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  • #21
    Milwaukee Wisconsin Fishing Fo

    Milwaukee Wisconsin Fishing For Coho Salmon

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    Spring fishing season on Lake Michigan to most means only one thing Coho fever. This article is my run and gun approach to some of the hottest fishing action you will find anywhere. The season for us starts about mid April with limit catches on Brown Trout but that's another story. Coho action heats up the early part of May. These 3-5 pound scrappers are excellent table fare. The groups that charter with me come back year after year. Of all the fish I catch, they are my favorite for the table.
    My spread of tackle is four Dipsy divers, twelve planer boards and four downriggers. Coho like the commotion of a lot of tackle. This is no time to be conservative. Max out the number of legal lines you may run. The only problem with my presentation is the same tackle you run for Coho will also catch Rainbow Trout, if you can call that a problem. The problem is a fifteen pound Rainbow dancing out of the water in between all those lines can give the Captain heart failure what a way to go!!
    Let's go into detail on each presentation to give you an idea on what works for me. When setting lines I usually put out the planer boards first. I run all the same type. There are a variety of brands, styles and sizes. Yellow Bird, Offshore, Church and others make them. My first choice for Coho is small Yellow Birds. They are small, light and easy to rig. They do require some tuning to perform at their best. On the back of the bird attach a split ring with a size 5 cross lock snap. You will appreciate this when rigging on cold days when your fingers are numb working with cold water and fish. For a release you may run Red Devil or Offshore. I run Red Devil releases but you may find them a little difficult to work with. Whichever release you run, attach it with a split ring and install it at the tip of the V formed by the wire on the side of the bird. They must stay in this position all the time so I wrap a rubber band around the wire to hold the release in place. The trick to running birds is the adjustment to get them to run all in a row. You accomplish this by bending the wire on the side where the release is attached up or down to get them to track in a line. I would number them once you have them running right. On each rod I run a 1/4 to 1 ounce bead chain trolling sinker at the end of the 20-25lb mono to avoid line twists and get the depth I want. From the sinker to the lure I use 15lb mono and a small cross lock snap. When the fish hits, the board slides down to the trolling sinker. With the sinker in line, it will not knock the fish off as it would if it ran down to the lure. I put out as many boards as I can handle, with equal number of boards on both sides of the boat. When setting this presentation, I set my boat speed at 1 to 2 mph and let out my lure about 30 to 100 feet and attach the board. When action is slow, adjust this distance and see what happens. Once the board is attached, carefully lower the board into the water and let out enough line to allow room for more boards, between that board and the boat. Boards should be spaced about 30 feet apart. I run mostly 6 inch orange flashers and Silver/blue, silver/green or purple flies. The distance from the flasher to the fly is 9 to 18 inches. When a fish hits, the board releases and it will drop back behind the boat. Land your fish and reset this board by letting out enough line to allow the board to fly back into the same spot it came from. Dipsys are run as you normally do. I like to let out just enough line so you can't see the flasher. A good way to check your boat speed is to watch how your flasher on the dipsy is running. It should rock back and forth five times and then make a complete revolution. Downriggers are run with flashers and flies about 10 feet behind the ball. This produces the best action on the flasher. As with all flashers speed is critical. Have a great fishing season.

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    • #22
      Salmon Trolling Tackle Fishing

      Salmon Trolling Tackle Fishing Milwaukee!

      By Capt. Jim Hirt
      I often get the question of what do I need to get started salmon fishing. Blue Max charters will take you from bare essentials to no budget all inclusive fishing equipment. The boat is another whole article in itself and won't be covered at this time.
      A fishing fanatic could blow a wad of cash in a hurry. A little restraint and a plan is the way to catch a decent number of fish on most trips. Why I say a decent number of fish is because a basic package may not produce in all conditions. My boat is loaded with electronics and dozens of presentation options. The must have list for a charter boat is geared to meeting a variety of good and difficult conditions for all species of fish. The average angler does not need to go to that extreme.
      To start let's cover a very limited budget for one person fishing out of a small boat. In the state of Wisconsin on Lake Michigan we are allowed three rods per person. You could buy three rods although I believe when fishing alone or even with one other person more tackle means more expense and not necessarily more enjoyment or fish on. In recent years the buzzword on the water is stealth. A clean presentation offered a good distance from the boat will take more and bigger fish. Too much tackle will often turn the fish off. Purchase two 8-foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need. There are good quality fiberglass rods starting a $30 each. Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for a quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them each season. A basic bushing or one ball bearing reel is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $50 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test has the capacity for a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups you may want to try down the road. Spool up with 20 lb Berkley Trilene XT ($7) monofilament. A slightly more expensive but worth it option is to try the advantages of fluorocarbon line. The low stretch near invisible Berkley Vanish ($15) or Seaguar Invizx ($20) will put more fish in the cooler. Types of presentations are endless and the budget minded fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where are the fish. You must be able to fish at all depths. Plan "A" would be two manual downriggers at about $130 each with an 8 pound weight included. The Great Lakes spawned the use of downriggers and they are very simple and effective at all depths. This is one of the most basic of presentations. The use of this tool is limited only by your imagination. Basic set up is to let out your lure behind the boat and attach it to the weight. Then lower it down to the depth you want to fish. The way you attach it has everything to do with how many fish you will put in the boat. I have tried most of the different styles of releases. I like the Blacks release ($10) with the clip to attach the weight. The Blacks releases are completely adjustable to set the hook when the fish bites and never tangle or wear the line. A sturdy net ($40) that will handle fish to 40 inches will be needed. Electronics will be important to safety and success. I would not go out on any of the Great Lakes without a marine radio. Expect to spend $150 but your safety is worth it. Knowing how deep the water is and where the fish are is critical to safety and your ability to put fish in the cooler. The starting price for a fish locator that works to 600 feet is $120. Always ice your catch a 70 quart cooler ($25) will lend to the table quality. Local fishing clubs ($36) are a great source of information and camaraderie. They will provide an endless network of friends, activities and info. The plan “A” package will offer the opportunity to catch reel screaming Chinooks, dancing Rainbows, huge Brown Trout, tasty Coho and rod bending Lakers. At a modest price compared to other sports of $825. Split the cost with a buddy and have a blast!! I will continue with plan “B” on this subject in the next article. Have a great fishing season. Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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      • #23
        Fishing Charters Milwaukee The

        Fishing Charters Milwaukee The Ugly Days Part #2

        By Capt. Jim Hirt
        Ugly days we all have been there. A few that come to mind for me are big waves, fog, rain, northeast wind, calm clear water and clear sunny skies among others. Unfortunately very few of us can fish on the best days of the season. We must learn to cope with the conditions as they are or hang it up and try another day. This article will focus on what to do, or perhaps not to do, in some of the most difficult salmon fishing scenarios.
        In the last article we covered fish that are active or aggressive with tough trolling conditions such as high wind and waves.
        Now I will cover fishing for fish that are neutral or negative with ideal boating circumstances of calm clear water and clear sunny skies. Light and lean is the best way to define the most productive presentation. Correct lure selection and presentation is critical to your success. Put away the big and the bold tackle. I don't run magnum spoons, J-plugs or any lures with a lot of flash. Consider the reflectivity factor. Go to lures with little or no flash. Neutral or negative fish do not like a lot of flash. The best color spoons will be white or black blade on one side and green or blue on the other with a silver prism paper accent. An all white or black blade both sides with green/silver or blue/silver prism accent are also on my favorites list. Experiment with other low reflective colors. Small lures and slow boat speeds are best.
        This brings me to a good point, how many of you are keeping a fishing log of conditions, lures and dates? This information is invaluable on ugly days. You don't need anything fancy and it does not take much time. I go to my log before most trips and always when fishing is slow.
        Presentation is a big part of everyday on the water and it should be your first priority when fishing calm clear water. There are several ways to go. The general theme of these presentations is stealth. Get your lures away from the boat. Spread the tackle to minimize the intimidation that a lot of tackle brings.
        On the deep downrigger lines below 120 feet your best bet is an Opti-Dodger and fly. Light penetration is less down there and a little flash is required. My best Opti-Dodger colors for down there are white, glow or silver with a white or little boy blue fly. On another downrigger at least 40 feet above the dodgers and flies you have two options. You can use a SWR rig with a spoon or a LTLR 100 feet back with a spoon. Let me explain. SWR (secret weapon rig) is a three color leadcore rig on a downrigger. For more information on this rig it is covered in detail in my article #18 published on the Internet. Do a search on Google for Jim Hirt leadcore fishing #18. The LTLR (light line rig) is much easier to rig and does not require any special equipment. I run a medium to small reel capable of holding 300 yards of 12 lb. line with a smooth drag. A low visibility Berkley fluorocarbon 12 lb line is the key to this presentation's success. Attach the spoon with a size #1 Sampo 30 lb. coastlock snap. Next run a Dipsy on each side with 50 lb. Power Pro fishing line. This setup will run 25% deeper than it would with mono and is great for getting down and out to the sides and the travel path of the boat. Finish your stealth presentation with four leadcore rods on side planers. Use a full core on the inside boards and five color lead core on the outside boards to avoid tangles. This combination of tackle will always produce. A word of caution, some of your lines will be 500 to 600 feet behind the boat. This is not tackle to run in a congested area. Have a great fishing season. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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        • #24
          Salmon Trolling What Do I Need

          Salmon Trolling What Do I Need? Plan "B"

          By Capt. Jim Hirt
          I often get the question of what tackle do I need to get started in motor trolling for salmon and trout. This series of articles will take you from bare essentials to no budget all inclusive fishing equipment. The last article covered Plan "A" downriggers basic applications. This article will introduce you to an all stealth option plan "B".
          To tie this article together I will go back over rod and reel selection. Recent years the buzzword on the water is stealth. Clean presentations offered a good distance from the boat will take more and bigger fish. Too much tackle will often turn the fish off. Purchase two Okuma CGL-C-802M 8 foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need. There are great quality fiberglass rods starting at $60 each. Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them. A two ball bearing reel like the Okuma Magda MA-30DX is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $45 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test will also hold a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups. Types of presentations are endless and the budget minded fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where are the fish. You must be able to fish at all depths. More and more fishermen are going without downriggers. Stealth is the cutting edge and the savviest anglers use it in one form or another. Two $30 rod holders start this option. Here it gets interesting, due to the complex and simple choices. Slide Divers, leadcore, power rods and flat lines with all the individual variations of each will cover top water to the briny deep.
          A must have would be the $15 size #1 Slide Diver with a set of diver rings and weights. A reel loaded with 300 yards of 65 pound Power Pro at $30 with the Slide Diver will reach to over 100 feet in depth. This is a simple and very productive way to go. You may want to set up both of your rods for Slide Divers, one for each side of the boat. The line counter reels will give you the capability of knowing where your lure is and repeating that depth after every fish.
          Use this same rod, reel and line for your power rods. Remove the Slide Diver and tie on a three-way swivel. Use an Opti-Dodger snubber with a 9 foot Seaguar Fluoro Premier 28 lb fluorocarbon leader ($11) and a snap. By adding a variety of different size ball sinkers in 4 to 16 ounces to the last position on the three way, you will have total depth control. Power rods produce best when run off Big Bird Yellow Bird planer boards. In this application let out your line with weight and note the number of feet. Attach the Yellow Bird and let it go out to the side of the boat. Yellow Birds are manufactured to run left or right of the boat's path. They allow you to position your line in water undisturbed by boat noise.
          Flat lines are as old as the hills. Many anglers are coming back to them as an answer to catching fish on or near the surface. The same Power Pro rod as used for dipsys and power rods will also work for flat lines. On the end of the Power Pro use a uni-knot to attach 15 feet of 18 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. I recommend using an Opti-Dodger 2 x 2 ball bearing swivel/double-Lok snap for attaching the lure. A 50 pound swivel is large enough. Too large of a swivel will dampen the action of the lure. Here is very important note about fishing with all no stretch lines like Power Pro. Do not go for big hook sets, in fact no hook set is the best way to go. When the rod starts to bounce, just reel the fish in. I'd suggest backing off the drag so that the line slips a bit on the hook set, that way, you shouldn't tear the hook out. I will go into electronics and lures in part three of this article. Have a great fishing season. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

          Comment


          • #25
            Salmon Trolling What Do I Need

            Salmon Trolling What Do I Need? Plan "B"

            By Capt. Jim Hirt
            I often get the question of what tackle do I need to get started in motor trolling for salmon and trout. This series of articles will take you from bare essentials to no budget all inclusive fishing equipment. The last article covered Plan "A" downriggers basic applications. This article will introduce you to an all stealth option plan "B".
            To tie this article together I will go back over rod and reel selection. Recent years the buzzword on the water is stealth. Clean presentations offered a good distance from the boat will take more and bigger fish. Too much tackle will often turn the fish off. Purchase two Okuma CGL-C-802M 8 foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need. There are great quality fiberglass rods starting at $60 each. Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them. A two ball bearing reel like the Okuma Magda MA-30DX is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $45 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test will also hold a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups. Types of presentations are endless and the budget minded fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where are the fish. You must be able to fish at all depths. More and more fishermen are going without downriggers. Stealth is the cutting edge and the savviest anglers use it in one form or another. Two $30 rod holders start this option. Here it gets interesting, due to the complex and simple choices. Slide Divers, leadcore, power rods and flat lines with all the individual variations of each will cover top water to the briny deep.
            A must have would be the $15 size #1 Slide Diver with a set of diver rings and weights. A reel loaded with 300 yards of 65 pound Power Pro at $30 with the Slide Diver will reach to over 100 feet in depth. This is a simple and very productive way to go. You may want to set up both of your rods for Slide Divers, one for each side of the boat. The line counter reels will give you the capability of knowing where your lure is and repeating that depth after every fish.
            Use this same rod, reel and line for your power rods. Remove the Slide Diver and tie on a three-way swivel. Use an Opti-Dodger snubber with a 9 foot Seaguar Fluoro Premier 28 lb fluorocarbon leader ($11) and a snap. By adding a variety of different size ball sinkers in 4 to 16 ounces to the last position on the three way, you will have total depth control. Power rods produce best when run off Big Bird Yellow Bird planer boards. In this application let out your line with weight and note the number of feet. Attach the Yellow Bird and let it go out to the side of the boat. Yellow Birds are manufactured to run left or right of the boat's path. They allow you to position your line in water undisturbed by boat noise.
            Flat lines are as old as the hills. Many anglers are coming back to them as an answer to catching fish on or near the surface. The same Power Pro rod as used for dipsys and power rods will also work for flat lines. On the end of the Power Pro use a uni-knot to attach 15 feet of 18 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. I recommend using an Opti-Dodger 2 x 2 ball bearing swivel/double-Lok snap for attaching the lure. A 50 pound swivel is large enough. Too large of a swivel will dampen the action of the lure. Here is very important note about fishing with all no stretch lines like Power Pro. Do not go for big hook sets, in fact no hook set is the best way to go. When the rod starts to bounce, just reel the fish in. I'd suggest backing off the drag so that the line slips a bit on the hook set, that way, you shouldn't tear the hook out. I will go into electronics and lures in part three of this article. Have a great fishing season. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

            Comment


            • #26
              Charter Fishing Report Milwauk

              Charter Fishing Report Milwaukee and Electronics For Salmon fishing!
              By Capt. Jim Hirt

              April fishing is very good. Most of our charter trips are catching limits. Clear skies with the wind out of the northeast at 5-10 mph have been the norm. The water flowing into Milwaukee harbor is 57 degrees. We have been fishing the temp breaks in front of the river mouth and harbor gaps marking fish at all depths. Our best presentations are Yellow Bird planer boards with 25 foot leads behind the boards and downriggers 8 to 15 feet down. The way I set up a planer board is with 20 lb. mono to a 1/4-ounce bead chain sinker. Use 8 feet of 18 lb. Seaguar Fluoro Premier fluorocarbon leader from the sinker to a size #1 Cross Lock snap and lure. The fish have not been too particular. Most small crankbaits, 3-4 inch spoons and J-Plugs are taking fish. Some of our best producers have been Vulcan Silver Sky #2, Fishlander Easter Egg and Koho Cracker #2 spoons. Depending on wind direction the north and south gaps are producing fish. Our bigger Chinooks have been caught at the north gap. The fish at the north gap came on small spoons. Silver blue spoons worked best for us running 60 feet behind the ball on downriggers 8-15 feet down. Our best boat speed was 2.4 mph. We ran dipsey divers but they did not produce a fish.
              I often get the question of what tackle do I need to get started in motor trolling for salmon and trout. This series of articles will take you from bare essentials to no budget all inclusive fishing equipment. In the previous two articles we have covered plan "A" downriggers basic applications and stealth option plan "B". Electronics are a must have for any type of fishing. I will try to balance cost with productivity in this article.
              It makes no difference whether you go plan basic or all out. Electronics are your eyes and ears. To try to fish with out them would be very difficult.
              There are three key items of electronics for every salmon fisherman on the Great Lakes. First and foremost to safety and finding fish is a marine radio ($100). The information a radio can provide is well worth the investment. It is also your link to marine authorities and weather. Some radios have a built in scanner for all channels. This is not a bad idea for getting all the latest news when on the lake.
              The price of a fish locator is all over the map. You can do just fine with most locators that are rated for depths of up to 600 feet ($119). A more costly option is to purchase a locator with speed and surface temperature ($300). For the salmon angler with cash to spend, include a G.P.S. in your locator for $600.
              Most experienced fishermen that troll know that speed and temperature at the lure is the most important information they need to consistently catch all species of fish. There are many units out in the market place that will give you this information. I had an opportunity to run a Depth Raider ($429) on my boat in the 2005 season. This unit offers a probe that you connect to a special downrigger cable giving you speed and temp at the lure to depths of 200 feet. This information is sent to an easy to read display. Unlike other units of this type it gave steady and reliable info trip after trip. I was very impressed with Curt Kell of Kell Laboratories the innovator of this product. His attention to quality and customer satisfaction sets him apart in the industry. The Depth Raider will set the standard for this type of product for years to come. To get information on this product call Curt at 262-534-2202.
              The skies the limit when it comes to electronics. Some will say you need more or less than my recommendation. I do believe the three items listed here will give you an edge when it comes to fishing the Great lakes. The next article is one you won’t want to miss. How to put more fish in the cooler for only $20. Have a great fishing season. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

              Comment


              • #27
                Fishing Report Milwaukee and M

                Fishing Report Milwaukee and More Fish For Only $20.
                By Capt. Jim Hirt
                Early May fishing has been great. We’re taking Chinooks 8-14 pounds, lots of Coho and some Brown Trout. The Brown's have been running mostly between 4-7 with a few over 10 pounds. There has been a good morning and evening bite on the big Kings and Browns. Mid day is when we are catching most of our Coho and smaller Browns. On the early and sunset bite bigger spoons and plugs have produced fish. The Vulcan Silver Reaper #3 or #2, J-plugs #3 silver and some fish on glow spoons in the larger sizes. Downriggers 14 -24 down and Slide Divers at 20 feet have been best. My planer boards have been slow at first and last light. I don't put them out until the mayhem of big kings slows down. This avoids the big kings ripping through the boards. About 8am we start to pound the coho. Their biting on Gobbly Wabbler Peanut flies in aqua or Kelly green 12-18 inches behind a 6 inch orange flasher or dodger. I present them on 50% of my rods with small spoons like the Vulcan #2 or Savant Jake 45 in silver or glow colors on the balance. Be sure to run planer boards like Yellow Birds because most of the Coho are in the top 10 feet. Anywhere you can find a temp break has been working. Try the harbor gaps along the shoreline to the north or south. I hear some of the boats have been out in deeper water but the water inside of 45 feet has worked for us. The boat speed of 2.2-2.5 G.P.S gave the best results. The contents of the fishes’ stomachs showed they were eating well, all different sizes of alewives were present.
                Small changes in tackle and presentation will make a big difference in the number of fish in the cooler. It does not cost a lot of money to improve your technique. As a charter captain I am invited to fish with many other fishermen during the course of the season. I know everyone has a different way of doing things but I am always surprised to see how each of us approaches the fundamentals. I believe presentation is more important than any other factor when fishing any body of water. The best anglers catch more fish because they focus on getting as close to a natural presentation as possible. Every time you go fishing, whether it's for salmon or any other specie, think about how your bait is working. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen is the lack of a Fluorocarbon leader from your main line to the bait. Salt-water anglers have been using leaders to enhance the action of the lure, reduce the visibility of the line and create a more stealthy natural presentation for a long time. Its time to get on the wagon. A spool of 18 lb. Seaguar Fluoro Premier fluorocarbon leader for $9 will put more fish in the boat! Most anglers do not consider the terminal tackle that important. The last ten feet of your line is critical to producing. What do you use to attach your lures? Snaps are rated by pounds of pressure they will with stand. Use the correct size for your target species. You wouldn't use a deer rifle for rabbit hunting so, don't use a 150 lb snap for 30-pound fish. Try the smaller snaps. I use a 30 lb Cross Lock Ball Bearing snap on all of my lines except for the diving planers and flashers or dodgers. They take a lot of abuse and for them I use a 75 lb snap. Premium Ball Bearing snaps cost more but they're worth it. The smaller snaps won't last as long so replace them frequently or fatigue will cause them to fail. One last word on this subject is that good drags on your reels are necessary. Set the drag correctly and keep your thumb off the spool. The rod should fight the fish not the reel. Have a great fishing season. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Fishing Report Milwaukee, Hot

                  Fishing Report Milwaukee, Hot Locations For Salmon And Trout

                  By Capt. Jim Hirt
                  The wind and rain have been a problem lately. I have been out on most of the days when we have had good lake conditions. We are catching more cohos than any other species. Cloudy days bring better action on silver spoons and sunny days bright orange or red are working. Usually my spring coho come on flasher flies, not this year. On most days I start out with a mix of flasher flies and spoons in a variety of colors. As I start producing fish, changes to the most active lures are made. I am finding that at the current water temperatures of 44-50 degrees on cloudy days small spoons like the Vulcan #2 Silver Star, Silver Sky and Spring Green are out producing the flashers. The sunny days Michigan Stinger's Orange and Red Shanster, Orange and red Chip Shanster, have been best. Michigan Stingers with the needle sharp VMC hooks are almost 100% for fish on and fish in the cooler. The good news is the spoons are not as speed sensitive as the flashers. For those of you who do not do well with flashers try some small spoons. Downriggers down 15-30 feet, Slide Divers set on #4 with 40 feet of line out and Yellow Birds are the presentations I have been successful with. Action has been good where ever you find a temperature break. The harbor gaps and tight along the shoreline are all good places to try. The big kings are scattered. They like the bigger spoons such as the Titan #3 in most of the silver and glow color patterns. Some of the boats have been out in deeper water, but the water inside of 45 feet has worked for us. The boat speed of 2.2-2.4 on the Depth Raider gave the best results. The contents of the fishes’ stomachs showed they were eating well. There are some 2-inch Alewives in the fish we caught. We also snagged some big ones on our lures.
                  I would like to share with you some of my key locations to find fish and the hottest set ups for early summer presentation. The most important factor at this time of the year is water temperature. I recommend a must item for you is a surface temp gauge. Your gauge can be a simple hand held thermometer or a unit built into your fish locator.
                  Early summer is a great time for Coho and Chinooks. They prefer water temps in the mid fifties. Think about it, the temperature of Lake Michigan is in the 48-degree range. The most active fish are in the top twenty-five feet of water. Find the warmest temp you can. Sometimes I am fishing a temp break of only a degree or two. You will find these temp breaks at mouths of rivers, power plants and protected bays. The wind direction will be a major player in warm water location. The surface warms first and wind will move this water around. On Wisconsin’s shore a light east wind does wonders for improving action. The reason I used most of this article on temperature is because it is a key factor in finding fish. Temperature is almost more important than the type of lure you use.
                  Motor trolling is the method I use for most of my fishing, and I will explain one of my basic setups. If possible I would max out the number of rods, because more is better this time of year. I fish 50% of my lines on Yellow Bird planer boards. Find a brand you like and run all the same type. The balance of my lines are on Slide Divers and downriggers. For lures I like small #2 Vulcan spoons. On most days all of their colors will work. The water is too cold for flasher flies and they will be used when the water warms to over 52 degrees. When fishing early in the season, fish metabolism or body temp is very low and requires a slow presentation. I run my boat speed between 1.8 and 2.4 miles per hour. The color of the lure is dictated by the amount of light and water color. On most days, in clear water, I use silver or glow lures. Hotter colors work best in cloudy water. You can’t go wrong with chartreuse in both conditions. The new glow in the dark lures are an excellent option. The old rule of thumb applies, bright lures bright days, dark lures dark days. Good luck! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Milwaukee Fishing Report &

                    Milwaukee Fishing Report & Something Out of Nothing!
                    By Capt. Jim Hirt
                    Fishing report for Lake Michigan Milwaukee, Wisconsin 5/30/2006. Plenty of Coho action on flashers and flies don‘t be afraid to run them deep. The surface temperature is warming up and the fish are moving down. We’re taking a mixed bag of 50% Coho, 50% Chinooks and a few Browns and Lake Trout. A few fish on top with most of our action on downriggers 20-50 down in fifty to eighty feet of water. Look for the huge schools of baitfish for the best action. Gobbly Wabbler peanut flies in green or purple are best for hammering the Coho tied 13 inches behind a 6 inch orange flasher. There are also Chinooks around between 10 and 17 pounds. Big spoons are working for the big boys on downriggers presented from 25 feet to the bottom. The best spoon for us is the Vulcan #3 Fire Tiger or Monkey Puke glow. Slide Divers are also producing fish 30-40 feet down with spoons or flasher flies.
                    I would like to describe a scenario most of you have probably run into at one time or another. Clear Blue Bird sky calm water nothing biting zip, zero, nada, nothing!! Perhaps there was an early first light bite and you missed it. Maybe you have friends on board and they can only fish from noon to four in the afternoon. Not the best hours of the day. Well what do you do?
                    Charter Captains deal with this on many days each season. Let's start with how we got here. Attitude of fish is set up by many factors some being weather, barometer, light, water temperature and phase of the moon. The list goes on forever you get the picture. Unfortunately most of the best times to fish are not an option to a good share of the fishing community. Don't despair all is not lost. This is not an answer that will create a flurry of action so wild that you can't keep up with the tackle. It will however put a few fish in the cooler and avoid the dreaded SKUNK! Most of the factors mentioned put the fish in a neutral or negative state. These types of fish will not take an aggressive presentation. Put away the plugs, flasher flies and magnum spoons. Go stealth, Go long, Go light, and Go small. This all means present small spoons at great distances on light line in waters undisturbed. This is not a new concept. Far too many fishermen use a heavy mono line on tough fishing days and it becomes ineffective. Heavy 20-30 pound line must be used on rotators, flashers and dodgers don't go with light line on these or you will loose them. Several stealth presentations come to mind. I could just skim over all of them but I would like to focus on just one with all the details necessary. An effective tool for the tough days is what I call the LTLR (light line rig) it is easy to rig, however, it does require specialized tackle. I run a medium size Okuma Convector CV-20D line counter reel capable of holding 300 yards of 12 lb. line with a smooth drag and an Okuma CGL-C-762ML medium light rod. I have found this combo to be superior for this application. A low visibility Seaguar Invizix fluorocarbon 12 lb line is the key to this presentation's success. Attach the spoon with a size #1 Sampo 30 lb. coastlock snap. With this type of day four downriggers offer the stealth you are looking for. Too much tackle will spook the fish. The light line requires a rubber band release. Don't go with any of the regular releases or a big Chinook will break your line. Run 80-120 foot leads off the downriggers with at least 20 feet of separation between them. It is a proven fact that small lures are the way to go on neutral or negative fish. For this reason I use a size #2 Vulcan spoon and match the color based on the amount of light. This 3-inch spoon closely resembles the profile of the smaller Lake Michigan baitfish and trolls well at all speeds. Have a great fishing season. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                    • #30
                      Let’s Play Favorites
                      By Capt.

                      Let’s Play Favorites
                      By Capt. Jim Hirt

                      In previous articles we covered the LTLR now let’s focus on three of my favorite lures. In this article I would like to help you with what lures to run for a typical July or August trip on Lake Michigan. This is a very difficult question. Where I can't possibly go into all species and all situations, perhaps I can define what I believe will catch fish 90 percent of the time. Please keep in mind that the best lure not properly presented will not catch fish. Milwaukee is known for excellent Chinook salmon fishing, so I will focus on salmon. If I were to run just one lure day in and day out and consistently catch fish, it would be a flasher and fly. Flashers come in dozens of colors, sizes and manufactures. The one I would select would be an 8-inch Pro Troll Hot Chip 8. E-Chip technology is blowing away the fish. Color, speed and the length of the leader from the flasher to the fly are critical to all attractors. The leader should be 22-25 inches. I measure from the end of the hook to the back of the flasher. This measurement may change day to day. The length of the leader will affect the speed of the fly. The bigger Chinooks may require a longer leader. Colors are all over the map. You can use combinations of white flashers with white flies deep and green with green flies above 60 feet. My number two choice would be two different spoons. For first light fishing I like the Badger tackle Vulcan or Reaper glow spoons in the size number two or three. This spoon has put more fish in the cooler than any other spoon I run. The other spoon to try is a Michigan Stinger. All of their colors work for different situations. Two of my favorites for kings are the SH77 Blue Dolphin and SH60 Kevorkian. Use these lures when fishing in over cast or sunny situations. Below fifty feet down the Kevorkian is best. Run spoons on your Slide Divers and flasher flies on your downriggers. A simple and very effective way to produce fish on calm days with clear skies is to run just two spoons. The lead from the spoon to the downrigger should be one hundred fifty feet. This presentation will not allow tight turns. When the morning bite stops, go long to continue catching fish. Have a great fishing season. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                      • #31
                        Charter Salmon Fishing Milwauk

                        Charter Salmon Fishing Milwaukee Temperature and Speed is Key!
                        By Capt. Jim Hirt
                        Fishing report for Lake Michigan Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The summer heat is on! Temperature gauge is the one tool you can't be without. The wind comes out of the west the warm water is pushed out of Milwaukee and the cold water replaces it. Wind out of the east warm water comes in and the fish move to deeper water. The fish are always following temperature and food. If you find temperature you will always catch some fish. When you are marking baitfish in the correct temps the action heats up. Most recently east wind has moved the action to 100 feet or more. Seventy feet down is the temp break to 50 degrees. This is a good place to start for Chinooks. All species are active with half the catch being Chinooks from 5-20 pounds. We have been catching a lot of Rainbows this year. These acrobats have been in the top fifty feet of water. Long lead spoons on downriggers, half cores of lead on Yellow Bird Big Birds are the best. Magnum Spoons by Michigan Stinger and Reapers by Badger Tackle have been doing the trick. Most of the silver with green, chartreuse or blue will keep the rods jumping. The best time for Rainbows is from 10 am to 5 pm in 80 to 150 feet of water. There has been a great first light bite on Chinooks in the warm water in 50 to 80 feet of depth 20 to 50 down on all presentations. This is by far the easiest time of the day to get into fish. As the sun rises they will move down and out follow them to continue producing. Glow spoons are a must. Most manufactures have them. The extended glow used by Badger Tackle and Michigan Stinger glow brighter longer. Charge them up with a flash and they will be good all morning. Later in morning the different types of rotators with green or blue flies are taking fish. Watch your speed! Kick up your speed to 2.4 to 2.7 for Rainbows and between 1.8 and 2.4 for Kings. Fish on!!
                        In this article let's address lure speed as it relates to fish species. The easy way to remember how fast to run your presentation for your target is to think of the temperature they prefer. Lake trout like below 50 degrees water and they require the slowest lure speed. I run between 1.0 and 2.0 M.P.H. for Lakers. Chinook lure speeds and temps are all over the map. The book tells us 52 degrees is what they like. There is considerable variation in the temp of water you will find them. Early in the morning and just before dark they may come into the warm water to feed. As a general rule 2.3 M.P.H. will produce these fish. Coho like slightly warmer water than the Chinooks. I look for water of 52 to 57 degrees for them at 2.4 M.P.H. When you are looking for Brown Trout, fish 60 degrees and above at 2.3 to 2.6 M.P.H. This leaves the Rainbows. To catch Rainbows fish 60 degree plus water at 2.7 to 3.5 M.P.H. I use the fish I am catching as an indicator to my boat speed. When I am catching Lakers I speed up to catch Chinooks. When catching Rainbows I slow down for Lakers. Catching fish every day is a constant evaluation of variables. No two days are the same. Your ability to evaluate the changes will lead to your success. To complete this article we must know what tool will give us the most reliable measurement of speed and temp. A product out in the market place for this purpose is the Depth Raider. This unit offers a probe that you connect to a special downrigger cable giving you speed and temp at the lure to depths of 200 feet. This information is sent to an easy to read display. I was very impressed with Curt Kell of Kell Laboratories the innovator of this product. His attention to quality and customer satisfaction sets him apart in the industry. The Depth Raider will set the standard for this type of product for years to come. To get information on this product call Curt at 262-534-2202. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                        • #32
                          Charter Fishing Milwaukee Impr

                          Charter Fishing Milwaukee Improving Your Fish On To In The Cooler Ratio!
                          By Capt. Jim Hirt
                          Every year I try to improve my number of fish in the cooler.
                          Some days you can do everything wrong and still end up with a decent number in the cooler. Aggressive fish hammer the lures and stick well and there are days when most of the fish are off by the time you get to the rod. Several things I do now that seem to be working for me I know will put more fish in the cooler for you.
                          The number one most important change to make to keep the fish on the line are good quality hooks. This may sound obvious, although some anglers do not pay attention to this detail. I look for 1x, 2x, and 3x or in some cases 4 extra strong hooks. Strong sharp hooks are a simple answer with immediate results. Most manufactures of fishing lures cut costs by using a cheap hook. Cheap hooks may get the job done the first time but don't count on it. Your time and other expenses are large compared to replacement hooks. All hook manufactures offer standard and premium grade hooks. Look for the best extra strong extra sharp they have to offer. Go with the same size that is on the lure when purchased. After you have landed a fish take your time not to bend the hook removing it from the fish. A common problem is the hook gets caught in the net and it is bent out of shape. Never! Never! straighten a bent hook. Buy yourself a split ring pliers and replace the bent hook. You should carry plenty of spare hooks on board. Always inspect your hooks for sharpness and shape before you put them in the water. I guarantee you will loose less fish when you follow these guidelines. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved



                          Set The Drag For more Fish In The Cooler

                          By Capt. Jim Hirt
                          Every year I try to improve my number of fish in the cooler. This article is a continuation of last issue with some of the most important ways to improve the number of fish on to those in the cooler. As I stated in the last article quality hooks are the most important with correctly set reel drags as close second. I always hear stories of the big one that got away. The line breaks, a snap opens or some other failure of the terminal tackle. Please allow me to explain how to correctly set and maintain your drag on your reels. The correct amount of drag is measured in pounds. You find the correct number by dividing the test weight of your line by four or 25% of the line breaking value. All line sold will have the line weight marked on the package. An example would be 20-pound test divided by four would have a drag setting of 5 pounds. To get this setting run the line through all the rod eyes as you normally would and connect the line to a spring scale. The other end of the scale should be connected to a fixed object. Pull on the line with the rod bent over and adjust the reel drag to allow it to slip as a 5-pound measurement is obtained on the scale. Where this may feel a little light to some anglers it will allow the fish to be played without pulling the hook out of the fish. The rod should play the fish and not the reel. On bigger fish pump the rod in a gentle motion and reel in the line on the down stroke. The purpose of the reel is to store the line. Do not crank up the drag to pull the fish in with the reel. This will only lead to lost fish and disappointment. Have fun!! Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                          • #33
                            Salmon Fishing Milwaukee Patie

                            Salmon Fishing Milwaukee Patience Puts More Fish In The Cooler

                            By Captain Jim Hirt
                            Let's continue with ways to land more of the fish you have on the line. We covered quality hooks and correct setting of the drags on your reels. They probably rank as the top two in importance, although there are many other ways to get the fish to stick. To me there is nothing more vital to my success on the lake and satisfaction of my customers than a high ratio fish on to fish in. I am sure there are some that will disagree with a procedure I use to allow a greater numbers at the end of the day. I pull my lines and stop the boat on all of the fish over ten pounds or at least that's my goal. Occasionally, in the heat of the battle, a larger fish will end up close to the boat before we can clear lines. Then I will take the boat down as slow as we can to avoid getting the fish around my other lines. The longer you drag the fish around the more time they have to get off. Over the years I have found that the harder you pull on the fish the harder they fight and more likely they will come off. This also allows me to run smaller terminal tackle and lighter lines both of which improve presentation. I know pulling lines is a lot of work but I would rather do that than disappoint a customer and friend. I have the pleasure of a new group of fishermen twice a day with a wide variety of experience. Most of who have never caught a fish before. My youngest this year was three and oldest was eighty-seven. We managed to boat over 80% of the fish we had on. There will be more on this subject in the next article. Good Luck!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                            • #34
                              Charter Milwaukee Trolling Tip

                              Charter Milwaukee Trolling Tips For More Fish In The Cooler

                              By Capt. Jim Hirt
                              This article wraps up with more ideas and gives a summary of ways to boat more salmon and trout. All of these tips will work for all trolling applications. Some days you can do everything wrong and still end up with a decent number in the cooler. Aggressive fish hammer the lures and stick well. There are also days when most of the fish are off by the time you get to the rod. Several things I do will put more fish in the cooler for you.
                              The number one most important change to make to keep the fish on the line is good quality hooks. This may sound obvious, although some anglers do not pay attention to this detail. I look for 1x, 2x, and 3x or in some cases 4 extra strong hooks. Strong sharp hooks are a simple answer with immediate results. Most manufactures of fishing lures cut costs by using a cheap hook. Your time and other expenses are large compared to replacement hooks. All hook manufactures offer standard and premium grade hooks. Look for the best extra strong extra sharp they have to offer.
                              Correctly set reel drags are a close second. I always hear stories of the big one that got away. The line breaks, a snap opens or some other failure of the terminal tackle. Please allow me to explain how to correctly set and maintain your drag on your reels. The correct amount of drag is measured in pounds. You find the correct number by dividing the test weight of your line by four or 25% of the line breaking value. All line sold will have the line weight marked on the package. An example would be 20-pound test divided by four would have a drag setting of 5 pounds. To get this setting run the line through all the rod eyes as you normally would and connect the line to a spring scale. The other end of the scale should be connected to a fixed object. Pull on the line with the rod bent over and adjust the reel drag to allow it to slip as a 5-pound measurement is obtained on the scale. Where this may feel a little light to some anglers, it will allow the fish to be played without pulling the hook out of the fish. The rod should play the fish and not the reel. Do not crank up the drag to pull the fish in with the reel. This will only lead to lost fish and disappointment.
                              To me there is nothing more vital to my success on the lake and satisfaction of my customers than a high ratio of fish on to fish in. I am sure there are some that will disagree with a procedure I use. I pull my lines and stop the boat on all of the fish over ten pounds or at least that's my goal. Occasionally, in the heat of the battle, a larger fish will end up close to the boat before we can clear lines. Then I will take the boat down as slow as we can to avoid getting the fish around my other lines. The longer you drag the fish around the more time they have to get off. Over the years I have found that the harder you pull on the fish the harder they fight and more likely they will come off. This also allows me to run smaller terminal tackle and lighter lines both of which improve presentation.
                              I will wrap this up with one more of many small details that help to put the fish in the cooler. How you play the fish is an art of which, when done correctly, will go a long way to your success. I am a firm believer in not pumping the rod to high or too fast. As you remove the rod from the rod holder it is your option to set the hook or not. I personally don't do it. When you have twenty pounds of salmon tearing line off the reel and you pull to set the hook something has to give. Bend a hook, open a snap, break a line or rip the hook out of his mouth all of which are not good. Just maintain the bend in the rod and use a moderate pumping motion raising the rod to the one o'clock position and lowering it to the three o'clock position. On the down stroke reel in the line on the reel. When the fish is running there is nothing you can do just enjoy the fight. During this time reduce your boat speed and or pull lines to reduce the pressure on the tackle. Good Luck!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                              • #35
                                Fishing Charters Port Washingt

                                Fishing Charters Port Washington Trophy Fish Variables.

                                By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                Several factors determine the size and quantity of your catch. If you are a member of a fishing club, you probably noticed the same persons seem to place very well for the biggest fish every year. I believe there are many components that go into their success. Yes they pay their dues by being on the water more than most. This affords them an opportunity to try a variety of presentations in all seasons and weather. Unfortunately all of us cannot break away and get out on the water as often as we would like to. This starts a series of articles that goes into some of the variables that will allow you to land a fish of a lifetime.
                                Timing is undoubtedly the number one variable. By timing I mean to fish when the big ones are biting. This includes weather, time of day and time of the year. If I were a Musky angler, the window for this opportunity would be very small. The good news is salmon and trout fishing is much broader in scope, with greater chances to boat your trophy. You can boat a twenty plus pound Salmon, Brown, Rainbow or Lake Trout from the start of the season in April to late October. Let's narrow that down by species and time of year.
                                Chinook Salmon live four and a half years and it makes sense that they will be the biggest at the end of their life cycle. These monsters will be the most aggressive and easiest to get in the months of late June thru September.
                                Brown Trout love the warm water. To catch the biggest look for a heavy thermo cline with a radical shift in temp from sixty to fifty in just a few feet of water. This is definitely a mid summer pattern during the months of July and August.
                                Huge Rainbows are most accessible in the month of June. The reason for this is as Lake Michigan or any large body of water warms up the temperature near shore warms first. As this warm water pushes out it meets the cold surface water. This is a magnet for big Rainbows. Fishing the surface temp breaks yields the big bows every season.
                                Lake Trout are a real treat and trophies can be caught all season long. The best scenario is when the temperature breaks sharply from sixty to the forty-five degrees below one hundred feet of water. This concentrates the baitfish and the big Lakers are easy pickings.
                                This should help you with the best time of year, now shall we consider the time of day. You may find some surprises here because all species are not created equal. Most anglers know that the time period from one hour before sunrise to one hour after is key to hot action. This is also true for the last hour of the day. Your best numbers of fish can come early and late although usually not the trophies. My theory is in a hot bite the best tackle and presentations are not in the water. Specialized tackle and presentation is key when you are on a trophy hunt.
                                Monster Kings or Chinooks are the least particular when it comes to time of the day. I will say I have boated some of my biggest fish year after year during the hours of eleven to one in the afternoon.
                                Brown Trout are another story they definitely like low light. First light or last, heavy overcast and foggy days are killers for huge Browns. I wouldn't even go after them mid day in sunny conditions.
                                Rainbows love light and lots of it. Pound these tail walkers from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon. I will go into a great mid day presentation for non-stop action in a future article.
                                Lake Trout in general are very seldom found near the surface and the biggest ones are never there. They hang on the bottom in more than one hundred feet of water. Look for them well after the sun comes up on clear sunny days.
                                In the next article I will explain how weather can help you boat the big ones and the most productive presentations, lures and locations for your wall hanger Chinooks. Good Luck! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                                • #36
                                  Salmon Charters Milwaukee Trop

                                  Salmon Charters Milwaukee Trophy Chinooks The Best Time, Lure And Location!

                                  By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                  We are truly blessed with a world class fishery on Lake Michigan. It is not uncommon to boat fifteen fish in a five hour period. The management of this resource over the twenty plus years I have been chartering has been outstanding. Chinook Salmon, in the twelve to seventeen pound class, are a regular part of most trips. The big hogs over twenty five pounds are not as common as they used to be. It requires a special attitude on your part to target a wall hanger. As stated in the previous article timing is critical. On most days I have a fair idea of the size and quantity of the catch I expect to produce before the lines are set. Please allow me to give you an overview of the optimum conditions for predictable success. I will also try to cover exceptions to the rules that I have run into over the years.
                                  Weather is as big of a factor as any and when the conditions are favorable you can expect huge fish. Weather fronts, sky conditions, barometer and sea state all play a role in turning on the fish that dreams are made of. I always look for barometer movement. A steady barometer may offer a great chance to get a suntan but it is not conducive to trophy fishing. When the sky turns black and the waves start to build Mother Nature gets up and going. The odds of huge fish are definitely on your side if you have the guts to stay the course. A word of caution, it is essential that the novice or faint of heart use prudent judgment in these conditions. You must know your equipment and have it in top shape. When this may be a little extreme for some allow me to present some options.
                                  Big Chinook Salmon are a cold water species so look for them in temperatures below 45 degrees. The exception is when they come into spawn. At this point in their life temperature is not important. Keep your baits in 45-degree temperature and you will increase your odds on big fish. When I am catching small fish, I know the water is too warm for a trophy. It is time to adjust the tackle to colder water. A temperature gauge is a tool a salmon fisherman cannot be without.
                                  Clear water and sunny conditions are the enemy. This scenario will turn off most fish. However some fish can be had when certain presentations are used. A stealthy approach is necessary for the biggest fish. In definition stealthy is a presentation that avoids being notice. Several are used for salmon trolling. Downriggers are a popular method to run tackle with many variations possible. In sunny conditions increase your downrigger leads to 100 feet or more. By running long leads you work water undisturbed by noise and turbulence of the boat. Leadcore is another good choice. A weighted line with a fluorocarbon leader is attached to a planer board. The planer board is run well off to the side of the boat out of the travel path. Leadcore is graduated to allow five feet of depth for every color. Five colors will run lures approximately 25 feet down 10 colors fifty feet and so on. This allows you to fish any depth you want and is a killer for huge kings.
                                  Chinook live four and a half years and it makes sense that they will be the biggest at the end of their life cycle. These monsters will be the most aggressive and easiest to get in the months of July thru September. I have produced Kings over twenty pounds in April, although this is the exception to the rule.
                                  Let's wrap this up with my favorite lures. Magnum spoons are my first choice. Big lures big fish with a consideration to the size of the baitfish and amount of light in the time period you are fishing. When fishing in very bright conditions or with the presence of small baitfish go to regular or small lures. My magnum spoons are about five inches long, regular four inches and small three inches. The two most productive spoons for me during the 2006 season was the Vulcan magnum and Reaper Magnum both sold by Badgertackle.com For a slow 2.0 M.P.H. or slower presentation I use the Reaper. Above 2.0 speeds the Vulcan is best, it mixes well with most big plugs and flasher flies.
                                  I will continue with trophy variables for Brown Trout in the next article. Good Luck! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                                  • #37
                                    Fishing Milwaukee Early Risers

                                    Fishing Milwaukee Early Risers Catch Trophy Brown Trout
                                    By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                    In this article we will continue with successful methods of catching trophy fish. I would like to explore location, presentation and lure selection for Brown Trout. This is a virtual untapped resource on Lake Michigan. Most anglers get hung up on salmon fishing and ignore big Bulldog Brown Trout. Once you have an opportunity to hook up with a fish that is almost as big around as he is long you will be back for more. Footballs, as we like to call them, are only about 3% of the catch out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The lack of popularity and pressure puts you in a great position to boat a real wall hanger. This unique specie has two strains the Domestic or German and the Seeforellen. The bigger of the two is the Seeforellen with the state record at 36.5 pounds. I have landed German Browns over 20 pounds. This is definitely a trophy in any angler’s book. Where there are similarities in the two species on temperature preference the biggest difference is location. Domestic are more of a near shore fish and Seeforellens are a pelagic specie found suspended in deeper water.
                                    Please allow me to give you an overview of the optimum conditions for predictable success. All the weather factors discussed in the last article pertain to Browns as well. They are always more active at first light and last light of the day. Heavy overcast days afford some of the best opportunities for lunkers
                                    Temperature is as important in producing Browns as it is for any other fish. I work water that is 60 to 63 degrees when it is available. The month of April is known for easy pickings on all size Browns. When the lake has not warmed up to the preferred temp for Browns, look for them at mouths of rivers, harbors, protected bays and power plant discharges that offer water above the lake temp. A temperature gauge is a tool all fishermen cannot be without.
                                    A stealthy approach is necessary for the biggest fish. In definition stealthy is a presentation that avoids being notice. Several that can be used are trolling downriggers with leads to 100 feet or more and leadcore is another good choice. Most of the time you will find working shallow water less than 40 feet is key to domestic brown success. In the clear shallow water a normal presentation will generally not produce.
                                    Mid summer is the best time to locate Seeforellens in deep water. Find a sharp break in temperature from the colder lake water to 60 to 63 degrees and present your tackle in temperature they prefer. These breaks above colder water are the best place to locate trophy fish. Presentation will remain the same get away from the boat in water undisturbed. I have one more presentation that you may find easier to work especially in shallow water. Fish the surface down to fifteen feet with planer Boards. Some of your choices are, Yellow Birds, Church, Off Shore and Riviera. I’m a little hesitant to recommend a particular brand because what works for me may not work for you. I will say I find it easier to run a small board on each line rather than a large board with releases on the towline. I do feel it is important to run all the same type to get a presentation that is easy and productive. The clear surface water leaves you with a visibility factor to consider. I run a 1/4 to 1 ounce bead chain trolling sinker at the end of the 20-25lb mono to avoid line twists and get the depth I want. From the sinker to the lure I use 8ft of a 12lb mono and a small round cross lock snap. When the fish hits, the board slides down to the trolling sinker. With the sinker in line, the board will not knock the fish off as it would if it ran down to the lure. When setting this presentation, I set my boat speed at 2 mph and let out my lure about 30 to 100 feet and attach the board. This distance will change with the amount of light, type of lure and depth you want to fish. When action is slow, adjust this distance and see what happens. Once the board is attached, carefully lower the board into the water and let out enough line to allow room for more boards, between that board and the boat. Boards should be spaced about 30 feet apart. When a fish hits, the board releases and it will drop back behind the boat. Land your fish and reset this board by letting out enough line to allow the board to fly back into the same spot it came from.
                                    Let's wrap this up with my favorite Brown Trout lures. Spoons are my first choice with crankbaits and minnow type lures a close second. Always consider the size of the baitfish and amount of light in the time period you are fishing. When fishing in bright conditions or with the presence of small baitfish go to regular or small lures. Run the magnum spoons in low light situations. The two most productive Brown Trout spoons for me in recent years are the glow in the dark Vulcan and Reaper both sold by Badgertackle.com The silver/blue Vulcan has also been a regular producer. The shore fishermen are also having good success with this lure. I will continue with trophy variables for Rainbow Trout in the next article. Good Luck! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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                                    • #38
                                      Fishing Milwaukee Wisconsin Fo

                                      Fishing Milwaukee Wisconsin For Trophy Tail Walking Rainbows
                                      By Capt. Jim Hirt

                                      In this article we will continue with successful methods of catching trophy fish. I would like to explore location, presentation and lure selection for Rainbows. The excitement of Rainbow Trout fishing is on the top of my list. When you hook up with a fish that goes air-borne, it is an experience you will never forget. This trophy fish is not as commonly caught on Lake Michigan as the other species primarily due to their summer location. Where there are exceptions, most of the time deep water is the best location to find them. Look for them in 150 feet of water and deeper. This fish likes deep water but don't look for them on the bottom. Fishing the surface down to forty feet should be your target.
                                      The primary forage for Rainbows up to six pounds is aquatic and terrestrial insects, crayfish and other crustaceans. Rainbows also eat fish, as well as plankton, snails, leeches and fish eggs. They take a variety of anglers’ flies, lures and baits. The presentation of choice for fish under six pounds is flashers and flies. Big bows are more likely to forage on baitfish and spoons would be the way to go for trophies.
                                      The water temperatures in June make it the best month for all size Rainbows. Rainbow Trout are a cold water fish that cannot survive when the water temperature rises above 70 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time. Their optimum water temperature is about 55 degrees. Although they do best when the water is less than 70 degrees, they can withstand temperatures into the 70s if there is plenty of oxygen. In June the surface water near shore warms first. This warming trend extends to the deeper surface water as the season continues. A temperature break where the warm near shore surface water meets the colder off shore can be dynamite in holding trophies. In forage-rich Lake Michigan, they grow 30-32 inches long and may reach 16 pounds by the time they are five years old. On charter we have boated Rainbows to 21 pounds.
                                      Please allow me to give you an overview of the optimum conditions for predictable success. This is a fish with banker's hours. I never work them before 10 in the morning and by 4 in the afternoon they are off the best bite of the day. They like the bright light and your lures should be for the brightest conditions. If you recall from one of my earlier articles on lure color as it relates to light, you should use lures that are at the top end of the rainbow that are red, orange, yellow and green. Combinations of these colors on a silver spoon will get the action started. Two of my favorites are made by Badger Tackle the Vulcan Dolphin Green and Silver and the Reaper Big Joe Silver. These lures are sold only at badgertackle.com
                                      A stealthy approach is necessary for the biggest fish. Several that can be used are trolling downriggers with leads to 100 feet or more and leadcore is another good choice. Three to five colors of lead will put your lures where they belong. Get away from the boat in water undisturbed. The basics of leadcore are simple. The most expensive part is the reel. It must have enough line capacity to handle the leadcore line plus mono and Dacron for a total of anywhere from 300 to 600 yards. I run my three to ten colors on an Okuma Convector CV45D. This is the smallest reel a full core will fit on. Leadcore sinks at a rate of 4-5 feet per color. A half core will run about 24 feet deep. When loading this reel, start with 100 yards of a braided Dacron then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Blood Knot to the leadcore. Finish with a Willis Knot and 60 feet of a 20-pound monofilament to a ball bearing cross lock snap. You will need a heavy action 8-foot rod to work with lead. The most effective way to present this is with a Yellow Bird Big Bird planer board if you are going to use multiple set ups. Snap on your favorite lure and let out all of the line to the Dacron. Then install your board so it does not release. I usually run them 150 feet off each side of the boat. Very wide turns and low boat traffic are a must to avoid tangles and getting run over. I set my drags light. When the reel starts to scream, adjust the drag as necessary. Reel in the line until you can reach the board and hand release it. Now the line is clear to bring in the fish. I will continue with trophy variables for Lake Trout in the next article. Good Luck let's go fishing Captain Jim. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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                                      • #39
                                        Interesting, fascinating game,

                                        Interesting, fascinating game, realistic – simulation of
                                        fishing.
                                        There is big variety of fish, each which has its own behaviour.
                                        http://www.gamestugroup.com/masterpriece.php
                                        In this game you have an opportunity to perfect your
                                        equipment - fishing-rod, hook, bob, bait, spoon bait,
                                        and fishing-line. You can play in full-screen mode, reduced
                                        window mode, and also you can minimize the game.
                                        In minimized mode the image of the bob will appear on your
                                        monitor, and will tell you when you have a bite.
                                        Such a possibility gives you time to do other things if
                                        fish don't nibble or if you are trying to catch very big fish,
                                        which always takes much time and patience.
                                        55 different types of fish.
                                        Competition spirit in the game during all the time.
                                        To have play in new location you need to get 150 points.

                                        The beautiful water will not leave you unaffected.
                                        There are 28 different locations each with beautiful
                                        landscape s and splendid music will help you to relax.

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                                        • #40
                                          Wisconsin Fishing Spoons for T

                                          Wisconsin Fishing Spoons for Trophy Lake Trout
                                          By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                          In this article we will complete the series on catching trophy fish. I would like to explore location, presentation and lure selection for Lake Trout. Fishermen everywhere covet them for their table excellence giving them a nickname of poor man’s Lobster. Lake Trout baked or poached and served with melted butter is a feast fit for a king. This slow growing member of the Char family can attain a life of over twenty years and have been known to grow to more than 50 inches and reach over 100 pounds. Lake Trout are mature enough to reproduce when they are six or seven years old. Some Lake Trout respond to a homing instinct. They return to the same spawning grounds year after year, while others do not. This trout lives in deep cold lakes. Their preferred water temperature is about 50 degrees. In the summer they stay deep and can usually be caught by deep trolling. But as the water cools with the fall season and into spring, artificial lures and flies may take lake trout fished shallower, near shore.
                                          Finding a trophy may be a difficult task although I feel following a few rules will augment your odds for success. I have found that in twenty years of fishing my biggest have come on spoons. I believe the reason for this is spoons will maintain an attractive appearance at very slow speeds. When you think Lakers think slow. This very cold water species has the slowest metabolism of all the game fish. If you have not caught a Laker, you are trolling too fast. The bigger the Lake Trout the colder the water they prefer and the slower they move. A quality large spoon that trolls well at speeds below one mile per hour is required. Keeping in mind that you will be working in deep water below 100 feet. The color choices should be in the bottom half spectrum of the rainbow. There is not much light down there and green, blue, indigo violet colors will sustain some color at these depths. A silver plated spoon will reflect light better in low light and used in combination with the colors is a good choice. You might try the new Reaper glow in the dark spoons. They were very productive for me this last season. The lack of light has brought me to my favorite presentation. In some cases bouncing the bottom is the only way to provoke a strike. A one pound lead ball sinker will allow the contact needed. Use a wire line rod with 30 pound wire terminated with a plastic keel and lead ball. The keel provides a three way connection for wire, ball and monofilament. At the end of a two foot mono leader run an 8 inch silver or glow in the dark dodger and a 4 foot lead to the spoon. Troll with the bottom contour letting out enough wire to allow the ball to bounce on the bottom. A word of caution, some bottoms have lots of hang ups and it takes a constant vigilance on your part to avoid hanging up and still keep constant bottom contact.
                                          As you read earlier, when the water cools in fall they return to the same spawning grounds year after year. The eggs are deposited over a boulder-strewn or rubble bottom structure, in depths from 40 feet to about one foot. This affords the angler another opportunity to get into some serious laker action. Work this shallow water with the same wire line rod. Go with 8 ounces of weight no flasher and standard Reaper Big Joe red/green or Reaper Peacock blue/green spoons. Motor troll the shallows while hand holding the rod bouncing the bottom as you go.
                                          Let's wrap this up with my favorite Lake Trout lures. Dodgers and magnum spoons are my first choice with dodger Spin n Glows a close second. The two most productive Lake Trout spoons for me in recent years are the glow in the dark Reaper Green Fox Glow and Fish n Chip Silver both sold by Badgertackle.com The standard Reaper in the silver combinations are best for shallow water. This completes the trophy variables series I hope you enjoyed it and it leads to your fish of a lifetime. I will give an overview of different types of lures in the next article with a focus on spoons. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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