Fishing with Doug and Mark 4/19-20/2021by Capt Juls on 04/20/21
Doug and Mark drove down from Wisconsin Sunday afternoon to fish with me yesterday and today. So, this will be a two day report, since I didn't have the time to write an individual report for yesterday.
I left the house at 4:45 and did the usual gas station routine, and drove back across town to meet my crew at a ramp on the Portage River. The wind was out of the SW, and was gusting to the low to mid 20's, so I thought it would be best to go out of the river and hug the shoreline over to the can area.
Wait....wait...wait...let me back up, and get back to the gas station. I almost forgot about these two other fellas from Wisconsin that showed up towing a little 14 or 16 foot tin boat, that was definitely not what we usually see for use on Lake Erie.
I walked over to them, but didn't bother to get their names, because I know myself too well, and I would never be able to remember their names anyway, so I never asked. They are known to me as the "Little Blue Boat Guys from Wisco". :)
Anyway, while my gas tank was filling up, I walked over and knocked on the driver's window and said, "Where ya launching out of?" He said, "Mazurik's". I said, "Where do you plan on fishing?", and he said, "We were thinking of heading to the north side of Kelly's". I said, "No you're not...not today....you will die." I then added, "Why don't you follow me today? I'm launching out of the Portage River and headed to the cans. I fished there yesterday and did very well. It will be a lot more protected and safer for you". They agreed, and said "Thank you", as I walked away. "By the way, what's your name?", he asked. I turned and said, "Juls". A big grin crossed his face and he said, "Oh, you're Juls...you do those reports on Walleye.com. I read those all the time!" I said, "Thanks for reading them", and smiled.
I told them the area and the program, and that they should launch with me and let me lead them out of the river, due to the channel being zig-zaggy... and, the fact that the electronics he had in the boat was sonar only and no gps. The river gets pretty shallow if you get off the main channel. (The marker buoys were not in yet).
At the mouth of the river, I slowed down, so they could catch up, and I pointed in the direction they needed to go to get to the right cans. They thanked us and we took off.
We used Bandits 40 and 50 back. Blue Chrome and Buck Fever were hot.
One blue/orange bellied Jointed DHJ12 at 65 back caught several fish, and Spro's Madeye 120 in the Golden Perch and Blue Chrome colors at 50 back helped put fish in the boat too.
Speed was 1.7-1.8mph
We had a 2 person limit in the boat by 7:53, and had tossed back two keepers, when the firing range patrol boat came up on us to inform us that Camp Perry would be using the range area from 8-4 Monday through Friday this week, so we had to move out of the range and find another place to fish. Too bad too, because that spot was really good.
So, we moved south of the cans and set up. We picked away at three more to put in the box...lost a couple more and caught a giant Sheephead and a few White Bass, but never filled our three person limit.
I could see the "Blue Boat Guys" reeling fish in from time to time, so they were doing well enough, that I didn't stop by them when we left to head back in. I did see them later when I went to walk my dog, and they had just pulled out of the river and were getting ready to leave. They said they had caught 9 and lost 3, so they had a fun morning too. They agreed with me, that if we had not been kicked out of our first spot, that we all would have limited out.
Oh well...such is fishing. It was a fun time on a windy day! I told my guys that the wind forecast kept changing for the next day, and that I would get up at my usual 3am time and check the wind forecast then and let them know if it's a go or not. They thought that was a good idea, since they were going to be here in the morning anyway. Mark said, "Well, even if it looks like we can only get out for a few hours, like 10am, that's good enough". I said, "That sounds good....I'll text you in the morning after I see what the weather holds in store".
On to this morning:
I went to bed at 5:30 the night before, because I was getting tired! I slept hard for 9 hours and woke up nice and refreshed. I got up and made some coffee and hit the back deck to check conditions for the day. It was drizzley (yuck). The wind forecast was not as bad as predicted the night before, and would be less than 15 out of the SW and switching to the WNW and diminishing as the morning went on....only to build again when this snowstorm hits town later this evening.
I sent Doug a text and told him, "It's a go", and to meet me at Mazurik's at 6:30. I didn't want to launch in the dark again, because unlike the Portage River, this time I would need to be able to read the waves.
Capt Sam Downing was alone, and sitting in the get ready lanes when I arrived this morning. After the usual greetings and pleasantries, he offered up some helpful information as to where he caught some fish yesterday when he launched out of there. I gladly accepted it, because I know he doesn't lie to me. :)
And, because it was not my information....as usual I am not at liberty to give that information out. All I will say is, that we headed north out of the launch and not east or west. :)
The program was Spro's on the port side at 50/60/80/100 (order of the boards going out away from the boat...long lead on the outside) and Bandits on the starboard side with the same numbers.
Spro colors were Marvin, Golden Perch, Blue Chrome, and Golden Perch (again, in the same order going away from the boat).
Bandits colors were Taco Salad, Blue Chrome, RC Crush, and Carrot Top.
The Taco Salad color didn't catch anything, so it was switched out eventually for another Spro Golden Perch.
RC Crush caught one, but was eventually swapped out for another Carrot Top, because Carrot Top was on fire!
We were bringing in singles, doubles and triples, and had our 18 fish by 9:15. I said to Mark, "Well, you said you wouldn't mind if we were off the water by 10am". He giggled.
Doug and Mark had a great time, and so did I. At first I was kind of dreading it, since a cold front moved in last night, and I thought it would shut them down, but those fish were hungry... and, most of the fish had two sets of hooks in them, rather than the one single treble hook barely hanging on to the skin of their lips, like I've seen on most of my trips this past week.
They were happy campers and set off to see George Cutcher out there in Oak Harbor at Cutcher's Fish Cleaning, where he cleans them for a dollar a fish. That's a big savings when you have a cooler full of 3-5 pound fish!
I have scheduled day off tomorrow...thank goodness, because we are supposed to get 2-4" of snow overnight. I put the boat over in the heated storage for the night, and will bring her home when the snow melts by tomorrow afternoon.
Thursday through Sunday's trips are on notice right now, due to the wind forecasts. So, we'll see when I'm headed out again.