First Trip of the Season! Fishing with Grant, Brad, and Mike 3/13/2021by Capt Juls on 03/13/21
Well, folks this was the day...the first trip of the season!
Grant, who lives in Indianapolis, has been trying to get out fishing with me for a couple of years now, and it has never worked out weather-wise, until today. His friend, Brad, drove in from Iowa to meet him and their other friend, Mike for the ride over to Port Clinton yesterday afternoon.
Grant brought his Tracker boat with them, so they could fish if I couldn't take them. I had my first COVID vaccine shot yesterday, and was worried that I might not feel up to it, because of some reports of people feeling feverish and achy after getting their shots. But, luckily, that wasn't the case with me. I felt nothing out of the ordinary other than a little soreness at the injection site. Whew! I expected something like the symptoms I got when I got the Shingles shot last fall, which were those exact symptoms.
Anyway, Grant called when they hit town at 5:30 last night, and I told them I could take them if they still wanted me to. I told him to talk it over with the guys, because since they had a boat they needed to decide if they wanted to save 450.00, or pay me to take them out the next morning. He called back in less than three minutes to let me know they wanted me to take them. I smiled, and said, "Cool, I'll text you the plans on where to meet in the morning"...:)
I went to bed early and got up at 3:30. I had my usual 2 cups of coffee while I took care of emails, pm's, and social media stuff, and fed all the beasts that live here.
After a hot shower, I threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt, grabbed my jacket and drove over to Wieland's Auto and Marine, where the boat is being stored until more stable weather arrives and I can bring her home again.
I hooked her up and hit the gas station for some ice for the cooler, and to top off the gas tank. (I top it off for every trip I do). Once she was in the driveway, I topped off the oil in the G2 too. She was already clean, so now I just had to change into my warmer clothes and wait for my crew to arrive at my house, so we could head west to launch.
The wind was light out of the NE this morning and calming to less than 5mph for the rest of the day, so I wasn't in a hurry to launch. I figured the longer we waited, the nicer the ride out would be.
As per my usual rule of not divulging information when it is given to me, I have to honor that this time too. Since it was my first trip of the season, I asked a good friend, Capt Gary Zart, for some help since he's been out every day this past week and slaying the walleye. He didn't hesitate and gave me the general location and program he was running, so that we could have a good start to the season. It worked....my crew and I had a blast today! So, thank you, Gary! It was much appreciated by all. :)
What I can tell you, is that direction and speed was important. We started with a NE to SW troll and didn't touch a fish. As a couple of boats headed the opposite direction neared us, both of them had fish on, so since I'm not real stupid, I immediately turned the boat around to go back the other way. But, we never quite made the 180 turn all the way when we started hooking up with a NNW trolling pass, so we just kept heading in that direction, and kept catching fish.
Bandits out at 65, 70, 75, 85, and 105 back at a speed of 1.1-1.4 mph. Blue Shiner was the hottest color at 75 back....so much so that I ended up putting 4 of that color out. The other colors that did well were the Chrome Barbie, Green Clown, and RC Crush. Blue Chrome didn't pull any....weird. After we limited on their three limits, I put a Yaleye Mooneye Minnow down 30/30 with a 2 oz snapweight and it caught a nice walleye within minutes, so maybe I should have had a couple of those out too. Next time, eh? (A little Canadian speak, since the fella that makes the yaleye Lures is a Canadian)...
Mike brought in the first fish, and that's when I found out it was his first walleye, ever, and his first time to Lake Erie. We caught our 24 walleye, with the largest being a 29" 10.88 pound fatty. Brad caught that one, and since Grant is also a Taxidermist, he said he would mount that one for Brad. I offered them an old towel and some garbage bags, so he could properly take care of it on ice, while they traveled with it back to Indiana tomorrow night.
They are planning on fishing tomorrow, but I told them that the NW wind forecast is going to make the lake pretty rough, so they needed to be careful in the smaller boat. Who knows...they may not fish tomorrow, and just head home.
They all had a great time, and said they would remember this day for a long time. The weather was absolutely perfect today. It was a lot warmer than I thought it would be...or, maybe I was just over-dressed for what I thought the conditions would be, but it got warm.
My next scheduled trip is a two day trip with Mike Zralka and his friend. Mike is another one who has been trying to fish with me for a while now, and the weather keeps saying, "No, no you're not...not today", and that's what it looks like it's going to do for the 18th and 19th of this week too now....(as of this writing anyway). The forecast is calling for sustained winds at 35-38 and gusts to 52 mph out of the NNE on Thursday and NW winds at 10-14mph on Friday. Ugh....:(