Fishing with Ross, Rowdy, and Shawn 3/29/2021
by Capt Juls on 03/29/21
The alarm was set for 4:00 this morning, but I was wide awake at 3:30, so I got up to make some coffee and check the weather for the day. My crew came in from Iowa and Kentucky Saturday evening, and missed out on their first day of fishing, due to a NW blow.
Prior to those winds, the lake was cleaning up nicely from the last blow, that muddied up the lake, and the bite was improving ever so slightly. But, this last wind muddied it back up inside west of the Bass Islands and Catawba.
There wasn't a satellite picture to look at this morning, because of the cloud coverage yesterday, so it meant I would be driving until I found some clean water.
At 6:00 I drove over to the heated building where the boat is comfortably staying out of the elements, and got it ready for the day's events. Once she was cleaned up and hooked up, I drove over to the gas station to top off the gas tank and grab some ice for the cooler.
Ross, Rowdy, and Shawn were staying with the rest of their crew of 9 over at Hi Way Bait and Tackle, so I told them I would meet them there at 7:30. I was early of course and showed up at 7am. Okay, so one part of me was looking forward to going fishing, and the other part was not looking forward to the muddy conditions we were going to be facing.
We drove over to a launch on the west side of town and motored out of the Portage River and headed NW. The wind app was saying the wind was WNW, so I thought I would hug the west shore running out. But, the app was wrong, and it was more NW than west, so it was a bit bumpy on the ride out. It wasn't bad by any means, but it slowed us down, and used more gas for the long ride out, than it would have had it been a flat lake.
It was so muddy inside, that we couldn't see but an inch or so of the motor underwater. So, I kept heading north, hoping to find cleaner water near the reefs, or a little further out, north of the reefs, and south of B can, but it never cleaned up on the line I was running. So, with that knowledge, and knowing it always stays a lot cleaner on the east side of the Bass Islands....we headed there.
We drove the north passage and emerged on the east side by Lucy's Point. There were very good marks there, but the water was a little to chocolaty for my liking, so we didn't set up there.
I gave Capt Kevin a call to find out where he and his crew were, since this was part of a three boat deal, and he told me to head south. I arrived to find a pack of boats there, and found my hole to set up and start trolling without interfering with anyone else's trolling pass.
Long story shorter...we set up with some custom colored Bandits that Ross brought along, that a friend of his painted for him. They were initially set out at 120, 90, 65, and 25 back (unassisted). And, on the starboard side, the Blk/Gold Spro Madeye 120 was set out at 100, and three Bandits ran at 80, 65, and 45 back.
The leads that caught fish today were 25, 50, and 65.
They are here all week, but the weather is looking iffy for the next three days, and Friday is calling for fishable winds, but the lake is going to be torn up again...and, it will be right after a cold front, so I don't expect to catch very much....if they even decide to stay all week.
Ross did say this trip was as much about the camaraderie as it was about the fishing.... "Catching fish is just a bonus for this trip", said Ross.
These guys all grew up together, and are lifelong friends that live in different states, or different parts of the same state, and don't get to see each other that often....so, I get it. Even if they are stuck on land all week...they get to hang out and catch up.
If they want to fish on Friday, I'm not going to tell them, "No." I just told them what to expect, so they can make an informed decision on their plans.
Honesty is always the best policy....at least in my book it is.
Tomorrow's trip will be determined tomorrow morning after I see the latest forecast. At least we had clear skies today, so we have a good satellite picture. :)