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Catching Kind of Day at Willard

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Catching Kind of Day at Willard
I arrived at Willard today, got inspected and my fire extinguisher was out of date, so I had to turn around and go to Smith and Edwards and get a new one, an hour later I was on the water. I started by trolling a Shad Rap and a Rattlin Rap from Freeway Bay to the Feed Lot, no takers, so I anchored in 11 ft. of water and started fishing mussels. I caught my first Wiper of the year 15 minutes later and steadily caught 19 more for a total of 20 for the day. Once I was out of bait and ready to go home, I went to pull the anchor and I couldn't get it to come free, I struggled with it for 20 minutes and ended up cutting the rope. Over all a good day minus an anchor.
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(This post was edited by obifishkenobi on Mar 14, 2016, 11:43 AM)
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Re: [obifishkenobi] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Wow I should have been over to Willard today... Great report and nice fat fish... Thanks for sharing the fun with us... Later J
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Re: [obifishkenobi] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
  Oh man! Maybe I will go out tomorrow... How are you rigging the mussels?


WaveFishing.Com
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Re: [obifishkenobi] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Nice report.. I've gotten my anchor stuck there too and had to cut rope.. sucks when that happens. At least you got some fish.
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Re: [fsh4fun05] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
 I use frozen mussels from Winco, rigged on a #4 hook with no weight. I cast it out, put the rod in the holder and wait. The mussels have a round piece of cartilage thing, it might be the foot where it attaches to the shell, I put the hook through it then through the other side and they stay on pretty well.
(This post was edited by obifishkenobi on Mar 14, 2016, 11:42 AM)
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Re: [obifishkenobi] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Those are some nice fat wipers! Good job.
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Re: [obifishkenobi] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
We have seen some Very Fat wipers this year, has anyone been looking to see what they are eating, I hope not all the walleye fry planted last year.
Please give is a report of stomach content.
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Re: [doitall5000] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
I suspect they are cleaning up winter kill shad...like the catfish have been doing. I haven't caught any wipers yet but all the pics I have seen show them with distended guts...like the cats I have been catching.

Talked to Chris Penne at DWR. They will be doing some samplings soon to gauge the overall health of the lake, the shad and the predators. He also suspects a big shad die-off. In that case the wipers and walleyes will be hungry when the leftovers are cleaned up...before the shad spawn some new recruits.

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Re: [TubeDude] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
When do the shad spawn and how big a spawn window?
Last trip to Hyrum (3 weeks ago) the perch bite was rely off and they were spitting up small minnows ( like 1 to 11/4 inch or so) so small I was unable be absolute in there identity, but I was guessing perch. This confused me because the perch caught were full of spawn that still needed some time. How big a window is the perch spawn or do smallies or something else go first and that is what I was seeing.
Appreciate your feedback!
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Re: [TubeDude] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Anyone thats been to Willard...is the water high enough that its possible to launch a 22 ft boat with a double axle trailer? I would sure like to hit it this weekend!
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Re: [Dog-lover] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
I had previously thought that the shad spawned in a very narrow window...usually about mid June. But in communicating with Chris Penne...DWR biologist...I learned that some will spawn as early as late April, depending on water temps and other factors. And their window extends at least 6 weeks. See the except attached from my recent CD/book on Willard.

Some years, when storms and water temps prolong the spawn there are some late arrivals that do not survive into winter. The water cools down too fast in the fall and the zooplankton numbers drop. The late arrivals are unable to switch to the detritus diet on the bottom and starve to death. Not unusual to see large numbers of tiny emaciated shadlets dieing and floating to the top in November. The terns are mopping them up fast in the early morning after a night dieoff. You would think there was a wiper boil going on. But nooooooo.

The small fish you observed being "recycled" at Hyrum are doubtless last year's perchlets. They only reach a little over an inch their first year. That is what makes them such a big forage item not only for perch, but for smallies and trout too. A lot of the trout caught through the ice are stuffed with them. That is if the perch population is large enough to produce sufficient fry for predator forage.

Perch spawn first. Usually just after iceout. In some lakes that are icebound longer they can even spawn beneath the ice. Seldom in Utah.

Then walleye...where walleye are present. Smallies don't spawn until water temps are over 60...usually after about mid May. But their yearling young are voracious feeders on baby perch...both the survivors from last year and the new sac fry from this year.

(This post was edited by TubeDude on Mar 14, 2016, 12:44 PM)
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Re: [mattdaddy] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
I saw a boat at least that big launch at the north marina on Thursday. Stay on the middle section of the ramp and you will be able to back your boat into at least 4-5 feet of water. But do not back up to the east. There is a shallow berm a few yards in that direction.

The channel out is at least 7' in the middle...shallowing up briefly to about 5' at the mouth but then quickly dropping to 8-10 feet outside. Once you clear the entrance stay on a straight west line for a couple of hundred yards before turning north or south. There are some shallow sand bars to the south and some rock-topped humps to the north. Then, when you come back in, line up to come back in the same way. It will be easier when they get the buoys in place.

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Re: [TubeDude] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Thanks for sharing!
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Re: [obifishkenobi] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Those babies are FAT ! Surprised they were hungry enough to hit anything. I was out for just a few minutes on Saturday afternoon after doing all my boat and trailer maintenance. Dropped my anchor about 200 yards out of the south marina in about 8 fow. Had JUST put a brand new anchor rope on it. It hooked in the mud so good, was afraid I was going to lose it. I finally fired up the motor and backed away in the opposite direction from what I thought I dropped it, and I could swear I could almost hear the "sluuuuuurp" when that mud let go. Whew....got it back. Sorry to hear you lost your. If I snag it up, I'll let you know.Fishin' Only got my lines wet for about 15 min, then wind came up and I called it a day.
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Re: [Tin-Can] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Tin-Can I was the guy that said hi to you at the north marina when you where pulling your boat off the trailer to replace your bunks, I always enjoy your post in fact your post last year talking about using mussels for bait and how you rigged them got me using them and I have to say since last fall they have out fished trolling crank baits at least 3 to 1 in relation to time spent and fish caught.
(This post was edited by obifishkenobi on Mar 15, 2016, 3:41 PM)
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Re: [obifishkenobi] Catching Kind of Day at Willard In reply to
Well OK, hello again ! I'm glad something I posted was good for somebody.......... I never was much of a fishing secret keeper, and I know what works at Willard on e season, or even one day, may not work the next. Now that I have the TinCan all ready to float, wouldn't you know it, the weather reverts to winter again Unsure.

Well, warmer days coming, soon I hope. See ya around.