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More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17

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More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17
Met up with fellow old fart float tuber Pa at the north marina of Willard this morning. Getting lighter later so we were launched while it was barely light enough to see without lights...about 6:45. Air temp low 60s. Water temp 74. Needs to drop some more.

Powered out to my chosen starting spot...hoping to find a wiper or walleye. My first cookie cutter kitty found me right at 7 am. Had my second about 15 minutes later. And then it got gooder.

When I reached my "kitty condo" it was nonstop bendo. Was testing a couple of new designs of my fligs and "hot head" drop shooters. Cats voted for everything I tried...God bless 'em.

Saw lots of shadlets slurping the expired midges on the calm surface...but not bigger fish slurping up the smaller ones. A couple of suspicious splashes that looked uncarplike. But no wide open boils. Not even any pimples.

Kept working in and out...trying different depths. Did best in about 13 feet...as evidenced by the sonar screen shots in some of my pics. Did get a couple of hard whacks...without fish...in 16-18 feet. And saw a ton of bait in the 10-12 foot depths of the Eagle Beach basin. But my experience has been that most of the bigger fish that hang out with the smaller fish are usually well fed and not desperate enough to fall for any silly fisherman tricks.

Pa started out slower...not being in the ZONE. But he did finish up with a few kitties...and no skunk smell.

I probably caught 12-14 cats...keeping a limit of 8 to put up in bottles. Did some last year and they turned out pretty good.

Saw a couple of BFT boating reprobates on the water. They hadda come over and give me a rough time. But at least they shut down to wakeless speed and when they waved they used all the fingers on their hands. Good seeing you guys.

Saw lots of terns patiently waiting for the wipers to chase some shad to the surface. Some were just hanging out on the beach. Others were perched on buoys. Saw the same thing other years and when the surface activity starts somewhere it doesn't take those feathery fish munchers long to get in on the action.

After putting my last kitty in the basket I cruised back into the marina to see if there were any shad munchers back there. Saw quite a few large (4") shadlets rolling next to the docks at daybreak as we were launching. And I have done well on wipers back in the marina in other years when the water levels were up. Depths were 10-11'...enough for shad-hungry wipers. But there weren't none to be seed. I wonder if the new rubber water wonderland toys back in the marina might be an influence.

All in all, a nice day on the water. Now let's hope the incoming weather patterns help chill the water a bit and get all the predators on the prowl.

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Re: [TubeDude] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Nice trip and report... thanks for keeping us going with the details... One of these days I may even be free to join you again... Guess my toon license will need an update though... so better get that done... Thanks for the report... J
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Re: [TubeDude] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Nice to see you on the water.It has been far too long.


Gone fishing ..... Will return at Dark:30
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Re: [road] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Hey Marty, good to hear from ya. Do you still go fishing? Shoot me a PM and let's catch up...or hit the water...or both.

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Re: [TubeDude] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Great report looks like fun. Sounds like gonna get a lot cooler in a hurry. I have never bottled catfish but have done trout and whitefish and liked both.
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Re: [fish_fear_me2] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Did some standard no-frills bottling on some cats last year. Turned out great. Made great fish patties.

I want to try some more exotic stuff...with more seasonings. Might try some "sardine" canning flavors. Used to bake a lot of fish with mustard, tomato sauce, etc. Hope the canning with those things works well too.

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Re: [road] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Good to see you are still checking in on BFT from time to time Road, haven't heard much from your son fishboy2 in a while either. There are a few of us still around from the original group of BFT utah board members, from the days when this pic was taken but few post as much as those early days:
http://www.bigfishtackle.com/utah/

TubeDude- we did not fair as good as you did yesterday, I guess the early bird really does get the worm.... or fish in this case.


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Re: [wiperhunter2] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Sorry to hear that.

As we both know, Lady Willard can be fickle...and nasty. What someone did right yesterday...or earlier on the same day...often means nothing. Every trip is a new trip. You gotta first find fish...and active fish. Then you gotta serve 'em up something they will vote for.

But the flip side of that is no matter how bad fishing is for somebody...or everybody...there is always someone else on the lake who is catching fish. It's enough to make you start taking straight shots of smelly jelly...or at least snorting a line or two.

I DID catch most of my fish earlier...but that was mostly because I was in the kitty condo...where the active fish were. Once I left I only got a few more hits and only hooked a couple more fish.

As with our trip last week, I saw a lot more fish on TV (sonar) than I did on the end of my line. Thats both the good and bad thing about sonar. It helps you find fish...but it also tells you when you suck at fishing and can't catch what is showing below.

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Re: [TubeDude] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
We made a couple of passes through the kitty condo without a bite but I'm guessing that was because we had no minnows, just worms. We did catch a couple of cats trolling and 1 cat coming into the marina, dragging a worm.


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Re: [wiperhunter2] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
"We made a couple of passes through the kitty condo without a bite but I'm guessing that was because we had no minnows,'

Maybe I caught all the dumb ones.

Pa caught all his cats on worms.

In truth, the cats are not always there...or active. And I have had days when it suddenly turned off too. That is Willard for ya.

Glad you at least got rid of the smelly black and white kitty.

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Re: [TubeDude] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Yes, I agree, that's Willard but I think I'm going to have to invest some time looking for minnows this year, if at all possible. When you catch yours, do you use a minnow trap or a net?


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Re: [wiperhunter2] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
With minnows it is the same as fishing...first ya gotta find some. Most of my past good minnowing spots have either dried up, been poisoned, been put off limits to access or otherwise changes so that they cannot always be counted on to produce minnows. One of the best examples is Strawberry. Used to be able to fill a cast net with both chubs and redsides. Since the new planting and regulation situation the redsides have virtually disappeared and small chubs are hard to find. Still plenty of big ones but between big chub cannibals and meat-eating cutts the small ones are disappearing before they become big ones.

When I go forth aminnowing I go prepared. I have a 10' (diameter) cast net with 1/4" mesh and some minnow traps...painted green (that works better). I use a mix of cheap dry dog food and leftover stale brown bread in my traps. I also take one or two light rods with some special small "chub jigs" that I bait with a pinch of worm...often fished 3-5 feet below a bobber in weedy ponds.

With changing land ownership, DWR's vendetta against chubkind, varying annual precipitation and other factors it is getting harder to find any spots with minnows that minnowing is allowed.

If you truly wish to become enlightened in the ways of the minnow I would be happy to help you in your quest to become a chub (Jedi) knight. May the slime be with you.

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Re: [TubeDude] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
I'll send a PM, in a few min.


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Re: [wiperhunter2] More Willard Wild-Cats 9-12-17 In reply to
Got your PM and replied. But I didn't leave a phone message letting you know I had sent a fax.