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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Tim McGlothlin 5/24/19

by Capt Juls on 05/24/19

Left the house this morning at 4:30 as quietly as I could, as my house guest was still sleeping. I headed to the gas station in town to gas up the boat before going to pick Tim up at the place he's renting for the weekend.  

Tim wanted this weekend, to learn the ins and outs of running and operating this  Ranger fishing machine, before he takes ownership of her in the fall. I thought it was a good idea too. :)

He jumped in the truck, and we headed to Rickard's Bait to pick up some ice and some shiners, because we both hoping to run into some perch to fish today. We then headed to Big Bopper's for some grub before launching.

It was 6AM when we left the ramp at Mazurik's and headed west to set up on one of the closer shoals with Bandits behind Off Shore boards at a speed of 1.8mph. The Bandits were out 40/45/50/55 back in blue/chrome, Buck Fever, Khaki, and a chrome purple one, with a chartreuse head, that I have no clue what its name is.

We didn't stay there very long since the Helix wasn't marking much of anything to my liking, so we headed east from there.  We set up at the shipping dock and trolled to the lighthouse in 28-30 foot of water with the same set up, and marked ungodly amounts of fish there, but nothing bit for us for one reason or another...that we never figured out, so we left and headed north.

The goal up north was to find some perch, so we headed to the last place I saw a huge school of them (last week....yeah, I know...but, I was hoping there was a chance they would still be around up there. If they were, we never found them). We did look in several different areas close by, but nothing on the sonar was tempting enough to waste our time on them, so we decided to go back to walleye fishing.

We both had our Canadian licenses, so over the line we went and set up on the west side of Pelee with the same Bandit program as before, but this time it was game on! 
We had just gotten all the boards out when the first one went back...then, a second one went back and we had a double on. 
Tim asked, "What do you want me to do here? "Just worry about the first fish, and we'll take them in order", I said.
Then, as Tim was reeling in the second fish, and I was trying to get the hooks out of the net, I saw the third board go back. "There's another one", I said, and Tim starting laughing, and said, "Well, would you look at that!"  I think we would have had 4 on if the first fish hadn't caught the line of the inside board on its way in, and taking it out of the action.  There were small pods of walleye roaming up there, so it took a little time to find them, lose them, and find them again. But, once we did find them it was always a quick bite...and, then....nothing for another 15-20 minutes.

It would take two hours to fill our two-person limit up there. But, the best part was, there were no other boats for miles. They all stopped at the line on the US side and packed around each other so bad that it looked like a boat city on the water....ugh.

The radio was alive with the chatter of Capt's politely asking other boats to pay attention to where they were going, and reminding them of the "Rules of the Road"....rules, that every boater should KNOW before operating a boat on a body of water.  I was actually surprised at how civil everyone was being today. :)

Anyway, Tim did a great job trying to learn everything there is to learn, but being thrown into the fire with only 4 hours of sleep made it tougher. So, he's getting a good night's rest, and we will be back at it tomorrow. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Eric, Joe, and Bill 5/22/19

by Capt Juls on 05/22/19

Short and sweet tonight....had a late start this morning and launched out of Catawba at 10am....hit Clinton Reef with Bandits 35-50 back at 1.8 mph. 

Fished in on and off showers, but the fish were biting. We limited out and had a great time!

Sorry it's so short, but I still have a house guest and it's rude to ignore your guests. ;)

Tomorrow will be a later launch too, due to a thunderstorm that will go through in the morning and should be outta here by 8-8:30AM.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike, Huey, and Josh 5/21/19

by Capt Juls on 05/21/19

I have a house guest this week, so I'm totally out of my routine. He's sleeping on my pullout couch, so I don't have access to my computer, kitchen, and lights on this end of the house in the mornings, because I do not want to wake him.

Scotty is from Ohio, but a promotion and transfer took him to Red Wing, MN. He resides on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi there.  He and I used to fish a lot together...my ex had taken him under his wing years ago, like he did me, and helped him understand this lake a little better too. Anyway, he's here fishing for the week, but he's not on my schedule, and is on vacation, so I want him to get some much needed rest if he needs it.

So, now, I sit on the back deck with my phone and a cup of coffee, before I get dressed and head out.   I left the house at 4:30, and he was still sleeping, so I figured he needs it. 

After hitting the gas station to fill up the Ranger and get some ice, I headed to Big Bopper's to meet up with Mike, Huey, and Josh for some breakfast. As usual, Cindy Michaels, one of Bopper's best servers, was working bright and early, and greeted me with that big smile she shares with everyone that comes in, and instantly brightened my morning.

Mike and the gang showed up at 5am. We left there a little after 5:30 and headed to Mazurik's to launch.  We headed out of the ramp area a little before 7am and went north to the line. I knew those fish were still there, and the lake conditions were not bad this morning, so it was an easy ride up there. There was a light NE wind, sending in a few rollers, but they weren't bad at all.  

The water temperature was 55.2 up there this morning.

I wanted to try some different dipsey rods this morning, since I had heard so many reports that the spoon program on Tru-Trip Jets was working well now. I figured that the dipsies might do well too.

A Facebook friend had dropped off two Shakespeare Alpha 7'6" rods to try out, and I switched out the other two rods to my 7' Med Ugly Sticks that I use for my board rods.  Both worked better than I expected, so I suspect I'll just keep using these. The tips are very easy to read when a fish is on now....woot! woot!

We ran a Ripplin Redfin on the 3 setting/47 back on the port side, and a Yeck Spoon on the 1 setting/28 back/port side.  On the Starboard side, we ran a Rippling Redfin on the 1 setting/30 back, and a Scorpion Spoon on the 3 setting/50 back. 

Speed was 2.1-2.3mph.

We caught 7  walleye on an East to West troll, that was maybe a 1/2 mile long...and, then, we turned to go back the other way.....we didn't catch any going West to East. We made another turn to go back East to West and picked up 2 more walleye.  The Humminbird showed that the fish were pushing further down in the water column, so I thought maybe it was time to go find some other more active fish.  At least we had an early flurry to get the juices flowing. :)

We left the line NE of Lucy's and headed east towards Kelly's. My plan was to go down the east side of Kelly's until we marked some fish, and set up again. The Helix wasn't marking much until we got down towards the Cedar Point Dumping Grounds, but they weren't the marks I was searching for, so we moved west a bit and got on the west side of the ferry line and set up again.

This time we ran two Off Shore boards off each side with Blue/Chrome (2), Huff Daddy, and Chrome Barbie Bandits from 45-65 back and the 4 dipsies set up like the previous spot.

The Bandit took the first and second fish, so I swapped out the 4 dipsies for 4 more Off Shore boards and Bandits. We would fill out their 3 man limit in the time allotted us, and that made them happy. 
We never stayed on any one line, due to the boat traffic in the area, so it's easy to say that there are fish all over the place between the mainland and the islands right now. The South Passage is definitely a busy highway with bustling walleye.

Mike, Huey, and Josh had a good time, and will be back in June for another round of fun and adventure, and that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's forecast is calling for gusty east winds in the morning, so as of right now, I am planning a late morning launch unless that forecast changes by morning, and we can plan on an earlier launch.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dan and Carol Emmer 5/16-17/19

by Capt Juls on 05/17/19

This morning was a startling start to the day when my 16 year old Lab pawed at my bedside, so I would get up and feed her.  It wasn't long until I realized that I had obviously overslept and she was hungry!  But, that also meant I was running late. Looking at the time, I panicked, because it was 4:36, and that's the time I usually leave the house...not get up.

I texted Dan, to let them know that I was running late and to meet me at Big Bopper's at 6am instead of 5am, like we had the day before, and scrambled to get out the door.

I couldn't be too upset though, because it meant I slept well for 8 hours last night....and, I needed it! 
I was running on empty yesterday...with only 4 hours of sleep, due to too many people waking me up at late hours with texts and phone calls. Note to self:  "Buy an alarm clock, so you don't have to use the one on your phone".

Anyway, we ate, I left to hit the bait shop, and met them down at Catawba State Park at 6:30. We were launched and headed out at 6:40.  The conditions were a bit unexpected, but pleasantly accepted by all. We were expecting some winds, but the lake only had a 6" chop...if that.  I decided to take advantage of the calmness and head to the North side of North Bass and make that pass along the line, headed east again.

I had picked up crawlers to use this morning, so we swapped out all the Bandits for my best producing color combo's and sacrificed some earthly creatures to the depths of Lake Erie in hopes of finding some walleye gold.  I had been hearing of good reports of crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers working, but I really hated to have to pull them out. I hate running that slow, and my patience runs thin when my crawlers are not getting bit.  As was the case this morning...lol

After about 45 minutes to maybe an hour, without a bite, I gave it up and we put the Bandits back on. We set them out at 50/60/70 on one side and 55/65/71 on the other. Blue Chrome, Nailed it, Barbie, Buck Fever were the colors running, and we picked up three walleye pretty quick at 1.7-1.8mph. 

The water temp was 58.7 degrees where we were.

Ahead of us was another parking lot of boats trolling every which way, so instead of having to deal with that all day, we picked it up and headed back down to the cans.  This time we set the Bandits out at 35/45/55 on one side and 50/60/70 on the other.  We had two blue/chrome baits out...one on each side of the boat...and both of those went off pretty close together. I changed out 3 of the 4 other colors to blue/chromes, so we were running 5 blue/chromes and one odd color to experiment with.  

After catching their limit today, we decided to have some more experimental fun and set out 4 dipsies with big spoons on them.  We ran the 3 setting at 46 and 50 and the 1 settings at 31 and 36 at 2.2-2.3mph. 
With only 1 hour to go, we ran the spoons for approximately 40 minutes, and then swapped them out to the Ripplin Redfins (shallow lipped crank bait)... IB Frozen, Chart/Purple Head, Fire Tiger, and Huff Daddy were used.  We caught a fish on the Huff Daddy and the IB Frozen colors.

I found those fish hanging on the baits when we brought the lines in to leave, so I am not happy with the tips of the dipsies I am using, because they are not sensitive enough for us to see the hit, or the bounce of a fish on them.  I think I'll try my Ugly Sticks or try to find something better. The rods I'm using just won't do.

Dan and Carol were a lot of fun to fish with, and being from Wisconsin, it was like fishing with old friends, and that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I am fishing with Matt Huelsman and his three boys, who are 10, 11, and 13, I think. I'm not quite sure what time we are launching though. I would like to launch early, but there may be some stormy weather in the AM, so I'll check the radar in the morning, and make a decision then.  No need to soak the boys on a Saturday when we can just wait for it to pass. ;)

East winds 10 to 15 knots. A chance of showers early.
Waves 1 to 3 feet.
Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dee, Dan, and Steve 5/14/19

by Capt Juls on 05/14/19

The northwest wind was making the lake a bit rough this morning, so I had a plan to launch around 9am.

I had my guys meeting me at Bopper's at 8am, because they were staying at Little Ted's Cottages around the corner. After breakfast, we headed to Mazurik's to launch, and were headed north by 8:47.  

I hadn't been on the water for 8 days due to unfavorable conditions, and rescheduled all those crews for different dates, that will hopefully have better conditions. This week looks to be a nice one, and the winds are down for the next several days, so I'm looking forward to a fun week of fishing. 

The lake was laying down a little by the time we launched and the waves were only 1-3's, but were even less once we got to the east side of the islands.  We headed north to the Canadian line and found a parking lot of boats up there. I didn't really feel like trolling in that mob, so after we passed the green can at Lucy's Point I took a hard left turn and headed down the passage between North Bass and Middle Bass Islands. I watched the Helix for walleye marks through there, but didn't mark enough to make me stop and fish it. Pretty soon, that will be a good spot.

We made our way out to West Reef and took a right turn to head up to Taco Bell on the Canadian line. Before I get a ton of PM's asking me where "Taco Bell" is, it's the red bell buoy on the line, that's straight up from the west side of the reef. ;)

We set up with Bandit's at 50 to 100 back at a speed of 1.8-1.9mph. We ran three Off Shores per side and then one dipsey off each corner with Ripplin Redfins.

The first fish was a fiesty white bass on a Bandit at 50 back. The second hit/miss was a fish that hit the Ripplin Redfin running at 30 back on the 1 setting.

When I decided to reduce the speed, I removed the dipsey rods and replaced them with two more Off Shore boards, so we were running 4 per side at 1.5-1.7mph

The Khaki colored Bandit (stock color) was probably our strongest color today, followed up by Nailed It (a Huff Daddy Chrome with tape on the sides..one of DJ's customs), Huff Daddy Chrome (Domka), Chrome Barbie (Domka?), "No Name" (DJ's), and Chrome Marvin (DJ's). Though we ran baits from 50-100...71 and 75 caught the most fish...followed up by 85 and 100. The deeper side was 2:1 over the shallower side.

Water temp was 51-52 degrees.

We only caught 15 of our 18 limit, but it was still a fun day and my guys were happy, and that's all that matters. I have them again tomorrow, so we will be launching out of Catawba to check waters to the west. There was a very good satellite picture today, so that will help people spread out and fish someplace else other than in big giant packs.

We will be launching at 6am tomorrow, so I hope there is a pretty sunrise. I sure could use one after the dreary week we just had. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Justin 5/5/19

by Capt Juls on 05/05/19

It was a quiet morning when I stepped out on the back deck with my cup of coffee at 3am. I was disappointed to find that the sky was still cloudy and the air felt damp. I'm trying to wait as patiently as I can for dry warm weather, but it's getting harder every day.

I left the house at 5:15 and headed to the White Caps Motel to pick up Justin, who hails from Green Bay, WI, is an avid angler himself, and fishes Green Bay often. He is an Engineer working on a project in Indiana, and since he was so close to Lake Erie, he took the opportunity to knock one more adventure off his bucket list.
His coworker, who was going to come with him, ended up with food poisoning last night, and didn't make it. Poor guy...:(

Justin and I went to Big Bopper's for a bite to eat before heading to Catawba to launch at 6:30. We headed out of the ramp area and headed north again...like yesterday. We set up near the cans west of the Bass Islands and set a trolling pass to the northeast at 1.8mph, pulling Purple Chrome Bandits at 50/60/65/80 back.

The water temp on my Helix was showing 49 degrees. The water clarity was perfect too.

The morning started with landing two nice eaters and then losing 2 or 3 that came unbuttoned before the board was taken off. Then, we caught a few more, but the bite was slowing for us, so we moved north away from the pack of boats.  We were a few miles when we set up again on some decent marks and caught another 3 at 50 back on Purple Shiner at 1.9-2.0mph.  Then, I got bored there and wanted to go for a boat ride to Round Reef and check it out, so we left and headed SW.

We picked up two or three there, and then it was time to go....one short of a limit, but he was happy. He had a good time, and got to relax. The sun did finally make an appearance mid day and warmed things up nicely. It's amazing how the sunshine can cheer up the soul. We chatted and fished and just had a good time. I let him operate the boat, since he too owns a Ranger and is from Wisconsin, so I knew he knew how to fish, and he seemed to enjoy that. 

At this writing, I do not have a trip tomorrow, due to an unfortunate circumstance on my client's part...they had to cancel. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bob ad Justin 5/2 thru 5/4-2019

by Capt Juls on 05/04/19

Sorry, it's been a week since I last blogged about a trip, but with the weather we've had this past week, it wasn't conducive to a good time. ;)

I had to reschedule some people who fell on those dates, unfortunately. 

So, that brings us to Bob and Justin who came down from Wisconsin to fish with me this past Thursday, Friday, and today. Our first two days were tough for us. Bob wanted to jig....so, on day one, I took them up to West Reef where the Helix showed us good marks, but they only caught 3 walleye and one sheepshead there (I'm sure we stayed there much too long, but it's hard to leave fish to chase other fish...especially, if you think the weather and post spawn just has them in a funky mood). 

With an hour and half left I said, "Lets go trolling and try to put more fish in the box"...so, we moved east of Lucy's and set up on the line with a southerly trolling pass, so that the NE wind would put the waves on the corner of the Ranger's stern at 1.7-1.8mph with Chrome Bandits in tow at 50-90 back off the Off Shore boards.

My crew landed one and saw three more pullbacks...only to find the fish escape when the board was halfway to the boat. So, we ended day 1 with only 4 fish.

Day two wasn't any better....due to rain/wind we launched a little later than normal. We got on the water by 7:45, I think. We repeated the pattern of going jigging first, and marking a lot of fish on the Humminbird, only to wonder why they weren't biting their offerings... even though they changed up their baits more than once. 
This time, we gave ourselves enough time to do a little more trolling, but as my luck would have it, the bite shut off for many around 10:30 up on the line. This was repeated more than once on the radio and confirmed by a couple of captains I called. So, when the wind kicked up, I asked them if they wanted to go jigging in one more spot before we headed in, and they said, "Yes". 

 I took them down to the Marblehead Lighthouse and set up a drift from 30 foot to 21 foot of water.  There were outrageous marks all through the water column in that 28 foot, but the water was chocolate milk, so we didn't catch anything there.
We ended day two with a whopping 2 fish to show for it...but, my guys were still happy about the day's fishing, and were looking forward to day 3 with a positive outlook. (My very favorite kind of customers!) 

This morning, I picked Bob and Justin up from their hotel at 5:30 and took them to McDonald's for a breakfast "to go", then,  headed to Catawba to wait on Capt Kevin to show up and launch us. He graciously agreed to since my guys didn't have waterproof footwear to get through the water on the pier, or the water we thought was on the pier. 
Side note....the water level at Catawba is doable. The docks are floating docks the water has receded down from the cement part of the docks, so your feet won't get wet.

Anyhoo...we headed northwest out of the ramp this morning and hit the cans west of the Bass Islands. The Bandit program was similar to the day one program by Lucy's, which was 50-100 back. Huff Daddy Chrome, Nailed It, Buck Fever, and Khaki were good today.  The biggest was probably 25 or 26 inches, but the majority were all cookie cutter 2 to 3 pound eaters. My crew was very happy with their results today, and that makes me happy. :)

I picked up a trip to fill tomorrow, so I'll be out again in the am with another crew from Wisconsin. Fingers crossed it goes as well as it did today.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mark and Dick Aker 4/25/19

by Capt Juls on 04/25/19

I was scheduled to pick my crew up at 5:30 this morning, and I was hoping the rain would stop before I had to pull the boat out into the elements... luckily, it did. 

Mark, his 6mo old Golden Retriever, "Sailor",  and his Father Dick were ready to go when I showed up, so we loaded in the truck and headed to Big Bopper's for some grub before heading over to Mazurik's to launch.

The forecast was looking very good for the rest of the morning, and it didn't disappoint. The sky showed us a beautiful sunrise and then proceeded to go mostly cloudy for the rest of the morning.

We headed north out of Mazurik's to the same area as yesterday and set lines with the same program as yesterday too...Bandits 50-85 back at 1.6mph  
Huff Daddy Chrome, Blue Chrome, Buck Fever, Chartreuse/Black Stripes, and Fruit Dots all took fish.

Sailor was a good dog in the boat....for a 6 month old pup, I was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved he was. And, he was SO cute..I just wanted to sit and cuddle him, but I had a job to do, so I put aside my selfish needs and we got the job done in short order. 

They had a good time, and will be back again, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's trip is a no go, due to bad weather...and, I'm watching Saturday's forecast right now too. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Marc and Kevin 4/24/19

by Capt Juls on 04/24/19

Well, yesterday, I made an attempt to go out with Frank Smith and his buddy...ummm...oh heck...I can't remember his name now...nice guy though. The wind forecast was for gusty south winds and a "chance" for thunderstorms. Well, at breakfast when I checked the radar there was nothing in sight all the way back to Wisconsin, so I thought we would be spared any "chances".  

While I was resetting a line, Frank's friend asked, "Was that thunder?" I looked up to see a very dark sky to the west, and listened. Sure enough...it boomed again, so I said, "Let me look at the radar again". It showed a line of severe storms heading right for us, but wasn't on the lake yet, so I said, "There's a lot of lightning in this one...let's pick it up and head back in...we can come back out once it passes" They didn't hesitate and we headed back in. 

Once we got back in, I looked at the wind forecast once more and we decided to just load the boat on the trailer, and call it.  We got out just in time, because the rain came down hard, and even had hail in it, when I was towing the boat home. The wind forecast was correct, and I think we made the right call. Both of them are in their late 60's to mid 70's (I'm not really sure), so a rough ride was the last thing I wanted to give them yesterday.

So....that brings us to today....

After gassing up the Ranger, hitting Rickard's for some ice, and eating breakfast with some other Captains at Big Bopper's, I met Marc and Kevin at Mazurik's at 6:15. We launched and were headed out by 6:30.

Marc asked me to stop to take a picture of the sunrise...(like I have to be asked..heheh) so we did. Then, we continued north to my spot up in Canada to see if those fish were still where I left them two days ago, but they weren't. There was a very small pod close by, but not the numbers that were there Sunday and Monday. We picked up 3 eaters there and decided to head back to US waters to fish.

Anyway, we ended up in the usual area between Kelly's and the Bass islands and set up with the Bandits at 50-80 back at 1.7mph going with the wind, and 1.3mph going against the wind. It didn't take long to put 9 more fish in the boat with Chrome Barbie, Huff Daddy, Blue/Chrome, Buck Fever, Black Headed Wonder Bread, and Khaki behind the Off Shore boards. (No weight was used).

The water temp was 47.2 degrees.

Before the morning even started, Marc told me, "I just want to get on the water and decompress, and relax...catching fish will just be a bonus". Well, I took a long way around from Canadian water to that area we ended up in and gave them a tour of the islands on the way down, so that relaxed him.  Then, we caught more fish, so that was his bonus. They both said they had a great time, and that makes ME happy. Mission accomplished. :)

Tomorrow, I have a father and son crew, and the weather looks like it's going to be fantastic again, so I am expecting another good bite from our finny friends below the surface of Lake Erie.

I had to reschedule my Friday trip, because they had to know today if it was going to be a no go, due to the forecast, since the hotel they chose needed to know by tonight. So, I said that if I had to call it today based on the forecast I see, and what the tv weatherman said about Friday...then, they should cancel the room. They have already rebooked for a Saturday in June.  So, if the weather forecast changes for the better on Friday, and someone not too far away wants a trip...I'll be available. ;)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 4/22/19

by Capt Juls on 04/23/19

Quick recap: Met my crew at Mazurik's at 7am and we headed north to find clean water. There is cleaner water between the islands right now, and a good school of fish, but I kept going north to where I was on Sunday....which was over the line, on the Canadian side, and to even better looking water clarity. No one is up there, so we had the place to ourselves the entire time. :)

We set up with Bandits at 40-70 back and proceeded to catch our limit in quick fashion. Huff Daddy Chrome, Khaki, Chrome Barbi, Blue/Chrome, and Buck Fever did the job at 1.3mph.

They haven't started setting nets up there yet, so the fishing is very good. I'm sure it won't be long before it's a mine field of nets though.

Tuesday's trip is up in the air still, and will be decided when I go to breakfast with the guys and check the conditions/forecast.  They're calling for gusty SW winds up to 25mph, and with all the mud inside, it doesn't leave many protected areas to fish.  Canada is definitely out this morning...so, we'll see!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Rabbits and Walleye....Happy Easter! 4/21/19

by Capt Juls on 04/22/19

My regularly scheduled trip was rescheduled for an uncontrolled reason...no need to go into that, so after not planning on going out this morning, I changed my mind and decided to make a phone call to some friends who were game to go too.

We met at Mazurik's at 10am and headed north out of the launch. There was a lot of dirty water out there, so I just kept going north until I could see the water getting a little more fishable.  We ended up NW of North Bass, and set up along the line. There were big marks in about a 1/2 mile radius, but we couldn't get one to bite. We spent a little over two hours there trying to make something happen, but it never did. 

I told them to pick up the lines, so we could go find cleaner water.  We headed east a few miles, and found really good water clarity with some good marks, so we set up there. We didn't get all the lines in when the first board went back. Finally!! Fish On!! lol

Long story short...we caught our three person limit on Bandits 40-60 back at 1.3mph in just an hour and a half. Chrome Barbie, Huff Daddy, Khaki, Buck Fever, Black/Gold, and one I don't remember the name of worked for us there.

The sun did come out once we were in that second spot, so it warmed things up nicely and we were having the time of our lives. We didn'g get any monsters, but they were all chunky eaters in that 2-4 pound range. 

Good luck if you get out tomorrow...it's going to be a very nice day!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Rob and Doug 4/16/19

by Capt Juls on 04/17/19

Left the house at 5:55am and got to the White Caps Motel a little early...15 minutes early, so I waited on my crew who showed up right on time at 6:15. We made our introductions and loaded into the old excursion to head into town. I needed to stop and top off the gas in the Ranger, and then hit Rickard's Bait for some ice and a couple dozen crawlers.

After the two big NE blows this past Friday and Monday, that muddied up the entire basin West of the Bass Islands, the plan of attack would be to troll Bandits and P-10's on the east side of the islands. I did pick up some crawlers to try too, because even though I usually don't offer them meat until the water temps are up a little more, I thought, "Well, if they can't see it, maybe they can smell/taste it". You never know until you try. ;)

We headed out of Mazurik's a little before 7am, and headed north out of the launch. The lake was pretty calm since there was a just a 5-10 mph SW wind. When we were in the middle of the "chute"...between the mainland and Kelly's...I looked to the east to see if I could see cleaner water...it looked like there was. I made a right turn and then headed up the east side of Kelly's in search of that clean water, but with like any optical illusion out on the water, I was chasing a ghost. The water never cleaned up on that side, so we just kept going north until we made it around to the north side of Kelly's Island, and found it.

There were good marks showing on the Helix just as I passed through the island and the shoal...the water was 42.7 degrees there and the clarity was decent too. 

Here's how I read the water with my cavitation plate and prop on my motor. Others may not agree, but it's how I was taught, and has been a good rule of thumb for me to follow all these years.

Too Muddy = Can't see my cavitation plate / Don't bother stopping
Mixing/dirty = I can just make out my cavitation plate / it will be a tougher bite
Mixing = I can just make out my prop / the bite should be good
Too Clean = The prop is clear and sparkling

That's not to say that these rules have never been broken by some suicidal walleye, because they have...but, for the most part, it's pretty accurate.

We marked fish for about a 1/4 mile and then turned and set up to go back through that area with some baits in the water. Bandits were on one side at 65/75/90 and the other side was set up with crawler harnesses with 1oz and 2oz inline weights at 25(1oz), 41(10z), and 60(2oz) to see what they wanted. Speed was 1.2-1.4 mph.

We were only set up for a short time before I got a couple texts stating "just set up...first one in the box". Then, the next text just 5 minutes later..."4 coming in now", which told me that there was a fast bite happening someplace else, so we picked up and moved to the west side of the island. In hindsight...I should have stayed put, as we were the only boat there...we had marks, and chasing someone elses bite is never a good idea. lol

The wind had picked up a bit, and was now blowing more like 10-15 mph. The waves went from nothing to 1-2 footers, so I kept the waves on the corner of the boat, so I could control my speed better.  We made the same pass, with the same leads, same baits, same colors, and same speed. We caught ZERO on that pass. I think the pod was moving and staying just under his boat. Ha! But, whatever it was, it wasn't happening for us. I think from now on, I'm just going to turn my phone off when I'm in the boat, and go fishing. lol

Anyway, to make a long story short...I never did go back to that first spot, but tried three more passes in different areas on the northwest side of Kellys, and the east side of Middle Bass and North Bass. After 9 hours of trying different things, we only ended up with 7 spunky eaters to show for it. By the way, in case you were wondering...nothing was caught on a crawler yesterday.

Rob and Doug were great to spend a day in the boat with...especially when it's a tough bite. They were just happy to be out of the office and floating on a lake in a nice boat, and their company was enjoyable.  They are both CPA's and had their hands full with clients this past tax season, so they were ready to just breathe some fresh air and relax. The sun did make an appearance in the afternoon and warmed things up nicely. The wind died too, so the lake was pretty calm, which was a added bonus. woot! woot!

We were supposed to go out again today, but I had to make a call this morning based on the forecast that was available at that time, so we all decided to do it again another time when conditions were better. 

Thursday's trip, Friday's trip, and Saturday's trips are all being rescheduled too, due to weather, and Sunday's trip....while the weather is fishable...we are rescheduling because it is a customer and two of his three sons....he forgot it was his youngest's birthday (along with it being Easter), so I told him we should reschedule that day. I'll be back out Monday with my regulars...Steve and Jeremy Champman. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Can You Say, "Chocolate Milk"? ...4/15/19

by Capt Juls on 04/15/19

Hi everyone,

I know I haven't blogged for a week now, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

I know many of you are planning on heading this way this week, and I just want you to take a look at the satellite picture from today first. You can find it by clicking the weather tab at the top of the page and then clicking on the satellite button on that page. 

The lake is muddy, muddy, muddy! But, for those of you who still plan on coming out, just know that the fishing will be tough. There are some spots with cleaner water on the east side of the bass islands. The east side of Kelly's is marginal, but maybe fishable....and you will see that in the satellite picture. Those are the areas I would target first going out tomorrow.

If the trolling bite is nonexistent...try jigging with hair jigs or blade baits to see if that works. (I loaded my spinning rods in the boat too...just in case!) ;)

I called my guys for tomorrow and explained the same thing to them, and gave them the option to reschedule, but being CPA's who just finished up with taxes today...they want to go and unwind. So, we'll be heading out in the morning.

Good or bad...I'll blog the trip tomorrow afternoon. 

Good luck if you get out there, but go with low expectations....and then, if you catch fish, it will feel even better! ;)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Daren and Aidan Cable 4/7/19

by Capt Juls on 04/07/19

My crew was meeting me at my house at 6:30 this morning, and as usual, I was dressed and ready to go WAY before I needed to be, so I took that hour to go into town and gas up the Ranger and stop off at Rickard's Bait to buy a few more Bandits. The Buck Fever color, which is a purple back and a chrome belly, has been hot for me all spring, so of course, I needed more. lol

Anyway...I digress...lol

My crew showed up right on time and Daren and his son, Aidan, jumped in the truck and off we went over to the launch on the Portage River.  Just like yesterday, as we headed out the river, we were greeted with another beautiful sunrise and a calm lake. I put the throttle down, and the G2 let her 300 horses gallop across the 6" chop up to the Niagara area, where I ended up yesterday.

The setup was the same as yesterday...65/75/80/90 with Bandits, unassisted. Speed was 1.3 mph. Buck Fever, Huff Daddy Chrome, Golden Huff Daddy Chrome, and Green Clown all took a fish there this morning.  The bite was much slower this morning than it was yesterday, so I decided to move to Mouse for a pass...(same set up)...we caught our two biggest there...again, on the purple/silver Bandit.

We heard about some good marks in another spot, but because it was info given to me, I am not at liberty to give that info out, since they might be using it tomorrow...sorry!  We went there and caught three more...giving my guys their limit and one of mine. 

I have been wanting to go to Clinton Reef to see if they were in there yet, since the water temp there is 44-45 degrees now, while the other spots I was at were still holding at 40 degrees. Unfortunately, there's not a happy ending....the Humminbird didn't show any marks, except for a few perchy looking fish on the bottom every now and then. So, needless to say, but I'll say it anyway....we didn't catch anymore there and headed in when our time was up with the 9 fish we caught earlier. 
Oh well....at least my curiosity was satiated. ;)

Daren wanted to take this trip to learn how to run the Off Shore boards that he bought for his boat. By mid-morning he and his son were running them like they have been doing it for a long time, and I have no doubt he will have the skill and confidence to use them in his boat and be successful doing so. Well done guys! Woot! Woot!

They said they had a good time and learned a lot, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's trip has been rescheduled, due to a medical emergency, so I'll be taking the day off to clean my house and do some grocery shopping, and play with the dogs. Back at it Tuesday and Wednesday with a crew from South Dakota, who will be staying on Kelly's Island.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Neal, Dave, and Luke 4/6/19

by Capt Juls on 04/06/19

I left the house at 5:45 and swung by the White Caps Motel to pick up my crew at 6am for breakfast, before heading back to the Portage River Fishing Access ramp next to their motel, to launch.

It was still kind of dark out when we headed down the river at a bracing speed of 5mph for the 20 minute "no wake" zone until we hit the lake. The sun was just lighting up the sky when we hit the end of the channel, and showed us a calm and glistening lake of glass.  It was going to be a very nice day. The forecast called for winds less than 5mph for most of the day, and sunshine to warm the air temps into the 60's.

By the time we hit the mouth of the river, the E-TEC was all warmed up, so I hit the throttle and away we went. The Ranger glided across the lake like at a nice cruising speed of 40, so we could react if we saw one of those super giant logs that are floating out there right now. Some of them are over 20 feet long!

We headed north out of the river for approximately 15 miles before slowing down to check some marks that the Helix was alerting me to. They looked like the right fish, and the water wasn't too dirty, so we set up with the Bandit program at 65/70/80/90 back (unassisted) on both sides of the boat, and set the Ulterra's speed to 1.1-1.3 mph. The surface water temp was reading at 42.2 degrees.

We went 0 for 2 in that spot, and decided to go check another spot closer to North Bass. There were some good marks up there, but the water temp was reading 2 degrees cooler, and the water was much cleaner there. Not quite the mixing water I was looking for. I just didn't have a strong feeling that we would do well there, so we moved back down to the first spot and changed the trolling direction.

We headed south from the original spot and started to pick away at them. We went 11 for 15 in total, but we did manage to land some really nice chunkers. The largest was a 10.3 beauty... another was a 9.9 pounder...a set of 7.6 twins, a 7.4, a 6.6, and the rest just little eaters. The 10.3 was let go to live another day and hopefully get even bigger, so someday someone can catch a new state record walleye for Ohio. ;)

Today, we celebrated Neal's birthday, which was back in December. His wife bought him this trip for his birthday, and we're just now getting it done. Neal brought his brother in law, Dave, and their nephew, Luke along for the trip too. Luke is an awesome young man...he impressed me a LOT (and, that's saying a lot..lol)...I only had to tell him something once and he was doing it like a pro. He made my day so easy, and if I could hire him as a first mate, I would!  Great job Luke!! ;)

It was a fun day with this crew, and I'm looking forward to a perch trip in the fall that they want to come back and do with me, and that makes me happy. :)
Hopefully, Neal will bring his wife along on that trip too.

Tomorrow's trip is with Daren Cable, who called me yesterday to fill a spot that was left open when I had to reschedule a couple for medical reasons. He wants to learn how to run the Off Shore boards, so this will be a learning trip with...hopefully, some walleye as a bonus!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Vito and Saunders 4/5/19

by Capt Juls on 04/06/19

Vito, and his buddy, Saunders, came down from Wisconisn to fish with me today, and then he'll use the Ranger he bought from me last fall to fish the rest of the weekend with his Dad and Saunders. His dad drove in this afternoon.  

We met at my house this morning, and ate some sausage gravy and homemade buttermilk biscuits for breakfast, thanks to Chris Utter, who was here earlier in the week and brought me a big bag full of venison breakfast sausage, chorizo, and assorted summer sausages, from Wisco. Yum! :)

Saunders had brought me some Wisco cheese curds and string cheese too! You can take the girl out of Wisconsin, but you can't take Wisconsin out of the girl! Thanks for thinking of me you guys! It's so very much appreciated! ;)

After breakfast, we headed over to Mazurik's to launch and hit the water at 8:45.
The northeast blow we had yesterday muddied up the waters inside, so we headed north until we found clean water with some marks in it, and then went a little further up to the line...turned around, and set up. 

We ran Bandits at 65/75/80 on one side and 75/85/and 50/30 w/2oz on the other side. The two running up at 65 caught fish, and one at 75 had one on, but it broke off when a big stick and another board got in the way on its way in. I sure hope that fish gets that lure out of its mouth  somehow. It was a smaller fish from what I saw when it was up on the surface...sigh.

Speed was surging this morning with the big NE rollers coming in. But, by keeping the boat's corner on the waves, we were able to control the speed a little better and tried to keep it at the 1.1-1.4mph range.  The waves would settle down as the day went on as the winds died down, so that was nice.

When we picked up to go back and make another pass, I decided to keep going further east towards Middle Island and make a longer pass along the border, but instead, made the decision to go look on the east side of Gull Island Shoal for fish.
I hadn't looked there lately, and in the past, in April, it's been a good area when there was a NE wind....well, it wasn't the case today...sigh.  No fish there. 

Then, we moved down to the NW corner of Kelly's and had better marks, but no takers. The water was a little dirtier there too though.  Then, we moved back towards where we started this morning, but didn't go as far north this time.  There was a huge pack to the south of us, so we set up and headed south. We hit two fish right away, and then nothing for the rest of that 3/4 mile pass. So, we picked it all up again and started again in the same spot....picked up two more fish right away, and then nothing, but this time it was time to go in, so we headed in with only 6 fish.

We had a good time, and I told Vito, "Well, at least we eliminated a lot of water for you this weekend." To which he replied where he planned on launching from and where his starting point would be. ;)

Tomorrow's weather looks even better. The winds are forecast for less than 5mph out of the NE and temps in the 60's. Of course, it will be cooler on the lake, but it should be sunny, which will make it feel warmer.   I am SO ready for flip flop weather! I hate wearing all these layers.

I'm fishing with Neal DeWolf and some of his family members tomorrow, and will be looking for new water to fish.  Hopefully, a lot of this mud will sink overnight, and give us some more areas that are holding our finny friends to fish.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Kent, Doug, and Kevin 4/2/19

by Capt Juls on 04/02/19

Today was day one of a two day trip with my crew from South Dakota. Kent bought this trip for his Father in Law Doug as a belated Christmas present, and also brought his brother in law, Kevin, along for some of the spring walleye fun.

They are a real pleasure to have in the boat, because folks who come from the Dakotas know how to fish! woot!woot!

My job was made very easy, since they knew how to set the boards, and retrieve lines when fish was on. It was almost like I was on vacation with them. "Merry Christmas to me", I say! lol :)

We ran 4 Bandits on each side of the boat behind the Off Shore boards, set at 60/70/80/(20/20 2oz)on one side and 65/75/85/(20/20 2oz) on the other side. Every setting took fish.

We ran mostly chrome colors: Purple/Silver, Black/Gold, Green Clown, and Huff Daddy Chrome. We also ran Khaki and Firetiger stock colors which both took multiple fish today too.

Speed was 1.2-1.4 mph

Water temp was 37.6 degrees

The north side of Kellys has both pre and post spawn fish right now....wink wink

Tomorrow's weather is going to be a gusty West wind, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bill, John, and Stan 4/1/19

by Capt Juls on 04/02/19

This is just a short report, due to having started late and fished late, and not having enough time after fishing to get everything done!

Had a great trip with Bill, John, and Stan from Iowa....we only had 4 fish after 5 hours and then got a call from a friend about a hot bite close to the first spot we fished on the north side of Kelly's Island.

Bandits 60/70/80 back at 1.1-1.3mph....anything chrome!

We stayed out an extra hour and finished with our four person limit. :)

The boys were happy, and will be out fishing in their boat today.

Good luck guys!

I'm fishing today and tomorrow with two fellas from South Dakota, who only want big fish....soooooo....fingers crossed! 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tim, Matt, and Wyatt 3/27/19

by Capt Juls on 03/28/19

"Today is going to be a great day", I said as I walked down the hallway to the kitchen to make some coffee. The forecast was calling for mid to high 50's by early afternoon, which is always something to look forward to this time of year.

It was a chilly high of 29 degrees when I took my coffee outside on the back deck to check the wind conditions.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a peaceful morning of calm wind.

Tim and Matt McGlothlin have fished with me several times a year, for many years now, so they too are more like family than just customers. :)

Matt brought his son, Wyatt, along on this trip. Wyatt is 8yrs old now, and his first trip with me was when he was just 4 years old. They agreed to meet me at my house this morning, since they were just down the road at the White Caps Motel. We hit Ala-Carte for a delicious breakfast and then headed to Catawba to launch.

On the way into Catawba there were boats leaving, and I said, "Ruh Oh...Looks like there might be a line at the launch". I was right. When we pulled in, I could see a back up of boats waiting to launch, so I took a short cut through the Cliffs to the other side of the island and headed to Mazurik's instead.

It was a good decision, because there were only two boats ahead of me...one was Lonney Goman...a guide on Green Bay, and his side kick Hunter Lambert, of MI.
They came up to say, "Hi" since we are Facebook friends and have never met. That made me happy. :)

The launch was a little icy this morning, but we made it in with just a little slipping. I knew it would be fine once the air warmed up. 
We headed out of the launch and headed northeast, to the east side of Kelly's.
It's always nerve racking to do something different, and out of the ordinary, from what everyone else is doing, but I wanted to try it.

It was really nice not having another boat in sight for most of the morning. One or two other boats eventually showed up out there, so I thought to myself..."Those guys are as crazy...wait...they think the same way I do...Hmmm....I think I like those guys". ;)

The Humminbird lit up with really good marks in 43 feet of water. The water temp was 37.5 degrees. I kept moving until the marks ended and turned the Ranger around and deployed the Ulterra and set a course from NE to SW at 1.1-1.3mph. The fish were all on the bottom 1/4 of the water column, so we started out with Bandits and P-10s all with 2oz snapweights. The P-10's were set 30/30, 30/50, and 50/30. The Bandits were set at... 85 back, unassisted...30/30, 30/40, and 30-50.

The Lemon Lime Crush (stock color) P-10 took the most fish today with the 50/30 2oz snapweight program.  The Bandit set at 30/40 took one. The first fish of the day was a little eater that came pretty fast after setting up. But, then it was dead for about 1/2 hour when a big fish pulled a board back.

Wyatt reeled that one in with the help of his Dad, and said he wanted to let it go after we took a picture, so that's what we did. She swam off to live and survive another day. Maybe someday she'll get to be a "Teener"...those fish, that we all want so badly.
They can only get to be a "Teener" if they never get caught, or they get caught by someone who let's them go, to get bigger. ;)

We marked a lot of fish, but couldn't get anything really dialed in and ended with only 6 fish in that spot. We picked everything up and moved to the north side of Kelly's. I marked some fish out near the east side of Gull Island Shoal, but when we finally got set up on the westwardly track...the marks disappeared....(deep sigh). Dang it!  Okay...let's go a little bit and see if the marks return here. Ugh..they didn't. So, this time, I said, "Let's pick up one more time, and move until we find some fish...this isn't going to cut it, and we're burning daylight". 

I ended up marking some fish on the NW corner of Kelly's, but not like what was marked there before the last blow. The water temp there was 38.0.
We trolled around there for about 45 minutes, marking a fish here and there, but we didn't catch anything. One more time, I said..."Let's move guys...let's pick'um up and move again".

I had a feeling the lighthouse might have some fish hanging out there, since I had heard some fish were already spawned out. I figured they were the "east girls" and would be heading back home earlier than the rest.  Those fish take the south passage home, and have to pass right by the lighthouse to get there. The water was 39.3 degrees there, but it was muddy. I could just make out the cavitation plate, but we tried it anyway.  The marks on the Humminbird were outrageous. So big!! I used some Pro-Cure goop on the tail ends of the cranks to aid in detection, but to no avail. No takers there either. Then, we were out of time.

They said they had a good time, on a great day, and relaxed. I could actually see them unwinding and shedding a winter's worth of stress on their faces.  That's why I love fishing....it's good for a person's health, and renews the soul in ways nothing else can. :) 

They were supposed to fish with me tomorrow, but something work-wise came up for Tim, unexpectedly, while we were all at dinner, so we rescheduled. I'll see them again on Memorial Day weekend for a couple of days. 

My Saturday and Sunday are most likely going to be rescheduled, due to weather, so I won't be out again until Monday. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Ed and Ben Jacobson 3/24/19

by Capt Juls on 03/25/19

Woke up and took my coffee out on the back deck to check the wind and temp, early this morning. I was pleasantly surprised to find just a very light SW wind and temps in the high 30's. The forecast was for light SW winds, less than 10 mph, all day and a high of 50. I was looking forward to spending a fun day with my Father and Son crew from Wisconsin.

Ben bought this trip for his Dad, for the purpose of getting Ed on some big walleye. 

I ran into town to gas up the boat and get some ice, before picking my crew up at 6:30. After a hearty breakfast at Ala-Carte, we drove back over to White Caps to launch. 
At 7:45 AM, as we motored down the channel towards the lake, the sun was just peaking up over the horizon. It would take us 20 minutes or so to get to the mouth of the river, so I took that opportunity to put some RPM time on the baby E-TEC. I needed to get an hour of time in on it with the RPMs over 2500, before I start using it for the summer.

The plan was to hit the firing range cans, so I headed to G Can area first. The Ulterra was deployed and set for a south to north troll near the can at 1/2-1/4mph. After a quick tutorial of how to use the line counters and the Off Shore boards, we got busy. I set up using the Bandits that were productive on my last trip out. The leads were set to 45/55/65/75/85, and 90 back unassisted (no weight).  We spent about 20 minutes there...not marking anything while we trolled, so I had them pick everything up and we headed down to H Can. 

I was SE of the pack, with only a boat or two around, when we set up again with a SE to NW trolling pass at 1.2-1.4mph. It wasn't long and the first board went back with a violent tug. I said, "Here we go! That looks like it's a nice one!" It was a nice 5 pound(ish) walleye, and the biggest Ed has ever caught, so it was the first PB breaker in the boat today. :)

Ben saw the next board go back and said, "Fish!" "Take it!", I said and scurried to move rods around while he reeled in the outside board. That fish was a twin to the first one, so after a picture of the two of them with their fish, we put them in the cooler and started to set the lines out again. The next board went back before we could get the last line in. And, of course, it's always the outside board, so again, I moved rods around and then had to quickly get the lures out of the nets, so I could use one to net the fish.

The third fish was a 7.75 pounder and definitely Ed's biggest to date. Both of them were very excited and few high-fives were given too. But, before the excitement waned, another telltale sign of a "fish on" was spied. It was Ben's turn this time, and he reeled in a nice 9.49 pounder. Another personal best for them both. 

We had four fish in the boat, and two baits still swimming. I decided to make a turn and go back over that pass again, but was knocked off my line by others who had the right of way. By the time I got back to the starting point and turned around again, there were 4 or 5 boats that were drifting and jigging on the line I wanted to go back over....(deep sigh). I gave in, and got out of the pack, and headed north to the area I was at the other day...north of Turtle Creek. 

We set up in a little deeper water this time. The 26-27' of water was holding fish, and the Helix showed some good marks near the bottom and mid water column. 
To make this long story shorter, and with our time on the water running out...we would only catch 5 more eaters there, and then head to the waters east of Ballast Island on another tip from a friend, that I wanted to check out. 

Again, we set up in 26-27' of water. The clarity was cleaner than anywhere else we had been today, and the marks were very good too. We would catch 6 more fish there. We only caught a total of 15 today, and kept our 12. Not a fast bite like I thought it was going to be when we started out, but it was a fun day none the less, and I can't ask for more than that.  I have talked to people who were not even as fortunate as that, so I can't complain one bit!! 

Ben and Ed said they had a great time, and would like to come back again sometime....and, that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow is a blow day, and Tuesday is going to be a high of 36 (no thanks!), so I won't be back out until Wednesday with my two regulars, Tim and Matt McGlothlin. They are here for two days, but Thursday is looking "iffy" right now. We shall see.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls