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Fishing with Frank and Ray…4/25/2024

Went to bed early last night, in anticipation of fishing this morning, but woke up an hour earlier, so I got up at 2AM, made some coffee, and took the critters out onto the back deck with me.

The wind was out of the north, at around 5-10mph, the sky was mostly clear, with a full/waning moon, and the air temp was a chilly 36 degrees.

The wind forecast for the morning was a light and changing wind…from the north, then, switching from the ENE at 5-10 mph.

I told my dog, “Goodbye, I love you…I’ll be back!”, and headed to the gas station. The truck and boat were already gassed up, so all I needed was some ice, and powdered donuts. “It might be a good idea to stop at Hi Way Bait and get some crawlers”, I thought to myself… in case the crankbait bite was tough after the last blow and cold.
So, I did. Hit Hi Way for 10 dozen crawlers, hoping deep down, that they would all end up doing their thing in my gardens, instead of messing up my boat. It’s not that I don’t like running harnesses, because I do. I make my own, in fact …it’s just that they are so messy, and create more work for me. If I can get away with cranks and spoons all summer…I’m cool with that. 🙂

Frank and Ray have fished with me for many years now, and had this past Tuesday scheduled, but it blew (surprise-surprise), so they took today, since it was available, and going to be relatively nice.

We launched out of Catawba at 6:45, and once the big motor was warmed up, we headed north. The inside water, was chocolate milk, and without a satellite picture to reference, it only made sense to go north until we got out of the dirty water.
It cleaned up a little more, north of Greene Island. I first went up to look near West Reef, but the marks were not what I was looking for, so we went back down into the “Triangle”, and set up on an east to west trolling pass, starting near Middle Bass in 31 feet of water, that had some decent marks. They were scattered, though.

The Terrova and the baby Merc purred along, while I took instruction from the FishHawk, to keep the starting speed in that 1.5-1.8 range. Once adjustments were dialed in, I got busy setting the starboard side.

Frank set the port side, and is already familiar with how I rig my Off Shore boards, so he didn’t need any instruction, to get them out and running. Frank started out with Dead Eyes running at 80, 63, 45, and 32 back, behind the boards.

I ran Bandits on my side, and set them at 97, 77, 57, and 42 back. We had the water column, that was showing the most marks, covered.

We were marking fish, in the range of the cranks, but we weren’t catching. Not only that, but we had nothing in the first three hours, so I made the decision to move. With a relatively calm lake, it wasn’t going to take long to run out to Niagara and C can, to take a look. So, we picked everything up, and headed west.

We set up, near Niagara, over 31 feet of water…with all Bandits. The port side ran at 110, 97, 80, and 65 back (longest leads on the outside). The starboard side ran at 80, 67, 55, and 53 back.

Speed was 1.6-2.0

We would eventually find a spot that was very small, but holding active fish. When we did get bit, it was always a double …two fish, each time. We had two of those, before it ran dry, and I decided it would be a good idea, just to circle on them, since they were showing us they were active. It was a good decision, because we eventually caught their limit and one of mine, before we ran out of time. When I say it was a small spot, it was maybe 1/4 mile long.

The best colors for us today, were:

Mike Schlimgen’s (Slim Shady Customs): (1) Chrome Furmi, (1) Big-Bad-Bill, and (1) Copper Greasy Chicken Wing

Stock colors: (1) Taco Salad and (1) Blue Chrome

Domka Outdoors: (3)Buck Fever

Frank and Ray had a great time, and are planning another trip with me in the fall, so that makes me happy!

Two more reschedules for the weekend, and a dentist appt on Monday, so I won’t be back out until Tuesday.

Stay tuned….

Capt Juls

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