Fishing with Steve and Jeremy 11/19/18by Capt Juls on 11/19/18
Got the call yesterday from Jeremy..."Looks like the weather is going to be nice tomorrow. Do you want a trip?" "It does! I said. Let's do it...it will be the first trip out on the new Ranger." I replied grinning ear to ear.
Steve and Jeremy Chapman are regulars of mine who fish with me about 8-10 times a season. And, it just so happens, Steve was my very first customer when I started this guide business almost 8 years ago. So, it was fitting that they were out with me on my inaugural run in the 2019 boat. :)
I met them at Mazurik's at 9am, and we launched. I let the ETEC sit and purr while she came up to temperature. It was a slightly foggy morning with zero wind, and the temperature was only 35 degrees. The forecast called for winds less than 5mph out of the WSW all day, and temps to hit a high of 40, so I was really glad to get a chance to be back out on the lake.
I had no clue which direction I was going to go to find fish. I know about some areas to the east, and some to the north, but I had read mixed reports online about catches. I knew Capt Kevin was headed to Huron to launch, so he would be fishing from Huron to Vermilion....I didn't think I wanted to go that far with an untested boat at this time of year, so I turned to the east, instead of north and put the big girl on plane.
"OHHHhhhhh Holy Moly!" I thought to myself, "This Ranger is AWESOME! I've had a lot of different Rangers over the years... most of them being 621's...this one included....To me, this one is a perfect combination.
I knew instantly that the boat and the 300 G2 were going to be best buddies.
It just felt super-right this time. Have you ever just felt like that with a boat? I've felt it maybe three times. You just KNOW when it happens, and it happens right away. Some are good, but then, some are really-really good! I have one of the "laters" for next season, and I can't wait to use it again....woot! woot!
Anyway, I decided to go east and just watch the Helix for good fish marks on the screen. I turned the chart speed up to 10, and cruised at 40-43mph, and watched for little red "blob dots" on the screen. That's what they look like at that speed.
If I saw any that were bunched up together, making it obvious that they were fish, I slowed it down to take a better look.
As I come off plane, I turn the H'Bird's chart speed down to match the boat's speed. If you don't turn it down, the arches are going to look huge, and you'll be given the false impression that there are giant walleye below you.
When you turn the speed down, you get a better sense of the size of fish below. You'll learn the difference between the size of marks, and the actual fish, through practice and time on the water.
We dropped off plane at the 27/27 line (those are the middle numbers in the GPS coordinates for those of you who don't know).
The marks were pretty decent, so I grabbed the remote for the Ulterra and crossed my fingers that it would work. It did! Flawlessly. She deployed and I set a course to the east.
We set a spread of 4 Bandits and 2 Smithwick Perfect 10's behind Off Shore inline boards. The P-10s were used with a 1oz Guppie Weight (snap-weight) at 30/30. (Again, for those that don't know what 30/30 means...this time, it's the distance back using a weight. Put 30 feet of line out, attach the weight, and let 30 more feet of line out...for a total of 60 feet.
The P-10s took a few walleye, but were mostly tasty bits for a lot of big white bass too, so we ended up taking them off and putting all Bandits on.
Okay, so here's the info you want is:
Speed was 1.3-1.5mph....1.4mph was probably the best speed, but the other two worked too.
Depth of water was 40-44 with 40 foot having the most fish in it.
Colors: Anything with an orange belly. The best colors today were the Blue/Chrome Bandit and a Custom by Domka Outdoors called, "Attention Deficit". I heard from Capt Kevin during the day...he was further SE of where I was and had the Chartreuse WonderBread color working well. In fact, he said he switched all his baits to that color at some point.
I put one of those out, but it did diddly-squat for us, until the very end. We put 3 Blue/Chromes, 2 Attention Deficits, and 1 Chartreuse Wonderbread out.
The fish were coming in in singles, doubles, and triples...with a triple to end the day. When started to pull the rest of the boards in, there were walleye attached to all of them!
It was a great day to be alive today, and a great day to be on Lake Erie!
They're hoping that they will be able to get a few more days in next week too, since they are registered for the Fall Brawl, along with me, and we're running out of time. I think there's only 12 more days left for the tournament? I hope the weather behaves and lets us get out a few more times.