New Tactics For Lake Michigan Trout & Salmon
May 15, · One of the best salmon trolling tips on Lake Michigan is to use a GPS for fishing. That way you can mark good fishing spots you find for future reference. And, of course, a GPS aids in telling you exactly where you are located at all times. When trolling before sunrise, try setting up your fishing lines with glow-in-the-dark lures. Jun 11, · Two Rivers, WI has been hot the last few weeks along with many others up and down the shorelines of western Lake Michigan. Hop in the boat to see what it's l.
Photo by Tom Berg. Salmon cravats how to tie them trout fishing on Lake Michigan is hot beginning in the month of May. This is one month when trollers plying the Indiana and Illinois waters of the big lake have a great chance of catching all five major salmon and trout species on the same trip.
Coho salmon, chinook salmon, lake trout, steelhead and brown trout are all active at this time of the year. Although large numbers of coho salmon and brown trout were present in the shallows in March and April, the gradually warming nearshore water temperatures push both the baitfish and the bigger predators offshore by May. This is where the colder water is, and chinook salmon and steelhead are already cruising the cooler offshore reaches.
In fact, the water temperatures are actually still cold enough out in May that the normally bottom-hugging lake trout can be caught anywhere in the water column, all the way up to the surface. Trollers interested in getting in on the multi-species action simply need to head for deeper water. Successful anglers must follow the fish to remain productive, but they must also employ the right strategies to continue catching fish.
When everything goes well, mixed-bag limits of bragging-sized salmon and trout are definitely possible. How far offshore is far enough?
Luckily, when the fish start to wander offshore, they usually what does the number 55 mean in numerology it slowly. It is not necessary to make a mile run in order to locate fish.
The areas that are productive in May should be relatively close to those areas that were good in April, just a little farther from shore. Much of the offshore action could be within 5 or 6 miles of shore, depending on recent weather conditions and fish movements. Fishing reports can play a key role in finding the fish when they are offshore, too. Charter boat operators and local fishermen who are on the water every day usually know where the fish have been biting recently, so listen to those reports.
Recent information on fish movements and location can be extremely helpful. Trolling in the offshore reaches of Lake Michigan requires some specialized tactics and gear. Unlike the shallow, early spring fishery where most lures are positioned to run within a few feet of the surface, offshore trollers should fish at a variety of depths. This will allow anglers to target all five species of trout and salmon, and in turn catch more fish.
The easiest area to cover when setting lines is the top layer of water. Even though you might be fishing in 60 or 80 feet of water, some fish can still be caught near the surface in May. Coho salmon, in particular, are known to cruise fairly high in the water column, so be sure to set some surface lines.
Big steelhead are another prime surface target since they are also caught in the top layer of water at this time of year. Many anglers use planer boards to deploy multiple shallow-running lures on each side of the boat. These boards pull the lures out and away from the boat, maximizing your trolling spread and contacting more fish.
One or two flatlines with their lures set far behind the boat can also be quite productive. Once the surface lines are set, it is time to start setting deeper how to troll for salmon on lake michigan. Although some coho salmon will still be hanging around the surface, many others will have drifted lower as they search for schools of alewives, shad and other baitfish. Downrigger rods are great tools for sending lures down into the depths. Downriggers use heavy weights that can be lowered to a precise depth and held there while the boat motors along.
A fishing line is fastened to the weight with a release clip or a rubber band to keep the lure running at that depth. When a fish hits the lure, the line is released from the heavy downrigger weight and the angler can fight the fish without the burden of the heavy weight. In May, trollers often set up in waters that are anywhere from 50 to feet deep, depending on exactly where they are fishing. One how to troll for salmon on lake michigan area to target is the mid-range depths of the water column.
If you are trolling in 60 feet of water, for example, and you have four downriggers available on your boat, it is a good idea to set two of your downriggers anywhere from 15 how to breed a music dragon in dragon city 30 feet deep.
Try setting one at 18 or 20 feet and set another at 30 feet. Adjust the depths up or down every 15 minutes or so until you start getting strikes. If one depth starts producing, switch an unproductive downrigger from the other side of the boat to the same depth. Coho salmon usually make up the bulk of the catch from the middle of the water column, but brown trout, lake trout and steelhead are also common catches on these mid-range downrigger rods.
The two remaining downriggers should be used to target the lower edge of the water column. This includes the actual lake bottom, so set one of the downriggers right at 60 feet so the lure bounces along the bottom as you troll along.
Big lake trout are notorious for hugging the bottom, and bottom-bouncing lures can be deadly for lakers. The final downrigger should be set somewhere near the bottom, but not right on it. The foot area would be a good place to set this last rod. Hungry lake trout which are hovering near the bottom will certainly swim up 10 feet to hit that lure, but large chinook salmon might also take the bait. Chinooks tend to inhabit the lower levels of the water column, and since they can weigh 20 pounds or more, they will put up a tremendous fight.
Rods equipped with directional diver disks, or Dipsy Divers, are great tools for the offshore troller. Dipsy Divers are also productive for taking suspending salmon and trout, as long as you set them deep enough. Directional divers have three settings that allow the disk to pull the lure deeper or farther out to the side of the boat as you let out line. Experiment to see what is the most productive on any given day. If possible, set one Dipsy rod on each side of the boat.
The crankbaits and stickbaits that were so productive during the early spring have slowly given way to other lures like thin trolling spoons and dodger-and-fly combinations. Crankbaits, especially rattling crankbaits, are still productive when used on flatlines and planer board lines set near the surface for cohos. Since coho salmon love the colors red and orange, choose a crankbait that is painted fluorescent red or fluorescent orange to catch their attention.
One of the hottest lures in the May timeframe is the dodger-and-fly combination. Dodgers are flat or bent attractors made from a thin piece of steel sometimes plasticand they can be painted a variety of colors or covered with reflective decals.
The fly is usually a small tinsel fly with either a treble hook or a single hook, set 12 to 18 inches behind the dodger. The dodger-and-fly combination is so productive because it can be used anywhere in your trolling spread. Dodger-and-fly combos can be absolutely deadly on surface lines, as long as they are weighted with a small keel sinker to keep the dodger from riding too high in the water column. The bent dodgers seem to work best on surface lines.
These rigs are also very productive on Dipsy rods, for cohos, lake trout and steelhead. Chinook salmon will also hit them. Dodger-and-fly combos are efficient producers when set deep on downrigger rods, too. The larger, flat dodgers are best here, and they should be set fairly close to the downrigger weight to give them the greatest undulating action.
Set them 6 to 8 feet behind the downrigger weight and get ready for action. Thin trolling spoons are another good choice when probing the offshore depths for salmon and trout. These silvery lures do a good job of imitating gizzard shad and alewives, so the bigger predators really key in on them.
Spoons perform the best when set on downrigger rods and Dipsy rods since those lines are held at a constant depth by the forward motion of the boat. The month of May often produces some of the best multi-species salmon and trout fishing of the year for Lake Michigan anglers.
Limit catches are common, too. Whether you prefer to target coho or chinook salmon, lake trout, brown trout or steelhead, this is an excellent time to be on the water. The best way to maximize your trolling spread is to employ planer boards. When salmon and trout are near the surface, you should have multiple rods targeting that zone. Two main types of planer boards exist for Great Lakes trollers: small in-line boards, which attach to the line of each individual fishing rod, and large planer boards one set on each side of the boat which attach to a mast with a heavy tether cord.
Planer boards pull lures out and away from the boat, allowing multiple rods to be set on either side. Some trollers set two or three rods on either side of the boat with planer boards, while larger boats set as many as four or five rods on each side. The number of rods you can run is only limited by the number of licensed anglers on board. Multiple lines can be set on each planer board rig by clipping a line to the tether cord and letting line out from the rod so the clip slides down the how to request for an appointment toward the board.
Multiple rods can be spaced out evenly on each tether cord in this fashion. When a salmon strikes, the line pops free of the tether cord and how to deter animals from vegetable garden angler can fight the fish unencumbered by the planer board.
The other option, again, how to get license for construction to use small in-line boards that are attached to the line of each fishing rod. These boards are popular with many coho fishermen. They are less expensive than the large boards, and they are useful on small boats where it is hard to mount a rigid mast. Their main drawback, however, is the board stays on the line during the entire fight and becomes awkward, especially when the fish is brought up to the net.
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How to Catch Trout and Salmon On Lake Michigan
May 30, · If you are trolling in 60 feet of water, for example, and you have four downriggers available on your boat, it is a good idea to set two of your downriggers anywhere from 15 to 30 feet deep. Try setting one at 18 or 20 feet and set another at 30 feet. Adjust the depths up or down every 15 minutes or so until you start getting strikes. How would you like to be part of the fastest growing online community of Sportsman from across the world? Like Sportsman Channel on Facebook for a chance to. Mar 25, · You can target Lake Michigan’s Salmon species either on foot or from a boat. During certain times of the year, Salmon can be found close to shore as they follow bait fish into shallower waters, meaning shore fishing is a possibility.
New-age lines and better quality fishing gear add up to more salmon and trout in your cooler on our Great Lake this season. May By Mike Schoonveld When you stepped onto a Lake Michigan trolling boat several years ago, chances are every reel onboard would have been spooled with identical nylon monofilament line.
The skipper probably bought the line in bulk spools and changed it frequently. That's all changed. In fact, if you board a boat these days and notice the skipper relies on only one kind of line, you might want to reconsider your choice of captain. There are dozens of kinds of fishing lines available these days, each with one or more attributes that put them a cut above all the others for certain uses. Great Lake trollers who are on the cutting edge know what's available and how to use those products to their best advantage.
When you step onboard with these guys, you'll see reels spooled up with a variety of lines, in several colors and in different strengths. Some reels will even be loaded with two or more kinds of line. Here's a strategy often employed on the reels used with directional diving planers. Start with pound-test monofilament.
Fill the spool to approximately two-thirds capacity with this backing. Set the line counter to zero and meter on yards of one of the gel-spun polyester lines, also pound-test. Any of the popular brands will work, but the ones with a "slick" finish tend to be more resistant to fish-hook fleas, common most years from midsummer into the fall. Finally, set the line counter to zero once more and spool on another feet of pound high-visibility monofilament.
A double Uni-knot makes a solid connection between the mono and the polyester line. The top length of monofilament is for early-season use when anglers want the divers to get out away from the boat as much as down deep to the fish. In early season, Great Lakes salmon and trout can be reached by spooling 20 to 50 feet of line but never more than 75 feet. Let out more than that and the inherent stretch of the mono makes it tough to trip the diver and the 3 to 1 dive ratio obtainable with shorter lengths of line becomes something like 10 to 1.
The drag of the relatively thick mono pulling through the water means you'd have to let out 10 more feet of line to get the diver 1 foot deeper. Once the fish go deeper and the divers need to get more than 20 or 25 feet down, discard the monofilament and tie directly to the polyester line. The thinner diameter and nearly zero stretch will allow conventional divers to dip down to 50 or 60 feet easily and even deeper by using oversized add-on rings or magnum divers.
Why this obsession with pound-test? The reason to fish the Great Lakes is to see how many trout and salmon you can catch -- not to see how many divers you can litter across the lake's bottom.
Diver line less than pound-test just doesn't cut it. You can lighten up the leader between the diver and the lure as much as you wish. But make sure it's pound-test or more from the rod tip to the diver. The deeper one attempts to troll, the more guesswork is involved because of blowback. Heavier 'rigger weights help a little, but it's easier to spool up the downrigger reels using a similar strategy as is done on the diver reels.
This time fill the reel almost to capacity with a premium monofilament for use early in the season when the fish are less than 40 feet deep. Most trollers will use or pound-test. Once the summer progresses and the fish head deeper, add a top shot of one of your favorite braids in pound-test. Only feet or so is needed, so you can outfit all your 'rigger reels with one reel-filler spool.
Remember, pound polyester braid is thinner than 8-pound mono. After making the switch, watch the belly in the line between rod tip and downrigger weight all but disappear. Blowback is minimized, you'll get better hooksets and with no stretch in the line, and catching fish will be more fun than ever. Choosing one of the ultra-bright colored lines now available for both your monofilament and braided lines is a strategy many experts employ. It makes it much easier to instantly track the lines, maneuver hooked fish around other lines, helps prevent tangles or alerts you to a small tangle before it becomes a major one.
Though the bright-colored line often puts off fish, a fluorocarbon or clear monofilament leader often solves this problem. HEAVY METAL As the spring "surface" bite fades away with ever-increasing water temperatures, Great Lakes anglers need to get their lures far under the surface to put them down to the eye and mouth level of hungry salmon and trout.
Conventionally, downriggers have been the tool of choice to make those presentations, along with directional diving planers. Many anglers, however, have rediscovered the advantage of combining these traditional presentations with the "old" technology of using lead-core lines in addition to monofilament or braided lines normally spooled onto their reels. Lead core is a stealth tactic that gets a lure way back behind a boat so the fish don't associate the shiny confederate twinkling at the end of the line with the noise and commotion of the passing vessel.
It works well, but that's the only good thing about it. Lead core is a two-part line. It has lead wire to give the line weight, and is encased in a braided nylon line to give it strength. The weight makes it sink ever deeper as more line is deployed. The downside of lead-core line is it's bulky, about the equivalent diameter of pound-test monofilament.
That bulk requires using a reel with a large line capacity. The reel itself will be heavy, so adding yards of lead core to the reel means you can forget any notion about having a rod-and-reel combo with "balance.
Lead core works very well, and catching a fish with yards of lead-core line deployed is only slightly more fun than not catching a fish at all. Though there's not much stretch in the lead-core line itself, there's plenty of sag in the heavy line, like power lines stretched between two rods.
It can't be eliminated totally and because of the sag, much of the head-shaking, tail-pumping feeling of the fish doesn't make it to the rod tip.
All the angler feels is a heavy pull. Depending on trolling speed, the type of lure used and the speed of the boat, figure each yard segment of lead core will pull a lure 3 to 5 feet below the surface. Most anglers will use yards on a reel, which will position a lure an average of 40 feet. There are ways to make lures go even deeper.
One way is to spool on more lead-core line. Some captains will put as much as yards out at once. I agree with Internet postings that swear anyone who would do such a thing is either a retired drill sergeant or is just plain mean. There's nothing fun about catching a fish on a "double-core. Another method is to use a large line-counter reel on the lead-core rig. Deploy a full yards of lead core behind the boat as usual, then to get the lures deeper, set the line counter to zero and attach a 4-ounce weight to the backing with a rubber band.
Let out 50 to feet of backing and the add-on weight will pull everything deeper. When the weight comes up to the rod tip when fighting a fish, it breaks the rubber band to remove the sinker so you can continue to reel in the fish.
Some people view a trip to a well- stocked line department in a well- stocked fishing emporium as confusing. Great Lakes trollers, who know what each style of line is for, view the displays as more opportunities to catch more fish.
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To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow. Get Digital Access. Subscribe To The Magazine. More Articles From Other Freshwater. September 28, May Get Your Fish On. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. Sign Me Up. Lynn Burkhead. Allie Doran. First Look: Winchester's New 6. Easy Maintenance As we've seen in the first nine episodes of Beyond the Rifle, the Benelli Lupo is a high-tech bolt gun with many advanced features.
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