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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Jeff, Trevor, and Steve 6/2/19

by Capt Juls on 06/02/19

Today I had a crew from the Columbus, OH area. One which I've had to reschedule two times already, due to weather. Jeff really wanted to get a trip in, so the plan last night was to do a later start, because the forecast was showing strong north winds until around 9am. But, when I got up this morning, it had changed, and the window for light winds was my normal starting time of 5:30 to 9am.  They couldn't get here that early, because of the 2+ hour drive from Columbus.

Anyway, we met up at Big Bopper's at 7:50 and ate a quick breakfast and headed over to Mazurik's to launch. The lake wasn't white capping yet, but the wind app was showing 20mph out of the west at the Put-In-Bay location.  The forecast was showing the winds were going to switch and come out of the north at 16 with gusts to 21. I was not looking forward to that, because I know how rough it was going to get.

We launched and headed out at 8:45. My plan was to get up to where I was yesterday before the winds switched, so that we could troll with the waves and have a following sea on the way back in. We made it about 1/2 way up when the wind switched on a dime, and a burst of colder air hit us in the face. My eyes started watering, and my hat blew off...lol  Luckily, I hold it on my head by my ponytail, so I didn't lose it. :)

I was not comfortable with how fast it changed and the white caps that were building on the lake, so we turned the boat and made a trolling pass towards the southwest corner of Kelly's from the Ballast Island area.  After one fish, I decided to head down to the lee side of Kelly's Island and set up there, since I knew there were a lot of fish in the south passage.  

We caught 5 more fish there, before I looked at the wind app again and found it changed....again.  This time, it was for the better and the wind was going to lay down, and already was. The white caps were gone, so I asked if the guys would indulge me and make that rough ride back up to the north again. I told them, "I don't like playing bumpber boats down here, and I know what kind of bite it is up there, if we can get there." They all agreed that if I felt it was doable, then we should go. So, we went. We secured everything down and made our way up the east side of the Bass Islands again. 

It wasn't too bad, and we made slow steady progress and eventually got to our destination. It wasn't long after setting up (same program as the previous two trips) that we started catching, and again it took less time to catch the rest of our 4 person limit than it took to get up there. The action was fast and the guys had a lot of fun. Especially, Trevor. 

Jeff, Trevor's Dad, told me that he was home from West Point, and had never caught a walleye, so it was the reason why it was so important for this day to happen.  Trevor caught many walleye, and learned how to set Off Shore boards and dipsey divers, and did a great job with both. He's a very intelligent young man, and a quick learner, and made my job a whole lot easier today. :)

By the time we were headed in the winds had laid way back and the lake was down to 2' or less, instead of the 2-4's on the way up....and, that made me happy! Ha!

Tomorrow's crew is a husband and wife team, and once again the winds are forecast for gusty in the morning, and laying down in the afternoon, so as of right now....we will be looking at a 10:30 launch, unless it changes again by morning. I have already given them the heads up that I will be looking at the forecast in the early AM and if it changes overnight, that they should be ready for a much earlier start.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff, Greg, and Ryan Whitherd 6/1/19

by Capt Juls on 06/01/19

As I write this, a storm is brewing outside my window....again.  The sky is darkening, and cracks of thunder can be heard rolling underneath the thick gray clouds to the west in a constant rumble. A lightning bolt flashes and I wonder who is still out on the lake at this moment. The treetops are bending....giving me that telltale sign that the lake can become dangerous in very short order.  I hope everyone makes it off the lake safely this afternoon.

My morning started very early again, and I did my usual routine of coffee, deck time with the 5 animals that live here, and a shower before heading over to Big Bopper's for some breakfast. I was meeting my crew at Mazurik's, because they were in town camping overnight at East Harbor, and would make themselves breakfast in the camper.

After some chit chat with the other Capt's that frequent the Big B, I headed over to the launch to ready things before they showed up. They were right on time, and we were in the water by 5:30.

With today's gusty SW wind forecast, I decided to stick closer to the mainland and chase the golden critters that are hanging out in the South Passage right now. 
We set up a mile off of Lakeside Pier and set a course to the SE corner of Kelly's Island.

The water temp was 62/63 degrees.

We set up with the same program I ran yesterday with my last crew, which was (2) Off Shore boards on each side of the boat running Bandits on one side at 61/65 back, and #11 Flicker Minnows on the other side at 55/75 back.
The Bandit colors were blue/chrome and Khaki to start, but eventually, old Mr. Buck Fever went back out to do his dirty deeds of hooking some fish.
The Flicker colors were the Purple Flash and Slick Sunset.

The dipsies were set at the same as yesterday to start too....3 setting at 49 and the 1 setting at 33.  But, evenutally, we changed up one side and ran them at 3/55 and 1/41.  The bite was best for us when the speed was at 2.3 mph.

Once we got near the SE corner of Kelly's, I looked at the wind forecast again and it was showing higher gusts coming, so I thought it would be a better idea to go back down inside and run the line closer to shore, like I did last this past Tuesday. 
We set up just east of the Ferry dock on Marblehead and headed to the lighthouse.
There were tons of marks there, but they are not all walleye. We caught some Sheepshead and some white bass there too.  At this time we had 9 walleye in the cooler.

After checking the wind forecast one last time, I said to Jeff, "They changed the wind forecast again, want to go for a ride with me?"  I wanted to go to the north side of Kelly's to check it out and find some better fish.  They were agreeable, so we brought everything in and put it away to make the slow ride up.  I went around the east side of the island, because we would be on the lee side and could go a little faster than if I went around the west side. Sure, it may add miles, but sometimes the shortest distance between two points isn't always the smartest choice. ;)

We eventually made it back to where I fished yesterday, and I was glad that my trolling newbies had the morning to learn how to use the boards and dipsies, because it was non stop walleye action!  It took longer to get to the spot than it did to put another 15 fish in the box. 

The wind forecast was actually correct this time, and the winds that were forecast to diminish were indeed diminishing. That area of the lake went from solid 2-4's to 1-3's on the way back in, so it was a nice ride back. We just took our time and savored the sunshine Mother Nature was bestowing upon us, and enjoyed the ride and scenic views of the islands around us.

They all said they had a great time...and that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow will be a 9am launch out of Mazurik's as a NW wind will blow in the morning and settle down enough by then (fingers crossed) that we can get out.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike, Paul, and Fred 5/31/19

by Capt Juls on 05/31/19

My alarm woke me out of a deep sleep at 2:45, and I wanted to smash it, but instead, I slid out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make some coffee. It was hot and delicious, so I took it out on the back deck to check the weather this morning.

Much to my sleepy delight, it was warm and calm, which meant it was going to be a great day on the water! I smiled, took a deep breath, and happily sipped on my coffee while Dexter walked the fenceline looking for varmints to chase away.

Today, I would be fishing with Mike, Paul, and Fred. I arrived at the White Caps Motel at 4:20, and to my surprise, they were right on time for the 4:30 pick up. They followed me in their vehicles, so as not to take up parking at the motel for when the new guests arrived, which I thought was pretty thoughtful of them, and we headed to Big Bopper's for some breakfast.

After breakfast, we headed over to Mazurik's to launch. We were in the water and headed north by 5:40am.  After the Helix marked some fish on the sonar, we stopped to set up.  I deployed the Ulterra and put the baby ETEC down, and fired it up.  The Ulterra's power level was set to 5 and the baby ETEC's throttle was adjusted until the speed was a steady 2.3-2.4mph.

The dipsies were set out the same distance as yesterday, to start....49 on the 3 setting and 33 on the 1 setting.  Eventually, we would keep one side at those numbers and the other side was slid down to 57 and 41.  

An hour into the morning, and when I felt confident that my crew could handle it, we set two Off Shore boards out on each side to give us 8 lines in the water. Bandits ran on the starboard side at 61 and 65 back (blue/chrome and Buck Fever) and number 11 Flicker Minnows ran on the port side at 55 and 75 back (Purple Flash and Slick Sunset). They all caught fish this morning. At one point, I changed out the Buck Fever to the Antifreeze, simply to see if it would catch a fish. That color is hot on some days and not on others....but, in the little amount of time out there...it did catch a fish. :)

At one point, it seemed like the bite died, but that's only because we had fish hanging on every dipsey, and didn't realize it. Once they give that one good headshake, and you miss it by being preoccupied with something else...it's like they give up and just get pulled along...so the rod tip doesn't move.   Lesson learned...when it's a good bite...check the dipsies more often! Once we cleared them...it was game on again. Ha!

We had several instances where we were pulling in more than one fish at a time, and thankfully these guys know how to dance, because it can sometimes feel like a waltz when 4 adult bodies are moving around to position themselves with rods and nets, and one false move could have rendered my bare feet a painful outcome. lol

We released some good eaters back to the lake to get bigger for the next time someone catches them, and filled the cooler with a few better ones.  Paul was happy to have landed a nice 27 1/2 incher off a blue/chrome Bandit, and put that one in the cooler too. The overall grade was very nice, and the guys went back to Michigan with smiles on their faces. They definitely had a good time....and, that makes me happy.

Tomorrow, I have a group of 3 that I will meet over at Mazurik's, because they will be camping at East Harbor tonight. The forecast looks pretty good wind-wise, but there may be a scattered thunderstorm to look out for sometime tomorrow.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Doug and Nathan Jackson 5/29/19

by Capt Juls on 05/29/19

Today was the first of a two-day trip for the father and son team of Doug and Nathan Jackson. The weather forecast was iffy with the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, with an east wind to start and then switching from the North.  

I picked them up at their hotel at 4:45 this AM and headed to Big Bopper's for breakfast before heading over to Catawba to launch by 6:00.  The pier at Catawba is completely underwater at this time. The pierheads were not underwater when we left this morning, but when the wind shifted and came out of the north around 10am, they flooded and there was about "top of the ankle" deep water for about 15 feet.

We hit the Clinton Reef area early and put 6 eaters in the boat in short order. This was the first time for either of them using the Off Shore planer boards, so it was an instructional trip too. They were eager to learn, so after a quick tutorial on the first rod, they got busy setting the next 5 lines out.

We ran Bandits at 40/50/60 back at 1.7-1.9mph. Blue/Chrome was the hottest with Buck Fever a close second. Sunspot, Antifreeze, and Chrome Barbie were the other colors out. Antifreeze and Sunspot took fish, but the Chrome Barbie, which is usually a fish producer was taken off for its inability to catch one, and replaced with another blue/chrome. 

After turning around and going into the waves and not catching, I took that opportunity to suggest moving to another area, since the radar was showing no storms moving in on us anytime soon. They were game, so we pulled everything in and headed north towards G can. There were some boats in the area, but I didn't see what I wanted to see on the Helix, so we kept moving north up the can line to E Can. Yesterday, there were plenty of fish marks to make me set down there, but not today. Maybe they were still there, and moved a little, but I didn't want to waste any time and headed back down to the south.

We set up near Catawba...short of the starting point I had on Clinton Reef and set a course to intercept that previous line. The Helix was showing massive amounts of Mayflies coming up from the depths to spend their one glorious 24 hours of life on the topside. I kept my fingers crossed that they would still bite in those conditions. 

They did....:)

Boom! Game on! The outside board on the port side started to slide back, but instead of me saying something, I wanted Doug to see it... and, tell me there was a fish on. Earlier in the morning, he kept asking, "How will I know when a fish is on?"  So, when he turned around with that questioning look on his face after he noticed it, I smiled and shook my head...letting him know, "Yes, that's a fish". After that, he had no problem knowing when to grab the rod. :)

Nathan was a natural, even though he's never trolled before, and doesn't fish all that often. He picked it up quick, and in no time at all, he was setting those boards out like he's done it for a long time. 

We picked up the rest of our 18 fish there in front of Catawba and headed in at 10:30. Both men were very pleased with the day's events and their cooler full of fish....and, that makes me happy!

 I think tomorrow is going to be an easy day in the boat...as long as the storms stay off the lake. I think there's more scattered showers and thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow...more than today...so, we'll see.  I don't think it will take very long to get our limit in the boat, and so as long as there's no lightning, we'll fish.

The water temp is up to 61.7 near Catawba.

Fingers crossed that Old Mother Nature wakes up in a good mood tomorrow...

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Lickfelt Family 5/28/19

by Capt Juls on 05/28/19

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Weekend and took a moment to remember our service men and woman who have sacrificed some or all for the freedom to live our lives with the freedom to choose our own paths. Thank you, to all of you who have, and have had, the courage to protect us from those who would harm us. 

I had Sunday unexpectedly off, due to my customer canceling with a case of food poisoning, so there was no report...and, yesterday's crew didn't want to take any pictures, so I didn't write anything for yesterday either...just a blurb on my Facebook page.

However, today was a good day....so here goes...

My crew was meeting me at Mazurik's at 5:30/5:45, because they didn't want breakfast, and were driving in this morning. I stopped off at Speedway to get some ice for the coolers and then headed over to Big Bopper's for a pancake and some bacon before going over to meet them.

I got there first, so I took that opportunity to ready the boat and get the rods out of the rod locker. They showed up right on time and we were headed out of the ramp at 5:45. Brian, who is in his 40's, set the trip up so he could fish with his Dad Allen and his son, Jake. I asked, "How did you find me? Was it through Facebook or something?" Brian said, "No. I don't do Facebook. My dad has been a fan of your blog now for many years and told me about you, so we thought it would be fun to get out with you and learn something". I giggled and said, "Thank you! I'm glad you read it...it makes it worth the while to do it, knowing someone is actually reading them."

We headed west from Mazurik's to Scott Point Shoal. My plan was to run Bandits behind Off Shore Boards there. We set up with them running 35-55 back at 1.8mph, but we didn't even get a bump or anything in about a 1/2 mile. The wind was gusting out of the SW pretty good too, so I said, "Let's pull them in and head east over to the lighthouse. We'll set up a dipsey/spoon program and see what happens."

We stopped short of the shipping dock there, west of the lighthouse, and put the dipsies in the water. The 3 settings were at 49 and 57 and the 1 settings were at 33 and 37 (which puts them both at 15 and 17 foot respectively.) 

I was going to have to go faster, so I used the baby E-TEC kicker motor, in conjunction with the Ulterra on the bow, to keep my speed higher, but my power level on the Ulterra's battery usage lower.  I put the power level at 5 and adjusted the throttle on the E-TEC until I could keep it regularly at 2.4-2.5mph. 

We hadn't gone very far when the first two fish came in the boat. Michigan Stinger and Scorpion spoons were what we were running. I had a Ripplin Redfin out for a bit, but the spoons were more tantalizing, or so it seemed, so I took it off and put a spoon back on.  We would run up to in front of Mazurik's and turn around and set up again 3 or 4 times before we were done with their 6 hours.

We went 21 for 30(ish) walleye and three Sheepshead. Two fought their way off the hooks and the others were too short to go in the box legally, so off they went to grow bigger for another day.

We caught some of the 2018 hatch and some of the 2019 hatch too. I'm guessing the 2018 hatchlings are the 5-9 inchers and the 2019 early hatchlings are the 3 inchers right now...but, it's only a guess on my part.

We had a fun morning, and Jake did a fine job of reeling in fish, taking the hooks out of them, and putting them in the cooler all by himself. It made me nervous when he was in the net with a fish and hooks, but his Dad said to let him do it, so I just prayed he wouldn't get a hook in his hands and kept my mouth shut. lol  All was well...no injuries happened...whew!

Brian said he learned a lot, and so did Allen. I have every confidence they can take what they learned today and practice the same in their boat with the same success for the supper table....and, that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's crew will be with me for the next two days. I hope we can dodge the scattered thunderstorms that are forecast, but if we can't, it won't be a long run back to Catawba to wait it out. I'll be running the Bandit program over there again, since we will have an east wind with the chance of storms moving in from the west for the next two days. On the bright side, the winds won't be that strong, so all is well. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tim McGlothlin 5/24/19

by Capt Juls on 05/24/19

Left the house this morning at 4:30 as quietly as I could, as my house guest was still sleeping. I headed to the gas station in town to gas up the boat before going to pick Tim up at the place he's renting for the weekend.  

Tim wanted this weekend, to learn the ins and outs of running and operating this  Ranger fishing machine, before he takes ownership of her in the fall. I thought it was a good idea too. :)

He jumped in the truck, and we headed to Rickard's Bait to pick up some ice and some shiners, because we both hoping to run into some perch to fish today. We then headed to Big Bopper's for some grub before launching.

It was 6AM when we left the ramp at Mazurik's and headed west to set up on one of the closer shoals with Bandits behind Off Shore boards at a speed of 1.8mph. The Bandits were out 40/45/50/55 back in blue/chrome, Buck Fever, Khaki, and a chrome purple one, with a chartreuse head, that I have no clue what its name is.

We didn't stay there very long since the Helix wasn't marking much of anything to my liking, so we headed east from there.  We set up at the shipping dock and trolled to the lighthouse in 28-30 foot of water with the same set up, and marked ungodly amounts of fish there, but nothing bit for us for one reason or another...that we never figured out, so we left and headed north.

The goal up north was to find some perch, so we headed to the last place I saw a huge school of them (last week....yeah, I know...but, I was hoping there was a chance they would still be around up there. If they were, we never found them). We did look in several different areas close by, but nothing on the sonar was tempting enough to waste our time on them, so we decided to go back to walleye fishing.

We both had our Canadian licenses, so over the line we went and set up on the west side of Pelee with the same Bandit program as before, but this time it was game on! 
We had just gotten all the boards out when the first one went back...then, a second one went back and we had a double on. 
Tim asked, "What do you want me to do here? "Just worry about the first fish, and we'll take them in order", I said.
Then, as Tim was reeling in the second fish, and I was trying to get the hooks out of the net, I saw the third board go back. "There's another one", I said, and Tim starting laughing, and said, "Well, would you look at that!"  I think we would have had 4 on if the first fish hadn't caught the line of the inside board on its way in, and taking it out of the action.  There were small pods of walleye roaming up there, so it took a little time to find them, lose them, and find them again. But, once we did find them it was always a quick bite...and, then....nothing for another 15-20 minutes.

It would take two hours to fill our two-person limit up there. But, the best part was, there were no other boats for miles. They all stopped at the line on the US side and packed around each other so bad that it looked like a boat city on the water....ugh.

The radio was alive with the chatter of Capt's politely asking other boats to pay attention to where they were going, and reminding them of the "Rules of the Road"....rules, that every boater should KNOW before operating a boat on a body of water.  I was actually surprised at how civil everyone was being today. :)

Anyway, Tim did a great job trying to learn everything there is to learn, but being thrown into the fire with only 4 hours of sleep made it tougher. So, he's getting a good night's rest, and we will be back at it tomorrow. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Eric, Joe, and Bill 5/22/19

by Capt Juls on 05/22/19

Short and sweet tonight....had a late start this morning and launched out of Catawba at 10am....hit Clinton Reef with Bandits 35-50 back at 1.8 mph. 

Fished in on and off showers, but the fish were biting. We limited out and had a great time!

Sorry it's so short, but I still have a house guest and it's rude to ignore your guests. ;)

Tomorrow will be a later launch too, due to a thunderstorm that will go through in the morning and should be outta here by 8-8:30AM.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike, Huey, and Josh 5/21/19

by Capt Juls on 05/21/19

I have a house guest this week, so I'm totally out of my routine. He's sleeping on my pullout couch, so I don't have access to my computer, kitchen, and lights on this end of the house in the mornings, because I do not want to wake him.

Scotty is from Ohio, but a promotion and transfer took him to Red Wing, MN. He resides on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi there.  He and I used to fish a lot together...my ex had taken him under his wing years ago, like he did me, and helped him understand this lake a little better too. Anyway, he's here fishing for the week, but he's not on my schedule, and is on vacation, so I want him to get some much needed rest if he needs it.

So, now, I sit on the back deck with my phone and a cup of coffee, before I get dressed and head out.   I left the house at 4:30, and he was still sleeping, so I figured he needs it. 

After hitting the gas station to fill up the Ranger and get some ice, I headed to Big Bopper's to meet up with Mike, Huey, and Josh for some breakfast. As usual, Cindy Michaels, one of Bopper's best servers, was working bright and early, and greeted me with that big smile she shares with everyone that comes in, and instantly brightened my morning.

Mike and the gang showed up at 5am. We left there a little after 5:30 and headed to Mazurik's to launch.  We headed out of the ramp area a little before 7am and went north to the line. I knew those fish were still there, and the lake conditions were not bad this morning, so it was an easy ride up there. There was a light NE wind, sending in a few rollers, but they weren't bad at all.  

The water temperature was 55.2 up there this morning.

I wanted to try some different dipsey rods this morning, since I had heard so many reports that the spoon program on Tru-Trip Jets was working well now. I figured that the dipsies might do well too.

A Facebook friend had dropped off two Shakespeare Alpha 7'6" rods to try out, and I switched out the other two rods to my 7' Med Ugly Sticks that I use for my board rods.  Both worked better than I expected, so I suspect I'll just keep using these. The tips are very easy to read when a fish is on now....woot! woot!

We ran a Ripplin Redfin on the 3 setting/47 back on the port side, and a Yeck Spoon on the 1 setting/28 back/port side.  On the Starboard side, we ran a Rippling Redfin on the 1 setting/30 back, and a Scorpion Spoon on the 3 setting/50 back. 

Speed was 2.1-2.3mph.

We caught 7  walleye on an East to West troll, that was maybe a 1/2 mile long...and, then, we turned to go back the other way.....we didn't catch any going West to East. We made another turn to go back East to West and picked up 2 more walleye.  The Humminbird showed that the fish were pushing further down in the water column, so I thought maybe it was time to go find some other more active fish.  At least we had an early flurry to get the juices flowing. :)

We left the line NE of Lucy's and headed east towards Kelly's. My plan was to go down the east side of Kelly's until we marked some fish, and set up again. The Helix wasn't marking much until we got down towards the Cedar Point Dumping Grounds, but they weren't the marks I was searching for, so we moved west a bit and got on the west side of the ferry line and set up again.

This time we ran two Off Shore boards off each side with Blue/Chrome (2), Huff Daddy, and Chrome Barbie Bandits from 45-65 back and the 4 dipsies set up like the previous spot.

The Bandit took the first and second fish, so I swapped out the 4 dipsies for 4 more Off Shore boards and Bandits. We would fill out their 3 man limit in the time allotted us, and that made them happy. 
We never stayed on any one line, due to the boat traffic in the area, so it's easy to say that there are fish all over the place between the mainland and the islands right now. The South Passage is definitely a busy highway with bustling walleye.

Mike, Huey, and Josh had a good time, and will be back in June for another round of fun and adventure, and that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's forecast is calling for gusty east winds in the morning, so as of right now, I am planning a late morning launch unless that forecast changes by morning, and we can plan on an earlier launch.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dan and Carol Emmer 5/16-17/19

by Capt Juls on 05/17/19

This morning was a startling start to the day when my 16 year old Lab pawed at my bedside, so I would get up and feed her.  It wasn't long until I realized that I had obviously overslept and she was hungry!  But, that also meant I was running late. Looking at the time, I panicked, because it was 4:36, and that's the time I usually leave the house...not get up.

I texted Dan, to let them know that I was running late and to meet me at Big Bopper's at 6am instead of 5am, like we had the day before, and scrambled to get out the door.

I couldn't be too upset though, because it meant I slept well for 8 hours last night....and, I needed it! 
I was running on empty yesterday...with only 4 hours of sleep, due to too many people waking me up at late hours with texts and phone calls. Note to self:  "Buy an alarm clock, so you don't have to use the one on your phone".

Anyway, we ate, I left to hit the bait shop, and met them down at Catawba State Park at 6:30. We were launched and headed out at 6:40.  The conditions were a bit unexpected, but pleasantly accepted by all. We were expecting some winds, but the lake only had a 6" chop...if that.  I decided to take advantage of the calmness and head to the North side of North Bass and make that pass along the line, headed east again.

I had picked up crawlers to use this morning, so we swapped out all the Bandits for my best producing color combo's and sacrificed some earthly creatures to the depths of Lake Erie in hopes of finding some walleye gold.  I had been hearing of good reports of crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers working, but I really hated to have to pull them out. I hate running that slow, and my patience runs thin when my crawlers are not getting bit.  As was the case this morning...lol

After about 45 minutes to maybe an hour, without a bite, I gave it up and we put the Bandits back on. We set them out at 50/60/70 on one side and 55/65/71 on the other. Blue Chrome, Nailed it, Barbie, Buck Fever were the colors running, and we picked up three walleye pretty quick at 1.7-1.8mph. 

The water temp was 58.7 degrees where we were.

Ahead of us was another parking lot of boats trolling every which way, so instead of having to deal with that all day, we picked it up and headed back down to the cans.  This time we set the Bandits out at 35/45/55 on one side and 50/60/70 on the other.  We had two blue/chrome baits out...one on each side of the boat...and both of those went off pretty close together. I changed out 3 of the 4 other colors to blue/chromes, so we were running 5 blue/chromes and one odd color to experiment with.  

After catching their limit today, we decided to have some more experimental fun and set out 4 dipsies with big spoons on them.  We ran the 3 setting at 46 and 50 and the 1 settings at 31 and 36 at 2.2-2.3mph. 
With only 1 hour to go, we ran the spoons for approximately 40 minutes, and then swapped them out to the Ripplin Redfins (shallow lipped crank bait)... IB Frozen, Chart/Purple Head, Fire Tiger, and Huff Daddy were used.  We caught a fish on the Huff Daddy and the IB Frozen colors.

I found those fish hanging on the baits when we brought the lines in to leave, so I am not happy with the tips of the dipsies I am using, because they are not sensitive enough for us to see the hit, or the bounce of a fish on them.  I think I'll try my Ugly Sticks or try to find something better. The rods I'm using just won't do.

Dan and Carol were a lot of fun to fish with, and being from Wisconsin, it was like fishing with old friends, and that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow, I am fishing with Matt Huelsman and his three boys, who are 10, 11, and 13, I think. I'm not quite sure what time we are launching though. I would like to launch early, but there may be some stormy weather in the AM, so I'll check the radar in the morning, and make a decision then.  No need to soak the boys on a Saturday when we can just wait for it to pass. ;)

East winds 10 to 15 knots. A chance of showers early.
Waves 1 to 3 feet.
Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dee, Dan, and Steve 5/14/19

by Capt Juls on 05/14/19

The northwest wind was making the lake a bit rough this morning, so I had a plan to launch around 9am.

I had my guys meeting me at Bopper's at 8am, because they were staying at Little Ted's Cottages around the corner. After breakfast, we headed to Mazurik's to launch, and were headed north by 8:47.  

I hadn't been on the water for 8 days due to unfavorable conditions, and rescheduled all those crews for different dates, that will hopefully have better conditions. This week looks to be a nice one, and the winds are down for the next several days, so I'm looking forward to a fun week of fishing. 

The lake was laying down a little by the time we launched and the waves were only 1-3's, but were even less once we got to the east side of the islands.  We headed north to the Canadian line and found a parking lot of boats up there. I didn't really feel like trolling in that mob, so after we passed the green can at Lucy's Point I took a hard left turn and headed down the passage between North Bass and Middle Bass Islands. I watched the Helix for walleye marks through there, but didn't mark enough to make me stop and fish it. Pretty soon, that will be a good spot.

We made our way out to West Reef and took a right turn to head up to Taco Bell on the Canadian line. Before I get a ton of PM's asking me where "Taco Bell" is, it's the red bell buoy on the line, that's straight up from the west side of the reef. ;)

We set up with Bandit's at 50 to 100 back at a speed of 1.8-1.9mph. We ran three Off Shores per side and then one dipsey off each corner with Ripplin Redfins.

The first fish was a fiesty white bass on a Bandit at 50 back. The second hit/miss was a fish that hit the Ripplin Redfin running at 30 back on the 1 setting.

When I decided to reduce the speed, I removed the dipsey rods and replaced them with two more Off Shore boards, so we were running 4 per side at 1.5-1.7mph

The Khaki colored Bandit (stock color) was probably our strongest color today, followed up by Nailed It (a Huff Daddy Chrome with tape on the sides..one of DJ's customs), Huff Daddy Chrome (Domka), Chrome Barbie (Domka?), "No Name" (DJ's), and Chrome Marvin (DJ's). Though we ran baits from 50-100...71 and 75 caught the most fish...followed up by 85 and 100. The deeper side was 2:1 over the shallower side.

Water temp was 51-52 degrees.

We only caught 15 of our 18 limit, but it was still a fun day and my guys were happy, and that's all that matters. I have them again tomorrow, so we will be launching out of Catawba to check waters to the west. There was a very good satellite picture today, so that will help people spread out and fish someplace else other than in big giant packs.

We will be launching at 6am tomorrow, so I hope there is a pretty sunrise. I sure could use one after the dreary week we just had. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Justin 5/5/19

by Capt Juls on 05/05/19

It was a quiet morning when I stepped out on the back deck with my cup of coffee at 3am. I was disappointed to find that the sky was still cloudy and the air felt damp. I'm trying to wait as patiently as I can for dry warm weather, but it's getting harder every day.

I left the house at 5:15 and headed to the White Caps Motel to pick up Justin, who hails from Green Bay, WI, is an avid angler himself, and fishes Green Bay often. He is an Engineer working on a project in Indiana, and since he was so close to Lake Erie, he took the opportunity to knock one more adventure off his bucket list.
His coworker, who was going to come with him, ended up with food poisoning last night, and didn't make it. Poor guy...:(

Justin and I went to Big Bopper's for a bite to eat before heading to Catawba to launch at 6:30. We headed out of the ramp area and headed north again...like yesterday. We set up near the cans west of the Bass Islands and set a trolling pass to the northeast at 1.8mph, pulling Purple Chrome Bandits at 50/60/65/80 back.

The water temp on my Helix was showing 49 degrees. The water clarity was perfect too.

The morning started with landing two nice eaters and then losing 2 or 3 that came unbuttoned before the board was taken off. Then, we caught a few more, but the bite was slowing for us, so we moved north away from the pack of boats.  We were a few miles when we set up again on some decent marks and caught another 3 at 50 back on Purple Shiner at 1.9-2.0mph.  Then, I got bored there and wanted to go for a boat ride to Round Reef and check it out, so we left and headed SW.

We picked up two or three there, and then it was time to go....one short of a limit, but he was happy. He had a good time, and got to relax. The sun did finally make an appearance mid day and warmed things up nicely. It's amazing how the sunshine can cheer up the soul. We chatted and fished and just had a good time. I let him operate the boat, since he too owns a Ranger and is from Wisconsin, so I knew he knew how to fish, and he seemed to enjoy that. 

At this writing, I do not have a trip tomorrow, due to an unfortunate circumstance on my client's part...they had to cancel. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bob ad Justin 5/2 thru 5/4-2019

by Capt Juls on 05/04/19

Sorry, it's been a week since I last blogged about a trip, but with the weather we've had this past week, it wasn't conducive to a good time. ;)

I had to reschedule some people who fell on those dates, unfortunately. 

So, that brings us to Bob and Justin who came down from Wisconsin to fish with me this past Thursday, Friday, and today. Our first two days were tough for us. Bob wanted to jig....so, on day one, I took them up to West Reef where the Helix showed us good marks, but they only caught 3 walleye and one sheepshead there (I'm sure we stayed there much too long, but it's hard to leave fish to chase other fish...especially, if you think the weather and post spawn just has them in a funky mood). 

With an hour and half left I said, "Lets go trolling and try to put more fish in the box"...so, we moved east of Lucy's and set up on the line with a southerly trolling pass, so that the NE wind would put the waves on the corner of the Ranger's stern at 1.7-1.8mph with Chrome Bandits in tow at 50-90 back off the Off Shore boards.

My crew landed one and saw three more pullbacks...only to find the fish escape when the board was halfway to the boat. So, we ended day 1 with only 4 fish.

Day two wasn't any better....due to rain/wind we launched a little later than normal. We got on the water by 7:45, I think. We repeated the pattern of going jigging first, and marking a lot of fish on the Humminbird, only to wonder why they weren't biting their offerings... even though they changed up their baits more than once. 
This time, we gave ourselves enough time to do a little more trolling, but as my luck would have it, the bite shut off for many around 10:30 up on the line. This was repeated more than once on the radio and confirmed by a couple of captains I called. So, when the wind kicked up, I asked them if they wanted to go jigging in one more spot before we headed in, and they said, "Yes". 

 I took them down to the Marblehead Lighthouse and set up a drift from 30 foot to 21 foot of water.  There were outrageous marks all through the water column in that 28 foot, but the water was chocolate milk, so we didn't catch anything there.
We ended day two with a whopping 2 fish to show for it...but, my guys were still happy about the day's fishing, and were looking forward to day 3 with a positive outlook. (My very favorite kind of customers!) 

This morning, I picked Bob and Justin up from their hotel at 5:30 and took them to McDonald's for a breakfast "to go", then,  headed to Catawba to wait on Capt Kevin to show up and launch us. He graciously agreed to since my guys didn't have waterproof footwear to get through the water on the pier, or the water we thought was on the pier. 
Side note....the water level at Catawba is doable. The docks are floating docks the water has receded down from the cement part of the docks, so your feet won't get wet.

Anyhoo...we headed northwest out of the ramp this morning and hit the cans west of the Bass Islands. The Bandit program was similar to the day one program by Lucy's, which was 50-100 back. Huff Daddy Chrome, Nailed It, Buck Fever, and Khaki were good today.  The biggest was probably 25 or 26 inches, but the majority were all cookie cutter 2 to 3 pound eaters. My crew was very happy with their results today, and that makes me happy. :)

I picked up a trip to fill tomorrow, so I'll be out again in the am with another crew from Wisconsin. Fingers crossed it goes as well as it did today.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mark and Dick Aker 4/25/19

by Capt Juls on 04/25/19

I was scheduled to pick my crew up at 5:30 this morning, and I was hoping the rain would stop before I had to pull the boat out into the elements... luckily, it did. 

Mark, his 6mo old Golden Retriever, "Sailor",  and his Father Dick were ready to go when I showed up, so we loaded in the truck and headed to Big Bopper's for some grub before heading over to Mazurik's to launch.

The forecast was looking very good for the rest of the morning, and it didn't disappoint. The sky showed us a beautiful sunrise and then proceeded to go mostly cloudy for the rest of the morning.

We headed north out of Mazurik's to the same area as yesterday and set lines with the same program as yesterday too...Bandits 50-85 back at 1.6mph  
Huff Daddy Chrome, Blue Chrome, Buck Fever, Chartreuse/Black Stripes, and Fruit Dots all took fish.

Sailor was a good dog in the boat....for a 6 month old pup, I was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved he was. And, he was SO cute..I just wanted to sit and cuddle him, but I had a job to do, so I put aside my selfish needs and we got the job done in short order. 

They had a good time, and will be back again, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's trip is a no go, due to bad weather...and, I'm watching Saturday's forecast right now too. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Marc and Kevin 4/24/19

by Capt Juls on 04/24/19

Well, yesterday, I made an attempt to go out with Frank Smith and his buddy...ummm...oh heck...I can't remember his name now...nice guy though. The wind forecast was for gusty south winds and a "chance" for thunderstorms. Well, at breakfast when I checked the radar there was nothing in sight all the way back to Wisconsin, so I thought we would be spared any "chances".  

While I was resetting a line, Frank's friend asked, "Was that thunder?" I looked up to see a very dark sky to the west, and listened. Sure enough...it boomed again, so I said, "Let me look at the radar again". It showed a line of severe storms heading right for us, but wasn't on the lake yet, so I said, "There's a lot of lightning in this one...let's pick it up and head back in...we can come back out once it passes" They didn't hesitate and we headed back in. 

Once we got back in, I looked at the wind forecast once more and we decided to just load the boat on the trailer, and call it.  We got out just in time, because the rain came down hard, and even had hail in it, when I was towing the boat home. The wind forecast was correct, and I think we made the right call. Both of them are in their late 60's to mid 70's (I'm not really sure), so a rough ride was the last thing I wanted to give them yesterday.

So....that brings us to today....

After gassing up the Ranger, hitting Rickard's for some ice, and eating breakfast with some other Captains at Big Bopper's, I met Marc and Kevin at Mazurik's at 6:15. We launched and were headed out by 6:30.

Marc asked me to stop to take a picture of the sunrise...(like I have to be asked..heheh) so we did. Then, we continued north to my spot up in Canada to see if those fish were still where I left them two days ago, but they weren't. There was a very small pod close by, but not the numbers that were there Sunday and Monday. We picked up 3 eaters there and decided to head back to US waters to fish.

Anyway, we ended up in the usual area between Kelly's and the Bass islands and set up with the Bandits at 50-80 back at 1.7mph going with the wind, and 1.3mph going against the wind. It didn't take long to put 9 more fish in the boat with Chrome Barbie, Huff Daddy, Blue/Chrome, Buck Fever, Black Headed Wonder Bread, and Khaki behind the Off Shore boards. (No weight was used).

The water temp was 47.2 degrees.

Before the morning even started, Marc told me, "I just want to get on the water and decompress, and relax...catching fish will just be a bonus". Well, I took a long way around from Canadian water to that area we ended up in and gave them a tour of the islands on the way down, so that relaxed him.  Then, we caught more fish, so that was his bonus. They both said they had a great time, and that makes ME happy. Mission accomplished. :)

Tomorrow, I have a father and son crew, and the weather looks like it's going to be fantastic again, so I am expecting another good bite from our finny friends below the surface of Lake Erie.

I had to reschedule my Friday trip, because they had to know today if it was going to be a no go, due to the forecast, since the hotel they chose needed to know by tonight. So, I said that if I had to call it today based on the forecast I see, and what the tv weatherman said about Friday...then, they should cancel the room. They have already rebooked for a Saturday in June.  So, if the weather forecast changes for the better on Friday, and someone not too far away wants a trip...I'll be available. ;)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 4/22/19

by Capt Juls on 04/23/19

Quick recap: Met my crew at Mazurik's at 7am and we headed north to find clean water. There is cleaner water between the islands right now, and a good school of fish, but I kept going north to where I was on Sunday....which was over the line, on the Canadian side, and to even better looking water clarity. No one is up there, so we had the place to ourselves the entire time. :)

We set up with Bandits at 40-70 back and proceeded to catch our limit in quick fashion. Huff Daddy Chrome, Khaki, Chrome Barbi, Blue/Chrome, and Buck Fever did the job at 1.3mph.

They haven't started setting nets up there yet, so the fishing is very good. I'm sure it won't be long before it's a mine field of nets though.

Tuesday's trip is up in the air still, and will be decided when I go to breakfast with the guys and check the conditions/forecast.  They're calling for gusty SW winds up to 25mph, and with all the mud inside, it doesn't leave many protected areas to fish.  Canada is definitely out this morning...so, we'll see!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Rabbits and Walleye....Happy Easter! 4/21/19

by Capt Juls on 04/22/19

My regularly scheduled trip was rescheduled for an uncontrolled reason...no need to go into that, so after not planning on going out this morning, I changed my mind and decided to make a phone call to some friends who were game to go too.

We met at Mazurik's at 10am and headed north out of the launch. There was a lot of dirty water out there, so I just kept going north until I could see the water getting a little more fishable.  We ended up NW of North Bass, and set up along the line. There were big marks in about a 1/2 mile radius, but we couldn't get one to bite. We spent a little over two hours there trying to make something happen, but it never did. 

I told them to pick up the lines, so we could go find cleaner water.  We headed east a few miles, and found really good water clarity with some good marks, so we set up there. We didn't get all the lines in when the first board went back. Finally!! Fish On!! lol

Long story short...we caught our three person limit on Bandits 40-60 back at 1.3mph in just an hour and a half. Chrome Barbie, Huff Daddy, Khaki, Buck Fever, Black/Gold, and one I don't remember the name of worked for us there.

The sun did come out once we were in that second spot, so it warmed things up nicely and we were having the time of our lives. We didn'g get any monsters, but they were all chunky eaters in that 2-4 pound range. 

Good luck if you get out tomorrow...it's going to be a very nice day!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Rob and Doug 4/16/19

by Capt Juls on 04/17/19

Left the house at 5:55am and got to the White Caps Motel a little early...15 minutes early, so I waited on my crew who showed up right on time at 6:15. We made our introductions and loaded into the old excursion to head into town. I needed to stop and top off the gas in the Ranger, and then hit Rickard's Bait for some ice and a couple dozen crawlers.

After the two big NE blows this past Friday and Monday, that muddied up the entire basin West of the Bass Islands, the plan of attack would be to troll Bandits and P-10's on the east side of the islands. I did pick up some crawlers to try too, because even though I usually don't offer them meat until the water temps are up a little more, I thought, "Well, if they can't see it, maybe they can smell/taste it". You never know until you try. ;)

We headed out of Mazurik's a little before 7am, and headed north out of the launch. The lake was pretty calm since there was a just a 5-10 mph SW wind. When we were in the middle of the "chute"...between the mainland and Kelly's...I looked to the east to see if I could see cleaner water...it looked like there was. I made a right turn and then headed up the east side of Kelly's in search of that clean water, but with like any optical illusion out on the water, I was chasing a ghost. The water never cleaned up on that side, so we just kept going north until we made it around to the north side of Kelly's Island, and found it.

There were good marks showing on the Helix just as I passed through the island and the shoal...the water was 42.7 degrees there and the clarity was decent too. 

Here's how I read the water with my cavitation plate and prop on my motor. Others may not agree, but it's how I was taught, and has been a good rule of thumb for me to follow all these years.

Too Muddy = Can't see my cavitation plate / Don't bother stopping
Mixing/dirty = I can just make out my cavitation plate / it will be a tougher bite
Mixing = I can just make out my prop / the bite should be good
Too Clean = The prop is clear and sparkling

That's not to say that these rules have never been broken by some suicidal walleye, because they have...but, for the most part, it's pretty accurate.

We marked fish for about a 1/4 mile and then turned and set up to go back through that area with some baits in the water. Bandits were on one side at 65/75/90 and the other side was set up with crawler harnesses with 1oz and 2oz inline weights at 25(1oz), 41(10z), and 60(2oz) to see what they wanted. Speed was 1.2-1.4 mph.

We were only set up for a short time before I got a couple texts stating "just set up...first one in the box". Then, the next text just 5 minutes later..."4 coming in now", which told me that there was a fast bite happening someplace else, so we picked up and moved to the west side of the island. In hindsight...I should have stayed put, as we were the only boat there...we had marks, and chasing someone elses bite is never a good idea. lol

The wind had picked up a bit, and was now blowing more like 10-15 mph. The waves went from nothing to 1-2 footers, so I kept the waves on the corner of the boat, so I could control my speed better.  We made the same pass, with the same leads, same baits, same colors, and same speed. We caught ZERO on that pass. I think the pod was moving and staying just under his boat. Ha! But, whatever it was, it wasn't happening for us. I think from now on, I'm just going to turn my phone off when I'm in the boat, and go fishing. lol

Anyway, to make a long story short...I never did go back to that first spot, but tried three more passes in different areas on the northwest side of Kellys, and the east side of Middle Bass and North Bass. After 9 hours of trying different things, we only ended up with 7 spunky eaters to show for it. By the way, in case you were wondering...nothing was caught on a crawler yesterday.

Rob and Doug were great to spend a day in the boat with...especially when it's a tough bite. They were just happy to be out of the office and floating on a lake in a nice boat, and their company was enjoyable.  They are both CPA's and had their hands full with clients this past tax season, so they were ready to just breathe some fresh air and relax. The sun did make an appearance in the afternoon and warmed things up nicely. The wind died too, so the lake was pretty calm, which was a added bonus. woot! woot!

We were supposed to go out again today, but I had to make a call this morning based on the forecast that was available at that time, so we all decided to do it again another time when conditions were better. 

Thursday's trip, Friday's trip, and Saturday's trips are all being rescheduled too, due to weather, and Sunday's trip....while the weather is fishable...we are rescheduling because it is a customer and two of his three sons....he forgot it was his youngest's birthday (along with it being Easter), so I told him we should reschedule that day. I'll be back out Monday with my regulars...Steve and Jeremy Champman. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Can You Say, "Chocolate Milk"? ...4/15/19

by Capt Juls on 04/15/19

Hi everyone,

I know I haven't blogged for a week now, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

I know many of you are planning on heading this way this week, and I just want you to take a look at the satellite picture from today first. You can find it by clicking the weather tab at the top of the page and then clicking on the satellite button on that page. 

The lake is muddy, muddy, muddy! But, for those of you who still plan on coming out, just know that the fishing will be tough. There are some spots with cleaner water on the east side of the bass islands. The east side of Kelly's is marginal, but maybe fishable....and you will see that in the satellite picture. Those are the areas I would target first going out tomorrow.

If the trolling bite is nonexistent...try jigging with hair jigs or blade baits to see if that works. (I loaded my spinning rods in the boat too...just in case!) ;)

I called my guys for tomorrow and explained the same thing to them, and gave them the option to reschedule, but being CPA's who just finished up with taxes today...they want to go and unwind. So, we'll be heading out in the morning.

Good or bad...I'll blog the trip tomorrow afternoon. 

Good luck if you get out there, but go with low expectations....and then, if you catch fish, it will feel even better! ;)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Daren and Aidan Cable 4/7/19

by Capt Juls on 04/07/19

My crew was meeting me at my house at 6:30 this morning, and as usual, I was dressed and ready to go WAY before I needed to be, so I took that hour to go into town and gas up the Ranger and stop off at Rickard's Bait to buy a few more Bandits. The Buck Fever color, which is a purple back and a chrome belly, has been hot for me all spring, so of course, I needed more. lol

Anyway...I digress...lol

My crew showed up right on time and Daren and his son, Aidan, jumped in the truck and off we went over to the launch on the Portage River.  Just like yesterday, as we headed out the river, we were greeted with another beautiful sunrise and a calm lake. I put the throttle down, and the G2 let her 300 horses gallop across the 6" chop up to the Niagara area, where I ended up yesterday.

The setup was the same as yesterday...65/75/80/90 with Bandits, unassisted. Speed was 1.3 mph. Buck Fever, Huff Daddy Chrome, Golden Huff Daddy Chrome, and Green Clown all took a fish there this morning.  The bite was much slower this morning than it was yesterday, so I decided to move to Mouse for a pass...(same set up)...we caught our two biggest there...again, on the purple/silver Bandit.

We heard about some good marks in another spot, but because it was info given to me, I am not at liberty to give that info out, since they might be using it tomorrow...sorry!  We went there and caught three more...giving my guys their limit and one of mine. 

I have been wanting to go to Clinton Reef to see if they were in there yet, since the water temp there is 44-45 degrees now, while the other spots I was at were still holding at 40 degrees. Unfortunately, there's not a happy ending....the Humminbird didn't show any marks, except for a few perchy looking fish on the bottom every now and then. So, needless to say, but I'll say it anyway....we didn't catch anymore there and headed in when our time was up with the 9 fish we caught earlier. 
Oh well....at least my curiosity was satiated. ;)

Daren wanted to take this trip to learn how to run the Off Shore boards that he bought for his boat. By mid-morning he and his son were running them like they have been doing it for a long time, and I have no doubt he will have the skill and confidence to use them in his boat and be successful doing so. Well done guys! Woot! Woot!

They said they had a good time and learned a lot, so that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's trip has been rescheduled, due to a medical emergency, so I'll be taking the day off to clean my house and do some grocery shopping, and play with the dogs. Back at it Tuesday and Wednesday with a crew from South Dakota, who will be staying on Kelly's Island.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Neal, Dave, and Luke 4/6/19

by Capt Juls on 04/06/19

I left the house at 5:45 and swung by the White Caps Motel to pick up my crew at 6am for breakfast, before heading back to the Portage River Fishing Access ramp next to their motel, to launch.

It was still kind of dark out when we headed down the river at a bracing speed of 5mph for the 20 minute "no wake" zone until we hit the lake. The sun was just lighting up the sky when we hit the end of the channel, and showed us a calm and glistening lake of glass.  It was going to be a very nice day. The forecast called for winds less than 5mph for most of the day, and sunshine to warm the air temps into the 60's.

By the time we hit the mouth of the river, the E-TEC was all warmed up, so I hit the throttle and away we went. The Ranger glided across the lake like at a nice cruising speed of 40, so we could react if we saw one of those super giant logs that are floating out there right now. Some of them are over 20 feet long!

We headed north out of the river for approximately 15 miles before slowing down to check some marks that the Helix was alerting me to. They looked like the right fish, and the water wasn't too dirty, so we set up with the Bandit program at 65/70/80/90 back (unassisted) on both sides of the boat, and set the Ulterra's speed to 1.1-1.3 mph. The surface water temp was reading at 42.2 degrees.

We went 0 for 2 in that spot, and decided to go check another spot closer to North Bass. There were some good marks up there, but the water temp was reading 2 degrees cooler, and the water was much cleaner there. Not quite the mixing water I was looking for. I just didn't have a strong feeling that we would do well there, so we moved back down to the first spot and changed the trolling direction.

We headed south from the original spot and started to pick away at them. We went 11 for 15 in total, but we did manage to land some really nice chunkers. The largest was a 10.3 beauty... another was a 9.9 pounder...a set of 7.6 twins, a 7.4, a 6.6, and the rest just little eaters. The 10.3 was let go to live another day and hopefully get even bigger, so someday someone can catch a new state record walleye for Ohio. ;)

Today, we celebrated Neal's birthday, which was back in December. His wife bought him this trip for his birthday, and we're just now getting it done. Neal brought his brother in law, Dave, and their nephew, Luke along for the trip too. Luke is an awesome young man...he impressed me a LOT (and, that's saying a lot..lol)...I only had to tell him something once and he was doing it like a pro. He made my day so easy, and if I could hire him as a first mate, I would!  Great job Luke!! ;)

It was a fun day with this crew, and I'm looking forward to a perch trip in the fall that they want to come back and do with me, and that makes me happy. :)
Hopefully, Neal will bring his wife along on that trip too.

Tomorrow's trip is with Daren Cable, who called me yesterday to fill a spot that was left open when I had to reschedule a couple for medical reasons. He wants to learn how to run the Off Shore boards, so this will be a learning trip with...hopefully, some walleye as a bonus!

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls