure it.

3. Reel up your line up to the tip and zero out your reel's counter. Then, open the bail...walk it out, and note the number on the counter at both the 50 and 100 marks.

4. At the 100 mark, if the number on the counter is below 100, line needs to be taken off the reel. (It takes removing 30 feet of line to show 1 foot on the reel.)

And, if the number is above 100 on the counter, then line needs to be added. (It's always best to over fill the reel, because it's easier to take some line off than it is to put line on.

5. After line adjustments have been made the counter reads 100 at the 100 mark, it's ready to go. Note: If I'm at 99, 100, or 101...I'm good with that. I don't always get them right on 100. It's close enough.

Once the reels are done, it's time to pull boxes out of the storage compartments and look at the baits. It's something that can be done while watching tv, or sitting in my boat over in the storage building. All the hooks get checked to make sure they're not bent or missing. The split rings also get a once over to make sure they are all in good shape too. 

I'm often asked in private messages, emails, and texts what some of the equipment I use is, so I'll post it here for anyone else that wants that information.

I prefer a nicer reel than the rod. I have been using Shakespeare Ugly Stik's for 20 years now, and still have no complaints about them....other than, the fact that they stopped making the CAL1100 model and replaced it with the GX2 1 piece 7' med. 
Don't get me wrong...the new one is a nice rod, but the CAL1100 was a workhorse that never went lame. I only have one season on the new model, so I can't really speak of its longevity, but so far so good. I like it. And, they were affordable, like the old CAL100's. 

I like to use all the same trolling rods when I'm running Off Shore boards too, because when the rod tips are all the same, I can read the tips better. Most customers don't notice the rod tips and just watch the boards. But, sometimes that can mislead. A walleye has been known to have been hanging on to a bait that it ate, but no one notices, because the board is still somewhat in line, and it's not bouncing like there's a thrashing fish trying to get away.  Then, there are the thoughts of, "Are we turning?" Or, "Did we just hit a current?" run through one's mind first, and thinking of an immediate correction if needed. 

But, with one look to the rod tip, and you notice that it just looks a little different than it had the past few minutes, you would be correct to pull it in and check it. Usually, you'll find you had a fish hanging on it. I've even seen that happen with Tattle Flags on the boards too. Some fish are just funny that way. Sneaky devils.

I see this is getting long, so I'll write some more tomorrow. I don't want to bore you guys for too long, or you won't come back! Ha!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing 1/4/2021

by Capt Juls on 01/05/21

Happy New Year everyone!

While I have gotten out fishing a few times over the month of December, they were not charter trips, so I didn't feel a need to blog them, as I was in Holiday mode and taking advantage of some much needed time off.

As it was for everyone, and still is, 2020 was a very trying season with the Virus that plagues the world right now. It knocked out 48 trips that were scheduled during the state shut down last spring. But, with that said, I am very happy to say that my customers last year were fantastic and kept me in business with all the interest in getting outdoors and on the lake when there was no where else to go. 

I am looking forward to another great season for 2021. The early deposits are rolling in. The March dates are taken as of now, unless we have open water early in the month, and I can fill some of those dates too. I only have 4 open days in April, 12 days open in May, and 12 days left open in June. July through the rest of the season still has a lot of openings though.

If you're looking to book a date and go on a fishing adventure this year, please book your dates early, so you don't miss out!

My friends and I got out fishing for a few hours yesterday and ended up catching some not far from the Catawba ramp.  Bandits, Spro Madeye 120's (no weights) 75-100 back, and P-10's with 1 oz 30/30 at a speed of 1.0-1.1mph was the ticket. Baits with whites in them did best. RC Crush, an all white one, and Pink Lemonade worked best for us.

We had to stop earlier than expected when my three batteries running the Ulterra drained down to nothing and left me with no ipilot mode. I just wasn't that mad at those fish to work that hard for them, so we went in instead. lol

I have new batteries coming to replace those crappy Interstate batteries, so hopefully, I won't have to worry about that happening to me in the spring when I have paying customers in the boat.

Hopefully, this spring will "come in like a lamb", so I can get everyone that is scheduled, out no the lake to partake in some of the best fishing this area has seen in a very long time. :)

Until then....have a safe, healthy, prosperous, and happy new year, everyone! :)

See you in the spring!

Capt Juls

Fishing with Capt Jenn 11/24/2020

by Capt Juls on 11/24/20

It was cold and dark this morning, when I went out on the back deck with the dog to check the wind. It was 33 degrees with a "feels like" temp of 24...brrr.

After taking care of the usual things before I leave to go fishing, I headed over to Jenn's house, so we could walk the dogs before going to the building to get my boat.  I showed up at her house about an hour and a half before sunrise.

We took the dogs for a 20 minute walk and then dropped them off at her house. Dexter would get to hang out with their pups for the morning.  Capt Matt, (Jenn's hubby), was headed to Cleveland to fish with Capt David Faller...looking for the "Big one".

After stopping to gas up the boat and truck, and put ice the cooler, we hit Mazurik's at 7:15. Sunrise was at 7:28 this morning, so we were on the water waiting for the engine to warm up when the sun hit the horizon.

The wind was 7mph out of the NNE when we headed out, but it was quickly changing to the ESE in the first two hours, so we had changing currents happening.  We started at the 33/35 and headed back to the west. 

The Ulterra had the autopilot on a WNW course. The baby ETEC was nothing more than an idle speed to keep us at 1.7-2.0mph.

The port side ran two Bandits and one Spro Madeye 120. The RC Crush Bandit was on the outside at 125 back, the Chrome Perch Spro was 100 back, and the Red Headed Wonderbread Bandit was 75 back.

The starboard side ran too many to keep track of. For some reason, the port side took 10 of the 12 fish this morning. It might have had something to do with the current where we were too, but I know I changed things up several times. 

I was playing with speed a lot too. We caught fish as slow as 1.4mph and as high as 2.3mph this morning.

The first 7 fish came from that pass, and when that slowed up we picked everything up and headed down inside to the SE. We started at the 28/33 and again went on a westerly troll back towards Cedar Point over 42/43 feet of water.

We ran the same program and caught fish anytime Jenn ate something, or when I played with the speed...hoping to entice them. Whatever it was, it worked, and we put the last 5 fish in the cooler over in that area.

We were done by noon, and headed in. Rain was on the way...we timed it just right. The boat was back in the heated building, dogs let out to pee, and the fish taken over to Port Clinton Fish Co to be cleaned before it started to drizzle a very cold rain.

Matt and David caught a brawl'n fish over in the Cleveland area and took it over to Erie Outfitters to be officially weighed. The fish went 30.25 inches and weighed in at 11.22 pounds. Just out of the money....deep sigh. lol

We will be out brawl'n again on Thanksgiving Day. Those fish will go to the "Back to the Wild" wildlife rehab center to help feed their critters for a few days.  None of the fish cleaning businesses will be cleaning fish on Thanksgiving anyway, so we'll help feed the critters instead.

The weather looks good for Thursday and Friday, so if you still have a boat you can use...get out there! The fishing is very good right now. 

Good luck if you're brawl'n too, but we're hoping to catch the "Big one" instead of you! Sorry....not sorry! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Todd, Kelly, and Scott...again...11/14/2020

by Capt Juls on 11/14/20

I left the house at 4:50, because I had to go to the building to get the boat and gas it up before picking my crew up at their hotel. We were launching out of Huron, otherwise I would have just met them at the launch. I told them I would pick them up at 5:45, but I showed up 15 minutes early and sent Todd a text telling him that I was there and that they could come down whenever they were ready. They complied with my request to wear masks inside the truck, and we headed on down the road.

We hit Huron a little after 6am and there was already a line of boats all the way out to the road. Had we been five minutes later, we would have been sitting up on the bridge waiting to turn in.  I'm sure the locals that use that road, hate us! lol
We made our way up to the front of the line and launched in the dark. Luckily, all the boats that were launching this time of year are fishermen, so the line moved fast, and no one took up space at the docks....allowing everyone to launch quickly.

It was just getting light when we reached the mouth of the river and headed out to the big lake. The wind was 7mph out of the west, so the waves were only 1 foot or less, which made for a pretty easy ride out.  

I headed for the Sandbar area first. Once we got there, the Helix was marking some fish, so we set up with the Spro Madeye 120's and Bandits again. Pretty much the same program as this past Thursday, where the Spro's were running 120, 100, 95, 90, 85, 75, 50 and a Bandit out 75, at a speed of 1.8-2.0mph.

We caught 3 pretty quick,  but they were on the smaller side, and two went back to grow up.  Then, as we got closer to the bar, the marks disappeared, so we picked up to move to the SW a bit. Those fish I had on Thursday had moved too. (I found out later that I should have just moved west instead of SW. The fish moved north from where they were on Thursday.)

We ended up moving one more time towards the white condos and Cedar Point, and found a small pod of active fish, so I kept turning on them to stay on top of them. We managed to put 19 more fish in the box for a total of 20 before our time ran out.

Oh, I forgot... I had a dipsey out a few times...set on the zero setting at 56 back with a Yaleye Mooneye Minnow ("Baby Walleye"), which caught the two nicest fish in the cooler.

The guys kept a positive attitude even though we had a slow start to the morning, catching-wise, and it paid off. They had a good time and have already reserved an early spring date...which makes me happy! :)

Mother Nature is going to throw a fit tomorrow, with gale force winds up to 50mph, and rain, so needless to say, no one will be fishing tomorrow. It will be a good day to cook something that has to simmer all day.

I'm not scheduled again until Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so as usual...it will all depend on the forecast.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls