Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to take off for the long Memorial Day weekend.
The plan: race out of Chicago after work and to run and gun to Michigan for some fishing catch a few hours of zzzz’s and hit the boat by 4am (EST).
The location: west coast of Michigan
Targets: salmon and trout
The late spring and incredibly thick ice pack that covered the great Lake Michigan this winter is still keeping the air and water cool. Early season fishing in extremely cold water meant we certainly were going to have our work cut out for us. In such conditions predictions and reasoning can be thrown out the window when the weather and the calendar are not aligned, such as this spring.
Solution? Throw the kitchen sink at them!
So that’s what we did, as the boat left the harbor I started pulling gear and I mean ALL the gear! With 5 downriggers and dipsy-divers/planer-boards flat lines leadcore… we were going set to the legal limit. With an onslaught of Spoons in every shapes size and color, to countless flies and flashers, even the hard body baits for flat-lines out we were sure to figure out something!
Headed out of the harbor we were incased in a thick fog and I pulled out of my hunting gear the night before my Carson OPMOD digital Night Vision Monocular, and guess what I could see the break wall and even the harbor lights at the entrance Finding them and getting them to bite is the next challenge. The weather was about 48 degrees and the water was frigid. Using our Fish Hawk and Lowrance HD we were tracking water between 39 degrees 50ft down, and 49 degrees at the waters surface needless to say it was a bit COLD!
We had no issue finding the fish which is step #1 and sometimes the hardest step of all- After a hard look at weather maps and surface temps provided by SeaGrant we were able to make a few “guesstimates” as to where they might be hiding, and we were lucky enough to hit the nail on the head.
The weather was about 48 degrees and the water was frigid. Using our Fish Hawk and Lowrance HDS 10, we were tracking water between 39 degrees 50ft down, and 49 degrees at the waters surface needless to say it was a bit COLD.
After the typical morning bite seemed to elude us, we decided the fish were either just sleeping or not liking the menu we had provided. So we changed things up since our down riggers seemed to be inactive in an attempt to get some action. Going completely out of the norm I put a flasher with an orange fly down on our deepest rod. Suddenly the shallower and other down riggers were popping and we were in the fish!!
We knew as most do that fish these waters, that spring steelhead would be present on the surface hence the planer boards and the dipsy-divers which with some work we were right. They were nailing the spoons on the planer boards (particulary by bumping speeds and directions and letting the spoons flutter).
Ill be back up north for some more action in another week or two if you guys have any questions regarding gear, or techniques, drop me a line and I will answer any questions you might have. Till then, good luck out there and go catch some fish!