Adjusting for The Conditions
September 21, 2016
Phil & his son Ari were my guests today. Our schedules had clashed several times in the last month or so, postponing our fishing until now. We met up at 7:30 and ventured out in waves already in the two foot range. Although they were from the SW, it wouldn’t allow me any shot at anchoring and they were going to intensify during the day. We would be fishing for walleye & bass instead and hopefully catching plenty. I started them off with a drop shot as we drifted over some deep water looking for the eyes. Last year it took Ari a while to get the hang of it and he just watched Phil pound on them, hand over fist. Not this time however as he boated the three first fish! He managed one bass and two walleye before his dad even hooked his first. The fish really weren’t active and they both had to work hard to get their bites. I decided to try something else and landed two fish in just a couple of minutes, changing Phil to the same presentation. He required a little coaching on how to work it properly but got the hang of it quickly. First fish for him was a smallie and with the waves, it fought great! A little while later he boated a couple more eyes and another smallie while Ari also managed fish of his own. I livewelled a few of the walleye as Ari would be taking some of them home with him tonight. We made several drifts over lots of areas, each time managing to hook fish, but the action was very slow. The moon was high in the sky and only falling after noon causing mostly negative moods from the fish. I know there were more missed strikes than hooked fish but we worked through the non eating period regardless. Once the moon was under foot, everything changed. The winds intensified and the waves became 3 footers on average. This had us drifting faster than before and an adjustment was needed once again in order to feel the bites. Although it was tough they still managed to catch fish, but light bites were now even harder to detect. I had to concentrate on the sonar more in order to give them a heads up when we were coming over fish. The winds were blowing so hard now that slack was present more than not, We needed all the help we could get! Each time I went back to drift again, I used the main engine in order to get enough bow lift, not to swamp the boat. It didn’t matter though as they were catching fish! The last hour or so of the day saw schooling fish finally active in the wind and if attention to detail was paid, they hooked up. They even had a couple of double headers! As soon as I marked fish, someone got bit and rods were bent. It was too bad the fish only turned on towards the end of the day and we had to work through such a long, slow period because many more fish would have been caught. We pulled the plug before four and rock & rolled our way to the ramp! I guess we hadn’t really noticed how bad it actually was while fishing. The waves were more like four footers and definitely big on our way back. Really glad to be in the Ranger! We stayed dry the entire way despite going with the waves. Phil & Ari had seen many adjustments today and by refining some of the techniques, they monopolized on more fish. Not every day goes the way we’d like, but by paying attention to details, they can all be successful. Phil & Ari had to work harder in order to get the results they got, but they definitely caught plenty of fish. Mother Nature may have thrown us a curve, but we hit it out of the park regardless!!