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Juls WFA Blog

Fishing Day 2 with Greg and Ray 9/29/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/29/20

Woke up at 3:30 and checked the wind forecast for today. It had gone down enough to make the call to go this morning, so I sent Greg a text to have them meet me at Mazurik's for a 7am launch.

They showed up right on time and we launched. The wind was only around 10 out of the SW when we headed to the north side of Kelly's island, so it was an easy ride out. It picked up to around 15mph when we were setting lines.

We were targeting deep fish over 44-47 feet of water and set up with Bandits run with the 3oz snap weights 20/90, 20/70, and 20/50 back behind Off Shore boards at a speed of 2.2mph. However, the wind had picked up, so the swells had us going from 1.8-2.5mph. 

We ran one dipsey off each corner on the zero setting at 52 and 58 back with a Yaleye Mooneye Minnow (don't know the name of the color, but it's a purple/maroon back and sides, white/clear belly, and a chart chin)  and an IB Frozen Ripplin Redfin. 

Everything took fish today.  Bandit colors were Taco Salad, (2) Humble Bee w/ black stripes, Red Headed Wonder Bread, Fruit Dots, and Wild Thing.  Humble Bee w/stripes caught 8 of our 18 today. 

The lake was 2 to 3's north of the island this morning, but wasn't uncomfortable at all. Then, when it was time to come back in at 1pm, the lake had laid down again, so it was fortuitous that it was laid down when we went out and went back in again. I couldn't have planned it any better even if I had Mother Nature's cell phone number and politely asked her to do that. ;)

Greg and Ray were happy to get their limit today after only getting 7 yesterday over by Huron, so that made me happy too.

I'm off for the next three days, and will be back out on Saturday with Jeff Hawk. His luck has been bad when it comes to weather, and has had to reschedule three times now.  It's going to be cold this weekend, but then warming back up to mid 70's early next week.  I like seeing the water temps dropping, so those big schools of walleye will head back this way from the east. Hopefully, this cold snap gets them moving and puts the feedbag on them. We shall see....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Greg and Ray 9/28/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/28/20

I decided to drive over to Huron to launch this morning.  I had Greg and Ray, who hail from Indiana, meet me at the Walmart parking lot.  They showed up at 5:45. We hit the Speedway for gas and ice and then headed to Huron. 

We launched at 6:30... in the dark. By the time we idled to the mouth of the river, the sky was just beginning to lighten.  The first stop would be near Ruggle's Reef. No marks there in 34 feet of water, so we kept going. I turned the boat WNW to look in deeper water.  

We set up northeast of Cedar Point in 40 feet of water with Bandits behind Off Shore boards (3 on each side) and, 3 dipsies.   The port side Bandits were run deep with 3 oz weights at 20/90...20/70...and 20/50 (or, a total of 110, 90, and 70 back respectively).  The starboard side was set unassisted at 120, 80, and 65 back. 

The dipsies were set on the 0 setting and out 56 and 58 back with Yaleye Mooneye Minnows.

The Bandit 120 back, unassisted, took the first fish. Then, I saw the mistake I made. I had put a shallow Bandit (Fruitdots), that I use on the dipsies out there, so it was only running 10 feet down! I swapped it out for the deep diver in the same color and set it out at 35 back.

But, then the deepest one caught a fish (the 3oz 20/90 back), so whaddaya do? lol

Then, the dipsey at 58 back took a nice one.

So, the high side was set deeper, because it hadn't done anything since the incidental catch of the one high fish.

We made a couple passes through that area, caught a few more fish, and then moved NE a few miles to set up there. The Ulterra kept us on an east track at 2.2-2.4mph.  We caught 2 more out there and ended the trip with a total of 7 walleye.

Greg and Ray did a great job setting the lines, and kept me entertained with friendly chit-chat and ribbing. :)

I'm fishing with them again tomorrow, if the weather permits. I'll make that call in the morning after I see the wind forecast.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with John, Nelius, and "Papa" 9/26/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/26/20

My trip yesterday was canceled by my customers, due to an unexpected death of a close friend of theirs, so Jenn and I took the opportunity to go fun fishing and get some fish for the eagles.  It was also a chance for me to prefish for walleye for my customers today, since I had been perch fishing the previous 4 days.

After what Jenn and I did yesterday (12 walleye anchored by a 30" fish in three hours), and the time it took to do it, I was excited about what laid in store for us this morning.

My customers met me at Mazurik's at 6:30 and we launched shortly after. It was still dark out, but the horizon was just beginning to lighten. We headed east from the landing and set up in 40 foot of water out between Cedar Point and Huron. The Ulterra steered a course to the NNE...with the waves on the starboard stern corner. The baby ETEC barely had to use any power to keep us at 2.2-2.3mph.

My go to set up with the Bandits was what Jenn and I did yesterday. Yesterday, we had caught 9 of the 12 fish on a Purple Mist Bandit set at 20/70 with a 3oz snap weight. So, two of that set up were deployed...along with a 20/50 w/3oz and the usual 50/75 and 50/50 w/2oz's. All caught fish. Purple Mist, Chrome Barbie, and Slick Frog were the colors that worked for us today.

The dipsies did very little, unfortunately. The 1 setting at 55 back with a Purple Mist shallow bandit caught the biggest fish today, which was only 4-5 pounds. But, that was only one of two fish caught on dipsies for us today.

The water temp was 66.7 degrees, which was the same as yesterday.  Because the conditions were almost identical as yesterday, I had much higher hopes for a great bite today. But, unfortunately, it didn't happen that way for us today. I know some people caught well today, but from what I could hear on the radio, it sounded like more folks were in the same boat as we were today, and struggling a bit. 

We ended with 11 of the 14 fish that got hooked, so they have a nice fish fry for the family anyway. They had fun, and made some memories for the day.  Nelius, who is John's 12 year old son did a great job, and had fun reeling in his fish. John said he would like to come back next spring for a perch trip or maybe even a walleye/perch combo trip. And, that makes me happy...:)

Tomorrow's forecasting winds that are supposed to gust to 30-37mph out of the SW tomorrow, so tomorrow is a "no-go" for this Capt and her crew. 

I have repeat customers, Greg and Ray, for three days. So, hopefully, the weather behaves and we can at least get Monday and Tuesday in for them. I'm hoping the cold front coming in doesn't affect them too much, and they keep biting. We shall see.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Perch'n Day 4 with Bob and Bruce Brenton 9/24/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/24/20

I headed to A and J Bait at 5:20am this morning... and, I was second in line... (They open at 6am).  Then, drove home and got in the truck, and towed the boat over to Catawba to launch.

We started, a few miles out from the Portage River this morning, but didn't get into anything, so we headed north to the reef complex. That area has been doing well the past couple of weeks, so I was hoping they were still biting up that way. We marked a bunch of something that looked like perch, but they didn't bite. Ugh....

We moved around near Big Pickerel Reef about 5 times and then left with only one in the cooler. Then, we headed to Niagara to check that area out and caught one more.  (This was not how I wanted their 4 day trip to end...with no fish in the cooler. Aarrrggghhh!)

It was now 10 am and we have only two perch in the cooler. We were getting ready to move down to D Can when I got a text from Greg Yarbrough, who asked how we were doing. I told him, and he told me to come by them, which is basically close to where we started this morning. 

On the way down from Niagara I had to pass through the firing range. I didn't know it was supposed to be closed off for Camp Perry's big gun practice, because I never heard the coastguard come across channel 16 to alert us.  

So, I got an ass-chewing by the guy that gets to run around in a big boat and kick people out of there.  He was feeling much too self-important, I think. lol Anyway....my own fault...He was trying to catch me with his big white boat, but it was a flat lake today, and there was no way he was catching me in a Ranger. Ha! 
So, I stopped and turned back around to talk to him, when I should have just kept going.  

He did say, in-between his insults, that it will probably be closed now for a couple of months. What? What's going on? Are we going to war or something? Why all the artillery practice... for two months? Sheesh! That takes out a lot of good perch'n water. Grrrrr

So, at the end of the day this was how our day went....at 10am we had two fish and by noon we had our 90. :)

It was a good day, and the weather was perfect. The Brenton brothers had a great time and have already rebooked for the same 4 days next year. And, as you guessed it...that makes me happy! :)

Tomorrow, I'm fishing with a couple of my regular customers, Steve and Jeremy Chapman. We will be perch'n again...so, that means I'll be up early and waiting in a line for shiners at the bait shop again.

I do know that the "Fisherman's Wharf" over on Madison Street in Port Clinton will be getting Emeralds in tomorrow morning (Friday), but they didn't know what time they were being delivered, so they will have them tomorrow, sometime, and for the weekend, if you need some.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Perch'n Day Three with Bob and Bruce Brenton 9/23/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/23/20

I'm going to keep this short, because I had a ton of things to do after fishing and I still have a lot more to do, but I wanted to update this blog with today's report.

We launched out of Catawba at 6:30 and stopped off at where we had fished the past two days, but we didn't stay long as we didn't get a bite in the first 10 minutes, and we should have, if they were there this morning. 

We headed to the NW a few miles and set up on some marks, but we only picked away at 19 in an hour and a 1/2, so I wanted to check someplace else.

We headed NE about 9 miles and set up again on some good marks. This time we had an up and down bite for the first 12 perch and then....it slowed way down and we picked away at another 23 fish to put in the cooler. The size was just a tad smaller than the previous two days, but still decent size.  

We moved again, this time to the east a 1/2 mile or so....and set up again. Only two perch there and we only had one hour to go, so I asked if they wanted to try another spot on the way back to Catawba and they said, "Yes". So, we moved to the area between Rattlesnake and Green Islands and set up one last time. They picked up their last 5 fish there for a two man limit.

They had a good time even though it was slower. These two brothers clearly enjoy each others company and are a lot of fun to fish with! I'm looking forward to their last day with me tomorrow morning.  We will be trying another area tomorrow.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Perch'n Day Two with Bob and Bruce 9/22/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/22/20

Hit A&J Bait again this morning, but this time he was open and ready to serve minnows at 6am. :)

The ratio of Emeralds to Goldies there is still 3:1 and a good size on both species.

Since the bait shop was open on time, we were able to get on the water 20 minutes earlier than yesterday and it paid off. The bite, while the sky was getting lighter, was much better than when the sun got higher. 

Yesterday, the better hours were between 8 and 10am, but it was better from 6:45 to 8:30 this morning.  I also noticed that yesterday and early this morning, that while there was a surface current from the SSW to the NNE,  there was an undercurrent running from the NE to the SW. Later on, it calmed down in that spot. I think that the current was helping us by keeping fish there. Once the current stopped, or moved away from us, the fish moved too.

We went through about 5 Gobies to one perch, but the perch were nice ones, so we stuck it out and finished with 89 of our 90 today. We would have had them all, but a few shook loose from the hook before they made it over the gunnel.  

I think the Emeralds made a difference too. The catch rate slowed down after we ran out of them and had to use only Goldies. But, I think it was a combination of circumstances that led to a slow bite and not just because we only had Goldies. We still caught with them, and they were nice fish, but the Emeralds definitely did a quicker job of it, as the perch would usually slam them pretty hard compared to the Goldies.


With the Ulterra's Spot-Lock feature, we were able to set up and sit in the exact same spot we were in yesterday, but I don't think we will be there tomorrow. We might start there, but I have a feeling those fish have moved out with the current and we'll have to go looking for them again. I don't want to leave it, as it's a great little rock pile.  I put a waypoint there though, so I'll be able to find it again in the future, if I need it. :)

Bob and Bruce are great fun to fish with, and they are happy with their two days of perch fishing so far. We still have two more days to go... I just hope the next two days are as productive. At least they know how to perch fish, and are very good at it, so that makes me happy! :)

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Perch'n with Bob and Bruce Brenton 9/21/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/21/20

Headed over to AnJ's Bait this morning to pick up some minnows at 5:45, because they open at 6am and I wanted to be in line before it got too long. He arrived at the store to open it a few minutes before 6, but then spent the next 17 minutes counting out his drawer and bringing buckets of minnows over from the next building. So, if you go there first thing in the morning, expect to be waiting....sigh.

They did however have a decent Emerald/Goldie mix at a 3:1 ratio, so it was worth the wait. :)

We launched out of Catawba at 7am and went a whole whopping 3/4 mile out and set up. There was only one other boat out there at that time, but there would soon be close to 50 boats over there by 9am.

Bruce used a spreader and Bob and I used my homemade crappie rigs (two hook rigs) with Emeralds. I told them to save the Goldies until we ran out of Emeralds first.  We fished them on the bottom, and my bottom hook caught all but two or three of the fish I caught, while Bob's higher hook caught most of his. The spreader (without any bling) was working just as well for Bruce too.

We caught our 90 in 4 hours with hours 2 and 3 being the most productive. We also caught some Gobies, Sheep, and baby White Bass too. Only one White Perch was caught, which surprised me.

It was a fun morning, and I have them again for the next three days, so we'll be perch'n all week. Woot! Woot!

The weather for the rest of the week looks fantastic, and they are a lot of fun to fish with, so I'm looking forward to it! We'll start out where we left off tomorrow, and if that dies...we'll go looking for other spots.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Heather and her son, Garrett the "G-Man" 9/16/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/16/20

Left the house at 5:45 and took the long way through town to go get gas and ice, before heading to Mazurik's to meet Heather and her son, Garrett at 6:45.  Capt Kevin was ahead of me, so I asked him if he could launch me, since I wasn't sure if Heather would be comfortable backing the boat in and parking the trailer. He obliged and I waited at the courtesy dock for my crew who had just shown up.

We left the dock and headed out at 7am. I went back to the SE corner of Kelly's, where I was yesterday, and set up with the same program for the most part. 

Bandits were set deep on one side and higher on the other side. 50/75 and 20/120 with 2oz on the port side and 20/45 and 30/30 with 2oz on the starboard side.

Dipsies were the usual 1 and 3 settings with the 1 setting at 54 and the 3 setting at 75 and 100 with Scorpion spoons. 

Speed was 2.2-2.5mph

One of the Bandits lost its snap weight, so it was out there at 60 back, unassisted, and caught a nice one, so I tried it without a weight again, and it didn't do anything. The other Bandits that took fish were the 20/120 and the 50/75 sets.

The spoons had the most action, and if all the smaller fish we had to toss back would have been keepers we would have been done much earlier. But, the ratio was about 4:1, so it wasn't a spectacular catching day, but it was steady enough to keep everyone from getting too bored. lol

Heather, who is a nurse, has three older children who are in, or just starting, college and Garrett, the "G-Man" is 7 years old, so she's a stay at home Mom right now and loves to take him fishing anytime she can. Her husband doesn't really like to fish, so she takes the boat out by herself, and is teaching herself how to troll on Lake Erie. She hired me to help her learn how to use the Off Shore boards and dipsies.  "G" loves to fish too, he said.  He's a smart boy, and didn't whine once when the catching wasn't all that great, and kept himself busy by using my boat towels to build a fort, or keep track of how many fish were in the cooler. :)

Heather did a great job with everything, and I have no doubt she will be able to take the knowledge she gained today and run boards on her boat with much more confidence.  At one point, "G-Man" said, "You should do this every day and teach people how to do this, this is fun!" Mom and I just looked at each other and laughed. I smiled quietly inside, because when a 7 year old boy notices your efforts you kind of feel validated. Ha!

I'm off tomorrow, and it looks like Friday is going to be another blow day, and my Saturday customer agrees with me...and, would like better conditions than a NE wind to take his daughter out on the lake, and Sunday is a scheduled day off (but it looks like a blow day right now anyway). I will be back out Monday for a 4 day perch trip with two of my annual customers looking for the elusive green and gold.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls 

Fishing with Mike, Marcus, and Brian 9/15/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/15/20

My crew was supposed to fish with me yesterday, but more strong NE winds kept us off the lake....again. But, today was forecast to be a nice day, so we met at Mazurik's at 6:45 for a 7am launch time.

(I can't help but feel such sorrow for all those folks and poor animals that have died or have been displaced because of them when I see that sun in the morning..it's heartbreaking for sure...I can only imagine the devastation left behind).

Anyhooo....I digress....

Since I hadn't been walleye fishing for the past 7days, due to wind, weather, or rescheduling, I didn't really have a starting point, so we headed east of Kelly's. We first landed over by the Huron dump...on the NE side of it, but didn't mark many fish there. 

We were set up and trolling back to the west when I got a phone call from another Capt that told me they were catching back to the west of where we were, so we picked up and moved back closer to Kelly's, and set up again.

We started with two Bandits on each side behind Off Shore boards. The port side ran 3 oz weights and the starboard side ran 2 oz weights. 50/90 and 50/80 on the port side and 50/100 and 50/75 on the starboard side.  

The usual dipsey program was set out with spoons on the 1 and 3 settings. The 1 setting was out 54 and 60 back and the 3 setting was out 75 and 100 back. The 60 was eventually brought back up to 54 also, because that setting took several fish.

Speed today ranged from 1.8-3.0mph...fish hit at all speeds, so I could never really dial that in to garner a better catch rate. We would catch one, and then I would look at the speed we were going when it hit and try to keep it there, hoping to get another, but then nothing.  But, as soon as I would change up the speed either higher or lower, we would catch another one.....sigh. It was frustrating to say the least.

We ended up with 12 keepers in the box, which was only 1/2 of our 24 fish limit for the four of us, and a bunch of smaller fish that had to be let go due to their size.

The guys did a great job learning how to set the lines and watching for telltale signs of a fish on. Sometimes, those dipsies can be sneaky. A fish hits it, but if you don't see the hit it will immediately just give up and drag behind without any movement in the rod tip. If the fish doesn't "pop the dipsey", it can be hard to tell a fish is there.  The crew was checking them often to make sure little buggers weren't hanging too long.

Tomorrow's weather is looking pretty decent too. 15mph wind of the SW, a low of 50 in the morning and a high of 79 by the afternoon, and sunshine...so, that will work well for the area I was fishing today. I'm fishing with Heather Tinsley and her 7 year old son.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Chad, Cade, and Garrett 9/6/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/06/20

It was one of those mornings, where I walked outside to have my stomach do a flip pity-flop, because I noticed that the garden hose had twisted in the extension cord, and pulled it out of the plug in my boat.  Everything was off, so I quieted my sudden panic and plugged it back in. I still had 45 minutes before I had to leave, and I hoped when I checked it before I left that it would be enough.

The three Ulterra batteries came up to full charge, but the starting battery was only showing two yellow lights, so it wasn't up to full charge yet.

I knew that it would charge while I was running and as long as it would start at the ramp, it would be okay. I would only run one of the two Humminbird's at a time, to help conserve juice throughout the day too. All would be well. Whew!

I met my crew at Mazurik's at 6:30 and we hit the water shortly after. I hadn't been out for four days, due to wind, so I just started back in the last place I left them on the last trip..up there on the north side of Kelly's.  Because there were still some big rollers coming from the NE, I decided to go past my spot and set up with the waves pushing us... (that would be a NE to SW pass).

Same program to start as last time too....

Bandits set with 2oz snap weights at a total line length out of 120 and 110 on one side of the boat and at 115 and 100 on the other side.
Dipsies were run not he 1 and 3 settings. The 1 settings ran at 54 and 70 back and the 3 settings ran at 75 and 100 back.

Speed was 2.3 to 2.7mph (depending on wave surges)

We caught 4 fish there and they all came on the spoons. I decided to move to the Huron Dump, as it was about the only other report I had heard about that was halfway decent, so we picked up and made the 13.5 mile move. The two boys were tired and took that opportunity to take a nap on the way there.

We set up again on the north side of the dump, and this time I was trolling from north to south (towards it). We picked up some small walleye and some junk fish, but only one keeper to give us a total of 5 fish.

We made one more short move to the south and worked a contour towards Cedar Point, but only caught short walleye and a few more junkers there.

It was a tough day of catching, but it was a fun day of fishing, and memories were made for Chad and his son, Cade, and Cade's friend, Garrett. They had gone to Cedar Point the day before, and on the ride out this morning, I said, "This is kind of like a Cedar Point ride", as we made our way out over the rollers. Chad replied, "Yeah, but without the lines!".

Chad did a great job helping set lines this morning, and the boys took turns reeling in fish as they hit our baits. It's good to see all the 2019 fish out there, but it sure would be nicer to see all of the big schools of bigger fish come back to this end of the lake sometime soon too! Last September was much better than this season, in my opinion.

Tomorrow, no one will be out. They are calling for gale force winds up to 60mph. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I have three gents from Wisconsin. Looks like the winds will make the lake fishable, so if we can't find any walleye, we may just go searching for some perch instead.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Labor Day Weekend...

by Capt Juls on 09/05/20

Today is Saturday 9/5/2020.....I rescheduled today due to wind, and it being a good repeat customer with his two sons, so I know they like the better conditions to fish in...(and, so do I for that matter).

Tomorrow's weather looks to be calm, so my crew tomorrow will be meeting me at Mazurik's at 6:30 for a 6:45 launch time. 

I'm without a transducer on the dash Helix, until the new one arrives...which should be soon...so, it will make finding the fish while on plane impossible. Luckily, I have a Helix in the back of the boat with its own transducer, so while it will be tougher to find them...it's not impossible. It will just require a lot of stops and starts. Uffda....we get so spoiled...lol

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Tom, Carol, and Andrew 9/1/2020

by Capt Juls on 09/01/20

Yesterday, was just a short trip with only 4 walleye caught in slightly rough conditions, so I didn't bother to do a report. 

Today's weather was calling for SSW winds around 12mph to start the morning. The sky was mostly clear, and the air temp was around 70. 

This morning, I was meeting new customers for a walleye trip out of Mazurik's for a 6:45 launch time. They showed up at 6:30, so while I finished readying things in the boat, we chatted a bit and got introduced. Tom and Carol brought their 14 year old grandson along and were looking forward to learning how to troll. They have a Lund and fish a lot, but have only drift fished, so Tom wanted to see how it was done.

We headed north after we left the break wall and watched the sun lighten the sky as we made our way to the north side of Kelly's. The timing was perfect, because as soon as I deployed the Ulterra and baby ETEC the sun hit the horizon and it was picture time. 

When the Ulterra was dialed in to direct us on an ENE line and the baby ETEC was dialed in to push us to a speed of 2.5mph we got busy setting out the Dipsies and Off Shore Boards.

The boards were pulling Bandits set with 2oz snap weights at a total line length out of 120 and 110 on the starboard side and 125 and 115 on the port side. The weights were all put on at the 50 mark. (So, in angler talk it would be 50/70 and 50/60 on the starboard side and 50/75 and 50/65 on the port side). :)
*The "Buck Fever" Bandit, which is a purple back and chrome side and belly, took 3 fish at 50/60. The other three colors were "Green Clown", "Chart/Black Stripes", and "Sunspot". Buck Fever, Green Clown, and Sunspot caught fish. Today the Chart/Black Stripes bait didn't do a thing. Last week it was a hot color too. 

Dipsies were run on the 1 and 3 settings.
The 1 settings ran at 54 and 70 back, while the 3 settings ran at 75 and 100 back.
The 75 setting pulled a Rippling Redfin and the other three ran Scorpion spoons.
All caught fish. But, the Redfin came off and another spoon was added as the spoons produced more fish today.

It wasn't a fast bite and really slowed down for us around 10:30. By 11am, Andrew was queasy, so they opted to go in early with 15 nice fat eater sized walleye that went 17-24 inches.

Tom did a great job setting lines, and Andrew and Carol did a great job reeling in fish today. They said they had a great time and want to come back next spring. I told them my favorite time of year is late May and early June, so they want to come back and try it again then.

I'm off again for the next three days...there was a two-day cancelation, due to a customer's surgery recovery going slowly, and a scheduled day off on  Friday. But, it looks like there is some wind coming this way again anyway, so I'm going to take care of some things around here while I have the chance.

I'm watching Saturday's winds right now, and if it's fishable...we'll be out there. If not, I'll see ya on Sunday! :)

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with John, Bill, and Dave 8/24/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/24/20

Once again, I left the house early to get some things done at the boat ramp while I waited for my crew. I showed up there at 5am, which would give me an hour and a half to pull a little line off the reels and retie the snaps to the crankbait rods, do the same with all the dipsies, attach new leads, and give the boat a good spray wax wipe down. But, my crew showed up a half hour early, so the boat didn't get the wipe down I wanted to give it.

John, Bill, and Dave were here a few weeks ago to fish with me, but we got blown off, so we rescheduled for today. They were excited to go, but I told them we were waiting for a little more light since I didn't know what the waves would be like further out from shore.

The wind was SW at 13mph at 6am, the sky was partly cloudy to mostly clear, and the air temp was 72 degrees.  We launched at 6:15 and headed back to where I was fishing for the last two days with David and Jeff.

The program was the same for the Bandits behind the Off Shore boards...2oz snap weights put on at 50' and then let out to a total length of 113, 115, 120, and 130...(a/k/a 50/63, 50/65, 50/70, and 50/80).

Dipsey program was the same as yesterday too...1 setting at 54 and 64 and the 3 setting at 75 and 100. One rod started with a Ripplin Redfin, but it didn't do anything, while the three spoons were catching fish. So, the crank came off and another spoon was put on.

We were trolling over 46-47' of water to start, but as our NE troll took us up towards the line it was 41 feet.

At some point, we must have hit a pod of fish that inhaled the four Bandits at the same time, because the boards never got out of line and the rod tips were identical, so we never knew we were dragging walleye around for who knows how long. Uffda.  We only found out when we got up to the line and had to pick everything up to make a run back...(the waves were too big for my boat to go into them, comfortably, so I make another run back to make another pass through).

It was then, and only then, did we find out we had those 4 fish hanging out there. We were two fish short of their 3 man limit, and 2 hours left to go, so I was confident we could get our 4 person limit in the next pass.  However, the last fish in the net was not a happy one, and went ballistic. It knocked the crank out of my fingers and then flopped back up and somehow pushed the hook into my finger. Just a freak accident. (This is why I do not allow customers to handle fish in the net. I have a ton of experience handling fish, so if it can happen to me, it will definitely happen a lot more to a less experienced handler.)

It didn't really hurt once the hook was cut off, so I told them we could stay out and fish the last two hours if they wanted. But, I could see Dave out of the corner of my eye motioning to the other two that we should go in, so I could take care of my finger. They agreed with him and said we should go in. So, we went in 2 hours early with two fish short of their limit.   They said that it broke their Erie catch record by 12 fish, so they were happy with the day's catch and didn't mind going back in.  I wasn't going to argue and was relieved to not have to fish with a hook deep in my finger.

We headed in and they took their fish to Port Clinton Fish, CO to be cleaned, and I took the boat home to drop it off before heading back out to Marblehead to have the hook removed by my doctor, who fit me in during his lunch break. Thanks Doc! Much appreciated!

To tell the truth though...the needle with the anesthetic hurt more than anything else. My finger doesn't hurt like I thought it would.  No more than all the other cuts I get on my hands doing this job anyway. We all know what that feels like. :)

Anyway....it was a fun day, and they said they had a great time, so that makes me happy.

Tomorrow is a scheduled day off, so I'll be cleaning that boat again. Wednesday is a teaching trip for a woman who booked a charter, so that should be fun. It looks like Wednesday might be the only good day looking towards the weekend. Looks like big winds on the way....deep sigh.

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing Day Two with David and Jeff 8/23/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/23/20

Since my guys showed up a half hour early yesterday, this morning I hit Mazurik's an hour early, so I had time to get things ready and wipe down the boat. It was too hot yesterday when I got home and I neglected that task. I had a brand new bottle of Lucus Spray Mist in the back compartment of the Ranger, but when I pulled it out, it was empty. Arrrrgghhh! It must have had a leak in the cap and emptied itself as it laid on the bottom of the box. I had enough for one or two squirts, which was what was probably still in the spray-nozzle hose thingy.  I sprayed the towel with it, so I could wipe the windshield off at least. lol

Anyway, they showed up even earlier than yesterday, so we hit the water in the dark...at 5:35 to be exact. The eastern sky was just starting to lighten as we arrived to our spot that we fished yesterday. The Ulterra and the baby ETEC were deployed and set in motion to move us from west to east at a speed of 2.5mph. 

The winds were light out of the southwest at about 7mph, the air temp was 68 degrees, and the lake was quiet. The waves were 6 inches or less. We used our phone flashlights to see the dipsey rods after we got them set out.

After about 15 minutes into the troll we were able to see well enough to put the Off Shore boards out too.

We set out the program we had yesterday, but this time we used all Bandits:
Bandits behind boards with 2oz weights clipped on at 50' and then let out to a total of 113, 117, 120, and 130 feet, before the board was put on. 
Colors that caught were Green Clown (had two of those out and both caught), Chart/Black Stripes, and Buck Fever.

Dipsies were set on the 1 and 3 settings. 
The 1 settings were at 54 and 64. 
The 3 settings were at 75 and 100. 
3 spoons and 1 black/chrome Ripplin Redfin.
They all caught several fish. 

The bite was a little more steady this morning than it was yesterday. We had 10 by 7:15 and then our limit of 18 by 8:30. Yesterday, it seemed like the bite shut off at 8am, but this morning it kept going....yay!

This morning was a fun adventure. It was more relaxing for me, and I'm sure for them also, since they already knew the routine and how to work with the equipment. They did a great job getting fish into the boat and were once again rewarded with a nice cooler of walleye to take home. Today's fish all averaged just a little bigger than yesterday's too.

They are already planning on coming back in the spring to fish with me, and that makes me happy. :)

Tomorrow's trip is with three fellas that came out a few weeks ago, but got blown off, so we're going to give it another try. We won't be launching until 6:30 (hopefully), because one of them is driving in from the Cleveland area, so it will depend on traffic on a Monday morning. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with David and Jeff 8/22/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/22/20

How am I getting so lucky with customers arriving at the ramp early? I showed up 25 minutes before I told them to show up and they were pulling in just in front of me at Mazurik's this morning. lol  I like it! :)

We launched at 6am, just as the sky was beginning to lighten to the east, and headed north. The Helix showed us some fish down below in the deep water, so we set up with two Off Shore boards on each side and two dipsies on each side. 

Bandits ran behind the boards on the port side with 2oz weights at 50/75 and 50/65, and Reef Runner Mag 44's ran on the starboard side with no weight at 120 back and 90 back. Bandit colors were the Red Headed Wonderbread and Green Clown and the Mag colors were Red Headed Wonderbread and Gold Chrome. All but the Gold Chrome (that one was the 90 back) caught a fish.

The dipsies definitely did better, and were set on the 1 and 3 settings. 1 settings were at 48 and 54 to start and the 3 settings were at 75. The 3 setting on the port side ran a Ripplin Red Fin in a Red/Chart clown color, and the 1 setting had a Red Headed Wonderbread Scorpion spoon. 

The starboard side ran two spoons...one was a green and silver combo and the other was a spoon I don't know the name of, or the color, but it was copper with orange/black/and a bit of chart and more of a teardrop shape. 
When the Ripplin Redfin took a few fish we switched up the other dipsies to all Ripplin's, and caught more fish. 

We had 8 in the box by 8-8:30ish and then the bite just died, so we made a few adjustments (deeper) and eventually started picking them up again. We kept 17, let one keeper go to get bigger, and lost a couple nice ones at the back of the boat.  So, it was a much better catching day than it was yesterday.

David and Jeff had a good time, learned a ton, and will be fishing with me again tomorrow. So, tomorrow should be easier, if they can remember how to do everything.  They had a lot of practice today, so I'm guessing they will remember. They did a great job and were rewarded with a nice cooler of fat and sassy walleye to take home to their wives for a yummy fish fry. 

Tomorrow's weather looks to be a continuation of today's good weather with just a little more wind, which should help.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Casey, Amy, and Ryan 8/21/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/21/20

I had the past couple of days off. One day, was another NE wind, that I rescheduled, and yesterday was a scheduled day off. I was looking forward to getting back on the water this morning and back to work. 

In the hope, that we could put 18 walleye in the boat in a couple hours, I stopped off at the Fisherman's Wharf to pick up some minnows and ice, so we could perch fish if the opportunity presented itself, before hitting the gas station to gas up the boat.

I was meeting my crew at Mazurik's at 6:15 for a 6:30 launch, but I showed up there around 5:45 to get things ready before they showed up. I had just finished up when they arrived around 6am, so we launched earlier than planned, at 6:15. 

The sky was clear, the air temp was 63 degrees, and the wind was light out of the south-southwest. The lake was calm for a change, since the past week and a half was all E or NE winds, I think. I was really getting tired of those stupid rollers that come from across the entire lake with those wind directions, so this morning was a much needed and pleasant wind.

We headed out of Mazurik's to the east side of Kelly's. I had heard the north side of the Cedar Point Dump (or, some might call it the Marblehead Dump) was producing yesterday, so we headed there first. I set down on the NW corner of the dump and looked at the marks on the Helix, or I should say, I looked at the lack of marks on the Helix. 

Since this was a learning trip, I said, "Let's set up here and head NE by the dump and see what happens". After showing Ryan and Casey how to set out the Off Shore boards, I showed them how to deploy the dipsies, so they didn't tangle. They caught on quick and we were off and trolling.

I didn't have a good feeling though, when the screen stayed basically blank, except for a fish here and there swimming across the bottom. And, for all I knew, they could have been the elusive yellow perch we were passing over. 

We picked everything up and headed more NE to see if we could mark any fish....anywhere.  We drove several miles one way, and then another way, and then another way...never marking anything better than what we saw when we first set up. I wasn't about to make a 30 mile run to the east, to where they are getting them "As fast as you can reel", because there had to be some fish closer to home. 

Last year, we had plenty of walleye from Huron to Kelly's and up to the line, but I was left scratching my head in confusion when it seemed there were none to be found....not like we had last year at this time anyway.  I headed down to the Huron dump and marked some fish. While not great, it was the best I had seen in all that driving around, so we set up and trolled to the west from there.  

We picked up 9 walleye, some shorts, and a couple of white perch in that pass, and that was it. I had heard some chatter on the radio, and one voice I recognized, so I called him. He was 2 miles north of me and said they were catching, and had decent marks there. I had to scratch my head again, because that's one of the places we had stopped to take a look at what the Helix was showing me, and it didn't show squat. But, I thought maybe they moved in after we rolled through there, so we picked up and made the move north to try again.

As I suspected, the marks just weren't there. There was a pack of boats there, and ya'll know how much I love pack fishing....ugh. So, I started behind them and headed NE towards the rest of the pack, hoping to see these fish these guys were all fishing for. They never showed themselves though. There was only a lonely fish here and there across the bottom like I had two miles to the south. We weren't seeing any nets going the water the entire time we were up there either.

We ended catching two more going from east to west for a total of 11 walleye for the morning.  If it weren't for the positive vibes and humor of my customers, it would have been an unbearable morning, since I had such high hopes for the day. But, they actually made it a fun morning even with the slow catching, so I'm thankful for that. :)

Casey, Amy, and Ryan said they had fun and have scheduled another trip for late October to try again.  When we got back to Mazurik's, Casey said to me with a serious face, "You know, when I go out on the first trip with any new Captain...(he paused, and I got nervous as to what he was going to say)... we ALWAYS do poorly, so it's probably me. That means, the next trip out should be fantastic". I laughed, and said, "Well then, I'm really looking forward to the next one!"

Tomorrow's trip is with Dave Miller and his buddy, so I'll be looking at some new areas, since we deleted a lot of water today. Hopefully, we will find some better marks to set up on. 

Stay tuned...

Capt Juls

Fishing with Jeff and his Dad Paul 8/17/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/17/20

Sorry, I haven't blogged the past 4 days, because three of those days I rescheduled and yesterday's was cut short, due to the storm that rolled through around 10:30.

Today, I had Jeff and his father Paul for a perch adventure. We were to meet at Catawba park at 6:15 for a 6:30 launch, but when I pulled in at 5:50 they were right behind me. We got on the water at 6:15ish and headed to the G Can area first, but I wasn't marking a whole lot on the Helix, so we tried it for about 20 minutes and then spent 45 minutes searching for something better. 

We never really found what I was looking for, marks-wise, so we set up on something that looked "Okay", there on the north side of South Bass Island near the ship house. Goldies is all we can get right now, but the ones I got at the Fisherman's Wharf were a perfect size, if you have to use a Goldie.  

"Dollar for the first fish?", I asked. They agreed. I added, "But, it has to be a yellow perch to count". Jeff laughed and said, "You hear that Dad? It has to be a keeper to count". Pops nodded his head and smiled in agreement.

Not to brag or anything....but, I won the dollar. :)

They were nice perch right there, so the fact that they were coming up slow was okay with us...the wait was worth it.  Another boat lined up behind us. We were both pretty close to the line the Miller Ferry uses to get to Middle Bass Island. At one point, the ferry left the dock on the island to head back to Catawba and it looked as though it was coming straight for us. I stopped fishing in case I had to make a quick getaway, but I was worried about the boat behind us. They were using a regular anchor, so there was no quick getaway for them if that ferry didn't turn. Luckily, the ferry Capt was paying attention and didn't run us over. 

We had 31 perch in the cooler when our bite there seemed to shut off. In hindsight, we probably should have stuck it out there, but Capt Ancy here asked if they wanted to try another spot, and they both did, so we moved.

This time, we moved out to the east side of Ballast. There was a pack of boats there, so we stayed on the outside fringe to look for some on the Helix. Again, the marks were nothing to write home about or get excited about, but we did mark a few, so the Ulterra was deployed and the Spot-Lock engaged again.  After 15 minutes without even a nibble....we moved.

I took them to the area where I had my last perch trip and found some good action...(Yes, I know, that was last Wednesday, but I had to look), which was on the east side of the monument in 28-29' of water.  Yep, you guessed it, they weren't there.  There was a large pack of boats to the south of me though, so we motored through very slowly while we looked for fish to show up on the Helix.

After several spots, I said, "We are running out of time...would you like to try by the Green Can at Catawba, or go back around to the other side of the island and try that spot again? Jeff replied right away and said he wanted to go back to the ship house spot....so, we moved.

And, of course, we searched the area again for the marks that made us stop there the first time, but they were gone....so, we moved around looking for more.  Long story shorter....we ended up on the south side of Green Island. We marked some fish, but there were no takers, so our final count for the day was only 32. 

They both said they and would like to come back again in May for some walleye and perch action, and that makes me happy.

Tomorrow, I have a new customer, Joe, and his crew. I think we are walleye fishing, but I'll have to confirm that when he calls me shortly.

Tomorrow's winds will be light out of the north for the start of the morning and, then, gradually picking up as the afternoon approaches. Hopefully, the walleye will be in a good mood in the morning and bite!

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Nancy and Mary 8/12/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/12/20

Headed to the "Fisherman's Wharf" this morning for some minnows and dropped off some brownies for the guys. The Goldies were the perfect size...not too big and not too small. :)

I was meeting some repeat customers, Nancy and Mary, who were driving up from the south, near Columbus, at Catawba for a 6:30 launch. They showed up a little early, so we got a little head start and headed to D Can first to see if we could jerk up some perch there. I gave it 20 minutes with little show for it, so we moved to the north side of Green. There were, what I thought were good marks, but they weren't biting. We had 4 in the box after 1/2 hour. 

I got impatient again, so we moved to the east side of Rattlesnake Island in 28 feet of water. Again, good marks, but little action. I was beginning to think it was just a time of day thing, and at some point, during the morning they would turn on. But, I got impatient again, so we moved.

Found some hard bottom and good marks NW of the ferry dock on Middle Bass in 30 feet of water. We caught some white perch, 4 rock bass, and one more yellow perch there. I loved the spot, but didn't think it was going to happen there, so we moved....again.

This time, we moved out to the east side of South Bass and set up on more good marks. The bottom was too mushy to me, so we moved one more time.

It was a small move to the south, out in front of the monument in 29' of water. The Helix was lit up with a gazillion fish on the bottom. I was hoping they were what we were after, so we got busy fishing.  Well, we did manage to catch 70 yellow perch there, but we also probably caught three or four times as many white perch there too. The seagulls were happy with that ratio, since they were the right size to slide down their throats. So, with a quick whack in the head, (so they float), the white perch were tossed to the hungry Seagulls looking for an easy meal.

Mary managed to land an 8 pound catfish on her little ultralight rod too, and her friend back home loves catfish, so they kept that one to give to her. :)

Tomorrow....I'll be back to walleye fishing with Chuck Jones and his two buddies. The wind forecast right now, for tomorrow, is 9-10mph from the NE for the first 5 hours, and then it's supposed to pick up. Hopefully, that forecast doesn't go up anymore by morning...we shall see.

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing Day Two with Mike and Billy 8/9/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/09/20

Got up at 2:30, grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed to the back door with Dexter right on my heels. We went out on the back deck and took in the quiet morning. As he sniffed around the yard for all the telltale signs of nightly critters that roamed last night, I checked the wind and weather forecast for the day.

The sky was clear again, temps were in the low 60's and the wind was light out of the south. I enjoyed the quiet for a while before I needed another cup of coffee, then went back into the house to take care of morning routines of getting ready to leave.

I left the house earlier than yesterday, because I knew Mike and Billy would probably be there early again.  I hit Mazurik's a little after 5AM and readied the boat, changed out leaders on the dipsey rods, and picked some different Bandit colors to try this morning. I took off a Chrome Barbie and one of the two Metallic Muffins and added Purple Mist and Blue Chrome to the lineup.

Mike and Billy showed up a little before 5:30, so we launched 15 minutes earlier than yesterday and headed out in the darker conditions. Because the wind was "off shore" the lake was rippled, but not wavy within the first few miles of land. The sky, much like yesterday, started out with a purple and red glow off to the east, which progressively got more intense as the Sun rose from below the horizon.  

We set up out in 38 feet of water, out in front of Cedar Point. The Ulterra was pointed in a northeasterly direction and the kicker pushed us along at 2.5-2.7mph.
Two Bandits were set out on each side first. The port side ran 2oz snap weights at 50/75 (total of 125' of line out) and 50/70 (total: 120), and the starboard side ran the 3oz weights at 50/75 and 50/63. 

The dipsies were the same program as before. The 1 settings were at 54 and 60 back and the 3 settings were at 65 and 94 back. (The 65 caught one nice one, but that was it, so it was eventually changed to run deeper at 80-100 back. It was changed a lot and caught fish on all the numbers.

The fish came in spurts....so it wasn't a fast and furious kind of bite today, and landed 16 nice keepers. It was fun though, and the smaller walleye, sheephead, and big white bass kept them busy reeling in and setting out lines. They did much better today than they did the first day, and I hardly had to do anything except chirp up when I saw a potential tangle or problem about to happen. lol

They said they had a great time, learned a lot, and will be back again next season, so that makes me happy. 

I'm off tomorrow...so, it's time to walk the beasty, cut the grass, and clean the boat and house....it never ends....deep sigh.

My next trip will be on Tuesday with Jeff Overs and his Father. 

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls

Fishing with Mike and Billy 8/8/2020

by Capt Juls on 08/08/20

After a reschedule back in July, due to wind, my crew....Mike, and Billy, from Wisconsin, were able to get a good weekend of weather for their two-day trip. They fish Green Bay a lot, but said they mostly fish with crawler harnesses, and wanted to learn how to run dipsies, and see how I run my Off Shore board set up with cranks and snap weights.

I told them to meet me at Mazurik's at 5:45, so we could launch by 6am, but they were already there waiting for me when I pulled in at 5:30. I readied the boat and got all the rods ready to go, and launched the boat at 5:45. 

The sky was clear, the air temp was 63 degrees, and the wind was non-existent. The forecast was calling for a light and variable wind for most of the day. The Sun's glow was painted the horizon in hues of purple, red, and orange. 

We made it to my first stop NE of Kelly's....about 1 1/2 miles short of the line and deployed the Ulterra and the baby ETEC to move us at a speed of 2.5-2.9mph. The sweet spot seemed to be 2.6-2.7mph when we seemed to catch more. 

We set up with the usual program I've been using for the past several weeks now.
Bandits behind Off Shore boards with 2 and 3oz weights. The 2oz were set 50/75 on both boards, and the 3oz program was 50/65 and 50/63 respectively. 
Bandit colors that did well were the Chrome Barbie, Pooh Bear, Metallic Muffin, and Attention Deficit.

The dipsies were set 65 and 94 back on the 3 setting and 54 and 60 on the 1 setting. Ever For us, a north to south, and south to north troll, was better than any other direction we tried. We caught our 18 walleye along with a bunch of little walleye, sheephead, and white bass. The pods of fish were a bit spotty today, so when we found an active pod close to the line, I just kept doing a small oval over them going north to south, or south to north, until we limited out.

We headed in around 10AM.  I drove their fish over to Bay's Edge Fish Cleaning for them and met them there. The line of anglers and coolers, waiting for their turn inside to drop fish off, was about a dozen coolers long. I'm fishing with them again tomorrow, so I asked if they had room in their car for my big cooler. They could just bring it with them in the morning when they meet me again. (I would bring the ice). They said they did, which made me happy, because then I didn't have to wait for my cooler and could get home with the boat. :)

My crew was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to more entertainment tomorrow. Looks like the wind forecast will keep me off the Canadian line tomorrow and closer to the mainland. I'm thinking Cedar Point to Huron(ish)? Hmmmm.....

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls