So I had some time before a family party on Saturday, so my 9yo daughter and I hit up Heidecke on the boat with my friend John. We got out there and launched around 6:10am, with a fairly brisk breeze out of the east/northeast. We motored out to a hump, and I baited a minnow on my daughter's jig, and had her cast it out about 10 feet from the boat. I'm working on teaching her how to work a jig so she can vertical jig and cast and work a jig on her own soon, so I had her setup with a 1/8oz orange/white jig tipped with a minnow, and a slip bobber set about 8 feet deep so she could twitch the jig, drag it, swim it, etc. without worrying about hanging on the bottom since she doesn't quite have it down by feel yet, especially with lighter jigs, and also use the bobber to see bites as she's not quite got the feel of a bite down yet, either. The area we fished initially was a hump that comes up to 6FOW for about 15-20 feet, sorrounded by 10-14FOW on all sides. We were going to drift and jig the hump. Before I could even get my jig and plastic down there on the bottom, I look over at my daughter silently battling a fish with a solid bend in the rod. Looks like she won the bet for first fish, I thought. She didn't even holler out that she had one, as she's started to learn the art of stealth when fishing heavily pressured waters like Big H. She got the fish close to the boat, and I leaned over and grabbed it for her. Her first walleye ever, right around 13-14 inches, pictured below.
She proceeded to catch 3 more walleye this same way, drifting her jig over the edge of the hump as we made drift passes, twitching it, popping it, and slowly reeling it in.
Me and John only managed one apiece doing our own vertical jigging as we drifted, both also shorts. I also picked up a nice sheephead, which was probably around 3-4lbs, which is always fun on 4lb test and light gear. That one went back in the drink.
The wind kicked up and started ripping straight out of the north, so we moved under the bridge to the north side of the lake where it was a little bumpier, and started trolling cranks for them, as boat control would be next to impossible to handle for crappie or vertical jigging, and the bumpier side of the lake usually does better for trolling. About 5 minutes into our first pass, the back rod holder goes off with a nice bend. John grabbed the rod out of the holder and passed it to Tessa, and she was battling her first trolling fish ever!
She fought it to the boat, and I netted it for her as it was our only keeper-size walleye of the day. It was a fat male that clocked in at 16 1/4. She wanted to keep it, so into the livewell it went.
We finished the day up pulling the boat out at noon, calling it early as the wind/waves continued to get worse, and Tessa and I had a family party to attend for my Dad's and sister's birthdays at 4.
Tessa ended up with 5 walleye total on her first day ever jigging/trolling for them, including her very first one. I ended up with 3 fish, a sheephead, a walleye, and a decent yellow bass. John ended up with a good yellow, and a walleye. Only fish kept was Tessa's first keeper size walleye.
She outfished us both, and hit for the cycle taking all of first fish, most fish, and biggest fish bets(we limited this to walleye only). If we hadn't brought her with, it would have been a very uneventful day out there!
Talked to everyone who came in (and lots of boats were coming in when we did due to the wind/waves, and lack of a bite. Very few fish caught. Our friend Mike was out there and got one crappie and one 22 inch walleye, and that was it. Numerous other boats reported only one or two fish caught.
Water temps were 51 degrees..... and all fish came in the range of 10-14FOW. Those water temps need to come back up to turn the bite back on there... two weeks ago it was 10 degrees warmer... a week ago it was 7 degrees warmer.
All in all, was a fun day, and an eventful one for my daughter!