2018 Conservation Club Derby-August 3/4/5

I have fished deepwater on the Great Lakes since 1986, including a portion of the hey-days in the late 80’s/early 90’s.   Granted equipment that I have now is way better, and I think I’ve learned a few things…but WOW, I don’t know how to describe how great the 3 day derby was.   Over 130 walleye boated, the majority really nice “eaters”.   Great fun fishing or charter fish, for sure, but not derby winners.

We had a few good ones and started really strong with a 4th place finish on Friday.   We couldn’t stay on the bigger fish, and slipped to a respectable, but not great 22nd place by Sunday.

My brother made a guest appearance on the team on Saturday, which was nice considering he got our biggest fish of the day, and definitely the most walleye action he’s been on.

For us, we had a great consistent rigger bite on the inside waters with small spoons…not so much offshore.   Divers and boards kind of alternated being hot, with the best of that a 145 diver with a watermelon WD spoon.   Off the boards were 6/7 color with shallow and diving sticks.  The Purple Wish Bay Rat was pretty effective, as were perch pattern shallow divers.   Had a tough time getting an effective chute rod bite.

And after last years horrid weather, was really nice to have a nice lake to fish!

Congratulations to G-Man on the win, and to all our fellow teams.

 

July 27/28/29 and 31!

When you live on the eastern end of Lake Erie, you know that Mother Nature can be cruel at times.   Forecast looked like it would be a good, but both the 27th and 28th found us looking at waves rolling on the breakwall, waterspouts, waves of the cliffs to the east of the harbor and so on.   Major disappointment!

The 29th started out with quite a bit of leftover roll (to be expected) and ultimately laid down very nicely.  Fish were in a very cooperative mood for Rob and his family….glad we were able to flop their normal August date forward!

July 31 was just an awesome day.  Forecast rain never materialized, flat lake, lots of action with a bonus 12lb laker on top.

Same rigs we’ve been running in general…110-140 divers (spoons have been better of late), 5-7 color off the boards with mostly diving baits (#LOVEBAYRATS), and continuous working over the riggers!

July 21

Charlie and his brother Bill came for their annual trip.   Charlie and I go back to 2004, as he was one of the first couple of trips we did.   We really appreciate the long time repeat business!

Another south wind push, but not nearly as bad as the day before.  Lots of action again, plus a couple bonus steelhead in the mix!

Same program/tackle/depths as last two days!  NICE!

July 19/20

July 19 was a beautiful day on the lake and the fish were really cooperating.   Matt and crew really got it done!

July 20 had Jarrod, George and Chad and another great day.   Strong south winds had us doing a long one way south to north troll, but it was certainly worth it!   First time in a few days that we saw some bigger fish, with an 8lb and 9lb in the box!

Same MO last two days…60-95 north south, just west of the harbor.  Mix of 2, 3 and 5 color with shallow and diving sticks, 40 and 49 rigger with WD’s and 6 color down the chute with a shallow stick bait.  Divers from 80-110 out.   Fish are still up in the water column.

 

July 16/17

Finally, FINALLY!  We got a few days of nice southwest flow, and no northeast wind…and all of a sudden game on again!

Had Tom and his crew on Sunday, July 16.   Started out a bit to the west of the harbor, but got a call from our buddy Mark on 365 that we might want to come back towards the harbor a bit and away we went.   Great box of eaters and a great group of guys.

Monday, we had our pal Drake again with Lindsey, Rob and a newbie in Randy, but man was the fishing smoking hot!   You have 4 fish in the box before you have 3 rods in the water and you know its going to be a good day.   3 bonus steelhead, lots of action and a laker for Drake at the end!

Program was the same both days.   Small spoons on 40 and 49 rigger, higher divers….one slide at 100-120 and a walker diver at 85-100, 5 color off one side, 2 color off the other…with sticks and a 6 color down the chute.   Diver bite and rigger bite awful on Sunday, way better on Monday.  55-70 fow.   Mix of colors on the sticks but seemed like firetiger the best for us.

Hope they stay and the weather holds because we have a bunch of dates coming up!

July 13

Had our friend Corey and his father, plus Jimmy return with us again.  Circumstances dictated that we ran the trip with Capt. Ron about Dances with Fishes.  Thanks Ron for that great assist!

2 and 5 color, 70-75 fow.   Mostly a stickbait off the board kind of bite!

July 6/7/8/9

July 6/7

Had our long time clients and friends Jay and Clem coming up…forecast for Friday pm iffy at best….and that’s what it was…agreed to call it, and put the time in on Saturday.  Sure glad we did!  Great walleye bite, and a few bonus steelhead to boot!

July 8

Short trip with Jack, my brother Lukas and his son Patrick…..not fast and furious but put Patrick on his first and biggest ‘eye!

July 9

Had Michael and crew on board again.   Last year we had to cancel the first 4 trips due to weather, and when we finally got out it was nasty and rough….but the fish was great.

Got out early on a calm lake…fish still high and scattered….but put some good ones in before she kicked up!   Mixed bag of walleye, lake trout, smallmouth, perch and white bass!

Long story short for the last 4 days…fish for the most part about 35 ft and spooky.   Got some deep fish that had been laying on the bottom.   4-6 color, 99% shallow sticks like bay rats.   Popping 40-50 riggers with WD’s.

 

July 3

For us, a rare double trip today…

In the am. a flat lake and lots of sun/heat!   Worked our way thru a few smaller fish, picked up a few nice bonus perch for a great group!

Inside water for the most part, shallow stickbaits off the 5 and 6 color.

Second trip of the day, we headed back east about 4 miles.   Liked the screen we saw in the morning, but never stayed long enough to see what was in there, so we took another look!  Mixed bag of small walleye, perch and junkers so we moved off a touch to see how that looked (thanks Ron!) and popped our nicest fish of the trip.  YOUCANTAFFORDIT#BAY RAT LOVE!

 

 

July 2

Had an open date in the walleye calendar, and got an invite from our friends Capt. Joe (Two Bulls Charters) and Capt. Al (Instigator) in Wilson that the salmon bite was still great, and why didn’t we come up?

Unfortunately, Al couldn’t join us, but Gerb and Gary did, and we had a great morning on a beautiful, calm Lake Ontario!  Lots of action and Gerb got a 25.10 king that is sitting as of this blog date as #2 in the Summer LOC derby salmon division!   Always cool to be on the LOC leaderboard!

          

June 23, 28 and 29

The northeast winds blew hard for a couple of days, and we saw something we don’t often see on Lake Erie….a very Lake Ontario like flip, including shoreline fog on more than one occasion, and then full blown fog on the 28th.   That also meant we saw a massive shift in water temps, again very unusual for us…and the ice water rolled in.  That also meant the walleye went on a diet!

One the 2rd, we rolled way east and managed to find some warmer water.   We put in some walleye and also a couple of steelhead and a surprise coho!

 

                    

The 28th and 29th were a true grind.   Lots of lulls, and scattered pockets of fish.   We did manage to find Sam a nice big laker, and then got into a nice class of walleye.   Very solid groups on very tough conditions, and we greatly appreciate that!

               

              

The most consistent setup we’ve had has been the Bay Rat long deeps in Machine and Purple Wish on 5 color, but for the most part it has been a very scattered bite.   The good news is the warmer water seemed like it was rolling back in today……    We hope it does!