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Fishing with the Franklin Family… 7/17/2023

I was supposed to meet my crew at Mazurik’s at 5:30. The Franklin family were driving in from Mansfield, OH. I left the house at 4:30, so I could stop, and top off the gas in the boat, get ice, and hit Hi-Way Bait for some crawlers (just in case). I wanted to get to Mazurik’s, with enough time to be by myself, for the last half hour, before they were to show up.

Mark had texted me at 4:45 and said their ETA was 5:10. I just smiled…oh, well…so much for the alone time. They were already there, when I arrived at 5:06. “It’s much better to be early, than late”, I reminded myself.

We waited to launch. The sky was cloudy, smokey, and dark. Sunrise isn’t until around 6:13, right now, so we had a lot of time.

I readied the rods with Bandits on the starboard side, and Reef Runner Mag 44s, on the port side.

I left the spoons on the dipsey rods, that I ended up using last, on the last walleye trip. A blue/chrome Stinger, a blue/silver-hammered Scorpion, an “Orange Crush” Yeck, and a green/black/silver BadMo Arrow spoons.

We started out in front of Cedar Point, in 35 feet of water, and trolled with the waves, in a zig-zag, to the Canadian border, kind of line. We were marking fish the entire way, but they were all very deep. We tried everywhere in the water column, and caught fish….just not all walleye, and not consistent enough for it to be a pattern.
The spoons outfished the cranks today, by a long shot.

Bandits ran behind the Off Shore boards, at 110, 85, and 60 back, to start. We caught a nice eater on the original “Blue Shiner”, at 60 back. But, that would be it for the Bandits, for the rest of the morning.

Speed was 2.1-2.3 on the Fish Hawk, and 2.4-2.6 GPS.

The Mag 44s were set at 90, 70, and 50 back. The Mags didn’t produce anything, so they were changed up to Flicker Minnow 11s. The first one out was, “Pooh Bear” at 90 back. Before I could get the board on the second one, that first one loaded up with a nice fish. I thought to myself, “Well….maybe they wanted Flicker Minnows. Fingers crossed!” We set all three boards out, and watched them get washed for a while, before I would decide to put some crawler harnesses on.
We had one hit on the harnesses, using three oz inlines, at a speed of 1.9mph. That fish hit on it at 62 back. We lost it.
The crawler harnesses would be replaced with Spro Madeye 120’s, and the speed turned up again. The port side was changed up a lot this morning. The Bandits on the starboard side, would just be changed out for different colors, and depths. 2oz snap weights were used at 50/60, 50/30, and 50/20….nothing.

Dipsies, with the zero setting, were set at 30 and 40 back. The three settings were at 45 and 65, to start. Eventually, they were dialed in to 40 and 50, on the zero setting, and the three settings at 70 back.
Spoons caught a lot of fish to keep them busy, but unfortunately, there were a lot of Sheephead, small walleye, and a white bass in the mix.

We only put 8 eater walleye in the cooler this morning. It was a tough walleye bite for us, today.
If all of the Sheephead had been walleye, we would have been done early.

My crew did great. Alyssa, had never caught a walleye before, and now she can cross that off the “To Do Yet” list. She caught on to the procedures of setting and retrieving dipsies, and perfectly bringing in the fish with the “Lift and Back Up” technique. She told her Dad, that they should get some dipsies and spoons for their boat, and he agreed.
He’s not a troller, but I think we may have given him the itch to go shopping for some trolling gear. Ha!

Anyway….everyone had a fun, even though it got rough up there from time to time, and it was hard for them to move around the boat. Claudia was smart. She hopped in a seat and stayed there…perfectly content, until it would be required of her, to reel in her own fish. It got easier for Mark, when I told him to take his shoes off, because he would have better balance. “Don’t worry”, I said, smiling…”I don’t have any hooks on this floor”. He removed them, and was able to move around the boat easier. Alyssa is a natural. She has good balance, common sense, and can easily remember directions…giving her the honorary title of, “First Mate”, for the morning. 🙂

I’m off tomorrow and Wednesday, unless I book a perch trip….otherwise, I will be back out again on Thursday, for another try at walleye, with one of my regulars, Mike Shepperson, and his crew….weather permitting. 🙂

Stay tuned….

Capt Juls

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