Saturday morning we went out to 120` around 42* 26` and headed Southeast. The lake was looking good and the fish were active
. I didn`t get any hits on the set-up but not long after that it was lock-and-load. I continued the same course going with the mild breeze and continued out to 160` where it seemed to slow a bit, I turned it back to the Northwest in an opposite heading and as the winds intensity started to grow, the fishing remained slow
. We picked up a few fish on the troll back and I was approaching our starting point at 120` we found a pocket of coho and finished off our 5 man limit plus mine. After shaking a few off as we were pulling rods we were back at the dock well before 10. The 2 hot riggers were 19` and 25` corner booms with "00" orange dodger and the same 2 tone lime green hair/ aqua green tinsel flie tied to a #4 hook. The same summer pattern white/green taped "Spin Doctor" ahead of a green tinsel flie took a 13# king. The speed was slow, anywhere from 1.7 to 1.9 mph seemed to work best.
As I waited for the afternoon trip the winds were increasing out of the West, and when we got out, the lake was already starting to pick up. So much for "Wind out of the West, the fishing's the best". The call across the radio is "Where`d they go?"
Boats from 90` out to 200` from the state line to Waukegan were all asking the same question. It appeared the fish were in real tight pockets, you`d go for 1/2 hour with nothing then 2 or 3 would go in a few minutes. I brought the boat into 100` off the nuke looking for calmer waters, with no avail, they were solid four footers. I pointed it Northwest to stay just outside of the "Mud line" and still ended up in 140` as the cross winds blew us further from shore. We still managed 11 fish, and lost 4. It was about par for the course. I heard A few boats out deeper (160`) seemed to do a little better. As it was, it took me over 45 minutes to get in from the 140` mark. When I approached the 50`s, and was still battling whitecaps
I turned on the weather channel just in time to hear ... at 6 o`clock at the South Lake Michigan buoy winds were west at 24 kts, waves were 1 foot
. As Forrest Gump said "And that`s all I have to say about that."
I really can`t be of much help with info on that outing since I spent so much time trying to control the boat and avoid tangling all my lines, I didn`t pay much attention to what the best rods were. But I`ve been running the same basic spread I`ve run all season.
For Sunday morning it was "Trolling 101" and the lake was much more accommodating than it was the evening before. Fishead set the stage by not bringing any doughnuts
, but redeemed himself later :wink: . the call across the radio was still reminiscent of the old lady in the Wendy`s commercial "Where`s the fish?" All the boats already trolling were pointed East so I headed near the front of the pack and set up in 150` about 42* 27` North. I also wanted to get away from all the boats so I could explain the what`s, how`s, and why`s, and not have to worry about steering. The fishing was again slow. We had a rod go off down 35` with a blue silver flie 14" behind a "00" orange dodger. Then nothing for a while. I headed out and turned back just shy of 180` and we took two bo`s right off the turn on inside boards, peanut flies trailing 35` behind them with 5/8 oz. weights and the same lime/aqua tinsel flies enticed the strikes. Then it was back to the searching mode. I continued the troll into the wind picking up an occasional fish here and there. Fishead noted that the fish only seemed to cooperate when he had his cigar going, so he lit up again and a few more fish found their way to the cooler. This made up for him forgetting the doughnuts :wink: . I didn`t hear anything good going on anywhere so I kept pushing towards the shallower water. When we reached the 100` mark a `rigger down 80` with a summer pattern smoke dodger / "Lil Boy Blue" flie took off screaming. This really brought the boat back to life and a few minutes later a 13 1/2 # King made friends with the coho and `Bo`s in the cooler. I think we had one more fish after that and we pulled lines around 80`. I only made one pass out and one back in. No really hot rod that I can remember, every presentation took a fish. We had a few dipsey's go, boards and `riggers. We ended up with 11 and only lost a few.
For the Sunday afternoon trip, the "Where are the fish?" chatter was gone, the captains were calling one another to see if they were awake
I set up in 100`straight out as we ended up the morning trip with a few fish there at the end. I can say I had a "Hot" rod for this trip, a dark green/black peanut flie behind a "00" orange dodger on a dipsey 35` from the boat took 3 of our first 4 fish. This too was a slow afternoon for my boat and the 4 other`s that were working the same area. I didn`t hear anything good out in the 150` depths and they were questioning if the fish were out in the 250` range
since no one went out that far. With an hour left I decided to take it into the dirty shallower water. As soon as I reached the 80` mark, just North of the nuke, the sonar lit up and it looked like fireworks with all the fish activity. I could see the fish coming up, following the bait then diving back down. This was a big improvement over the rest of the trip where marks were few and far between. As we reached the upper 60`s a bird went and the fish was lost. While reeling in the line my center fireline dipsey 35` back with a green/silver peanut "00" dodger took a hard hit and started heading for the depths. As the line was peeling off the reel I noticed the drag being tightened, I instructed him not to change the settings as it`s a #4 hook on the other end. Well a few minutes later a 8 1/2 # King made it to the box. I set the rod back down and within 5 minutes it took another hard hit. As the reel was pulled from the holder the "Free Spool " lever was pulled back, at first I didn`t know what happened, but fortunately the fish took the line with him and we didn`t end up with a birds nest :P . Unfortunately after a few minutes of keeping the fish out of the yellow birds, it jumped, gave us the middle fin, and was never heard from again. We ended up with 4 coho a `bo and the King. When cleaning the fish I noticed the King and `bo we caught in the shallow stained water had full bellies of bait. So they are feeding it`s just getting something out there they can zone in on.
Either a rattle trap, a body bait with a rattle, or even cut bait trolled in the dirty water may be the ticket for the shallow water bite. :wink: