Fishing with Ronald, Bill, and Orlando 7/24/2021
by Capt Juls on 07/24/21
Ronald Long has been trying to fish with me since last October, but every time his date came up, good old Mother Nature would intervene and say, "Nay-Nay", while pointing her finger in the air, and moving it back and forth. "Not today. I'm in a bad mood". So, I think, this is his 4th attempt since last fall.
This morning, Ron, Bill, and Orlando drove in from Fort Wayne, IN and met me at my house. They would park here, and we would drive to the launch together.
They showed up at 5am, and hopped in my truck. I was taking them to Vermilion to launch this morning. I was then informed that Orlando has never been on Lake Erie before. My heart sank....I knew with the wind we were expecting, Orlando wasn't going to last 15 minutes out there. I already felt bad for him....deep sigh.
After we stopped, to top off the gas tank and get ice for the coolers, we jumped on the highway and headed east. It was just getting light out when we got there, so the timing was perfect.
Ronald reminded me to keep my antenna down, until we got past the antenna eating bridge. "You wrote about that in one of your reports", he said...smiling. "Thanks, for the reminder", I said. Then, of course, I had to tell the story of how I had it up on a dark morning, due to routine at Mazurik's, and hit the bridge with it...busted off 5 inches of the tip. Oops! That's one of the reasons why it's mounted on the driver's side gunnel now, instead of on the passenger's side. I knew by the time they figured out how to drop it, it would be broken. All I could do was watch. If it had been on my side of the boat, I could have had it down before it hit. Lesson learned.
We left the ramp at 6 and idled down the river. I knew where I wanted to head, and told the guys, "It's 10 miles out". I was expecting a SW wind though, and it was ESE at maybe 5mph when we got out of the river and onto the lake. So, it was an offshore wind, giving us following seas to our destination.
The further out we got, the bumpier it got, so knowing Orlando would need to still be able to see land, if he were to stand a chance, I set down 5 miles short. We were marking some deeper fish, so I deployed the Ulterra and Baby Black Motor and set a course quartering the waves, back and forth. That helps control the speed, so there's a little less surging, and throws an "S-Turn" in there from time to time. Speed was set for 2.5mph to start.
Each corner ran a zero and a three setting dipsey. The zero settings were at 45 and 54, and the three settings were at 65 and 95. The Black Gold Ripplin Redfin caught a couple, and a Flicker Minnow 11 caught one. We had three fish in the box, along with a few throw backs and one nice one lost at the boat. I knew if we kept heading out, the bite would only get better... but, the wind was picking up.
The waves were getting bigger....and, Orlando was turning another color. When they go completely quiet, it's a sure sign they are fighting just to keep it together. I said to him, "If you're feeling nauseous, the best thing you can do is throw up. You wouldn't be the first, and you won't be the last... Hell, I've gotten seasick before, so I know what you're going through". He mustered a smile when I smirked and added, "Just make sure you get it OUTSIDE the boat". That got a laugh out of Ron and Bill.
We fished out there a little longer, but after looking at the wind forecast on iWindSurf, it showed it was going to keep building a little and then settle down in the afternoon again. So, with that knowledge, I said to the crew, "I think we need to go find skinny water to fish. The waves are only building, and this has got to be torture for him. They agreed pretty quickly, and we picked up and headed back towards the, "Castle" area.
I was looking at 25' of water, so we put Flicker Minnows out on the starboard side behind three Off Shore boards, at 50, 40, and 30 back, and a Golden Perch Spro, and two Reapers out on the port side at the same distance back.
It was a slow bite, but we managed to catch another 8 keepers over there for a total of 11 fish for the day. I was disappointed in the number, but Orlando had a better time over there in the quieter water, and making it a "good" day for all of them to remember, was the most important part of my job today. Mission accomplished.
Oh, yeah....and, this happened.... a fish spit the Golden Perch Spro at the back of the boat and the lure flew up and around and attached itself to the back of my hat. Luckily, it didn't penetrate and skin, so all was well. But, this is exactly why I always wear glasses when I'm netting fish. Sometimes, those baits come right at you. Uffda....
Ron brought me some sweet corn from his garden, a jalapeño/raspberry jelly, and some Jalapeño, cheddar, Elk sausage that he made too. I had some sausage on the boat, and it was delicious! I ate some sweet corn after we got back, and I said my thank you and goodbyes to them. It, too, was delicious! Thanks, Ron!
It made me happy! :)
Tomorrow, I have a perch trip with the Carlson Clan. We will be launching out of Catawba. This will be my first all perch trip this season, and I have been looking forward to it. I love perch'n! Hope we find some hungry ones!