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  • #81
    Ultimate Salmon Boat Part #2

    Ultimate Salmon Boat Part #2

    By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    In part number one we discussed basic tackle for boat, rods and safety. Let’s continue with essential and in most cases must have items for an productive salmon and trout fishing boat. Read all my articles and fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Reels
    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. Penn fishing tackle makes some great quality entry level and top end reels and rods that are a value for all anglers
    Fishing Line
    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) will put more fish in the cooler.
    Downriggers
    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.
    Terminal tackle
    I have tried most of the different styles of downrigger 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
    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.
    Treasure your catch
    Always ice your catch a 70 quart cooler ($25) will lend to the table quality.
    This 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!! Check out my blog for detailed instructions on set up and presentation of tackle and up to date video fish reports. 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© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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    • #82
      Pickled fish

      PICKLED FISH
      By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Milwaukee Capt. Jim Hirt
      I would like to share a family favorite for many years and hope you try this simple recipe. It will work well on most fish, I like to use salmon and trout. For anglers that catch boney fish like Northern Pike this is the answer as the bones dissolve in the fish when pickled. Come to http://www.jimhirt.com to read all my fishing article and reports.

      Fillet and skin any fish you care to use. Be sure to remove the rib cages. Now cut them into about 1 1/2 inch square chunks or 1 inch strips. Fill a qt. jar about 3/4 full of sliced fillets plus 1 diced onion. Pack very loosely. Add the following:
      2 Tbsp. canning salt
      1/2 cup sugar
      2 tsp. whole mixed pickling spice
      1 1/2 oz. dry white wine
      Apple cider vinegar
      Fill the jar with wine and vinegar right to the top. Now shake the jar to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Refrigerate for four days and they are ready to eat. During the four days shake the jar from time to time.
      If you like it sweeter, add a bit more sugar, but do not change the salt content. If you like a more vinegar taste leave the wine out, as all this does is cut the vinegar a bit. Optional, 1 red pepper and/or clove of garlic.
      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© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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      • #83
        Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #1

        Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #1
        By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Milwaukee Capt. Jim Hirt
        Current information is critical to being at the top of your game in any sport. Fishing is no exception and perhaps more critical than other sports. This article will focus on what to use and where for the 2011 season. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
        What to use and where?
        In this article I would like to help you define when and where to use spoons, minnow type baits, flasher flies, dodger flies, squids and a variety of other lures. The way I decide what to use is determined by many variables. Let’s look at each of them separately. What we are looking for is the right color, size, lure action and location that will get your target species to strike.
        Two ways to go
        This is the first of two approaches with every fisherman putting his own twist on each. Some fishermen believe it is better to run all of the same kind of lure at one time and use a selection of colors or sizes. This type of presentation is called bait sets. Let’s say they are running six rods. They will run the same type of spoon on each rod in a variety of colors and sizes, or all flashers and flies in different colors. Bait sets work well when you know what's happening but you leave no room for error. If you're hot you're hot or if you’re wrong you may not be in the game.
        Second set up
        The other approach to presentation is running a different lure on every line. This set up is called shotgun. Mixing lures this way is tricky; some lures may be too fast or too slow to work well. On most days, I run a mix of different lures doing what I call Mini Sets to minimize this problem. This is what I might do in a summer presentation. I am usually running 12-16 rods. I split up my rods into three mini sets.
        Check out
        http://www.badgertackle.com for Reaper, Vulcan and Nestor Wobbler spoons proven and tested by anglers worldwide. 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© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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        • #84
          Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #2

          Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #2
          By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Milwaukee Capt. Jim Hirt
          Current information is critical to being at the top of your game in any sport. Fishing is no exception and perhaps more critical than other sports. This article will focus on what to use and where for the 2011 season. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
          Mini sets what goes where?
          On the deepest lines in the coldest water I fish for Lake trout. All the deep lines are matched for speed, color and preference of the target. 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.
          Now let's get back to setting our deep lines. Go with colors for low light that work well at a speed you intend to run and in the size of the baitfish. Large Reaper magnum glow spoons, dodgers or flashers with flies, or spin-n-glows and lake trolls work most days. Look for temps below 45 degrees for the biggest Lake Trout. This presentation is usually on downriggers working below 100 feet deep. I will get into downrigger presentation in another article.
          Midway down the water column
          The next mini set will run in water above the deep lines. Fish the 48-53 degree water spreading the lines to run about every ten feet of depth. Here we are looking for Chinooks and Coho salmon. I like a mix of dodgers, flashers flies and spoons. Of these three choices spoons are the easiest to present and most productive. There is a variety of ways to work the middle of the water column but, without a doubt lead core and copper lines on planner boards will be the most successful.
          High lines
          The balance of my lines will run in 54 degrees or warmer water looking for rainbows and browns. Depending on how much warm water you have to work with you can cover it with long lines, diving planers and lead core. The mini set in the warmest water with lots light should have the lures with fastest action and brightest colors. Minnow type lures are a great productive choice with their fast action.
          Summary
          Run Mini Sets for all your targets in the temperature zone you expect to find them. Temperature is the key to success with the correct color and action in the depth of water you are fishing.
          Check out
          http://www.badgertackle.com for Reaper, Vulcan and Nestor Wobbler spoons proven and tested by anglers worldwide. 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© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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          • #85
            The Three R's of Fishing #1

            The Three R's of Fishing #1

            By Lake Michigan fishing charter 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. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
            Rigging
            This 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
            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.

            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.
            Baits, speed and location
            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 1.5 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. 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 web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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            • #86
              The Three R's of Fishing #2

              The Three R's of Fishing #2

              By Lake Michigan fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
              This is article number two of a two part article. Look for part number one for rigging tips. This article will focus on reacting to change. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
              Reacting to time of year
              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 at locating the depth of the preferred temperature level for the fish species you're seeking.
              Thermocline Explained
              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 anywhere 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.
              Temperature by species
              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. The only exception is when fish are spawning. 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 like the regular size Vulcan Spoon exclusively sold at Badger Tackle 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.
              Keep good records
              I cannot stress record keeping too much. Your ability to document good and bad days will be your magic rabbit in the hat. This info will shorten your learning curve and should be reviewed before every fishing outing. Record the date, location, weather, lures or bait, presentation, for each type of fish you catch. 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 web site at
              http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

              Comment


              • #87
                Trophy Lake Trout Fishing Lake Michigan

                Trophy Lake Trout Fishing Lake Michigan

                By Milwaukee fishing charter Capt. 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 will be under way soon and it may take a while to get back to you. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com

                Captain Jim:
                I was reading an old article you posted a few years back regarding trolling cowbells and spin-n-glows. I was wondering if you could tell me what your leader setup is on a rig like that.
                I made 5 cowbell rigs, 24 inches long, followed by a spin-n-glow on a 24 inch leader as well. I was going to attach that directly to a 3 way swivel but was wondering if I'll need a greater leader length?
                Lake Trout head to tail
                Before we get directly into the answer I would like to provide more information on this species and presentations that are effective for them. 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.
                Ecosystem of the Lake Trout
                This slow growing member of the Char family can attain a life of over fifty 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 50 degrees or below. 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.
                Rules of the road
                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 Lake Trout, 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.
                Don’t forget about color
                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 Badger Tackle Reaper glow in the dark spoons as well. 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.
                Set up defined
                Use a wire line rod with 30 pound wire terminated with a plastic keel. The plastic keel has three positions to attach to it. One goes to the wire line another directly to the weight. Some anglers use a mono line from the keel to the weight so if you get hung up the mono will break and you won’t loose everything. Use eight ounces to one pound weight for good contact to the bottom. The third position is used for the connection of bait or lure. Use a three foot 40 pound monofilament lead to an 8 inch silver or glow in the dark dodger and a 3 foot lead to the spoon. Cowbells are a similar presentation with a few changes. From the keel attach the cowbells and then two foot leader to the spoon. When you would like to use a Spin N Glow attach a three foot 40 pound leader behind the Cowbells then the dodger and two feet to the Spin N Glow.
                Working it
                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 4 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 it‘s a blast.
                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
                http://www.badgertackle.com The standard Reaper in the silver combinations are best for shallow water.
                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 web site at
                http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                 
                 



                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

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                • #88
                  Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #1

                  Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #1

                  By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                  Don’t know which way to go for spring salmon fishing. Allow me to break it down and offer some suggestions for wherever you fish. Let’s discuss presentation lures and location to jump start your spring. 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 will be under way soon and it may take a while to get back to you. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com

                  Top producing presentations
                  Here are some ways to present lures in spring. This time of year look for most of your fish in the top 50 feet. Keep your eye on your locator and also work deeper marks when you see them. My experience this time of year is the deeper fish are less active and tend not to bite. Most often you will not mark well above 30 feet because those fish are outside the cone of your locator’s transducer. However that’s where most of the fish are.
                  Leadcore on boards first choice
                  The primary presentations I use at this time of year are Church Tackle Walleye boards, Slide Divers and leadcore. If your budget allows, I would recommend trying a leadcore line set up. This presentation will work when all others are dead and this is the best bet for spring
                  Basics
                  The basics of leadcore are simple. The most expensive part is the reel. It must have enough line capacity to handle the twenty seven pound leadcore line plus Seaguar fluorocarbon leader and Power Pro 50 pound backer line for a total of anywhere from 300 yards on a half core to 600 yards double core. I run my half cores or five colors on a reel that holds 300 yards of 20 pound test. This is the smallest reel a half core ( five colors ) will fit on. Line counter reels are not necessary. Leadcore sinks at a rate of 4-5 feet per color. A half core will run about 24 feet deep.
                  Loading the reel
                  When loading this reel, start with 200 yards of Power Pro 50 pound then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Willis Knot to the leadcore. Finish with another Willis Knot and 30 feet of a 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap. You will need a medium heavy action 8-foot rod to work with lead. You may run this with a Church Tackle Walleye planer board if you are going to use multiple set ups.
                  Presentation Tips
                  Snap on your favorite lure and let out all of the line to the Power Pro backer. 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 don’t fish lead early in the morning. I use it when the early bite is over. Some of my biggest fish are caught on this presentation.
                  Lures for leadcore
                  I keep talking about Vulcan spoons and more anglers are finding out that this spoon will out produce most spoons in their tackle box. Reasonably priced and nearly indestructible they just keep on producing. The regular size is a good bet for spring. Vulcan spoons are sold by
                  http://www.badgertackle.com Three Must Read Salmon Tips number two will continue with more lure choices in the next post. 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 web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #2

                    Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #2

                    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                    Don’t know which way to go for spring salmon fishing. Allow me to break it down and offer some suggestions for wherever you fish. Let’s discuss presentation, lures and location to jump start your spring. 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 will be under way soon and it may take a while to get back to you. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com

                    Top producing spring lures
                    Article number one focused on presentation and this is very important. Now let’s talk about water temperature and it’s relationship to the correct lure. The best way to break this down is categorize the lure type by temperature Fahrenheit.
                    Thirty three through Forty degrees
                    Cold water means slow to dead slow presentation. Since this article is about trolling I will not go into what an angler might use for lures when shore fishing or when the boat is stopped. For trolling very cold water small seems to work better than large and I go to my smallest lures in this cold water. My set up for this scenario would be half of my baits as one half ounce or smaller spoons and the other half under two inch crank baits. These small baits must work and provoke a strike at speeds less than 1.5 miles per hour trolling speed. Color is determined water color and light. Bright colors or glow colors are always part of my program in spring.
                    Forty one through fifty degrees
                    Beef up the size of your lures is the way to go. Use the same spoons and cranks in larger sizes as you used for the colder water. I would add to my program a few stick baits in the four inch size. Depending on the water color some of the stick baits in the natural color patterns can be very effective. A increase of boat speed will be required and necessary to bring these baits to life. These larger baits should be run from 1.7 to 2.0 boat speed.
                    Above fifty degrees
                    At this point you are reaching the optimum temperature of cold water class fish like salmon and some trout. Their metabolism cranks up and you may increase speed, bait size and lure action.
                    Magnum spoons or flashers with flies are a great option for these temps.
                    Hot location focus on temp breaks
                    Wind will dictate where you find the best concentration of fish. Monitor the direction of the wind and this will help you find where warmer water is stacking up. Surface temperature gauge is a must and your key tool to find any increase or decrease of temperature watch it closely! River mouths and break water gaps are important spots to investigate. Anywhere you find a increase in water temperature you will most likely find fish.
                    Hot spoons for spring
                    I keep talking about Vulcan spoons and more anglers are finding out that this spoon will out produce most spoons in their tackle box. Reasonably priced and nearly indestructible they just keep on producing. The regular size is a good bet for spring. Vulcan spoons are sold by
                    http://www.badgertackle.com 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 web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      Go Slow For Spring Brown Trout

                      Go Slow For Spring Brown Trout

                      By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                      Spring can be Brown Trout a plenty with the right presentation. Allow me to break it down and offer some suggestions for tons of Browns wherever you fish. Let’s discuss presentation, lures and location to jump start your spring. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                      Smaller Is Better
                      The last several articles we covered some options for spring presentation with a focus on temperature, planer boards, lines, terminal tackle and lure selection. Let's continue with lure selection, colors, boat speed, and lure action for spring. The cold water slows down the metabolism of the fish; this in turn requires you to slow down your presentation. I select lures that are small and work well at slower than normal boat speeds.
                      Check The Temperature
                      Your adjustment to these variables is different depending on the preferred temperature of the target species. Brown trout like the warmest water of the five game fish in Lake Michigan. They are looking for above 60-degree water. When you find 60 plus water, fish them as you would in summer. Below 60 degrees the way you fish should be adjusted. Most Browns will be found in the top 20 feet of water where bright lures should be best.
                      Watch The Speed
                      I slow my boat speed to below 1.5 mph. The small lures become very effective and run well at this speed. Does your boat troll at 1.0 to 4.5 mph? If it doesn't, you will find it difficult to produce all the types of fish in all types of conditions. Most boats have trouble trolling slowly. When I purchased my new boat, the Blue Max with two 454 engines, trolling slowly was a problem for me. I then added a drift sock to slow down my presentation. Without this tool you will not be successful every trip out.
                      Caution Too Slow May Be Bad
                      If you adjust the idle down too low on your motor, you will most likely have spark plug fouling or lubrication issues. Slow trolling is the way to go in spring or any time the water temperature is below the temp range of the fish you are after. In spring keep it slow, small and bright to increase your catch.
                      Hot spoons for spring
                      I keep talking about Vulcan spoons and more anglers are finding out that this spoon will out produce most spoons in their tackle box. Reasonably priced and nearly indestructible they just keep on producing. The regular size is a good bet for spring. Vulcan spoons are sold by
                      http://www.badgertackle.com
                      Next Up
                      Note don't forget to sharpen those hooks. In the next article I will go into hook types, sharpening techniques and the pros and cons of trebles vs. singles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or web site at
                      http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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                      • #91
                        Fishing Hooks Make the Difference

                        Fishing Hooks Make the Difference

                        By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                        The last article closed with a promise of exploring the different types of hooks I use on Lake Michigan and the techniques I use to sharpen them. Let’s get to it. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                        Inexpensive answer
                        This is a somewhat controversial issue for most fishermen. Everyone has an opinion I can only state what works for me. One thing I believe all will agree on is a sharp hook will catch more fish. There are many types of sharpeners out there. I have tried most of them. A simple $4.00 file is the system I keep coming back to.
                        How to start
                        Start with a check of the point by trying to stick the tip into your thumbnail. A hook that slides off your nail needs some work. Do not shortcut this process 10 hits and 9 fish is a good day 10 hits and 2 fish you wasted your time coming out on the lake. File three sides of the point and test again.
                        Check new hooks
                        New lures do not always have sharp hooks! After you have boated a fish check the hook for sharpness and that it didn't get bent out of shape. A word of caution if you loose the tip of the hook from repeated sharpening it’s time to replace it. This is the first step for any type of fishing and I guarantee it will improve your number of fish in the box.

                        Hook shopping
                        When you shop for hooks buy quality extra strong hooks. It should say 2x or 3x on the package. There are cheap hooks that bend easily and won't hold a sharp point look for the best. A recent trend is to use red hooks this makes sense. Red will trigger most fish to bite. Badger Tackle includes VMC red hooks on all of their spoons. You may purchase them at
                        http://www.badgertackle.com

                        Singles or trebles
                        Always replace hooks with the same size you removed or the action will change. This leads us to the big question single hooks verses trebles. My rule is this stay with the original manufactures recommendation, they do the testing and that's good enough for me. 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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                        • #92
                          Presentation Tips For Cold Water

                          Presentation Tips For Cold Water

                          By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                          In many parts of the world Spring means cold water. As water cools presentation must change for you to be successful. Here are a few tips of mine to get these neutral or less active fish to bite. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                          Cold water…. Hot bite
                          In previous articles we covered general overview and the specifics of temperature breaks and their location. Now let's continue with spring presentation and location. If your season starts early as we do at Blue Max Charters, you will be on Lake Michigan or your favorite water when the surface temperatures are below the preferred temp of your target species. Concentrations of fish on temp breaks can be great for action.
                          Breaks and how to fish them
                          I will cover late May and early June in this article. This time period provides great action on Browns and Rainbows. Browns, at this time of the year, will come on similar presentations, lures and locations as I described in previous articles. Look for temp breaks with bait fish and the warmest water. This time of year you won't find water that is to warm for Browns. I like small Vulcan spoons with silver, green or white blades with green, orange or blue accent stripes. Work the top 25 feet of water.

                          Presentation for cold water
                          I set up 90% of my lines on Church planer boards working the top fifteen feet of water. The remaining 10% of my lines are on diving planers or downriggers for deeper fish. On all my rods in spring, I run a 20-25 pound test monofilament with a 12-pound leader. You need to go with a light leader to produce good action in clear water near the surface. Run the heavier test to a bead chain sinker or barrel swivel then an 8-foot leader with a cross lock snap. I don’t go nuts with Micro Filament or Super Braid lines because I think they are over kill for this application and add to expenses. Starting out this way I will have the rods loaded with the correct line for most presentations through out the season.
                          Speed part of the answer
                          I set my boat speed at 1 to 2 mph. Slow presentation is key in spring. The lures you run is all about the amount of light, baitfish size and the size of fish you are looking to catch. Mix it up! When one lure produces I would double up on that lure. For Coho I prefer 6 inch orange flashers and a variety of different colored flies instead of spoons. Adjust the length of the leader from the flasher to the fly to get the best results. The general rule is one and one half times the length of the flasher. My experience is the colder the water the longer the leader. Longer leaders slow down the action of the fly. There are times when I run up to three times the flasher length. Most Rainbows will also hit the flasher flies. When only looking for Rainbows, substitute bright color spoons for flasher flies. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
                          http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.
                           
                           
                           
                           

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                          • #93
                            More Fish Leadcore Presentation The Answer

                            More Fish Leadcore Presentation The Answer

                            By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                            Here are some ways to present lures in spring. This time of year look for most of your fish in the top 50 feet. Keep your eye on your locator and also work deeper marks when you see them. My experience this time of year is the deeper fish are less active and tend not to bite. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                            Wake up the Fish
                            Most often you will not mark well above 30 feet because those fish are out side the cone of your locator’s transducer. The primary presentations I use at this time of year are Church Tackle Walleye boards, Divers and leadcore. If your budget allows, I would recommend trying a leadcore line set up. This presentation will work when all others are dead.

                            Basics
                            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 Seaguar fluorocarbon and Power Pro 50 pound for a total of anywhere from 300 half core to 600 yards two cores. I run my half cores or five colors on a reel that holds 300 yards of 20 pound test. This is the smallest reel a half core will fit on. Line counter reels are not necessary. Leadcore sinks at a rate of 4-5 feet per color. A half core will run about 24 feet deep.
                            Loading the reel
                            When loading this reel, start with 300 yards of Power Pro 50 pound then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Willis Knot to the leadcore. Finish with a Willis Knot and 30 feet of a 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap. You will need a heavy action 8-foot rod to work with lead. You may run this with a Church Tackle Walleye planer board if you are going to use multiple set ups.
                            Presentation Tips
                            Snap on your favorite lure and let out all of the line to the Power Pro. 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 don’t fish lead early in the morning. I use it when the early bite is over. Some of my biggest fish are caught on this presentation.
                            Hot spoon for Leadcore
                            If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
                            http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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                            • #94
                              Where To Go, Fish Finding Tips

                              Where To Go, Fish Finding Tips

                              By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                              In previous articles we covered basic leadcore. I would recommend trying a leadcore line set up. This presentation will work when all others are dead. In this article I would like to explain where to start if you have not been out for awhile.
                              Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                              Resources
                              I find Internet fish reports invaluable for up to date information look for the most recent reports. If you do not have that option, ask at the local sporting goods stores or the other fisherman at the launch ramps. Marine radio is also helpful if you have one.
                              Tools
                              What if none of these options are available? Then follow the steps I recommend. The tools you will need are depth gauge, temp gauge and fish locator. I key on temp and food. In most cases when you find them you will catch fish. Start with a temp check on the surface. If it is too warm for your target species, you must take a temperature check from the top to the bottom in the water you are in to see if it is cold enough for your target.
                              How To
                              Wind will move water and predicting what it has done to the temperature of the water where you fish is important. The result may be water that is too warm or cold for your target. When you find this scenario move out to deeper or into shallower water. You may need to go to the opposite shore line (when possible) and check again. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the temp. Look for a sharp break in temp from the warm surface to the colder water or colder water to the warmer. I work tackle both slightly above and below the break. Having said that, there are exceptions to every rule. I would also run one line well above and below the temp break. This may be out of the temp you expect to catch fish, but at certain times of the day they will be there.
                              Lures
                              Run your most aggressive lures with the most action on the warm side of the break. In contrast, use slower less aggressive tackle on the extreme cold side. Baitfish are a very important ingredient to this mix. Always fish schools of baitfish when you see them. When you are under power on the way out and see baitfish on the locator get the lines in. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
                              http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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                              • #95
                                Hot Lures For Salmon And Trout

                                Hot Lures For Salmon And Trout

                                By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                                In previous articles we covered where to start if you have not been out for awhile. In this article I would like to help you with what lures to buy at the tackle store for a typical July or August trip on Lake Michigan. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                                Done right flies will work
                                This is a very difficult question. Where I cannot 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.
                                Huge Chinooks favorite lure
                                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 in July or August and consistently catch fish, it would be a flasher and fly. Early and late season Flasher and fly may not be as good
                                Flasher Set Up
                                Flashers come in dozens of colors and sizes. The one I would select would be an 8-inch green blade with silver and glow tape with a green fly. The length of the leader from the flasher to the fly should be give or take 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 movement. The bigger Chinooks may require a longer leader but this is a good starting spot.
                                Spoons are Simpler Answer
                                My number two choice would be two different spoons. For first light fishing I like a Reaper Magnum Fish Fry Glow. This spoon has put more fish in the cooler than any other spoon I run. The other spoon I like is a Vulcan Magnum or Regular Silver with blue and green accent both are available at badgertackle.com. Use Magnum Glow spoons when fishing in over cast situations or below fifty feet down.
                                How and Where
                                Run spoons on your 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. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
                                http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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                                • #96
                                  Speed Advice By Species

                                  Speed Advice By Species

                                  By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                                  In previous articles we covered my three most productive lures for July and August. This is a worth while read go back and check it out. Speed is a key in all types of fishing. Let’s get into it.
                                  Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                                  What fish likes what speed?
                                  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
                                  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 Salmon
                                  Chinook lure speed is 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 2.5 M.P.H. will produce these fish.
                                  Coho Salmon
                                  Coho like slightly warmer water than the Chinooks. I look for water of 52 to 57 degrees for them at 2.7 M.P.H.

                                  Brown Trout
                                  When you are looking for Brown Trout fish 60 degrees and above at 2.5 to 2.7 M.P.H.
                                  Rainbow Trout
                                  This leaves the Rainbows. To catch Rainbows fish 60 degree plus water at 2.7 to 3.5 M.P.H.

                                  Easy indicator
                                  I use the fish I am catching as an indicator to my boat speed. When I 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.

                                  Tool needed for success
                                  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. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
                                  http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    Fish Milwaukee Salmon Too Much Tackle

                                    Fish Milwaukee Salmon Too Much Tackle

                                    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                                    In previous article we covered lure speed as it relates to fish species. Correct speed along with good presentation in the temp location the target prefers will put fish in the cooler. Let's talk about presentation. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                                    How long is long enough?
                                    Many of my fish reports talk about long leads on the downriggers. Early in the morning or low light days 20 feet behind the ball on the downrigger is fine. On clear blue skies late in the day cut down on the number of rods and run long leads behind the ball.
                                    Strange happenings or not?
                                    Has this happen to you? You start an afternoon trip clear skies lots of sun set the first line and you got a fish on before you can set the next line. You boat that fish get all the lines in and no more action. I believe too much tackle turns the fish off.
                                    Well what do you do?
                                    No one wants to run one line! Spread your presentation and go long. If the temp break is at 60 feet and you run 4 downriggers run the outside or corner riggers at 60 and center riggers at 90 and 30 feet. Experiment with the lead. If you are marking fish and not getting hits lengthen the distance from the lure to the weight.
                                    SWR?
                                    I run what some call a SWR. This consists of a two to five color leadcore. This presentation may be 250 feet back running 10 to 25 below the weight or ball. This is a killer stealth approach to for very difficult conditions.

                                    Getting the edge with electronics!!
                                    No two days are the same. Your ability to evaluate the changes will lead to your success. To complete this article you must know what tool will give us the most reliable measurement of depth and temp. A great product out in the market place for this purpose is the Smart Troll. This unit offers a sender/sensor that you connects to any of your presentations ( inline ) giving you depth and temp at the lure to depths of 300 feet. This information is sent to an easy to read display. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
                                    http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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                                    • #98
                                      Fishing Downriggers 101

                                      Fishing Downriggers 101

                                      By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                                      Now is the time to think about changes to make you more productive this season. There are many ways to go on this subject. Over the next several articles I will try to cover topics like rigging, tackle and presentation. My goal is to provide information, which should lead to more fish and less slow fishing. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                                      Let’s get started with rigging.
                                      This is a very large topic that needs to be broken down into smaller subjects. Downriggers are a good place to start. This is one of the most basic of presentations and yet is very easy to get confused about. The use of this tool is limited only by your imagination. For every method I write about here some of you know dozens of other ways to work a downrigger.

                                      Basic downriggers
                                      The basic concept is a wire line with a weight on one end with a release to hold a lure at a given depth. The other end is a spool or wheel to hold the wire and facilitate the raising or lowering of the weight. Downriggers are made in manual or electric. There are many brands out in the market place and I think they are all good.

                                      Electric and manual options
                                      The high-speed electrics will give you an advantage when you are on a hot bite. For the average fisherman manuals will get the job done. There are all kinds of additional features you can add to your downrigger. An important one is temperature at the ball to tell you when your lure is in the temp for your target. This can also be added to any downrigger later. Cameras to watch lure action and the attitude of the fish. All the extras may or may not get you more fish depending on your ability to interpret the information provided.

                                      Setup and tune up
                                      Basic set up is to let out your fishing spoon behind the boat and attach it to the weight. 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 with the clip to attach the weight as one unit. The Blacks releases are completely adjustable to set the hook when the fish bites and never tangle or wear the line.
                                      Weight selection is also important
                                      Things to consider are size, shape, construction and color. For my corner downriggers a flat weight called a pancake with a large adjustable fin is the way to go. When the fin is correctly tuned it will spread your presentation and avoid tangles. For the two inside downriggers I prefer a weight that tracks well and looks like a fish.
                                      How heavy?
                                      I use 10-12 pound weights when fishing deep over 100 feet and go to 8 pounds for shallow presentation. Attach the weight to the cable with a Clincher. This plastic termination for the end of the cable allow you to attach a snap for the ball without crimps. The clincher or similar types will save cable fatigue and lost downrigger weights. I will finish on this subject in the next article.
                                      Buy Four And Get One Free
                                      Badger Tackle has a promotion for a free spoon. Call me anytime to help with your spoon selection. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout for shore anglers or trolling and jigging in 2011 go to
                                      http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                                      Comment


                                      • #99
                                        Downrigger Diversity Improves Your Success

                                        Downrigger Diversity Improves Your Success
                                        By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                                        Let’s continue with downriggers. In the last article we covered the hardware, weights, releases and manual or electric models. Now we will go into using this tool in many ways. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                                        The basic presentation
                                        The basic presentation is to set the lead by allowing the lure to trail behind the boat as the boat goes anywhere from 1 to 3.5 miles per hour. The distance the lure is run behind the weight of the downrigger will change depending on a large and ever changing set of conditions.
                                        Length will change
                                        At or before first light of the day, and again after sunset a short lead of 20 feet is the most effective. The commotion of many lures running side by side will draw fish to the boat. As the sun comes up and the bite slows down, you should consider increasing the distance from the weight to the lure.
                                        Environmental Issues VS Lead Length
                                        Zebra and Quagga mussels have taken much of the color out of the water on and a long lead is required for spooky fish on sunny calm days. This is very important when you are working the top forty feet of water. The short lead is also very good when fishing deeper than 75 feet down. There are lures that must be run shorter than 20 feet to work. Rotators, flashers and dodgers like to run 12 to 15 feet behind the weight.
                                        SWR or ?
                                        SWR is another presentation to run on a downrigger. SWR or secret weapon rig is a rod with two or three colors of leadcore line. The advantage to this set up is it runs below the weight to offer a lure in an environment 100 feet behind the boat.
                                        Down & Outs
                                        For many years some fisherman have been using down and outs. This is a small diving disc adjusted to run to the left or right of the boats path to provoke a hit. Set up the disc as you would for working it on a solo line and attach it 20 feet behind the weight.
                                        Sliders Explained
                                        In addition to the standard rigging, sliders are a popular method of getting more lines in the water. After the main line is set to any depth a six foot piece of monofilament with a lure on one end and a snap on the other is attached to the main line and allowed to slide down to about midway from the surface and the bottom lure.
                                        Stacking Lines
                                        With a downrigger you can also run a stack line to offer more lures at more potential depths. The way this is rigged is to set your main line as usual lower it to 15 feet and add another line by means of an additional release. My experience with this has been outstanding. Two lures together are very effective when working deep lines. I like a dodger or flasher 10 feet behind the weight on the bottom line and a spoon 30 feet back on the top stack line.
                                        Use your imagination, The variations of downrigger presentation are end less.
                                        Buy Four And Get One Free
                                        Badger Tackle has a promotion for a free spoon. Call me anytime to help with your spoon selection. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout for shore anglers or trolling and jigging in 2011 go to
                                        http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

                                        Comment


                                        • Fishing Diving Planers

                                          Fishing Diving Planers

                                          By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
                                          Most boats run diving planers like Dipsy Divers, Slide Divers, Deep Sixes and similar divers. This is a very simple tool that is not run to its full potential by most fishermen. Here’s how and when. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
                                          The Arsenal
                                          In the last article we covered some of the many ways to use a downrigger. Let us continue with rigging presentation. The tools out there are endless. It is a fisherman with a full arsenal of presentations that finds action when fishing gets tough. It is my experience that on any given day one presentation will produce better than the others.
                                          Diving Planer Types
                                          Most boats run diving planers like Dipsy Divers, Slide Divers, Deep Sixes and similar divers. This is a very simple tool that is not run to its full potential by most fishermen.
                                          The set up
                                          Start with a clear mono or fluorocarbon 25-pound line one and a half times the length of the rod you are using. On one end tie a size 5 cross lock snap to attach the lure. Tie the other end to a snubber.
                                          Snubber or not to Snubber?
                                          Definitely use a snubber. They come in many colors. I prefer a clear product made by Opti-Dodger. The snubber will absorb the shock of the strike and set the hook. The snubber is then attached to the diver.
                                          What line to run with divers
                                          On the release side of the diver tie your line from the rod. You can use a variety of different lines. The standard set up is 20 to 30 pound mono. Some other options are 50-pound Spider Wire Super Braid and stranded wire. The benefits of these options are the smaller diameter of this product allows the diver to reach greater depths.
                                          Rod type is important
                                          An 8 to 10 foot medium heavy action rod with a line counter reel completes this rig. They are often called poor man's downrigger. When asked by beginning trollers on what to buy I always recommend two diver rigs. One for port one for starboard.
                                          Pros and cons of divers
                                          They will take lures to a prescribed depth and repeat it over and over again. The disadvantage to this rig is it does not have a release and offers some resistance when reeling in fish.
                                          How deep are they running?
                                          All divers come with a sheet of paper to tell you how many feet of line to let out to attain the depth you wish to fish. There is also a base plate adjustment to make the diver go to the left or right side of the boat out of the boat’s path. When fishing calm days in clear water divers offer a stealth presentation. Line counter reels give you total control of depth for repeatability. For those who do not have line counters I would measure the distance from the reel to the first eye on your rod. When setting lines pull line from the reel to the first eye. If it is 2 feet multiply the number of pulls by 2 to calculate your amount of line out. Then refer to diver depth chart to figure diver depth.
                                          One more Option Flat lines
                                          To finish this article I will discuss flat lining. In this presentation you troll free lines off the back of the stern with little or no weight. You are restricted to one or two lines to avoid tangles. The advantage is to spot lures far from the boat 50 to 300 feet back. This is deadly when temperature of the water for your target is right on the surface. Spooky fish like Rainbows and Brown Trout will hit midday on flat lines. My flat line rods are spooled with 12-pound test line or you may use a small barrel swivel and a 12-pound leader to your heavier downrigger line. Use a good quality size 7 cross lock snap swivel to attach your lure. To add a little depth to this presentation use a bead chain keel sinker from 3/8 to 2 ounces eight feet ahead of the snap.
                                          Badger Tackle has a promotion for a free spoon.
                                          Call me anytime to help with your spoon selection. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout for shore anglers or trolling and jigging in 2011 go to
                                          http://www.badgertackle.com 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© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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