Fishing with Rob and Doug 4/16/19
by Capt Juls on 04/17/19
Left the house at 5:55am and got to the White Caps Motel a little early...15 minutes early, so I waited on my crew who showed up right on time at 6:15. We made our introductions and loaded into the old excursion to head into town. I needed to stop and top off the gas in the Ranger, and then hit Rickard's Bait for some ice and a couple dozen crawlers.
After the two big NE blows this past Friday and Monday, that muddied up the entire basin West of the Bass Islands, the plan of attack would be to troll Bandits and P-10's on the east side of the islands. I did pick up some crawlers to try too, because even though I usually don't offer them meat until the water temps are up a little more, I thought, "Well, if they can't see it, maybe they can smell/taste it". You never know until you try. ;)
We headed out of Mazurik's a little before 7am, and headed north out of the launch. The lake was pretty calm since there was a just a 5-10 mph SW wind. When we were in the middle of the "chute"...between the mainland and Kelly's...I looked to the east to see if I could see cleaner water...it looked like there was. I made a right turn and then headed up the east side of Kelly's in search of that clean water, but with like any optical illusion out on the water, I was chasing a ghost. The water never cleaned up on that side, so we just kept going north until we made it around to the north side of Kelly's Island, and found it.
There were good marks showing on the Helix just as I passed through the island and the shoal...the water was 42.7 degrees there and the clarity was decent too.
Here's how I read the water with my cavitation plate and prop on my motor. Others may not agree, but it's how I was taught, and has been a good rule of thumb for me to follow all these years.
Too Muddy = Can't see my cavitation plate / Don't bother stopping
Mixing/dirty = I can just make out my cavitation plate / it will be a tougher bite
Mixing = I can just make out my prop / the bite should be good
Too Clean = The prop is clear and sparkling
That's not to say that these rules have never been broken by some suicidal walleye, because they have...but, for the most part, it's pretty accurate.
We marked fish for about a 1/4 mile and then turned and set up to go back through that area with some baits in the water. Bandits were on one side at 65/75/90 and the other side was set up with crawler harnesses with 1oz and 2oz inline weights at 25(1oz), 41(10z), and 60(2oz) to see what they wanted. Speed was 1.2-1.4 mph.
We were only set up for a short time before I got a couple texts stating "just set up...first one in the box". Then, the next text just 5 minutes later..."4 coming in now", which told me that there was a fast bite happening someplace else, so we picked up and moved to the west side of the island. In hindsight...I should have stayed put, as we were the only boat there...we had marks, and chasing someone elses bite is never a good idea. lol
The wind had picked up a bit, and was now blowing more like 10-15 mph. The waves went from nothing to 1-2 footers, so I kept the waves on the corner of the boat, so I could control my speed better. We made the same pass, with the same leads, same baits, same colors, and same speed. We caught ZERO on that pass. I think the pod was moving and staying just under his boat. Ha! But, whatever it was, it wasn't happening for us. I think from now on, I'm just going to turn my phone off when I'm in the boat, and go fishing. lol
Anyway, to make a long story short...I never did go back to that first spot, but tried three more passes in different areas on the northwest side of Kellys, and the east side of Middle Bass and North Bass. After 9 hours of trying different things, we only ended up with 7 spunky eaters to show for it. By the way, in case you were wondering...nothing was caught on a crawler yesterday.
Rob and Doug were great to spend a day in the boat with...especially when it's a tough bite. They were just happy to be out of the office and floating on a lake in a nice boat, and their company was enjoyable. They are both CPA's and had their hands full with clients this past tax season, so they were ready to just breathe some fresh air and relax. The sun did make an appearance in the afternoon and warmed things up nicely. The wind died too, so the lake was pretty calm, which was a added bonus. woot! woot!
We were supposed to go out again today, but I had to make a call this morning based on the forecast that was available at that time, so we all decided to do it again another time when conditions were better.
Thursday's trip, Friday's trip, and Saturday's trips are all being rescheduled too, due to weather, and Sunday's trip....while the weather is fishable...we are rescheduling because it is a customer and two of his three sons....he forgot it was his youngest's birthday (along with it being Easter), so I told him we should reschedule that day. I'll be back out Monday with my regulars...Steve and Jeremy Champman. :)