Chicago has had excellent coho fishing and a LOT of bait. We even caught a monster 18lb Brown trout. What’s interesting is the fishing is pretty shallow and well out side the typical temperature range but there is some cold water. Lots of missed fish and I think for several reasons. First the coho are typically 5-6lbs and the want they fight makes big holes in their mouths and that coupled with the rolling action pops the lure out. Also I am getting a lot of fish hooked in the tip of the nose which tells me they are smacking it rather then biting it so poor hook sets.
The name of the game lately seems to be find the bait you will find the fish. There does seem to be fish everywhere but staying on the areas with lots of bait defiantly produces the most fish.
Speed seems to be a big factor and they have been liking it fast. 2.8mph has been very good. Yesterday they wanted 3.0 but then it shut down so kept playing with the speed and found they wanted it at 3.6mph. problem with that is you will get more breakoffs and lots of misses especially with Coho. And these speeds are at the ball. Not much of a current. Probably given the shallow water.
S turns have been producing a lot of fish. Reaction bites.
Hot baits for me have been smaller spoons until yesterday when they were also taking mag spoons. Best by far has been just a standard Coho rig. 00 Orange dodger and small fly. Peanut flys were good and still are good but the 2″ flys are doing a little better. I have been running these off riggers down 20 to 30. 2 color, 4 color, 5 color. Dipseys out 75. And surprisingly enough just mono with a 5/8oz weight which has probably been the most consistent rod on the boat.
Steelhead I have been getting maybe 1 a trip. I would love to get on them and if I had to guess they are not far away but its hard to leave the coho to search for steel.
My biggest coho so far is 9lbs. Everyweek they are getting bigger and bigger. 2 weeks ago they were 4 to 5lbs. Now they are 5 to 7 and starting to get a few 8’s on each trip.
They have been moving up and down infront of Chicago but now seems south is best. The bait is holding down there.
Depths have been 45 to 55 for the last few weeks
Colors. Fly colors I have been using a lot of greens but blacks are also producing. Really not sure it matters a whole lot. Spoons in green and blue have been good for me. White I have all but abandoned. Orange is also taking some hits but the steel I have gotten have all been on a 00 dodger fly.
Browns. Being in this shallow there have been some nice browns taken. I had a 18lb brown Sunday.
For the guys who don’t like to venture offshore these fish have been holding 5 miles form the harbor so its a easy run to get there.
Storms have had a impact but not so much moving the fish but rather turning them off and on.
Well there are my thoughts on what’s been happening off Chicago. Most of the time I will post some pictures on facebook of that days catch and also include a picture of where I was fishing and the coordinates. Don’t have a lot of time for reports.