Fishing With Al and Kim Quinn 4/9/2021
by Capt Juls on 04/10/21
I always call my customers the day before their trip, to touch base with them about it. I called the Quinn's, who live in Cleveland, to discuss the wind forecast, so they knew what to expect wave-wise. I was then informed of Kim's inclination of getting seasick if it's rough, so I told them what I thought (going by the forecast at that time), and gave them the option of rescheduling if they wanted to wait for calmer waters. I also gave them the option of waiting to make a decision in the morning, since they were staying here in a Port Clinton hotel for the night. They agreed to wait and see if the forecast would change for the better.
iWindSurf was wrong yesterday, so I had hopes that it would be wrong this morning too. It was. The forecast was showing gusts, 18-20mph, but that's not what was happening at the launch when I showed up there at 6am. It was blowing less than 5mph.
It was a beautiful morning, even though everything was wet from the storms that rolled through here yesterday afternoon. No one else was there yet, so it was really quiet, except for the early morning birds that were starting to wake up and chirp. The air was damp, but it wasn't cold. The smell of the lake, felt comforting and inviting to one's soul. The sky was mostly cloudy around the edges of the lake, but clear out over the lake.
We left the dock at 6:45...and, like yesterday it was still on the darker side of light as we drove north, for a handful of miles.
Kim had never fished on Lake Erie before, but she's been reading my blog, which she said she enjoys, and wanted to come and try it.
Al is a retired MNR officer (Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources), bush pilot, and an airplane engine mechanic, so he was in. They gave the trip to each other as an Anniversary present this year...and, that makes me happy!
We set up in 37 feet of water. The Bandits were running behind Off Shore boards at 42/65/80 (inside board to the outside board) on the port side, and 35/55/75 on the starboard side. Colors were Buck Fever/Blue Chrome/and a Spro Perch on the port side, and a Sunspot/Buck Fever/Blue Chrome on the starboard side.
All took fish. Then, as the sun got higher in the sky I dropped the Spro Perch back to 98, and it took two fish. So, we took the blue chrome off the starboard side and added another Spro Perch at 100 back, and it too took fish.
We had their limit by 10:00, so I asked them if they wanted to stay out or go back in, because it was getting a little windier. Kim said she was doing well, and wanted to keep fishing, so we did. I decided to pick everything up and make a run back up to where we started, because a SW trolling pass was better than the NE trolling pass going the other way.
Speed was 1.3 going SW (into the current) and 1.9-2.0mph going NE (with the current).
I put the boat up on plane and drove back to our starting point. I throttled down and turned the boat around, and pushed the button to deploy the Ulterra. As it was deploying, I heard a weird sound like the trim on the kicker motor when the compartment lid hits the tip of the baby ETEC's tiller handle, where the trim button is. So, I looked back and didn't see the lid interfering with anything, but saw that my big 300 G2 was trimmed all the way up and that the trim was still trying to trim up. I couldn't stop it, other than to turn the main power off to the boat.
Luckily, the kicker motor works when the main power is turned off, so I fired it up and started to head in.
I got on the phone with Ryan over at Dubbert's, who is a highly trained ETEC technician, and has done any and all my service on my ETEC's over the past several years. Whether it be just setting them up initially, a warranty job, or just a regular service that was needed. He is my go-to guy.
I explained to him what happened and what was happening, and he told me he thought it was probably the trim relay switch going bad. He said, "I have one here at the shop. Get the boat over here and I can swap it out". "Thank you!", I said. "I'm coming in on the kicker, so it will be about an hour before I can get there".
Because of Al's background and experience, I asked him if he was good at controlling a tiller boat, and he said he was, so to his satisfaction, I let him drive us back to the dock. He kept me entertained with fun stories of his adventures over the years on our drive back in. Kim must have heard these stories many times before, because she kept telling him to stop. lol
When we got back to the dock, Capt's Matt and Jenn Wieland were there to help us get the boat loaded on the trailer, which was very nice of them...Thanks you two! :)
I was able to get the boat over to Dubbert's at lunchtime and Ryan took time away from his lunch to get my motor fixed up. It took him probably 10-15 minutes to swap it out. I watched how he did it, and there is no way that would have been done on the water by anyone....especially me! They do not make that one easy to get to...at all. lol Thanks Ryan...my Hero! :)
Then, this afternoon, I had to get my second Covid vaccination, so I've got tomorrow's crew on call, so they can go tomorrow instead of Sunday.
Sunday looks like it's going to blow, so I have them on Monday too. If Monday is fishable, I can get their two days in by fishing with them tomorrow and Monday and taking Sunday off. If I'm not running a fever, and feel well enough to fish, we will launch at 6:45 again. Fingers crossed! I've heard many say they had no problems with the first shot, but the second shot kicked their butts. I hope I'm not one of those "Many". ;)
Time for bed now....