Foggy Day 2 Greets MWC Team Anglers
The one thing everyone agreed on this morning, before the start of the Cabela's MWC tournament on the Detroit River/Lake Erie, was that it would be an easier day to fish with the decreased winds. Yesterday's gusty winds out of the Southwest made boat control an issue for most, and everyone looked forward to the gentler winds out of the ENE today. But, how long would that last?
The forecast today is:
Today: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. Light wind becoming southwest between 15 and 18 mph. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph.
Some teams that stayed in the river yesterday, said they would be heading out on the lake this morning to try and catch a bigger weight today. One of those teams is boat number 13...Wayne Butz and Don Frederick of Wisconsin. This Team of the Year duo is sitting in 7th place going out this morning, and had a few thoughts to share with us.
Juls: Morning Wayne...Since no one will see this until you're out fishing this morning, can you share with us what you did yesterday? And, what your plans are for today?
Wayne: We were in the river yesterday. Had one nice fish on that we lost, that probably would have put us in the "top couple". We were just jigging with chartreuse and yellow ringworms tipped with minnows. That seemed to be the key. We were targeting that 14 foot depth. A lot of fish were out deeper, and there were a lot of boats working those deeper fish, but the real active ones were in that 13...14 foot range.
Juls: What's your prediction with this weather change?
Wayne: We're really torn between going out on the lake or staying in the river again. That's a really tough call right now. We're worried about the water clarity out there, but there's no doubt we had bigger fish out on the lake. The wind isn't supposed to be over 10 mph today, so I don't think the wind will come into play, but the water clarity is the big thing. You could get a big fat zero pretty quickly out on the lake. (laughs)
Juls: Well, how long do you think it would take you on a day like this to go out and check the water clarity in the area you want to fish, and if you didn't find what you were looking for...come back in and fish the river? Is that an option?
Wayne: Yeah, I think that's what we're going to do. Give it to maybe 10:00-10:30, and if we don't have anything by then, we'll probably come back in.
Team number 4 sits in 28th place, but is on the right fish to move up if they can put a solid limit together today.
Juls: Jeff, you and Scott came in with a little over 15 pounds yesterday, and are sitting just about in the middle of the pack. You only brought in 4 fish, so one kicker fish would have put you right near the top. So, can you tell us what you two were doing? What do you plan on doing today? Are you going to the lake today, or staying in the river? Also, what is your prediction for today?
Jeff: (looks surprised) Geez Juls, that's a lot of questions so early in the morning. (Laughs) Well, we were in the river yesterday. We played it safe. We tried to catch our five fish, and as you mentioned we were one fish short. We're starting this morning off jigging. We probably would have jigged all day yesterday, but the wind was too brutal where we were fishing. About 11:30 we switched over to handlining. We caught one handlining and lost two. Today, we're going to probably swing into our spot where we started jigging yesterday...for the first hour or so, and see what happens with this wind. There are some thunderstorms that are supposedly supposed to be moving in here sometime today.
We're going to try to pull some fish, and with better boat control, I think we can jig 5 there, and then we'll make a decision whether we want to go to the lake or not. We're going to need about 30 pounds here today, to at least get us back in it, I think...or, at least near the top. I doubt we can catch Jeff and Greg at this point, but hopefully we can put a scare into them. (smiles)
Juls: What are you finding...are these fish in spawn, post spawn, transitional? Are these fish you're catching from St. Claire and Huron that are on their migration down or back up, or what? Any idea?
Jeff: You know, we caught a mix yesterday, and in practice. We are certainly catching males that are in, um...(he searches for the right term) that are in their "biological state" (laughter erupts from the boat docked next to him, because, well...afterall, they are men...wink wink). Yesterday, we caught two post spawn females and one that was still full of eggs, so I think they are probably right in the middle. We did notice during practice that if you'd catch a female that there would be one or two males that would come up right along side the boat...right with her. So, I think they are right in the middle of the spawn at this time.
Juls: So, if you had a nice big net you could get three for one?
Jeff: Ahhh...nah, they get a little spooky when you bring out the net.
Juls: And, there's that little matter of it being against the law, right?
Jeff: Yes...that is true. (nods)
I turn to the boat that erupted in laughter to put them on the spot. Team number 2, Matt Davis and Dan Gies of OH.
Juls: Dan, you and Matt had over 17 pounds yesterday. What were you doing to catch your fish?
Dan: (Giggles) We chanced it yesterday and went to the lake. We're in the hunt, so hopefully the lake takes off better than it did yesterday. (Giggles again)
Juls: What were you doing exactly?
Dan: (Giggles some more) We were pulling spinners with 1 oz inlines 20' back, with custom painted blades.
Juls: Well, you're in an awful good mood this morning! I'm going to nickname you Mr. Giggles! (Friends and teammate laugh) Ok....So, you're pulling pretty high up in the water column. Could you see these fish, or mark these fish on your sonar? Or, were they "ghost fish"?
Dan: I am! (Giggles yet again)....Yeah, you could see them...we're in pretty shallow water. These Humminbird units are great! They show you everything.
Boat number 58, which is the team of Nate Capton and Dave Gosser, went out in third place today. They have 23.58 pounds and sit only 2.77 pounds behind the leaders.
Juls: Morning Dave. Hey, since no one will read my story until you guys are half way done with your day, would you care to tell the WC readers what you plan on doing today and what you were doing yesterday?
Dave: We plan on doing the same thing we did yesterday. We were pulling "4/10 stackers"...with crankbaits and worm harnesses....keeping them low. Most of the fish are laying on the bottom of the lake...coming out of the Maumee River. After the spawn they're pretty tired. We found out they were hitting on bottom bouncers...all our fish were coming off the bottom, so we started targeting out crankbaits right off the bottom, and that's when we started catching all our fish.
Juls: What kind of cranks are you using?
Dave: We're using Reef Runners. The orange/black skeleton is working really good for us.
Juls: Conditions on the lake are going to be a lot better today...what are you expecting today?
Dave: We're expecting a LOT more company than there was yesterday! The bite I believe, is still going to be there. It's just getting better. We prefished all week, and it's just been getting better for us each day. We're just looking forward to today.
Juls: Ok, just to clarify or describe...you called it a "4//10 stacker"...can you tell us what that is, exactly?
Dave: You're running a three-way swivel with two 4' leaders. You hook a crankbait on one (bottom lead), and a 6' crawler harness on the other(top lead). You use the crankbait to dive your worm harness down to the depth you want. (These are run behind in-line planer boards)
Juls: Cool! So, these "stackers" are nothing like the "slider stackers" that some might be familiar with when you mention "stackers".
Dave: No. Not at all. We did try running "sliders" but we didn't do anything...we caught one fish on them.
Going out in the number one spot today is the team of Greg Yarbrough and Jeff Manz. Sitting in first with 26. 35 pounds.
Juls: Greg...Mr. First Place! What are you and Jeff planning on doing today?
Greg Yarbrough: (laughs) We're going to start out jigging again in the morning and hopefully we can get 5 jigging...that was our biggest fish yesterday.
Juls: What kind of jigs are you using here?
Greg: Northland Fireball jigs with GULP! Frys and GULP! Minnows, and some of them we did tip with real minnows.
Juls: It's going to be a nicer day today....will you stay in the river or head out on the lake?
Greg: We're going to stay in the river. It worked for us yesterday, so hopefully we can do it again today.
Today's weigh in will start at 3PM Eastern Time. If you can't make it down to Elizabeth Park, you can watch it here on Walleye Central, as we continue our coverage of the Cabela's MWC Walleye tournament on the Detroit River.