While Mantua and Hyrum often will yield a fishy reward within this brief time frame, Willard has never been so kind to me. I'll be honest, I have never put serious effort into it. I've only fished it 7-8 times, never during prime fishing hours, always from the shore and never for more than 90 minutes. I have managed to hook into some Willard wiper and walleye but never landed one; some fish even getting away with my lures. My unlucky streak changed for the better on Friday when I stopped by the SE corner for 50 minutes on my way home from work. I wasn't too hopeful as I chatted with some fellow anglers that hadn't even got a nibble. I decided to try anyway because it was still better than yard work.
I tied on a 4" Gulp Alive minnow on a 1/8oz jig head and squeezed some scent on it. I rigged it about 3ft under a bobber, figuring the boat waves and slight breeze would give it some mild action while I pitched lures with my other rod.
I must have made the right choice because I couldn't even get a lure tied on my other rod before I had a 4lb 21" kitty on the line.
I pitched plastics, cranks and spinners with the other rod but didn't get even a tap. I should have just put the second rod away because while I was messing around with it I missed two other fish on the dead stick. I needed to go and so I packed up my gear and invited my new whiskered friend to come home. I gave that fish the royal treatment; a new panko coat and a hot oil bath.
The guest of honor was seated in a prominent location for the fish taco feast.
The taste of success (even though minor) tastes better than skunk smells any day!