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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Rusty and Jessie 6/28/17

by Capt Juls on 06/28/17

This morning I met Rusty and his wife Jessie at the Walmart here in town, so we could ride together over to Huron to launch.  Jessie brought homemade blueberry muffins and apple cinnamon muffins for us to munch on on the way over there. They were very good! Thanks Jess!

We hit the water at 5:30 and were at the end of the Huron River channel at 5:45am. The sun hadn't hit the horizon yet, and there was a chill in the air. In fact, it was quite chilly. The wind coming from shore would be warm and then chilly...then, warm, and then chilly again.  It didn't warm up until the sun got higher in the sky and then it was a perfect morning.

We ran Bandits first, and caught 4 eaters in 27 foot of water at 55 back...speed was 1.9-2.2mph.  Then, the bite died, and I decided to move eastward, and change the Bandits to crawler harnesses. We ran my Canadian water program with the 1oz and 2oz inline weights.  The 1oz were at 41 and 51 back and the 2oz inlines were running 35-47 back at 1.6mph.  We would end their 6 hour trip with 9 keeper walleye with the largest going 4 1/4...maybe 5 pounds. :)

We had several throw backs and some sheep and whites too. No catfish today though, so that was nice. lol

My Thursday and Friday walleye trips have been rescheduled due to wind and chance of thunderstorms again, but after I got home this afternoon, I received a call from a fella with a strong Boston accent, that wanted to go bass fishing tomorrow. I told him that I had cancelled my trip tomorrow due to weather, but he said he didn't want to go on the big lake, because he gets seasick (even with Dramamine), so we are going to go bass fishing in East and West Harbors tomorrow morning. He'll be bringing his son along....if he can get him away from the water slides at the Great Wolf Lodge. :)

This should be interesting....the boat is cleaned up and the bass stuff put in, so it's ready to go.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Harry and Scott 6/24/17

by Capt Juls on 06/24/17

Yesterday,  was a Capt's cancellation, due to scattered thunderstorms throughout the day.  I was scheduled to fish with Harry Ashbaugh and his friend, Scott, yesterday, and today. They took the day to go sight seeing a little bit and then invited me to lunch. I accepted his invitation, and met them over at Ciao Bella, where we would talk fishing, and go over the plan for the morning.

I left the house this morning at 4:30am, and headed over to Big Bopper's for some breakfast. When I left there, I had to go to Hi Way Bait and Tackle for some ice, before heading over to Mazurik's to meet up with Harry and Scott.  I told them to meet me at 5:45, and we would be in the water by 6am.   They were right on time. :)

We headed out, and around the break wall, to be met by the glow of a sunrise on the eastern horizon. The sun hadn't peeked over the "edge of the earth" yet, so there was still that cool chill in the dark, that lay to the west.

The winds were from the west, according to the iWindSurf app, but a contradiction was discovered by those of us on the water this morning.  In the "Slop Chute" it was from the west, but as you ventured further north, up the east side of South Bass Island, the winds seemed to whip around the SE corner of the island and head NE....so, that wind was from the SW. Then, as you got closer to Ballast Island and the NE corner of Middle Bass...over by Lucy's point...the winds were more WNW than W or SW. So, basically, the winds were strong enough to be from all over the place today.  Our saving grace was that they weren't from the E or NE!  :)

Waves were 1-3 feet, and more like 2-3's when the gusts of wind showed up.  It was a pleasant day though. The sun was shining, and it was cool enough to be comfortable in a light jacket. 

We started out up by Ballast running my crawler harness program that I was running up in Canadian water this past week. (See previous blog for details if you haven't been keeping up) :)

We caught a couple of keeper walleye, and a few throw backs, along with some little Sheepshead before picking up to run back up to make another pass.  This time I started out deep inside, between Middle  Bass and Ballast Island. I switched things up to one side of the boat running Bandits, and the other side running 3 Bay Rats.  Since the Rats and the Bandits run basically at the same depth per the line out, we ran the Bandits at 55, 65, and 85 back...and, the Rats were at 50, 70, and one was set up with a 2oz snap weight 25/100...(let 25 foot of line out, attach the snap weight...then let out another 75 feet until the line counter reaches 100').

A couple of little fish hit the Bandits, and one little walleye hit the outside Bay Rat a short time later.  I changed out a Bay Rat for a Tadpole diving weight with a 6 foot fluorocarbon leader with a Stinger Spoon. We set it out at 45 back, to hit the 20' depth.  By the end of that pass, I had removed all the Bay Rats and replaced them all with Tadpoles and Stinger Spoons. The Bandits and the spoons were keeping the guys busy with trophy sized sheepshead. 

When we finished that pass, I thought it best to find another location.  At lunch yesterday, Harry confessed he had never been on big water before, and that he was glad there were so many islands close by....I got the sense he did not want me taking him out into the wild blue yonder, where I sometimes go, and preferred I stick closer to land, so that was the plan. :)
 I decided to move down closer to Kelly's and fish the NW corner of it. When we got there, I figured since there was a little cold front today, maybe sizing down my spoon would help, so I took the Stinger Spoons off and put the Scorpion Spoons on.

We started picking up fish steadily until we got east of the Stone Dock...then it was a slow slow bite.  We didn't have much time left in our 6 hour trip, so instead of picking everything up, and running back up....when given the choice, they opted to keep the baits in the water until the end.  We picked up a few more fish before the end, that gave us a little over a 1 man limit of keepers out of I lost count of how many throw backs.

It didn't matter anyway, because my guys threw back every walleye they caught today. They had no plans to take any home with them. They both said they had a good time and learned a lot....and, that made me happy :)

Tomorrow's trip has been rescheduled. My next scheduled trip is a 2 day trip with Matt Felder and his friend. They want to go to Ontario to fish walleye and smallmouth. However, if the forecast doesn't change, it looks like Monday would be a "no go" and we would only get Tuesday in.  We shall see if it changes....fingers crossed!

Stay tuned.....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike, Trayton, and "Pops" 6/21/17

by Capt Juls on 06/21/17

I left the house at 4:30 this morning, so I could stop and get ice, and gas up, before hitting Mazurik's by 5am.  Well, when I was half way through town I realized that I had forgotten my 10 dozen crawlers, sitting on my kitchen table...ugh.  I made a quick stop at Hi Way Bait, who open at 5am now...thankfully, and bought 10 more dozen, so I didn't have to drive all the way home to get them. The air conditioning was on, so I figured they would last until I got home to put them back in the fridge. 

The arrangement was to meet my crew at Mazurik's at 5:30am this morning, but a little after 5am, Mike sent a text saying, "We're at Bopper's if you care to join us". But, since I was already getting the boat ready, I said, "I'm at the ramp getting things ready, take your time and enjoy!" And, continued to get things situated to my liking.

Mike sent me another text asking me if they could bring me some breakfast, so I took him up on that offer and asked for a sausage and cheddar cheese bagel. Thanks Mike! That hit the spot. :)

So, by now most of you know that the Canadians passed a new law that says that we Americans no longer will have to call in to fish the border waters when we cross over, as long as we don't touch land, or anchor.

I did call this morning, because I figured like everything else, the workers would be the last to know, and would ticket me if I tried to do that the day after the law initially passed. We called in and got out authorization number.  She also stated, when asked, that the law was not in effect yet, and we would still need to call until it was.  She didn't know when that would be.  (Sorry, I have no other info, as she didn't have any answers to my other questions).

It was a beautiful morning with partly cloudy skies, an air temp of 60 degrees, and a light wind, less than 10mph, out of the WNW.

We headed up to the east side of Pelee for the morning, and set up in 32-35' of water. Mike was there to learn how to run the Off Shore inline planer boards, so we set three out per side.

The Humminbird wasn't showing the red marks (fat fish) like it had in that spot the last time I was up there, so I listened to the bigger charters talking about their marks where they were, and decided to head another direction.  I didn't want to go in and bother them, because they were running faster speeds than I was, and I didn't want to get in their way.

Originally, I was going to run to the west side of Pelee to see if there were better marks on that side.  However, when I got the Ranger up on plane and headed north towards the Helipad, I turned the Helix's sonar graph speed up to 10 while I was running, so I could see if we went over any fish on the way.......we did.  We were only a mile or so north of where we had started the morning, and found some good marks.  I turned the boat around and set the Ulterra down in the water...I had my three boards set on my side of the boat before Mike had his first one in. Just as he was setting his board in the water, I looked over and the middle board on my side was going back. I called Trayton up to bat....handed him the rod, talked him through the "drill" of where to be standing while I take the board off, and where to move to after the board was off. He did a great job and we netted his first walleye of the day. He as all smiles, and all three were getting a more positive energy about them.

The water temps were at 67.8 degrees, which means that the water temps had dropped 2 degrees since I was up there last Friday.  I showed them how I like to hook my crawlers (I'm extremely picky with that), how to use the line counter reels, and how  to attach the boards to the lines and set them out to run like "marching soldiers" in line. They were fast learners and only had to be shown a few times before they were doing it without my nagging supervision. heheh

We ran the same thing I ran up there last Friday. 1oz inlines 41 and 51 back and 2oz at 41, 45, 47, and 55 back.  A 4oz bottom bouncer was out on one corner of the boat too.  At one point one of the 1oz inlines was swapped out for a 3oz and the other 1 oz inline was swapped out for another 2oz.  My root beer bead combo, which I call my "Mayfly Rig" out produced the rest of the colored beads that were out.  Copper backed blades did well too.   Speed was 1.5-1.6mph

We ended the day with only 10 fish, but had lost two or three before we even got the boards off, missed one at the net, and had one throw back. Pops was doing very well catching sheepshead and a catfish too. :)

All three said they had a great time, and that makes me happy. They have two more trips scheduled for July, so they are looking forward to that.

Tomorrow, I have a husband and wife team, who are looking forward to a trip up to the Ontario waters of Lake Erie. The wind forecast is for 13-17mph winds out of the south, so I'm not so sure we'll be heading all the way up there. It will be rougher on that side of the lake than on this side. I might stay on this side....I don't know....I never know until I head out of the harbor. lol

So...Stay tuned....


Blog Question from Patrick....6/19/17

by Capt Juls on 06/20/17

Patrick commented on my blog asking, "Any special strategy fishing during a Mayfly hatch?"

And, the simple answer is, try to find areas where the larvae sheds are not floating in the millions.  A bait that has a 2 to 3 inch blob of insect goobers bunched up on the nose of it, will not catch fish!

Just because they are where you WANT to fish, doesn't mean you should fish there.  Just keep moving until you find cleaner, (less floating bugs) water.

With that said, it's impossible sometimes to find water clear of the bug carcasses, so with that said, what I like to use during a hatch is a night crawler harness. I make up my own harnesses with root beer and butterscotch colored beads...with a #5 gold hammered colorado or hatchet blade.  That harness gets hit 80 percent of the time over the brighter colored beads during a hatch.

My harnesses are built like this:   bead combo is 4 root beer beads..1 butterscotch...1 root beer...1 butterscotch...and 1 root beer....a Dutchfork quick change clevis....and, a high quality barrel swivel. (The clevises and barrel swivels can be used over and over again, because they are high quality components).

The clevises can be found at the Fisherman's Wharf here in Port Clinton, or online here....http://www.dutchforkcustomlures.com/qcclevis.html

I don't have a magic cure for catching fish during a bug hatch, but this has worked well for me in the past, and it gives me confidence to go out during a hatch and thinking I can catch some fish. :)

Give it a try and see if it works for you too! 

Capt Juls

Fishing with David and Don Goodrich 6/16/17

by Capt Juls on 06/16/17

David wanted to take his father Don fishing for a Father's Day present, so he booked his trip early, and got lucky with some terrific weather today. We met at Mazurik's at 5:45, so we could launch by 6am. Don is 79, so we didn't rush him this morning. ;)

The air temp was warm, the sky was clear, and the wind was light out of the south. We headed north this morning and crossed the line to fish on the other side. After calling into the Canadian authorities for permission to enter their country, we were given our number and continued on to the east side of Pelee island.

We ran crawler harnesses with the same program I was running on the US side, which was 1 oz 41 and 51 back and 2 oz's at 41, 45, 47, and 50 back. At one point a 3oz was put out at 41 back also, and that one did well too.

The fish are much nicer up there and you don't have to deal with the hatch there yet...and the numbers of small throw backs is minimal.

David and Don enjoyed their trip very much, and let me know it, so I was grateful and very happy to have been given the opportunity to make it a memorable day.  I enjoyed their company very much too. It was a perfect day....sans the biting black flies...ugh! 

Tomorrow is another opportunity to head to our northerly neighbor's waters to catch some more big fish. I'll have another Father and Son team to work with.  :)

The winds will be up a little more than they were today, but it shouldn't be bad.  I'll have to watch the weather before I go to bed to see when the "chance of showers and thunderstorms" will be arriving. That can be a long ride back when it's pelting rain drops on your eyeballs. lol

Sorry this is so short...but, I have tons to do yet tonight before bedtime....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with John and Buzz 6/13/17

by Capt Juls on 06/14/17

I left the house at 4:30, and headed to Walmart to get ice. They are open 24 hours for the summer months now, and the ice is cheaper there than at the Speedway gas station on the next corner.   Then, I headed for Big Bopper's, to meet my crew for breakfast. This was John and Buzz's second day, of a 3 day charter, with me.

Trapper, who pulls his Baha Cruiser on a trailer, and launches at the same time I do, usually....was a little slow this morning, so I got the best parking space for someone hauling a boat. We don't fight over the spot, but I know we both like to have it. Today was my turn...:)

But, Trapper did beat me onto the lake this morning, because I was delayed. I decided that we were going to run crawlers, and had to switch everything over before hitting the water. I hate getting to a spot, and then taking the time to switch things out, because I like to be setting lines as soon as I get to where I'm going.

It was a beautiful morning, and the lake was calm. The Air temp was around 70 degrees, or close to it, and the sun was just coming over the horizon when we left the dock at Mazurik's.

I set a course for ENE of Kelly's, and got the Ranger up on plane, at about 45mph. The water got a little rougher on the east side of Kelly's, because it wasn't protected like the south side of the island's waters, and I had to back off on the throttle. The ENE wind was around 5-7mph, and was enough to make decent "rollers" on the lake.  Unlike waves, rollers are spaced a little further apart, and wider in mass, so it makes the ride rougher on the boat (and, its passengers).  So, we slowed down, and made our way out to the area I wanted to fish....patiently.

Finally, stopping in 40' of water, I turned the boat around and deployed the Ulterra. I set a course to the WSW, and trolled with the waves. The water temp was 69.8 degrees, and the Helix was marking a fish here and there. There weren't a lot of marks, but enough to keep me there.

There were 3 of us in the boat, so we could only run 6 lines today.
We started out with one 1oz inline weight on each "outside board"...(one at 51 back and the other at 60 back), and two 2oz inlines on the two "inside boards" (one at 45 back and one at 50 back).

We caught a few fish that way, and I decided to change one 2 oz weight for a 3oz weight, and set it out 41' back.  It took a fish in quick order, so I said, "Let's change out that inside board with another 3oz", pointing to the opposite side of the boat. But, as we were doing that, another fish hit on that 3oz weight again, so I said, "Let's change them all out!"

We ended up catching 14 nice fish in total, and three of those fish were big fish....the rest were all 18-21 inches. All the big fish came on the 3oz inline set ups. They reeled in a 27 inch (7.44 pounds), 28 inch (8.52 pounds), and a 29 1/4 incher (7.42 pounds).   
We only had 2 throw backs today, as compared to the 60+ throw backs we had yesterday over by D and E cans (only 6 keepers yesterday too).

Tomorrow is their last day, and the weather looks like it's going to be fishable for another day.  The marine forecast says waves 2 foot or less, and the TV weatherman says that the storms will not be around here between the hours of 5am and Noon, so we're going to hit the same spot again tomorrow.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with the Parker Brothers Randy, Jim, and Dick 6/9/17

by Capt Juls on 06/09/17

I arrived at Mazurik's at 5am.  The remnants of a full moon lit up the parking lot, pushing away the darkness. My crew was supposed to meet me there at 5:15, but they were early too. Yay! :)

The sky starts getting light enough to see by 5:15 now...and, by 5:30AM it's almost light enough to not need the running lights lit up on the boat.

With a 5-10mph SSW wind, we headed north out of Mazurik's to the area between the Bass Islands, Middle Island, and Kelly's Island...to look for  a starting point.

I set the Ranger down off plane, to take a picture of the sunrise...and, look for good fish marks on the Humminbird. After finding some decent marks, we started to set up.  Randy has fished for Bass all his life, and had contacted me a little while ago to set this trip up as a "learning" trip. He wanted to learn how to troll successfully for walleye.  He went out and bought a used Ranger 621, and all the trolling equipment he thought he needed, from reading material from the internet message boards, and blogs like this one. 

After showing them how to put the Off Shore boards on the line, and set them out, they finished the task of getting the other 5 lines out...showing me, that they were quick learners. (Whew!)  We started catching small fish (throw backs) right away, and a couple of "keepers". We were not on monster fish, but the action was such that they were going to be able to stay busy learning how to shuffle inline boards around without tangling them all up.  

Randy said, "I only run two lines/boards per side right now, because I don't want to deal with the tangles". I smiled knowingly, and said, "Well, by the end of the trip you'll be able to run 4 per side. We'll start with three, until I see you can handle that... then, we'll add a fourth one to each side."

Around 6:30AM, the other charter boats started to arrive in droves, so we picked up lines and headed further north towards the Canadian line, where it was less congested.  By mid morning my crew was running that fourth board on each side of the boat.  At that time, we were running Bandits anywhere from 50 to 100 back at 2.1-2.3mph. We had a 2oz snap weight on each of the inside lines at 20/110 (20' back, put the snap weight on , and let it out another 90')... and, those caught fish also.

After we moved north, we reset the presentation from Bandits to crawler harnesses. We set up with a 1oz inline weight on the outside, on each side, and two 2oz inlines on each side.  We took the 4th board out of the lineup to make it easier, because I thought it would get pretty busy using meat.  We caught a lot of little buggers, with a larger one here and there, that could go in the cooler, but it wasn't until we switched the weights over to all 3oz and put them out from 25-45' back that the ratio of little fish to keeper sized fish flip flopped. I think the heavier weights were getting the crawlers down through the little fish faster, or something. I'm not sure, but whatever it was...it was working.

We were only out for 6 hours so, we were all done at 11:30 one short of a 3 man limit.....close, but no cigar. lol  Oh well....they had fun, learned a lot, and can now take what they have learned and apply it in their own fishing outings on Randy's boat.

Tomorrow's trip has been rescheduled, due to the fact that they are older gents who have fished with me a couple of times before, and the lake was going to be pretty bouncy....fishable, but bouncy. They don't have strong sea legs, so I knew it wouldn't be that much fun for them, and decided to offer them another date on the calendar. He said he would like to schedule a perch trip before the end of the season instead. :)

Sunday is still on weather watch. The last time I looked the wind forecast for Sunday went from ugly to fishable, so we're keeping an eye on it to see if it changes again tomorrow.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Another day off....

by Capt Juls on 06/07/17


I've been off since Sunday, and today is another blow day, with a small craft advisory until later this afternoon.  I'll be back on the water tomorrow (Thursday 6/8).

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jerry, Chris, and Matt 6/3/17

by Capt Juls on 06/03/17

I left the house at 4:30am and hit Walmart for some ice and bottled water. Then, I hit the gas station to top off the boat's gas tank, before heading over to Mazurik's to meet my crew by 5:15.

They showed up right on time, and we were launching by 5:30.  I had no intentions of playing with those little baby fish out front, or playing bumper boats with a ton of weekender's again today, so we headed off into the wild blue yonder....away from where everyone would be.

We were one of the first on the lake this morning, and it was gorgeous. The winds were calm and the sky was clear. The temperature was 65 degrees and the water temperature was 68 degrees.  The sun hadn't even begun to hit the horizon yet, but the eastern sky was getting lighter, so it wasn't difficult to see that early while on the water.

Jerry, and his son, Chris, and his son-in-law Matt fished with me today. They were very good fishermen, but were more attuned to fishing bass rather than walleye.  But, it didn't take them long to learn how to use the line counter reels, attaching Off Shore in line planer boards, and setting them out to the desired distance from the boat.  They did a fantastic job all morning, and were a real pleasure to fish with. I had a lot of fun today. :)

We ran crawlers behind 1oz and 2oz inline  chain weights. The 1oz weights were put back 50, 55, 60, and 65 back. The 2oz inlines were run at 45 and 50 back. The speed was 1.6mph.  Because of the current, while trolling from south to north, I used the 15 ETEC for propulsion, and the Minn Kota Ulterra for steering. 
I only had to use the 2 motor combo going the one direction. I only used the bow mount TM for the north to south pass.  We were fishing from 39' of water to 42 foot of water.  Several of my friends were running the 3oz inlines anywhere from 30 to 55 back in other areas of the lake and doing well on that program too.

Having typed that last paragraph...I'm going to head off any emails or private messages asking me why I run the two motors....because, I know I will get one, or two....or, three. ;)

The kicker motor on the back of the boat pushes the boat, while the bow mount steers it, because I don't want to run my Ulterra on a power setting over 5 or 6 for any length of time, so I don't run the batteries down at all.  I can run all day if I keep the power at 5 or 6. 
If I need to speed up a little, while doing it this way, I can simply tap the RPM button the tiller handle of the baby ETEC. 
If you haven't tried it, and have the equipment on your boat to try it....do it! It works pretty slick. 

Tomorrow's trip is being rescheduled to a better day. Return customer, Brandon Westerman, wanted to bring his 4 year old son along...but, with tomorrow's wind forecast, and the chance of rain and thunderstorms...I told him it wasn't a good idea with the "little one" along. And, he agreed.

Monday's trip is a "no go" too, due to forecasted winds, it's my birthday, and I have to get some stuff done.

Still watching Tuesday's wind forecast to see what that does or doesn't do.

So, Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Not Enough Hours in a Day!! Fishing Report....sigh

by Capt Juls on 06/01/17

(This is rushed, and I have no time to proof read, so please excuse any typos! I'll fix them another time!)

There just doesn't seem to be  enough hours in a day for me to get everything done.  I don't get it. I run a "6 hour" trip, that in all actuality takes up 8-9 hours including the before and after stuff. Then, I get home and have to cut the grass, because the rain was forecast for the next day. The dogs need to be walked, or taken for a ride, because they are bored out of their minds when I'm working/fishing. Chores, chores, chores...it's never ending!

Anyway,  I didn't report anything one the holiday weekend, because I never do on Memorial day weekend.  But, a long story short...it was a two boat deal with Capt Kevin Swartz. He took three people and I took 3 people.  4 of the 6 were older gents, and two were younger. They were happy to get out. We fished 3 out of the 4 days scheduled, because the last day was a blow day. My boat only caught little fish, but Kevin got into the larger ones on a spot I had fished the day before....(deep sigh).  They had fun though...and, were happy that we didn't take them the last day, because it was rough.

Fast forward to today...I fished with Brothers, Steve and Brian, and their Dad Jake, who was celebrating his 80th birthday. I picked them up at their hotel at 4:45 and we went over to Big Bopper's for breakfast, before launching over at Mazurik's at 5:45.

We headed to the north side of Kelly's and ran Bandits on one side of the boat, and spoons behind #2 Tadpoles on the other side of the boat. The action was steady, but the size was smaller. We would catch 1 keeper for every 3-4 throw backs.

We moved over to the east side of Kelly's, and made one pass from the top, down to "Airport Reef", and didn't touch a fish, so we picked up to move again.  We ran back around to the north side again and made another pass. This time though, there were a lot more boats in there, and I couldn't get on the line I wanted, and decided to move again.  

But, before we did....I changed everything over to crawler harnesses with 1 and 2 oz inline weights. We ran two 1oz inlines and 4 2oz inlines and one 4oz bottom bouncer.  All of them took fish, or had their crawlers stolen. Again, we only caught smaller fish. I think our largest fish today was only 20 inches. Not something I'm used to, or am liking very much. lol

Anyway....Jake had a great birthday present, he said. And,  the sons both enjoyed the day, expressing how nice the Ranger 621 is, and how comfortable it is to  fish out of. They were also impressed with the Ulterra being used in conjunction with the baby ETEC kicker for steering and propulsion....something I guess I take for granted, that other people never thought of doing before. :)

Im sorry to rush, but it's already past my bedtime here. 

 I got a lot done this afternoon when I got home. I cut the grass, washed and re-oiled the picnic table, walked the dogs, did the dishes, did the laundry, helped neighbor Jerry pick the rest of his strawberries from his garden, re-rigged the rods for tomorrow, because I'll be running spoons instead of crawlers, and watered my gardens. I'm done...put a fork in me. :)

So, sorry I haven't blogged in a few days, but sometimes LIFE gets in the way...

Time for bed....have a great night!

Tomorrow we fish....stay tuned!

Capt Juls

Fishing with Evan and Gabe Parr 5/26/17

by Capt Juls on 05/25/17

Evan had fished with me back on the 10th of this month, with his buddy, Tim. Today he brought his fiancé Gabe.  I had explained that the really early bite had been pretty darn good the past two days, and asked if they could make it to Mazurik's from Toledo, OH by 5:20am, so we could be on the water by 5:30am.  Evan didn't hesitate and said, "We'll be there!"

I stopped off at Big Boppers on the way, and had a nice breakfast with a couple of the other Captains who stopped in.  I left there, and was at Mazurik's by 5:15, so I could ready the boat before they arrived.

This morning, there was another boat heading out at the same time.  They left the harbor ahead of me, but then they slowed down, so I would pass them....they followed me out to where I have been fishing.   They were kind enough to make sure there was enough space between us, when they set up behind us, so no harm no foul. I can't get mad at that, since they did make the effort to get out of bed that early and be out there. ;)

We ran Bandits at 40 to 60 back (no weight) at 1.8-2.1mph. (The usual colors I've been running the past few days too.)  We caught 4 nice walleye in the first pass, and let Gabe reel them all in. Three of the four were over 8 pounds, and the largest was 9.5 pounds. That was Evan's biggest walleye to date, so he was very happy it was in the boat, and discussed mounting it. I told him it was a nice fish, and that wall fish are more about the  memories than the actual size.  He forgot about it though, because he bled all the fish, and cut it's throat....oops! heheh

The lake was rocking with 1-3 foot waves from the ENE, and Gabe started to feel the bad effects of that. I offered an oral spray that skydiver's use, and she sprayed a couple pumps under her tongue. Gabe said it was working pretty quickly, so Evan was relieved to hear she was feeling better. :)

We didn't get their limit today...only 8 or 9, I think. And, we only fished for 5 hours, because Evan had a fishing trip, "Up North", he had to drive to for a bachelor's party this weekend.

Tomorrow's trip might be delayed until mid to late morning if this wind forecast on iWindSurf doesn't change.  I told my customer that I would check the wind forecast when I get up at 3, and text him what time I would be picking them up at the Holiday Inn Express in town.  They want to go to Big Boppers for breakfast first. 

So, Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Day 2 with Dee, Steve, and Brian 5/24/17

by Capt Juls on 05/24/17

Left the house at 4:45 and headed straight down to Catawba to meet my Crew for a 5:30 launch.  I got there with plenty of time to get the rods set up with the Bandits I wanted to run, and made sure the line attached to the snaps was still in good working condition, or if they needed to be re-tied.

Dee, Steve, and Brian showed up nice and early, and we were on our way out of the harbor at 5:23.  The wind that I was expecting this morning wasn't there, so my plan to stay out front changed, and we headed back around the corner to fish the Shoals.

We went to the far side, and made a east to west pass across the north side of the hump, with Bandits set at 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, and 70 back.  I figured it was best to keep it to 3 lines per side, rather than 4, because I knew it would probably get pretty chaotic very shortly. It was still dark out and we could just make out the boards in the water, without any lights on them.

We had just put the last bait in the water when the inside Off Shore board on the port side when flying back. Brian yelled, "Fish!!" And, pointed to the lively board, while Dee grabbed the rod.  He had just started reeling that one in when the two outside boards went back....and, then, the middle board on the starboard side when shooting back. "Fish on the other side too", I said. Then, it was just a matter of getting them in the boat one at a time. Of those 5 fish, 3 were over 8 pounds...the biggest was just under 9 pounds. Woot! Woot!

What a way to start the morning! The sun wasn't even up yet, and we had a pile of fish in the live well already.  My guys were smiling, and I was happy to have a pile of rods and baits all over the boat that needed to be cleaned up and set back out asap.

To make a long story short....it was an early bite again and slowed way down when the other charter boats showed up out there.  We had 12 in the box by then, so we were pretty stoked by our good fortune on the early bite, and didn't sweat it.

We trolled around the shoal until we picked up 5 more fish and decided to get out of there, because it was getting too crowded and some Captains don't follow the rules of the road, the way they should....anyway, I digress....

We left there, and went back around the corner to fish the 16-17' contours west of Catawba and out in front of Port Clinton.  We picked up two keepers and some throw backs on a bottom bouncer with a crawler harness and a Deep Husky Jerk. The Bandits were catching little fish...some not much bigger than the bait itself! lol

My guys wanted to go get their fish cleaned and get on the road back to Indiana, so we pulled the lines and headed in.  Brian said, "This was the best trip to Erie I've ever had, and it restored my enthusiasm for fishing here. The only other charter I did here was with SeaBreeze Charters"...( But, I think it best if I don't publish what he said about their business.) ;)

They plan on coming back again next year, so that made me happy.

Tomorrow, I fish with Evan Parr and his fiancé. I fished with Evan a couple of weeks ago, and had a ton of fun, so I'm looking forward to fishing again tomorrow.

Oh, and by the way, the colors were the same as yesterday. :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Dee, Steve, and Brian 5/23/17

by Capt Juls on 05/23/17

This morning, I left the house at 4:30, thinking I had enough time to get to Mazurik's launch by 5:30, after gassing up, getting ice, and grabbing some breakfast at Big Boppers.  I was wrong. I was close...but, I was wrong.

I managed to get the gas and ice with a 1/2 hour left, but there was a snafu with my ordering at Big Boppers. I walked in, and there was only one other person there....so, I ordered pancakes and bacon, because I figured that would be really quick, and I could make it to the launch with time to spare.  

However, my order didn't get started right away, because lots of people poured in after I went in the bathroom. lol 

Anyway, after a quick text to let my crew know they didn't have to get there until 5:45 instead of 5:30...I got a response back stating that they were already there. Ugh! That figures...not often my crew beats me to the launch, but it would have to happen this morning. :)

I wolfed down my breakfast, and got out of there as fast as I could, and managed to get to the launch by 5:33, where they were waiting patiently.

We readied the boat and hit the water by 5:45....we were headed out with Nav lights lit. Whew!

The sun was still just a whisper on the horizon, and would be another 24 minutes until an official sunrise.

We didn't go very far and set up on the east side of a shoal, since the wind was from the southeast this morning.  We trolled around the edges from 14 foot of water out to 24 foot. 

Bandits were run 50-80 back at 2.1-2.3mph
Stock colors: Blue Chrome, Khaki, Taco Salad,....Domka Outdoors' Huff Daddy, and Captain Awesome, Attention Deficit, and Blue Sexy......DJ's Customs Angry Clipper, Pooh Bear Purple, and Pooh Bear Chartreuse

We were able to make two passes over the shoal, and managed to boat quite a few walleye during a "Chinese fire drill" type of action,before the other charter boats got out there.  It seemed like, that after all the boats hit the shoal, the bite slowed down and then eventually became non existent.

We left the shoal and headed east towards Kelly's...keeping the baits in the water the whole time. We picked up a couple on the way, and the Helix 12 marked a ton of fish on the north side of American Eagle Shoal, but they were all very deep, and not wanting to come out to play with us.

In the end, it was a beautiful day, and we ended their 6 hour trip with 18 nice walleye. We also caught some sheepshead, and a few white bass too.  The crew did an excellent job with the Off Shore Boards today, and had fun! They are looking forward to fishing again tomorrow too. 

However, I explained to them, that it would not be as fun as it was today, since we have a strong east wind forecast for tomorrow. Grrrr....stupid wind!

I'm thinking I'll hide out on the protected side of the islands or down in front of PC. Not sure yet....but, we will get out. I'm sick of sitting on shore.  Someone give Mother Nature a special brownie or something...she needs to calm down....seriously. (rolling my eyes). :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Stupid Weather....

by Capt Juls on 05/21/17

I haven't blogged since the 16th, because there really wasn't much to report.

I was the second boat to Capt Kevin's charter of 6 men from Wisconsin.  We fished less than favorable conditions on Wednesday, where we were restricted to staying tight to the south shore, due to strong SW winds.  We managed 5 keepers out of about 20 hook ups. The rest were too small to put in the box.

Thursday was a day off due to weather and lake conditions.

Friday we got out, but it was a rough morning too, with gusty NE winds and waves at a steady 2-3 foot with many 4's thrown in....and, some 5's.  We picked the crews up at South Bass at 6:45am.

My guys wanted to run crawlers, so I obliged. We caught one walleye in the slop chute by the ferry, and dropped two others before the rod was even out of the rod holders.

Then, we moved up to Middle Bass and made a pass along the west side of the island. We caught a few big sheepshead, but no walleye.  
We moved up to the north side of North Bass, because the leader of my crew said he had "heard" of a big fish being caught up there, so I obliged. 
The ride up to that side was rough with the NE wind. We set up, and started a pull from the buoys on the north side, and headed SW along the break.

More than once, it was mentioned how rough it was, so I figured they were uncomfortable, and said, "Pick them up, and we'll move back over to the protected side of the island". 

We set up on the the south side of West Reef and headed south. The waves were much smaller, and we changed over from crawlers to Bandits. We hooked up with 4 big smallmouth on top of the reef, and two eyes after we were off the reef.

We ended the day, and I took them back to the island, to drop them off. 
On my way back in to Catawba, I spotted an orange board floating in the waves, and made several attempts to retrieve it in the rough water. Finally, I managed to net it, and headed in. There was a name and phone number on the board, and I recognized the area code as a Wisconsin phone number. 

I called the number when I got in, and left a message for the owner.  It turns out they were staying out on South Bass too, and would be leaving the next morning on the first Ferry out.  I told him that I would meet him after he was off the ferry and return his board to him.  

He was thankful for the kind gesture, and that made me happy.

Saturday, we cancelled our trip, due to a strong east wind, with waves forecast at 3-6 foot, (but, a report told me they were closer to 4-8 feet).

Fast forward to this morning (Sunday 5/21)....my crew cancelled, due to wanting to stay fishing on a lake to the south of Lake Erie, where they were whacking the walleye pretty fast, and then limiting on crappies.  They also didn't want to fish in the 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms forecast for the day, so I couldn't blame them, and told them to have fun.  

I'm taking the day off, and getting the house clean. Maybe I'll go see a movie. I don't know yet.

Tomorrow's weather doesn't look very good either, so I'm waiting to see what the forecast does, and whether my regular customer wants to go try it.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe and Skip 5/16/17

by Capt Juls on 05/16/17

The crew showed up last night, while I was cleaning the Ranger, because they wanted to know in advance where I lived.  

I had asked them to meet me early in the morning....meaning it would be dark out when they were looking for my house.  I told them that I would leave the porch light on, and light up the trailer lights, so they could find the house easily.

I said to meet at my house at 5am, and Joe said, "That's fine. We might even be a little bit early" (I secretly smiled inside).  So, I was mildly surprised when they actually did show up a little early.....a half hour early, in fact. 

We headed over to Turtle Creek to launch, but we were earlier than I wanted to be there. So, I readied the boat and told them that we were going to wait for it to get a little bit lighter out. We launched at 5:20, rode out the channel,  and were setting lines by 5:40am.

There was a light SE wind, and the waves were 1 foot or less. The sky was cloudy with just some streaks of a sunrise that was visible, coming up in the east, and a thunderstorm way over to the west, that was headed north, and away from us.  The water temperature was up to 57.4 degrees, and the air temp was around 60 degrees.

We ran the same program as the previous two days....All Bandits....Taco Salad at 40 back, Blue Chrome at 45 back, and Crown Juls at 50 back. All baits took fish....and, again, it was a faster bite before the sun came up, and slowed down as soon as it was light out.  However, the bite was a little better each day after the sunrise, so I think that the "Full Moon Effect" is diminishing, and we'll get back to that regular daytime bite again. :)

Two days ago, it took 1 hour to catch our limit of 18 fish....yesterday, it took 2 hours....and, today it took 3 hours and 15 minutes. So, I think I'll get that extra sleep in the morning and start launching at my normal time of 6am again....woot! woot!

Tomorrow's charter is an add on to one of Capt Kevin's trips....it's a 4 day "company deal" where he's taking three of the 6 people, and I'm taking 3 of them, over the next 4 days.  They are staying out on South Bass Island for the rest of the week, and we'll be picking them up on the island, on the days that it's possible. 

I think tomorrow they may have to take the ferry across and let us pick them up, so we can launch from the mainland.  The winds are forecast for 15-25 (gusts to 30) out of the south west. That will be too rough to pick them up out there.

So, stay tuned.....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 5/15/17

by Capt Juls on 05/15/17

Steve and Jeremy usually drive up from Columbus, but when I told them how early they needed to meet me at my house, they opted to drive up the night before and stay in Port Clinton for the night.

They showed up at my house right on time, at 5am. We loaded into the truck and headed west again.

It was the same routine as the day before, and it didn't disappoint. But, it did take a little longer to put 3 limits in the boat. Today, it took 2 hours...:)

Again, Bandits 40,45, and 51 back at 2.2-2.5mph...blue chrome, crown juls, pooh bear purple, and taco salad were the hot colors.

Tomorrow, I have Joe Jay and his friend, Skip, who stopped by earlier to make sure they knew where I lived.  The plan is the same as today and yesterday, and hopefully, the fish will still be cooperative.

The fish bit very well before the sun hit the water, and then slowed down as the sun got higher in the sky.  We'll see what kind of mood the fish are in tomorrow.

That full moon is getting smaller now, so hopefully, the regular feeding schedule will be back in full swing next week.  Finger crossed...:)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Randy and Kenny 5/14/17

by Capt Juls on 05/15/17

Randy and Kenny were standing outside their hotel when I drove up at 4:30am to pick them up.  We headed to Catawba to launch, but when we got there, I could hear the waves from the lake, in the dark.  So, I took a walk down to the pier to get a better look at how rough it was.  It was rolling in at 2 foot or less, but I figured it would be a better idea to drive over to Turtle Creek to launch instead of riding all the way across in the dark on a kind of rough lake.

So, we packed into the truck once again and headed west.  We launchd at Turtle Creek at 5:25, and were setting lines at 5:45am.  The boards were still a little hard to see that early, but we could just make them out enough to see if they had a fish on or not.  

The catching started right away, and we could never get all 6 lines out, because the fish just kept coming.  We caught our limits in just an hour. Everything was on Bandits 40 & 45 back at 2.3-2.4mph.  Blue Chrome, Crown Juls, Pooh Bear Purple, and Taco Salad were the colors that were hot.  We targeted 13-14' of water and made only 1 and a half passes.

It was a quick morning, and the brothers were happy to be able to get back to Indianapolis for Mother's Day, so I was able to get a lot done around the house and yard. :)

I'll be with Jeremy and Steve Chapman tomorrow, and plan the same game plan.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Randy and Kenny 5/13/17

by Capt Juls on 05/13/17

I left my house at 4:45 this morning. Stopped in at Rickard's Bait and Tackle for a bag of ice, and then picked my crew up a little after 5am at the Country Inn and Suites.  We hit Micky D's to grab some breakfast "to go", and headed to Catawba to launch by 5:30am.

We headed out on a calm lake....(finally, those north and east winds had stopped blowing, and gave us a reprieve for a change)...set up a short distance from the launch in 19 feet of water, and pointed the bow of the boat west. We had good marks, but they weren't jumping in the boat like they did last Wednesday. 

We only managed three walleye today....all on Bandits 55 back at 1.7mph.  

I'll be fishing with Randy and Kenny again in the morning, and plan on an even earlier start (5am).  We hope to be on a better bite tomorrow....we shall see.

Stay tuned...

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there!  My Mom is pretty awesome....and, I'm very fortunate that I got to be her's. :)

Capt Juls

It's an afternoon bite right now....

by Capt Juls on 05/12/17

I had a trip today, but to make a long story short....we zeroed today. :(

We started out at Niagara Reef....along with just about every other boat that was on the water this morning, because the water was cleaner from the reef and north of the reef. 
We trolled Bandits 40, 45, 50,55, 75, and 100 back, but didn't connect with anything toothy.

Then, we headed NE towards West Reef, and ran over some dirty water that was holding a lot of fish, and was a few degrees warmer, so we turned around and set up to make a pass over them. They, however, didn't want to come out to play either.

So, we went on to West Reef to see if we could play with some smallmouth up in the shallows, while running some Top 20's on one side, at 25, 30, and 35 back and Bandits on the other side at 30, 40, and 50 back. But, we only had one big pull back and lost it before we could get the board off. It was a big fish though...whatever it was. 

I'm thinking that the afternoon bite will probably be better this afternoon, due to the bright moon we had last night, and because of the reports of a good bite yesterday afternoon.

Tomorrow, I hope to be launching a little earlier in the am, and hitting the reef complex earlier too.

Good luck to those that get out tomorrow....the mud is cleaning up nicely all over the western basin and the bite should get better and better each day.

To view the satellite picture from today, just click on the weather tab above, and click on the "Satellite Pic" button.

Happy Mother's Day to all those Moms out there too! Have a wonderful weekend!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Evan and Tim 5/10/17

by Capt Juls on 05/10/17

I met Evan and Tim at Catawba this morning, for a 6:30am launch.  We headed toward the reef complex after getting word of decent water clarity and a good bite over there.

We set up our Off Shore spread with Bandits 40,45,50, and 55 back and set a speed of 1.8-2.0mph going with the waves, using the "Baby ETEC" to push the boat, and the Ulterra on the bow to steer it. 

The wind was out of the east today, and really wasn't blowing much at all in the early am, but as the day went on the wind speed picked up a little. The waves were mostly 2 foot or less, but there were a few 3's  thrown in for good measure.

It wasn't long before the first board went back, indicating a fish on.  I was hoping it wasn't a sheepshead, or white bass, but it was...it was a whitey.  While that fish was still in the net, the second board went back, and Tim reeled in the first walleye.

Evan and Tim fish together a lot out of Evan's boat, back in MI. They wanted some pointers on running inline boards, and after spending the morning with them, and all the fish they reeled in.... I have no doubt that they learned enough,  and now have the confidence to run more than two per side on their own boat. 
They caught their 12 walleye by 9:30am, and the rest of the morning we spent working on my limit, so they could keep fishing, and learning some tricks.

They did a great job, and it was a lot of fun fishing with these two young men. Evan has May 25th reserved too, and hopefully his fiancé can make it this time. She was supposed to come today, but couldn't make it, so Tim gladly filled in. :)

Tomorrow  is supposed to blow out of the ENE pretty good, early, and then calm down for a few hours.  We will be launching out of Catawba at 9am, to catch those lesser winds, and breaks in the rain. 

I doubt I can get back out to where I was today, so I'm going to be going up the west side of the islands in search of some clean water.  I'll see what the weather man has to say about tomorrow, a little later. My plans may change completely...you never know. lol

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls