Fishing with Jim Renaldo 12/7/19
by Capt Juls on 12/07/19
I woke up at 3am this morning, and thought about what I was going to do today. I was meeting Jim Renaldo at Mazurik's at 7:30. I grabbed a cup of coffee and took the dogs out back to do their thing. I took a quick look at the wind forecast, and smiled. I like it when the colors are light blue, because that means it's less than 10 mph out of whatever direction it's blowing. This morning it was a turning wind. It blew yesterday out of the WNW, and then, overnight, it laid down and calmed right down.
I was coffee'd out and decided to leave the house at 5:30, so I could head over to Mazurik's early and spread 3 gallons of a 5 gallon bucket of salt across the three easily accessible lanes (docks are out and blocking the first ramp), so when I got there later it wouldn't be all ice. My Excursion is only 2WD, unfortunately.
The temps were only in the high 20's, and wouldn't warm up to 35 degrees until around noon.
After I did that...I headed over the Big Bopper's to meet Jenn and Matt Wieland for breakfast. We normally all hit the gym together in the mornings, but since I was going fishing, we had breakfast together instead. They would hit the gym without me today...(oh darn...lol)
Jim drove in from the Akron area, and was early. I got a text while I was eating breakfast telling me that he saw my boat at Bopper's on his way in, and would meet me at the ramp....he was 45 minutes early (6:45). The sunrise wasn't supposed to happen until 7:45, so I planned on launching at 7:30. I finished my breakfast and headed over to Mazurik's at 6:50.
There were already several other boats in the get-ready lanes, unstrapping their boats, rigging rods, and putting their cold weather suits on. I pulled up as far as I could and got out to do the same. It was still dark enough to need our navigation lights, so I plugged mine in after the Ranger was backed into the water.
After picking Jim up from the courtesy dock, we idled out of the ramp area as the 300 G2 warmed up to 120 degrees. I hit the throttle and we headed north to the north side of Kelly's. I kept an eye on the Helix as we drove out and didn't mark a single fish. Hmmmm....that's odd. After stopping to get the sunrise picture, so I could say, "Good morning" to my Facebook peeps, we drove on.
I stopped in North Bay, thinking that because it was still so early, those big fish might be in shallow. We marked some good fish, but there weren't a lot of marks....not enough to keep me there after running some P-10's for a while though. After thinking out loud, "Yesterday, was a WNW wind, so this area might be dirty..we won't really know until it gets light out, and we can see the water", I said. Jim agreed. So, instead of just turning the boat north to deeper water, we picked everything up and headed to the east side of Kelly's, near "Airport Reef", where I was the last time out.
The water temp in 30' of water in North Bay was 34 degrees. The water temp on the east side of Kelly's was 38 degrees.
There were great marks there, so we set up with Bandits on one side and P-10's on the other. The Helix was showing fish all over the water column, so I thought it would be a great bite. Nothing.
We fished that area for a couple of hours, trying different baits, speeds, colors, etc. Nothing.
I could see the cavitation plate, so I didn't think it was too bad, and probably stayed longer than I should have. We left and headed back to the north of Kelly's.
As I drove by the NE corner of Kellys and the southeast end of Kelly Island Shoal, I turned and drove up the west side of the shoal. There were fish stacked from 35-48 foot of water....and, the water was cleaner. I had a better feeling than where we were prior.
We ran Bandits anywhere from 35 back to 50/50/ with a 2oz Guppie weight and varied the speed from 1.2mph to 2.0mph. 1 P-10 was running with a 1oz Guppie aat 30/30 too.
Once we found some fish to bite...every presentation took a fish in short order. The speed was 1.4-1.5 when they hit, and that was an east to west trolling pass from the middle green can on the shoal to the hump between the shoal and Gull Island Shoal. The water temp there was 37 degrees.
We would only catch 9 fish today, and they all came out of the one spot near the hump that we kept turning around on. IB Frozen was our hot color today, as it took most of the fish. (By the way, we didn't keep any fish today as he didn't need any and I didn't either, so it was their lucky day. They got a kiss and were sent back to grow a little bigger. We didn't get any big fish today. They were all just good eaters. :)
The weather is changing for a few days next week and it's going to get cold. So, my boat is now resting comfortably in heated storage until the weather breaks and the conditions allow another venture out on Lake Erie. :)
I have a couple of people that still want to get out if the weather and lake allow, so if that happens, it happens....if not, I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful winter. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! And, if you read this, but don't celebrate Christmas....Happy Holidays to you! I wish everyone safe winter travels, and I hope to see you next season!
Reservations for the 2020 season have begun and I couldn't be happier with how many have already signed up. I just want to thank all of you! I look forward to fishing with you next spring! Woot! Woot!