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Fishing with “Papa Mike”, Mike, and Michael….6/20/2024

At 2am, it felt like I was stepping into a sauna, when I hit the back deck with the dogs, and a coffee in hand. The wind apps were showing light and variable winds, so I thought the lake would be smooth enough to launch out of Mazurik’s and head out towards the Weather Buoy, and not take forever to get there.

I met my crew at Mazurik’s at 5:15, and we headed out at 5:30. The sky was clear, the air was a humid 75 degrees, and the wind was around 5mph out of the E in the South Passage….NNW on the east side of Kelly’s…and the NNE-E up on the line. Needless to say, the lake was not smooth, and it took us around 50 minutes to go 17 miles. It looked smooth, but the rollers were enough to keep me from going fast, and beating everyone, and the boat, up.

Once we got out there, I wasn’t marking fish, like I have over the past several years, at this time. I silently panicked a little bit, because that was a long run to a spot that wasn’t holding fish.

I decided that the marks we were being shown were enough to set up on, and hoped that they would improve as we trolled, so I got busy. “Do you want to learn how to set lines, and stuff?”, I asked Mike. He replied, that he didn’t have a boat, and didn’t need to learn it, so that saved me a lot of time, and talking. 🙂

I started with the same program that has been working for me, over the past couple of weeks. The “Blue Shiner” Baby Billy PWCs (Bill Lewis “Precision Walleye Crank Lite” for those that don’t know what I’m talking about)….caught the first one at 100 back (50/50 with a 2oz Guppie weight). We saw it, and it was a nice fish, but we lost it. I said, “Good, at least we know there are some hungry fish around”.

I was relieved to have one hit so quickly, while I was still setting lines, because I was marking very little on the Humminbird, when it did. However, I know from past experience, that this has happened to me before…where I wasn’t marking anything, but the bite was good, so I had a glimmer of hope of being able to stay there. And, not have to go find fish. (We had already spent 50 minutes of their time on the ride out).

We started in 42 feet of water, directly south of the buoy, and had the nose of the Vexus pointed SW, at a speed of 2.3-2.5mph. When we hit 46 feet of water, there were no marks at all. So, I turned the boat around, so we could get back up on top of that bar, and stay in the 42-44 feet of water. It seemed like it took forever to get back to the right depth, but once we did, we started picking away at them.

However, I wasn’t happy with the speed of the bite, so I started changing up baits. Three ineffective spoons came off the dipsies, and were replaced with “Rippling Red Fins” in blue/chrome, and black/gold chrome (2). The fourth dipsey remained a spoon, but I changed it out several times, until the fish told me they liked the NASCAR “Michigan Stinger” spoon.

The Redfins caught several nice fish, and the spoon caught 3, I think….it wasn’t out that long.
I changed out one black/gold Redfin with a “Baby Walleye” (I think that’s the name) “Yaleye Mooneye Minnow”….and, it caught some beauties.

The zero setting lines, were set at 47 and 54 back. The two setting, was set at 65 back and the 3 setting started out at 55, but when I changed out the spoon for the Redfin, I moved the dipsey to 85 back, and it started catching better.
All these set ups caught fish.

The starboard side ran the baby PWCs at my usual program of “Green Tiger” at 50/80 with 2oz, “Blue Shiner” at 50/50, and “Barbie” at 50/27. Barbie did nothing for a couple hours, so it came off, and another “Green Tiger” was added.

Bandits started out on the port side at 120, 100, and 80 back, but didn’t catch anything, so they were replaced with the “Baby Spros” in “Chrome Perch 50/80, Blue Chrome 50/50, and “Purple Glass Perch” 50/47. These all caught at least one fish each, if not two.

We only put 16 walleye in the cooler today, but we lost 9 nice eyes, so we would have limited there, had we been able to get all the fish in the boat. We only had one throw back, and 4-5 Sheephead, so it was nice having a good grade of fish, that didn’t need to be measured, for a change. 🙂

Grandpa Mike, Dad Mike, and Michael (son/grandson) did a great job today, and kept the mood positive, and friendly, so it was a good time. Michael pitched in, and helped me set lines, after getting some quick instructions, and did great.

It was nice to get the help, since the sun was high, and the heat was getting pumped up. I was drip sweating down my face, which drives me nuts. lol
Which reminds me, I should go take a shower.

Tomorrow’s crew, came down from Wisconsin, and fished with Capt David Kraut today, because I didn’t have today open. I will have them for the next two days.
The weather is going to be hot again, and the winds around 3mph out of the same directions as today.

I think I’ll launch out of Vermilion tomorrow. I’d rather pay for truck gas, than the premium stuff the big black beast on the back of my boat drinks. Vermilion will save me several miles of travel, and I can run the trough out, if it’s out of the ENE.

Stay tuned….

Capt Juls

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