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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing with Justin 5/5/19

by Capt Juls on 05/05/19

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 05/04/19

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mark and Dick Aker 4/25/19

by Capt Juls on 04/25/19

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Marc and Kevin 4/24/19

by Capt Juls on 04/24/19

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The water temp was 47.2 degrees.

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

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

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

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls


Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 4/22/19

by Capt Juls on 04/23/19

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


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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 04/22/19

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


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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Rob and Doug 4/16/19

by Capt Juls on 04/17/19

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 04/15/19

Hi everyone,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Daren and Aidan Cable 4/7/19

by Capt Juls on 04/07/19

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


Anyway...I digress...lol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

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

by Capt Juls on 04/06/19

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls


Fishing with Vito and Saunders 4/5/19

by Capt Juls on 04/06/19

Vito, and his buddy, Saunders, came down from Wisconisn to fish with me today, and then he'll use the Ranger he bought from me last fall to fish the rest of the weekend with his Dad and Saunders. His dad drove in this afternoon.  


We met at my house this morning, and ate some sausage gravy and homemade buttermilk biscuits for breakfast, thanks to Chris Utter, who was here earlier in the week and brought me a big bag full of venison breakfast sausage, chorizo, and assorted summer sausages, from Wisco. Yum! :)

Saunders had brought me some Wisco cheese curds and string cheese too! You can take the girl out of Wisconsin, but you can't take Wisconsin out of the girl! Thanks for thinking of me you guys! It's so very much appreciated! ;)

After breakfast, we headed over to Mazurik's to launch and hit the water at 8:45.
The northeast blow we had yesterday muddied up the waters inside, so we headed north until we found clean water with some marks in it, and then went a little further up to the line...turned around, and set up. 

We ran Bandits at 65/75/80 on one side and 75/85/and 50/30 w/2oz on the other side. The two running up at 65 caught fish, and one at 75 had one on, but it broke off when a big stick and another board got in the way on its way in. I sure hope that fish gets that lure out of its mouth  somehow. It was a smaller fish from what I saw when it was up on the surface...sigh.

Speed was surging this morning with the big NE rollers coming in. But, by keeping the boat's corner on the waves, we were able to control the speed a little better and tried to keep it at the 1.1-1.4mph range.  The waves would settle down as the day went on as the winds died down, so that was nice.

When we picked up to go back and make another pass, I decided to keep going further east towards Middle Island and make a longer pass along the border, but instead, made the decision to go look on the east side of Gull Island Shoal for fish.
I hadn't looked there lately, and in the past, in April, it's been a good area when there was a NE wind....well, it wasn't the case today...sigh.  No fish there. 

Then, we moved down to the NW corner of Kelly's and had better marks, but no takers. The water was a little dirtier there too though.  Then, we moved back towards where we started this morning, but didn't go as far north this time.  There was a huge pack to the south of us, so we set up and headed south. We hit two fish right away, and then nothing for the rest of that 3/4 mile pass. So, we picked it all up again and started again in the same spot....picked up two more fish right away, and then nothing, but this time it was time to go in, so we headed in with only 6 fish.

We had a good time, and I told Vito, "Well, at least we eliminated a lot of water for you this weekend." To which he replied where he planned on launching from and where his starting point would be. ;)

Tomorrow's weather looks even better. The winds are forecast for less than 5mph out of the NE and temps in the 60's. Of course, it will be cooler on the lake, but it should be sunny, which will make it feel warmer.   I am SO ready for flip flop weather! I hate wearing all these layers.

I'm fishing with Neal DeWolf and some of his family members tomorrow, and will be looking for new water to fish.  Hopefully, a lot of this mud will sink overnight, and give us some more areas that are holding our finny friends to fish.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Kent, Doug, and Kevin 4/2/19

by Capt Juls on 04/02/19

Today was day one of a two day trip with my crew from South Dakota. Kent bought this trip for his Father in Law Doug as a belated Christmas present, and also brought his brother in law, Kevin, along for some of the spring walleye fun.


They are a real pleasure to have in the boat, because folks who come from the Dakotas know how to fish! woot!woot!

My job was made very easy, since they knew how to set the boards, and retrieve lines when fish was on. It was almost like I was on vacation with them. "Merry Christmas to me", I say! lol :)

We ran 4 Bandits on each side of the boat behind the Off Shore boards, set at 60/70/80/(20/20 2oz)on one side and 65/75/85/(20/20 2oz) on the other side. Every setting took fish.

We ran mostly chrome colors: Purple/Silver, Black/Gold, Green Clown, and Huff Daddy Chrome. We also ran Khaki and Firetiger stock colors which both took multiple fish today too.

Speed was 1.2-1.4 mph

Water temp was 37.6 degrees

The north side of Kellys has both pre and post spawn fish right now....wink wink

Tomorrow's weather is going to be a gusty West wind, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Bill, John, and Stan 4/1/19

by Capt Juls on 04/02/19

This is just a short report, due to having started late and fished late, and not having enough time after fishing to get everything done!


Had a great trip with Bill, John, and Stan from Iowa....we only had 4 fish after 5 hours and then got a call from a friend about a hot bite close to the first spot we fished on the north side of Kelly's Island.

Bandits 60/70/80 back at 1.1-1.3mph....anything chrome!

We stayed out an extra hour and finished with our four person limit. :)

The boys were happy, and will be out fishing in their boat today.

Good luck guys!

I'm fishing today and tomorrow with two fellas from South Dakota, who only want big fish....soooooo....fingers crossed! 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tim, Matt, and Wyatt 3/27/19

by Capt Juls on 03/28/19

"Today is going to be a great day", I said as I walked down the hallway to the kitchen to make some coffee. The forecast was calling for mid to high 50's by early afternoon, which is always something to look forward to this time of year.

It was a chilly high of 29 degrees when I took my coffee outside on the back deck to check the wind conditions.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a peaceful morning of calm wind.

Tim and Matt McGlothlin have fished with me several times a year, for many years now, so they too are more like family than just customers. :)

Matt brought his son, Wyatt, along on this trip. Wyatt is 8yrs old now, and his first trip with me was when he was just 4 years old. They agreed to meet me at my house this morning, since they were just down the road at the White Caps Motel. We hit Ala-Carte for a delicious breakfast and then headed to Catawba to launch.

On the way into Catawba there were boats leaving, and I said, "Ruh Oh...Looks like there might be a line at the launch". I was right. When we pulled in, I could see a back up of boats waiting to launch, so I took a short cut through the Cliffs to the other side of the island and headed to Mazurik's instead.

It was a good decision, because there were only two boats ahead of me...one was Lonney Goman...a guide on Green Bay, and his side kick Hunter Lambert, of MI.
They came up to say, "Hi" since we are Facebook friends and have never met. That made me happy. :)

The launch was a little icy this morning, but we made it in with just a little slipping. I knew it would be fine once the air warmed up. 
We headed out of the launch and headed northeast, to the east side of Kelly's.
It's always nerve racking to do something different, and out of the ordinary, from what everyone else is doing, but I wanted to try it.

It was really nice not having another boat in sight for most of the morning. One or two other boats eventually showed up out there, so I thought to myself..."Those guys are as crazy...wait...they think the same way I do...Hmmm....I think I like those guys". ;)

The Humminbird lit up with really good marks in 43 feet of water. The water temp was 37.5 degrees. I kept moving until the marks ended and turned the Ranger around and deployed the Ulterra and set a course from NE to SW at 1.1-1.3mph. The fish were all on the bottom 1/4 of the water column, so we started out with Bandits and P-10s all with 2oz snapweights. The P-10's were set 30/30, 30/50, and 50/30. The Bandits were set at... 85 back, unassisted...30/30, 30/40, and 30-50.

The Lemon Lime Crush (stock color) P-10 took the most fish today with the 50/30 2oz snapweight program.  The Bandit set at 30/40 took one. The first fish of the day was a little eater that came pretty fast after setting up. But, then it was dead for about 1/2 hour when a big fish pulled a board back.

Wyatt reeled that one in with the help of his Dad, and said he wanted to let it go after we took a picture, so that's what we did. She swam off to live and survive another day. Maybe someday she'll get to be a "Teener"...those fish, that we all want so badly.
They can only get to be a "Teener" if they never get caught, or they get caught by someone who let's them go, to get bigger. ;)

We marked a lot of fish, but couldn't get anything really dialed in and ended with only 6 fish in that spot. We picked everything up and moved to the north side of Kelly's. I marked some fish out near the east side of Gull Island Shoal, but when we finally got set up on the westwardly track...the marks disappeared....(deep sigh). Dang it!  Okay...let's go a little bit and see if the marks return here. Ugh..they didn't. So, this time, I said, "Let's pick up one more time, and move until we find some fish...this isn't going to cut it, and we're burning daylight". 

I ended up marking some fish on the NW corner of Kelly's, but not like what was marked there before the last blow. The water temp there was 38.0.
We trolled around there for about 45 minutes, marking a fish here and there, but we didn't catch anything. One more time, I said..."Let's move guys...let's pick'um up and move again".

I had a feeling the lighthouse might have some fish hanging out there, since I had heard some fish were already spawned out. I figured they were the "east girls" and would be heading back home earlier than the rest.  Those fish take the south passage home, and have to pass right by the lighthouse to get there. The water was 39.3 degrees there, but it was muddy. I could just make out the cavitation plate, but we tried it anyway.  The marks on the Humminbird were outrageous. So big!! I used some Pro-Cure goop on the tail ends of the cranks to aid in detection, but to no avail. No takers there either. Then, we were out of time.

They said they had a good time, on a great day, and relaxed. I could actually see them unwinding and shedding a winter's worth of stress on their faces.  That's why I love fishing....it's good for a person's health, and renews the soul in ways nothing else can. :) 

They were supposed to fish with me tomorrow, but something work-wise came up for Tim, unexpectedly, while we were all at dinner, so we rescheduled. I'll see them again on Memorial Day weekend for a couple of days. 

My Saturday and Sunday are most likely going to be rescheduled, due to weather, so I won't be out again until Monday. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Ed and Ben Jacobson 3/24/19

by Capt Juls on 03/25/19

Woke up and took my coffee out on the back deck to check the wind and temp, early this morning. I was pleasantly surprised to find just a very light SW wind and temps in the high 30's. The forecast was for light SW winds, less than 10 mph, all day and a high of 50. I was looking forward to spending a fun day with my Father and Son crew from Wisconsin.


Ben bought this trip for his Dad, for the purpose of getting Ed on some big walleye. 

I ran into town to gas up the boat and get some ice, before picking my crew up at 6:30. After a hearty breakfast at Ala-Carte, we drove back over to White Caps to launch. 
At 7:45 AM, as we motored down the channel towards the lake, the sun was just peaking up over the horizon. It would take us 20 minutes or so to get to the mouth of the river, so I took that opportunity to put some RPM time on the baby E-TEC. I needed to get an hour of time in on it with the RPMs over 2500, before I start using it for the summer.

The plan was to hit the firing range cans, so I headed to G Can area first. The Ulterra was deployed and set for a south to north troll near the can at 1/2-1/4mph. After a quick tutorial of how to use the line counters and the Off Shore boards, we got busy. I set up using the Bandits that were productive on my last trip out. The leads were set to 45/55/65/75/85, and 90 back unassisted (no weight).  We spent about 20 minutes there...not marking anything while we trolled, so I had them pick everything up and we headed down to H Can. 

I was SE of the pack, with only a boat or two around, when we set up again with a SE to NW trolling pass at 1.2-1.4mph. It wasn't long and the first board went back with a violent tug. I said, "Here we go! That looks like it's a nice one!" It was a nice 5 pound(ish) walleye, and the biggest Ed has ever caught, so it was the first PB breaker in the boat today. :)

Ben saw the next board go back and said, "Fish!" "Take it!", I said and scurried to move rods around while he reeled in the outside board. That fish was a twin to the first one, so after a picture of the two of them with their fish, we put them in the cooler and started to set the lines out again. The next board went back before we could get the last line in. And, of course, it's always the outside board, so again, I moved rods around and then had to quickly get the lures out of the nets, so I could use one to net the fish.

The third fish was a 7.75 pounder and definitely Ed's biggest to date. Both of them were very excited and few high-fives were given too. But, before the excitement waned, another telltale sign of a "fish on" was spied. It was Ben's turn this time, and he reeled in a nice 9.49 pounder. Another personal best for them both. 

We had four fish in the boat, and two baits still swimming. I decided to make a turn and go back over that pass again, but was knocked off my line by others who had the right of way. By the time I got back to the starting point and turned around again, there were 4 or 5 boats that were drifting and jigging on the line I wanted to go back over....(deep sigh). I gave in, and got out of the pack, and headed north to the area I was at the other day...north of Turtle Creek. 

We set up in a little deeper water this time. The 26-27' of water was holding fish, and the Helix showed some good marks near the bottom and mid water column. 
To make this long story shorter, and with our time on the water running out...we would only catch 5 more eaters there, and then head to the waters east of Ballast Island on another tip from a friend, that I wanted to check out. 

Again, we set up in 26-27' of water. The clarity was cleaner than anywhere else we had been today, and the marks were very good too. We would catch 6 more fish there. We only caught a total of 15 today, and kept our 12. Not a fast bite like I thought it was going to be when we started out, but it was a fun day none the less, and I can't ask for more than that.  I have talked to people who were not even as fortunate as that, so I can't complain one bit!! 

Ben and Ed said they had a great time, and would like to come back again sometime....and, that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow is a blow day, and Tuesday is going to be a high of 36 (no thanks!), so I won't be back out until Wednesday with my two regulars, Tim and Matt McGlothlin. They are here for two days, but Thursday is looking "iffy" right now. We shall see.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Steve and Jeremy Chapman 3/21/19

by Capt Juls on 03/22/19

I wanted to go out of Turtle Creek, so I had Steve and Jeremy meet me at my house and we rode over there together. We launched at 8:45 and found a foggy lake waiting for us. It was gloomy and misty on shore, but it wasn't that foggy, so it was a little surprising to see thick fog on the lake itself.


I turned the navigation lights on, and set out to find some fish. The Helix wasn't marking much near shore, or out by Locust Reef, so we headed south towards the cans, where I fished during the previous outing. It was a slow ride down, and we were straining our eyes for any silhouette of a boat that might pop up in front of us. We could only see about 100 yds in front of us at times, and other times, we could see 1/4 mile or more. It was very patchy fog.

Anyway, we made it down to H can and set up with Bandits running unassisted at 75/85/90 back at 1.2-1.3mph.  The first fish bit, and was a nice female that we took pictures of and put back to swim another day.  Another fish came a short time later that was also photographed and sent back swimming, but it was a slow bite for us.  

A friend had texted me and said he launched out of Turtle shortly after us, and had caught his first one too. After about an hour he texted me again and said he had 7 in the box, had good marks, and the water clarity was perfect, so we made the decision to make the drive back up in the fog, towards the NW side of the reefs, and give it a try there.  Once we got up there, the Helix was showing much better marks, so we set up with the Bandits again at 65/75/80 back unassisted (no weight) at the same speed. 

Within 10 minutes of setting up, we caught our first fish...a nice eater. That one went in the box. The next one was another fat female that went 28 1/2 inches, so she got her picture taken and let go to do her spring fling thing for another season.
At some point, the fog cleared up and the sun came out, which was appreciated by all of us! 

I changed a depth to 55 on a couple baits, and we hit a triple of 2-3 pounders that went in the box too.  The hottest color for us is one called "Buck Fever". It's just a purple chrome bait that is just purple and silver...no color on the belly.  Pink Squirrel was another hot color for us.  I have heard reports of others saying that all green baits, or all white baits were the ticket for them. So, basically, these fish are hungry and if you put a bait in front of them...they are going to eat it. I don't think the color is going to matter very much at this point.

It was a nice day on the water, and fun to spend some time with two of my longest regulars that feel more like family than customers now. ;)

Friday is going to blow, but Saturday is undetermined at this point. My Saturday customer changed his date to the 31st, because of a marine forecast he saw yesterday afternoon, but this morning that forecast has changed for the better, so I'm not sure what we will find Saturday morning....weather wise yet.  I may or may not be fishing on Saturday, so my next trip out is Sunday with another Father/Son team from my home state of Wisconsin. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

First Day Back on the Water! Woot! Woot!

by Capt Juls on 03/19/19

I didn't have a guide trip today....well, I kind of did...let me explain.


I didn't have a scheduled trip, but I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather and get the new Ranger out for a shakedown run, and try to see if I still knew how to catch some walleye for my trips coming up this weekend. ;)

I asked a young couple to go with me, so I could run more lines. Mark works in the produce dept of the local Kroger store, and his girlfriend Cassie works at "Waldo Peppers", a local restaurant with some pretty good food. Mark had run into me at the last place I did a seminar and mentioned that he had never trolled before...he was a "caster".  I had remembered when I talked to him at the store, that he mentioned that he had Tuesdays off, so I sent a text to see if he wanted to go...and, he did.

It was a fun morning west of Catawba. The wind was light out of the west to start, and died down as the day went on. It was switching though...at around 2pm it was coming out of the east for  a short time...then, it died again, and switched to the SW.  
 It was chilly early on, but when the wind died and the sun was out...it got warm. Then, if the sun disappeared, it felt about 5-10 degrees colder. I didn't know whether to put my warm hat on or take it off...it was a decision made several times today. lol

We ran P-10's  with 1 oz snapweights 25/25 and 30/30 at 1.0 to 1.2 mph to start... we caught 5 fish on those. In the afternoon, we switched to Bandits at 1.2-1.4mph with no weight at 75, 85, and 90 back. We caught 9 more with the Bandits, in much less time than it took to get the first 5 with the P-10's. We fished 25' of water with the p-10s and 22' of water with the Bandits....wink wink. ;)

The Helix wasn't marking a lot of fish at the Cans either. We would see a pod of fish, get a little excited and then... nothing. Then, see another small pod, cross our fingers, and then...nothing. Deep sigh.

I didn't make any runs to other areas, since I was just making sure everything was working as it should, and teaching my crew how to run the Off Shore inline Planers.  It was more about revitalizing my soul today than putting fish in the boat. And, today was a good day for that.  Of course, it's always better in flip flops...but, we're not there yet. 

Thursday, I'll be fishing with my regulars, Steve and Jeremy Chapman. They're always game for an adventure, so I'll be exploring a different area than today. ;)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

The Lake Ice is Leaving...

by Capt Juls on 03/11/19

On Saturday, March 9th, 2019 there was ice on the lake, but not safe ice...which was the reason 46 of 146 ice fishermen had to be rescued off Catawba after a crack in the ice opened up and left some stranded.


100 of those were able to walk off the ice on their own, but the other 46 were not so lucky and were rescued by airboat and USCG helicopters.  

That night, big SW winds appeared along with some warmer temps and some rain. I took a drive around the lakeshore yesterday morning to see what the ice conditions were like, and was pleasantly surprised to find that there was open water for as far as I could see, west of the islands. 

A drive around Catawba island showed the same. Sure, there was floating ice out there, but for the most part the big sheets of ice were no longer in the passage or east of the bass islands. I'm sure there was still ice up in the triangle, between the bass islands and Green and Rattlesnake islands, as a SW wind would be pushing right in there.

This week, we are expecting above freezing temperatures, so hopefully that will help open up the ramps. However, I am not one to play with floating icebergs, so I won't be one of the first ones out there. We're still dealing with gusty winds, and when the water temps are what they are, I don't take chances just to make a buck or catch a walleye.  One mishap could mean someone's life at this time of year, and when I am responsible for my customer's lives, it's something I take very seriously. Besides, my dogs wouldn't understand why I never came home...and, that thought helps me make better choices. ;)

My first trip is scheduled for next Monday, but if the winds don't die down...it won't be until the following weekend...23/24.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

A Few More Weeks Yet....sigh

by Capt Juls on 02/28/19

After the big winds, warm temps, and rain we had over last weekend, I was hoping it was the end of the ice on the Western Basin, but the cold came back and so did the ice.  


The next warm up, that would melt ice, isn't forecast until around March 9th, if accuweather.com is to be believed, so if I have to pretend to have a crystal ball, I'm predicting it will be the third week of March before the lake is free of ice and the ramps are open.

I hope this spring is a case of "In like a lion and out like a lamb", because I'm sick of this cold and wind, and need to get some sunshine on my face again. lol

It won't be long now, so I'll be back to posting fishing reports very soon! :)



Trolling with the Ulterra and the E-TEC in Tadem...:)

by Capt Juls on 02/14/19

While I was out walking the Dexter Meister this afternoon, I received a message asking if I would Blog about how I use my Minn-Kota and my baby E-TEC together, to control my speed, direction, and the life of the batteries.


When I am trolling at a speed that needs to be above power level 5 on the Ulterra, I'll fire up the kicker, and lock it in the straight position.  

I'll set the Ulterra's power level to 4 or 5 and then watch the speed on my remote, as I adjust the kicker's RPMs to match the speed I desire. I'm now pushing the boat with the kicker and using the Ulterra for steering. At this point, I check the remotes speed with the Humminbird's SOG display, and make any adjustments as needed.

Typically, I know that on a good day the power 5 level will easily pull the boat along at 1.5-1.7 miles an hour...so, the dual motor technique is a tactic I use for anything over that speed. 

Wind, waves, and current will dictate my speed at any given time.  Depending on what direction I'm going in relation to the current I will either need to speed up or slow down. If you don't have a cool toy like the Fish Hawk, that reads the speed at depth, check the baits at the side of the boat to make sure it has the desired action you want. A slow wobble is what I want in the early spring when the water is cold. And, in the warmer summer waters, I want that bait just a wiggling like a wild little thing.

Paying attention to the changes of those elements, as they happen, can greatly improve your productivity on any given day. :)

Capt Ross Robertson wrote a very good article where he discusses speed/current/wind that you might like to read too.... (click the link below or copy/paste it in your browser's search bar)

https://www.fishusa.com/Learn/Article/Walleye-Speed-Control?fbclid=IwAR0jh3PHEH9etapf0DdAkM3piFFdzgxZONVrxPG8PJ_098q2NFNqe5Fonag


The two motor set up also helps keep the batteries from draining too fast, and keeps the starting battery charged up....a win-win. :)

I saw some open water out there today as I walked Dexter, and it was much nicer to look at than a lake of ice, so I'm hoping it doesn't freeze up again. Sorry Ice guys...lol

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls