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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Derric, Brad, and Steve 4/26/18

by Capt Juls on 04/26/18

Well, after a few days off...it was nice to get back in the swing of things!


Yesterday, Derric, Brad, and Steve had driven out from Bismark, ND in ONE DAY, so they were pretty tired this morning.  However, their enthusiasm to fish is what motivated them this morning.

I arrived at their hotel a little early, and met two of the three in the parking lot. They needed to get some things from the gas station first, so I offered to drive them over, and give the third guy a chance to get ready and meet us downstairs.

Once we were on the road, I asked them what their level of experience was, so I knew if I was going to have an easy day, or a more "complicated" day. Luckily, two out of the three knew how to run Off Shore boards, and the third one caught on quickly....So, yay me! I got a fun/easy day today. :)

We launched out of Catawba at 6:45, and headed west first. I didn't mark much there, so after a 1/2 mile pass I decided to move over to the south side of South Bass. The marks there are insane, but they are deep, and the water was still a bit too stained/muddy there for my liking. So, we moved north again.

I ran up the east side of the Bass Islands and marked some fish on the Helix on the way up to another spot I wanted to fish first.  We set lines with Bandits running anywhere from 60 back to 60 back with a 2oz snap weight.   Speed was 1.7-1.8mph. Huff Daddy at 20/40 w/2oz  took the first fish....a nice 29" walleye.

After turning around and going half the distance back to our starting point...I told them, "Let's pull'em...and, move east". In quick form they had it all pulled and ready to move.  

We set lines again in the new spot and set a southeasterly course to start. 60, 65, 70, 80, and (2) at 20/402oz, were the leads. "Crown Juls" would take 3 more big fish. I found some that would bite, and just turned on them...round and round...picking off a nice fish each time through.
But, by the time we got to that spot, we didn't have much time left, so the guys ended their day with 4 nice fish in the box and one that was lost at the net at the very end, when it spit the hooks with about 12 inches to go before it hit the net. Ouch!! ....sigh.

Water temp was up to 45-47 in the areas I visited this morning.

The crew had a good time and learned a few things. They will be fishing out of their own boat tomorrow, and Saturday, and will put to use what they learned this morning. 

I'm looking forward to hearing how they end up tomorrow. I told them, "That fish you let go is good Karma". It's always good to let one go every now and then, so maybe that will bring them good luck. ;)

Tomorrow I have a couple of regulars...Steve and Jeremy Chapman. I'm sure you know the names if you read my blogs. They've taken many-many trips over the past 7 years with me, and are now more like "family" than customers. So, I'm really looking forward to getting out on the water with them again tomorrow.

I haven't seen any Sheepshead yet, but since Jeremy is fishing tomorrow...I can gusrantee he will catch one. He's the Sheepshead "King"! heheh

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Fishing with Mike, Gary, and Lee Christianson 4-22/23-18

by Capt Juls on 04/23/18

My two days with the Christianson's, from Wisconsin, was a tough one. While we all had a good time fishing, the catching was less than stellar!


Yesterday, (4/22), was a one fish day....ugh.  We caught that fish before the lines were all set on the first pass near F can...then, nothing.  So, we moved north to Middle Bass, where I had been the day before to see if it cleaned up more. While it was a tiny bit cleaner, it wasn't holding the marks in the same areas that it did the day before. We made one half assed pass there, and decided to move north of North Bass. The water was cleaner up there, rougher with the ENE wind, and holding good marks...but, we didn't catch any...sigh.

So, a long story short, on day one....one stinking fish. But, on the bright side, I wasn't in Pooh Bear's Book of Shame, which one must be entered into if you zero for the day...woot! woot!

After discussing with the crew what they would want to do the next day, they decided on trying out some jigging in the morning, and then going trolling, so that's what we did today.

The crew met me at my house a little before 6am this morning, and we loaded up in my truck to go to Turtle Creek to launch. While I had heard you didn't need minnows to catch fish with the hair jigs, we decided it was better to have and not need, than to need and not have. So, we stopped off at Dream Catcher Bait and Tackle on the way towards Turtle to pick up a scoop of emeralds, and some ice.

We launched by 6:30 and headed out the channel. The plan was to either hit Locust or Toussaint...I chose Toussaint Reef.  We made one short pass and Gary picked up a 16 inch walleye. On the second pass...I moved up to realign our drift, and the crew got busy. Gary caught two more on that pass and Mike caught another one, giving us a total of 4 (biggest was 24 inches). 

After a third pass with nothing, (and the radio chatter that was talking about a slow jig bite), we decided to try our luck and go trolling for some bigger fish.  

 I set off for Niagara, hoping the water clarity would stay the same as it was over on the other reefs, but it wasn't. It was that stained/muddyish color that was all over most of the western basin right now.

The Helix told me the water temps by the reefs was 41.7, but over in the muddier water, it was a bit warmer at 42.3. There were good marks on the east side of the reef, but we couldn't get them to go.

We hit the North Bass Island area, and was pleasantly surprised to find cleaner water for a change.  We made a couple of passes, and managed two nice fish, with the largest going 27.5 inches. The fish have very big heads right now, and bodies that don't match...making them very odd looking.  They are a bit on the skinny side right now, but that will soon change as they put the feed bag on after this spawn.

Both of those fish were caught on DJ's Custom "IB Frozen" colors at 90 back (no weight) and 20/40 with a 2oz "Guppie" Snap Weight. Speed was 1.8mph.

My guys were scheduled to fish tomorrow, but with the slow bite, a continuing east wind....and, some rain in the forecast, they opted to head home a day early. I'm happy to have the day off to catch up on some grocery shopping, house cleaning, and serving the almighty Dexter (the dog) and his sister, Jill though. They miss me. :)

So, if the weather cooperates, I'll be out the rest of the week after tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls


Fishing with Luke and Jeff 4/21/18

by Capt Juls on 04/21/18

I was meeting my crew at Catawba at 6:45, so on the way I stopped in at Rickard's Bait to pick up some crawlers and a small bag of ice. But, as usual, I walked out without my ice...deep sigh.


We launched by 7am and headed west from the dock to see what we could find. The marks were scattered, and the water very stained...not too muddy, but not what I like to fish in. Knowing the lake was still a mess from the last NE blow I didn't have my hopes too high today.  

After making one pass through an area, I decided to move north towards the islands. The most recent satellite picture had shown some decent water up there, but you never know how it's going to change over night. Last night was pretty calm, so I was hoping it would clear up even more. But, with the lake's current running high, it moved some of that west mud into the island area.

We were pulling more P10's than Bandits to start, but decided to change it up after not pulling anything after a long pass.  Luke and Jeff fish with me every two years, and remembered the Khaki color from the past and asked me, "Do you still run the Khaki color?" I said, "Yes, but usually more so in May". I thought, "Why not?" And, grabbed one out of the box. Luke put it out at 20/40 with a 2oz Guppie weight, and it took a nice 7 1/2 pound walleye a short time later. So, we put a second one out....however, it wasn't a magic color...it would take one more in the same area, but that was it.

We moved from the west side of the islands to the east side, to see if Lucy's Point had cleaner water. It did, and the Helix showed great marks there too, so I was hopeful we could get into a better bite. The water temperature was 1 degree colder there than on the west side of the islands.  It was 41.6 on the west side, and 40.7 on the east side.  
We didn't catch anything by Lucy's, which was disappointing, so after running out of time, we moved back down to where we originally started, so we could make one more pass before heading in. My buddy was down there and reporting he had caught 5 and lost 7 nice fish. 

We marked some good fish on the way back there, so we stopped short and set up. Again...good marks, but no takers. They were staying deep on us today, and we couldn't get them to come up and play with us.

With the east winds for the next three days, maybe the fish will be fooled into thinking we have "stable" weather, since the wind direction won't change 180 degrees every day, like it's been doing.

So, not much to report today, other than there's a lot of fish out there waiting to be caught, but they are not ready to play yet.  There was a DNR officer at Catawba when we came in and he said, "From the numbers coming in, everyone is struggling today"...which pretty much summed up our day too.

But, tomorrow is another day.  I have three gentlemen from my home state of Wisconsin for the next three days (if I don't bore them to death, and they go home early!), so hopefully, we can get something figured out early on.  Fingers crossed!

Sorry I don't have better news for everyone who is reading this, looking for information, but I don't have any to give today.

This lake and weather has to straighten up soon...and, then, it will be "game on"!

Stay tuned.....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott, Gus, and Mel 4/13/18

by Capt Juls on 04/13/18

First, I need to correct the fact that I thought this crew was from SD, and said that in my previous blog. Scott, Gus, and Mel are from MN.


I advised them that the weather for their 4 day trip would be iffy, the lake was still muddy, and the bite a bit off, but they were determined to come anyway. They had rescheduled this trip 3 times already, and weren't going to let Mother Nature stop them this time. lol

We did get out on Wednesday, but with strong winds that started out of the SE and switched to the SW, gusting to 30mph at times, kept us from venturing too far from the southern shore.

We trolled up 4 walleye in front of Lakeside and the Marblehead lighthouse using Bandits and P10's....the usual program I've been running.

Thursday was a blow day, so we didn't fish.

Today, we had an east wind 10-14mph all day, so the lake wasn't bad....waves were 1-3s as predicted. Water temp was 42 degrees west of Catawba, and there were good marks between E and F cans.  We started our first pass east of F can and picked up the first eye before we had all the Off Shore boards out.

I joked, that I hoped it wasn't like a tournament day, where you catch a fish in the first 5 minutes and then nothing all day. They laughed, but added, "I hope you didn't just jinx us!"

The water was dirtier there than I liked....I could barely make out the cavitation plate, so we moved west to where I thought I saw clean water on the previous day's satellite image.  It didn't get much cleaner, but it was a little better.

We set up near G can to make a westwardly pass, and picked up two more nice walleye. But, unfortunately, after a few more passes and locations, we didn't pick up anymore. So, we ended their day with 3 nice fish. No pigs, but very nice fish. (Yes, I know about the jig bite, but they didn't want to jig for the 15-18 inch fish on the reefs. They wanted a big one.) :)

Tomorrow is another canceled day, so they will head back to MN, without the wallhanger they saught. :(

My crew was just happy to get out of the snowy state of MN for a short trip, and enjoyed their time on the water....and, that makes me happy!

My trip for Sunday is already rescheduled...as is my 3 day for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday...sigh.  I sure hope Momma Nature straightens out soon...this is getting tiring.  But, it could be worse....we could still have snow and ice like they do in MN!

So, until I get out again....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Fishing with Pat, Shawn, and Robert 4/9/18

by Capt Juls on 04/09/18

Well, after rescheduling Pat's birthday trip from his girlfriend 4 years ago, we finally made it out on day one of a two day trip!


It was chilly this morning with a temp of 34 degrees and a southeasterly breeze. I was supposed to pick the crew up at the Holiday Inn Express at 7:30, but timed it wrong. I had to stop for gas, so I left the house early....too early. I arrived at the hotel at 6:38...lol  But, as I played with my phone, they came walking out at 6:45, so it was a win win. :)

We launched at Catawba at 7am, and headed west to the reefs, where the satellite picture showed some cleaner water.  We set up SE of Toussaint Reef, and made a NW troll in 20-21 foot of water.

I ran the same program of P-10's and Bandits...20/20, 30/30, and 40/40 on the P-10's and 55, 65, and 80 back on the Bandits. I tried to keep my speed around 1.4mph.

We picked away at some smaller fish, and finished the troll with an 8 for 12 result.  We moved east to D Can and then trolled toward Niagara...didn't mark much and didn't pull anything there. Then we moved south until we marked some fish, and set up for one last short pull, since we were running out of time.  We picked up one more nice fish, and finished with 9.

The wind was switching from the southeast to the northeast all morning, so by the time we finished at 1pm, it was out of the northeast.

My guys didn't keep any fish today, except for one small male that had engulfed the back hook into his gills, so he was bleeding out. Rather than let it die and waste away in the lake, I took it home and turned him into a nice pot of Walleye Chowder for tomorrow's trip.  I'll heat it up in the morning and throw it in a thermos for us to enjoy at lunch. :)

The water temps were still in the 38-39 degree range, due to the cold water being blown back in from the east. 

Tomorrow's winds are supposed to be less than 5mph and out of the west, but we'll see what it is in the morning. It seems like it changes hourly this time of the year, and it's getting old! lol  

On the bright side though...starting Wednesday, it's supposed to start warming up. Unfortunately, along with those warm temps are some blustery winds out of the southwest that we'll have to deal with.

So, until tomorrow....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott, Dominic, and Larry 4/2/18

by Capt Juls on 04/03/18

Day 3...


Picked my crew up at 7am and hit Mazurik's and launched by 7:20. Again, we headed north to start the morning.  Waves were 2' or less with a north wind around 10mph. It was chillier than the day before with an air temp of only 29 degrees.  However, the skies were clear, so it wouldn't take long for the sun to warm it up.

We ran the same program as the day before. 4 Bandits were run on one side, and P-10's on the other side. The P-10's run 30/30 and 40/40 with a 1oz snap weight were more productive for us over all, but the first fish of the morning came on a Domka Outdoors custom color Bandit called, "Anger Management".

Dominic, who is 15 years old, wanted a 30" fish on this trip, and was rewarded when the first fish of the day was a 30" 10.5 pound piggy. He was excited to finally catch one. That one is going to be mounted, along with the other big fish from the previous days, since Grandpa Larry is an award winning taxidermist.

We made a few passes up north, and caught two limits there. When the bite slowed for us, I decided to move back south where I had marked some fish on the Helix on the way up.  There was some muddy water, mixing water, and cleaner water in the area.  The fish marks were plentiful in the dirtier water, and we picked off enough to finish with a 4 person limit there. There were definitely marks of big fish on the screen, but we only managed to entice the eater size walleye to eat our offerings there.

After discussing the weather for Tuesday and Wednesday, they decided they would  head back to South Dakota early. 

The next group is coming in from Iowa, and is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday. It looks like Thursday will be a go, unless something changes, and Saturday too, but Friday's weather dictates a "no go" for us. This will be another two boat deal with Capt Kevin Swartz.  
 In early spring, it's not unusual for groups to schedule several days knowing that they might not get all the days in.  April's weather is always so unpredictable...ugh.  It's the only month I wish I had a big boat with a nice warm cabin to fish out of. lol

Anyway, it was a fun three day adventure with Scott, Dominic, and Larry. They had a great time, and worked the Off Shore boards like they had been fishing with inline planer boards for a long time. Scott said the only experience he had with them in the past was watching how it was done on someone else's boat.  I couldn't have been more pleased with how fast they picked it up, and how easy it made my job. Woot! Woot! :)

So, until Thursday....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls



Fishing with Scott, Dominic, and Larry 4/1/18

by Capt Juls on 04/01/18

Day two with my SD crew (Capt Kevin has the other party of this group)...


I picked my guys up at 7:15 and we hit the gas station for some petrol for the Ranger.  We headed to Mazurik's and launched by 7:45. After letting the ETEC warm up, we headed north. 

It was a bit bouncy in the morning, due to the west winds, but it wasn't too bad. 

The bite was best in the early morning, and the P-10's and Bandits successfully pulled 7 nice fish in the first pass.  It was the same program as the last time out, which was P-10's with 1oz snap weights run 30/30 and 40/40, and Bandits run 75, 80, and 85 back behind the Off Shore boards.  Speed was 1.4(ish).  We dropped two fish on that first pass too...oh well...:)

We ran back up to our starting point, to make another pass on my line, but found the bite to be a bit tougher the second time around.  Our count was up to 13 though, so I decided it would be a good time to go scout another area, so we picked up and headed east, to the east side of Kelly's.

We set lines again near Airport Reef, and while there were few to no marks there, we kept trolling south.  We picked up one suicidal piggy that was our biggest fish of the day, topping the scale at 10.74 pounds (29" fatty), and a smaller 3 pound fish we let go, because it was the 15th fish. I told them that if they kept another one, we would be done for the day, so they decided to let the little one go, and keep fishing. We caught another one that went about 4 1/2 pounds, so they kept that one. The last fish never showed up, so we were one short of our 4 man limit. 

They had hit their personal bests 6 times over today with a 29 1/2, 29, 29, 28 3/4, 28, and 27 3/4s.  All 6 are going home to be hung on their walls. :)

It was a super fun day fishing the Scott, his son, Dominic, and Scott's Father in Law Larry.  We'll be hitting the water at 7:30 tomorrow to see if we can duplicate what we did today. 

The winds will be down tomorrow, so it should be an awesome day on the water!

Water temps today were 37-38 degrees.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Scott, Dominic, and Larry 3/30/18

by Capt Juls on 03/31/18

Had a two boat deal with some South Dakotans with Capt Kevin. We picked them up at their place at 9:15, thinking we could launch at 10am.


The winds were still strong out of the north though, so when we got to Mazurik's it was a no go.  I took my three guys to Big Bopper's to wait it out another hour, while Kevin and his crew stayed at the launch. There were several others waiting it out at the launch too.

We got back from Bopper's and ended up waiting another hour before launching the boats. I let the ETEC warm up before heading out, since the temps were still on the chilly side.  There's plenty of clean water east of the Bass islands, and north of Kelly's, so that's where we looked first.  We marked a few fish, but nothing like I wanted to see. 

We set lines with Smithwick P-10's with 1oz snap weights run 30/30 and Bandits unassisted at 80 and 90 back. Both programs took some fish, but they were all just eaters...no pigs today.

At one point, my curiosity got the best of me, and we headed to the west of the islands, and found ourselves between the Rattles on Rattlesnake Island and North Bass. The water was a good mixing color, and there were good marks there too.  We picked up two fish there to give us a total of 3 (we had lost two, so we were 3 for 5 at this point.)

Then, with time running out, we headed back to the southeast of South Bass Island and set lines again. There were some decent marks, and sometimes no marks. The funny thing is....the last four fish we caught there, there were no marks on the screen. So, I guess that's saying....if you don't see any marks, go on faith and don't get too discouraged. lol

We ended up with a total of 7 eaters, but my guys had a good time, and are looking forward to the next trip out on Sunday.  It's going to be really really cold on Sunday, but the winds will be down, so that's a good thing. :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Craig, Steve, and Todd 3/18/18

by Capt Juls on 03/18/18

Craig, Steve, and Todd drove down from MI this morning, and met me at my house, so we could drive to the launch together.  After a pit stop at the gas station to gas up the Ranger and get some ice for the cooler (my live well lever was frozen on Saturday and this morning, so I didn't want to force it. With the nice weather this afternoon, it's unstuck now, so all is well!)


We hit Mazurik's at 9am and, again, sat in the water for about 5 minutes to let the engine get up to temp, before heading west.  My original plan was to launch out of Catawba, but with the SW wind this morning, and a report of icy ramps, I opted to launch out of M's.  

We headed west, and ended up close to Round Reef, because that was the first area that I came to that wasn't muddy.  I had thought the light winds overnight would have cleaned that whole area up more than it did, but that wasn't the case. 

Anyway....when we arrived, I was on the southern end of the reef, in 19' of water. There were a lot of boats to the NE of me, so I deployed the Ulterra and set a course to the east at 1.0mph, but the surges would make it .9mph to 1.5mph.

The program was Smithwick Perfect 10's with 1oz snap weights at 30/30 (let 30' of line out, add the snap weight, and let another 30' of line out before attaching the Off Shore boards.) Bandits were running at 50, 55, 60, and 65 back unassisted (no snap weights) behind the Off Shores.

The hot colors for us today was definitely the IB Frozen Perfect 10, and a new "Custom Color of the Month" from Domka Outdoors that looks like a chrome perch. I don't know the name of this one yet, so I added a picture to the album.

Sour Grape and Darkwing Duck Bandits from Domka Outdoors were both good choices too.

We caught fish until the mud moved in on us, so we made a move to the north side of the reef, and made an easterly troll again. I wasn't marking as many fish on that side, so I turned the boat and made a heading towards D Can. Once we got closer to D Can we picked up our last three fish to finish out their limit.

It was a sunny day, but cold in the morning, with the wind, but it warmed up nicely in the afternoon.  My crew was a hoot to fish with, and we were tripping over each other when we had a quad on and trying to land them all at the same time. We only managed to get three of them in though, but that's okay...it was a great start to the morning!  They did a fantastic job setting lines, and getting fish in the boat!

The fish were definitely biting better for us today, than they were yesterday. So, that was a relief. 

The crew has reserved a date in late September to go perch'n with me, so that makes me happy. :)

I won't be fishing this week, and the regular schedule starts next Saturday, so I hope the weather forecast straightens out before next weekend. We are supposed to have some nasty winds all week again, so we'll have to see what happens.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jim, Mike Sr., and Mike Jr 3/17/18

by Capt Juls on 03/17/18

Fishing with Jim, Mike Sr, and Mike Jr 3/17/18

First, let me apologize for no pictures....uffda! Still getting the winter cobwebs out of my brain. :(

My crew met me at my house at 8:30, and we drove over to Mazurik's, together, to launch by 9am. It was a frosty morning, with "dew ice" covering the Ranger and her ETECs, but there was no wind, so that was really really nice for a change.

As we readied the boat, Capt Chuck Oeder showed up in line behind us. He offered to "dump us", and park the truck. I took him up on that offer so we all loaded in the boat and launched. We sat out front until the motor temp reached 124 degrees, to help prevent any motor issues by running it at such a cold temp (It was only 25 degrees this morning).

The new 300 G2 purred as we rode across the glass-like lake, towards the north side of Kelly's. Once we traveled out of the muddy water, we found a ton of marks, and perfect mixing water, where I thought we should start.

We would spend the next 4 hours picking a fish here, picking a fish there, watching a board sink back only to come back up into marching formation again, or reeling it in and feeling the fish come off.

We had 12 hookups, brought 6 to the boat, but had to throw two of those back, because they were just hitting the 15" mark. We didn't want to take a chance of it shrinking before we got in. You just never know when the ODNR will be waiting at the launch to check your fish. The ones that did make it to the cooler were small fish...16-22 inches.

I kept hoping the sun would come out and make those deep fish more active, and bring them up higher in the water column, but it was taking its old sweet time.

We ran Perfect 10's with 1oz and 2oz snap weights, at 30/30, and Bandits with 2oz snap weights anywhere from 20/20 to 20/80. The Lemon Lime Crush/orange belly Perfect 10 was hot, as was the new IB Twisted from DJ's Custom Eye Lures.

Speed was anywhere from 1.0 to 1.7mph. We caught one when I had it up to 1.7mph, so I guess slow or fast...you can catch fish. ;)

We lost a lot of fish at 1.0mph, and the ones that were hooked were just barely hooked, so the fish were definitely not in an aggressive mood in that spot for slow baits.

After 4 hours we got word of another decent bite, in a spot that was not mine to give, so I'm biting my lip not to give out that information. I like to keep my friends so I won't divulge their info. That's up to them to give out. I hope you understand. We ran 12 miles and set down. I didn't mark one fish on the Helix, so I was disappointed in moving from those other fish. I know, I know...."You don't leave fish to find fish"....but, when my fish are not being aggressive, and you tell me you just landed a triple....I'm picking up and leaving those lazy souls down in the deeper depths.

Their main focus of this trip was to learn how to run the Off Shore inline boards.They did that, and they caught a few fish for a fish fry. All in all, it was a good day. It wasn't too cold, and it wasn't so freak'n windy for a change. The company was great, and we all appreciated being out on the water, on such a nice day. The music played, and we munched on brownies, beef jerky, and peanut butter cookies in between jumping for a rod. lol

It was a good learning trip, and they did a fantastic job of setting the lines and bringing them back in. I have no doubt in my mind, that they will be able to take what they learned today and apply it to their boat with successful results.

It was a fun trip, and I'm grateful for a good time on the water, even if the little beasties didn't want to play aggressively today. Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer, with full sunshine all day, and temps in the mid 50's.

I haven't decided if I'm going out of Catawba or Mazurik's tomorrow yet. I guess I'll know in the morning. :)

Water temps were 34-35 degrees in the spots I was in today.

Stay tuned....

Oh Happy Days are Here Again!! Fishing on 2/26/18

by Capt Juls on 02/26/18

Woke up at 2am, which is normal for me right now, and had my morning coffee to start the day in quiet solitude.  I headed out to go let the dogs out of the kennels at the Humane Society of Ottawa County, here in Port Clinton. It's a "no kill" shelter I work at during the off season.


After cleaning the kennels and feeding my canine friends, I headed to the pool where I do my water aerobics after work. The water was chilly, but I forced myself to get in and did what I had to do.

I rushed home to let my dogs out again, grab a bite to eat, and got ready to go fishing with Capt Kevin.  We were taking his boat today, because he has a trip tomorrow, and wanted to do a shake down run, before he took customers out.

I'll be loading all my gear in my new Ranger tomorrow, and calibrating 10 Tekota 500's that I had re-spooled with  new line the other day.  I might have a trip or two this weekend, but nothing has been confirmed as of this writing. Etiher way though, I'll be out this weekend. (If the winds stay light like they are forecasting.)

Kevin and I launched at Mazurik's and headed out at around 9:30. There is very little ice floating around, and most of it is west of the islands and on the northern shore of the lake right now. We saw a big berg or two out around E can and NW.

Without mentioning exact spots, because Kevin will be using them tomorrow, I can say that we didn't go very far. ;)
There was just the two of us in the boat, so we could only run two line per side.

I chose a Smithwick Perfect 10 in a custom color called, "Crown Juls".  I had Mike Chaffin, who created this color last year, and has done a bunch of Bandit's in that color for me, make a half dozen in the Perfect 10 too.

I let 20 feet of line out, and then attached a 2oz snap weight, and then let out another 20 feet (total 40') and attached my Off Shore planer board.  For the other line, I put another P-10 in a stock color out...it's called "Marvin", and did the set up at 20/45 with 2oz's (total of 65').  Kevin kept the boat speed anywhere from .9 to 1.1mph.

We were fishing in 27' of water, with lots of marks. The water clarity was good. We could just see the cavitation plate, and that's what you want at this time of year...not too dirty, and not too clean.

After about 5 minutes, and while Kevin was still futzing and setting his lines, my outside board went back....FISH ON! Woot! Woot! It was the first walleye of our 2018 season. We didn't weigh it, but guessed it to be around 7-8 pounds....took a picture of her and let her go, to live another day.  Really though...neither of us wanted to bother with getting fish cleaned today. lol

We would catch two more eaters in that area, and decided to move to another location to check out the water clarity and fish marks, so he would have more that one place to fish with his crew.

The seconds stop was by the cans...we went close to G can and turned and looked from there to F can...there wasn't much to write home about there. The marks were poor where we stopped. That's not to say that they are not in the area, we just didn't set down on them, so we got on plane and moved again.

This time, we found exceptional marks...mostly deep, in 25' of water, but with several coming up to mid depth...and, some up very high. We set lines and gave it a shot. I had one bait set up in the top 8 feet of the water column, but no takers.  I reset to the 20/20 with the 2oz and it worked again.  Our largest fish of the day, was a fat bellied 9.8 pound eye, and the next largest weighing in at 8.6 pounds. That first fish would have rivaled this one.  The other three were just "eaters".   

We only fished until 2:30 and headed back in. He had to get some stuff ready for tomorrow, and I had to get home to take the dogs for a walk, make dinner, write this blog, and get to bed. As I'm writing this, it's only 6pm here, but it's already past my bedtime. lol  
That will change, as my time at the shelter for this season has come to an end. Wednesday is the last day I will be up that early and driving over to let the dogs out. (That makes me sad, as I love those dogs...hard not to get attached to them, ya know?)

The water temps were 33.5 at 9:30am, but with the clear skies and bright sunshine, by 2:30 the surface temp had risen one full degree.

Well, that's all for now....I'll be out this weekend again, I think.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Spring is Right Around the Corner! 2/6/18

by Capt Juls on 02/06/18

The 2018 fishing season is approaching, and I'm getting everything ready.  The new Ranger 621, powered by a shiny new 300 ETEC G2, is waiting patienly in a heated storage space at Dubbert's Marine, here in Port Clinton.


The EZEESteps arrived yesterday, and were installed, or at least most of it. I was short 2 U-Bolts, so those should be here on Wednesday, so I can finish installing them. :)

The three Humminbirds have been installed, and two of them are on a cool new Bass Boat Technologies "Double Stack" mount, that feels rock solid, so I'm really happy with that install.  I wanted to do the software updates for the units, but when I turned the boat's power on, I found the batteries were dead. So, I plugged in the Minn Kota 4 bank charger overnight, and went back yesterday to do the updates.  Unfortunately, I found that two of the brand new Interstate 31 series Marine AGM's were bad, so I got on the phone to the local Interstate battery dealer over in Sandusky to see if they had any to swap out.  They needed to be ordered in, so I'll be picking those up on Wednesday too.

I ran the same batteries last year with no issues, so hopefully, the two that get swapped out will be problem free the rest of the sesaon too...deep sigh....stupid batteries.

I found a curious thing that I have never seen happen in the 18 Rangers I have owned over the years, and I want to mention it, in case it happens to someone else.  One of the two bad batteries was the one that the keypad was hooked up to, and because it didn't have enough amps flowing, the keypad started doing this "blinking thing" with all the buttons on the keypad. Onc side would flash all the buttons on and off and then the other side woud flash on and off. So, when I replace the battery, that should fix that issue. So, if you see your keypad flashing like that....check your battery!

I'm just so happy that this year I stored it in heated storage, so I could work on it during these brutally cold days. Otherwise, I wouldn't have found these issues until a warmer day, when I could uncover the boat and hop in it. But, by then, I would be scrambling to get it all done in time to hit the water.  Now, I know that by the time there's open water, this beautiful machine will be in tip top shape to do the job its intended to do for me...and, that makes me happy. :)

I still have plenty of dates open in May through September, so if you're looking to do some walleye fishing or perch fishing on Lake Erie's Western Basin this season, give me a call or email me and I'll get you in the book!

With an estimated 100 plus million walleye in the lake this year, and all those short fish we were catching last year that will be legal now, it should be a ton of fun! Don't wait too long though, because once I start blogging about the fun days on the water, it won't take long to fill up the calendar....woot! woot!

Come on Spring!!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Merry Christmas! 12/23/17

by Capt Juls on 12/23/17

Merry Christmas Everyone! May 2018 Bring You Love, Happiness, Success, and Friendship!

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!  I'm Looking Forward to Fishing with all of you in the Spring...:)

Fishing with Darrell and Kevin 11/17/17

by Capt Juls on 11/17/17

I woke up this morning, and the first thing I did was check the wind forecast on iWindSurf, to see what the forecast held for us today.   Capt Kevin Swartz had invited me to go with him and his customer, Darrell, (from Indiana), to do a little walleye fishing.  


Kevin picked me up at 6:45 and we jumped on RT 2 to drive to the other side of Port Clinton. The Draw Bridge downtown on 163 is closed until some time in May, so going through town, to get to the other end of town is no longer an option until mid May some time....ugh.

Anyway, the plan for the day was a 6 hour trip....and, if we caught the walleye fast, we would use up the rest of the time fishing for Perch....woot! woot! :)

So, needless to say, we stopped at Rickard's Bait to pick up some Emeralds....(which, by the way, were the perfect sized minnows.)

We met Darrell at Mazurik's at 7:15 and launched by 7:30.....headed north out of the break wall, and up to the north side of Kelly's Island.

As Kevin and Darrell discussed the virtues of using electronics to find fish...Kevin told Darrell what it was he thought he was seeing on the screen. After marking a few nice fish,  he deployed the Ulterra, and set the iPilot in an easterly direction toward the shoal. 
 
The rods were all set with Smithwick Top 20's, running anywhere from 65 to 95 back, at a speed of 1.7mph. We would only manage 3 walleye on that mile long pull. 

After discussing where we should go next, we headed to the Sandusky Dumping Grounds.  Kevin stopped short of it, and pulled Off Shore boards into the waves, still running Top 20's.   I think we caught 2 or 3 more on that pull to the SE, giving us a total of 5 or 6....I can't remember exactly. 

I suggested that we pick everything up, and run inside...then, turn around to make the pull from south to north...going with the waves. Kevin agreed, so he ran us inside to about 33 foot of water...turned us around, and set the iPilot on a NW pull, which put the waves on the Ranger's starboard corner.

This time, on the run back up to the inside, I changed out the Top 20's that were on the side Darrell and I were running, all to #11 Flicker Minnows.  We chose to use the chrome purple/ with the orange belly, "Fancy Chartreuse", and "IB Frozen". I wanted to see if there was a bite higher in the water column, so I set them out at 45, 55, and 65 back.

After Kevin's side was set, and our side was set, Kevin grabbed the urinal and went to the front of the boat for some privacy.  I said to Darrell, "This is when I like to yell, 'Fish!!'", and laughed.  Just as I said that, Darrell points to a board on our side and yells, "Fish!" I couldn't help but laugh again! :)

Shortly after boxing that one, another one hit on our side of the boat. The Flickers set at 45 and 55 had both taken a fish.  Kevin kept his Top 20's out just a little longer, to make sure it wasn't a fluke, before eventually switching everything up to Flicker Minnows.

To make this long story shorter...we ended the day with a three person limit of walleye, and Darrell kept expressing how much he enjoyed the day, which made both Kevin and I happy. :)

The perch will have to wait for another day, because we ran out of time, and it was close to the time we needed to head in.  

There is some very crappy weather headed this way, (some rain, and lots of wind for the next several days), so until next weekend, stay warm and dry....be safe! 

Thanks for reading...

Capt Juls


  

Been a Busy Fall....

by Capt Juls on 11/09/17

It's been a while since I blogged anything here....sorry about that.  I've been busy with some projects and made a trip home to Wisconsin to visit family.


One project that I'm happy to have done...finally...is the "fishing room" here in my house. It's where I keep all my gear when my boat is sold every fall, because I don't have a garage. So, instead of having a spare bedroom, I have a "fishing room". lol

It had gotten to the point that I couldn't take two steps into the room without stepping over something, because there wasn't enough storage in there for everything. So, I took everything out....painted the walls, ceiling, and trim...to clean it all up, added shelving, and bought and built some storage compartments to go under the shelving along one long wall.  

I left a gap in the lowest shelf, that is 30" off the floor, to add a work station table, so I can do my crawler harness and perch rig building there this winter. :)

It turned out much better than I expected, especially since I didn't think about how I wanted to do it in advance. I just got sick of the mess in there....emptied it, then hit Lowe's the same day, and looked around for what might work, and be easy enough for me to do myself. 

This winter will be nicer with that monkey off my back now. lol

I am also back at the local animal shelter for the next few months.  However, my new 2018 Ranger 621 with the 300 G2 is expected to be finished on December 12th, so I'm hoping it will be here before Christmas, and that we have a mild winter again, so I can get some trips in over January, February, and March.

My regular bookings will start the last week of March.
I only have 4 days open in April right now, so if you're thinking of booking with me in April, I have the following dates open....8th, 25th, 26th, and 27th.

The walleye fishing continues to get better and better as the season progresses. The pier fishing at night has been very successful for many anglers venturing out on the Huron pier, Lakeside Pier, and on walls over in Sandusky Bay. I haven't heard much on the Catawba pier, but that may be due to the work that's being done on the ramps over there right now. I think they will be finished with that on Dec. 4th, or so I was told.

Night fishing from boats is producing quick limits too, when the weather allows anglers to get out. 

So, if you get a chance to go....good luck fishing!

Hopefully, I'll see you out there soon!

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike Fraunfelter and Janet 10/8/17

by Capt Juls on 10/10/17

Sunday's wind forecast was for stronger winds in the morning and diminishing by 11am, so we opted to do a start time of 11am. Capt Kevin and I met Mike and his daughter, Janet, at Mazurik's at 10:45 and launched by 11.


We were headed to Canadian water to do some perch fishing up by the dumping grounds up there.

When we got up there and set up with his Ulterra's Spot Lock, the boat didn't face into the wind, like it normally would, but rather it was side ways into the wind, due to a very strong current that wasn't there any time I had been up there in the past few weeks.

It made getting the perch rigs down in a vertical position difficult, which also made it difficult to feel a light bite when they bit.  However, after adding a second 1 oz weight to the rig, to make it 2oz's....it helped a lot.  

 The winds were diminishing even more as the day went on, and eventually we were able to remove one of the weights.  The bite wasn't as "fantastic" as it had been, but we still managed to catch their limit of 60 perch.  And, while there were some big perch in the mix, the numbers of big ones wasn't what it was last week. That's not to say, that it won't be again....it's just that it wasn't what it was...that day. :)

Mike and Janet had a good time, and mentioned that they would like to go fishing with us again. So, whether that is this fall for some more perch, or walleye, or both? Or, if it's next spring, I don't know. But, I do look forward to fishing with them again...they were a lot of fun. :)

The next trip, is a three day trip, with Capt Kevin and two customers I had last year, that have become good friends. They are Pat and Tina Goebel from Wisconsin. They will be down here to fish with us Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is going to be one wild weekend, I think. Tina is a fire cracker, and I think she was probably my twin in another life. Hehehe...

Capt Kevin is patiently waiting on his 2018 Ranger to be delivered to Vic's Sports Center....and we're hoping it shows up today or tomorrow, so we can get it rigged and broke in before Tina and Pat show up. We shall see....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Doyle and Ben 10/8/17

by Capt Juls on 10/10/17

Well, today is the day, and it's quite fitting that the weather is cloudy, rainy, and dreary...it matches my mood.  Today is a very exciting day for my customer, Doyle, who is fishing with me today to refresh his memory of how to run everything in my Ranger. He's the new owner of my beautiful boat! So, while it's like a Christmas day to him, it's a sad day for me.


This was Ranger number 17 for me, and it was probably my favorite one to date, due to the colors on it. She is beautiful and classy. :)

But, the new one is on order, and she will be beautiful too....I just have to get through the winter before I get to be in my own boat again. lol

Anyway,  Doyle, Ben, and myself launched out of Mazurik's and headed east to fish over in Huron again.  We ran the same program that Kevin and I ran the Thursday before with Mike and Huey.   Long story short....we limited out with our 18 walleye and headed in. (Not much else to add since it was the same program). :)

The next blog is with customers Mike Fraunfelter and his daughter, Janet, who did a perch trip with myself and Capt Kevin.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike and Huey 10/5/17

by Capt Juls on 10/10/17

Okay....I know, these last three blogs are late....but, I have a good excuse!  My season has officially ended out of my 2017 Ranger 621, and I was busy getting that boat ready for its new owner, and getting the 2018 Ranger 621 ordered.


However, while doing all that, I am still taking customers fishing.... I am working with Capt Kevin Swartz, who keeps his Ranger all season, and he and I are splitting the trips I book with my customers....as long as my customers are 2 persons or less.  If there are three people, then I am just recommending they contact Kevin directly, so he can accommodate all three people. :)

Mike Shepperson had fished with me early in the season...back in May, I believe, and he was back with his friend, Huey, to fish for walleye again.  I met Kevin Thursday morning at his house, and we drove over to Lemmy's Restaurant in Huron to meet up with Mike and Huey for some breakfast, before launching on the Huron River.

We launched at 7:30 and headed north out of the river as the sun was coming up on the horizon. We set up when Kevin marked some fish on his electronics and started a troll at 2.4-2.6mph into the waves. There was a slight chop on the water from a light west wind.  

We set up with a Bandit running on Off Shore boards on the outside at 20/80 with 2oz's...then, a #1 Dipsy on a 3 setting with a large spoon in the middle, and then ran a 30 Tru-Trip Jet with a large spoon on the inside corners.  Everything caught fish, so I think whatever you want to run, you'll catch some walleye right now.  And, I think it will only get better and better as the water cools off.

We ended up catching our 4 man limit by the time our 6 hours were up, and headed in.  Mike and Huey had a great time, and so did Kevin and I. It's quite nice to have a second Captain on board, because it just makes it so much easier when someone fishes exactly like you do! :)

The next "catch up" blog is about the new owner of my 2017 Ranger....

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tim and Ed 9/23-24/17

by Capt Juls on 09/24/17

What a beautiful weekend it has been. I had a long time customer of mine, Tim McGlothlin, and his friend Ed this time. Tim normally fishes with his brother, Matt, but Matt couldn't make it, due to being the head soccer coach for his daughter's soccer team, who had games this weekend.


I picked them up each morning at the Sleep Inn and we hit Big Bopper's for breakfast before going on over to Mazurik's to launch at 6:30.  I couldn't believe that when I walked into Big B's on Saturday morning at 5:45 that there were no seats, or clean tables available for us, so I helped out and cleared a table for us to sit at.  Then, when we got to the launch at 6:30, there were already several boats launching already.  
I'm used to having the launch to myself in the mornings, so those that were launching, and leaving their headlights on while backing up, and sitting in the ramp, were really pissing me off...lol  Ugh!! Turn your lights off PLEASE! Thank you...:)

Anyway, we were headed north over the boarder each day. No need to call in...just need to make sure you have an Ontario license on you in case you get checked.  I couldn't believe that no one is fishing up there! The perch fishing is very good up there right now, and the size is really really good.  Both days, we managed 90 beautiful perch that weighed in at 38 and 37 pounds. The spot I have been fishing is not a secret spot...it's a well known perch spot that is usually being fished this time of year, so that's why I'm stunned that no one is fishing up there right now.  The "Pelee Dumping Grounds" is the area, if anyone is interested in getting on some dandy perch like we did.   

Tim and Ed had a great time, and the weather couldn't have been any better....wait..it could have been just a touch windier, because it was a little too calm on Saturday, which caused the little midges to invade our space. Tickley little buggers, they are!!

I'm going fun fishing in the morning for some walleye with Capt Nate, who runs the Chelsea IV. He's been wanting to fish out of my Ranger 621 for a while now, and our schedules have finally lined up for us to do just that.  From what I hear, we won't be out very long, because we only need 12 walleye, and they have been coming pretty fast for those that have been fishing for them this past week/weekend. 

My next trip is a walleye trip on Tuesday, so this is just a practice run before that, since I have been fishing perch exclusively for the past month or more, so I can get all the gear ready for their trip.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Joe and Bob 9/22/17

by Capt Juls on 09/22/17

Last Monday I fished with Joe Jay and his customer, Ron. Today, he brought another customer of his business...Bob. Bob does electrical "stuff". :)


We met at Big Boppers at 5:45 for some grub, and then headed to Mazurik's to launch by 6:30. I was surprised to see two other boats there so early (6:15), since I hadn't seen any all week.  One was already on its way out of the harbor and the other was launching the same time I was.  

It was still dark out as we made our way across the relatively calm lake at a nice cruising speed of 35mph. The wind, or what little there was of it, was out of the east at 5mph, or less. It still created those damned rollers that you can't open up the throttle for without banging the bottom of the boat, or the customers. So, I stayed at a nice cruising speed all the way up to the east side of Pelee. It took us close to 45 minutes, but we were rewarded with the most amazing sunrise once we stopped and "Spot Locked" over some piggy perch with the Minn-Kota.

They weren't coming as fast as yesterday's catch, but they were still there, and were biting.  The number of big ones was also down a little, but we still caught some slobs! Our 90 perch went 38 pounds at the cleaners...which isn't too bad of a morning's work. My customers were very happy, and the weather couldn't have been more pleasant, so that made me very happy too!

Tomorrow's perch trip, is one with a regular of mine....Tim McGlothlin. Tim and his brother Matt fish with me often, and  you've read many of their blogs over the years, because they have been fishing with me for 6 years now.  Unfortunately, Matt can't make it this time, so it's just Tim and their friend, Ed.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls