Fishing with Todd and Matt 4/27/2021by Capt Juls on 04/27/21
Yesterday, my crew went with Capt Bobby Greene, of "Meals on Reelz Charters", and had a very fast and fun morning with him over in Vermilion. The pressure was on me, since I was going to be taking them out of Port Clinton this morning.
I got up at my usual 3am alarm, and made some coffee. I hit the back deck with Dexter, while he smelled stuff out in the yard and made his rounds. I checked the wind forecast for the morning, and it was all over the place. Depending on what station I looked at, it was showing light east winds up by North Bass, but strong gusty SW winds out of Port Clinton and Oak Harbor. Huron and Vermilion were showing strong gusty winds also.
"How could that be?", I asked myself. Wouldn't a SW wind directly effect the Bass Islands on the west side too? I figured something was not reading accurately, and hoped for the lighter east winds up by the islands.
I was meeting Todd and Matt, who hail from Missouri, at Catawba at 6am, so I left the house at 4:40 and headed into town to gas up and get some ice. Then, I hit Catawba State Park at 5:00. No one else was there yet, so I drove slowly by the ramp to see how the waves were, because I don't like to use that launch with any kind of gusty SW winds....it blows right into the ramp.
I checked iWindSurf again, and then WindFinderPro, and both were confirming that it would be a gusty SW wind this morning. So, I sent a text to my crew and to Capt Bobby, who I knew was planning on launching there too, that I was going to launch out of Mazurik's instead. Bobby replied that he would be doing the same.
When I pulled into Mazurik's I was the only one there....again. I thought for sure I would see Capt Sam, of "Pork Chop Express Charters" sitting there, since I think he sleeps in his truck, just so he can be the first one at the ramp. (Just kidding Sam!)...but, he must have used another ramp this morning.
Anyway, my crew showed up a little before 6am, and I finished readying the boat to head out.
It was a partly cloudy sky with a BIG full moon shining down through a layer of haze...you know the kind of moon I mean. :) The air temp was 50 degrees, and the wind was already building.
I told my guys that my original plan might be squashed, due to the wind and the lake conditions if that wind blew as hard as it was supposed to, and they were game for whatever I planned. They just wanted to go fishing.
We headed out at 6:15 and were met with residual rollers from last night's NE wind. They were big enough to keep the ride out pretty slow, so we didn't beat up the boat or anyone in it. I pointed the bow of the boat towards the lighthouse at Marblehead and wanted to check some breaklines over there that can be very good this time of year, but as we got closer, I could see that the water was a little too dirty for my liking.
We changed plans and headed NW, to the NW side of Kelly's, and set up with the usual program of Spro's on the port side and Bandits on the starboard side, running behind Off Shore boards. The Spros were 50', 60', 70', and 80' back with Brown Marble, Marvin, Blue Chrome, and Golden Perch (all stock colors). The Bandit side was running the same with Metallic Muffin (one of DJ's Custom Eye Lures creations), Green Clown, Blue Chrome, and Carrot Top.
Speed was 1.8-2.0mph
We set a course from the NW corner of Kelly's towards Lucy's point, so we were out there in the middle between Kelly's and South Bass.
We picked up three fish there. One on the Metallic Muffin, Blue Chrome, and a Blue Chrome Spro.
The bite was slow and the marks were slim. I checked the wind app again and thought that if it didn't blow any harder, that it wasn't going to be that bad, and we could make a run to the other side of the islands....so, we did.
On the way, I drove up past the buoy at Lucy's Point to see if I could mark some fish there, so I didn't have to go any further, but I didn't like what I saw there either and kept going. We cut through the passage between Middle Bass and North Bass and popped out on the SW side of West Reef.
The Ulterra was deployed, the baby ETEC was fired up, and a course was set for the Red Buoy up on the Canadian line called "Taco Bell".
We caught three more nice walleye on that pass up to the line, but it was slooowww. Capt Bobby sent a text and said he found some fish and sent me the numbers. I am not at liberty to tell the public, but to suffice it to say...it wasn't too far away, so we picked up and ran over there. Thanks for the info Capt B!
We set up again, but with some adjustments made from the little puzzle I was solving as each fish came in the boat. Several of the colors were removed and replaced with a color I call "Lemon Lime Crush"...not sure what Spro calls it, but that's the name of the color from the Smithwick P-10 stock. That one, along with one called "Pickle Rick Scale" (another by DJ), put the majority of the rest of the fish in the cooler. Blue Chrome, once again put its share in the box too. But the lime green ones were hot today.
Zig Zagging through the water with the Ulterra made more bites possible, but it wasn't helping with the puzzle, because sometimes they hit on the fast side, and sometimes they hit on the slow side, so there was no real answer for how fast we should be going, so I just kept it at 1.8-2.0mph, and just kept doing the "S-turns".
We made that pass shorter than the first pass up there, and ran back up to set up again. Others were catching going into the waves, but since we were getting them going with the waves, I'll take the gentler ride over the bouncy one. It's definitely much smoother going with the waves. :)
One fish was needed to fill our three-person limit, so when we set up to make that second pass. Todd said, "I want to see a board go back while you're setting up". I said, "It will probably happen"....and, it did. Matt was attaching his Off Shore board when his number 2 board went screaming back. "Fish on!", yelled Todd from the front of the boat, and Matt reeled in number 18. We were done and ready to head back in.
The wind was picking up as we drove in, so the timing was perfect. The ride back was just slow and steady, so we didn't get beat up. :)
Tomorrow's weather is iffy, so I told Todd that I would be up at 3am and send him a text as to what time we will go, if we go. I'm told that they are calling for thunderstorms in the morning, but I don't know how long those will last. I'll know more after I see the weather report later.