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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Walleye Weiss, Jim, and Jack 9/6-8/17

by Capt Juls on 09/06/17

Today, was day one of the three day trip, for the Wisconsin crew consisting of a fella that goes by the nickname, "Walleye" (and, I'm still unclear of his real name!) and his two friends, Jim and Jack. All three hail from someplace close to "Packer Land", or the "Frozen Tundra". 

After I stopped to gas up the boat, I hit Hi Way Bait for some minnows and ice. I met them over at Big Bopper's for breakfast at 5:45, and chatted with them while they ate. I had made some breakfast at home before heading out, so I wasn't hungry.

We headed over to Mazurik's after breakfast, and launched by 6:45. We headed back up to where I was the day before, and set up in the exact same spot...give or take a few feet. They started pulling fish before I even had a line in the water, so that made me happy. I was afraid that bright full moon last night, or the cold temps that came in, might shut them down some, but they bit pretty aggressively today.

They do seem to prefer the emeralds to the goldies, but the goldies work if they are tiny ones, or they are cut in half. So, don't fret if you don't have any emeralds...the goldies WILL work! :)

We were the first ones out there this morning, but it didn't take long for a pack to form around us. We watched a beautiful sunrise this morning, with the chill in the air, the dark clouds made it feel like a crisp fall morning.  There were several waterspouts on the eastern horizon as the rain moved from the WNW to the ESE. It was pretty cool to see too. Many times there were more than on spout touching down at the same time. And, it looked like a couple of them got pretty gigantic...like a "miles wide" kind of "wide", but luckily they were far away from us, so there was nothing to worry about. The sky to the west of us was not threatening at all.

We plucked 120 wiggly perch from 37 foot of water and headed back with everyone smiling, and saying how much fun it was this morning.  They enjoyed my brownies, and my selection of songs on my playlist, and said they would pay just to sit out there and listen to that all morning. lol  So, that made me happy too....:)

We will be at it again tomorrow, but the winds will be a little stronger than they were today.  The winds today were only 8-10mph out of the W-NW creating waves that were less than 2 feet.  Tomorrow's forecast is for 5-15 out of the W, so we should expect to see 2-3's in most places when it hits 15mph, like it did yesterday.

See you out there tomorrow....be safe! Water temps are starting to go down again. It's at 68 right now.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 9/5/17

by Capt Juls on 09/05/17

Last night we had some pretty high energy thunderstorms in the area, but they were cleared out by this morning.  Jeremy had texted me early this morning, to see if we were still going, because his forecast for the Columbus area said lots of rain and wind.  I looked at my RadarScope app, and it showed me what he was looking at, so I assured him that the winds were only 8 out of the W early and then building to 15 around noon. There was a slight chance of rain forecast for mid morning too, so he was cool with that and said they would be up here in 2 hours.

Today, Capt Kevin, was invited to tag along, so we would have more baits in the water, and since he wasn't doing anything today, he opted to go with us.  We met Steve and Jeremy at Mazurik's and launched at 7:30...we headed towards Lucy's to look around.  There's still a lot of fish in the area, so after finding what we thought were the right marks on the Helix, using the Mega Imaging,  I hit the "Spot Lock" button on the Ulterra and set up over them.

It was a slow pick to start, and I almost moved, due to the slowness of it, but it wasn't even a minute after I mentioned we should move that Kevin picked up a perch...then, Steve did...and, then Jeremy did too. So, I gave it more time. And, luckily I did, because it just got better and better by the hour.  But, the wind and waves got worse by the hour too. 
It wasn't that bad though, but it was getting pretty bouncy by the end.  I would say, when we started it was 1-2' waves, and by the end of our 120 perch catch, we were bouncing in solid 2-3's with an occasional 4 footer. 

The ride back in was wet for Jeremy and Kevin, because of the "cross wind" spray, that was hitting them while sitting in the back.  I heard a little bit of whining from the both of them, and reminded them that if they had listened to their Capt. they would have had their rain gear with them today. Ha!  I'd like to say, "That will teach them!" But, I know it won't. lol

Anyway, it was a fun day for all of us today.  We took the fish over to Port  Clinton Fish, Co. for them, and the 120 perch weighed in at 40 pound even (18 pounds after they were cleaned), so you can see the size was very good today. :)

I start a three day trip with three Wisconsinites tomorrow, and will be hitting the same spot again, first thing in the morning. The forecast looks really good for tomorrow too. Yay!  We'll be launching out of Mazurik's again, after a good breakfast at Big Bopper's.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bennett, Glenn, and Amy 8/30/17

by Capt Juls on 08/30/17

At 5:30 this morning, I hit Hi Way Bait for some emerald shiners, and started to head back to Catawba to meet my crew at 6:45. 

My crew for the day was  Bennett Welch, and Glenn and Amy Osowski. Ben had bid on my trip that was donated by Jim Gammons to a Red Cross Charity event held at the Catawba Island Club back in July. He was treating Glenn and Amy to this trip.

When I looked at the weather before I left, there was no rain on the radar, but when some rain drops started to hit my windshield near 163 and 269N, I checked it again. A pop up shower was headed over the lake towards the town, and was going to rain pretty hard, but not for long.

I was a little pissed that my nice clean boat was now getting wet, but it is what it is, and there's nothing to do about it, but dry it off with a towel when it stops.  
 I was hoping that my crew would have rain gear with them, or they were going to have wet butts. I was worried that they wouldn't, because the forecast wasn't calling for any rain. Thankfully, they did.

We were going to wait for it to completely pass, but it wasn't moving as fast as I thought it was, and I figured if we went over to H Can we would skirt the edge of it.  Well, I was close, but we still got rained on.  We set up there, but there were few marks on the Helix's screen. I figured we would fish there until the rain passed, or stopped enough that I could drive the boat without getting the "Sting Eye" from the rain drops. 

It didn't take long before the rain let up enough, so that we could run up to D Can and check there. The Mega Imaging was picking up some good fish on the bottom, so we gave it 15 minutes....nothing.  So, we headed northeast...I was headed to the red buoy at West Reef, but the Helix lit up with marks about 2 miles west of the rattles on Rattlesnake, so I shut the boat down and set up on them with the "Spot Lock".  I can't express how nice it is to use that feature on the Ulterra...just hit a button and the boat is anchored...and, no back pain! Ha!

Anyway...I digress....

I said, "Okay, it's 8:41...we'll give it to 9:00, and if they don't start biting, we'll move". But, luckily, they started to bite. It was slow at first, but within those 20 minutes, we had a pretty steady bite going...even some doubles. The grade of perch was nice too, and no one was complaining. :)

Amy had never perch fished before, and after a 1/2 morning of using the reel with the handle on the wrong side, she mentioned it, and let me change it for her....her technique greatly improved once she was more comfortable with the reel. lol

A funny moment, was when Bennett broke a hook off in a huge perch's mouth, and I could see the wheels turning in his head....I knew he wanted to remove the hook and toss the hook overboard, but instead what happened was....he looked at the hook, looked at me looking at him...and, then, somehow thinking he had removed the hook already...tossed the fish, with the hook still in its lip, overboard.   We all laughed at his blooper moment. I'm sure it was one of those "you had to be there" moments, because it doesn't sound as funny in writing as it did in real life. :)

We limited out with 120 perch in about 3 1/2 hours. That's the best bite I've had in two weeks now. I also heard that the east side of the bass islands, where I was fishing the last few times out, lit up today, and limits were easy to come by.

I'm still concerned about the lack of smaller perch in the system right now, and fear that the young walleye have ravaged that year class of perch. That might not bode well for the future of our perch fishery....I guess we'll have to wait and see though.

Everyone had a good time, and Glenn and Amy would like to plan another trip the third week in September, to treat Ben, if it works out for everyone, and the weather plays nice. Fingers crossed! I really had a good time with them, and would love to fish with them again. :)

I'm not out again until September 5th....I don't have anything scheduled until then. But, looking  at the wind forecast for the next few days, I guess I'm lucky I didn't have anything scheduled. She's going to blow some tomorrow,  bad on Friday, and Saturday morning, but should be laying down again by Saturday afternoon.  So, if you're going....be safe!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Levi, TJ, and Garrett 8/27/17

by Capt Juls on 08/28/17

My crew for the day was a three generational crew consisting of a Grandpa (TJ), Dad (Levi), and a 5 1/2 year old son (Garrett).  I was told that while Garrett was an accomplished young angler already, he had never fished for perch....and, neither had Dad or Grandpa. So, it was going to be a fun day of firsts for all of them. :)

I met them at Big Bopper's after running to both Hi Way Bait and Rickard's Bait, hoping to find some nice emerald shiners, but that was not to be. Hi Way only had the goldies, and Rickard's only had the goldie/pinhead mix.  I had heard Jeannett's had nice sized emeralds, but she only takes cash, and I seldom ever have cash on my person.  Anyway, I had some of my frozen emeralds that were the "good size", so I was good with our bait situation.

It was a nice morning, with partly cloudy skies, 58 degrees, and a light east wind. The temp was supposed to rise into the low 70's.

We launched out of Mazurik's at 6:30am and headed north towards some old numbers there in the "triangle" (between Lucy's, Middle Island, and Kelly's NW corner. There are a lot of perch out there, but it was a tougher bite for us again. We moved a few times, and found some piggy perch that were willing to bite, but it was one of those bites where they would come in....we would catch 6 or 7, and think it was "starting", and then they would disappear again for 15-20 minutes...then, come back again and do the same thing.  Every time I would say, "Let's move" they would start catching again, and I would stay. lol  That's so frustrating.   The size was very good, so it was hard to move when they would show back up.

Levi told me that he fishes the FLW Bass events, and has been doing so for about 6 to 7 years. His son Garrett is only 5 1/2, so Garrett has grown up fishing with his Dad. He learned how to use a spinning reel at 3 years old....and, I explained that I caught my first fish at 4 years old, but back then, it was a line tied to a stick...not a fancy spinning reel. lol  

I was a little concerned as to whether a 5 1/2 year old would be able to last a full 6 hours out there, and not get bored, but Garrett showed me that he has fishing in his blood and loves it.  He was catching and reeling in his own fish, and keeping up with the rest of us, and even doing better than us at one point, because his arm got tired and he laid the rod down, so the baits were just laying on the bottom. When he picked his rod back up, it had a fish on it. He did that several times and each time it worked, and had a perch on the other end.   However, when I tried the same trick, it didn't work for me. Ha!

Garrett fought a big sheepshead, and only needed a little bit of help from me, mostly because I was afraid of him losing my rod over the side of the boat, not because he actually needed my help.  I just wanted to make sure it didn't happen. :)

By the end of the trip, they had brought in a bunch of big perch...not sure on the count exactly, because we found out later that Garrett admitted to playing with the flapper in the "Catch Counter" that counts the perch as they are tossed down the chute....but, it didn't matter, because we know it wasn't even close to a 4 person limit. But, there were enough for a couple very nice family fish fries.

Everyone had a good time, and liked perch fishing....and, that made me happy. 

My next trip is Wednesday, with Ben Welch, a previous customer who bid on a donated trip at an auction for the Red Cross through the Catawba Island Club, and his two guests, who are psychologists with the VA Hospital in Toledo. We will be looking for more perch again.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Greg and Ryan Faulks 8/26/17

by Capt Juls on 08/26/17

I left the house at 5:15, so I could hit the gas station to fill both the truck and the boat, before hitting up Hi Way bait for some minnows. They had a nice mix of emeralds and goldies that were the perfect size. The pinheads were a little too small for my liking, since the perch showed me yesterday that they were more than willing to munch on the bigger minnows again.  If I don't have to use pinheads, I prefer not to, because they get sucked off the hooks to quickly. 

I met my crew of the father and son duo of Greg and Ryan Faulks (Wisconsin) at Catawba this morning, since  they were staying about a mile north of the park on Catawba Island. It was a short ride for them to meet me there.  I got there a little early and got the boat ready to go...and, also installed the navigation lights for the ride out. 

When they arrived, I told them we would wait a few minutes for it to get a little lighter out, and then take a leisurely ride out to the area just west of Gull Island Shoal...they agreed.

I started out going across the bottom of South Bass, but it was a NE wind, and the lake was a bit bumpy...not bad...just enough to make is slower going than normal though, so I turned and headed north to go up the west side of the island.  

I opened up the 300G2 as we got to the protected side of the island, and it shaved off a lot of time by doing do.  Then as we scooted out between Ballast Island, and the navigational buoys, it was a short 2 mile ride, to my spot from yesterday.

After we set the anchor with the Spot Lock on the Ulterra, we started fishing. And, yes, I had the Ugly Sticks rigged up for them this time. :)  The bite wasn't as quick to start as it was yesterday, so after we had spent an hour there, and only had 6 perch to show for it, we moved to another spot closer to Lucy's point, and started picking up some perch there. The perch in that spot were very nice....fat little buggers. Greg and Ryan were very pleased and were having a great time.

I don't know what it is about Wisconsin folks, but we all just seem to always get along so well. lol  I think it's our "laid back" attitudes, and "anything goes, as long as it's safe fun" ideals.  Since they said they had fun and a good time, I have to believe them...and, that makes me happy. :)

We ended up moving back to our original spot with about 45 minutes to go, and put 10 in the box pretty quickly. I should have probably stayed there from the beginning, and would have probably limited out with 90, but we ended the day with only 50....actually, it was 5 more than they thought they were allowed, so they were happy with it. Greg was thinking that it was only 15 per person instead of 30 per person. :)

After we finished, I took them and their fish over to Port Clinton Fish to be cleaned, and they went over to Slater's to wait. They asked me to join them for lunch, so I asked, "Can I go drop the boat off and come back to meet you there?" And, they were cool with that, so that's what I did. Lunch was great, and the conversation even better. These are two very interesting fellows, and I look forward to fishing with them in the spring for some walleye. :)

I'll be back out tomorrow with Levi  Northup and his 5 1/2 year old son to do some more perch'n. The weather looks great for tomorrow, so I'm hoping the fish cooperate. I'm told this youngster is quite an accomplished angler for his age. It should be a fun day tomorrow too. Woot! Woot!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Benji, Keith, and Max 8/25/17

by Capt Juls on 08/25/17

My crew showed up at my house at 5:30, and we hit the gas station, Hi Way Bait, and Big Bopper's before hitting the launch at Mazurik's at 6:30.  

We headed north out of the harbor, and set up west of Gull in 34 foot of water. We were after some striped gold today, an we found them on the first spot. The size was very good, and my crew was starting to get the hang of it.  Then, I heard...."SNAP", and I turned around to see that one of the new Denali perch rods had snapped in two when Benji set the hook. I was pissed (not at Benji, but at the stupid rod). This was the second Denali perch rod to do that in just a couple of months!  

I had forgotten to put the extra rod in the boat, like I kept telling myself to do since the last one broke, so I did the only thing I could do, and that was to give my rod to Benji to use. 
Now, this is not just any old rod, this is a Fenwick Ultra Light that I have used since 1989 to catch bluegills and perch on. It used to be a 6' rod, but back in the early 90's, while fishing on the lake my parents live on, I broke a foot off of the tip when a giant Dog Fish chomped on the bluegill I was reeling in.  So, it's been a 5' ultra light since then, and never broke again.  So, I'm always a little leary to give away my "good luck" rod to a customer. lol

I had resigned myself to sitting this one out, and Benji said, "Here you keep fishing", as he tried to hand me the rod. I said, "No, no way...this is your trip. You keep fishing. I'm good".  As I sat there watching them all though, I got the idea to just fish with the broken rod tip and some line tied to it.  I tied the Skipper 9 rig on and the weight, and tossed it over the side to let just the right amount of line out, and then ran it through several guides, and tied it off. This way, I could still hold the line on my finger and feel the bite, just like I normally do.

It worked. I caught fish by setting the hook, tossing the rod tip down on the storage compartment, and then handlining the fish in the boat.  I think I caught 15 or more that way, and had fun doing it. Well, fun until the wind would blow that 30 pound Power Pro and tangle me up, and I would have to spend 5 minutes untangling things.

Anyhoooo...it all worked out in the end. They caught bunches...only 3 short of their 3 man limit, and everyone had a good time.  The bite was the best I've experienced in the past two weeks, so maybe this cooler weather is helping with the bite a little. The bites were definitely stronger, and not as light as the previous trips out.  I'm hoping they remain there for the weekend. I have two more perch trips tomorrow and Sunday, and would like to limit out for a change. :)

We shall see....

Tomorrow I fish with Ryan Faulk and his Dad (I think it's his Dad? I can't remember), and we'll be launching out of Catawba, simply because they are staying at Beach Cliff, which is right down the road, so that's more convenient for them, and it makes no difference to me if we launch there or out of Mazurik's.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day 2 with Bob and Greg 8/24/17

by Capt Juls on 08/24/17

The morning was a repeat from the day before with Bob and Greg...picked up bait at Rickard's on the way to Bopper's for breakfast, and then hit Mazurik's to launch. 

It was a north wind today, and picked up as soon as we were on the lake. The waves when we launched were only 2 foot or less, but quickly turned into 2's and 3's with some 4's thrown in for good measure.  We weren't going far this morning though, so it was a non-factor in my opinion, because I knew the Ulterra would hold us in the rougher conditions without any issues. 
Unlike an anchor, where one would need to put out extra rode to keep the bow from taking water over the front, the Ulterra "rides the waves" while keeping the boat on the spot, using "Spot Lock".  It uses 2 GPS's for extra accuracy, and less drifting, too. I just love that machine, and would be lost without it now, that I've grown so dependent on it's functions. 

Anyway....I digress...I do that a lot...sorry. lol

The bite was slow to start, and after only 6 perch in the box in the first 45 minutes, I decided to see if I could spy better marks on the Helix with the Mega Imaging over closer to Kelly's island, so we would be out of the wind more. But, after riding the entire length of the island, on the south side, I didn't mark anything.

There were a bunch of boats over there on the SE side, but I think the first boat went there to be out of the wind, and then a second one did the same...next thing you know there's four boats, and then it turns into a pack. Either they were fishing phantom fish, or my Helix needs adjusting on some settings, because I didn't mark squat over there.

We ended up going right back to our first spot and finishing out their 6 hours right there. Caught a total of 52 perch today.  It was a light bite, and a tricky bite. As I explained to them what was going on down there, Bob was understanding it, and started catching....Greg struggled today and only caught 3 perch. :(

I was surprised to find a bluegill out there too, but there he was...at the end of my line....and, that made me happy! But. I'm sure the little gill was not so happy. :)

I'll be perch fishing again with Benji Reisenbeck and his crew tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bob and Greg 8/23/17

by Capt Juls on 08/23/17

Yesterday was a blow day, since there was a "Small Craft Advisory" from 9am to late evening, so no report from yesterday.


I picked my crew up at their hotel at 5:30 and stopped to get some minnows from Rickard's. He was  putting out signs that say they have Emerald Shiners, when we pulled in, so I was a bit excited to see that.  However, when I got out of the truck and motioned to Rick with some "happy clapping" he said, "Their Pinheads", and my clapping stopped. lol

I normally hate using pinheads, because they're so tiny, and hard to keep on the hooks. I had some of my frozen emeralds with me, so I wasn't too upset about it, and he said there were goldens mixed in with them, so I was cool with that and bought 3 scoops.

It turned out to be the ticket to catching our perch today....all they wanted were the tiny little pinheads. They didn't want my larger emeralds or goldens at all today.  That confused me until I put two and two together, and realized that just last week the perch were puking up tiny pinhead sized fish. I thought they were baby Gobies, but they could have been the baby emeralds in the system now. That's good to see, because we haven't had any good hatches of emeralds for a couple years, due to weather in June. or so I'm told (I'm no expert on minnows).

We even caught a few smaller perch, which I was happy to see, because I haven't seen as many little perch as we have in the past. I'm thinking that all the extra walleye we have in the system now, it is wreaking havoc on our young perch. Maybe if there is a good bait hatch, they will leave the perch alone. I doubt it though....who doesn't like a good perch dinner? Why would the walleye be any different? ;)

Bob and Greg are return customers, who like to come down here from Wisconsin and just decompress. So, it's not all about catching fish....but, it sure is more fun when we do!  They ended the day with  only 38 large perch that went 20 pounds at the cleaners....so, 1/2 pound fatties.  They were happy with that.

We were hiding out of the wind on the east side of South Bass Island and a little SSE off the monument in 28' of water. There are a lot of fish there, and they would come and go.  If we had all the fish we missed, due to their lite bites, we would have limited out quite early, but it was a tricky bite. Only a handful had them deep inside their throats. The rest were just barely hooked on the lip.

We will be out again tomorrow to give it another shot. North winds tomorrow, but not as strong, so I think we can move further north and east to give it a go.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Ray and Debbie Willig 8/21/17

by Capt Juls on 08/21/17

After stopping at Hi Way Bait to pick up some minnows and ice, I headed over to Big Bopper's to meet Ray and Debbie for breakfast.

We sat with my friend "Trapper", who often fishes by himself, (and with me sometimes), so we could catch up on things, since we hadn't been at Big B's at the same time in a long time. :)

Trapper gave me some good intel on some walleye east of Kellys, so since the lake was relatively calm, we changed our plans of just perching...to doing walleye first, and then perch'n.

We weren't that far from Cedar Point, and caught our first keeper walleye on a stock Black/Chrome Bandit.  I was running them with 2oz snap weights 25-30' in front of the lures and then putting them out a total distance of 70, 75, 80, 85, 90 and 95 before putting the Off Shore boards on.  

We started with a speed of 2.4mph, but a call to Trapper on the radio to find out what his speed was the day before, told me to slow it down to 1.8-1.9mph.  That's when we caught our first fish of the morning.

Trolling for another mile, we would only pick up a couple more short walleye, even though the marks on the Helix were pretty darn good.  I thought maybe it was a directional thing, so we turned to head back west again. And, since they didn't want it at what I thought was a fast speed of 2.4-2.5mph, and the slower speed of 1.8-1.9 only produced a few fish. 
But, thanks to a Facebook posting by a "friend",  who mentioned he had the same thing happening to him the other day, and suggested I go "crazy fast" to get better results. So, I did. Or, what I thought was crazy fast...anyway.  I sped up the baby ETEC to move us at 3.0mph...............and, it worked!

As soon as the boat started moving faster the starboard side, inside board, went back. Then, the middle board, and finally the outside board. We had three short fish in 5 minutes of speeding it up. Then, we caught another keeper walleye, a giant sheepshead, and a white perch. And, then, another keeper walleye and more shorts.

We had discussed going perch'n since we had three good eaters in the box, and still had three hours to try to find some "gold".  Capt Kevin texted me to tell me he had already caught 36 perch on one of my previous spots, so I told my crew and they were anxious to go and try it. So, we packed up the walleye gear and headed back to the island area.

Once we arrived to the spot and found Kevin, he mentioned that they hadn't caught any in the time it took me to get from the Cedar Point area to South Bass Island. lol  Just my luck!  We set up on some good marks and gave it a shot, but it wasn't meant to be....nothing bit us there......we moved 25 yards away on some better marks....nothing bit our offerings there either. It was frustrating, because I had fresh emeralds this morning!! Uffda!! They should have been jumping on those minnows..lol  

Anyway....I digress...

We moved one more time to the NW corner of Kelly's and caught a handful of nice ones. It was not what I was looking forward to, but it was what it was.

Ray and Debbie had a good time, and relaxed with a few beers, and good conversation.  They were looking forward to watching the Solar Eclipse after we got off the water, and even had the glasses for it.  They gave me a pair of glasses too, so I could watch it, but I gave mine to a young family that was looking for some glasses. They wanted their kids to see it, and I wanted them to see it too. 

I have some great guys from Wisconsin here for the next three days to fish with me. We will do walleye and perch, but we'll never know at any given time what we'll be fishing for, because they just want to have a good time and catch whatever is biting.   

Tomorrow's weather looks kind of iffy, so we'll be checking that out at breakfast. The winds might keep us off the lake, or at the very least, limit us to where we can go on the lake.  We shall see....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Doyle, Jacob, and Brock 8/20/17

by Capt Juls on 08/20/17

Doyle and his son, Jacob, and his son in law Brock drove in from Indiana this morning and met me at my house, so we could drive to the launch together from here.

They wanted to go either walleye or perch fishing, whichever was going to do better.  Doyle had some info on some walleye to the west, and since the wind forecast was for light winds today, we decided to hit up Rickard's for minnows and launch out of Catawba, to make that run over there.

I figured if the walleye weren't going, we could perch fish instead...thus the stop for minnows.  

Well, I called my friend Nate, who let me know about a walleye bite that was pretty far away from Catawba, so I asked my crew if they were up for a boat ride, and they said yes.

Doyle is the fella buying my boat at the end of the month, so it was fun to get him out in it. I asked him if he wanted to drive it out to the spot, but he didn't want to..."Not yet", he said. He would drive it later in the day.  I guess maybe he thought I would yell at him or something...hehehe   Anyway....we made the long run west and put some Bandits out behind the Off Shore boards.

Nate was out there too, and we kept each other informed about what was working as we caught fish.  Between us, we narrowed it down to a weighted program. I'm not exactly sure how he was running his, but I think maybe he was running his behind 2oz inline weights, because he was running his lines off the "big boards", where as I was running mine with 2oz snap weights 25-30 feet in front of the lure behind inline boards.  The total distance back behind the planer board was 70-80 back.  Speed was 2.2-2.4mph and we were fishing in 27-28 feet of water. There was a lot of floating algae bloom throughout the water column over there.

We lost a few fish, and a couple lures, due to over zealous reeling on the part of "Bass Guy" syndrome...lol  That's what I call it when a person reels too fast, instead of "nice and steady", and that fish is water skiing on the surface to the boat. If you're ever wondering....no...you shouldn't try to ski and lift a 3-4 pound walleye in the boat, with no net, while it's thrashing about....deep sigh.

But, on the bright side, we did manage to put 5-6 walleye in the box, before we decided to go give perching a try someplace.

The wind was stronger in the morning than they had been calling for, and the nice calm lake was 1-3 where we were. It did calm down by 10am when we went searching for perch, so at least we could run a little faster then earlier in the morning.

By now, Doyle was learning the ropes with all the equipment. He was getting familiar with the Humminbird unit and how to read what it was telling him, the Minn-Kota Ulterra, and its touch screen remote, the "baby ETEC" kicker, and the most fun one...the Evinrude 300 G2.  I had him move us from spot to spot to try and find some perch. We only managed two small sheepshead and a few lost minnows, before Doyle called it a day and we headed back in.

After we got back to my house, I asked if Jacob and Brock wanted to take the extra minnows over to my neighbor's pond to feed the fish, and so they did. I'm sure the fish were very happy. And, that made me happy. :)

Doyle is happy also, and can't wait to pick the Ranger up in October. That will be sad day for me, because it's been my favorite one so far. He picked GREAT colors on this one. ;)

Tomorrow I am fishing with Ray Willig and his buddies, and we're going to try for some perch again. They are staying at Little Ted's Cottage's, so we'll launch out of Mazurik's even though there are spots to the west I want to try, that I marked fish at on the way in today.  It's never a long ride in a Ranger...wink wink.

Don't burn your eyeballs tomorrow...:)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Kevin, Sean, and Dan 8/19/17

by Capt Juls on 08/20/17

I left the house at 5:30 and headed to Rickard's Bait for some minnows, for perch'n, with Kevin and his sons Sean and Dan, of Avon Point, OH.

We planned to meet at Mazurik's at 6:30, so I was ahead of schedule a little bit. On my way out there, I stopped in at Hi Way Bait to see if they had any Emerald shiners, but I knew they wouldn't. However, even though I already bought 4 scoops from Rickard's, I bought two more scoops from Dwight, because I didn't want to walk out empty handed.  I figured I could always give the left over minnows to my neighbor's "pond fish", because they're always hungry.

As I walked out of the store, lightning flashed across the sky to the west. I wasn't expecting any weather, so I pulled up the radar on my phone app, and checked to see what was going on over there, and where it was headed.  Well, it wasn't good. There was a storm headed our way, and would take about an hour to an hour and a half to move on out. The radar showed a lot of lightning strikes happening, so there was only one thing to do....post pone the trip a little while.

I drove over to Mazurik's to meet them, and they were already there.  I told them I wanted to wait this out, but also that I wanted to launch out of Catawba instead. They agreed to follow me over there. I called them back on the way, and asked if they wanted to stop for some breakfast at Bopper's while we waited it out, and they said, "Yes". So, we stopped in.

After breakfast, I had changed my mind again about what launch to go out of, and went back to Mazurik's. We were headed out of the harbor by 7:30, so only an hour behind schedule.

We headed up to the north side of North Bass Island first, to see if the perch were in there yet.....they weren't.  Then, we went to Taco Bell to check there...nothing there either.

We found some biting fish near West Reef, but it was a slow bite. They would come and go, and come and go....which is pretty typical of how the bite has been lately. If you get lucky and set up on some fish that are hungry, it's game on! But, if you set up on some fish that have been gorging on those little spiney fleas and baby Gobies, it's a tougher bite.  
And, speaking of "bites"...the bite has been wicked light...they are getting very good at snatching minnows off the hook without getting their lips near the hooks. lol 
I must have missed more fish this season than I ever have. I like to think that I'm a pretty darn good perch angler, but I feel like a rookie this season....deep sigh.

Anyway, by the talk on the radio,  and amongst my Capt friends, I am not alone in my thinking.

With all the excuses said, hehehe....we only caught 19 perch yesterday. Granted, they were all very nice perch, but still....ONLY 19 in 6 hours!  I was marking fish all over the place with my Helix Mega Imaging unit, you know...one of those "fancy fish finders", as my Dad calls them, but I just couldn't land on the hungriest ones.

My guys were a ton of fun to fish with, and the kind of customers I just adore. They kept their spirits high, and kept thinking positive right to the very end. Then, they just shrugged and smiled and said, "That's fishing! Thank you, we had a great time".  That made me very happy to hear, because we tried....we really really tried. We hit a lot of spots all around the islands, but came up very short of a 4 person limit.

Kevin said, "I'd like to bring the boys back in the spring and try for some big walleye", and I told him that I would be more than happy to take them out again. That made me very happy. :)

More perch'n to come....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Karl, Mickey, and Paul

by Capt Juls on 08/17/17

I met my crew Tuesday morning at Mazurik's boat ramp at 7am, and headed out for a morning of perch fishing.

I had been on a fly in pike fishing trip up in northern Ontario the week before, so I was going on some numbers a friend gave me. Unfortunately, when he texted the numbers he punched the wrong numbers and didn't proof read it, so I went about 4 miles out of my way, only to be called back to the right spot. Uffda!

We started picking at a few perch, but it was a slow bite, so I decided to go looking for a better spot. There was a large pack of boats on the first spot too, and anyone that knows me, knows I don't really like to fish in a pack....but, will sometimes.  I prefer to go look for my own fish.  Or, work with one of the handful of captains I've worked with for years.  

We found perchy looking marks with the Helix Mega Imaging in several spots, but the bite was a light one, and the fish that were being caught were barely hooked. I think I lost as many as I caught, if not more, on the way up, due to that.  However, we did end the trip in the early afternoon with 63 nice fat perch for them to take home, so it wasn't a totally slow day. The last spot was the best one, with the best marks and a more aggressive bite.

That's about all I'm going to give up on the subject, because the first spot was not mine to give out, and the rest I'm more likely to keep quiet on, so as not to get a ton of boats on top of us.  Maybe later on in the season when it's a better bite for everyone....just not now.  

You need to use your electronics, and trust what it's telling you. Then, stop and fish. If they don't bite within 20 minutes....move. Keep moving until you find the right school of biting perch. That's all there is too it. There are no secret spots, or anything else...just move until you find them. They are all over the place in the Western Basin right now.

Yeah, it would be great if we all had the right info, and could just go to the very first spot out there, and catch our limits...but, it usually doesn't work that way for the most part. It's not a grocery store out there. Sometimes, you just have to work for them, and use a little extra gas. :)

Had two days off due to customers rescheduling...and, we'll be back out perching in the morning. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jonathan, Dave, and Anthony 7/31/17

by Capt Juls on 07/31/17

Well, this morning was NOT a good start...on my part anyway. Jonathan, his father in law Dave, and his friend, Anthony, were outside my house this morning at 4:45am......and, I was still asleep!  The phone woke me up and Jonathan said, "Hi, this is Jonathan....we're outside your house right now, I hope that doesn't sound creepy", and laughed. I apologized for the mix up (didn't think I had a trip this morning), and said, "Give me a couple minutes, I'll be right out". Ugh!!!

This of course, had me all off kilter, since I like to have my two cups of coffee and a shower before heading out, but at least the were willing to stop at Big Bopper's for breakfast with me, so that helped a lot. We hit the gas station to top off the Ranger, and then hit Hi Way Bait for some Goldie's for perch'n.

After breakfast we headed to Catawba to launch, since I wanted to perch fish first, and wanted to go back up by Rattlesnake Island to find some.  We tried several spots, where we were marking good perch like marks on the Helix, but then as soon as I put the Ulterra down...hit the spot lock...the marks would diminish or disappear all together.  So, after two hours, and several spots later, I had them keep perch'n while I got the trolling rods ready to go, so we could do some walleye fishing.

We hit an area between North Bass and Middle Island that was holding some fish, and set some Bandits and spoons out. The spoons didn't stay out long, because we started catching on the cranks.  The Domka Outdoors "Huff Daddy" took a couple, as did the "Crown Juls" color that Mike Chafin from Cranberry Creek paints up. I had the stock blue/chrome out, but it didn't do anything, and DJ's Custom Bandit called "IB Infected" took a nice one too.  

We caught a total of 6 nice keepers along with a handful of throw backs. 85, 95, 100, 30/55 w/2oz, 30/63 w/2oz, and 30/67w/2oz were the leads that took fish for us.  (For those scratching their heads on the snap weight leads....put a 2oz snap weight on at 30 feet back...let out another 55, or 63, or 67 feet of line out to make it a total of 85, 93, or 97 back and put the Off Shore board on.)
Speed was 2.0-2.7mph  I was bumping it up and down, and doing a lot of "S turns" too. 

We only fished for a couple hours on the walleye and decided to go back and see if the perch bite had started up yet. I got word from a few friends out there that it was a steady pick, so we were hoping to catch a bunch to put in the cooler.  As it was in the morning, it was again for us in the afternoon.  We would mark them, set up on them, and then only catch a few that were far and few between bites.  We moved 4 times trying to find a better bite, but it didn't happen. We only caught 15 perch for all that effort. lol  But, on the bright side, they were really nice perch! :)

We decided to head in at 2:30, so we could beat the Wharf head boats in, who come in at 3pm, because all their customers take their fish over to the cleaners at Port Clinton Fish Co across the street.  That's where my guys wanted to take their fish. I told them it was best to beat them in, so they wouldn't have to wait so long to get their fish cleaned, and they agreed.

They couldn't have picked any better weather than they did today, because it was a gorgeous day to be on the lake. I think a lot of other people felt the same way, because there were so many boats today, one would have thought it was a Saturday rather than a Monday. 

My guys said they had a good time, and that made me happy! However, I felt bad that I messed up the morning, and didn't have any fresh baked brownies for them....I owe him a double batch the next time they come back. :)

I'm not on the water again until after August 13th. It's time for my annual Meta Lake Lodge Fly In vacation....chasing big pike. So, until then....be safe, and catch lots of fish!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Sara Lubner 7/25-27/17

by Capt Juls on 07/30/17

Sorry for the delay in posting this....I got caught up in binge watching HBO's "Game of Thrones", and everything else was put on the back burner until I got caught up with all 7 seasons! :)

Last week, I had Steve and Sara Lubner, from Wisconsin,  for three days of fishing.  On day one, we perch fished and caught our limit with a pretty steady pick of 8-11 inch perch north of Catawba.

On day two of their trip, we headed to Huron to launch, so we could try to catch some walleye, but two and a half hours into the trip, we only had one walleye to show for it, and the radio confirmed a slow bite for most of the captains over there. So, we packed up and headed back to Catawba to launch again and went for more perch.  We only caught one limit in the time we had left though.

Then, on day three, they got up an hour earlier and we hit Mazurik's at 5:45 to launch. I headed north to find some perch in another area, but it was a weird bite for me on Thursday.  We hit several spots, and each time it was the same...the Helix would mark a ton of fish that looked "Perchy", and I would hit the spot lock on the Ulterra....someone would catch one within seconds of getting a bait down there, but then it would shut off and the bite would be very slow after that.  We did manage a limit for them, but it took all 6 hours to do it.

Steve and Sara had a good time, and enjoyed the good weather we had on their days fishing, and enjoyed some of the town's offerings when they were on shore.

My Friday/Sunday perch trip was rescheduled (same guys both days), due to Friday's weather being a big NE blow.  And, my Saturday was also rescheduled, because of wind.

I don't have anything scheduled this week, but I might get out on Tuesday with a client, if he can put a crew together.  I'll be leaving Friday for my annual Meta Lake Lodge fly in fishing trip for pike.  We were originally supposed to be leaving on Tuesday, but plans changed, and it was too late for me to book the open days....sigh.

The hardest part of leaving is leaving my doggies.....but, their friend Lesa will be staying here to keep them company, and to watch over everything...they love her, and I know they are in good hands. :)

I am excited and anxious to get back up to Meta Lake. It's one of those trips where I start counting the days as soon as I leave there, until I can go back up. lol

I think Capt Kevin has some off days this week too, so more than likely, if neither of us books any perch trips, we will be out getting some for ourselves. I don't have any in the freezer right now. :(

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Brandon, Dondi, and Alex 7/23/17

by Capt Juls on 07/23/17

I left the house at 4:30 and headed to the gas station to fuel up the Ranger. Then, I headed out to Hi Way Bait to pick up some ice, and some new crawlers, because I had left mine in the boat's cooler yesterday on my day off, and they got icky.....my bad....and, waited around until they opened up.

At 5:10 I was on the highway and headed over to Huron to meet up with Brandon, and his friends, Dondi and Alex.  Today was Brandon's birthday too. He has fished with me before, and this time he brought his two friends along.  Usually, when I'm on the highway at that time of the morning, I'm usually alone.  Well, this morning this truck is behind me, and then goes to pass me, but then settles back in behind me again.  I thought that was pretty strange, and figured I'm either being followed, or it's my crew, but Brandon didn't call to tell me they were behind me.

When I got to Huron, I pulled into the gas station, to see if the truck would follow, and to see who it was.  It followed me in, but I didn't recognize either occupant of the vehicle, so I told the attendant who was standing outside the door smoking a cigg that I thought they were following me, but they could be my crew. lol

And, yes, as it turned out, it was my crew....two of the three anyway. Brandon was coming in his own truck and his two friends were meeting us there. They saw my logo on my truck when they went to pass and saw that it was me, so they decided to just get behind me.  When they walked into the gas station Alex said with a big smile, "I think we're fishing with you today!" Which gave me relief, knowing they weren't up to any trouble. Both looked like they were in pretty good shape. lol

All three have been in the service...two Marines, and one Army, and now one is a fire fighter, one is a crane operator, and I'm not remembering what the third one does, but I think it was something cool too.

I told them I wanted to keep on driving over to Vermilion to launch this morning, because it would be closer to the area I wanted to fish, so they followed me over there.  It was only a short run out of Vermilion's harbor to the SW when I started marking fish, and set up on them. 

We started out with Flicker Minnows on one side of the boat and Bandits on the other side. The Flickers were running 100, 110, and 120 back to start, and the Bandits were running 85, 95, and 27/73 (snap weight on at 27 back and then let out another 73' for a total of 100') behind Off Shore inline boards. Speed with the cranks was 1.8-2.1mph

The first two fish were caught on the Flicker Minnow program, but most were caught on the Bandits.  Bandit colors were the Natural Perch, Crown Juls, IB Infected, and Blue/Chrome. Flicker colors were the Fancy Chart., perch, and natural shiner (gray back, white sides, red chin, and a black dot).

After the bite on the cranks slowed down, we changed things up to run all #2 Tadpoles with crawler harnesses. Speed was 1.5-1.8mph.  The crawlers lit up and we caught the biggest of our catch on those, with the baits going further in the mouths than the cranks were.  We had several pull backs on cranks, but no fish was there when we took the boards off. But, when a board went back with the crawlers, they were on and weren't coming off anytime soon.

We ended the morning with 14 nice walleye in the box, and threw back maybe a 1/2 dozen or so short fish. They guys were happy and had a fun morning, and that made me happy. :)

I'm off tomorrow, and will continue my binge watching of the "Game of Thrones" series on HBO.  My next trip is a three day trip with Steve Lubner and his crew.  I sure hope I get to do some perch fishing again this week....it's really starting to pick up and I would like to get in on more of that action!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Chris Rivi 7/13/17

by Capt Juls on 07/13/17

Chris was on his way home from a fishing trip in Quebec, and stopped to go fishing with me on his way back to Dallas, TX.  He was supposed to fish with me back in June, but we had to reschedule, due to the weather, so he rescheduled to go with me on his way back home.  This morning's weather was pretty rough to start out with, so we waited for the thunderstorms and heavy rain to clear out before heading to Mazurik's to launch.

We hit the water at 8am and headed north to the area around Lucy's for some walleye fishing.  We kept busy with my regular harness program, but we were only running two per side instead of three, since it was just the two of us today.  There were a lot of short walleye, but we did manage to catch two keepers there. 

We only made one pass through that area, and then headed over to West Reef, so he could do some drift casting for walleye. Yeah, yeah...I know..."But, Juls, you never drift cast"! Ha! I KNOW, right? lol   But, he wanted to, so since it was just one person, I obliged. :)

He caught a nice walleye, about 24 inches, on top of one of the humps on the south side of the reef.  We made one pass through there, and during our conversation, I found out he loves to perch fish. Something he didn't tell me in all our conversations prior to the trip!  I called Captain Kevin, who was on shore today, and asked if he would run over to Mazurik's with some minnows and a couple rods for us to use, so we could do some perch'n out in front of Mazurik's.

The water temp up at Lucy's and West Reef was 73 degrees and only 69.9 a half mile out of Mazurik's....figure that one out. It was a SW wind with gusts to about 20, so the ride was a bit bumpy on the way back in, but Kevin was there when we got back.....thanks Kevin!

After we both took the opportunity to use the bathrooms there, we headed back out in front of the launch and looked for some marks on the bottom with the Helix....found some, and anchored up over them.  It wasn't a fast bite, but they were good perch...not monsters, but eaters none the less.  We only got 28 before we had to head in.  

Chris was such an easy going guy and a lot of fun.  He's planning on coming back in September for some more perch action. I told him that it would only get better and better as the fall approached, so he's looking forward to that. 

Tomorrow, I have a perch trip with Michael Pullman and his buddies, and they sound like they are a lot of fun, so I'm looking forward to getting out with them tomorrow.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dave Fuhrmann and his Son, Chris, and his Son, Ryan 7/11/17

by Capt Juls on 07/10/17

I picked my crew up at their hotel this morning at 4:45, and they were right on time. We then headed to Big Bopper's for breakfast before driving over to Huron to launch. 

We headed out towards the dump and looked around until we found some good marks and set up on them with my crawler harness program. For those that haven't been keeping up, it's (3) 2oz inlines on one side of the boat, and (3) 3oz inlines on the other side.  The 2oz were run at 47, 57, and 67 back....and, the 3oz were run at 41, 51, and 61 back at 1.6-1.8mph.

We couldn't keep 6 lines in the water when we started, and several other times we had every rod out of the water after bringing fish in.   We went through a lot of shorts and put one keeper in for every 1/2 dozen, or so.  

Chris, whose inner time clock was all askew, since he was up when he would normally be going to bed, was very quiet, but was all smiles when he landed a 30 1/2 inch 9.38 pound walleye this morning. :)

With about 2 hours to go we switched the harnesses out to Bandits, because the sheepshead were all over the worms, and it was getting tiring.   We caught a few more on the Bandits, but it wasn't fast like it was with the harnesses.

They ended their day with 15 walleye to take home for some tasty fish fries.

I'm off tomorrow, due to a reschedule, so I might be doing some perch fishing with Captain Kevin to see what we can find.

My next trip is Thursday, if the thunderstorms stay away.  I know there are other captains around here that take their customers out there knowing a storm is approaching, but you will never see this Captain do that (not on purpose anyway). I don't care how much money I lose. I would lose so much more if a customer of mine ever got hit by lightning.  That's a risk I'm not willing to take. So, I'll know more tomorrow, if Thursday will be a go, or not.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tyler and Jeff 7/8/17

by Capt Juls on 07/09/17

Good morning...yesterday was a very long day, so I'm a day late on blogging this trip. :)

Yesterday, I met Tyler and Jeff at Big Bopper's for breakfast before heading over to Hi Way Bait to ice up. I then met the crew over at Mazurik's for a 6am launch.

We headed out....and, now, for the GOOD NEWS...when I called in to report entry into Canada, I was asked by the officer on the other end of the line, "Are you just going to be fishing over here today?" I said, "Yes."  She said, "You don't need to call in anymore, if you're just going to be fishing, or passing through". I said, "I'm a charter captain, don't I still need to call my trips in?" She said, "No. Here's my badge number if you want it", and proceeded to give me her  badge number.  She told me to have a great day, and good luck!

So, I guess it's official now....we no longer have to call in to cross into Canada to fish. :)

We headed up to the west side of Pelee. The wind was gusting out of the NNW, so it was a slow ride up. It took us just over an hour. Waves at that time were 1-3's, so it wasn't too bad. I just don't like to beat up the boat or my passengers on a rough ride.

We set up to make the first pass with Bandits, because that's what I still had on the rods from the last walleye trip out. We ran them anywhere from 55 to 100 back, sat 1.9-2.2mph, and picked up nice eater walleye on the 55 and 85 leads with the Crown Juls color being a hot one yesterday.  That's the one that Mike  Chafin over at Cranberry Creek Marina makes. 

At around 8am the wind kicked up, and the lake was now rolling with a bunch of 4 to 6 footers up there. At one point, when we ran back up to make another pass, I took a big one over the front of the Ranger.  It was the second of a "three sisters" wave, and it was bigger than the first one that I was going over. I saw it and thought to myself, "Uh Oh...OH SHIT!!!"  There was nothing I could do at that point, but keep her nose up...turn her sideways in the trough, and hit the bilge button.   Thankfully, my guys were not shaken in the least, and laughed about getting water down their rain pants.  
It didn't take very long to pump the water out, and since we were almost back to our starting point, we just started right there.

That's only the second time I've taken a full wave over the bow. The first time was back in 2003 at the Devils Lake RCL  tournament, when I made the top twenty cut on day three, and they sent us out with 45mph winds in the morning.

Anyhooooo....back to fishing...

We ended up taking the Bandits off around 11am when the bite seemed to shut off, but we were still marking them.  Putting crawlers on, we would narrow the program down to running three 2oz inlines on one side of the boat and three 3oz inlines on the other side of the boat.  The 3 oz were running 30-40 back and the 2oz were running from 47 to 65 back at 1.6mph.  Everything caught fish at some point or another.

We had a good time with smallmouth, sheepshead, and walleye yesterday.  They caught their limit of nice eater sized walleye, and said they learned a ton, and thanked me for all the info I shared. That made me happy. :)

I was supposed to be out on the lake again this morning, but my customer texted me last night and told me he had to cancel, due to a funeral he had just found out about. So, I'll be spending the day entertaining my dogs.

Tomorrow, I'm back out with a couple of my regulars...Steve and Jeremy for some walleye and perch.

So....Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dan, Matt, and Ryan 7/5/17

by Capt Juls on 07/06/17

Dan Bishop and his two sons, Ryan and Matt, are staying at the campground right down the street from me, so they met me in my driveway this morning at 4:30. We headed to Big Bopper's for some breakfast, before hitting Hi Way Bait and Tackle for some ice. I also loaded up on some of the good colors of Skipper 9 perch rigs, since the fella that used to make them has passed away, and I'm too lazy to figure out how he tied them. ;)

We launched out of Mazurik's at 6am and headed east of Kelly's for the morning.  I had the rods all rigged up with 2oz inline weights with crawler harnesses that I tied up with (1) #4 Octopus Hook, (1) #6 treble hook, (8) 8mm beads, a quick change clevis from DutchFork.com, and some #5 and #6 Colorado blades with copper hammered backs, anti freeze backs, and pink antifreeze backs.  

We pulled those in 38 foot of water at 40, 45, 47, 51, 57, 65, 75, and 85 back at 1.6mph.  The 47, 57, 65, and 75 were the best producers of the bunch.

The water temp was up to 73 degrees today. The winds were calm, and the bugs were plentiful.  You know...the kind that get in your eyes, ears, and nose if you're not covered up.  Every now and then the wind would kick up a little and they would blow away for a while, but then the wind would die again, and they would return....ugh.

We went through many short walleye...but, gave each one a kiss for their boo boo before letting them go back home to get bigger.   We lost a handful of keeper size walleye, because we didn't use a net on them, and just tried lifting them in the boat....that proved to be harder than it would have seemed, so we got the net out on everything we thought might be a keeper. lol

We ended the day with 14 nice eaters...with the largest going around 6-7 pounds. Most of them were in the 18-22 inch range though.

After we ran out of my 10 dozen crawlers, we put some Bandits on. I went to my "go to" colors immediately, which are the blue/chrome (stock), crown juls (Mike Chafin out of Cranberry Creek makes that one), huff daddy chrome (Domka Outdoors), and one by DJ Customs, but I can't remember what he called it...it's chrome pink with yellow dots on it.
We ran those anywhere from 85 to 100 back at 1.9-2.2mph. 

As soon as we put them out, they started firing right away, and seem to be catching a larger grade of walleye.  We didn't have much time left of their 6 hour trip, so we only ran them for about an hour before heading back in.

This was Ryan and Matt's first time fishing for walleye on Lake Erie, and their first time trolling for them. They were quick learners, and did a fantastic job of listening and getting the program down in quick fashion. A couple of fire drills produced some tangles, but that's to be expected even from the best of trollers. So, over all, I give them a B+ for their efforts today. ;)

They had fun and that's all that matters....and, that makes me happy. 

Tomorrow's trip is with Mike Shepperson and his 14 year old grandson again. 
"Pops" isn't going this time, but Mike's friend is going to go instead.

I can't quite figure out what the wind is going to do tomorrow, because different sites are saying different things, so I'll be meeting my guys at Huron in the morning, and we'll figure it out from there. 

Stay tuned.....

Capt Juls

Bass'n with Jeremy and Elijah 6/29/17

by Capt Juls on 07/05/17

I was asked in a comment to my previous blog how the bass trip went, so I'm going to blog it instead of responding to that comment (which are really really hard to read, by the way...lol Sorry, but I can't change the type color it's built in on this site builder thingy I'm using).


I had a walleye trip planned for Thursday and Friday of last week, but the weather was calling for strong winds out of the SW and a threat of thunderstorms. My crew from Wisconsin that had the two day trip planned decided to reschedule, so that freed up both Thursday and Friday.

I got a call Wednesday afternoon from Jeremy asking about doing a bass trip. Right off he said that he can't go on the big lake though, because he gets seasick easily...even with Dramamine. So, with that info, I told him that I could take him and his boy out on East Harbor Marina for some largemouth.  I told him up front that I haven't been in there to bass fish before, but have seen plenty of  spots that the bass fishermen are fishing when I go up that channel.  I also explained that fishing with soft craws was an extra charge for the bait, but that everything would eat them. He wanted his boy to have fun, so he was game for that.  I provided the gear and the drop shots to use the craws with.

I met them at the Walmart in town, because they were staying at the Great Wolf Lodge over in Sandusky. His wife and two daughters would stay behind and play int he water for the morning.
He and Elijah were right on time, and we headed over to Rickard's Bait for the soft craws and then over to the marina just to the east of Anchors Away (I forget the name of that one).  

I never put the boat on plane and headed down the channel, towards the lake, and fished the lee side of the channel.

The wind was blowing about 25mph already and was predicted to get up to 40mph by mid morning, so staying out of the wind as much as possible was going to help with the boat control. 

Hahaha...I have to laugh when I say, "boat control", because I don't have to do anything except hit a button on my Ulterra's remote for the "Spot Lock" function. It anchors us on an exact spot until I turn it off to move us to another spot.

We worked the tree line first. Elijah, who I think would have rather have been back at the lodge playing in the water park with his sisters, had his dad down 7 to 0. But, Jeremy, in his thick Boston accent said, "It's not how ya staht...it's how ya finish", and was more than happy to see his boy catching fish.  Eventually, Jeremy started catching too, and was catching up.

We moved to the rocks at the mouth of the channel, and went to the west side of the rocks on the outside to spend the last hour. A lot of fish were caught there, and some big sheepshead too. :)

So, it's pretty simple bass'n in the harbor channel...especially when you're using soft craws.  I was just setting them up with a drop shot hook that I buy from Rickard's with a 10-15" dropper with a 1/2 to 3/4 oz tear drop weight. They just cast them out and reel them back in slowly....crawling them across the bottom.

We broke off plenty of weights in the rocks, so have a good supply of weights with you.  I find, that if I tie the hook on to a braided line, and make the dropper a lighter mono line, then I only lose the weight and not the hook. And, since the hooks are 4.39 for 5 hooks...I don't want to lose them. :)

So, I hope this helps anyone looking to go bass fishing in the marina.  Jeremy had ended up beating Elijah by one fish for a total of 15 to 14 (not counting sheepshead and white perch). 

I will be back to walleye fishing again tomorrow....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls