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    The Three R's of Fishing #

    The Three R's of Fishing #1
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    As with all sports and activities basics and fundamentals are the foundation from which a sound well played game is achieved. The name of this article could have been the twenty five R's of fishing because many small details will make or break your day on the water. However I decided to focus on only three of the fundamentals, rigging reacting and record keeping. This is article #1 of a two part article.
    Rigging is a vast subject with a different definition to most anglers. To me it means assembling the correct components in the best way to meet the current conditions. Let's get into specifics. The rod, reel, line and terminal tackle are the foundation to success. In my earlier days of fishing the selection of a fishing rod was confusing. The more people you talked to the worse it got. My experience over the years has lead me to a simple conclusion, heavy weight rods for big fish with high test line. Light weight rods for small fish on light test line. Following the recommended line weight marked on the rod will put more fish in the cooler. A rod that is too stiff will not bend with light line. The result will be lost fish from failure to maintain a tight line to the target. You will also be able to use smaller snaps and terminal tackle on light line with a light action rod. This will enhance the lure action with improved presentation.
    Reacting to changes will improve your success. The speed of your bait whether it is a spoon, jig, or crankbait is important. The right lure at the wrong speed will be less productive. The correct speed is dictated by many variables. Always consider the mood of fish and the environment they are in and adjust to the conditions. This will help you find the best speed. Mood is defined by weather and the time of year. High and low barometric pressure are a part of the weather question. They both have a significant impact on the mood of all fish. Activity level in fish will change with the movement or lack of barometer movement. You must know what the weather has been preceding your fishing trip. This information will set the stage giving you the information you can use to your advantage. A clear blue high sky after a low pressure front is every anglers nightmare. Fish get spooky, neutral or negative in these conditions. For these types of days a slow spot on the spot presentation is key. Work your favorite location with precise boat and lure control. Inactivity is normal, when this happens pick your favorite locations on any body of water and look for your target species in the next break to deeper water. Work smaller spoons, lures or baits in a slow systematic presentation. If motor trolling is your method of fishing use small spoons. Present them at slow speeds and fish them near the bottom. On the other hand steady barometric pressure for an extended period of time with overcast sky conditions is time to grab your pole and to head for the water. Don't miss these ideal days. The fish will be up on the shallow flats, near shore and active. Pound these fish with big baits and fast erratic actions. Work hard, work fast and cover a lot of water. This sets up a great opportunity for trolling big water. The correct lure color for overcast will put more fish in the boat. Silver or gold has long been the standard until resent years. Cutting edge anglers are now going to glow in the dark lures. The visibility of glow spoons far exceeds the old standards. Badger Tackle has great line up of glow spoons. For the anglers that run a boat speed from 2.0 to 3.5 MPH I would recommend the Vulcan magnum. This is a tough heavy weight spoon with a slim profile that fits well with most freshwater and saltwater forage base sizes. The other one I like is the Reaper. Run the regular size on clear calm days and magnum at first light, overcast or whenever you are down deep or in a low light presentation. The Reaper is a wide spoon with a crippled baitfish action for trolling at speeds of 1.0 to 2.5. The Striper and Salmon fishermen say it is a perfect match to the Shad and Alewife forage. Both are exclusively sold at http://www.badgertackle.com/ you won't be disappointed. Please read part #2 coming soon. 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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    Hi-Tech Rigging And Tools For

    Hi-Tech Rigging And Tools For Trolling

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    The details of any one particular item for well rigged hi-tech trolling would be an article in itself. I will try to address that in subsequent articles. This article will not be a primer for the angler starting out. It is for those interested in coming up to speed on what's new and successful for trolling any body of water for any species. The basic presentations will get you by on most days when the fishing is easy. Professional and tournament anglers that troll have found a way to produce fish in the most difficult situations. The word here is STEALTH. It is defined as a presentation with the least visibility that you can fish at great distances from the boat. On Lake Michigan where I fish the state of Wisconsin stocks close to five million fish annually. There is no shortage of quarry for the angler to target. There are still days with calm clear water and high blue skies when conventional presentations produce only marginal results. With fishing everywhere your ability to master a presentation for all types of conditions separates the men from the boys. Your arsenal for hi-tech trolling should definitely include planer boards with copper, leadcore or fluorocarbon line to meet tough conditions. In fact for my money I would skip other options and run all my tackle on one or a combination of these. Multiple lines on boards will out fish all other presentations most days. There will be a learning curve and additional expenses; however, the effort will far exceed your expectations. I will be writing an article on fishing copper in the near future. I already have all the information you need for leadcore rigging in an article #28 Fishing Leadcore Rigging at http://www.badgertackle.com Fluorocarbon options are explained in #13 Spring Fishing Presentation on the same website. This is an excellent less expensive choice for fish from the surface to 50 feet down. Add more or less weight to get the desired depth. Please check out the lures at Badger Tackle. Over the last several years the spoons sold here have out produced all the other spoons I run. They have a great selection of three different spoons with unique actions in a variety of sizes and colors for all game fish.
    Most fish locators include a surface temperature gauge and I wouldn't be without one but it is only half of the tools you need. In my opinion the tool you must have for trolling is a speed and temperature gauge. Your down speed and temp are critical and you must have a means to monitor them. The speed and temp gauge attaches to the downrigger cable just above the ball and provides the information needed to keep your lures in the correct temp and at optimum speed. The Great Lakes has under water currents that change with the winds. Wherever you fish the wind effects your body of water the same way. Most times your surface speed will be faster or slower depending on your direction of travel relative to the current below you. When trolling with the current, if the surface speed you selected is 2.0 MPH your lures will be considerably slower and render them ineffective. By monitoring your down speed and temp you will not troll for hours with poor presentation or location.
    To complete this article we must know what tool will give us the most reliable measurement of speed and temp. A great 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 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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    Is Leadcore Right For Me?
    By

    Is Leadcore Right For Me?
    By Captain Jim Hirt
    I received this e-mail recently and thought it was a good question that more anglers would be interested in. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page http://www.bluemaxcharters.com I will be pleased to answer. My charter season is under way and it may take a while to back to you.
    Hello Capt. Jim Hirt:
    I really liked your informative article on using leadcore line on the http://www.badgertackle.com web site!!! I am asking for some additional info on using lead core.
    I am an avid fisherman on the north shore of lake Erie central basin in Ontario waters. My girl friend and I are always fishing for walleye and trout in the warm weather with great success. Besides my 3 downriggers on my 17 foot boat, Last season I started running the offshore inline planers (yellow ones)...one on each side. I was using a 3 way swivel with one too two ounces of lead and a 4 foot lead pulling a body bait lure. We caught walleye on this setup and a few lunkers (biggest ever). I used line counter reels, one reeled with Power Pro and the other with mono. We are fishing 55 to 75 feet of water. Usually the fish are suspended 40 to 60 feet down. My million dollar question is can we reach these fish at these depths with a leadcore setup off the inline planers. I was reading an article on a Website saying the inline planers would sink if you spool with more than three colors (each color is 10 yds). He was using crankbaits, I use minnow type baits like Ripplin Redfins, Husky Jerks and AC Shiners (floating baits) I would like to here your opinion.
    How much lead core (yardage and pound test) can you run from inline planers? What kind of inline planers would you recommend? I really like the idea of purchasing two leadcore outfits to run off my inline planers to target these fish at these depths. Can you recommend a set-up for leadcore to run off inline planers to get down to these fish? Thank you so much for reading this far and could you please reply by email. Have a great fishing season!!!
    Thank you for reading my articles. I hope they contribute to you success. I fish leadcore down to 80 feet with no problems. Use one color of 27 pound for every 4-5 feet of depth that you are making your presentation. The variables in depth are boat speed, leader length and type of lure. A slow boat speed with a short leader of fluorocarbon will run about 5 feet per color. A faster boat speed and longer leader will run higher in the water column. Diving lures vs. spoons will also run a little deeper. Back your reel with Power Pro 30 pound. Run as many colors as needed to reach the depth you would like. Finish with a Seaguar fluorocarbon leader of 10 feet and a 30 pound cross lock ball bearing swivel snap. The board I run is determined by the number of colors of lead. For one to seven colors I use Church walleye boards this is their biggest board. Above seven colors I like Yellow Bird Big boards. They make two sizes this is their biggest one. I have run up to 20 colors with no problems on Big Birds. To keep it simple you could run all Big Birds.
    I do not like the ready made leadcore combos. They use a Dacron backing it wears easily and breaks and there goes your set up. Power Pro costs more but it will last many seasons. Buy a reel with a retrieve rate of 4.2 to 1 or higher with a capacity of at least 350/30 pound for up to 10 colors. Eight foot medium heavy fiberglass rod will do the trick. Go inexpensive on the rod no more than $25 you don't need an expensive rod. The total for rod and reel should be about $75. full core lead $12, Power Pro $13, Seaguar fluorocarbon leaders $12 and great fishing action on difficult fishing days PRICELESS. The best of luck to you this season!! 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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    Fishing Lures For Catching Moo

    Fishing Lures For Catching Moody Fish
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    From time to time we all can use a little help. These changes in thinking or additions to your fishing arsenal will improve your success. The speed of your bait whether it is a spoon, jig, or crankbait is important. The right lure at the wrong speed will be less productive. The correct speed is dictated by many variables. Always consider the mood of fish and the environment they are in. This will help you find the best speed. Mood is defined by weather and the time of year. High and low barometric pressure are a part of the weather question. They both have a significant impact on the mood of all fish. Activity level in fish will change with the movement or lack of barometer movement. You must know what the weather has been preceding your fishing trip. This information will set the stage giving you the information you can use to your advantage. A clear blue high sky after a low pressure front is every anglers nightmare. Fish get spooky, neutral or negative in these conditions. A slow spot on the spot presentation is key. Inactivity is normal, pick your favorite locations on any body of water and look for your target species in the next break to deeper water. Work smaller spoons, lures or baits in a slow presentation. If motor trolling is your method of fishing use small spoons. Present them at slow speeds and fish them near the bottom. On the other hand steady barometric pressure for an extended period of time with overcast sky conditions is time to grab your pole and to head for the water. Don't miss these ideal days. The fish will be up on the shallow flats, near shore and active. Pound these fish with big baits and fast erratic actions. Work hard, work fast and cover a lot of water. This sets up a great opportunity for trolling big water. The correct lure color for overcast will put more fish in the boat. Silver or gold has long been the standard until resent years. Cutting edge anglers are now going to glow in the dark lures. The visibility of glow spoons far exceeds the old standards. Badger Tackle has great line up of glow spoons. For the anglers that run a boat speed from 2.0 to 3.5 MPH I would recommend the Vulcan magnum. This is a tough heavy weight spoon with a slim profile that fits well with most freshwater and saltwater forage base sizes. The other one I like is the Reaper. Run the regular size on clear calm days and magnum at first light, overcast or whenever you are down deep or in a low light presentation. The Reaper is a wide spoon with a crippled baitfish action for trolling at speeds of 1.0 to 2.5. The Striper and Salmon fishermen say it is a perfect match to the Shad and Alewife forage. Both are exclusively sold at http://www.badgertackle.com/ you won't be disappointed.
    Time of year is also to be considered when trying to catch moody fish. As the seasons change so do the temperatures of the water. Fish are cold blooded and their metabolism changes as their body temp changes. Most anglers know there are cold and warm water species of fish. Which means all fish if given a choice will find their preferred temperature range. In fact too high or too low beyond their limits will cause stress and eventual death. In large fresh water lakes, the time of day isn't nearly as critical as locating the depth of the preferred temperature level for the fish species you're seeking. Lakes layer into three separate layers of water in the spring and stay that way until cold weather. The middle layer, where there is a larger concentration of dissolved oxygen, baitfish and therefore predator fish, is called the thermocline. It can usually be found any where from ten feet to the bottom. This is a temperature layer as well as an oxygen-saturated layer and fish will relate to it as both a comfort zone and one where their body metabolism functions the most efficiently. These fish will be suspended and feeding on alewives, smelt or other forage fish.
    The peak feeding and optimum temperature for coho and Chinook is 52° with an active range from 44° to 58°. For lake trout, the peak feeding and optimum temperature is 51° with activity from 43° to 53°. Fish will rarely venture out of these zones, once stratification has taken place, except to catch a meal and then will quickly return to it. One thing to remember when fishing the thermocline is that its depth can change from day to day because of wind and wave action. It may be several feet deeper or shallower from one day to the next so you'll have to relocate it each time you go out. Having said all that, when fishing in water temperatures near the bottom of your target species preferred temp, adjust to small spoons in a slow presentation. At their optimum temp go aggressive with large baits in quick presentations. Most anglers under estimate the speed of their quarry. 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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    Smart Fishing Lures On Red Fis

    Smart Fishing Lures On Red Fishing Line!
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    The year of red has arrived. Wherever you fish and whatever you fish for fishing lures on red fishing line will increase your catch. That's a fact let me tell you why. The reason it is so effective is simple, visibility. Read this article for all species all presentation tips that will work for you.
    Some of you will think red line what happened to clear mono line. There are applications where clear will work well but red will work better. Visibility needs to be broken down into sections. First a discussion of how light penetrates water and the impact of light on successful fishing. I must go into a little science to illustrate why red is sweeping the fishing line industry. The color of your lure has long been a concern by anglers. Correct lure color is very important to your success. A bait with a color that produces well on top water may not be effective in a deeper presentation. Now line color will add to the success of any presentation. This is a good time to talk about color as it relates to the amount of light. You may or may not remember learning the colors of the rainbow in school. The colors are remembered by this acronym "ROY G BIV". These letters mean red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Most of the time I run lure colors of red, orange, or yellow when a lure is presented in the portion of the water column with the most light. The other end of the rainbow blue, indigo and violet are used in darker or low light situations. The reason for this is the spectrum of light changes as it penetrates the water. As demonstrated by this discussion, the first color that disappears as light penetrates water is red. This is why red fishing line is so effective. Red disappears at 15 to 30 feet of water. We all know that a line that is invisible to fish will not spook your target and lures look more natural. For this reason red will put you on more action in deeper presentations.
    What if most of your fishing is done in less than 30 feet of water? Red line should also be your first choice. This secret is now being used by pro bass fishermen to catch more fish in shallow water. The key here is your ability to see subtle movement in the line to detect the bite. Clear line is very hard to see and you will miss the nibblers. A bass will inhale the bait and spit it out before you can detect the line movement.
    Rigging is important to red line in shallow or deep water. Running red line directly to your favorite lure may not be the way to go. Tournament anglers are using a 4-foot fluorocarbon clear leader on the end of the red line. This approach should be applied anytime red line is used. Ice fisherman use 4-pound test red line with fluorocarbon leader to detect the bite of small pan fish. Salmon anglers trolling with multiple lines will find red line is easier to see and more manageable with less tangles. The answer is red above and below the water. Follow this tip for more action and less downtime. Live bait, plastics, cranks and spoons all become more effective on red line. Power Pro, a leader in the fishing line industry, has an ultra-strong braided Spectra® Fiber Phantom Red line that is the first choice of cutting edge anglers everywhere.
    Please allow me to tell you of a relatively new and much improved addition to spoon colors. I have found that glow in dark colors catch more fish. After charging up the glow paint on the spoons with a bright light, they will take fish in the dark or stained water. You will find several manufactures with this product. I have found the glow on the spoons at http://www.badgertackle.com will last longer than most of the spoons being sold. 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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    Directional Planers made by Bu

    Directional Planers made by BulletBobber Enterprises are more then a fishing float and more then a planer board.

    You have an imagination and using it with an optomistic outlook will be rewarding. I think about what this little invention can do and think about many niches and became aware that it could help in so many ways, in so many places and for so many species.

    Taking a minute to visit www.bulletbobber.com will be exilerating!

    Capt. Jim -- Would consider writing about my invention. I'm better at graphics then writing.


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    Fishing Spoons for all Seasons

    Fishing Spoons for all Seasons
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    Fishing spoons for spring, fishing spoons for summer, fishing spoons for fall and winter. Spoons are never the wrong bait. The variety of spoons is the reason they produce. The universal popularity of the spoon worldwide has caused it to evolve to a all species all season favorite. I would need to write a large book to go into all the types of spoons and their applications to different species. When I was done the subject would only be scratched on the surface. The best approach for me would be to cover all season fishing with spoons for salmon, trout and freshwater game fish. Fortunately I have had an opportunity over the past 25 years to try my luck on a wide assortment of species. The three most important factors to consider in lure selection are the action, color and size. I will break this down by season and type of fish.
    The preferred water temperature of your target easily defines spoon action. In the times of the year when the fish you are after cannot find the temperature of the water they like you must adjust to meet conditions. For instance, you are looking to hook up with Brown Trout and the water temperature is 40 degrees, twenty degrees below their preferred range of 58 to 66 degrees. A slower lure action is required for this cold water. This can be achieved by a slower retrieve rate when casting or a slower boat speed for trolling. The problem with a slow speed is many spoons loose their fish attracting action. A spoon that solves this problem is the Nestor Wobbler made by BadgerTackle.com. The crankbait action of this spoon is deadly in slow presentations. This spoon also has multiple holes in the lip that will allow you to change from a wobbly baitfish action to a vibrating high-speed action. I recommend the Nestor Wobbler for most salmon, trout, bass and pike. It has been a consistent producer for me. Any time your target is in cooler water than they like slow down to improve your catch rate.
    Color is very important to your success. Light is the number one consideration in your lure color. This is a good time to talk about color as it relates to the amount of light. You may or may not remember learning the colors of the rainbow in school. The colors are remembered by this acronym "ROY G BIV". These letters mean red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. There are exceptions to every rule. Most of the time I run lure colors of red, orange, or yellow when that lure is presented in the portion of the water column with the most light. The other end of the rainbow blue, indigo and violet are used in darker or low light situations. You may ask what about silver and white? I consider these as neutral or they will work in any type of light. All the other colors fall into either bright or dark. Bright lures are used in bright light conditions dark lures in low light. A relatively new and much improved addition to spoon colors is the glow in dark colors. After charging up the glow paint on the spoons with a bright light, they will take fish in the dark or stained water. You will find several manufactures with this product. I have found the glow on Badger Tackle spoons will last longer than most of the spoons being sold.
    Size is as important to productive fishing as any of the other variables. The rules are simple: match lure size to the forage of your target and if fishing is slow or dead go to smaller size spoons. For example the first light bite was fantastic you were on your way to a limit catch. Then the sun comes up bright in a clear blue sky and all the action stops. I believe the reason for this is too much flash produced by large lures turns off fish. This is time to scale down to smaller lures. This approach can be applied any time you find yourself in bright conditions.
    Consider all three, action, color and size to become more productive. Fish come in a wide variety of sizes and attitudes and one thing is common to all. You must get their attention if you expect to catch them. Adjust to meet conditions and you will become a better angler. 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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    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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    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
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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.

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