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Juls WFA Blog

Oh...What to do all Winter?

by Capt Juls on 12/02/18

Well, it's that time of year...deep sigh. The boat is put to bed, and the cold/dark month are upon us....deep sigh.


Today's 50 degree weather and sunshine is a welcome, and much needed, change today. It feels like spring! 

I know tomorrow it turns into winter again, so I'm kind of getting the blues.  

I'm pretty sure the last trip was run this past Friday, unless we get some nice weather and winds, and the lake isn't muddy. I have a few customers that like to be kept "on call", and live near enough, to make it on a day's notice to get out fishing.

Like them, fishing is a form of "therapy", in that it calms us, focuses us, and allows us to make it through a long winter. lol

I don't ice fish anymore, so the winters seem even longer now between fishing trips....ugh.

I'm sitting here on this sunny Sunday afternoon, typing this at my desk, the windows are open, a Jalapeno/Cheese bread is baking in the oven, and I'm listening to the wind chimes dance on my front porch. It's December 2nd, and just yesterday, we just had winter temperatures and winds that would cut through a person's clothing and send a chill to the bones. While I want this nice day to never end, I know tomorrow will bring back those winter conditions again.  

The new boat is performing great! I'm still waiting on my one SmoothMove seat, for the passenger side though.  I only ordered the one, because as the driver, I like to feel what my boat is feeling. Those seats are so nice, you don't feel the abuse the boat is taking anymore, and I don't want any preventable damage done to the hull while I'm driving it.  The throttle is there for a reason, and it's not always to push it down! ;)

I'm already anxious for spring. This is the earliest I've had a new boat, and knowing it's over there in the heated storage building, in a spot that will allow me to take it out on a moments notice, is always tempting. But, at this time of year...one needs to be very safety concious, and pick the days, because the water temperatures are deadly from now until late spring. 

I've put her to bed for now. The weather forecast is not condusive to a fun trip for at least for the next week. I don't look to far ahead at this time of year, because you really can't tell what the forecast is going to do until a day or two in advance.

On another note, I started writing for an online magazine called, "Outdoor Unlimited", and sent in the first submission yesterday. It looks like a nice website, so if you get a chance...check it out.  www.odumagazine.com. I don't think my article will be posted until around Christmas time though. I'll write something each month, so it gives me something fishy to think about. ;)

Not much else going on now that the "Walleye Fall Brawl" is done. So, I'll try to keep busy this winter, and hope for an early ice out. Hopefully, we'll have a mild winter, and we'll get out here and there on some nice days. One can wish, anyway. lol

So, I'll think of some things to blog about through the winter, in case someone is actually reading this. ;)

I wish all of you a safe winter...a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls






Fishing with Mark Moser and Dr Steve Reineck 11/25/18

by Capt Juls on 11/25/18

I left the house early this morning to go get my boat out of storage for today's trip, gas up the Ranger, and get some breakfast at Big Bopper's before heading over to Mazurik's to meet my crew.


They were meeting me at 8:30, so I had a lot of time to visit with some other captains that showed up at Bopper's too. It's been a while since I had seen the bunch of them, so it was a good way to start the day! :)

Mark was driving in from Fremont and Steve was driving in from Sandusky. Mark showed up a little after 8, so we chatted while we waited for Steve to show up. He showed up right on time and we were launched and in the water by 8:30.

After letting the G2 warm up to temp, we headed to the northeast side of Kelly's to start looking.  I stopped short of the south green can at the shoal and didn't mark much, but saw a few boats on the west side of the shoal and north of north bay trolling. But, just before I was going to move west, I got a text from someone saying they already had 6 in the box (they had launched 20 minutes before me), and gave me some numbers, so we turned and headed 4 miles southeast to give it a shot.

We set up with Bandits behind Off Shore boards at 75-120 back at a speed of 1.3-1.4mph. We picked up 4 fish, but it wasn't on fire. The marks were spotty...really good...then, nothing...then, really good...then, nothing. 

Just about the time I was going to turn and go back through a pod of fish, I got a text from another friend showing me his screen full of marks from top to bottom, and said it was a pretty good bite, so we picked up and moved to the west again. Ha!

We caught their two limits, and three of mine (but one I let go,so it would get a chance to live a little longer), before we ran out of time, and headed in.

Bandits 80 back and P-10's 20/50 with a 2oz Guppie weight were our best leads overall.  The Lemon-Lime Crush P-10 with the orange belly took a bunch...as did the Attention Deficit Bandit. 

It was a very nice day on the water. The air temp was a warm 48 degrees and the water temp was 42. It was mostly overcast, but the sun did pop out in the early afternoon for about an hour. The wind died around noon and went to nothing, so the lake was like glass...which means...that's right...I got to open up that Evinrude and go fast. woot! woot!

The guys had a good time and learned some little tips and tricks for using inline planer boards, so they can apply it to their outings out on the lake too. :)

I might be fishing with the Chapman's again on Friday if the forecast holds.....fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy 11/19/18

by Capt Juls on 11/19/18

Got the call yesterday from Jeremy..."Looks like the weather is going to be nice tomorrow. Do you want a trip?" "It does! I said. Let's do it...it will be the first trip out on the new Ranger." I replied grinning ear to ear.


Steve and Jeremy Chapman are regulars of mine who fish with me about 8-10 times a season. And, it just so happens, Steve was my very first customer when I started this guide business almost 8 years ago. So, it was fitting that they were out with me on my inaugural run in the 2019 boat. :)

I met them at Mazurik's at 9am, and we launched. I let the ETEC sit and purr while she came up to temperature.  It was a slightly foggy morning with zero wind, and the temperature was only 35 degrees. The forecast called for winds less than 5mph out of the WSW all day, and temps to hit a high of 40, so I was really glad to get a chance to be back out on the lake.

I had no clue which direction I was going to go to find fish. I know about some areas to the east, and some to the north, but I had read mixed reports online about catches. I knew Capt Kevin was headed to Huron to launch, so he would be fishing from Huron to Vermilion....I didn't think I wanted to go that far with an untested boat at this time of year, so I turned to the east, instead of north and put the big girl on plane. 

"OHHHhhhhh Holy Moly!" I thought to myself, "This Ranger is AWESOME! I've had a lot of different Rangers over the years... most of them being 621's...this one included....To me, this one is a perfect combination.
I knew instantly that the boat and the 300 G2 were going to be best buddies. 
It just felt super-right this time.  Have you ever just felt like that with a boat? I've felt it maybe three times. You just KNOW when it happens, and it happens right away.  Some are good, but then, some are really-really good! I have one of the "laters" for next season, and I can't wait to use it again....woot! woot!

Anyway, I decided to go east and just watch the Helix for good fish marks on the screen. I turned the chart speed up to 10, and cruised at 40-43mph, and watched for little red "blob dots" on the screen. That's what they look like at that speed. 
If I saw any that were bunched up together, making it obvious that they were fish, I slowed it down to take a better look.   

As I come off plane, I turn the H'Bird's chart speed down to match the boat's speed.  If you don't turn it down, the arches are going to look huge, and you'll be given the false impression that there are giant walleye below you.  
When you turn the speed down, you get a better sense of the size of fish below. You'll learn the difference between the size of marks, and the actual fish, through practice and time on the water.

We dropped off plane at the 27/27 line (those are the middle numbers in the GPS coordinates for those of you who don't know). 
The marks were pretty decent, so I grabbed the remote for the Ulterra and crossed my fingers that it would work. It did! Flawlessly. She deployed and I set a course to the east. 

 We set a spread of 4 Bandits and 2 Smithwick Perfect 10's behind Off Shore inline boards.  The P-10s were used with a 1oz Guppie Weight (snap-weight) at 30/30. (Again, for those that don't know what 30/30 means...this time, it's the distance back using a weight. Put 30 feet of line out, attach the weight, and let 30 more feet of line out...for a total of 60 feet.

The P-10s took a few walleye, but were mostly tasty bits for a lot of big white bass too, so we ended up taking them off and putting all Bandits on.

Okay, so here's the info you want is:

Speed was 1.3-1.5mph....1.4mph was probably the best speed, but the other two worked too.

Depth of water was 40-44 with 40 foot having the most fish in it.

Colors: Anything with an orange belly.  The best colors today were the Blue/Chrome Bandit and a Custom by Domka Outdoors called, "Attention Deficit".  I heard from Capt Kevin during the day...he was further SE of where I was and had the Chartreuse WonderBread color working well. In fact, he said he switched all his baits to that color at some point. 

I put one of those out, but it did diddly-squat for us, until the very end. We put 3 Blue/Chromes, 2 Attention Deficits, and 1 Chartreuse Wonderbread out. 

The fish were coming in in singles, doubles, and triples...with a triple to end the day. When started to pull the rest of the boards in, there were walleye attached to all of them!

It was a great day to be alive today, and a great day to be on Lake Erie!

They're hoping that they will be able to get a few more days in next week too, since they are registered for the Fall Brawl, along with me, and we're running out of time. I think there's only 12 more days left for the tournament?  I hope the weather behaves and lets us get out a few more times.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

2019 Ranger is here and ready to go!

by Capt Juls on 11/13/18

Spent the day putzing in the new Ranger. She showed up last week, and I found some nice heated storage for her, for the winter.  However, she's not hibernating, and if the weather permits I'll be taking some late season trips before the ramps ice up.


Looks like we'll get some warmer weather mid to late week, next week...and, hopefully NO WIND!!  So, I'm looking forward to breaking her in, and catching some fish in the process. 

The walleye are feeding well, and fattening up now, so from now until spring...they will just keep getting bigger. :)

I saw a report from the ODNR stating that the 2018 walleye hatch was a "Record breaking hatch"....beating out the phenomenal hatch from 2003.  The 2003 hatch found 183 young of the year walleye in a hectare, and this year they were recording upwards of 255 per hectare....so you can see, if that's the case....this hatch was outrageously good!

They also mentioned that there was a really good perch hatch too.  I know from fishing this past season that there was also a very good hatch with the sheephead, white bass, and Emeralds too. So, it looks like the next decade or more will be fantastic fishing!

I'll be doing very select days the rest of this season, but if you want to try and hit one of those days....let me know. :)

I am taking reservations for the 2019 season now, so if you want in on some of this action, and would like to fish with me....give me a shout. My contact info is at the top of every page. ;)

Have a safe winter everyone!

Stay tuned...

Juls


New 2019 Ranger is almost here...

by Capt Juls on 10/14/18

The new ride should be here around Halloween, so I'll be running trips through November/Decembere as long as the weather allows...:)


I'm also accepting reservations for the 2019 season now, so don't miss out on the great spring fishing, and give me a call or email me to reserve your spot today! 

Fishing with Tim 9/29/18

by Capt Juls on 09/30/18

Today I had one of my regular customers, Tim McGlothlin out for a morning of perch fishing. He normally comes with his brother, Matt, but he had to stay behind for a soccer game. He coaches his daughter's team at school. 


We stopped at Rickard's for some minnows and were surprised to find that they had the elusive Emerald Shiners in...finally! Yay! We stopped off at Big Bopper's for breakfast, before heading back to the west end of town to launch out of White Caps on the Portage River. 

The winds were a little gusty out of the NW in the morning stirring up the lake with 1-3' waves, but was forecast to settle down as the day went on...which it did, by the way. 

We hit the green can at Catawba first, but there were few marks and the water was a bit dirty, so we didn't stay there long. Next, we headed up to the west side of the islands, to where I was last Sunday and moved around until the Helix showed me some good marks, that looked "Perchy". We set up on them using the Ulterra's Spot-Lock and went to work.

It wasn't long before we picked up the first one and then it was a steady bite...not too fast and not too slow. I think by the time we finally found them it took about 2 hours to get our 60 in the cooler.  The bite was sometimes aggressive, and sometimes it was so light that you never even felt it.

It was a relaxing day with no pressure...Tim just likes to be on the water and doesn't even care if we catch any fish at all. But, of course, it's way more fun when we do! ;)

We headed in, took the fish to Port Clinton Fish Co. to be cleaned and went downtown for some lunch. It was a perfect day in my book, and a good day to end the season out of this 2018 Ranger. 

The 2019 Ranger will be here sometime in November, and hopefully, I didn't just jinx us by getting it early...causing us to have an early winter!  That would be just my luck though..lol  We shall see.

It's been a great season, and I would like to thank all my customers for a wonderful year, and for all the fun memories. I hope to see you again next season too!

I would also like to thank all my terrific sponsors for their continued support, because without them I couldn't do what I love to do!

Vic's Sports Center
Ranger Boats
Evinrude Motors
Minn Kota and Humminbird
Off Shore Tackle
EZEEStep
Costa Sunglasses
World Wide Marine Insurance

Thank you all!!

I am now taking reservations for the 2019 fishing season, so don't hesitate to reserve your fishing adventures today! :)
So, until November....

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe, Phil, and Mark 9/27/18

by Capt Juls on 09/27/18

Since I hadn't been out since last Sunday, I was really looking forward to getting back in the boat this morning. The forecast was calling for light winds out of the south, and although they were really from the ESE...they were indeed light. 


I stopped at Rickard's Bait Shop for some minnows and ice, because I thought we might get some perch'n in today too, so if there was a chance, I wanted to have bait.  I hit the gas station and then headed on over to Big Bopper's to meet my crew for some breakfast. After some chatting over coffee and grub, I headed on ahead of them to get the boat ready over at Mazurik's.  

They showed up just before 7, so we could get on the water for my sunrise picture...unfortunately, the sky didn't want to dance this morning and was quite dull as far as pretty sunrises go, so I skipped it. 

We headed east to the Huron Dump and set up in 39-40' of water...trolling west. The baby ETEC was set to push us at 2.2-2.4mph. I was having a battery issue with my Ulterra today, so it stayed stowed and I controlled the boat the old fashioned way. Boy, I sometimes forget how useful a bowmount trolling motor is that has "iPilot" on it.  It's like having someone else do the driving for you, so you can work in the back of the boat without constantly looking to see what your heading is.  I got so spoiled!! I realize just how much now...lol   Anyway, that issue is being attended to, so it should be back in my equipment arsenal very soon.

We started out with dipsies on the 3 setting at 75 back, and the 1 setting at 65 back. A 40 Tru-Trip Jet swam out the back of the boat at 70 back.  Ripplin Redfins and spoons were both working today.  I give the nod to the crankbaits though, because they caught more than the spoons did...and, the walleye were also a little better grade too.

IB Frozen, Chartreuse with the Purple head, Blue/Chrome, and Black/Gold were good colors for us on the Ripplin's.  I don't know the names of the spoon colors, so I won't even try, but silvers with blues in them worked, as did a chartreuse one with 3 pink dots (it was one of the larger spoons).

There wasn't any time to perch fish, and from what I heard on the radio, it sounds like the perch bite is still a bit slow, so we didn't miss anything.  My neighbor's pond fish were happy I didn't get too, because they get to eat all my leftover minnows...they come swimming up when I show up. They know who loves them...lol  It's quite comical sometimes. :)

Joe, Phil, and Mark had a great time, and mentioned how relaxing it was to be out there today. The weather was very nice, and the company was too. Joe did 5 or 6 charters with me this season, and brought different people along each time....except for Phil...he was here in the spring with Joe, so he got two trips in...woot!woot!

This was the second to last trip using this 2018 Ranger 621. I have one more trip on Saturday with one of my regulars, before this boat goes to its new owner on Monday.  The 2019 Ranger 621 will be here around Thanksgiving, I think, so I'm looking forward to getting that one on the water before it freezes up for the winter.

So, until Saturday...

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mark Bray and Hannah 9/19/18

by Capt Juls on 09/19/18

A little background on Mark Bray before I begin...


Mark hails from Wisconsin, and had fished on the Co Angler side of the FLW for many years...back when I was fishing it too. Mark was one of my Co's back then, but don't ask me which event, because I couldn't tell you! That was too long ago for this old brain to remember. lol

Hannah, is one of the engineers that work for Mark's company, and they were down in Toledo on business when I got a phone call Monday afternoon, asking if I had any availability this week. I did.  We set the date for today (Wednesday), and I explained that the perch bite had just started to pick up, so it might be a good idea to go after some, rather than the walleye. Mark said, "We're up for whatever's biting. Hannah doesn't fish, so this is new to her".  I replied, "I think we should go for perch then, it will be much more fun for her".

They met me at my house at 6am this morning, and we loaded up in my Excursion to head to Rickard's for some shiners and ice. Then, we hit the gas station to top off the Ranger. After a yummy breakfast at Big Bopper's, we headed to East Harbor to launch, because it would be a couple miles closer to my destination, than Mazurik's would be.  It would be nice if we had Catawba launch to use, but that won't be usable until next spring....we hope.  

The wind was out of the NE at 9mph with gusts up to 14. It was mostly cloudy in the AM, and the air temp was around 68 degrees.  The lake swelled with the NE rollers and occasionally white capped with the 2-3 foot waves on top of that....but, it wasn't that bad navigating out to the cans west of the islands, since we could ride the trough all the way out.

We set up over 27 foot of water, near one of the cans on the east side of the firing range. There was a pack of about 10 boats to the west of me, and as we motored closer, the Helix lit up with tons of marks that looked "perchy", so I deployed the Ulterra and hit the Spot-Loc feature to anchor us over that spot.

I gave them each a 4 1/2' Ultra Light rod to use and some homemade crappie rigs with different colored beads. Hannah's had chartreuse beads and Mark's had opaque pink beads.  Mine had chartreuse beads also.  Mark was the first one to catch some "Lake Erie Gold", and gave me confidence that what we had set up on was indeed perch.

Hannah needed some coaching on how to do it, but got the hang of it pretty quickly. Soon, she was catching perch too.  She also kept me busy, because I was baiting her hooks and taking her perch off for her, because she didn't want to touch them...lol  Which is certainly okay...not everyone wants to touch a slimy fish. ;)

When Mark's ratio was noticeably more than Hannah's I switched Hannah's bead color to dark orange/red beads instead of the chartreuse....it did the trick, because she was on fire!  I hardly had time to catch any perch myself, because she was keeping me busy, busy, busy! Woot! Woot!

We caught our 90 perch in 3 hours, and then headed in.  They wanted to get an early start back to Wisconsin, since it was an 8 hour ride for them.

They said they had a great time, and Hannah was such fun to fish with...a real "natural" if you ask me...she should really fish more in the future, I think. She would be good at it. 

I'm canceling my Friday trip, due to the wind forecast, and Saturday is still on the table as far as wind is concerned, so I'm watching that, but not making the call yet.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Brian, Danielle, and Shane 9/16/18

by Capt Juls on 09/18/18

My PA crew met me at my house at 6am and we headed over to Rickard's for some ice and shiners, before stopping to gas up the Ranger. The plan for the day was to go for walleye first, and if there was time we could finish off with some perch fishing. (Unfortunately, once we were on the lake, I realized I had perch bait, but forgot the perch rods in the back of the Excursion...uffda! lol)


We launched out of Mazurik's at 7:15 and headed east from there. Once we were out in front of Cedar Point, the Helix started lighting up with some good marks, so the Ulterra was deployed and the baby ETEC fired up to push us at the usual 2.3-2.5mph.  

The spoon program was the same as usual too, so there's no need to repeat that program here. ;)

It was a nice day with an easterly wind at less than 10 mph and sunshine.  The area we were fishing didn't have a lot of the floating weeds that was seen earlier in the week, so that was a good thing.

The crew did a great job of learning how to run dipsies and Tru-Trip Jets, and caught their limit of walleye. Our best bite was from an east to west pull, so a couple times, we pulled everything up and made a run down to the Huron dump and headed back towards Cedar Point. We were targeting fish at 20-30 feet over 40 feet of water.

I won't be back out until Wednesday. My original crew for Monday through Thursday panicked last week, and wanted to reschedule, because he saw an early forecast calling for stronger NE winds (original Hurricane remnant forecast I guess?) So, I let him reschedule.  I picked up a trip for Wednesday with a fella that fished the FLW on the Co side with me one time, and he and a co worker are in Toledo for work. He wants to bring her out on Erie, so she can catch her first walleye ever. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Nick, "Pops", and John 9/15/18

by Capt Juls on 09/16/18

Picked up my crew at the White Caps Motel at 6:15 and headed over to Rickard's for some ice, and then across the street to get gas for the Ranger.  I took my crew from Illinois over to Huron to launch, because I thought it was going to be foggy as hell again, like the day before was, and I figured it would be a shorter run to my fish.


It wasn't foggy in Port Clinton, but after crossing the Sandusky bridge, headed east, it turned into pea soup fog with a visibility of only a couple hundred feet...if that.  Luckily, it cleared about a mile west of Huron and I breathed a sigh of relief.

As we headed out of the Huron River, I could see there wasn't any fog on the lake, and it was pretty calm, so I pointed the Ranger ENE for a 17 mile run towards Lorain.  When we got there, the Ulterra was deployed and set on power level 5 to steer us, and the baby ETEC was fired up and set to push us at a speed of 2.4-2.5mph.  There was a  pack of boats there, so I chose the north side of them and headed north from there and away from the pack.

It took a while to dial in our program with spoons, but eventually the catching picked up for us.  Dipsies on the one setting were at 50 and 57 and the 3 setting at 75 and 85. The 40 Tru-Trip Jet picked up fish at 85 back.

After we had 10 fish, I wanted to move, because I didn't see the marks that I wanted to see there, so we moved south about 5 miles and set up again on better marks. They started reeling in fish on a much faster basis and it wasn't long before they had the limits in the cooler.

Nick, "Pops", and John were happy to learn how to run the dipsies, because they are bass fishermen who have set up their boat to do some walleye trolling, but needed to learn the basics....which they did. By mid morning they were running all the rods and doing a fine job, so I have no doubt that they will be catching walleye the next couple of days on their own too.

It was a fun and memorable day, and I look forward to fishing with them again soon!

I'm out Sunday with a family for more walleye....looks like it's going to be another nice day...although, muggy, hot, with another east wind...should be a good day!

Stay tuned....

Juls

Bringing in that Outside Off Shore Planer Board

by Capt Juls on 09/10/18

Let’s set the stage: It’s a beautiful morning, the wind is light, there’s a beautiful sunrise happening, and there’s a small chop on the water, and I have great expectations for a good bite here on Lake Erie. I have new customers in the boat that have never fished with Off Shore inline planer boards before and are excited to learn.

 

My Off Shore Boards: I use the Tattle Flag system on mine. The front arm has the OR-18 black “Snapper” release on it, and on the back, I like to use the red OR-16 release. The Snapper has a toggling closure that allows me to use it two different ways, but I only use it one way, with the closure pushed down, to put the pin in the front of the line, keeping it from releasing until I take the board off. The OR-16 has a pin in the center of it, so when the line is put behind that pin it will not release from the line until I take it off. 

 

There are many different set ups used by many different people, and what works best for one person might not be the best for another person. The way that works best for you is the way to use them.  That’s why Off Shore Tackle has a plethora of release options to choose from.

 

I have used mine this way for 18 years, and it hasn’t let me down. Is it the best way? I don’t know, probably not. But, it works best for me. Will this work for you too? It most certainly will!

 

The first question from a novice board user is, “How do you bring in the outside board when a fish is on?” “I’ll show you”, I say. This is something that I’ve started doing, and it seems to work out pretty well.  Will it tangle with the other lines inside? Sometimes, but for the most part it’s tangle-free.

 

I’m usually running three boards per side and will try to run leads as short as I can. That means, if I have to run the baits deeper, I’ll use a “Guppie Snap Weight” on a crankbait, or a “Tadpole” on a crawler harness. By doing this, the outside board has less chance of tangling in the other lines when a fish is coming in.

 

For the sake of my story, picture the outside Off Shore board going back with the tell-tale sign of a big Lake Erie Walleye on the line. The board wiggles and falls back violently. I say, “Fish on! Let’s go…who’s up?” The next angler takes the rod from me, and I give these instructions:

 

“Point the rod tip to the other side of the boat…let that rod bend in half if it needs to, but just keep reeling nice and steady. Not too fast and not too slow.”

 

At this point, I move the middle board rod, and the inside board rod, forward to the next rod holder. This allows those two boards to move forward in the water a couple feet. It’s usually enough to allow the outside board to come in behind them. When the outside board has cleared the inside board, I have the angler straighten the rod up, and keep it at a 45-degree angle. At the same time, I tell him/her, “Now, move back between the driver’s and passenger’s seats, and keep the rod tip over my outside shoulder” … (meaning the shoulder on the side of the boat that the fish is coming in on).  When the Off Shore board is a few feet from the boat, I grab the line and start bringing the board up to me and undo the releases from the line in one smooth action, as the angler keeps reeling.  

Once the board is off, I have him/her move to the back corner and keep the rod tip pointed out to the side of the boat. This allows the fish to come up off the corner, where I can net it easily, instead of behind the boat where it can, and most often will, get in the motors.

 

More often than not, this procedure works well, but there are times when a fish just has evil intentions and decides to take a run at the other lines too, and it might bring in one or both with it. However, it doesn’t take long to untangle and reset the Off Shore boards in “Marching Soldier” fashion again.

 

Give this a try next time you’re out and see if it works for you too. One tip though, if you don’t keep that rod pointed on the opposite side of the boat and bent in half until you clear those other two boards, it will never work. That is the key!

 

I wish you all the best of luck fishing and hope you find this helpful!

Bad Weather...

by Capt Juls on 09/10/18

My 5 day trip with the Wisconsin crew was cut short by two days...and, my weekend trips were canceled due to the strong winds out of the ENE. Today's trip (Monday 9/10) was rescheduled by my customer, even though I would have rescheduled it due to weather conditions too to another date.


I didn't have anything scheduled for Tues thru Thursday, so I won't be back out until Friday.

I have 4 days available this month, and then I'm done until my new Ranger arrives, and weather allows.

Days open this month are the 22nd, 25th, 26th, and 28th, so if you're interested in a trip, give me a call or email me. The contact info is at the top of the page. ;)

Thanks, and have a great day!

Capt Juls

Fishing with Walleye Weiss, Jim, and Dennis 9/3-4/18

by Capt Juls on 09/04/18

Yesterday, was the beginning of a 5 day trip for my Wisconsin crew. Walleye Weiss and Jim fished with me this same week, for three days, last year with their friend, Jack. This year though, Jack couldn't make it, so they invited their friend, Dennis to come along.  They are a friendly crew and a lot of fun to fish with, which is no surprise since they come from my home state....woot! woot!


Anyway, I told them before they came down that the perch bite was off, and that I wasn't confident in finding them a cooler full each day, and said that we should consider walleye fishing instead. The walleye bite is still pretty hot, and I doubt that it is going to end any time soon. I gave them the option of canceling, rescheduling, or fishing for walleye. They still wanted to come down and go fishing. So, the plan yesterday, (Monday), was to go walleye fishing and then, if there was time, go look for some perch, and see if the bite had picked up.

When I was readying the boat, Walleye said, "My buddy got two limits two days ago, and he gave me his numbers".  In my head, I was thinking, "Oh boy...numbers from two days ago!  He wants to go perch'n".  I asked him if that was the case, and he wanted to try it, so I said, "Okay, let's go give it an hour and a half and if nothing bites, we'll go chase the walleye". So, that's what we did.

We go to his buddies numbers and the Helix was only showing us a handful of perch on the bottom. So, we moved around a little until we found better marks. We fished that spot for about an hour and a half, moving a little once or twice, with only 15 perch for our efforts in the cooler.

Capt Kevin was north of us by a few miles, and shot me his numbers....so, we headed up there instead of to the walleye grounds, and continued to perch fish through their 6 hours. We ended up with 40 in the cooler, and watched Capt Kevin and his crew pull up doubles!  So close, but yet, so far!! lol  

We talked it over and they decided to take my advice and go fill the cooler with walleye first, and then, if there was time, go look for more active perch on the way back in.

Today.....

I met my crew at Big Bopper's for breakfast and enjoyed a nice chat before heading to Mazurik's to launch.  I thought it was going to be closed for three days after the holiday weekend, but it's going to be closed the 10th, 11th, and 12th next week.   We launched before sunrise and headed east towards Huron.

The conditions were excellent. There was a 5mph offshore wind, the temp was 74 degrees, and the sky was partly cloudy.  There was just a light chop on the water, so I was able to open up that big 300 G2 hanging on the back of that sparkly dark blue Ranger and take a nice smooth ride across the water.  It's not very often we who fish on Lake Erie get to experience that, so when it does happen, it makes the soul of a person very happy. ;)

We got to the area I wanted to fish, which was in 37 foot of water, and set the Ulterra on an easterly course. The baby ETEC pushed us at the usual 2.4-2.5mphs.

Dipsies set on the 3 setting were set out at 75 and 80 back, while the dipsies on the 1 setting were set 57 and 61 back. A 40 Tru-Trip Jet was set at 83 back. Everything caught fish at one point or another. We caught our limit of 24 walleye plus a plethora of white bass, white perch, and sheephead, and some young walleye not big enough to keep.

The guys had a great time learning how to run the dipsies and did a great job.  We went looking for perch when we were done, but only caught a half dozen or so, out in front of Lakeside, before their time was up.  

Tomorrow is going to be another nice day....and, we'll be back at it in the morning.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Doug, Bill, and Dave 9/2/18

by Capt Juls on 09/02/18

This morning, I picked up my crew at 5:30am and hit Rickard's for ice and a couple new spoons, and then the gas station to gas up the Ranger. We hit the highway and headed to Huron to have breakfast at Lemy's before launching.


We headed out of the river at 7am and headed east. Word was Cranberry was producing and it was closer than where I was fishing yesterday over by Cedar Point, so we headed that way.  There wern't a lof of boats in there yet, so with a push of a button, down went the Ulterra...set on an northeast direction. The baby ETEC was dialed in to 2.4-2.5mph.

We ran the spoon/dipsy program with the 3 setting at 50-55 and the 1 setting at 47-57.  After more boats moved in...I moved out. I don't like fishing in crowds and decided to run west.  As we were running, I kept an eye on the Helix and it showed good marks the entire way, so I simply got out of the crowd, shut her down, and and reset everything to troll again.  It wasn't long and we were catching nice eater sized walleye.  The west to east troll was much better than the east to west pull.

The weather was beautiful, and a nice day for Doug to have brought his Dad Bill, who is 85 years young, and his brother in law, Dave. They all expressed how much fun they had and want to come back again next spring...and, that makes me happy!

I'm back at it tomorrow, with a group from my homestate of Wisconsin, who will be fishing with me for the next 5 days. They were  here last year for 3 days of perch'n, and wanted to add a couple more days this year.  I explained the perch bite is a little off, so if they didn't mind cathcing some walleye we should do that first, and then try for some perch...and, if the bite picks up, we'll spend more time targeting them.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Levi, Garrett, Benji, and Max 8/26/18

by Capt Juls on 08/27/18

After gassing up the boat and stopping to get bait at Rickard's, I popped into Bopper's on my way to Mazurik's, where my crew was having breakfast, to let them know I was heading to the ramp to wipe down the boat since the roads were wet and the boat was dirty from the spray. I told them to take their time since we weren't scheduled to launch until 8am, and it was only a little after 7.


They showed up at 7:30, so we got a little earlier start. The plan was to go perch fishing, because there were two young boys with them. Last year, I had perch fished with all of them, but on two separate trips. Garrett is Levi's little boy, and the youngest. Max is Benji's boy and is 14 (so, I should probably call him a young man instead of a boy!)  

We headed towards the monument first, but I wasn't marking much there, and saw boats picking up and leaving that area, so I didn't bother. So, we headed up to the line, east of Lucy's, and found some good marks there.  Down went the Ulterra and I hit the Spot Lock to anchor us. It was a slow pick, but the perch were nice sized.

After about two hours we moved towards North Bass, and found some good marks, but those turned out to be mostly sheepshead.  Next, we moved down to between Kelly's and Gull Island Shoal, and picked up more perch, but again...it was slow going.  The chatter on 79 was the same for the most part...people were struggling to catch the perch.  But, of course, that's all you would hear since no one that is on the active biters was going to tell anyone! ;)

At this point, we only had 32 of our 150 allowable catch I said, "You guys want to go catch some walleye? We need to get some meat in that box for your fish fry." They said, "Yeah, that sounds good". Garrett and Max had never done any walleye fishing on Lake Erie before, so it was going to be a new experience for them. 

We headed over to Cedar Point, where I was last Friday. Down went the Ulterra again, but this time it was just to steer the boat....the baby ETEC was going to do the pushing. I set the speed for 2.3-2.5mph.  The program was the same:

Dipsies on the 3 setting at 75 and 80 and the 1 setting at 62 and 65.

The marks weren't in that area like they were the last time I was there, so we just turned the boat and trolled to deeper water. There they were...the Helix showed good marks from 20 feet down to 40 feet. It wasn't long and we had some pretty steady action going.  

With the time we had left, we managed to put 12 eaters in the box and throw back 5 that were just at 15 or under, and a handful of big white bass. So, the boys had a good time.

Garrett impressed me the most, because I would never have expected such a young boy to stay focused and enjoy fishing so much. He never whined about anything, even when it got really hot out after the wind died down.  He was given the responsibility of counting the fish on the clicker counter as the fish went into the cooler, and probably enjoyed that as much as reeling in the fish! Ha!  I love that kid!!

Max was "Jonny on the spot" when it came to seeing a fish hit on the dipsies and did a great job handling the heavier equipment. :)

All in all, it was a very fun trip, even though the perch bite kind of sucked for us.

They went home with a cooler full of fish for their two family get together fish fry, and said they would be back next year to do it again.  And, that makes me happy!   I'm looking forward to watching little Garrett grow up. I have no doubt he's going to be as good a fisherman as his bass tournament angling Daddy! :)

I'm off until Friday, due to a three day cancelation (which worked, because of some yucky wind/weather coming in Tuesday thru Thursday) and will be back at it on Friday with two of my regulars...Tim and Matt McGlothlin.

So, until then.....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Fishing with Joe and Ron 8/24/18

by Capt Juls on 08/26/18

Started out perch fishing, but zeroed for the first hour, so I said, “Let’s go put some walleye in the cooler, and then we’ll try for perch again after”...they were game, so we went to the same place I went to Monday, (near Cedar Point), and ran the same program. We had 18 walleye in one and a half passes (2 1/2 hours)...a very nice grade too! Biggest was 28”, and a 24”, but the average was 17-20”.

The program was the standard 1 dipsy: 3 setting at 75 & 77 back and the 1 setting at 62 & 65 back. Speed was 2.3-2.5
Trolling pass was SE to NW.


We tried perch again after, over by the lighthouse, but the marks on the Helix did not bite. We had two in the box...one caught trolling spoons and one by the lighthouse. 

Joe and Ron had a ball and that’s all that really matters...:)

I'm out again Sunday morning with two little boys on board. The plan was to perch fish, but we will start again with walleye and then try for some gold afterwards.  

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 8/6/18

by Capt Juls on 08/06/18

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 8/6/18

It was a successful morning fishing with my regulars, Steve and Jeremy Chapman, of Columbus Ohio. We went out of Mazurik's at 7:30am this morning and headed back to the spot I was at yesterday, to go perch'n.

Thankfully, it's a Monday, so the boat ramp wasn't busy, and there were a lot fewer boats in that area up there on the line. It's not a "secret spot", and it's pretty much the same every August up there. Lots of boats and lots of perch! 

We caught our 90 perch in good time and shut the "Spot-Lock" off, turned the boat to the north, and set a speed of 2.3-2.5mph with the Ulterra and "baby ETEC" combination. ("Baby ETEC" is the 15HP ETEC HO...it's just more fun to say, "baby ETEC" than it is the other).

They wanted to try for some walleye too, so we set the dipsies and Tru-Trip Jets out with spoons and Ripplin Redfins and adjusted my program to match the depth we were fishing and the "fishy marks" I was seeing on the Helix.

They both have their Ontario fishing licenses, so we crossed the line. Unfortunately, there was a ton of floating grass up there by "The Wheel", that I decided to go try for walleye down to the south instead...hoping to find less floating grass. We did. There was very little floating grass in that area compared to the north.

It was a lot hotter and muggier on the east side of South Bass...the SW wind was around 10-12mph which was very nice up on the line, but not so nice down near the monument. As soon as we set up and started trolling, we were all complaining about the heat and humidity.

However, that didn't stop us. Jeremy asked his iPhone's "Siri" to set a timer for 20 minutes, and if we didn't catch a walleye in that 20 minutes, we would head in with just the perch.
With only two minutes to go, the inside dipsey rod did a bouncy dance with the tell-tale sign of a fish on the line.
Steve jumped on it, and we put a nice 21" fish in the cooler. So, we stayed....and melted some more. lol

Jeremy set the clock for another 20 minutes....and, again, we caught another one with just a few minutes to go in the round. We would do that two more times to end up with four nice walleye in the cooler, before the timer won a round and we headed in with 35 pounds of perch and 9 pounds of walleye. That will make a nice family fish fry one of these nights.

The Chapmans' were happy, and that makes me happy. It's always a good time fishing with them. 

It's that time of year again, and I'm heading to Meta Lake Lodge in Nakina, ON, this weekend. It's an annual fly in Pike trip that we do, so I'll be back when I get back. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tony and Aidan Sargent 8/5/18

by Capt Juls on 08/05/18

This morning, I had the same crew as yesterday, so Tony, Aidan, and I launched out of Mazurik's at 7am to go perch'n.  


We headed NNW at a nice cruising speed of 40mph, until the Helix lit up with good marks that looked "perchy" on or near the bottom.  Staying north of all the other boats, I deployed the Ulterra and put it on "Spot-Lock" to hold our position over the fish.  

After setting Tony and Aidan up with some ultralight rods, rigged up with some crappie rigs I made, I showed them how I like to hook the minnows, and explained how I like to fish for them.

Aidan was the first to drop his bait down and immediately caught the first yellow perch of the morning. It wasn't long before Tony caught one too, and it was game on.  We caught our 90 perch in 2 1/2 hours, and headed in, so we didn't have to get stuck at the ramp waiting...or, having them have to wait hours here in town while they wait to get their fish cleaned.

We made it back to the launch, and loaded out in quick time, since it wasn't that crowded yet.  I drove the fish over to Bay's Edge for them, while they followed in their vehicle, so they didn't have to get their cooler all slimy before driving back to Cincinnati.   Bay's Edge was a little busy, but it was only going to take them an hour to finish their fish, so I gave them directions to the "Tin Goose" diner over by the airport.  Aidan was promised an ice cream, but "The Brown Dog" gelato place I had recommended first, was closed, so I told them the diner has good cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes....he was all for that. So, I sent them on their way, and I headed home.

I'll be back out tomorrow with Steve and Jeremy Chapman, and we'll be chasing both walleye and perch, which means I'll be launching out of Mazurik's again. Thankfully, it's aa Monday, so I don't expect the launch to be busy at all! Woot! Woot! That makes me happy...:)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tony and Aidan Sargent 8/4/18

by Capt Juls on 08/04/18

Last month, I took out Mark Sargent and friends, and this morning I took out Mark's son, Tony, and Tony's son, Aidan to do a little walleye fishing.  I met them at Huron at 6am, and we headed north out of the river like I did on yesterday's trip.


We made a run to the same place I started yesterday, and set the Ranger down off plane about 10 miles north of the river.  Then, I put the Ulterra in the water, and gave it a heading of NE to guide us.  The "baby ETEC" was deployed and pushed us along at a speed of 2.3-2.5mph...the same as yesterday.

The dipsey/Tru-Trip Jet/Spoon/Ripplin Redfin program was the was same as yesterday's program, so there's nothing new to report there.  Dipsies on the 3 setting at 111 and 95 back, 0 setting at 57-61 back, 1 setting at 65 back, and the 40 Tru-Trip Jet was 120-125 back.  I ran the Ripplin Redfin Red Headed Clown on the port side dipsey on the 3 setting/95 back and that took the bigger fish that we brought in this morning.  The rest were spoons.  I tried a Ripplin Redfin on the dipsey on the other "3 setting" rod, but it never caught, so I changed it back up to a spoon and it started catching again.

The action wasn't "as fast as you can go", but it was a good steady bite, that kept a 13 year old angler busy and happy.  We threw a bunch back that were nice fish, because we had reached our 17th fish, and I explained that if we put that 18th fish in the box, we were done. They opted to do some catch and release for a while, or until one got hooked bad, and wouldn't make it, or until Aidan decided it was time to go.

They put the 18th fish in the box, when Aidan decided he didn't want to gamble on not getting another big one for the box, so we headed in.

We had a fun morning, and are looking forward to tomorrow's perch adventure out of Mazurik's.  It's been nice launching at Huron though, because it's definitely less crowded than Mazurik's...especially, on a weekend. ;)

I'm hoping we can find some perch willing to bite tomorrow....fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Hugh, Dan, and Wayne Martin 8/3/18

by Capt Juls on 08/03/18

I pulled into the Huron ramp at 5:15 this morning, and after getting everything ready, I waited on my crew. Hugh, his son, Dan, and his brother, Wayne were going to meet me there at 5:45, so there was time to waste.  They showed up right on time, so we loaded up and headed out of the river to go chase some walleye.


We headed north out of the channel and took about a 9 mile ride before setting down to start our trolling pass to the NE.  There were decent marks, nothing spectacular, but good enough to get us started.

On the way out, we passed a bunch of perch nets....there must have been 5 or 6 nets that I counted before we stopped.  They are not easy to see, so I was thankful it was a calm morning, because they are even harder to see when there is a decent chop on the water.

We started with 4 dipsies and one Tru Trip Jet...the same program I've been running all week, basically.  The two outside dipsies were on the 3 setting at 85 and 111 back,  the dipsey with the 1 setting was at 61 back, and the dipsey on the zero setting was at 57 back.  I ran both the Michigan Stinger spoons and the Scorpion spoons, along with the Ripplin Redfin crankbaits.  Eventually, I added two bandits behind Off Shore Boards, and took one nice walleye on the one set at 65 back...that color is called, "Buck Fever". It's the purple back and chrome sides/belly.

We put 7 in the box, and lost a few, and threw back about 5 or 6 walleye that didn't make the length requirement, before I got a call telling me of a better bite over where I was two days ago with Vito, which was SW of where we were by 4 miles. But, as we always say...."Never leave fish to find fish!" But, do I listen? No! I moved. lol 

The bite wasn't as good over there, as it was where we first started, but it was steady enough to keep us there for the duration of their charter.  I just kept the Ulterra pointed at the NE, which kept the waves on the port side corner, to help keep the speed at a steady 2.3-2.5mph.

After we caught their limit of fish, we were working on mine when I noticed a black buoy floating a few feet from the boat. My heart started to race, as I looked up to see a path of white buoys floating a little further out. I turned around quickly, looking for the red flag indicating a perch net. There it was...the double red flag, which means we were closest to the north end of the net. (The south end has a single red flag.)

I yelled, "Pull everything up, QUICK! We're coming into a net!" "You want us to reel everything in?", asked Wayne. "Yes! And, hurry or I'll lose all the gear", I said.
As I reeled up the first dipsey, it was caught in the net, but somehow, it released and I got it all back. Dan and Wanye got their's reeled up without issues too, but the Tru-Trip Jet is now the property of whoever owns the perch net....Grrrr.... (Stupid nets!!) I had just put that spoon on too, and it was doing a fine job of catching fish. I don't think I have another one, so I'll have to run to Rickard's in the morning and see if they have it. I think it was a Pooh Bear color with a pink back, but I'm never sure of the names, so I'll just look at them in the store and see what matches it. ;)

After we pulled everything in, Hugh said to the others, "Well, I'm good with going in now...how about you two? You ready to go in, or would you like to stay out and fish?" Wayne said he was happy with their experience today, and was good to go in if that was what they wanted to do. So, they asked me what I wanted to do, and I said it was up to them.  So, long story short...we went in and finished the morning with 19 walleye in the box.  

Oh, and the funny of the day was a 2018 "young of the year walleye", about 4" long caught on a scorpion spoon...trolling!  If that little guy made it, after being dragged around for who knows how long...he has a bright future as a prolific eater, and will one day grow to be the next Ohio, Lake Erie, State Record. Woot! Woot!  I sure hope he made it...he was a cute little bugger. :)

Tomorrow, I'll be back over there with a Father and son crew to fish for walleye. On Sunday, I'll be taking the same crew out of Mazurik's to go hunt for some perch west of the islands.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls