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Willard 3/20/19

FLASY FISH LURES ICE TENT FLAG fishing
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Willard 3/20/19
Pulled out the boat from winter storage today and tried out my new trolling motor at Willard today. Had a great boat ride and pretended to fish for a couple hours but no bites. Very slow for us.

Talked to one guy that had caught one crappie. Otherwise, didnít see anyone catch anything.
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Thanks for the report, what was the water temperature?
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Re: [WingNutt] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
I only checked it in the north marina and one of my fish finders said 48.6 and the other said 50 degrees. Iím open to learning how to fish Willard from anyone willing to help. I seem to get skunked half the time I go.
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
You're about average then - unless you are TD, that is.

I go there and am happy to catch three or four. Then I pass TD on the way in and he says that he got 34 and kept just the ones named Helen.



Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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Re: [RockyRaab] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
TubeDude is the king of Willard. I didnít even get a bite. I can only get better, right? I have a love-hate relationship with Willard but it usually gets the best of me. Iíll be back!
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
fly_fishing_nut wrote:
TubeDude is the king of Willard. I didnít even get a bite. I can only get better, right?
TD is the king of all things fishing in the state of Utah!
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Re: [Saltslam] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Hey, hey, hey. Take it easy. Too hard to live up to that kind of reputation. I may sue for slander.

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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
fly_fishing_nut wrote:
TubeDude is the king of Willard. I didnít even get a bite. I can only get better, right? I have a love-hate relationship with Willard but it usually gets the best of me. Iíll be back!

Despair ye not. For verily skunk happeneth to all who go forth upon the waters of Willard. I got the smelly kitty on my first trip to that pond this year.



I do manage to at least bring something to the net on most trips. And for that I am properly grateful. But I have been fishing Willard almost 40 years and it is to be expected that I might have learned a few things. One is not to brag...or suffer the consequences on my next trip.


Willard is a big small lake. And it is subject to a lot of changes throughout any given year. Water levels are a major factor. Changing fish populations are another. And because Willard is just a big featureless shallow (relatively) mud bowl it has few areas of defined structure to attract and hold fish. Because the primary forage species is gizzard shad, and because they roam throughout the lake, the predators follow their food supply and can be anywhere on the lake on any given day. It never matters where and how you caught fish the day before. You still have to hunt for active fish the next day...and they may be a long ways from where the were yesterday...or feeding on an entirely different schedule.


There are some generalities that often hold true, but whenever I go afloat I always have plans A through at least D or E. Some days I gotta go through the whole alphabet and still struggle to find fish. I know what humility is. Marriage and Willard have been good teachers.


Water temps are slowly rising. Walleyes should be moving up into the inlet and showing up at night at various spots around the rock dikes...like the NW corner, at the light pole. As water temps pass 50 and slide to 55 the crappies will be schooling off the humps at the north marina...and back inside the marina. Watch for the lines of happy harvesters ringing the far east side of the marina. And Mothers' Day is usually right in the middle of the spawn.


May is a magic month for wipers too. Even though they are infertile, they still develop eggs and milt and go through a futile spawn. That means they will also be up in the inlet and cruising in groups around the dikes. Find them and throw cranks or plastics for some fast action.


If you like soaking bait, fish the SW corner or other areas around the lake with mussels...plain or garlic flavored. And don't forget the buttered toast.


The good news is that we have a lot of Willardites on this forum and most are good about posting reports and providing info. These reports can alert us to current conditions and save us from going the wrong places or using the wrong tactics...usually. Not saying any of our members are deliberately misleading, but some only provide "half truths". If you read about somebody catching large numbers of walleyes on dry flies...well...


Bottom line? Willard is still in a prolonged transition period. With a little patience you will soon be able to hit the water with the reasonable expectation of being rewarded.


God give me patience...and I want it RIGHT NOW!!!
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Re: [TubeDude] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Thanks for the encouragement. Iím definitely not giving up. I have been studying your book you wrote on Willard. There are just so many tactics to try that I havenít found one go-to tactic that will at least get a bite on any given day. Iím starting to think that one doesnít exist for that lake. Iím also new to boat fishing so I have a lot to learn.
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
He who realizes that he still has much to learn is enlightened.


As with many things in life, the journey is more important than the destination. Unless your destination is where to go to catch fish on any given day.


You are right about there not being any universal, guaranteed, never-fail tactic or techniques to use on Willard. But the longer you fish it...as a serious student...the more often you will enjoy a measure of success on any given trip.


Good luck with your boat. Hope you have it properly equipped with all the required safety equipment...and with a good trolling motor and sonar. It takes time to learn how to use all that stuff but once it becomes second nature you can focus more on the fishing rather than the technology.

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Re: [TubeDude] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Yes, I got it all equiped with the required safety equipment, good sonar and I upgrade my trolling motor for Christmas! What is EEs is some boaters to show me the right way to use it all now. When the wipers are on in May and June I pretty well but otherwise I havenít figured it out yet.
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
If it makes you feel better, I got skunked last night as well. I went rock hoppin in the full moon. Tried various plastic jigs and different colored marabous. Wind wouldn't let me throw cranks. Even drowned a crawler for a bit. Only thing interested in me were the skeeters and spiders. Did find a few hidden tackle items in the rocks though. Oh well, just more time spent in the classroom with hands on experiments. Next time will be better
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
I bought my first boat in 2004, and Willard was the first water I put it on. Have been fishing it at least 1 day a week from about May to Oct. ever since. I have had fantastic days where I caught a limit or close to a limit of 3 or 4 species. And then I have had days so bad I was tempted to sell my boat.............Unsure Most days are somewhere in between those 2.

One of my favorite quotes about Willard Bay " It will make a liar out of you in a heartbeat" Soon as you think you figured something out, and you make the mistake of telling someone, it never works again..............Laugh

I think maybe TubeDude is the only exception to that.

But I enjoy Willard early in the mornings before the power squadron comes out in force, and catch or skunk, I am happy to still be healthy enough to get out on the water.

Now Fly Fishing................. decided that was too much like work for me.......Wink

If ya should see me out there, or anywhere, give a yell. Always like to meet a new BFTer......Fish On
image/jpeg (040).jpg (3.39 MB)
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Re: [Tin-Can] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Tin-Can, Iíd love to meet you sometime on an early morning and pick your brain and/or follow you around a little in my boat and compare notes on how to do it right. Thanks for the encouragement.
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
You are more than welcome to follow me around, but you may want to be careful about using anything from me...........been known to backfire Fish On
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Re: [WingNutt] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Water Temp. Mar 19 using my fish hawk

9:15 AM down 12 feet 43. deg F.
12 noon down 10 feet 45.2 deg.
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Re: [liketrolling] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Thanks for the willard temperature s
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Re: [EyLayo] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
SKEETERS already , say it isn't so
50 % at Willard I only wish I were that good
Every once in a while I get a couple then go for 5 skunks in a row.
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Yes there is a learning curve, I am still behind the curve. I used to fish Willard from a pontoon with a fly rod and do better than I have done in my boat. Hopefully with more trips to come there will be opportunities to improve.
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Re: [fishgiver] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Thatís the exact for me. Learning how to fish from the boat instead of my pontoon boat with a fly rod.
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Re: [fly_fishing_nut] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Don't completely give up on flies at Willard. Both catfish and wipers take them with abandon.



Larry

...one flew east, one flew west,
One flew over the cuckooís nest...
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Re: [hogstalker] Willard 3/20/19 In reply to
Yep I was surprised to find them already. Or did they find me? I didn't bring repellent, but thankfully they didn't hang around too long after the sun went down. It got a bit chilly and the wind picked up