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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Duke, Lenny, and Buz 5/22/18

by Capt Juls on 05/22/18

My crew this morning were some local "boyz" from here in Port Clinton. They fished with me last year, and were supposed to fish earlier this month, but due to bad weather, we rescheduled to today.


We met at Catawba at 5:45 and launched by 6am. We headed around the corner to the Mouse Island area and Scott Point Shoal. 

The Bandits were rigged up and set out at 25/35/45 on one side and 30/40/50 on the other side. I set the speed to 1.8-2.0mph.  There were four of us on board, and could run 8 lines, but I thought it would be easier for them if we kept it to three Off Shore boards per side instead. We also ran a 40 Tru-Trip Jet with a Stinger spoon off a corner, that could be moved from side to side...depending on which side the fish were caught.

The Jet/spoon took the first fish this morning...just a 14" walleye we had to throw back, due to the size limit here. Then a "Chrome Huff Daddy" Bandit  (Domka Outdoors Custom Color) took the second fish at 35 back.  The Tattle Flag on the board was flat and the board was sinking back out of place, very fast.  My first thought was, "It's a Sheepshead", even if I was truly was hoping for a big walleye! And, as it turned out, it was a walleye. A nice big, fat, long one. (I didn't measure it or weigh it, but my guess was that it was a 7-8 pound fish.)  

We made a short pass there and were turning around, when I noticed more and more boats heading out of the marinas. Forgetting that it was a Tuesday, (because every day feels like a Saturday to me)... I figured the area was just going to get bombarded with boat traffic, so I made the decision to move NW of the Bass Islands.

I stopped short of Niagara, and deployed the Ulterra...setting a course up the east side of the reef.  This time, we ran the Bandits back 35/45/55 on once side and 40/50/60 on the other, and again, the spoon off the corner.  We marked some fish, and caught three keepers there. But, the bite was slow, and I was bored, so we moved again, to the NW. 

This time, we ended up by the "Big Pickerel Reef" area...or, just a little north of it. We were in 25'-26' of water, and the Helix was showing some nice fish marks on the screen. It would be the same programs with Khaki, Blue/Chrome, Huff Daddy Chrome, Taco Salad, Buck Fever, and IB Infected running behind the planer boards.

The best colors of the bunch for us were definitely the Khaki, Blue/Chrome, and Huff Daddy.  I think the spoon took 4 fish today.

We made a "circle pass" there over a small pod of walleye and managed to pick off 3 more walleye for the box.

Again, not satisfied, I moved down to "H-Can", to see if those fish were still in there.  There were some decent marks, but the water was kind of dirty yet.  However, we did catch one on a Blue/Chrome Bandit at 35 back, before I told them to pick up the lines again, so we could move.

This time, I moved back towards Catawba, and set lines one last time. The marks were the best I had seen all day, and it was, "Game on!".  The guys were kept busy reeling in walleye and sheepshead, and it was fun to finally have some fast paced action for a change.

Even though it was a small struggle today, it was a great ending to a great trip! They had fun...and, I had fun...and, that's all that matters. :)

They ended up with just 12 walleye in the cooler...4 throw backs....5 that came unbuttoned...and a handful of Sheepshead for the day. As I write this, they are at the "Crows Nest" (a local restaurant that will cook your catch for you), having fresh walleye for dinner.  I was graciously invited, but had to decline, due to my early bedtime, and dinner schedule, and the fact that I needed to write this blog. 

Tomorrow, I am off, and need to get some things done around the homestead. Back at it Thursday....and, that makes me happy. ;)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tom, Peter, and Dan 5/20/18

by Capt Juls on 05/21/18

When will this weather straighten out? It's mid May, and I still have yet to wear shorts in the boat. My feet are tan, but my legs are still "winter white"....sigh.


I met my crew down at Catawba at 6am and we headed out into a misty foggy lake. The guys weren't dressed for the weather, since the forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, but no rain. However, this is Lake Erie, and the weather does what it wants to. Since they had no rain gear with them, I was concerned that they would get damp and cold. The winds were from the west when we left the launch, but when we got out towards the firing range cans, the wind swiftly switched to the NE. 

The waves were like "washing machine" waves for a short time, and the water a bit muddier than I like, so I took them over to the west side of Middle Bass to find better water and a wind break behind the island.  We made one pass there and picked up one keeper walleye and two white perch on crawlers.

The wind did one more switch, and was now coming out of the ESE. After not marking as much in that area as I had the last time I visited, we picked up and moved north.  Again, one pass in an area that I had done well a few days prior produced nothing....and, again, the marks weren't as plentiful, so we moved to the east side of the islands.

There were two packs of boats between Lucy's and Middle Island, so we set up near the line and pointed the Ranger south. The Helix as showing few marks where I was, and my patience was running thin.  So, we moved further east to the next pack, but by then I was not in the mood to play bumper boats with a pack and decided to move down towards the monument and Starve Island.

This would be the last spot before time ran out, so we kept the baits in the water and worked a couple mile long stretch across the area....we picked up 4 more walleye, and lost just as many that didn't hook up.  The fish we did catch were barely hooked, except for one suicidal 16 incher that inhaled the crawler.

We were running the 1 and 2 ounce inlines and one bottom bouncer. One fish came on the bottom bouncer, and lost two that managed to steal the crawler but not hook up.

Though we didn't put a smack down on them, we still had a good time fishing. Tom Memmen and I used to swim on the same swim team during the summers of the mid to late 70's, and went to the same high school. Peter, Tom's son, and Dan (Tom's daughter's boyfriend) said they were happy just to be out on the water, and enjoyed the experience...mentioning that they would like to do it again.

The last time I fished with Tom, he had brought his daughter, Katie, who caught big fish that day, so I said, "Next time, bring Katie...she's good luck!" He said, "She really wanted to come this time", but because I only take up to three people she had to sit this one out. She would come next time with Peter and Dan and Tom would give up his seat. And, that makes me happy...:)

My next trip is Tuesday, and it looks like the weather through to next week will be a very nice. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dee, Dan, and Steve 5/16/18

by Capt Juls on 05/16/18

Woke up at 2:30am and decided to just get up and start the day. It gave me an extra half hour to give the "Dexter Dog" some hug time, out on the back deck, while I drank my morning coffee.


I left the house at 4:20 again...hit Speedway and then met the crew at Big Bopper's again for breakfast.  

I told them I had to hit the bait shop on the way, and that I would meet them at the Catawba ramp as soon as I was done.  They found it okay, and I readied the boat for launch. We headed north from the point, and looked for marks on the Helix, while the boat was on plane...(how cool is it to have a tool that will do that? I love it!)

Anyway...once we found some, I told them that we were running the same crawler harness program we ended up with yesterday.  The program was 1oz inline weights at 30 and 40 back, and 2oz inlines 23, 25, 27, and 30 back...at a speed of 1.3-1.5mph. (The color of the harness and blade didn't seem to make much difference, because I had a handful of different colors out and all of them caught fish at some point or another.

There was a full four-person limit caught today, using the crawlers. Sure, maybe it's not as fast as others out there, but to me, it's not a contest. My tournament days are over.  And, the only person I am in a contest with, is myself and the fish.  It's about the customer's experience, and teaching them how to do what I do to catch fish. We share some laughs, listen to some great music...I get to hear some great stories from their memories...and, from time to time, we get interupted to reel in some fish. :)

The weather was perfect today. It was a light NE wind, partly cloudy sky, and a temp in the high 60's. (Sorry, I never even looked at the water temp today).

I had a great time with Dee, Dan, and Steve and look forward to fishing with them again next season. Dee and Steve had fished with me before, but Dan was the "new guy", so it was nice to hear that he also wanted to come back next year too. And, that made me happy...:)

Tomorrow's forecast is much the same as today, but the winds will be even lighter than they were today, so it should be a very enjoyable day on the lake in the morning. Woot! Woot!

Friday's trip has already been rescheduled, due to very gusty winds from the NE (30mph).

Tomorrow, I have some return customers, and I look forward to fishing with them again.  I'm pretty positive I'll be running crawlers again. They are working too well right now not to. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Fishing with Dee, Dan, and Steve 5/15/18

by Capt Juls on 05/15/18

I left the house at 4:20 and headed to Speedway to gas up the boat and truck, and pick up some ice for the big cooler, before heading to Big Bopper's to meet my crew for breakfast at 5am.


They showed up right on time and we enjoyed some chit chat with other captains and their guests. I was watching the RadarScope app to see which way the thunderstorm was going, and it appeared it was heading right for the area. With this info, I told my guys to go back to Little Ted's Cottages to wait for my call. We would wait it out until the radar showed no more lightning, or that it was moving off.

I didn't drive home, because I didn't want to confuse my dogs, so I stopped at the car wash that was still closed and parked the Ranger in one of the wash bays (in case it was a heavy downpour), and set about re-rigging rods and getting things set up.  It took me about an hour, and when I checked the sky, it looked like everything went north, and the radar confirmed that.  I jumped in the truck and headed to Mazurik's.

I called the crew when I pulled into Mazurik's launch at 7am, and told them it was time to go. They showed up about 20 minutes later, and we headed out.

I had switched everything over to spoons for the morning. The Off Shore boards would pull #2 Tadpoles with a 5' fluorocarbon lead with a Stinger spoon. Then, I had two rods with 40 Tru-Trip Jets with the same leads and spoons.  I had some dipsies set up too, but I decided that 6 rods was all that this crew was going to be able to handle today.  Speed was 1.9-2.2mph

We caught five walleye on spoons, South of Kelly's, while more and more boats moved in the area...and, if you know me, you know I don't like fishing in crowds, and will take off to find some other fish in a less busy area. So, we headed to the north side of Kelly's.  

At this time, I switched out the Tadpoles/spoons for Bandits, and kept the spoons on the Jet rods. Speed was 1.8mph 
We caught  a couple white bass there. The Helix was not showing me a lot of marks, or fish activity, on the screen, so we moved NW to the Bass Islands. 

This time, I put the Bandit rods away and pulled out the rods already rigged with Crawler harnesses. We ran two rods with 1oz inlines at 30 and 40 back, and 2oz inlines 20/23/25/27 back...speed was 1.4mph....all of them caught fish.

We had about a 1/2 left, when a strong northwest wind picked up. I looked at the Davis Bessie smoke stack and saw it bent over, so I told my guys to pick up lines and that we should head back in.  I told them I would add their 1/2 hour to tomorrow's trip, since it was going to be a nicer day...NO RAIN! Ha!

Anyway, we ended the day with 16 in the box...and, about 8 that didn't make it to the boat...a catfish, couple of sheepshead, white perch, and white bass. So, it was a fun day catching as well as fishing.  It kept my crew busy, and there was often chaos in the boat since they are still learning all the techniques I use.  If I'm not careful though, they may throw me overboard for sounding like a nagging wife!! SMH....lol

I have the same crew tomorrow, and tomorrow I will bite my tongue more...and, let them learn from their mistakes, instead of me seeing what's going to happen and trying to correct it before it does. We'll see how that goes. After all, it's not always about how many fish make it to the box....right? I just don't want to have to peel line off the reels to fix tangles....that will throw my reels out of their calibration....lol

So, stay tuned...

Fishing with David and Johnny Hayes 5/14/18

by Capt Juls on 05/14/18

Sorry, I haven't blogged in a while....was super busy!  Canceled last Thursday...fished Friday and Saturday with Vito, who is buying my boat in the fall, and had Scotty Bogen and his two dogs staying with me Friday and Saturday also. Scott had brought his Ranger down from Wisconsin to fish, before heading to Cinci to spend Mother's Day with his Mom and Dad. :)


Friday and Saturday were plagued with gusty NE winds, so we stuck to the west side of Catawba Island...within a mile, or so. We managed 7 fish on Friday with Bandits and a two person limit on Saturday. (Blue/Chrome and Fruit Dots dominated at only 25 back...speed was 1.7-1.8mph)

I canceled yesterday's trip, due to a storm that was moving in that morning, but it didn't last as long as I thought it would, and should have just done a delay instead of a cancel. They rescheduled their date, so we'll try again another time.

Skip forward to today's trip.  I met David and his son Johnny at Big Bopper's at 5am for breakfast, before heading to Catawba to launch by 6am. The winds were calm, and there was a light layer of fog hanging in the trees and on the lake.  

I decided to start where I left off on Saturday, and set up with Bandits running at 20, 25, 30, 55, and 70 back, and one Stinger spoon off a Tru-Trip 40 Jet at 32 back, set off the port side corner.
I expected one of the Off Shore boards to go back before we could get everything out, but that didn't happen. We trolled for about a 1/2 mile before I realized that maybe it wasn't going to happen there again today, so I told them to pick it all up and we would move over towards the Mouse Island area.

We ran over and set up west of Mouse and headed towards the island....decent, but not great marks there, and only one eater on the spoon.  So, I told them to pick them up again and we moved out to the Green Island area. There were better marks there, and we caught three more on the spoons.

Now, mind you....all that time, we were watching a pretty big thunderstorm move across the radar on our phone apps. We were not going to be staying out very much longer, since I do not fish with customers in thunderstorms.   As it approached closer, I told them to pick them up one more time, and we moved back towards the point of Catawba. 

We set a path from there back towards the ramp, and set lines one last time. As it started to sprinkle, we picked up three more fish. Two more on spoons, 40 back, and one on a Fruit Dots Bandit at 25 back. Speed was 1.8-2.0mph

As the thunder got closer, and more and more boats sped into the launch, I decided it was time to cancel the rest of the trip. So, we only got 3 hours in and had 6 walleye to show for it.

David wanted to learn the inline planer board program, and I have no doubt that he can easily do it in his boat now, because I only had to show them once how to do things, and never had to tell them again. They were running the boards as well as the best do, and did everything right. :)

After getting home...it was time to put the boat under the carport...something I've done a million times. But, this time, the windows in the Excursion were all foggy, and I straightened out the trailer a little too soon. 
My foot hit the brake, when I heard the telltale sound of a tail light crunching, and knew instantly that I had it my Jeep....ugh!

Thank goodness the Ranger only has a cosmetic 2" scar on her rub rail. The Jeep however, wasn't so lucky!  It took out the tail light, tore off the gas cap, and dented the rear driver's side door and the back corner panel....all for a whopping $2894.37 in damages!

All is well though, because I went straight to State Farm and asked if it were covered. She said since I have full coverage on my Jeep, that it would only be a $500.00 deductible.  Then, I went to "Snyder's Collision" (body shop) in Sandusky, and got the estimate. State Farm has them as a preferred shop, so it was easy to work with them. They are on a computer system, so it was super easy to get this all set up.

Long story short...I take it in on the 29th of this month, I'll be met there with a car rental from "Enterprise" to use for the duration of the repair, and it will all be made to look new again.  I looked up Snyder's and they have a 5 start rating, so I feel confident I took it to the right place. :)

We have more thunderstorms coming in tomorrow, so I'll have to look at the radar in the morning, to see if we'll make it out there, or not.

I have return customers for the next two days, so my fingers are crossed that we can get both days in, but if we can't get out tomorrow, at least we can get out on Wednesday.  I don't mind fishing in the rain, but I do mind when there is lightning. I don't do lightning trips. ;)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dan and Al 5-8/9-18

by Capt Juls on 05/10/18

The past two days were a fun time with Dan and Al from Wisconsin.  Since they were staying at Ted's, I didn't have to pick them up. We met at Big Bopper's each morning for breakfast and headed to the launch from there.


On Tuesday, we launched out of Mazurik's at 5:45 and haeded to Scott Point Shoal first, and set lines. We made one pass along the north side of the shoal, and pulled one small walleye. I didn't mark anything there either, so we moved to the north side of Kellys.  We ran Bandits first...with my usual program (see previous blogs for that) and started catching some fish. The first pass took us into North Bay, but we didn't catch in there, so I had them pick up the lines and we headed north again.

This time, while we trolled with Bandits, I pulled more rods out of the rod locker and set them up with crawler harnesses. Then, I pulled one side, and reset those rods with crawler harnesses too. We pulled the other side, and headed NE to the north of KI Shoal and set up.   The fish were hitting the crawler harnesses better than the Bandits, in that, they were inhaling the back hooks, while the fish on the Bandits were always "barely hooked", so that was good to see. 

They ended that trip with their limit of good eaters (no monsters caught), and we headed in.

Yesterday, (5/9), we launched out of Catawba at 6am and headed up to Locust Reef. I had a good bite there two days before, and the lake was calm, so it didn't take long to travel that far.  We set up with Bandits at 20/25/30/35/ and 40 feet back, with mostly blue/chrome colors on. Speed was 1.8-2.1mph.  The 25 and 40 back took a few good eaters. After a second pass, the fish just weren't there like they were the last time I was there, so we picked up and headed north of the reef. 

We set up in 24 foot of water and set a northerly direction to deeper water. This time the lines were set to 45/50/55...and, they started popping! Nice fish too! All three settings took fish, and we were done by 9am.

My guys decided they wanted to get in and hit the road back to Green Bay before the afternoon storms rolled in, so we headed in with a cooler full of fish. 

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

The trip scheduled for this morning has been rescheduled, due to last night's forecast....since it was some local guys (older), and the forecast was for stronger west winds and 1-3's/2-4's  (of course I woke up and they blew that one again), the guys chose to reschedule.

But, on the bright side, I get a day off to clean the house, and run some errands. I might even go look for some Morel mushrooms this afternoon too.

The gentleman buying my boat in the fall, is coming down for a two day trip, so we'll be out again tomorrow and Saturday. Right now, the forecast for Sunday looks like crap, sooooo.....we'll see if it changes.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Gregg, Phil, and Jay 5/6/18

by Capt Juls on 05/06/18

The plan was to pick up my crew from the Best Western at 5:15, but as usual, I left the house a little too early and arrived a little before 5am.  Guess what? They were ready and waiting! Woot! Woot!


After stopping for some ice at Speedway, we headed down to Catawba to wait for a little bit of light in the sky to launch. It's not very often I'm the first one to a launch site this early in the season, but I was this morning. The air was still, so the air temp of 59 degrees felt a little warmer than that. 

We launched at around 5:45/50 and headed west to the cans.  I put the Ranger on plane and took it slow, because of all the big logs floating around out there right now.  

I asked my crew if they had run Off Shore boards before and Gregg said, "I've run the big boards, but never the inline boards, so we're here to learn". I said, "That's cool...I just like to know what level I'm working with". I laughed and said, "The ones that have never run them before are the easiest to train how to do it the way I like it done".

It didn't take long for them to learn it, and were setting and reeling in lines like they had done it many times before.  I have this "thing" where I like the person reeling the fish in to turn off the "clicker" (tension button) before reeling in, because that clicking noise is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. The only time I want to hear that sound is when the boards are going out...it helps me keep an eye on where to have them stop them.

Gregg's new nickname is "Clicker", (given to him by Jay), because even though he did everything else almost perfectly, he couldn't remember that one "thing"...lol  It became a joke in the boat today.  There was a lot of teasing going on, and a lot of laughing. :)

We ran Bandits 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55 back over 20-21 foot of water this morning. Every lead took a fish at one time or another, but 35 was probably the hottest number, until the late morning, when I brought a blue/chrome Bandit up to 8' in the water column (25 back). That one took three fish in a row shortly after moving it up.

The water was stained, and I could just make out the cavitation plate on my G2.
Chrome colors were the ticket once again, with blue/chrome producing the most fish. Water temp today where we were was 57.8 degrees.  

The crew caught their three man limit, along with one of mine, and some huge white bass today. I haven't seen any sheepshead yet though. I wonder where they go in the winter and spring? I don't see them until the water warms up a little more. Anyone know where they go?

After dropping them back off at their hotel, I headed home. I got a text from Gregg that said, "Thank You! It was a great day on the water: great music, learned a lot, awesome brownies, and the fish cooperated..." And, that made me happy. :)

Tomorrow's forecast is calling for gusty NNE winds in the morning, but diminishing in the afternoon. I'm supposed to take Steve and Jeremy Chapman again (regulars), but I'm still trying to figure out what time to head out. I'll keep ya posted.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Evan and Brad 5/1/18

by Capt Juls on 05/01/18

It's May 1st, and the walleye limit on Lake Erie (Ohio Waters) is 6 per person now...woot! woot!  


I left the house this morning at 4:30 and headed west to Turtle Creek Marina. The plan was to stop at the gas station at Wild Wings to grab something to eat, but they didn't open until 5am. Then, I remembered I had a breakfast drink in the boat's cooler...one of those "Slim Fast" weird tasting chocolate concoctions that I would not enjoy, and drink just enough to make my stomach stop growling. Ugh...

My crew was driving in from Toledo, and were supposed to meet me at 5:30am. I was early, due to the expected stop at the gas station, so I took the opportunity to check the lines again, and pick the Bandits I wanted to start with.  I got a call from Evan, because his gps in the truck was taking him everywhere but to the Marina. So, after some quick directions over the phone, they finally found me.  We launched and were headed out at 6am.

We headed NE out of the channel, and were welcomed with a relatively calm lake. The wind was light, around 10mph, out of the WSW.  It was expected to build throughout the day, but gusts were only forecast for a top end of 18mph, so it wouldn't be too bad where we were headed. We stopped in only 14-15' of water.
 
We didn't have to go far, and set lines loaded with Bandits and Off Shore boards out 40,45,50, and 55 back. Speed was 1.6-1.8mph....I was up and down on the Ulterra's power level too, to change speeds.  Sometimes I took it down to 1.3mph...and, then, back up to the previous power level and speeds.

Some "S turns" revealed that they sometimes took it on the slow side, and sometimes they grabbed it on the fast side, so there was no real pattern there to zero in on. That part of the puzzle remained a mystery for me today.

I chose "Chrome Huff Daddy" (that's a Domka Custom Color that usually catches a fish every time out), "Blue Chrome" (a stock color that was the hot one today and always one of my favorites to start with), "Chrome Barbie" (another Domka bait I picked up the other day, that has worked very well), "IB Frozen" (the original by DJ's Custom Eye Lure color), and "Khaki" (Khaki, because when it works...it works wonders! That's a stock color too. One that I usually do very well with in May).  Fish were caught on all the above, except the Khaki. But, in Khaki's defense, I didn't keep it out there very long when all the chromes were taking fish. So, really it never had a chance to catch one today. I'm betting it would have, had I left it out there though. ;)

We were setting lines before the sun hit the horizon, and were given a spectacular display of color, clouds, and scenery, while Pink Floyd serenaded us with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond". The boards starting going back, with fish hanging on the lines, before either side could be completely set.  Once the sun was up though, that area seemed to slow way down for us. So, after we caught their limits of good eaters in that 2-4 pound range, we pulled lines and headed south. 

I ran them over to G Can, and set up for a pass through there. The Helix was marking a fish here and there, but nothing to write home about. We caught one little 15 1/2 incher there before we ran out of time and headed back to Turtle.

Evan has fished with me before, so he knew the routine, but Brad had some learning to do. Brad is a great fisherman in his own right, but his style is much different than what we do here on Lake Erie. You could call him a "specialty fishing guide". His specialty is Fly Fishing for Steelhead...and other species in the connecting rivers of the lake. That's a trip I think I would like to try sometime. I love fly fishing, but I would let the Steelies go. I don't like to eat them.

Evan and Brad are cousins, who were happy to get out on the water together and have some fun, catch some fish, and tell some, "Hey, you remember when...?" stories ...and, that they did, so that makes me happy. :)

The next two days (possibly 3) days have been rescheduled or canceled, due to the weather conditions coming in.  Gusts to 30 out of the WSW tomorrow (been there, done that...not doing it again, especially with water temps still at only 50 degrees).  Thursday...thunderstorms with gusts even higher than tomorrow.  Friday is still up in the air....that wind forecast keeps changing, and I'm hoping it changes for the better. Friday's crew is only an hour away, so they can make it last minute, if I call them, so I'm not calling that one yet.

So, until the weekend....if you go out...be safe and good luck!

Stay tuned...

Juls



Fishing with Wayne and Brenda Weeks 4-28/29/30-18

by Capt Juls on 04/30/18

Wayne and Brenda came in from Sioux Falls, SD on Friday night, and were supposed to fish with me on Saturday and Sunday, but due to strong winds out of the NW, along with some rain, I canceled Saturday. Fortunately, they were able to stay and fish with me Sunday and Monday (today), since I had a cacellation a couple weeks ago, and forgot to find someone for today.  Whew! That was lucky! 


Yesterday, I was supposed to pick them up at their hotel at 5:30, but in my normal fashion I was early by 15 minutes. I was surprised to see them outside and waiting on ME for a change...lol  

We hit Big Bopper's for some grub, and then headed to Catawba to launch. The forecast was calling for continued NW winds, but not as strong as the day before. And, as the day would progress, the winds were to die down.  That all happened, but the one thing the forecast missed, was that the winds in the morning were still as strong as the day before.  We ventured out anyway, and headed west to the cans.

It was a bit muddy there still, but we picked up two eaters on the first pass. We made a run NW a bit to make another pass, and it was gnarly...the lake was mad, and the run was rough, but we made it safe and sound.  We didn't get anything in the second pass, which was frustrating, because I was directly behind Capt Kevin who caught 4 in front of us! We were running the same leads, same speed, same lures (except one that he had that I didn't, which I have now..lol), same fishing line on calibrated reels, etc. But, the little buggers didn't want my offerings, and it pissed me off...so, I left.  

I headed east, and closer to the point off Catawba and put the nose on a SE troll. The water clarity wasn't much better, but I marked more fish there. As we trolled, we weren't getting bites, but when we hit 19 foot of water, we put three more fish in the boat in quick fashion. The top of Clinton Reef was void of marks, but I think there are good fish there still. 

We ended the day with just the 5 fish, but I think Brenda was happy to get on solid ground after that wild ride. The waves did subside to 1-3 by noon, so it wasn't as bad as the 3-5's we were in earlier in the morning.

After a good night's sleep, I got up early and headed out the door at 4:45. I stopped for ice, before heading to Big Bopper's. Wayne and Brenda were checking out of the hotel this morning, so they met me there.

After breakfast, we headed to Mazurik's to launch by 6am. We headed out with calm seas, a light west wind of less than 10mph, and a beautiful sky that was just starting to wake the eastern horizon.

We headed north to Lucy's and set lines. The program was Bandits 45-70 back...Purple Mist, Blue Chrome, Chrome Barbie, Huff Daddy Chrome, and Khaki.  The first two fish (just 16 inchers) came on the Purple Mist (stock color) 55 back.  We missed two more fish there that came unbuttoned too.  

Not marking a lot on the line I was on, I decided to head east towards Gull Island Shoal. Well, I can tell you this...they are not on the west side of the shoal! So, I moved again...this time south to the NW corner of Kelly's. We were set up with the same program for about 20 minutes when I got a text from friends fishing out east.

So, I didn't want to give these two nice people another slow 6 hour trip, and after 3 hours, decided I was going to load the boat out and head to Huron, so they could do their other 3 hours over there.

I can't tell you where in Huron I was invited to, because I was asked to keep it a secret, and well, I like my friends, and would like to keep them as friends, so I won't tell. Sorry!

I do think we could have worked out a limit over here by the islands, but after several "less than stellar" trips, my confidence was waning, and I needed a booster shot! I got it today, even if the fish weren't monsters that we all love to see hook up. They were good eaters, and the Weeks were very happy with their catch, and that made me happy. :)

Brenda did have a big 28 inch plus fish to the net, but it spit the hooks at the last second. At least she got to see it....sigh.

Tomorrow, I will be going out of Turtle Creek with a return customer that I always have a blast fishing with. Evan Parr is a young man who owns "The Other Side Landscaping" in Toledo, OH, and has a great enthusiasm for fishing Lake Erie. It's always a good time.

Tomorrow's winds are out of the SW, and forecast to be 10-15mph, so it shouldn't be bad at all.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Derric, Brad, and Steve 4/26/18

by Capt Juls on 04/26/18

Well, after a few days off...it was nice to get back in the swing of things!


Yesterday, Derric, Brad, and Steve had driven out from Bismark, ND in ONE DAY, so they were pretty tired this morning.  However, their enthusiasm to fish is what motivated them this morning.

I arrived at their hotel a little early, and met two of the three in the parking lot. They needed to get some things from the gas station first, so I offered to drive them over, and give the third guy a chance to get ready and meet us downstairs.

Once we were on the road, I asked them what their level of experience was, so I knew if I was going to have an easy day, or a more "complicated" day. Luckily, two out of the three knew how to run Off Shore boards, and the third one caught on quickly....So, yay me! I got a fun/easy day today. :)

We launched out of Catawba at 6:45, and headed west first. I didn't mark much there, so after a 1/2 mile pass I decided to move over to the south side of South Bass. The marks there are insane, but they are deep, and the water was still a bit too stained/muddy there for my liking. So, we moved north again.

I ran up the east side of the Bass Islands and marked some fish on the Helix on the way up to another spot I wanted to fish first.  We set lines with Bandits running anywhere from 60 back to 60 back with a 2oz snap weight.   Speed was 1.7-1.8mph. Huff Daddy at 20/40 w/2oz  took the first fish....a nice 29" walleye.

After turning around and going half the distance back to our starting point...I told them, "Let's pull'em...and, move east". In quick form they had it all pulled and ready to move.  

We set lines again in the new spot and set a southeasterly course to start. 60, 65, 70, 80, and (2) at 20/402oz, were the leads. "Crown Juls" would take 3 more big fish. I found some that would bite, and just turned on them...round and round...picking off a nice fish each time through.
But, by the time we got to that spot, we didn't have much time left, so the guys ended their day with 4 nice fish in the box and one that was lost at the net at the very end, when it spit the hooks with about 12 inches to go before it hit the net. Ouch!! ....sigh.

Water temp was up to 45-47 in the areas I visited this morning.

The crew had a good time and learned a few things. They will be fishing out of their own boat tomorrow, and Saturday, and will put to use what they learned this morning. 

I'm looking forward to hearing how they end up tomorrow. I told them, "That fish you let go is good Karma". It's always good to let one go every now and then, so maybe that will bring them good luck. ;)

Tomorrow I have a couple of regulars...Steve and Jeremy Chapman. I'm sure you know the names if you read my blogs. They've taken many-many trips over the past 7 years with me, and are now more like "family" than customers. So, I'm really looking forward to getting out on the water with them again tomorrow.

I haven't seen any Sheepshead yet, but since Jeremy is fishing tomorrow...I can gusrantee he will catch one. He's the Sheepshead "King"! heheh

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Fishing with Mike, Gary, and Lee Christianson 4-22/23-18

by Capt Juls on 04/23/18

My two days with the Christianson's, from Wisconsin, was a tough one. While we all had a good time fishing, the catching was less than stellar!


Yesterday, (4/22), was a one fish day....ugh.  We caught that fish before the lines were all set on the first pass near F can...then, nothing.  So, we moved north to Middle Bass, where I had been the day before to see if it cleaned up more. While it was a tiny bit cleaner, it wasn't holding the marks in the same areas that it did the day before. We made one half assed pass there, and decided to move north of North Bass. The water was cleaner up there, rougher with the ENE wind, and holding good marks...but, we didn't catch any...sigh.

So, a long story short, on day one....one stinking fish. But, on the bright side, I wasn't in Pooh Bear's Book of Shame, which one must be entered into if you zero for the day...woot! woot!

After discussing with the crew what they would want to do the next day, they decided on trying out some jigging in the morning, and then going trolling, so that's what we did today.

The crew met me at my house a little before 6am this morning, and we loaded up in my truck to go to Turtle Creek to launch. While I had heard you didn't need minnows to catch fish with the hair jigs, we decided it was better to have and not need, than to need and not have. So, we stopped off at Dream Catcher Bait and Tackle on the way towards Turtle to pick up a scoop of emeralds, and some ice.

We launched by 6:30 and headed out the channel. The plan was to either hit Locust or Toussaint...I chose Toussaint Reef.  We made one short pass and Gary picked up a 16 inch walleye. On the second pass...I moved up to realign our drift, and the crew got busy. Gary caught two more on that pass and Mike caught another one, giving us a total of 4 (biggest was 24 inches). 

After a third pass with nothing, (and the radio chatter that was talking about a slow jig bite), we decided to try our luck and go trolling for some bigger fish.  

 I set off for Niagara, hoping the water clarity would stay the same as it was over on the other reefs, but it wasn't. It was that stained/muddyish color that was all over most of the western basin right now.

The Helix told me the water temps by the reefs was 41.7, but over in the muddier water, it was a bit warmer at 42.3. There were good marks on the east side of the reef, but we couldn't get them to go.

We hit the North Bass Island area, and was pleasantly surprised to find cleaner water for a change.  We made a couple of passes, and managed two nice fish, with the largest going 27.5 inches. The fish have very big heads right now, and bodies that don't match...making them very odd looking.  They are a bit on the skinny side right now, but that will soon change as they put the feed bag on after this spawn.

Both of those fish were caught on DJ's Custom "IB Frozen" colors at 90 back (no weight) and 20/40 with a 2oz "Guppie" Snap Weight. Speed was 1.8mph.

My guys were scheduled to fish tomorrow, but with the slow bite, a continuing east wind....and, some rain in the forecast, they opted to head home a day early. I'm happy to have the day off to catch up on some grocery shopping, house cleaning, and serving the almighty Dexter (the dog) and his sister, Jill though. They miss me. :)

So, if the weather cooperates, I'll be out the rest of the week after tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls


Fishing with Luke and Jeff 4/21/18

by Capt Juls on 04/21/18

I was meeting my crew at Catawba at 6:45, so on the way I stopped in at Rickard's Bait to pick up some crawlers and a small bag of ice. But, as usual, I walked out without my ice...deep sigh.


We launched by 7am and headed west from the dock to see what we could find. The marks were scattered, and the water very stained...not too muddy, but not what I like to fish in. Knowing the lake was still a mess from the last NE blow I didn't have my hopes too high today.  

After making one pass through an area, I decided to move north towards the islands. The most recent satellite picture had shown some decent water up there, but you never know how it's going to change over night. Last night was pretty calm, so I was hoping it would clear up even more. But, with the lake's current running high, it moved some of that west mud into the island area.

We were pulling more P10's than Bandits to start, but decided to change it up after not pulling anything after a long pass.  Luke and Jeff fish with me every two years, and remembered the Khaki color from the past and asked me, "Do you still run the Khaki color?" I said, "Yes, but usually more so in May". I thought, "Why not?" And, grabbed one out of the box. Luke put it out at 20/40 with a 2oz Guppie weight, and it took a nice 7 1/2 pound walleye a short time later. So, we put a second one out....however, it wasn't a magic color...it would take one more in the same area, but that was it.

We moved from the west side of the islands to the east side, to see if Lucy's Point had cleaner water. It did, and the Helix showed great marks there too, so I was hopeful we could get into a better bite. The water temperature was 1 degree colder there than on the west side of the islands.  It was 41.6 on the west side, and 40.7 on the east side.  
We didn't catch anything by Lucy's, which was disappointing, so after running out of time, we moved back down to where we originally started, so we could make one more pass before heading in. My buddy was down there and reporting he had caught 5 and lost 7 nice fish. 

We marked some good fish on the way back there, so we stopped short and set up. Again...good marks, but no takers. They were staying deep on us today, and we couldn't get them to come up and play with us.

With the east winds for the next three days, maybe the fish will be fooled into thinking we have "stable" weather, since the wind direction won't change 180 degrees every day, like it's been doing.

So, not much to report today, other than there's a lot of fish out there waiting to be caught, but they are not ready to play yet.  There was a DNR officer at Catawba when we came in and he said, "From the numbers coming in, everyone is struggling today"...which pretty much summed up our day too.

But, tomorrow is another day.  I have three gentlemen from my home state of Wisconsin for the next three days (if I don't bore them to death, and they go home early!), so hopefully, we can get something figured out early on.  Fingers crossed!

Sorry I don't have better news for everyone who is reading this, looking for information, but I don't have any to give today.

This lake and weather has to straighten up soon...and, then, it will be "game on"!

Stay tuned.....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott, Gus, and Mel 4/13/18

by Capt Juls on 04/13/18

First, I need to correct the fact that I thought this crew was from SD, and said that in my previous blog. Scott, Gus, and Mel are from MN.


I advised them that the weather for their 4 day trip would be iffy, the lake was still muddy, and the bite a bit off, but they were determined to come anyway. They had rescheduled this trip 3 times already, and weren't going to let Mother Nature stop them this time. lol

We did get out on Wednesday, but with strong winds that started out of the SE and switched to the SW, gusting to 30mph at times, kept us from venturing too far from the southern shore.

We trolled up 4 walleye in front of Lakeside and the Marblehead lighthouse using Bandits and P10's....the usual program I've been running.

Thursday was a blow day, so we didn't fish.

Today, we had an east wind 10-14mph all day, so the lake wasn't bad....waves were 1-3s as predicted. Water temp was 42 degrees west of Catawba, and there were good marks between E and F cans.  We started our first pass east of F can and picked up the first eye before we had all the Off Shore boards out.

I joked, that I hoped it wasn't like a tournament day, where you catch a fish in the first 5 minutes and then nothing all day. They laughed, but added, "I hope you didn't just jinx us!"

The water was dirtier there than I liked....I could barely make out the cavitation plate, so we moved west to where I thought I saw clean water on the previous day's satellite image.  It didn't get much cleaner, but it was a little better.

We set up near G can to make a westwardly pass, and picked up two more nice walleye. But, unfortunately, after a few more passes and locations, we didn't pick up anymore. So, we ended their day with 3 nice fish. No pigs, but very nice fish. (Yes, I know about the jig bite, but they didn't want to jig for the 15-18 inch fish on the reefs. They wanted a big one.) :)

Tomorrow is another canceled day, so they will head back to MN, without the wallhanger they saught. :(

My crew was just happy to get out of the snowy state of MN for a short trip, and enjoyed their time on the water....and, that makes me happy!

My trip for Sunday is already rescheduled...as is my 3 day for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday...sigh.  I sure hope Momma Nature straightens out soon...this is getting tiring.  But, it could be worse....we could still have snow and ice like they do in MN!

So, until I get out again....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Fishing with Pat, Shawn, and Robert 4/9/18

by Capt Juls on 04/09/18

Well, after rescheduling Pat's birthday trip from his girlfriend 4 years ago, we finally made it out on day one of a two day trip!


It was chilly this morning with a temp of 34 degrees and a southeasterly breeze. I was supposed to pick the crew up at the Holiday Inn Express at 7:30, but timed it wrong. I had to stop for gas, so I left the house early....too early. I arrived at the hotel at 6:38...lol  But, as I played with my phone, they came walking out at 6:45, so it was a win win. :)

We launched at Catawba at 7am, and headed west to the reefs, where the satellite picture showed some cleaner water.  We set up SE of Toussaint Reef, and made a NW troll in 20-21 foot of water.

I ran the same program of P-10's and Bandits...20/20, 30/30, and 40/40 on the P-10's and 55, 65, and 80 back on the Bandits. I tried to keep my speed around 1.4mph.

We picked away at some smaller fish, and finished the troll with an 8 for 12 result.  We moved east to D Can and then trolled toward Niagara...didn't mark much and didn't pull anything there. Then we moved south until we marked some fish, and set up for one last short pull, since we were running out of time.  We picked up one more nice fish, and finished with 9.

The wind was switching from the southeast to the northeast all morning, so by the time we finished at 1pm, it was out of the northeast.

My guys didn't keep any fish today, except for one small male that had engulfed the back hook into his gills, so he was bleeding out. Rather than let it die and waste away in the lake, I took it home and turned him into a nice pot of Walleye Chowder for tomorrow's trip.  I'll heat it up in the morning and throw it in a thermos for us to enjoy at lunch. :)

The water temps were still in the 38-39 degree range, due to the cold water being blown back in from the east. 

Tomorrow's winds are supposed to be less than 5mph and out of the west, but we'll see what it is in the morning. It seems like it changes hourly this time of the year, and it's getting old! lol  

On the bright side though...starting Wednesday, it's supposed to start warming up. Unfortunately, along with those warm temps are some blustery winds out of the southwest that we'll have to deal with.

So, until tomorrow....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott, Dominic, and Larry 4/2/18

by Capt Juls on 04/03/18

Day 3...


Picked my crew up at 7am and hit Mazurik's and launched by 7:20. Again, we headed north to start the morning.  Waves were 2' or less with a north wind around 10mph. It was chillier than the day before with an air temp of only 29 degrees.  However, the skies were clear, so it wouldn't take long for the sun to warm it up.

We ran the same program as the day before. 4 Bandits were run on one side, and P-10's on the other side. The P-10's run 30/30 and 40/40 with a 1oz snap weight were more productive for us over all, but the first fish of the morning came on a Domka Outdoors custom color Bandit called, "Anger Management".

Dominic, who is 15 years old, wanted a 30" fish on this trip, and was rewarded when the first fish of the day was a 30" 10.5 pound piggy. He was excited to finally catch one. That one is going to be mounted, along with the other big fish from the previous days, since Grandpa Larry is an award winning taxidermist.

We made a few passes up north, and caught two limits there. When the bite slowed for us, I decided to move back south where I had marked some fish on the Helix on the way up.  There was some muddy water, mixing water, and cleaner water in the area.  The fish marks were plentiful in the dirtier water, and we picked off enough to finish with a 4 person limit there. There were definitely marks of big fish on the screen, but we only managed to entice the eater size walleye to eat our offerings there.

After discussing the weather for Tuesday and Wednesday, they decided they would  head back to South Dakota early. 

The next group is coming in from Iowa, and is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday. It looks like Thursday will be a go, unless something changes, and Saturday too, but Friday's weather dictates a "no go" for us. This will be another two boat deal with Capt Kevin Swartz.  
 In early spring, it's not unusual for groups to schedule several days knowing that they might not get all the days in.  April's weather is always so unpredictable...ugh.  It's the only month I wish I had a big boat with a nice warm cabin to fish out of. lol

Anyway, it was a fun three day adventure with Scott, Dominic, and Larry. They had a great time, and worked the Off Shore boards like they had been fishing with inline planer boards for a long time. Scott said the only experience he had with them in the past was watching how it was done on someone else's boat.  I couldn't have been more pleased with how fast they picked it up, and how easy it made my job. Woot! Woot! :)

So, until Thursday....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls



Fishing with Scott, Dominic, and Larry 4/1/18

by Capt Juls on 04/01/18

Day two with my SD crew (Capt Kevin has the other party of this group)...


I picked my guys up at 7:15 and we hit the gas station for some petrol for the Ranger.  We headed to Mazurik's and launched by 7:45. After letting the ETEC warm up, we headed north. 

It was a bit bouncy in the morning, due to the west winds, but it wasn't too bad. 

The bite was best in the early morning, and the P-10's and Bandits successfully pulled 7 nice fish in the first pass.  It was the same program as the last time out, which was P-10's with 1oz snap weights run 30/30 and 40/40, and Bandits run 75, 80, and 85 back behind the Off Shore boards.  Speed was 1.4(ish).  We dropped two fish on that first pass too...oh well...:)

We ran back up to our starting point, to make another pass on my line, but found the bite to be a bit tougher the second time around.  Our count was up to 13 though, so I decided it would be a good time to go scout another area, so we picked up and headed east, to the east side of Kelly's.

We set lines again near Airport Reef, and while there were few to no marks there, we kept trolling south.  We picked up one suicidal piggy that was our biggest fish of the day, topping the scale at 10.74 pounds (29" fatty), and a smaller 3 pound fish we let go, because it was the 15th fish. I told them that if they kept another one, we would be done for the day, so they decided to let the little one go, and keep fishing. We caught another one that went about 4 1/2 pounds, so they kept that one. The last fish never showed up, so we were one short of our 4 man limit. 

They had hit their personal bests 6 times over today with a 29 1/2, 29, 29, 28 3/4, 28, and 27 3/4s.  All 6 are going home to be hung on their walls. :)

It was a super fun day fishing the Scott, his son, Dominic, and Scott's Father in Law Larry.  We'll be hitting the water at 7:30 tomorrow to see if we can duplicate what we did today. 

The winds will be down tomorrow, so it should be an awesome day on the water!

Water temps today were 37-38 degrees.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott, Dominic, and Larry 3/30/18

by Capt Juls on 03/31/18

Had a two boat deal with some South Dakotans with Capt Kevin. We picked them up at their place at 9:15, thinking we could launch at 10am.


The winds were still strong out of the north though, so when we got to Mazurik's it was a no go.  I took my three guys to Big Bopper's to wait it out another hour, while Kevin and his crew stayed at the launch. There were several others waiting it out at the launch too.

We got back from Bopper's and ended up waiting another hour before launching the boats. I let the ETEC warm up before heading out, since the temps were still on the chilly side.  There's plenty of clean water east of the Bass islands, and north of Kelly's, so that's where we looked first.  We marked a few fish, but nothing like I wanted to see. 

We set lines with Smithwick P-10's with 1oz snap weights run 30/30 and Bandits unassisted at 80 and 90 back. Both programs took some fish, but they were all just eaters...no pigs today.

At one point, my curiosity got the best of me, and we headed to the west of the islands, and found ourselves between the Rattles on Rattlesnake Island and North Bass. The water was a good mixing color, and there were good marks there too.  We picked up two fish there to give us a total of 3 (we had lost two, so we were 3 for 5 at this point.)

Then, with time running out, we headed back to the southeast of South Bass Island and set lines again. There were some decent marks, and sometimes no marks. The funny thing is....the last four fish we caught there, there were no marks on the screen. So, I guess that's saying....if you don't see any marks, go on faith and don't get too discouraged. lol

We ended up with a total of 7 eaters, but my guys had a good time, and are looking forward to the next trip out on Sunday.  It's going to be really really cold on Sunday, but the winds will be down, so that's a good thing. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Craig, Steve, and Todd 3/18/18

by Capt Juls on 03/18/18

Craig, Steve, and Todd drove down from MI this morning, and met me at my house, so we could drive to the launch together.  After a pit stop at the gas station to gas up the Ranger and get some ice for the cooler (my live well lever was frozen on Saturday and this morning, so I didn't want to force it. With the nice weather this afternoon, it's unstuck now, so all is well!)


We hit Mazurik's at 9am and, again, sat in the water for about 5 minutes to let the engine get up to temp, before heading west.  My original plan was to launch out of Catawba, but with the SW wind this morning, and a report of icy ramps, I opted to launch out of M's.  

We headed west, and ended up close to Round Reef, because that was the first area that I came to that wasn't muddy.  I had thought the light winds overnight would have cleaned that whole area up more than it did, but that wasn't the case. 

Anyway....when we arrived, I was on the southern end of the reef, in 19' of water. There were a lot of boats to the NE of me, so I deployed the Ulterra and set a course to the east at 1.0mph, but the surges would make it .9mph to 1.5mph.

The program was Smithwick Perfect 10's with 1oz snap weights at 30/30 (let 30' of line out, add the snap weight, and let another 30' of line out before attaching the Off Shore boards.) Bandits were running at 50, 55, 60, and 65 back unassisted (no snap weights) behind the Off Shores.

The hot colors for us today was definitely the IB Frozen Perfect 10, and a new "Custom Color of the Month" from Domka Outdoors that looks like a chrome perch. I don't know the name of this one yet, so I added a picture to the album.

Sour Grape and Darkwing Duck Bandits from Domka Outdoors were both good choices too.

We caught fish until the mud moved in on us, so we made a move to the north side of the reef, and made an easterly troll again. I wasn't marking as many fish on that side, so I turned the boat and made a heading towards D Can. Once we got closer to D Can we picked up our last three fish to finish out their limit.

It was a sunny day, but cold in the morning, with the wind, but it warmed up nicely in the afternoon.  My crew was a hoot to fish with, and we were tripping over each other when we had a quad on and trying to land them all at the same time. We only managed to get three of them in though, but that's okay...it was a great start to the morning!  They did a fantastic job setting lines, and getting fish in the boat!

The fish were definitely biting better for us today, than they were yesterday. So, that was a relief. 

The crew has reserved a date in late September to go perch'n with me, so that makes me happy. :)

I won't be fishing this week, and the regular schedule starts next Saturday, so I hope the weather forecast straightens out before next weekend. We are supposed to have some nasty winds all week again, so we'll have to see what happens.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jim, Mike Sr., and Mike Jr 3/17/18

by Capt Juls on 03/17/18

Fishing with Jim, Mike Sr, and Mike Jr 3/17/18

First, let me apologize for no pictures....uffda! Still getting the winter cobwebs out of my brain. :(

My crew met me at my house at 8:30, and we drove over to Mazurik's, together, to launch by 9am. It was a frosty morning, with "dew ice" covering the Ranger and her ETECs, but there was no wind, so that was really really nice for a change.

As we readied the boat, Capt Chuck Oeder showed up in line behind us. He offered to "dump us", and park the truck. I took him up on that offer so we all loaded in the boat and launched. We sat out front until the motor temp reached 124 degrees, to help prevent any motor issues by running it at such a cold temp (It was only 25 degrees this morning).

The new 300 G2 purred as we rode across the glass-like lake, towards the north side of Kelly's. Once we traveled out of the muddy water, we found a ton of marks, and perfect mixing water, where I thought we should start.

We would spend the next 4 hours picking a fish here, picking a fish there, watching a board sink back only to come back up into marching formation again, or reeling it in and feeling the fish come off.

We had 12 hookups, brought 6 to the boat, but had to throw two of those back, because they were just hitting the 15" mark. We didn't want to take a chance of it shrinking before we got in. You just never know when the ODNR will be waiting at the launch to check your fish. The ones that did make it to the cooler were small fish...16-22 inches.

I kept hoping the sun would come out and make those deep fish more active, and bring them up higher in the water column, but it was taking its old sweet time.

We ran Perfect 10's with 1oz and 2oz snap weights, at 30/30, and Bandits with 2oz snap weights anywhere from 20/20 to 20/80. The Lemon Lime Crush/orange belly Perfect 10 was hot, as was the new IB Twisted from DJ's Custom Eye Lures.

Speed was anywhere from 1.0 to 1.7mph. We caught one when I had it up to 1.7mph, so I guess slow or fast...you can catch fish. ;)

We lost a lot of fish at 1.0mph, and the ones that were hooked were just barely hooked, so the fish were definitely not in an aggressive mood in that spot for slow baits.

After 4 hours we got word of another decent bite, in a spot that was not mine to give, so I'm biting my lip not to give out that information. I like to keep my friends so I won't divulge their info. That's up to them to give out. I hope you understand. We ran 12 miles and set down. I didn't mark one fish on the Helix, so I was disappointed in moving from those other fish. I know, I know...."You don't leave fish to find fish"....but, when my fish are not being aggressive, and you tell me you just landed a triple....I'm picking up and leaving those lazy souls down in the deeper depths.

Their main focus of this trip was to learn how to run the Off Shore inline boards.They did that, and they caught a few fish for a fish fry. All in all, it was a good day. It wasn't too cold, and it wasn't so freak'n windy for a change. The company was great, and we all appreciated being out on the water, on such a nice day. The music played, and we munched on brownies, beef jerky, and peanut butter cookies in between jumping for a rod. lol

It was a good learning trip, and they did a fantastic job of setting the lines and bringing them back in. I have no doubt in my mind, that they will be able to take what they learned today and apply it to their boat with successful results.

It was a fun trip, and I'm grateful for a good time on the water, even if the little beasties didn't want to play aggressively today. Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer, with full sunshine all day, and temps in the mid 50's.

I haven't decided if I'm going out of Catawba or Mazurik's tomorrow yet. I guess I'll know in the morning. :)

Water temps were 34-35 degrees in the spots I was in today.

Stay tuned....

Oh Happy Days are Here Again!! Fishing on 2/26/18

by Capt Juls on 02/26/18

Woke up at 2am, which is normal for me right now, and had my morning coffee to start the day in quiet solitude.  I headed out to go let the dogs out of the kennels at the Humane Society of Ottawa County, here in Port Clinton. It's a "no kill" shelter I work at during the off season.


After cleaning the kennels and feeding my canine friends, I headed to the pool where I do my water aerobics after work. The water was chilly, but I forced myself to get in and did what I had to do.

I rushed home to let my dogs out again, grab a bite to eat, and got ready to go fishing with Capt Kevin.  We were taking his boat today, because he has a trip tomorrow, and wanted to do a shake down run, before he took customers out.

I'll be loading all my gear in my new Ranger tomorrow, and calibrating 10 Tekota 500's that I had re-spooled with  new line the other day.  I might have a trip or two this weekend, but nothing has been confirmed as of this writing. Etiher way though, I'll be out this weekend. (If the winds stay light like they are forecasting.)

Kevin and I launched at Mazurik's and headed out at around 9:30. There is very little ice floating around, and most of it is west of the islands and on the northern shore of the lake right now. We saw a big berg or two out around E can and NW.

Without mentioning exact spots, because Kevin will be using them tomorrow, I can say that we didn't go very far. ;)
There was just the two of us in the boat, so we could only run two line per side.

I chose a Smithwick Perfect 10 in a custom color called, "Crown Juls".  I had Mike Chaffin, who created this color last year, and has done a bunch of Bandit's in that color for me, make a half dozen in the Perfect 10 too.

I let 20 feet of line out, and then attached a 2oz snap weight, and then let out another 20 feet (total 40') and attached my Off Shore planer board.  For the other line, I put another P-10 in a stock color out...it's called "Marvin", and did the set up at 20/45 with 2oz's (total of 65').  Kevin kept the boat speed anywhere from .9 to 1.1mph.

We were fishing in 27' of water, with lots of marks. The water clarity was good. We could just see the cavitation plate, and that's what you want at this time of year...not too dirty, and not too clean.

After about 5 minutes, and while Kevin was still futzing and setting his lines, my outside board went back....FISH ON! Woot! Woot! It was the first walleye of our 2018 season. We didn't weigh it, but guessed it to be around 7-8 pounds....took a picture of her and let her go, to live another day.  Really though...neither of us wanted to bother with getting fish cleaned today. lol

We would catch two more eaters in that area, and decided to move to another location to check out the water clarity and fish marks, so he would have more that one place to fish with his crew.

The seconds stop was by the cans...we went close to G can and turned and looked from there to F can...there wasn't much to write home about there. The marks were poor where we stopped. That's not to say that they are not in the area, we just didn't set down on them, so we got on plane and moved again.

This time, we found exceptional marks...mostly deep, in 25' of water, but with several coming up to mid depth...and, some up very high. We set lines and gave it a shot. I had one bait set up in the top 8 feet of the water column, but no takers.  I reset to the 20/20 with the 2oz and it worked again.  Our largest fish of the day, was a fat bellied 9.8 pound eye, and the next largest weighing in at 8.6 pounds. That first fish would have rivaled this one.  The other three were just "eaters".   

We only fished until 2:30 and headed back in. He had to get some stuff ready for tomorrow, and I had to get home to take the dogs for a walk, make dinner, write this blog, and get to bed. As I'm writing this, it's only 6pm here, but it's already past my bedtime. lol  
That will change, as my time at the shelter for this season has come to an end. Wednesday is the last day I will be up that early and driving over to let the dogs out. (That makes me sad, as I love those dogs...hard not to get attached to them, ya know?)

The water temps were 33.5 at 9:30am, but with the clear skies and bright sunshine, by 2:30 the surface temp had risen one full degree.

Well, that's all for now....I'll be out this weekend again, I think.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls