Fishing Day 4 with Ed, Dennis, and Jay 4/27/2023by Capt Juls on 04/27/23
Yesterday morning, we weren't sure we were going to get to fish today, because the forecast was showing some gusty east winds, but by yesterday afternoon it showed lower wind speeds, so we made plans to fish this morning.
I picked my crew up at the White Caps Motel at 5:30, and we headed to the gas station on the other side of town, for the usual, before heading to Catawba to launch. We were in the water by 6:15 and headed north.
The sky was clear, the air was cool and crisp, and the wind was barely moving the flag hanging on the tall pole on the pier at the launch. The lake was like glass on the protected side of the island, and rolling a little more and more as we ventured further away from land towards Niagara Reef and C Can.
We set up on the north side of Niagara, when a few fish were marked on the Helix, and a WNW heading was set on the iPilot, while I fired up the baby Merc, to push us at a speed of 1.9-2.1mph (Fish Hawk speed was 1.4-1.6mph). For those that don't know what a Fish Hawk X2 is, it's a probe that is lowered into the water at a desired depth (I like 15-20 feet), and a transducer slides down the line, so it can transfer the water temp and speed info to the unit in the boat. When currents slow, or speed up the lures, the Fish Hawk can give you that info, to help you dial in a speed easier.
Water temp was 47.3 on the surface and 47.9 down below at 15 feet.
We set up with Bandits behind Off Shore boards on both sides of the boat, first thing. I said to Jay, "Go ahead and pick some numbers...you know what we have been doing the past three days, I trust you". My side ran at 71, 61, 51, and 35.
After he was all done setting the boards out, I asked, "What numbers did you pick?" He replied, "74, 64, 54, and 39". I laughed and said, "I like odd numbers". Laughing, he said, "Oh, I thought you just meant you didn't want it at 70, 60, 50, and 40". "That's okay, let's see what happens", I said. And, sure enough, his 74 and 54 both went back at the same time. We started the morning with a double. :)
The colors on his side were Buck Fever, RC Crush, Red Headed Wonder Bread, and ...I can't remember the 4th one.
My side ran Chrome Marvin, Blue Chrome, and two other chrome custom colors I don't know the names of anymore...sorry.
Fish were caught on all lead lengths, with a few going off twice.
The wind was picking up and the waves were 2-3s with an occasional 4 footer thrown in for good measure. Ed and Dennis are older gents (Dennis is Jay's Dad), and both are late 70s and/or early 80s, so I wanted to make sure they were comfortable, and decided it was best to head back towards more protected waters to fish. We left that area with 11 nice fish in the cooler, and headed back towards Catawba, to fish off the point with the hour and a 1/2 we had left. This time of year, there is usually some fish in that area.
We took our time, so the ride didn't bust anyone's butts, or the boat, and set up off Catawba. Jay was working on setting his third bait, and before he could get the board on he exclaimed, "I got a fish! I didn't even get the board on, yet!". It was a nice one too...I'm guessing 25 or 26 inches. I didn't measure it.
I asked him, "What does that tell you, when that happens?" He said, "It had to be up very high, because I had just stopped the bait, so it was just starting to dive". "Yes, that's correct. What did you just set that bait at?" "40 back", he said. "Do you want me to bring it back in and make it a shorter lead?", he asked.
I said, "Let's see what happens, since you have it out already, you can always change it. That might have just been a suicidal fish, and not a pattern".
I had gone to the bow for something and looked down in the water and there was a fish (Jay thought it was a bass, but I saw a sheephead) swimming in the top 8" of water, and then we watched it slowly swim out of sight as the boat passed by. So, I thought....hmmmmm....his fish was caught high, and this fish is up high, so let's put some baits out up high and see if they are being weird today.
I changed out the Bandits on my side to DHJ12's and put the shortest leads on the outside this time, running at 15, 25, 35, and 45. Long story short....nada. That was a fail. Hey, but at least we tried. lol
We caught one more on the Red Headed WB at 50 back, and that was it for the Catawba area. It was time to go home.
Ed, Dennis, and Jay learned a lot about trolling with Off Shore boards and now have the confidence to go use what they learned in my boat, to use in their boats. Each day, they got better and better, and I have every confidence that they can successfully run planer boards with fewer problems and tangles, than they had before.
They said they had a great time, and that makes me happy. :)
Tomorrow, would have been their 5th day, but with the crappy weather and gusty NE winds forecasted, it was an easy decision for them to travel back to Wisconsin and Minnesota tomorrow.
My crew for Saturday, sent me a text the other day, to cancel, due to the forecast they saw, so I offered them a chance to reschedule for another time. They accepted that offer. Hey, I don't like fishing in crappy weather, either! lol
It's looking like I'm going to have a lot of days off here, the next several days. Next week is looking bad with lots of wind and rain. So, don't look for a report from me until at least, Thursday.