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Fishing with Lisa and Tanya…4/9/2024

After too many days off, I was back to work this morning. WoooHoooo!

I have family in town, and staying at my house for the week, so my morning routine is a little off, and I was trying to be quiet, so I wouldn’t wake my sister and brother-in-law, and got a little impatient, and left the house early.

I wasn’t meeting my crew until 6:30 at the Portage River launch, but I left the house at 5AM anyway. I figured I would take the long way through town, while it was dark and quiet, to waste some time, before meeting my crew at 6:30.

I only needed ice this morning, since I had gassed the boat and truck up the other day, when I brought the Vexus out of storage, and put it back under the carport, here at the house.
I drove to the Speedway across town, picked up some ice, and headed back across town again, to the launch.

It was still dark at 5:45, so I turned on the boat’s interior lights, and used the spotlight on my iPhone to rig some rods. Since I was going to be passing under a bridge, before I got to the mouth of the river, I didn’t put the rods in the rod holders, or put the antenna up yet. I didn’t want anything getting broken. Been there, done that before….oops!

Anyway, the boat was ready to go, it was getting a little lighter out, and they weren’t there yet, so I launched the boat, thinking that because they were both women, (one likes to fish and the other had never been on a boat, or caught a fish before), that they wouldn’t be comfortable backing up a trailer. I couldn’t have been more wrong…and, could have saved myself the trouble of launching alone. (Not my favorite thing to do).

Lisa, Tanya, and Kim rented a house in town for the Solar Eclipse, and booked a trip with me, for the day after. Lisa loves to fish, and had a bucket list of fish she wanted to catch….a walleye was one of them. Initially, Tanya was just along for the experience, but would come to know the joys of catching her own walleye, too.
And, Kim gets sick just looking at waves, so she opted out of the trip, and stayed on shore.

Both of them own horses, and have pulled horse trailers for a long time. If you can handle a horse trailer, with a live animal in it, you can easily back up a boat. I should have waited for them, because launching solo still makes me a little nervous. For some reason, I always think the boat is going to float away on me, even though I have ropes securely in place. lol It’s a mind game with myself, I guess.

When I was parking the trailer, a car drove into the lot, and no one else was there at that time, so I knew it had to be my crew. They arrived, excited to go, so we hopped in the boat, and headed down the river.

Once we passed the bridge, I had Lisa take the wheel. “Just keep the boat in the center of the channel, while I get the rods out”, I said to Lisa. She took control and I pulled the rods out of the locker. They were all set up with Bandits, in varying colors….Carrot Top (stock), Taco Salad (stock color), Potato Bread (custom), Fruit Dots (black headed wonder bread/stock), Barbie (custom), and RC Crush (custom).

Heading out of the river, I asked, “Is everyone ready to go?” They both replied, “Yes!”, so the 400 spurred and got the boat up on plane, and off we went, to the west. We set up near Camp Perry in 15′ of water. The Terrova and baby Merc quietly pushed us in a northeasterly direction, at 1.6-1.7 mph on the FishHawk…SOG was similar in that area.

Water temp on the surface was 46 degrees and 45 at 15 feet down.

I started out with only 3 Off Shore boards per side, and set the Bandits on the port side at 25, 35, and 40 back, with the shortest lead on the outside. My boards are set to trip from the front arm now, which allows a shorter lead to work on an outside board, easier than on one that doesn’t release.

The starboard side ran at 35, 45, and 55 back. Nothing for the first 1/2 hour, so we made a 5 mile move east, and set up over 27 feet of water, adding another board, per side, with leads running at 60 on the outside boards, 53 on number three, 43 on number two, and 41 on number one, (inside board), on both sides.

White bodied baits were used to start, and would catch most of our limit, but near the end, Lisa chose one of my favorite colors (Carrot Top), and it would get hit in minutes of being out, and let out again. It hit three fish pretty fast. I laughed and said, “I had that one in the beginning, but took it off…my bad!” I think I will have a few of those out again tomorrow. 🙂

Lisa was so excited to have caught her very first walleye, and could mark it off her bucket list, now. She said, “I don’t even care if we catch another one, because I caught my walleye, and can scratch it off the list”. I said, smiling, “You’re my favorite kind of customer, but I think we can catch a few more this morning”.

It was a beautiful day, and not as windy as was predicted in the forecast, so I was grateful, and pleasantly surprised. We all commented how nice it was today, and how everyone had needed a nice day like this one, to recharge the batteries.
We timed it right, because when we had our limit, and time was up, we headed in…the wind was picking up as we arrived back at the river, and whitecaps were forming, even close to shore. (It was an offshore wind today).

Lisa and Tanya both said that they had a great time. And, now Lisa is coming back in October to try some perch fishing with me, and that makes me happy!

Tomorrow, I have my long time customers, (who are more like family to me than just customers). Steve and Jeremy Chapman. Steve was my very first customer, 13 years ago, and Jeremy started coming with him 12 years ago, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow too.

The weather looks like it’s going to be really nice again, so hopefully the fish are in a good mood, and will be biting.

We are doing a little later start….at 8am, since they are driving up from the Columbus area in the morning.

Stay tuned….

Capt Juls

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