AM and PM trip on Tuesday
Decided to start a little further north to find some colder water but still in shallow. Dropped lines around 42.00 in 50fow. Saw a bait ball so decided to drop lines. Still no cold water but not far from deeper water so headed NE. in 60fow started to get big bait balls and a current at the bottom. Surface water was 63 but on bottom was 51. First fish in 60fow coho. Then a steelhead. Made it out to 80 but deeper then 70 the bait and fish marks were gone and no more bites. Turned back and got inside 70fow and started to get bites again. Ended 7 for 12 before the kid got sick and went in. Mixed veggies spoon on riggers down 30 and 5 color produced. Also 00 orange dodger, 2” fly took a few on rigger down 30, dipsey out 75, and 5/8oz on board. Speed was 2.8mph at the ball. Not many drive bys but did have 2 breakoffs on boards with one being a big steelhead.
PM trip was a different lake. Morning had west and north winds but pretty calm. Afternoon winds switched to east and not rough but still different. Dropped lines in 55fow. First hits were a double with a 11lb steelhead and nice coho about 30 minutes into the trip. Trolled around the area and no more hits. Also the bait and marks were GONE. Pushed offshore to 100fow. In 90 to 100 and dropped a laker rod to bottom. Picked up 3 lakers to keep the trip interesting. Went back west thinking the bait may have moved shallower and in 75fow the bait started to show up and in the 60s for last half hour of the trip it was game on with the riggers on the bottom. 6 drive bys, 5 fish, 2 break offs and missed another 4ish. Hot rod for the lakers offshore and that last half hour was a spin and glow. Took 2 lakers and 3 coho. Mag dipsey out 100 broke off something but it wasn’t to big so im guessing the leader was bad. Speed 2.9mph. A few boats were in the same area and my guess is the bite continued.
I cant believe how many coho are around and how big they keep getting. Some of the best fishing in years and the size of the fish are a huge bonus. We have also more bait then I have seen in a long time so I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. If you are thinking about booking a Lake Michigan Salmon Charter Now is the time.
A little on whats been going on out of chicago.
The coho off Chicago and really all the way north has been awesome. Yesterday with the weather I started further south then I have been in 80fow and found the fish in 85fow. N41.53. The still were very schooled up and I had to keep circling down on them. I am marking a ton of fish and the fish keep turning on and off but I think they are turning off due to pressure from circling down on them. and after a few passes of no fish slide north of south a bit until I find active fish again and start to circle but typically at that point the trip is coming to a end.
The depths continue to be in the top 40fow and everything is hitting but when we get doubles it seems to be on the same rods. Dipseys or lead, or riggers… Speeds have been faster at 2.8 to 3.2 but a few times they did want 2.2-2.4mph. The faster the speeds we miss a lot of fish but that’s what it takes to get them on so take it as it is. Steel have not showed up yet but when they do hopefully in the next few weeks and the coho are still around its going to be insane.
8″ Flasher flys have performed poorly for me. I use a lot of protrolls and want to try some hot spot flashers as they work a little better at faster speeds. 00 Orange dodgers with peanut flys 15″ leader have been very good and color hasn’t seem to make much of a difference. 0 size dodgers haven’t done much since the laker bite has turned off but to be fair I don’t use them often.
Magnum spoons have been off. Stinger spoons have been best. Whites have not been producing. Silver with blues or greens have worked well. Orange not so much but maybe when the steel show up they will turn on. Mixed veggies was a great spoon yesterday. standard size also has been producing with some colors but the stinger size color seems to matter less.
The boards have all been good. Mono with 5/8oz weight and coho rig, 2 color, 5 color, and 7 color all micro lead. I haven’t even splashed 10 or 12 color.
Standard dipseys out 75 and 110 have been very good but the 75 has been best. Magnum out 120 has been ok but magnum just not producing as well. I have been running 1 or no magnums once I find the fish so I can make tighter turns.
Riggers with coho rig and green/chrome spoons have been producing down 35 to 40.
The currents seem to be north south but not much of a current
Speed seems to be key more then any other factor. a few .1’s difference seems to make a huge difference but different pods of fish seem to prefer different speeds so from one boat to anther speed will be different so don’t stick with just one speed because another boat or two seem to be catching at that speed. 20 degree S turns have helped when fishing slows triggering some bites.
All in all its a great time to get out there especially for the guys with limited options in gear.
I have some recent picture on my facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Storm-Warning-Fishing-Charters-914035321942508/
The coho salmon fishing in Chicago has been red hot. We still have some dates open so book while you can. Some of the most consistent coho salmon fishing I have seen in years. We have been running 12 to 26 miles offshore to find them but we do what it takes and our fast boat allows us to have lots of options. Its been constant action both morning and afternoon. Doesn’t seem to matter. We are also starting to see some kings and steelhead.
This history of the salmon in the Great Lakes describes the decline and extinction of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in Lake Ontario in the 1800’s; the failure to establish, by salmon culture, permanent or sizable populations of Atlantic or Pacific salmon in any of the Great Lakes in 1867-1965; and the success of the plantings of coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and chinook salmon (O. tshawytsha) in the Great Lakes, in 1966-70 — particularly in Lake Michigan. Despite plantings of 5 million fry and fingerlings from Lake Ontario stocks in 1866-84, the native Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario became extinct in the late 1800’s primarily because tributaries in which they spawned were blocked by mill dams. Plantings of 13 million chinook salmon and landlocked and anadromous forms of Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario and the other Great Lakes in 1873-1947 failed completely. The first species to develop a self-sustaining population was the pink salmon (O. gorbuscha), which was planted in Lake Superior in 1956; however, it has not become abundant. A salmon fishery finally was established when 15 million coho salmon and 6 million chinook salmon were planted as smolt in the Great Lakes in 1966-70. In 1970, for example, 576, 000 coho salmon (12% of those planted in 1969) were caught by anglers in Lake Michigan. Most weighed 5 to 10 pounds (2.3-4.5 kg). Sport fishing for salmon was fair in Lakes Superior and Huron, and poor in Lakes Erie and Ontario. By 1970, natural reproduction of coho, chinook, pink, and kokanee (O. nerka) salmon had occurred in some tributaries of one or more of the upper three Great Lakes. It is expected, however, that the sport fishery will continue to be supported almost entirely by planted fish.