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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Bill and Melissa 7/15/18

by Capt Juls on 07/15/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Russ and Debbie 7/13/18

by Capt Juls on 07/13/18

Fishing with Russ and Debbie 7/13/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bob and Liz 7/10/18

by Capt Juls on 07/10/18

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

They arrived right on time. :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Wade Family 7/8/18

by Capt Juls on 07/08/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Eric and Rob 7/3/18

by Capt Juls on 07/03/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Past Couple of days....

by Capt Juls on 06/29/18

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

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

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

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

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

Go have fun this weekend, and stay cool! 

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 06/19/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 06/16/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 06/15/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 06/14/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fingers crossed....Stay tuned!

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 06/10/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Karl, Mickey, and Paul 6/7/18

by Capt Juls on 06/07/18

This morning I met my crew at the Walmart here in Port Clinton at 5am, and we drove over to Huron together.  We were the first ones to the launch, and were headed out the channel at 5:30. 

I pointed the boat east of the Huron River and set down "over that way" in 27' of water...setting a trolling pass to the north and taking it out to 32' of water. The wind was out of the southeast at 10mph, the temperature outside was a nice cool 60 degrees, and the water temp was only 62.8 degrees...down from the 67 degrees we had last week.

There were fewer mayflies on the Helix's screen than over by the islands, so that was nice too!

We ran the same program I've been running many other places on the lake lately...the number 11 Flicker Minnows (any color works) at 45/55/65 back at 2.1-2.3mph...and, again, it was successful. We had our 4 person limit by 8:30 this morning, so we headed in to go to Lemmy's for breakfast, since everyone was hungry. :)

Mickey's son, Paul, had a good time and learned the routine of reeling in Off Shore boards from the outside position very well, and kept the tangles to a minimum! And, like a true walleye fisherman, he cursed the dreaded Sheepshead when it showed itself coming in on top of the water doing the "spinning thing". lol  Luckily, the sheepshead were few and far between today too!

Everyone had fun, and that's what it's all about...and, that makes me happy! :)

I am going out of Catawba tomorrow with three gentlemen, who have their boat here for the next few days, and are camping on Catawba...they just want to learn the areas a little bit and go after some walleye and perch tomorrow.

My crew that was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday have decided to reschedule to July, in hopes of better weather. So, it looks like I'll be doing some gardening this weekend. woot! woot!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dennis and Craig 6/2-3/18

by Capt Juls on 06/03/18

Yesterday and today I fished with Dennis Pfieffer and Craig Beiber, of PA, and had a great time. Yesterday's winds were out of the NNE, and brought us much needed relief of the hot and humid weather we had been having. The lake was a bit rough in the morning, but we made our way north to the west side of the islands.

Many charter boats and weekend anglers were fishing much closer to the mainland, and successfully catching thier limits....as did we...but, we didn't have to deal with any other boats....woot! woot!

Dennis and Craig quickly caught on to the routine of running the Off Shore boards and bringing in fish. Limits were caught the same as the previous outings and within 3 hours the box was full. :)

Same program as the previous days too....#11 Flicker Minnows (any color) run 45/47/55/57/65/75/80/90....didn't seem to matter...all depths caught fish.  However, if I only had to pick two leads...it would be the 45/55 lead.  Speed was 2.1-2.4mph

I've done this program in three separate areas of the lake and it worked in all three areas, but it seems everything is working everywhere, so you could probably run what you like best and catch fish too.

I'm off for the next two days...tomorrow, due to strong west winds, and Tuesday is my Birthday, so I'm taking it off.....to sleep and catch up on my house cleaning.

I'll be back at it on Wednesday....

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe and Adam 5/31/18

by Capt Juls on 05/31/18

I left the house at 4:45 this morning and headed to Rickard's for some ice and some #11 Flicker Minnows, before hitting Speedway for some gas. I know, I know, I have enough cranks, but I only have one box of Flickers, and they had some colors I didn't already have. lol

My crew was meeting me at Walmart at 5:30, so we could ride over to Huron together. They were right on time...in fact, a touch early, so that was even better.
The forecast was calling for gusty winds up to 30mph out of the SSW, so I felt it would be a better option over there, since there are so many fish near shore right now.  However, those winds never showed up, and it turned out to be a beautiful day on the lake this morning. The waves were 1 foot or less, and there was a nice breeze to keep it cooler, since it was a little humid still.

We launched a little before 6am and was out of the river by 6:07.   We marked fish just about everywhere, so I chose an area that was over 30-32' of water and set the Flickers out at 45, 50, and 55 back. Our speed was 2.1-2.4mph. The first spot was nothing but Sheepshead...some of them trophy sized...so, we moved to another area in the same depth. The marks that the Helix was showing us were incredible, and I crossed my fingers that they were walleye instead of farm animals.....and, they were.

Same program/same speed....resulted in sort of "dance" in the back of the Ranger with bodies moving forward and back and rods and nets rotating around like a synchronized swim team. lol

Joe has fished with me several times before, so he pretty much knew the routine, but needed a refresher course. Adam, however, has never fished with me, or fished with Off Shore boards before, and was  pretty quick to catch on to my instruction and routine.

It wasn't very often that we were able to get all 6 rods out at the same time...just like yesterday. The walleye were inhaling the Flickers, often taking both sets of hooks into their mouths.  

We finished off with our limit of 18 walleye and headed in. Both Joe and Adam said they had a good time and learned a lot....and, that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow, I am fishing with a crew of three, and if we get our walleye early again, we plan on looking for some suicidal perch....woot! woot!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bruce, Brayla, and Shayla 5/30/18

by Capt Juls on 05/30/18

Been a while since I blogged a report on my website, (Sorry) but I have been putting smaller reports on my Facebook page in lue of here, because this weekend was super busy, and hot hot hot! And, with all I had on my plate, I just didn't have the time.

If you have a Facebook account, but are not following me there, you can find me here:

Or here: https://www.facebook.com/juls231

I post every trip there, but not always here. This one takes much longer to do. ;)

So, about this morning...

My crew was staying at White Caps Motel, which is not far from me, so I had them meet me at my house this morning at 4:20AM. Despite a stopped train on the tracks, blocking them from their destination, they were still able to take another route that I texted him and they still got here right on time.

We loaded into my old Excursion, and headed to Big Bopper's for some grub. After breakfast, I hit Hi Way Bait for a couple of perch colored Flicker Minnows and some ice, before heading to Catawba to launch. (We launched at 6am instead of 5:30, because Big B's was a little late opening this morning). 

Bruce, who lives over in Indiana, wanted to learn how to run the Off Shore inline planer boards.. I didn't go far out of the Catawba ramp before setting up with (4) #11 Berkley Flicker Minnow at 45 and 55 back on one side, and 55 and 65 back on the other side. We ran two 40 Tru-Trip Jets with Stinger spoons off of each corner at 32 and 40 back. 

However, the Flickers started taking fish right away, and the spoons didn't do anything in about 15 minutes, so I removed them and set two more Flicker Minnows out instead.  (While we could have run 8 boards, I thought it would be easier and less confusing if we only ran 3 per side today).

I had them set up at 45/55/57 on one side, and 45/50/55 on the other side. Speed was 2.2-2.5mph. Now, all the Off Shores were pulling back one at a time, but continuously! It didn't seem to matter what color the Flicker was...they wanted it! Most of them had to be fished out of the fish's gullet. 

In the 3 hours it took to get our 24 walleye, and just as many sheepshead and White Perch, we only had all six boards out at the same time....twice...for about 2-3 minutes, before all hell broke loose again, and we were doing another fire drill. :)

I was getting a workout, and getting tired by now...so, when I saw a board go back again, I wasn't saying, "Fish!"...I was saying, "Dang it!! There's another one!"And, when I knew it was a Sheepshead, it wasn't "Dang it", but something else....lol

We had a lot of laughs, and the crew did great under fast and furious conditions...and, that makes me happy. :)

I have no doubt that Bruce can duplicate what he learned this morning in his own boat and be successful at reading and working the boards, with the help of his daughters.

Tomorrow's trip is still scheduled...but, we are expecting gusty south winds, so I plan on heading out of Huron to stick closer to the south shore. I was over there the other day and there were a ton of fish in that 30-36' foot range...for miles!  I'm guessing they are still there, and I think they might like some tasty looking Flicker Minnows tomorrow too. At least, I'm hoping they will. Fingers crossed... woot! woot!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Duke, Lenny, and Buz 5/22/18

by Capt Juls on 05/22/18

My crew this morning were some local "boyz" from here in Port Clinton. They fished with me last year, and were supposed to fish earlier this month, but due to bad weather, we rescheduled to today.

We met at Catawba at 5:45 and launched by 6am. We headed around the corner to the Mouse Island area and Scott Point Shoal. 

The Bandits were rigged up and set out at 25/35/45 on one side and 30/40/50 on the other side. I set the speed to 1.8-2.0mph.  There were four of us on board, and could run 8 lines, but I thought it would be easier for them if we kept it to three Off Shore boards per side instead. We also ran a 40 Tru-Trip Jet with a Stinger spoon off a corner, that could be moved from side to side...depending on which side the fish were caught.

The Jet/spoon took the first fish this morning...just a 14" walleye we had to throw back, due to the size limit here. Then a "Chrome Huff Daddy" Bandit  (Domka Outdoors Custom Color) took the second fish at 35 back.  The Tattle Flag on the board was flat and the board was sinking back out of place, very fast.  My first thought was, "It's a Sheepshead", even if I was truly was hoping for a big walleye! And, as it turned out, it was a walleye. A nice big, fat, long one. (I didn't measure it or weigh it, but my guess was that it was a 7-8 pound fish.)  

We made a short pass there and were turning around, when I noticed more and more boats heading out of the marinas. Forgetting that it was a Tuesday, (because every day feels like a Saturday to me)... I figured the area was just going to get bombarded with boat traffic, so I made the decision to move NW of the Bass Islands.

I stopped short of Niagara, and deployed the Ulterra...setting a course up the east side of the reef.  This time, we ran the Bandits back 35/45/55 on once side and 40/50/60 on the other, and again, the spoon off the corner.  We marked some fish, and caught three keepers there. But, the bite was slow, and I was bored, so we moved again, to the NW. 

This time, we ended up by the "Big Pickerel Reef" area...or, just a little north of it. We were in 25'-26' of water, and the Helix was showing some nice fish marks on the screen. It would be the same programs with Khaki, Blue/Chrome, Huff Daddy Chrome, Taco Salad, Buck Fever, and IB Infected running behind the planer boards.

The best colors of the bunch for us were definitely the Khaki, Blue/Chrome, and Huff Daddy.  I think the spoon took 4 fish today.

We made a "circle pass" there over a small pod of walleye and managed to pick off 3 more walleye for the box.

Again, not satisfied, I moved down to "H-Can", to see if those fish were still in there.  There were some decent marks, but the water was kind of dirty yet.  However, we did catch one on a Blue/Chrome Bandit at 35 back, before I told them to pick up the lines again, so we could move.

This time, I moved back towards Catawba, and set lines one last time. The marks were the best I had seen all day, and it was, "Game on!".  The guys were kept busy reeling in walleye and sheepshead, and it was fun to finally have some fast paced action for a change.

Even though it was a small struggle today, it was a great ending to a great trip! They had fun...and, I had fun...and, that's all that matters. :)

They ended up with just 12 walleye in the cooler...4 throw backs....5 that came unbuttoned...and a handful of Sheepshead for the day. As I write this, they are at the "Crows Nest" (a local restaurant that will cook your catch for you), having fresh walleye for dinner.  I was graciously invited, but had to decline, due to my early bedtime, and dinner schedule, and the fact that I needed to write this blog. 

Tomorrow, I am off, and need to get some things done around the homestead. Back at it Thursday....and, that makes me happy. ;)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tom, Peter, and Dan 5/20/18

by Capt Juls on 05/21/18

When will this weather straighten out? It's mid May, and I still have yet to wear shorts in the boat. My feet are tan, but my legs are still "winter white"....sigh.

I met my crew down at Catawba at 6am and we headed out into a misty foggy lake. The guys weren't dressed for the weather, since the forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, but no rain. However, this is Lake Erie, and the weather does what it wants to. Since they had no rain gear with them, I was concerned that they would get damp and cold. The winds were from the west when we left the launch, but when we got out towards the firing range cans, the wind swiftly switched to the NE. 

The waves were like "washing machine" waves for a short time, and the water a bit muddier than I like, so I took them over to the west side of Middle Bass to find better water and a wind break behind the island.  We made one pass there and picked up one keeper walleye and two white perch on crawlers.

The wind did one more switch, and was now coming out of the ESE. After not marking as much in that area as I had the last time I visited, we picked up and moved north.  Again, one pass in an area that I had done well a few days prior produced nothing....and, again, the marks weren't as plentiful, so we moved to the east side of the islands.

There were two packs of boats between Lucy's and Middle Island, so we set up near the line and pointed the Ranger south. The Helix as showing few marks where I was, and my patience was running thin.  So, we moved further east to the next pack, but by then I was not in the mood to play bumper boats with a pack and decided to move down towards the monument and Starve Island.

This would be the last spot before time ran out, so we kept the baits in the water and worked a couple mile long stretch across the area....we picked up 4 more walleye, and lost just as many that didn't hook up.  The fish we did catch were barely hooked, except for one suicidal 16 incher that inhaled the crawler.

We were running the 1 and 2 ounce inlines and one bottom bouncer. One fish came on the bottom bouncer, and lost two that managed to steal the crawler but not hook up.

Though we didn't put a smack down on them, we still had a good time fishing. Tom Memmen and I used to swim on the same swim team during the summers of the mid to late 70's, and went to the same high school. Peter, Tom's son, and Dan (Tom's daughter's boyfriend) said they were happy just to be out on the water, and enjoyed the experience...mentioning that they would like to do it again.

The last time I fished with Tom, he had brought his daughter, Katie, who caught big fish that day, so I said, "Next time, bring Katie...she's good luck!" He said, "She really wanted to come this time", but because I only take up to three people she had to sit this one out. She would come next time with Peter and Dan and Tom would give up his seat. And, that makes me happy...:)

My next trip is Tuesday, and it looks like the weather through to next week will be a very nice. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dee, Dan, and Steve 5/16/18

by Capt Juls on 05/16/18

Woke up at 2:30am and decided to just get up and start the day. It gave me an extra half hour to give the "Dexter Dog" some hug time, out on the back deck, while I drank my morning coffee.

I left the house at 4:20 again...hit Speedway and then met the crew at Big Bopper's again for breakfast.  

I told them I had to hit the bait shop on the way, and that I would meet them at the Catawba ramp as soon as I was done.  They found it okay, and I readied the boat for launch. We headed north from the point, and looked for marks on the Helix, while the boat was on plane...(how cool is it to have a tool that will do that? I love it!)

Anyway...once we found some, I told them that we were running the same crawler harness program we ended up with yesterday.  The program was 1oz inline weights at 30 and 40 back, and 2oz inlines 23, 25, 27, and 30 back...at a speed of 1.3-1.5mph. (The color of the harness and blade didn't seem to make much difference, because I had a handful of different colors out and all of them caught fish at some point or another.

There was a full four-person limit caught today, using the crawlers. Sure, maybe it's not as fast as others out there, but to me, it's not a contest. My tournament days are over.  And, the only person I am in a contest with, is myself and the fish.  It's about the customer's experience, and teaching them how to do what I do to catch fish. We share some laughs, listen to some great music...I get to hear some great stories from their memories...and, from time to time, we get interupted to reel in some fish. :)

The weather was perfect today. It was a light NE wind, partly cloudy sky, and a temp in the high 60's. (Sorry, I never even looked at the water temp today).

I had a great time with Dee, Dan, and Steve and look forward to fishing with them again next season. Dee and Steve had fished with me before, but Dan was the "new guy", so it was nice to hear that he also wanted to come back next year too. And, that made me happy...:)

Tomorrow's forecast is much the same as today, but the winds will be even lighter than they were today, so it should be a very enjoyable day on the lake in the morning. Woot! Woot!

Friday's trip has already been rescheduled, due to very gusty winds from the NE (30mph).

Tomorrow, I have some return customers, and I look forward to fishing with them again.  I'm pretty positive I'll be running crawlers again. They are working too well right now not to. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dee, Dan, and Steve 5/15/18

by Capt Juls on 05/15/18

I left the house at 4:20 and headed to Speedway to gas up the boat and truck, and pick up some ice for the big cooler, before heading to Big Bopper's to meet my crew for breakfast at 5am.

They showed up right on time and we enjoyed some chit chat with other captains and their guests. I was watching the RadarScope app to see which way the thunderstorm was going, and it appeared it was heading right for the area. With this info, I told my guys to go back to Little Ted's Cottages to wait for my call. We would wait it out until the radar showed no more lightning, or that it was moving off.

I didn't drive home, because I didn't want to confuse my dogs, so I stopped at the car wash that was still closed and parked the Ranger in one of the wash bays (in case it was a heavy downpour), and set about re-rigging rods and getting things set up.  It took me about an hour, and when I checked the sky, it looked like everything went north, and the radar confirmed that.  I jumped in the truck and headed to Mazurik's.

I called the crew when I pulled into Mazurik's launch at 7am, and told them it was time to go. They showed up about 20 minutes later, and we headed out.

I had switched everything over to spoons for the morning. The Off Shore boards would pull #2 Tadpoles with a 5' fluorocarbon lead with a Stinger spoon. Then, I had two rods with 40 Tru-Trip Jets with the same leads and spoons.  I had some dipsies set up too, but I decided that 6 rods was all that this crew was going to be able to handle today.  Speed was 1.9-2.2mph

We caught five walleye on spoons, South of Kelly's, while more and more boats moved in the area...and, if you know me, you know I don't like fishing in crowds, and will take off to find some other fish in a less busy area. So, we headed to the north side of Kelly's.  

At this time, I switched out the Tadpoles/spoons for Bandits, and kept the spoons on the Jet rods. Speed was 1.8mph 
We caught  a couple white bass there. The Helix was not showing me a lot of marks, or fish activity, on the screen, so we moved NW to the Bass Islands. 

This time, I put the Bandit rods away and pulled out the rods already rigged with Crawler harnesses. We ran two rods with 1oz inlines at 30 and 40 back, and 2oz inlines 20/23/25/27 back...speed was 1.4mph....all of them caught fish.

We had about a 1/2 left, when a strong northwest wind picked up. I looked at the Davis Bessie smoke stack and saw it bent over, so I told my guys to pick up lines and that we should head back in.  I told them I would add their 1/2 hour to tomorrow's trip, since it was going to be a nicer day...NO RAIN! Ha!

Anyway, we ended the day with 16 in the box...and, about 8 that didn't make it to the boat...a catfish, couple of sheepshead, white perch, and white bass. So, it was a fun day catching as well as fishing.  It kept my crew busy, and there was often chaos in the boat since they are still learning all the techniques I use.  If I'm not careful though, they may throw me overboard for sounding like a nagging wife!! SMH....lol

I have the same crew tomorrow, and tomorrow I will bite my tongue more...and, let them learn from their mistakes, instead of me seeing what's going to happen and trying to correct it before it does. We'll see how that goes. After all, it's not always about how many fish make it to the box....right? I just don't want to have to peel line off the reels to fix tangles....that will throw my reels out of their calibration....lol

So, stay tuned...

Fishing with David and Johnny Hayes 5/14/18

by Capt Juls on 05/14/18

Sorry, I haven't blogged in a while....was super busy!  Canceled last Thursday...fished Friday and Saturday with Vito, who is buying my boat in the fall, and had Scotty Bogen and his two dogs staying with me Friday and Saturday also. Scott had brought his Ranger down from Wisconsin to fish, before heading to Cinci to spend Mother's Day with his Mom and Dad. :)

Friday and Saturday were plagued with gusty NE winds, so we stuck to the west side of Catawba Island...within a mile, or so. We managed 7 fish on Friday with Bandits and a two person limit on Saturday. (Blue/Chrome and Fruit Dots dominated at only 25 back...speed was 1.7-1.8mph)

I canceled yesterday's trip, due to a storm that was moving in that morning, but it didn't last as long as I thought it would, and should have just done a delay instead of a cancel. They rescheduled their date, so we'll try again another time.

Skip forward to today's trip.  I met David and his son Johnny at Big Bopper's at 5am for breakfast, before heading to Catawba to launch by 6am. The winds were calm, and there was a light layer of fog hanging in the trees and on the lake.  

I decided to start where I left off on Saturday, and set up with Bandits running at 20, 25, 30, 55, and 70 back, and one Stinger spoon off a Tru-Trip 40 Jet at 32 back, set off the port side corner.
I expected one of the Off Shore boards to go back before we could get everything out, but that didn't happen. We trolled for about a 1/2 mile before I realized that maybe it wasn't going to happen there again today, so I told them to pick it all up and we would move over towards the Mouse Island area.

We ran over and set up west of Mouse and headed towards the island....decent, but not great marks there, and only one eater on the spoon.  So, I told them to pick them up again and we moved out to the Green Island area. There were better marks there, and we caught three more on the spoons.

Now, mind you....all that time, we were watching a pretty big thunderstorm move across the radar on our phone apps. We were not going to be staying out very much longer, since I do not fish with customers in thunderstorms.   As it approached closer, I told them to pick them up one more time, and we moved back towards the point of Catawba. 

We set a path from there back towards the ramp, and set lines one last time. As it started to sprinkle, we picked up three more fish. Two more on spoons, 40 back, and one on a Fruit Dots Bandit at 25 back. Speed was 1.8-2.0mph

As the thunder got closer, and more and more boats sped into the launch, I decided it was time to cancel the rest of the trip. So, we only got 3 hours in and had 6 walleye to show for it.

David wanted to learn the inline planer board program, and I have no doubt that he can easily do it in his boat now, because I only had to show them once how to do things, and never had to tell them again. They were running the boards as well as the best do, and did everything right. :)

After getting home...it was time to put the boat under the carport...something I've done a million times. But, this time, the windows in the Excursion were all foggy, and I straightened out the trailer a little too soon. 
My foot hit the brake, when I heard the telltale sound of a tail light crunching, and knew instantly that I had it my Jeep....ugh!

Thank goodness the Ranger only has a cosmetic 2" scar on her rub rail. The Jeep however, wasn't so lucky!  It took out the tail light, tore off the gas cap, and dented the rear driver's side door and the back corner panel....all for a whopping $2894.37 in damages!

All is well though, because I went straight to State Farm and asked if it were covered. She said since I have full coverage on my Jeep, that it would only be a $500.00 deductible.  Then, I went to "Snyder's Collision" (body shop) in Sandusky, and got the estimate. State Farm has them as a preferred shop, so it was easy to work with them. They are on a computer system, so it was super easy to get this all set up.

Long story short...I take it in on the 29th of this month, I'll be met there with a car rental from "Enterprise" to use for the duration of the repair, and it will all be made to look new again.  I looked up Snyder's and they have a 5 start rating, so I feel confident I took it to the right place. :)

We have more thunderstorms coming in tomorrow, so I'll have to look at the radar in the morning, to see if we'll make it out there, or not.

I have return customers for the next two days, so my fingers are crossed that we can get both days in, but if we can't get out tomorrow, at least we can get out on Wednesday.  I don't mind fishing in the rain, but I do mind when there is lightning. I don't do lightning trips. ;)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls