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Fishing with Levi, Garrett, Benji, and Max 8/26/18

by Capt Juls on 08/27/18

After gassing up the boat and stopping to get bait at Rickard's, I popped into Bopper's on my way to Mazurik's, where my crew was having breakfast, to let them know I was heading to the ramp to wipe down the boat since the roads were wet and the boat was dirty from the spray. I told them to take their time since we weren't scheduled to launch until 8am, and it was only a little after 7.

They showed up at 7:30, so we got a little earlier start. The plan was to go perch fishing, because there were two young boys with them. Last year, I had perch fished with all of them, but on two separate trips. Garrett is Levi's little boy, and the youngest. Max is Benji's boy and is 14 (so, I should probably call him a young man instead of a boy!)  

We headed towards the monument first, but I wasn't marking much there, and saw boats picking up and leaving that area, so I didn't bother. So, we headed up to the line, east of Lucy's, and found some good marks there.  Down went the Ulterra and I hit the Spot Lock to anchor us. It was a slow pick, but the perch were nice sized.

After about two hours we moved towards North Bass, and found some good marks, but those turned out to be mostly sheepshead.  Next, we moved down to between Kelly's and Gull Island Shoal, and picked up more perch, but again...it was slow going.  The chatter on 79 was the same for the most part...people were struggling to catch the perch.  But, of course, that's all you would hear since no one that is on the active biters was going to tell anyone! ;)

At this point, we only had 32 of our 150 allowable catch I said, "You guys want to go catch some walleye? We need to get some meat in that box for your fish fry." They said, "Yeah, that sounds good". Garrett and Max had never done any walleye fishing on Lake Erie before, so it was going to be a new experience for them. 

We headed over to Cedar Point, where I was last Friday. Down went the Ulterra again, but this time it was just to steer the boat....the baby ETEC was going to do the pushing. I set the speed for 2.3-2.5mph.  The program was the same:

Dipsies on the 3 setting at 75 and 80 and the 1 setting at 62 and 65.

The marks weren't in that area like they were the last time I was there, so we just turned the boat and trolled to deeper water. There they were...the Helix showed good marks from 20 feet down to 40 feet. It wasn't long and we had some pretty steady action going.  

With the time we had left, we managed to put 12 eaters in the box and throw back 5 that were just at 15 or under, and a handful of big white bass. So, the boys had a good time.

Garrett impressed me the most, because I would never have expected such a young boy to stay focused and enjoy fishing so much. He never whined about anything, even when it got really hot out after the wind died down.  He was given the responsibility of counting the fish on the clicker counter as the fish went into the cooler, and probably enjoyed that as much as reeling in the fish! Ha!  I love that kid!!

Max was "Jonny on the spot" when it came to seeing a fish hit on the dipsies and did a great job handling the heavier equipment. :)

All in all, it was a very fun trip, even though the perch bite kind of sucked for us.

They went home with a cooler full of fish for their two family get together fish fry, and said they would be back next year to do it again.  And, that makes me happy!   I'm looking forward to watching little Garrett grow up. I have no doubt he's going to be as good a fisherman as his bass tournament angling Daddy! :)

I'm off until Friday, due to a three day cancelation (which worked, because of some yucky wind/weather coming in Tuesday thru Thursday) and will be back at it on Friday with two of my regulars...Tim and Matt McGlothlin.

So, until then.....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe and Ron 8/24/18

by Capt Juls on 08/26/18

Started out perch fishing, but zeroed for the first hour, so I said, “Let’s go put some walleye in the cooler, and then we’ll try for perch again after”...they were game, so we went to the same place I went to Monday, (near Cedar Point), and ran the same program. We had 18 walleye in one and a half passes (2 1/2 hours)...a very nice grade too! Biggest was 28”, and a 24”, but the average was 17-20”.

The program was the standard 1 dipsy: 3 setting at 75 & 77 back and the 1 setting at 62 & 65 back. Speed was 2.3-2.5
Trolling pass was SE to NW.

We tried perch again after, over by the lighthouse, but the marks on the Helix did not bite. We had two in the box...one caught trolling spoons and one by the lighthouse. 

Joe and Ron had a ball and that’s all that really matters...:)

I'm out again Sunday morning with two little boys on board. The plan was to perch fish, but we will start again with walleye and then try for some gold afterwards.  

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 8/6/18

by Capt Juls on 08/06/18

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 8/6/18

It was a successful morning fishing with my regulars, Steve and Jeremy Chapman, of Columbus Ohio. We went out of Mazurik's at 7:30am this morning and headed back to the spot I was at yesterday, to go perch'n.

Thankfully, it's a Monday, so the boat ramp wasn't busy, and there were a lot fewer boats in that area up there on the line. It's not a "secret spot", and it's pretty much the same every August up there. Lots of boats and lots of perch! 

We caught our 90 perch in good time and shut the "Spot-Lock" off, turned the boat to the north, and set a speed of 2.3-2.5mph with the Ulterra and "baby ETEC" combination. ("Baby ETEC" is the 15HP ETEC HO...it's just more fun to say, "baby ETEC" than it is the other).

They wanted to try for some walleye too, so we set the dipsies and Tru-Trip Jets out with spoons and Ripplin Redfins and adjusted my program to match the depth we were fishing and the "fishy marks" I was seeing on the Helix.

They both have their Ontario fishing licenses, so we crossed the line. Unfortunately, there was a ton of floating grass up there by "The Wheel", that I decided to go try for walleye down to the south instead...hoping to find less floating grass. We did. There was very little floating grass in that area compared to the north.

It was a lot hotter and muggier on the east side of South Bass...the SW wind was around 10-12mph which was very nice up on the line, but not so nice down near the monument. As soon as we set up and started trolling, we were all complaining about the heat and humidity.

However, that didn't stop us. Jeremy asked his iPhone's "Siri" to set a timer for 20 minutes, and if we didn't catch a walleye in that 20 minutes, we would head in with just the perch.
With only two minutes to go, the inside dipsey rod did a bouncy dance with the tell-tale sign of a fish on the line.
Steve jumped on it, and we put a nice 21" fish in the cooler. So, we stayed....and melted some more. lol

Jeremy set the clock for another 20 minutes....and, again, we caught another one with just a few minutes to go in the round. We would do that two more times to end up with four nice walleye in the cooler, before the timer won a round and we headed in with 35 pounds of perch and 9 pounds of walleye. That will make a nice family fish fry one of these nights.

The Chapmans' were happy, and that makes me happy. It's always a good time fishing with them. 

It's that time of year again, and I'm heading to Meta Lake Lodge in Nakina, ON, this weekend. It's an annual fly in Pike trip that we do, so I'll be back when I get back. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tony and Aidan Sargent 8/5/18

by Capt Juls on 08/05/18

This morning, I had the same crew as yesterday, so Tony, Aidan, and I launched out of Mazurik's at 7am to go perch'n.  

We headed NNW at a nice cruising speed of 40mph, until the Helix lit up with good marks that looked "perchy" on or near the bottom.  Staying north of all the other boats, I deployed the Ulterra and put it on "Spot-Lock" to hold our position over the fish.  

After setting Tony and Aidan up with some ultralight rods, rigged up with some crappie rigs I made, I showed them how I like to hook the minnows, and explained how I like to fish for them.

Aidan was the first to drop his bait down and immediately caught the first yellow perch of the morning. It wasn't long before Tony caught one too, and it was game on.  We caught our 90 perch in 2 1/2 hours, and headed in, so we didn't have to get stuck at the ramp waiting...or, having them have to wait hours here in town while they wait to get their fish cleaned.

We made it back to the launch, and loaded out in quick time, since it wasn't that crowded yet.  I drove the fish over to Bay's Edge for them, while they followed in their vehicle, so they didn't have to get their cooler all slimy before driving back to Cincinnati.   Bay's Edge was a little busy, but it was only going to take them an hour to finish their fish, so I gave them directions to the "Tin Goose" diner over by the airport.  Aidan was promised an ice cream, but "The Brown Dog" gelato place I had recommended first, was closed, so I told them the diner has good cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes....he was all for that. So, I sent them on their way, and I headed home.

I'll be back out tomorrow with Steve and Jeremy Chapman, and we'll be chasing both walleye and perch, which means I'll be launching out of Mazurik's again. Thankfully, it's aa Monday, so I don't expect the launch to be busy at all! Woot! Woot! That makes me happy...:)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tony and Aidan Sargent 8/4/18

by Capt Juls on 08/04/18

Last month, I took out Mark Sargent and friends, and this morning I took out Mark's son, Tony, and Tony's son, Aidan to do a little walleye fishing.  I met them at Huron at 6am, and we headed north out of the river like I did on yesterday's trip.

We made a run to the same place I started yesterday, and set the Ranger down off plane about 10 miles north of the river.  Then, I put the Ulterra in the water, and gave it a heading of NE to guide us.  The "baby ETEC" was deployed and pushed us along at a speed of 2.3-2.5mph...the same as yesterday.

The dipsey/Tru-Trip Jet/Spoon/Ripplin Redfin program was the was same as yesterday's program, so there's nothing new to report there.  Dipsies on the 3 setting at 111 and 95 back, 0 setting at 57-61 back, 1 setting at 65 back, and the 40 Tru-Trip Jet was 120-125 back.  I ran the Ripplin Redfin Red Headed Clown on the port side dipsey on the 3 setting/95 back and that took the bigger fish that we brought in this morning.  The rest were spoons.  I tried a Ripplin Redfin on the dipsey on the other "3 setting" rod, but it never caught, so I changed it back up to a spoon and it started catching again.

The action wasn't "as fast as you can go", but it was a good steady bite, that kept a 13 year old angler busy and happy.  We threw a bunch back that were nice fish, because we had reached our 17th fish, and I explained that if we put that 18th fish in the box, we were done. They opted to do some catch and release for a while, or until one got hooked bad, and wouldn't make it, or until Aidan decided it was time to go.

They put the 18th fish in the box, when Aidan decided he didn't want to gamble on not getting another big one for the box, so we headed in.

We had a fun morning, and are looking forward to tomorrow's perch adventure out of Mazurik's.  It's been nice launching at Huron though, because it's definitely less crowded than Mazurik's...especially, on a weekend. ;)

I'm hoping we can find some perch willing to bite tomorrow....fingers crossed!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Hugh, Dan, and Wayne Martin 8/3/18

by Capt Juls on 08/03/18

I pulled into the Huron ramp at 5:15 this morning, and after getting everything ready, I waited on my crew. Hugh, his son, Dan, and his brother, Wayne were going to meet me there at 5:45, so there was time to waste.  They showed up right on time, so we loaded up and headed out of the river to go chase some walleye.

We headed north out of the channel and took about a 9 mile ride before setting down to start our trolling pass to the NE.  There were decent marks, nothing spectacular, but good enough to get us started.

On the way out, we passed a bunch of perch nets....there must have been 5 or 6 nets that I counted before we stopped.  They are not easy to see, so I was thankful it was a calm morning, because they are even harder to see when there is a decent chop on the water.

We started with 4 dipsies and one Tru Trip Jet...the same program I've been running all week, basically.  The two outside dipsies were on the 3 setting at 85 and 111 back,  the dipsey with the 1 setting was at 61 back, and the dipsey on the zero setting was at 57 back.  I ran both the Michigan Stinger spoons and the Scorpion spoons, along with the Ripplin Redfin crankbaits.  Eventually, I added two bandits behind Off Shore Boards, and took one nice walleye on the one set at 65 back...that color is called, "Buck Fever". It's the purple back and chrome sides/belly.

We put 7 in the box, and lost a few, and threw back about 5 or 6 walleye that didn't make the length requirement, before I got a call telling me of a better bite over where I was two days ago with Vito, which was SW of where we were by 4 miles. But, as we always say...."Never leave fish to find fish!" But, do I listen? No! I moved. lol 

The bite wasn't as good over there, as it was where we first started, but it was steady enough to keep us there for the duration of their charter.  I just kept the Ulterra pointed at the NE, which kept the waves on the port side corner, to help keep the speed at a steady 2.3-2.5mph.

After we caught their limit of fish, we were working on mine when I noticed a black buoy floating a few feet from the boat. My heart started to race, as I looked up to see a path of white buoys floating a little further out. I turned around quickly, looking for the red flag indicating a perch net. There it was...the double red flag, which means we were closest to the north end of the net. (The south end has a single red flag.)

I yelled, "Pull everything up, QUICK! We're coming into a net!" "You want us to reel everything in?", asked Wayne. "Yes! And, hurry or I'll lose all the gear", I said.
As I reeled up the first dipsey, it was caught in the net, but somehow, it released and I got it all back. Dan and Wanye got their's reeled up without issues too, but the Tru-Trip Jet is now the property of whoever owns the perch net....Grrrr.... (Stupid nets!!) I had just put that spoon on too, and it was doing a fine job of catching fish. I don't think I have another one, so I'll have to run to Rickard's in the morning and see if they have it. I think it was a Pooh Bear color with a pink back, but I'm never sure of the names, so I'll just look at them in the store and see what matches it. ;)

After we pulled everything in, Hugh said to the others, "Well, I'm good with going in now...how about you two? You ready to go in, or would you like to stay out and fish?" Wayne said he was happy with their experience today, and was good to go in if that was what they wanted to do. So, they asked me what I wanted to do, and I said it was up to them.  So, long story short...we went in and finished the morning with 19 walleye in the box.  

Oh, and the funny of the day was a 2018 "young of the year walleye", about 4" long caught on a scorpion spoon...trolling!  If that little guy made it, after being dragged around for who knows how long...he has a bright future as a prolific eater, and will one day grow to be the next Ohio, Lake Erie, State Record. Woot! Woot!  I sure hope he made it...he was a cute little bugger. :)

Tomorrow, I'll be back over there with a Father and son crew to fish for walleye. On Sunday, I'll be taking the same crew out of Mazurik's to go hunt for some perch west of the islands.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Chris and Nancy Seigneur and Stacy 7/30/18

by Capt Juls on 07/30/18

Today's trip was supposed to happen back in May for Mother's day. Chris asked his Mom what she wanted, and she said she wanted to go walleye fishing, so he contacted me. Unfortunately, that day Mother Nature was throwing a hissy fit, and we had to reschedule.  Chris works out of state, so this was the soonest he could make it back. And, luckily, the weather behaved today.

They met me at my house at 5am, and we drove into town together. After stopping at Rickard's for some ice, we hit the Speedway to fill up the Ranger. We headed over to Mazurik's after that, and arrived at 5:20.  

I told them it was a bit too early, since the days are getting longer now, and the sun wouldn't be up until 6:15 at the earliest, so we waited around for the sky to lighten a little, so I could see where I was driving.  We launched at 5:45, and headed ENE towards the lightening sky. 

It was partly cloudy, 68 degrees, 0-5mph wind out of the SSW, and there was a chance of showers possible.  I told everyone to bring raingear, because we might get wet today, but that never happened. It sprinkled a tiny bit, but never enough to get really wet....thank goodness.

The "Tickle Bugs" came out in force when the wind died, and covered us and the boat from head to toe. They are annoying, but harmless, so it's best just to try and ignore them...and, blow them out of your nostrils from time to time...;)

Anyway, we started SE of Kelly's in 39 foot of water, and had good marks, but couldn't get them to go.  The radio chatter told of a better bite out in 41-44 foot of water, not too far away, so we picked up and moved out, until we found deeper water holding fish.

Capt Keith Unkefer, (of the "Pooh Bear"), had transmitted over the radio that he was running the Tru-Trip 40's at 95-105 back at 2.1knots, so I hailed him to find out what depth the Tru-Trips were running at that distance back, and he said 35-38 feet...or, maybe it was 33 to 35 feet (I forget).  I had a chart but it blew out of my glove box at some point this season....sigh.

I was running the standard number 1 dipsies again, so I wanted to get those down to those depths, since Capt Keith stated that they were "coming as fast as they could take them".  So, the program we ended up with that worked for us was the dipsey on the 3 setting at 91 and 95 back, the 1 setting at 61, and the 0 setting at 57.  The Tru-Trip 40 was set like "Pooh's"...95 and 105. Speed was 2.3-2.5mph

Yesterday, I had a hard time getting anything to bite on a spoon, and did better on the Ripplin Redfins... today they wanted the spoons, and I ended up with 5 spoons out and one Ripplin Redfin. :)

Nancy learned quickly how to "pop" the mechanism on the dipsey, and reel the fish in without tangling in the other line that was out on the same side.   We only ran one Jet, so we could move it from side to side as the fish came in.  We tried two Jets out the back, one on each corner, but it wasn't long before there was a tangle of the two, so I took one out of the line up again....and, all was well.

Nancy saw the rod with the Tru-Trip on it bounce, so she grabbed it. She immediately said, "I think it's a sheepshead", because of the weight of it. I said, "You never know, it might be a big walleye".  I was standing behind her telling her not to try and look at the fish, but to pay attention to where the rod tip was and to just keep reeling nice and steady. "You can look at the fish when it's in the net", I told her.  Chris was going to net this one for her...he thought it was a big sheepshead too, until it came up and rolled on the surface. Everyone but Nancy saw what it was, but we kept it quiet until she got it in the net, and then we all cheered for her. She finally got a look at the nice 28 1/2 inch walleye and screamed/laughed, and said, "This is the best Mother's Day present....ever!" We all laughed with her.

And, that made me happy. :)

The boat is all cleaned up again after this buggy day, so that chore is done. I'm off tomorrow, and will be out again on Wednesday with Vito Centofanti (he'll be taking this boat home with him in the fall by the way).  So....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Perch'n with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 7/25/18

by Capt Juls on 07/25/18

I slept in a little this morning and instead of waking up at 2:30, I woke up at 4am. I was going to be fishing with Steve and Jeremy, and they drive up from Columbus, so we don't hit the launch until 7-7:30.

I stopped off at the Speedway to gas up, and hit Hi Way Bait on my way to Big Bopper's to get some minnows and ice.  All they had were Goldies, so I figured I would only get two scoops, because I thought we would be fishing for walleye first and if there was time afterwards, we would try for some perch. 

I went to Mazurik's, because that's where we were going to launch from, but after talking to another fella that pulled up with his boat, he confirmed that Catawba was indeed open right now. He said that the contractor was behind for some reason, and they are opening it back up until they can start on the project.  Then, it will be closed again until the end of the season.  I think they want to have it done by December, but knowing how well contractors get things done on time around here (Drawbridge...wink wink), I doubt it will be done until next spring.

So, with that new information, and the wind blowing stronger out of the NW than I thought it was going to be, I decided to strap the boat back down, and meet them at Catawba. So, I called the Chapman's, and told them the plan...they were just getting to town when I caught them, and they agreed to meet me there instead.  

On the way, I stopped off at Rickard's Bait Shop to pick up a few more scoops of minnows and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a 50/50 mix of nice sized Emerald Shiners and Golden Shiners.

We launched at 7:15 and didn't go very far before the Helix marked some fish on the bottom. I figured they were probably perch, since they were in an area that was reported to have some right now...but, there's still only one way to find out, and that's to fish for them.  ;)

 I deployed the Ulterra and set the "Spot-Lock", to hold us on that spot, and laid the towels out around the boat. (It helps keep the minnow scales from ending up all over the carpeting....yeah, I'm anal like that...lol)

We caught 30 in the first spot, but moved when the bite slowed up. I moved west a few miles and found some really good marks on the Helix, so we set up again, and proceeded to catch one perch after another.  We caught another 60 in less time than it took to catch the first 30 in the first spot!  

Steve and Jeremy couldn't have been happier with the action and the size of the perch...which went 33 pounds for 90 fish at the cleaners.

I'm off the next two days, and will be back out again on Saturday with Nick Valentine and his crew.  I don't know yet if we are fishing for walleye or Perch. I'll talk to them on Friday, when I touch base with them, and find out what they want.

So...stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with My Cousins...7/23-24/18

by Capt Juls on 07/24/18

The past two days I had the good fortune to fish with my cousin, Jim Eichner, and his son, Doug, and his nephews, Joe and Matt Courville (my cousin, Polly's, sons).

I met Jim each morning at Big Bopper's, since we both get up early, and the rest of the crew slept in until it was time to go to the launch.

Yesterday, I stopped off at Rickard's to pick up some shiners for perch fishing, but as luck would have it all the bait shops around here were out of Emerald Shiners....they only had Golden Shiners.  But, the perch will still bite on the Goldies....so, don't worry too much about not having the Emeralds if you come here to do some perch fishing.

To make a long story short....the perch'n wasn't so hot for me and my crew.  I suppose I made the mistake of moving around too much this time, and should have shown more patience and stayed put on a spot that had sporadic bites.  They would come and go...in waves.  We would catch 4, 5, maybe 6, and then....nothing. Then, they would show up again.  I kept thinking there would be a better spot, but I never found it.  Just one of those days. The guys enjoyed the day anyway. 

It was a lazy day for everyone. Jim had a three hour difference, since he and Doug are from out near Seattle, WA...and, the rest of the crew was from Illinois farm country, and they were happy just relaxing for the day.  It would have been really nice if the misty rain had stayed off the lake and kept itself confined to my yard though. ;)

Fast forward to today....and walleye. 

Jim and I met at Bopper's at 4:30 and enjoyed some good food before he went back to get the boys, and I went on ahead to get some ice for the cooler. I would meet them at the Walmart in 15 minutes.

The plan was to head to Huron in my truck, and launch by 5:45. Now that the Sun isn't breaking the horizon until 6:15 we don't have to launch at 5:30 anymore. We can wait until 5:45 or 6am. :)

We launched right on time and headed north out of the river.  The conditions this morning were pretty good, but it wasn't setting up to be one of the spectacular sunrises I'm used to seeing. I was hoping for a good one too, because they are all Facebook friends and see my "Good morning" posts with the sunrises, and I wanted them to see a sunrise in person, because it's always SO much better in real life.

As we headed north, I watched the Helix for the usual signs of life down below and found the marks I wanted to see out in 43 foot of water.  

My crew had never used Dipsy Divers, Tru-Trip Jets, or Off Shore Tackle inline planer boards before, so after a quick lesson..."boot camp style", (because we had fish coming in one after the other)..they were running the lines like champs within the hour.  

The program was the same as the last walleye trip out.  Tru-Trip Jets at 90-100 back, Dipsies on the 1 setting at 61 back, the Dipsy on the 3 setting at 75 and 85 back,  two Flicker Minnows out behind the Off Shore boards at 55 and 120 back, and two BayRats at 120 and 125 back behind Off Shores. Speed was 2.4-2.6mph.

The lake's conditions were nice today with waves 1' or less, and light winds out of the SE. The morning was foggy, but it lifted fast and cleared up by 8am. The rest of the morning was partly cloudy in the high 70's to the low 80's.

Since it was family, and they are all skinny folks, I broke my rule of only taking up to three people and took 4 of them. That gave us a 5 person limit of 30 walleye to take today, which we managed to catch....along with a few lost ones, and a couple of short ones that are still swimming. 

Cousin Jim has a fascination with Sheepshead, so he was quite pleased to catch a few of those over the past two days too. He also wanted to catch a catfish, but they managed to elude our baits both days....oh well...I don't like their slime all over my carpet anyway, so I was okay with not seeing them. Seems like I catch one or two every trip out now, and they are getting bigger and bigger each year!

Our 30 walleye went 51 pounds at Port Clinton Fish...and, they told my guys that they had the biggest fish of the day...."so far"....so, that made them happy, which then made me happy....woot! woot!

Tomorrow, I have my regulars, Steve and Jeremy Champman. We'll be heading out from Mazurik's to find some walleye and then, maybe, some perch on the way back in.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bill and Melissa 7/15/18

by Capt Juls on 07/15/18

I left the house at 4:10am, because I still needed to gas the boat and ice the coolers. I wanted to get to the gas station before all the tournament bass guys showed up again. (It's the weekend, and there are a lot of bass tournaments right now.)

All I want is my receipt for the gas when I'm done. But, since none of the "new" pumps at the Speedway will give out a receipt (always broken down), I need to go inside for one, which can take 20 minutes if I get stuck in line behind a bunch of them buying their snacks for the day. (It's too early in the morning for that type of mental harassment, so I got there early this time..:))

I hit Big Bopper's at 4:30 and grabbed a bagel and chocolate milk, while chatting with the Capts of the "Pooh Bear", "Pirate Clipper", and "Eagle Eye" boats... about the latest bite and programs catching fish....(with a little gossip thrown in for good measure and entertainment, of course). ;)

Bill and Melissa King, who would be my crew for the morning,  met me at Mazurik's boat launch at 5:15 and we headed out at 5:30.  It was a very humid 78 degrees, with a light and variable wind, with partly cloudy skies. It was still on the darker side of morning when we headed east out of the launch, so the navigation lights were turned on for safety's sake.

I had the option of going up to the Canadian side, since Bill said they both had an Ontario license. But, when I told them, "We have two options...1. Go up to the Canadian side to fish, or 2. Go back to Huron where I have been fishing the past few days.  And, if you want to go to Canada, then know that I haven't been up there since Father's Day weekend, and it would take some looking around before we started fishing. If we go back to where I was the past three days, then it's pretty safe to say we'll be catching fish in short order."  Both of them replied in unison, "Whatever you think is best...you're the Capt. We just want to catch some fish!"
(They all say that, verbatim, so I already knew we would be going back to Huron...lol)

We started out in 42' of water and trolled at 2.3-2.5mph to the NNE, towards deeper water....making turns, this way and that way, to see if the fish wanted it more from one direction than another.  As it turned out, they did. They bit when we headed NW, S, and SE, but didn't bite as well when we went any other direction.  They still bit, but just not as fast as the other directions mentioned.

The program was the same as the past few days too.  Flicker Minnows behind Off Shore inline planer boards, along with some BayRat baits too. The Flickers were at 55 back and the BayRats were 100-125 back. I only ran one of each, because we could only run 6 lines today. So, (2) boards, (2) #40 Tru-Trip Jets, and (2) Standard sized (#1) Dipsies

Spoons were run off the TT Jets at 85 and 91 back,  and the Ripplin Red Fins were run on the dipsies at 61 back on the 1 setting and 75 back on the 3 setting.  But, when the Fins didn't produce the way I expected them to, I put some spoons on instead. My dipsey bite improved then.  (I still need to find a better dipsey rod though...just not happy with these Shimano Telora's doing the job).

We did make one 1 1/2 mile move to the north to 44.7 foot of water, when my first spot slowed down. It was an improvement, and we were able to finish out our three person limit in short order.  We also caught a lot of young of the year walleye, white bass, white perch, and sheepshead too, so we were kept very busy this morning. ;)

Bill and Mel had a good time and learned how to work the Jets and Dipsies pretty well. They will be here fishing out of their own boat for the next few days, so hopefully, they can take what they learned today and apply it to their fishing....and hopefully, catch a bunch this week! 

I'm off tomorrow.....no trip scheduled.  I'll be back at it with the Coffman brothers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thanks for reading!! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Russ and Debbie 7/13/18

by Capt Juls on 07/13/18

Fishing with Russ and Debbie 7/13/18

I arrived at Big Bopper's at 4:30am, and gave myself a half hour to eat, since Hi Way Bait didn't open until 5am.
I needed to stop and get some ice for the coolers, and some crawlers, in case I got bored with spoons and wanted to try them.

So, after a nice breakfast, I headed to HI Way Bait right on time...but, they were still closed... It was after 5am and everything was still dark. Grrrr......GET UP!!!

Anyway...My crew saw me while I was sitting in the bait shop parking lot and honked at me. They were meeting me at Mazurik's at 5:15. Now, I was going to be late...(Deep Sigh-Just Breathe)....

I called Russ and Debbie to tell them I would be late, and drove back to Rickard's Bait to buy the items. I still made it back to Mazurik's by 5:21 and we were headed out of the launch at the same time the eastern sky was doing a "Red Sky in the Morning" skit, warning sailors of impending weather. Well, even the sky can deliver "Fake News" from time to time, because it turned out to be a beautiful day today....no bad weather to be found.

We started out near the lighthouse with spoons on a 6' lead behind #40 Tru-Trip Jets at 47 back, and spoons behind the big "standard" Dipsies on the #1 setting, set at 41 back. I didn't put two Off Shore boards with Flicker Minnows out yet, because I was only making one short "spot on the spot" pass through there, and wanted to keep it simple to start.

It was still early, and the sunrise was beautiful, as usual...Deb and I both took several pictures of it while Russ tended to the lines. One of the Jet rods jerked with the tell-tale bounce of a fish on the other end, so he grabbed it and handed the rod to Deb.
Much to my surprise, she reeled in a dandy of a largemouth bass...woot! woot!

After we finished that pass with a couple more junk fish and one keeper walleye, we reeled it all up and headed east. I turned the Helix's sonar chart speed up to 10 and got up on plane, so I could search for fish. After about a 12-mile ride, I set the boat down in 42 foot of water.

Now, get this.....the marks were the SAME from Cedar Point to Huron, and from 38 to 44 foot of water, so I don't think you need to run as far as I did today to find fish. I just kept driving, because I was looking for something, and never really found what it was I wanted to see on my screen. So, I fished what I sat down on, and it turned out to be the right fish.....not too much junk...some, but not too much.

So, if that's what I was catching from the marks I was seeing on the Helix, then those same marks that were all along the way down through there, should be the same thing, I would think. And, if it is, I can easily say that this lake is going to have VERY good fishing for many years to come!

We caught a nice cooler of fish and headed back in at 9am...right about when it was getting hot and muggy out, so the timing couldn't have been better. Russ and Deb did a great job of learning how to use the Jets and Dipsies, and said they had a great time, so it was a good day, and that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I'm fishing with Dave Fuhrmamn, his son, and Mark Sargent. They are repeat customers from last year, and a lot of fun to fish with.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bob and Liz 7/10/18

by Capt Juls on 07/10/18

My alarm wasn't supposed to go off until 2:45, but one of my cats woke me up at 2:20, and I never got back to sleep, so I just got up and made some coffee.  I was meeting my crew at Mazurik's for a 5:30 launch, because they were just staying right down the road at Little Ted's Cottages, and didn't want to go to breakfast.

They arrived right on time. :)

Once again, Kevin was there waiting on his crew to arrive, so he offered to dump us in, I accepted, and off we went.  We headed east of Kelly's this time, and looked for some marks on the Helix before stopping to fish them. We found some, dropped the Ulterra and "Baby ETEC" down, set a course for the ENE, and set up.

The program was basically the same as always...Flicker Minnows behind Off Shore boards, spoons behind #40 Tru-Trip Jets, and spoons behind Dipsy Divers at 2.0-2.4mph (sometimes I sped it up to 2.9 just to see if it made a difference, and we caught at the higher speeds too, so I haven't really dialed in a speed yet).

We were over 43 foot of water out there, and the fish were anywhere from 15 foot down, to down to the bottom, so we ran the Flicker Minnows at 120 and 55 back and the two spoons on the Jets at 75 and 97 back, and the two spoons on the Dipsies (1 setting) at 66 and 71 back.

We made three passes out there about a mile to a mile and a half long each time, (waves were too big to turn and go into them on my boat) and put 5 fish in the box. The largest was a 25 1/2 inch fatty...woot! woot! Been a while since I've seen a bigger fish like that. I've missed them SO MUCH! lol

When the bite slowed for us, we moved south to find fish closer to the mainland. Luckily, we found some willing to bite, and added another 7 eaters to the cooler. We caught a ton of little walleye too, and some escaped through my net again. I'm still waiting on the new one, with the smaller mesh basket, to arrive. I was told it was shipping yesterday, but it isn't here yet...but, it's still early.  Fingers crossed it shows up on my porch this afternoon. 

Bob and Liz have never walleye fished before, and Liz bought this trip for Bob's birthday months ago...so, he was really looking forward to learning how to do it today...and, learn he did!  He was doing the boards, Tru-Trips, and Dipsies with ease by mid morning, and did a great job. :)

'Tomorrow, I have the crew Kevin had today.  They wanted two days with me, but I only had one of the two days available, so they did a split trip...one day with Kevin and one day with me.  We'll be setting off from Mazurik's at 5:30am again.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Wade Family 7/8/18

by Capt Juls on 07/08/18

I was on shore for the last two days, while Momma Nature huffed a little from the ENE, so I was excited to find light SE winds this morning when I opened the front door.  I was ready to get back in the boat and back to work.

I was meeting my crew at Rickard's Bait at 5am this morning, since they were staying at the Holiday Inn Express across the street, and I had to stop there to get ice.  However, I saw them walk over to the McDonald's when I came out of the shop, so I went over there to pick them up to save them a walk across the street.

Steve Wade introduced his sons, Collin and Aidan, and we loaded into the "Big Rusty" and headed to Mazurik's to launch.  (FYI:  Catawba Ramp will be closed until the end of the year, starting tomorrow 7//9/18)

We were treated to an express launch this morning, when Capt Kevin offered to dump us and park my truck.  He was still waiting on his crew to show up, so I took him up on that offer...and, off we went.  

After turning the Helix's chart speed all the way up, I split the screen to show me the sonar and the GPS. Because of the rollers, we were only running around 20-25mph, so I was able to get a really good reading on the Helix as we were on plane.  After marking some fish we set up on them.  The sunrise was gorgeous and was just over the horizon by the time we got all the lines set.

I ran the same program I've been running lately, which is a combination of crankbaits and spoons behind Off Shore Boards, #40 Tru-Trip Jets, and Dipsies.   The Flicker Minnows were running anywhere from 45-90 back and the spoons were anywhere from 35 to 70 back on the Tru-Trips. The magic number for us the Dipsies was 66 on the number 1 setting. Speed was 2.2-2.5mph today. 

We caught a lot of fish...but, some were thrown back, due to size,  and some walleye escaped through the net when they came unhooked.  My Green Bay model RS NET has a 2" mesh bag on it, and it's not containing these smaller fish, so I have another Green Bay RS Net coming that has a 1" mesh on it, to use until these little buggers get bigger.  If you can't beat'em with what you have...get the right stuff to do the job, eh? :)

Anyway...we managed a few fish over a two man limit, so while we didn't limit out with a boat limit, they still went home with a nice bunch of fish for a fish fry. 
They said they had a great time, so that's all the really matters to me. 

Collin and Aidan did a great job learning how to set the lines with all the different contraptions I use to get the baits where I want them, and were working like a well oiled machine by mid morning....woot! woot!

My crew for tomorrow canceled last minute, due to a "kids thing", so I'm either doing lawn care tomorrow, or I'm going perch'n with Kevin, since he has a perch trip on Thursday and would like to find a good spot to take them to.  We shall see...

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Eric and Rob 7/3/18

by Capt Juls on 07/03/18

My crew was staying at a motel near my house, so they agreed to drive here to meet me at 4:30 this morning.  We loaded in the Excursion and headed to the gas station to gas up the boat, and grab some ice for the coolers.

We drove into the Catawba launch a little after 5am... it was still dark. After I readied the boat and the equipment, we launched around 5:20. We had to use the navigation lights, because the sky was just starting to lighten up, but it wasn't light enough to go without them.

It was a warm muggy morning. The sky was clear, and the wind was light out of the east, when we left the launch and headed NNW at a nice cruising speed of 30 mph.  It's nice that early in the morning, before the crowds of boats hit the lake, and you can greet the sun as it makes its daily appearance with such "flare". It's a special feeling to witness that, that can't be explained in words, so I won't even try. ;)

I turned the Helix's sonar chart speed up to 10 and watched for pods of fish that we could set up on.  (By the way, it appears there are a lot of perch around D Can and Niagara Reef right now, so if you're looking for perch you might want to check those areas out. I can't wait for the perch trips to start..I could use a little variety right about now)...anyway....as we continued on, the Helix lit up with good walleye marks, so we set up on them.

I fired up the "baby-ETEC" so it could push us, while the Ulterra guided us on a westerly course. That put the waves behind us, so the ride was much smoother.  It was a little bumpy out there with 1-2's to start, but not too bad at all...and, then, 1-3's as the sun came up and the wind picked up a little bit.

Since there were only three of us, we could only run 6 lines, so I chose to run two #11 Flicker Minnows on each side, and a #40 Tru-Trip Jet Diver with a spoon off each corner.  The cranks were run at 55, 65, 75, and 95 back, and the spoons were run anywhere from 35 to 50 back, at a speed of 2.2-2.4mph.

At one point, I moved three Flicker's to the starboard side and ran those behind the Off Shore boards. I removed one Flicker and replaced it with a dipsy diver/spoon on the port side along with the one Jet from that side too. The other Jet was still working the other corner. So, 4 baits ran off one side and 2 baits ran off the other side.  The dipsy took two or three fish, but I'm not happy with the new dipsy rods I bought the other day after my old dipsy rod broke about 6 inches off the tip.

The old Dipsy rods were the 8'3" Browning SilaFlex rods, and the tip was super easy to read when a smaller fish was on.  With these new Shimano Telora 8' rods, the tips are too stiff. Which means, I can drag a small walleye around for a long time without noticing any change in the rod action.  Me no likey....I must find better rods for that. 

Anyway.....after the crew caught their limit of walleye I said, "We can catch 6 more", and asked them, "Do you want to stay here and get done fast? Or, do you want to go try another area to see what's happening there?"  I wanted to check out an area closer to Catawba, since the winds on Friday might be "iffy", and I wanted something closer to home, if we do get out there.  They both agreed they thought it was a good idea to go look for more fish someplace else.  So, we moved. :)

Again, I put my trust in the Helix to show me where the walleye are, and it didn't disappoint!  Earlier that morning, I showed my guys what I was looking at on the screen, and then showed them the "Precision Trolling Data" app that we all use, and how it works. Then, we set the baits just above the fish marks we were seeing on the screen, and soon, we started catching.  (That's exactly how it's supposed to work...but, there ARE  those days where it seems that nothing you do is right, and nothing you do is going to put a walleye in the cooler. (Deep sigh) I hate those days....lol  And, if anyone tells you they NEVER have a tough day on the lake...don't trust them! Ha!

Luckily though, today everything went as planned....woot! woot! Eric and Rob said they would like to book with me again, so that made me happy! :)

I'm off for the 4th of July, and my July 5th customer just sent a message cancelling on Thursday, due to a work conflict...and, Friday's winds are being watched right now. So, I'll either be out Friday, or Saturday...it all depends on Momma Nature's mood. ;)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Past Couple of days....

by Capt Juls on 06/29/18

The walleye fishing continues to be very good.  After the winds and rain we had earlier this week, some areas are a little muddier than others, but it's not too bad.

The algae bloom has started earlier than usual, and the west side of the islands is turning pea soup green again.  The lack of wind this morning, showed just how much algae is in the water right now, and it's not good. And, with more hot weather for the next couple months, I can only imagine how yucky that end of the lake is going to get. Ugh...

With that said though, there are still many areas that are cleaner and holding a lot of fish.  I would suggest launching out of Mazurik's or Huron and hitting the east side of the bass islands, north side of Kelly's to Middle Island, or the east side of Kelly's and beyond.

Anything and everything you want to throw at them is working. Spoons, cranks, crawler harnesses....anything!  Just find some fish on your electronics, and set up on them. 

Take note of the depth they are at, and adjust your leads accordingly. Play with your speed until they start hitting then take note of that speed. It's not rocket science....just fishing!

Go have fun this weekend, and stay cool! 

Capt Juls

Fishing with Paul, Joe, and Jeff 6/19/18

by Capt Juls on 06/19/18

Woke up at 2:30 this morning and looked at the wind forecast on the IWindSurf app. It was showing the winds would be from the NE....and, stronger than I normally like to see.  Northeast winds make the biggest waves, with the least amount of wind, of all the wind directions, because it comes all the way down the lake into the Western Basin. It is the culprit that quickly muddies the shoreline, and sometimes floods our downtown streets along the Portage River.

I sent Paul a text saying it probably was a "No-Go", but that we should meet down at Catawba and discuss it, before calling it.  

I stopped off at Speedway to gas up, eat breakfast at Big B's, and get ice at Rickard's Bait Shop before heading down to the park to meet them at 5:30.
They were there when I got there, and I stepped out of the truck to talk to them about the forecasted conditions.

The wind wasn't really blowing the treetops as much as I thought it would be, so to be cautious, I made this offer...."If you really want to get out, we can stay on the protected side of the island. We can drive up to the point and turn it around and troll right out front here". I added, "I was here on Saturday and didn't mark as many fish as I did earlier that week...but, that doesn't mean more haven't moved in. I make no guarantees though.  I'm limited to where I can go with a strong NE wind, so it's your call."

They were all for it. "I just want them to wet a line, after getting up and driving all the way up here", said Paul. "Okay...let's go", I said.

While we were launching, Paul told me that they wanted to learn how to run the Off Shore boards. He said he had some, but hadn't really used them, because he wasn't really sure how to run them.  So, like I tell all my customers who want to learn..."I'll have you running them like a well-oiled machine in a few hours".

Once again, I had quick learners....well, for the important part anyway...Paul had a little trouble remembering to turn the clicker off while reeling fish in, so his new nickname is "Clicker" too. Ha!

Joe graduated to "First Mate" within the first hour, because I only had to tell him something once, and he got it. :)

Jeff....Jeff is hard of hearing, and didn't tell me until I figured it out....I had to talk louder to him after that, and then, all was well.  (Please, please, please tell me if you're hard of hearing....no one cares...I just need to know that I  need to talk louder or make face to face contact when I'm talking to you.)

Anyway...they did great, and had the routine down pretty well by mid-morning. I know they will easily be able to run the Off Shores on their boat without too many issues.

We started out in front of Catawba, but moved after one half-assed pass, because the Helix just wasn't marking any fish, there were Mayfly sheds everywhere, and the water was a bit on the muddy side...not too bad, but not great either.

After determining that the conditions were such that I could make it up to the lee-side of the islands safely, I told them to reel everything in and that we would move north.  Once we got through the South Passage I started watching the Helix for life below. 

When we found some good marks, we set up on them with the Flicker Minnows out 57, 65, 75, 80, and 90 back and two #40 Tru Trip Jets with Stingers out 39 back.  Speed was 2.1-2.4mph with the waves.

Everything caught fish. It wasn't a fire drill situation, but more like a steady bite. We did have a few doubles and a couple triples with fish hanging. After two passes we had 24 in the box. We threw back a handful of "shorts" and one sheepshead too. 

It was a good morning, and I'm glad I didn't cancel the trip when the wind was hitting me in the face out in my driveway this morning. It turned out to be a lot of fun! They were pretty close on that forecast, but the actual winds were slightly lower than what was predicted. Had it been correct, I wouldn't be writing this blog today. ;)

Looks like I'm off until the 29th, unless I book a trip somewhere in there from now until the end of the month....deep sigh. Guess I'll work on my gardens...the weeds are insane.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Laura, Denny, and Tim 6/16/18

by Capt Juls on 06/16/18

The plan was to meet my crew at Big Bopper's at 4:45, but since I was informed that Big B's opens at 4:30 right now, I decided to head out at 4am, so I could hit Speedway before getting there early.

I showed up there at 4:20, and was starving, so I went ahead and ordered without my crew, because I wanted to hit the bait shop and Mazurik's ahead of them, so I could get the rods ready before they showed up.

They showed up right on time, we chatted, and they ordered. When their food arrived, I said, "Im going to go hit the bait shop for some ice, and I'll meet you at Mazurik's when you're done...no hurry!"  I wasn't sure if I was going to start with crawlers or Flicker Minnows and spoons, and would decide when I got in the boat. The crawler rods were on the top of the rod locker....so hey...that's what I chose. lol

It was a strange weather morning...I was watching the RadarScope app to keep an eye on a thunderstorm that was approaching. I wasn't sure how much time we would have on the water if its direction and strength stayed on course for us.  

The morning was otherwise, nice. It was warm, mostly coudy, and a light breeze was blowing out of the SSW. Water temps were at 66.8-67.2 degrees.

We launched at 5:30 and headed out of the channel at 5:37, and headed to the SE corner of Kelly's. I didn't want to go far, in case we needed to dart back in if there was any lightning, or the radar showed me something unsafe was closing in on us.   That and the fact that there are lots of fish in the area, I figured we couldn't go wrong.

They were celebrating Denny Young's birthday (Laura bought this trip as his gift), and Denny wanted to learn how to run the Off Shore boards, so he could run the ones he bought recenly, out of his boat.  When he told me that at breakfast, I said, "I will have you all running the Off Shores like a well oiled machine by mid morning".  I didn't lie...by mid morning they were doing great, and had the routine down pretty well.

As we watched the sky darken to the west of the Bass Islands, and witnessed a few lightning bolts, we noticed that the sky to the south was not so bad. Checking the radar app again, I found that the storms would stay to the north and to the south of us, and that we were right in line for some pretty decent weather, if we stayed where we were.  

I had made a pass from the SE corner of Kelly's to the east end of American Eagle Shoal with only 4 fish to show for it. Crawler harness with 1oz inlines were run at 30 and 40 and the 2oz inlines were run at 23 and 27, while the 4 oz bottom bouncer bounced off the port side corner.  Unlike yesterday, the bottom bouncer didn't take any fish this morning.

We decided to move....I looked at the app one more time...then, the sky. I determined that it was best to take them west to the Mouse Island area, and maybe try trolling Flicker Minnows around Scott Point Shoal....on over to Starve. But, when I got there, I didn't mark what I wanted to see on the Helix, so I kept going SW to Catawba Point.  I drove on to just about in front of Catawba State Park and decided the water was a little muddy and I was only marking a fish here and there.

The funny thing was....on the east side of Mouse (all over) the wind was out of the SE, but on the west side of Mouse, the wind and waves were out of the SW. I decided to turn the boat and head NW towards E can, but when I got between F and E cans the Helix was marking some good fish. I figured it was a good place to start.

Down went the Ulterra, and I set a course towards Green Island, which was about 1 1/2 miles off in the distance.  This time we ran Flicker Minnow at 45/57/65/80 back, and Tru-Trip Jets at 35 and 39 back...at a speed of 2.1-2.3 mph.  It was a steady pick at them, but nothing really fast. The fish were mostly in the 16-17 inch size, but there were a few bigger ones too.  It gave Denny and his crew a chance to practice retrieving and setting the Off Shores, but I have to confess, the Stinger and Yeck Spoons were outnumbering the catch rate over the Flickers'.

They had mentioned that they wanted to do some perch fishing too, so I had gotten some Emerald Shiners at Hi Way Bait this morning too. I told them that after they hit their limit of walleye, we could go look for some perch. I wanted to try a spot out there in the triangle between American Eagle, Starve Island, and Scott Point Shoal. I had marked a lot of fish on the bottom on yesterday's trip, and marked it on the GPS.

After they got their limits of walleye we cleaned up and got ready to perch fish. We went and found that spot I had mentioned, and set up on the spot using the Minn Kota Ulterra's Spot Lock option. (I never stop being amazed by how nice it is not to have to use an anchor anymore).

The perch bite was slow, but we managed to put 20 nice specimens in the cooler. The conversation was enjoyable and there were good tunes on the Bose, so only an up and down bite would have made it better! It was a good time! :)

My crew expressed how much fun they had, and their plans to come back again next season....and, that makes me happy! :)  

I had a great time with Laura, Denny, and Tim today. They had a great attitude, sense of humor, and learned quickly, and I can't ask for more than that!

Tomorrow and Monday are scheduled off. The heat index tomorrow sucks, so I'm glad I didn't schedule anything. Monday, I have business to take care of, so that's scheduled off too. I'll be back at it on Tuesday.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Goodrich crew...6/15/18

by Capt Juls on 06/15/18

I left the house at 4am this morning and headed to town to run some errands and pick my crew up at their hotel by 4:30. I showed up a little early, so I took care of some emails and waited for them, but I didn't have to wait long. They were right on time, and we headed to the gas station to gas up. 

After a good breakfast at Big Bopper's, we hit Mazurik's at 5:30. I was surprised to see that they hadn't done the parking lot, like they claimed they were going to, over the past three days.  However, I do know, that they have started doing Catawba's parking lot as of yesterday.  That bothersome pothole...you know the one...is finally gone!

Anyway, the morning was clear, warm, and the winds were light out of the northeast. Waves were maybe 6 inches at best, so it was much nicer than I expected it to be according to the wind forecast I looked at earlier in the morning.

I fished with Mr. Goodrich and David this same weekend last year too.  And, last year, we fished in Canadian waters, so this year they were prepared to have their Ontario licenses on them, so we could go back if the conditions allowed.

As I said yesterday, I was tired of fishing through 30 feet of mayflies, and catching smaller fish, so I was excited to head north to find cleaner water and bigger fish for a change.

I was given some info last night, but that info didn't pan out, so we went right back to where I had them the year before, and wouldn't you know it....the fish were there! Yay! 

I marked some fish on the Helix as we were driving, and I drove on about another mile or so, turned around, and set the Ulterra on a path back to that waypoint.

We set lines, with crawler harnesses behind the Off Shore boards, with 1oz and 2oz inline weights.  Speed was 1.3-1.4mph

I started with the 1oz set at 25/30/40 and the 2oz inlines set at 20 and 25...oh, and one bottom bouncer sporting a 4oz weight.  Eventually, we dialed them in and had the baits with the 1oz inlines set at 39 and 41 and the 2oz inlines set at 30 and 40 back.  The bottom bouncer did well, and took 4 or 5 fish too.

We managed a nice box of really fat "eaters", that was much nicer than what I have been catching the past few days on this side.  The average was 18-23", whereas the average on this side was 15 to 17 inches. So, needless to say, my guys were happy, happy, happy. And, I was happy, because there were only a few boats up there with us.  We didn't have any legit "throwbacks", but we did throw one small keeper back, because we knew we had a lot of time and there were nicer fish down below.

When we finished the wind was picking up a little bit, so the timing was perfect. We managed to get back to the other side and loaded out before it got rougher.
The crew wants to book the same day next year, and I told them to bring this nice weather back with them again. It was a perfect morning in my opinion...a friendly crew....the weather was not too cold and not too hot...the lake was not too flat and not too rough...NO BUGS...the fish bit and also made it into the boat....can't ask for more than that now, can you? Woot! Woot!

Tomorrow's plan is still undecided until I talk to my crew, so at this time...I have no clue where I'm going yet.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Weekend is coming...thought I should report...:)

by Capt Juls on 06/14/18

I wasn't out last weekend, or Monday, but got out Tuesday (6/12), Wednesday (6/13), and today (6/14)...

Tuesday and Wednesday I was over in Huron with Frank Shipley and his friend, Carter. We launched at 5:30 and headed east towards "The Castle" area. The Mayfly hatch is still coming up...thick, by the way...

We ran Flicker Minnows up in the top 15' of the water column, but the fish had moved deeper, so eventually, we moved the baits down to 80/90/100 back at a speed of 1.9-2.1mph.  We managed to pick up 8 keepers...although, nothing big, and had a bunch of throwbacks too.  It wasn't a stellar day, but they had fun and the weather was perfect, so it was a nice trip. :)

Wednesday,  I met my crew at Huron again, because my customer, Sam Arnold and his Son, Sam, have a boat docked over there now. Sam's friend, Ray, who is from Indiana drove in the night before, and we all met at the ramp at 5:30.  Again, we headed east, set lines, and then got dumped on with a heavy downpour. I had told them to bring rain gear, but none of them had it with them, so they got soaked....ugh.

It only lasted about 10 minutes....then dried up and stayed cloudy all morning. Port Clinton had had just over 5 inches of rain the night before, and the town was flooding, along with my backyard, so it was the last thing I wanted to see!

We moved around a few times, and I showed Sam some areas to check as the season changes, and the fish migrate.

We ended up with 12 eaters, with about 7-8 throwbacks, a couple white perch, a sheepshead, and a white bass.  They had a good time, but again, not a stellar "catching" trip....sigh.

Today, I had my regulars...Steve and Jeremy Chapman, along with Jeremy's cousin, Adam.

Our plan was to launch out of Catawba at 7am, so I arrived there at 6:30 to get things ready.  By the time they finally arrived, we were heading out of the park at 7:30.

They wanted to walleye fish and then do some bass fishing, so we started with the walleye.  We headed north to Rattlesnake/North Bass and set up between the two islands and headed east with our Flicker Minnows and Stinger Spoons in tow.

There was a light WNW wind at around 10mph, and the waves were pushing the 2' mark, so I trolled with the waves.  We marked some fish there, and picked the first one up, but it wasn't happening there, so we picked up and moved to the east of the Bass Islands to set up another troll starting at Lucy's and pointing towards the lower end of Gull Island Shoal.  

We ran the Flicker Minnows at 57/65/80/90/100...one Bandit at 55...and, two Stinger Spoons behind #40 Tru-Trip Jets at 37 and 45 back. Speed was 1.9-2.3mph.  Eventually, every bait caught something today, but the 80-90 was probably the best.

It was one long pass the entire way, and we picked away at the walleye until we had 13 in the box (a handful of throwbacks too), and decided to go bass fishing for the last hour and a half. We would end that pass by the red can at Gull.

Thanks to Capt Kevin's info (he had a bass trip the day before) we were able to set right up in an area and start casting.  The Tube Jig proved to be what they wanted today, as the lipless crankbaits didn't catch anything.

We had a good time, and Jeremy was happy to have finally caught a bass on Lake Erie. lol woot! woot!

I'll be back out tomorrow, and if the winds behave, I am heading to the other side of the lake, to see if there are any bigger fish left in this lake. Not everyone is happy with "eaters". ;)

Fingers crossed....Stay tuned!

Capt Juls

Fishing with Brad, Zachary, and Jim 6/8/18

by Capt Juls on 06/10/18

Brad Cash, his son, Zachory, and his cousin, Jim were camping on Catawba for the weekend, and wanted to learn how to run Off Shore inline planer boards, so they could run them from their boat.

The forecast was for east winds, but luckily the wind speed wasn't what was originally forecast, so we were able to travel around pretty easily. My first plan was to take them where they could fish in their 18' boat if the lake was rough, but we ended up going to places further out since the lake was decent.

We launched at Catawba at 5:45 and headed north to the west side of the islands. I showed them how to use the line counter reels, and explained why we use the Precision Trolling Data app to figure out how much line to put out. They learned how to set the boards out, to get them in "marching soldier formation", and then how to reel in an outside board without moving the inside boards...because, we all know the outside bait is the one that gets the fish most often. Ha!

It took a few tries for them to get the routine down, but the fish gave them a lot of practice. I didn't like all the mayflies I saw on the Helix screen and thought that maybe going to the east side of the islands would show fewer. While it did, there was still an abundance of them coming up. Hopefully, we'll have a south wind when they do emerge from the lake, so Canada can deal with the mess on land. :)

We ran the same program I've run the past couple weeks...#11 Flicker Minnows 45/55/65 back at 2.1-3.4mph. Interesting though, at one point, someone who didn't know the rules of the road out there, and was cutting me off (even though I was the ONLY boat in that area) caused me to speed up to 2.6-2.9mph, to keep him from interfering with our lines, made the fish go crazy. All at once we had three fish on. So, that told me I should speed things up a bit, and after we did, the guys were kept busy with a steady bite.

We made one more move to the protected side of Catawba, due to one of the crew feeling a bit queezy when the winds kicked up a little and we were in 1-3's. As it turned out....we had a good bite over there too, an the fish were even a little bit bigger. So, let that be a lesson to you all...you don't have to go far from the launch to catch fish! ;)

I was off this weekend, due to my customer wanting to know last Thursday if the weather was going to be a problem, and when the forecast was showing strong ENE winds and 80% chance of thunderstorms, they moved their dates to July.....so, as usual, the forecast changed for the better since I rescheduled them....you're all welcome! Ha!

I won't be back out until the 13th, and will be going out of Huron, since the customer bought a place over there and would like to learn the area.  

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls