This morning I was meeting my crew at Mazurik's a little before 6am for a 6 o'clock launch, and when I pulled in at 5:35 they were already there waiting for me. I readied the boat and we hit the water right on time and headed to the east side of Gull Island Shoal. It was 59 degrees, a partly cloudy sky, and a light wind.
The water temp was 75.8 degrees.
The wind was forecast for a NW wind at 5-10, but it was more west than NW, so that was nice. I didn't want to make the run out to the weather buoy, because Don had told me that they had never walleye fished before and I didn't want them to have a fast limit and not learn anything while dealing with the chaos of fast fish. So, I chose to go see if there were still fish on the east side of Gull and the north side of Kelly Island Shoal. There were. The marks on the Helix were solid from 24 feet down to 43', so the Ulterra was deployed and the baby ETEC was put to work.
Our speed was 2.5 up to 2.9mph depending on how big the waves were. They were 2' or less for the most part, with a few 3's thrown in for good measure every now and then.
The usual Bandit program that's been used the past few weeks was set and the same with the Dipsies.
Bandits: 50/63 w/3oz, 50/60 w/3oz, on one side and 50/75 w/2oz and 50/50 w/2oz on the other side.
Dipsies with spoons: 3 setting at 75 on one side and 94 on the other side. The 1 setting was set at 54 and 60 back.
As the sky lightened, I said to them, "This is the kind of day that waterspouts form", because the cloud patterns were like the ones I experienced a few years ago (in fact, if you look at my FB biz page's cover photo...it was just like that, because that was the day I was remembering). :)
They learned how to set the lines with the snap weights and the Off Shore boards, and how to set the dipsies with a decent steady bite of walleye, sheep, white perch, and short walleye. Don asked me at one point, "Were you ever in the military?" I laughed, shook my head no. He said, "You would have made a good boot camp sergeant". I laughed again, and said, "That's not the first time I've heard that, but I have to keep on you guys if we're going to keep those lines untangled and get fish in the boat." "I call it controlling chaos". He laughed and having retired from the military, said he understood. :)
As we put the last fish of their limit in the cooler, I looked up to see a planer board heading right for a seagull, and the seagull wasn't looking "right"...it was kind of flat in the water, rather than sitting up and floating like they do, and then the planer board ran right into it. I said, "That bird is injured or has fishing line around it, or something. Then, I asked, "Do you guys want to save a seagull today?" They both answered right away and said, "Yes". "Okay, let's pull everything and go get it. I'll drive up slowly and Don you can use the big net to get him".
As we made our way back to the seagull I looked up to the sky and noticed a water spout coming down, and pointed it out to the guys. Neither of them had ever experienced one before, so it was kind of a neat experience for them. The spout never made it down to the water, but it was only about 1/4 mile away, so we could see the rotation in it, clearly. I stopped the boat far enough away from the gull, so they could take some pictures of it, and then we went and saved the seagull.
After loading out and taking their fish to Bay's Edge, they rode with me over to "Back to the Wild" to give them the seagull. Maybe they could save it....maybe not. I don't think it will survive. It might have been hit by a boat and paralyzed (hopefully, just stunned). Its legs didn't seem to work and it was lethargic. But, if it's going to die, better there than in the middle of Lake Erie. At least it has a chance with them. It didn't out there. I'm hoping it counts towards Karma points anyway. lol
Tomorrow, I have a husband and wife who are camping over at East Harbor State Park, and want to go out for some walleye. The winds will be low, so I think we'll make that run out to the buoy, and see what we find.