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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with the Claypool Family 5/6/2021

by Capt Juls on 05/06/21

Met my crew at Mazurik's at 6:15, and we headed out just in time to watch the flaming orange ball rise up over the horizon. It was a clear sky this morning, temps were in the high 40s to low 50s, and the wind was light out of the east.

Waves were 2' or less. The water temp was 53 point something degrees. :)

Jesse and his wife Stacy brought their 11-year-old daughter Bri, and their 9-year-old son Ethan out for a fun day of fishing. Everyone was excited to get out on the lake, so we headed north to the other side of Kelly's to start. I hadn't been out, due to reschedules, so it was like starting all over, but it didn't take long to get some fish going once we got set up.

The program was all Spro Madeye 120 cranks, and I kept them to a minimum of three rods per side, since I had a young family, so we could keep it real simple.  
I showed Jesse, who had never used this kind of equipment before how to use the line counter reels and how to attach the Off Shore boards....he learned very quickly.

Baits were set out on the Port side at 45, 55, and 65 (longest leads on the outside) and 42, 53, and 71 on the Starboard side.  

Colors were Port side (in the same order as above)  Brown Marble, Blue/Chrome, and Lemon-Lime.  On the Starboard side it was Blue/Chrome, Lemon-Lime, and Golden Perch.

All colors, except the Lemon-Lime took fish (I think it caught one, but was so far behind the others we decided to change it), so the LL's came off and were replaced with Purple Glass Perch, which was a good color today too.  The hot combos were the Brown Marble at 45 back, Blue/Chrome and Purple Perch at 53 and 63 back, and the Golden Perch at 71 back.  

Speed was between 1.8-2.1 mph.

At one point, Stacy was bringing a fish in, and when I was bringing the board up to me to take if off the line, the line just snapped in my fingers, and the board and the fish started drifting away. I said, "Pick everything up quick, we have to go get that board". I laid a waypoint down as soon as it happened, so I would have a good idea where to find it. The wind had picked up, and we were in 1-3's, so keeping an eye on the board was pretty much impossible.  
Luckily, we found it, and it still had the fish attached to it, so I just handlined it into the boat....much to the delight of everyone. 

Since we had everything picked up, we moved back to our original starting point, so we could make that pass along my line again.  No sooner than had we got set up the boards starting darting back again. We had several doubles today, but no legit triples. :)

We ended up with their 4 limits and 4 of my 6 for a total of 28 walleye. They couldn't have been happier, and Stacy was already figuring out what walleye dish they were going to have for dinner tonight.

Since they drove in from over by Maumee, OH....I suggested that they stop over at Cutcher's Fish Cleaning, since it was on their way home and have George clean the fish for them.

While we were fishing, Jesse was wondering how he was going to get all the fish in the small cooler they brought along. Luckily, they had some heavy-duty garbage bags to use too, so it all worked out. They were not expecting the size of walleye we caught today....which is always fun for me, because they aren't the only ones that have brought along a cooler that would not hold all the fish that get caught. It always makes me giggle inside, when that happens. :)

It was a fun day, and a lot of great memories were made for their family. Stacy suggested bringing them back for a perch trip, and that makes me happy! You all know how much I LOVE Perch fishing. Woot! Woot! 

Tomorrow, I have three generations of the Carlson family joining me (the youngest being 9 years old). We plan on launching at 6:15, unless there is rain in the am, upon which we can probably delay it a bit to let it pass. I'll know more in the morning when I get up at 3am.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls 

Just a Heads Up if You're Looking for a Report....

by Capt Juls on 05/01/21

My trip today, tomorrow, and Monday have been rescheduled...and, Tuesday was a scheduled off day, so I won't be back out until Wednesday this week....winds permitting.

Today, would have been fishable this morning, but we have gusts to over 40mph expected here this afternoon and into the overnight. Then, gusts to 30's tomorrow. The crew for today, originally had both days...but, rescheduled Sunday's trip already, due to a fishing tournament on their home lake tomorrow.  I gave them the option of staying home today to prefish for that event, and he opted to do that. 

Monday, I had a husband and wife, but it's going to be raining and a little rough out there, so for the wife's enjoyment, her hubby and I have rescheduled that trip to next Sunday (using up one of my scheduled days off). 

Good news for you guys though...since I did that, that means the weather will get nice and I'll be working my butt off for two weeks straight without a day off. lol

So....don't look for a report until later this week. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day Two With Todd and Matt 4/28/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/28/21

Same crew different day:

I told Todd and Matt yesterday, that I would text them when I got up and had a chance to check the weather and wind forecast for today, to let them know if it was a go or no-go. It was going to be a go, but iWindSurf was showing strong winds from the SW until around 8am, so I told them that we would launch at 6:30 instead of 6:00, so I could read the waves on the way to our spot. Todd texted back and said, "Sounds good". 

As usual, I was ready to go way before I needed to be, and was getting impatient, so I left the house at 5am and headed to the gas station for the usual. I hit Mazurik's a short time later and did some maintenance around the boat. I tightened up the antenna, tightened up the little nut thingy that keeps the kicker motor straight, tightened up some screws I saw coming loose in a few places, put a bunch of crankbaits away, and got a few others out to try.

My crew showed up about 6:15, and we hit the water at 6:30. We headed west, and set up short of where we ended up yesterday by a mile, or mile and a half. The program was:
Spro's all 60 back....colors: Marble Brown, (2) Lemon Lime Crush, Blue Chrome
Bandits: inside to the outside Off Shore board....45, 57, 63, 65....colors: (same order) Pickle Rick Foil (a DJ color), Blue Chrome, a lemon lime with scales that one of my recent customers brought with him and gave me, and Humble Bee Black Stripes (stock color).  The Humble Bee came off when every other color took fish, but that one didn't. I replaced that one with IB Infected (another DJ Custom color), and that one would started pulling fish consistently.

Speed was 1.8-2.1mph  When the wind would gust, and the boat would start going too fast, I continually adjust the speed, or slow the boat by putting the back corner of the boat to the waves to slow it to a more steady speed.  "S turns" produced a lot of the bites too.

We were pulling in doubles and had one triple, but otherwise, it was just a nice steady bite. We had their two-person limit by 8:08 and then picked up to make another run up to start another pass. The bite was a little slower on that second pass, but when they did bite, they usually bit with multiple boards going back at the same time. Then, nothing for 5 minutes or so, and it would happen again. 

Just a super fun morning kind of bite. Not too fast and not too slow. :)

The Spro Madeye 120's on the Port side caught more fish than the Bandits on the first pass, but I think the Bandits made up for their lack of effort on the second pass, so it was pretty even on how many each side caught.

We headed in with our three-person limit and two happy customers. 

Todd likes to hire different Captains and see which ones he likes best. He's been fishing here for several years and has gone with... I think, he said 10 captains now. He fished with Capt Bobby Greene two days ago, with me for two days, and will be fishing with Bobby again tomorrow.  When we were at the ramp, he said, "I really enjoyed fishing with you, and I would like to come back and do it again soon", and I said, giggling and clapping my hands together quickly, "Yay! I made the cut!"  He laughed.  He wants to bring his wife up to fish with me, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I have Rick Parker and his crew. We get to look forward to fishing in the rain, a light NE wind, and about a 20 degree drop in air temps.....deep sigh. But, on the bright side, I don't have to clean the boat today, if it's only going to get dirty in the rain tomorrow. So, I guess that's one less thing, eh? lol

The only thing that will stop tomorrow's trip and disappoint a crew that has been waiting since their trip was rescheduled from last Thursday, is lightning, or stronger NE winds that are forecast for right now. I don't want to disappoint them, but safety comes first. We shall see what the morning brings.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Todd and Matt 4/27/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/27/21

Yesterday, my crew went with Capt Bobby Greene, of "Meals on Reelz Charters", and had a very fast and fun morning with him over in Vermilion. The pressure was on me, since I was going to be taking them out of Port Clinton this morning.

I got up at my usual 3am alarm, and made some coffee. I hit the back deck with Dexter, while he smelled stuff out in the yard and made his rounds. I checked the wind forecast for the morning, and it was all over the place. Depending on what station I looked at, it was showing light east winds up by North Bass, but strong gusty SW winds out of Port Clinton and Oak Harbor. Huron and Vermilion were showing strong gusty winds also.  

"How could that be?", I asked myself. Wouldn't a SW wind directly effect the Bass Islands on the west side too? I figured something was not reading accurately, and hoped for the lighter east winds up by the islands.

I was meeting Todd and Matt, who hail from Missouri, at Catawba at 6am, so I left the house at 4:40 and headed into town to gas up and get some ice. Then, I hit Catawba State Park at 5:00. No one else was there yet, so I drove slowly by the ramp to see how the waves were, because I don't like to use that launch with any kind of gusty SW winds....it blows right into the ramp.

I checked iWindSurf again, and then WindFinderPro, and both were confirming that it would be a gusty SW wind this morning.  So, I sent a text to my crew and to Capt Bobby, who I knew was planning on launching there too, that I was going to launch out of Mazurik's instead. Bobby replied that he would be doing the same.

When I pulled into Mazurik's I was the only one there....again. I thought for sure I would see Capt Sam, of "Pork Chop Express Charters" sitting there, since I think he sleeps in his truck, just so he can be the first one at the ramp. (Just kidding Sam!)...but, he must have used another ramp this morning.

Anyway, my crew showed up a little before 6am, and I finished readying the boat to head out.

It was a partly cloudy sky with a BIG full moon shining down through a layer of haze...you know the kind of moon I mean. :)  The air temp was 50 degrees, and the wind was already building.  

I told my guys that my original plan might be squashed, due to the wind and the lake conditions if that wind blew as hard as it was supposed to, and they were game for whatever I planned. They just wanted to go fishing.

We headed out at 6:15 and were met with residual rollers from last night's NE wind. They were big enough to keep the ride out pretty slow, so we didn't beat up the boat or anyone in it. I pointed the bow of the boat towards the lighthouse at Marblehead and wanted to check some breaklines over there that can be very good this time of year, but as we got closer, I could see that the water was a little too dirty for my liking.

We changed plans and headed NW, to the NW side of Kelly's, and set up with the usual program of Spro's on the port side and Bandits on the starboard side, running behind Off Shore boards.  The Spros were 50', 60', 70', and 80' back with Brown Marble, Marvin, Blue Chrome, and Golden Perch (all stock colors).  The Bandit side was running the same with Metallic Muffin (one of DJ's Custom Eye Lures creations), Green Clown, Blue Chrome, and Carrot Top.

Speed was 1.8-2.0mph

We set a course from the NW corner of Kelly's towards Lucy's point, so we were out there in the middle between  Kelly's and South Bass. 

We picked up three fish there. One on the Metallic Muffin, Blue Chrome, and a Blue Chrome Spro.

The bite was slow and the marks were slim. I checked the wind app again and thought that if it didn't blow any harder, that it wasn't going to be that bad, and we could make a run to the other side of the islands....so, we did.

On the way, I drove up past the buoy at Lucy's Point to see if I could mark some fish there, so I didn't have to go any further, but I didn't like what I saw there either and kept going. We cut through the passage between Middle Bass and North Bass and popped out on the SW side of West Reef.  

The Ulterra was deployed, the baby ETEC was fired up, and a course was set for the Red Buoy up on the Canadian line called "Taco Bell".  
We caught three more nice walleye on that pass up to the line, but it was slooowww.  Capt Bobby sent a text and said he found some fish and sent me the numbers. I am not at liberty to tell the public, but to suffice it to say...it wasn't too far away, so we picked up and ran over there.  Thanks for the info Capt B!

We set up again, but with some adjustments made from the little puzzle I was solving as each fish came in the boat. Several of the colors were removed and replaced with a color I call "Lemon Lime Crush"...not sure what Spro calls it, but that's the name of the color from the Smithwick P-10 stock.  That one, along with one called "Pickle Rick Scale" (another by DJ), put the majority of the rest of the fish in the cooler. Blue Chrome, once again put its share in the box too. But the lime green ones were hot today.

Zig Zagging through the water with the Ulterra made more bites possible, but it wasn't helping with the puzzle, because sometimes they hit on the fast side, and sometimes they hit on the slow side, so there was no real answer for how fast we should be going, so I just kept it at 1.8-2.0mph, and just kept doing the "S-turns".

We made that pass shorter than the first pass up there, and ran back up to set up again. Others were catching going into the waves, but since we were getting them going with the waves, I'll take the gentler ride over the bouncy one. It's definitely much smoother going with the waves. :)

One fish was needed to fill our three-person limit, so when we set up to make that second pass. Todd said, "I want to see a board go back while you're setting up". I said, "It will probably happen"....and, it did. Matt was attaching his Off Shore board when his number 2 board went screaming back. "Fish on!", yelled Todd from the front of the boat, and Matt reeled in number 18. We were done and ready to head back in. 

The wind was picking up as we drove in, so the timing was perfect. The ride back was just slow and steady, so we didn't get beat up. :)

Tomorrow's weather is iffy, so I told Todd that I would be up at 3am and send him a text as to what time we will go, if we go. I'm told that they are calling for thunderstorms in the morning, but I don't know how long those will last.  I'll know more after I see the weather report later.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bill, Bryce, and Brighton 4/24/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/24/21

I had made the decision last night to meet my crew at Mazurik's at 7am, because the wind forecast showed it was going to start laying down at 7am, but when I woke up at 3am, it showed it had laid down overnight.  I didn't want to text Bill that early, to have them show up earlier, because they were driving in from Toledo, which is an hour away, and he was bringing the "boys" (young adults), so I figured it would probably be hard to get them up earlier. lol

I left the house at 5:30 anyway, and hit the gas station for gas and ice, and figured I would just go over to Mazurik's early and get the front spot in the get ready lanes, and take the opportunity to strip a little line and re-tie the snaps on, and take my time getting the rest of the stuff ready.

I chose to put (4) Spro "Madeye 120's" on the one side and (4) Bandits on the other side, like I did the last trip out, and chose Spro colors in (2) "Golden Perch", "Blue/Chrome", and "Marvin". The Bandit side would run the same as the last trip out too, which was "Blue Chrome", "Buck Fever", and (2) "Carrot Top". 

Luckily, they showed up a 1/2 hour early, so we were on the water and to our spot by 7am. Mazurik's really wasn't as busy as I thought it would be, for a Saturday. After letting the ETEC warm up to a temp of 130 I hit the throttle and off we went. 

The lake was calm, with a little ripple from the SE wind, and remnants of boat wakes, so the drive north didn't take very long. 

We set up with the Spros running deepest on the outside and shallowest on the inside behind the Off Shore boards. On the Spro side, they were running 40, 60, 80, and 100 away from the boat. The Bandit side was set the same.

Bill had told me this trip was to learn more about how to run the Off Shore boards, because they had bought some for their boat, and that catching fish was just going to be a bonus. But, as we all know, you learn more about using the boards when you have activity, so you can see how to handle most situations, so the goal was to find some fish. ;)

We were 5 for 8 in the first spot, but they weren't there like they were the other day, so I made a decision to move more east, thinking they moved that way. We picked up and moved 7 miles east of our first spot and set up again with the same program.  

Speed was 1.7-2.0mph

At one point, we heard over the radio that someone was catching with leads at 150 and 120 back. I looked to see how deep that would put a Bandit, and then showed Brighton how the snap weight information in the "Precision Trolling Data" app worked. We put a 2 oz snap weight on at 50....then, to get to the same depth of an unassisted Bandit at 150 back, we needed to let out just another 16 feet, for a total of 66 feet, before putting the board on. He now understood how using a snap weight can shorten up the leads, but keep the baits as deep as the longer leads.

I had him go in my side compartment and choose a Bandit to use. I said, "Find one that you feel is lucky". "I'm never lucky", he said, and was not feeling it, so I told him to grab the "Green Clown", so he put that one on. That bait was set with the 2 oz snap weight and was out maybe 5 minutes before the board got tugged back violently. Again, showing them that running snap weights can catch fish.

We would spend the rest of their time over there, and would pick up 9 more nice Walleye to add to the box. The biggest one of the day jumped right out of the net when Bryce was netting Bill's fish, or we would have had 14 in the box. (I'm not counting the other fish that came unbuttoned before we saw them, or before we got the board off). That big fish was determined to get out of that net, and not even I could have prevented that fish from doing that acrobatic maneuver to free herself. Bryce felt bad, but that's just the way it goes. That was one lucky fish who now lives on to become a bigger fish. :)

When their 6 hours was up, we headed back in. They talked about how much they learned and how much fun they had on this beautiful day, and told me they would like to come back again soon, so that makes me happy! :)

On a side note: I was so close to a fantastic bite, but it was one of those days when I turned right instead of left....oh well. Deep sigh....

Tomorrow's trip was rescheduled to July, due to another NW blow, and Monday is a scheduled day off. Back at it Tuesday...weather permitting.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Doug and Mark 4/19-20/2021

by Capt Juls on 04/20/21

Doug and Mark drove down from Wisconsin Sunday afternoon to fish with me yesterday and today. So, this will be a two day report, since I didn't have the time to write an individual report for yesterday.

I left the house at 4:45 and did the usual gas station routine, and drove back across town to meet my crew at a ramp on the Portage River. The wind was out of the SW, and was gusting to the low to mid 20's, so I thought it would be best to go out of the river and hug the shoreline over to the can area.  

Wait....wait...wait...let me back up, and get back to the gas station. I almost forgot about these two other fellas from Wisconsin that showed up towing a little 14 or 16 foot tin boat, that was definitely not what we usually see for use on Lake Erie. 

I walked over to them, but didn't bother to get their names, because I  know myself too well, and I would never be able to remember their names anyway, so I never asked. They are known to me as the "Little Blue Boat Guys from Wisco". :)

Anyway, while my gas tank was filling up, I walked over and knocked on the driver's window and said, "Where ya launching out of?" He said, "Mazurik's". I said, "Where do you plan on fishing?", and  he said, "We were thinking of heading to the north side of Kelly's". I said, "No you're not...not today....you will die."  I then added, "Why don't you follow me today? I'm launching out of the Portage River and headed to the cans. I fished there yesterday and did very well. It will be a lot more protected and safer for you".  They agreed, and said "Thank you", as I walked away. "By the way, what's your name?", he asked.  I turned and said, "Juls". A big grin crossed his face and he said, "Oh, you're Juls...you do those reports on Walleye.com. I read those all the time!" I said, "Thanks for reading them", and smiled.

I told them the area and the program, and that they should launch with me and let me lead them out of the river, due to the channel being zig-zaggy... and, the fact that the electronics he had in the boat was sonar only and no gps. The river gets pretty shallow if you get off the main channel. (The marker buoys were not in yet).

At the mouth of the river, I slowed down, so they could catch up, and I pointed in the direction they needed to go to get to the right cans. They thanked us and we took off.

We used Bandits 40 and 50 back. Blue Chrome and Buck Fever were hot. 
One blue/orange bellied Jointed DHJ12 at 65 back caught several fish, and Spro's Madeye 120 in the Golden Perch and Blue Chrome colors at 50 back helped put fish in the boat too.

Speed was 1.7-1.8mph

We had a 2 person limit in the boat by 7:53, and had tossed back two keepers, when the firing range patrol boat came up on us to inform us that Camp Perry would be using the range area from 8-4 Monday through Friday this week, so we had to move out of the range and find another place to fish.  Too bad too, because that spot was really good. 

So, we moved south of the cans and set up. We picked away at three more to put in the box...lost a couple more and caught a giant Sheephead and a few White Bass, but never filled our three person limit.

I could see the "Blue Boat Guys" reeling fish in from time to time, so they were doing well enough, that I didn't stop by them when we left to head back in.  I did see them later when I went to walk my dog, and they had just pulled out of the river and were getting ready to leave. They said they had caught 9 and lost 3, so they had a fun morning too. They agreed with me, that if we had not been kicked out of our first spot, that we all would have limited out. 

Oh well...such is fishing. It was a fun time on a windy day!  I told my guys that the wind forecast kept changing for the next day, and that I would get up at my usual 3am time and check the wind forecast then and let them know if it's a go or not. They thought that was a good idea, since they were going to be here in the morning anyway. Mark said, "Well, even if it looks like we can only get out for a few hours, like 10am, that's good enough". I said, "That sounds good....I'll text you in the morning after I see what the weather holds in store".

On to this morning:

I went to bed at 5:30 the night before, because I was getting tired! I slept hard for 9 hours and woke up nice and refreshed. I got up and made some coffee and hit the back deck to check conditions for the day. It was drizzley (yuck).  The wind forecast was not as bad as predicted the night before, and would be less than 15 out of the SW and switching to the WNW and diminishing as the morning went on....only to build again when this snowstorm hits town later this evening.

I sent Doug a text and told him, "It's a go", and to meet me at Mazurik's at 6:30. I didn't want to launch in the dark again, because unlike the Portage River, this time I would need to be able to read the waves.

Capt Sam Downing was alone, and sitting in the get ready lanes when I arrived this morning. After the usual greetings and pleasantries, he offered up some helpful information as to where he caught some fish yesterday when he launched out of there. I gladly accepted it, because I know he doesn't lie to me. :)

And, because it was not my information....as usual I am not at liberty to give that information out. All I will say is, that we headed north out of the launch and not east or west. :)

The program was Spro's on the port side at 50/60/80/100 (order of the boards going out away from the boat...long lead on the outside) and Bandits on the starboard side with the same numbers.

Spro colors were Marvin, Golden Perch, Blue Chrome, and Golden Perch (again, in the same order going away from the boat).

Bandits colors were Taco Salad, Blue Chrome, RC Crush, and Carrot Top.
The Taco Salad color didn't catch anything, so it was switched out eventually for another Spro Golden Perch. 
RC Crush caught one, but was eventually swapped out for another Carrot Top, because Carrot Top was on fire!

We were bringing in singles, doubles and triples, and had our 18 fish by 9:15.  I said to Mark, "Well, you said you wouldn't mind if we were off the water by 10am". He giggled.

Doug and Mark had a great time, and so did I. At first I was kind of dreading it, since a cold front moved in last night, and I thought it would shut them down, but those fish were hungry... and, most of the fish had two sets of hooks in them, rather than the one single treble hook barely hanging on to the skin of their lips, like I've seen on most of my trips this past week. 

They were happy campers and set off to see George Cutcher out there in Oak Harbor at Cutcher's Fish Cleaning, where he cleans them for a dollar a fish. That's a big savings when you have a cooler full of 3-5 pound fish!

I have scheduled day off tomorrow...thank goodness, because we are supposed to get 2-4" of snow overnight. I put the boat over in the heated storage for the night, and will bring her home when the snow melts by tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday through Sunday's trips are on notice right now, due to the wind forecasts. So, we'll see when I'm headed out again.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

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