Fishing with Clayton, Todd, and Dale 10/19/2021
by Capt Juls on 10/19/21
Clayton, Todd, and Dale, who drove in from Bismark, ND this past weekend, had a perch trip scheduled with me this past Sunday, but once again Mother Nature decided to be kind of bitchy and blew, so we rescheduled for today. They have their own boat here, a nice Lund, so they were able to fish some quieter waters as they scouted around the area.
I got up early, as usual, and hit up A and J's Bait for some Emeralds. Their answering machine said they had "100% Emeralds" in their scoops, so that's where I wanted to get them from. However, that 100% was not accurate and in the 7 scoops I bought, there was at least one scoop of FatHeads (a minnow I'm familiar with from living in Wisconsin). But...no worries...I'm not complaining here, and I'll tell you why later in my report. :)
I had originally planned on a 9am launch, to let the "Frost get off the Pumpkin", before we headed out, but the air temp at 6:30 was 51 degrees, so I called Clayton and asked if they could meet me an hour earlier at Mazurik's, so we could get an earlier start. "No problem", he said. "I'll wake the others and get them moving. We just need to make a few sandwiches, and we'll see you over there".
I left the house at 6:55 and headed to the heated storage building to pick up the boat, and head to the gas station to fill it up, and grab some ice for the cooler. I brought the "Catch Counter" cooler, since I had new springs put on it two weeks ago, and a new counter put on it, yesterday. I wore the other ones out, and my counter wouldn't go above 39...the second digit in wouldn't go past 3 for some reason (probably fish slime goo in there or something). But, that's a problem when you need to keep an accurate count before heading back into the dock where the ODNR might be there waiting to count your catch.
I got to Mazurik's around 7:30 and got things ready while I waited on my crew to arrive. They showed up at 7:45, and we were on our way a short time later.
I hadn't been out perch'n since I had the two brothers from MI out 10 days ago, so I wasn't on a good bite, and I told them so. I gave them the opportunity to save their money and just take their boat out, but Clayton said, "We drove all this way to fish with you, and that's what we want to do". So, with the pressure off, I headed to the Marblehead lighthouse, where I had been hearing about some nice catches the day before.
We stopped in the area, and set up on one spot that had some fishy marks, but they turned out to be big Gobies and small walleye, so we didn't stay there long. They had told me that the day before, they had seen a perch net on the east side of the Cedar Point break wall, and a lot of marks near one end of it. "We don't know what they were though", said Todd. To which I replied, "Most likely, those were perch. Do you want to go check it out? If they're not, we can always move again". They all agreed it was a good idea, so we started heading over there.
There were a lot of Seagulls flying around, and sitting on the water, out in the middle of the passage between Marblehead and Cedar Point...where the Sandusky River flows out, and they caught my attention. I looked down at the Humminbird to find a large school of fish below us, so I immediately got the boat off plane, and stopped it. Could these be perch? Gosh, I hoped so! "Look what we have here...these marks look very good...let's try this first, before we head all the way over there", I said.
The Ulterra was deployed and the Spot-Loc was engaged to hold us over the marks on the screen. The wind was blowing out of the west, and the waves were 2 feet or less, so it wasn't bad at all. Everyone else was packed up over by the lighthouse, and we were probably between a 1/2 and 3/4 mile east of that pack, all by ourselves.
The water temp today was 65.8 degrees right there.
"Dollar for the first yellow?", I asked. "Yeah, sounds good", they replied. Todd won that dollar. But, we had a couple more bets throughout the morning, to keep it interesting, and I would end up with an extra 5 bucks in my pocket. Woot! Woot! Fun times...lol
Fish size ranged anywhere from 4 1/2 inches to 12 inches. The little ones got tossed back to have a chance to grow bigger. There were a lot of little walleye from this spring's hatch that got thrown back too. They are such cute little buggers at that stage in life...I can't help but give them a little kiss before I let them go....hoping one day, they will come back to me as a trophy walleye. :)
Clayton asked if Sheephead were good to eat, and I told him that I had never eaten one, but that I know of people that had and said they weren't that bad. So, when he caught one, he decided to keep it and fry it up, to see for himself. Todd thought that was disgusting, so I think Clayton plans on sneaking it into a fish fry, to see if Todd would even notice. I've been told that when people did serve walleye and Sheephead mixed in together, most people couldn't tell the difference. I have not tried one, and probably never will. When I have Bluegill, Perch, and Walleye to eat anytime I want, I don't think I'll be choosing to eat a Sheephead.
I secretly have a soft spot for the big dopey looking creatures anyway, and enjoy letting them go on about their merry little lives.
We ended the morning with a nice cooler of 120 perch. And, wouldn't you know it...the largest of the perch caught today came on the FatHeads. Go figure! lol
I did get on the radio when we were done, to ask if anyone in that pack was doing poorly and wanted my spot, and gave the numbers, the description of my boat, and said I would wait 5 minutes before leaving, but no one answered, or headed our way, so we left. Either they didn't have their radios on channel 79 or they were catching well enough to not want to leave their spots.
I did run into a ODNR Wildlife Officer that I see down there from time to time....he was off duty, and launching his boat with his young son, and his Dad, I think (I couldn't see who was backing up the trailer, so that's only a guess). He asked how we did, and I told him. I gave him the exact numbers we were at, so they could go there and get on them too. He thanked me, and launched his boat while we loaded out.
My guys had a good time, as did I, and they are scheduled to be back here for three days in early April, and that makes me happy!
My next trip is scheduled for Thursday of this week, with Steve and Jeremy (longtime regulars), but the forecast is showing dark red and maroon colors, which means 30+ mph winds, and another blow day, if it doesn't change drastically for the better. Uffda! I've rescheduled them so many times this season, it's not funny.
The next scheduled trip is Saturday, with Joe Wirthman and his crew. We will be chasing walleye, I think. I have to confirm that, though, since I can't remember off the top of my head if it was walleye or perch.