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    Charter Fishing Milwaukee Spring Salmon And Trout

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    The start of the 2006 Lake Michigan Season is right around the corner and now is the time to think about early location and tackle. In this article, I would like to share with you some of my keys to finding fish and the hottest set ups for very early presentations. I have been a charter captain for over twenty years and these techniques have produced year after year. I am confident that you will achieve success applying these classic tips.
    I start my season in early April and the most important factor at this time is temperature. I recommend a must item for you is a temp gauge for the surface and a notebook. Your gauge can be a simple hand held thermometer or a unit built into your fish locator. The notebook is all about whatís working and whatís not. I find if I can avoid duplicating non-productive techniques, I will improve my catches and enjoyment. Keeping record of your bad and good days is key to moving to the top of the list as an above average in your sport. I write down the date, time of day, conditions, cloudy, clear, calm, rough, port or lake G.P.S. numbers if you have them. Record this on every fish or at least at the end of the day. On a hot bite, I usually get caught up on my notes as soon as I can to avoid lost detail.
    Spring action can be hot. Think about it, the temperature of the water is in the 40 degree range, and with a few exceptions, the fish we will find the most active are on the top five to ten feet. Well lets get started. Itís always a good idea to check the Wisconsin Outdoor Guide for up to date information on whatís biting. I also check at local tackle stores and Internet reports. If these resources were not available, I would then start with temperature. This holds true if you are in a boat or on shore. Find the warmest temp you can. Sometimes I am fishing a temp break of only a degree or two. Donít rush this process. Haste to get your lines in non-productive water is just a waste of time. 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 Wisconsinís shore, a light east wind does wonders to improving spring action. The reason I used most of this article on temp is it helps eliminate a lot of slow fishing time. Temperature is 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 spring setups. If possible, I would max out the number of rods, because more is better this time of year. I fish all my lines on planner boards. Find one you like and run all the same type. I like crank baits, jointed minnow type lures and some spoons. These will cover most fish. The water is too cold for flasher flies and they will be used when the water warms to over fifty degrees. When fishing early in the season, fish metabolism or body temp is very low. I run my boat speed between 1.0 and 2.0 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 white and black or silver lures. Hotter colors work best in cloudy water. You canít go wrong with chartreuse in both conditions. The new glow in dark lures are an excellent option. The old rule of thumb applies; bright lures bright days, dark lures dark days. I cannot cover all the bases in this limited space so I will go into more detail in future issues. Good luck 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

  • #2
    Fishing Charters Milwaukee Lak

    Fishing Charters Milwaukee Lake Michigan Temperature Is
    Key #2
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    In the last article, we started with the Importance of location, tackle, temperature and good record keeping. I also covered some of my key ways to find fish in early spring on Lake Michigan and the hot set ups to keep the rods dancing.
    Let us now go into more detail on location of temperature breaks and how to work them. The first and perhaps most important is how to find these sometimes subtle temperature changes. Your primary tool, and one you cannot do with out, is a surface temp gauge. I use the one built into my fish locator. It also has a graph to show the temp history over the last hour. This may not be necessary but it can help when mapping temp over a given area. The big pond is very cold in April and May also some years even into June. Your ability to monitor temp and stay in as close to the target species preferred temp will make or break your day on the lake. Let us assume most of the lake is in the forty-degree range and your target species is Coho, browns or Chinooks. All of these fish are looking for two things, temperature as close to their preferred range and food. I will go into food and or forage in another article for now letís focus on temperature. Out of Milwaukee we are fortunate to have several rivers flowing into a large harbor. The rivers warm earlier than the lake and the mouth of a river is a place to start with a temp check. In addition, you should be checking each of the three gaps in the break wall that creates the harbor. A south wind will push the warm water out the north gap. This will turn the fish on in this area while the south gap is too cold for productive fishing. The way I start any day is to work the warmest water or water nearest to preferred temp I can find. After working this water, I move to cooler water. Sharp temp breaks are usually better at holding fish then gradual changes. Always consider the wind direction, not only when you are fishing but what it has been doing over the last several days. A light east wind on our western shore moves warmer surface water on shore and contributes to a rise in temp and a good bite close to the shoreline. All harbors with rivers have some current flow and the wind determines the direction that warmer water will flow when leaving the harbor. Fish that warmer water and into the cooler lake water keeping an eye on your temp gauge. When you get action note your location by land sightings and temp. Stay with that temperature to find active fish. If you have worked the harbor and gaps with no or slow action, look for temp breaks on the lake created by shifts in wind direction. Another option is to check tight along the shoreline in protected bays. At times I will run my lures in the shallow warmer water on side planners keeping the boat out in the deeper cooler water. Another area to check out is any warm water discharged from power plants. We have this opportunity south of Milwaukee by twelve miles at Oak Creek. I will go into details of spring lure selection and presentation 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

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    • #3
      Charter fishing Milwaukee Lake

      Charter fishing Milwaukee Lake Michigan
      Lure set ups Tips #4
      By Capt. Jim Hirt
      The last article was a general discussion of spring presentation with a focus on planer boards, lines and terminal tackle. This was good information for a starting point but you will need more information to produce every trip out. In the next several articles I would like to help you define when to use spoons, crankbaits, flasher flies, dodger flies, squids and a variety of other lures. The way I decide what to use is determined by many variables. Letís look at each of them separately. What we are looking for is the right color, size and lure action that will get your target species to strike. There are basically 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. Letís 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 youíre wrong you may not be in the game. 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. 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. 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. Medium to large spoons, Opti-dodgers with flies, or spin-n-glows and lake trolls work most days. Look for temps below 48 degrees for Lake Trout. I will get into downrigger presentation in another article. The next mini set will run in water above the deep lines. Fish the 48-58 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 opti-dodgers, flashers and flies with a long lead spoon or two. The balance of my lines will run in 59 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. I was not on the lake yet this season. I will start a fish report as soon as we get out. Give me a call on the lake to exchange information. Good luck 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

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      • #4
        Fishing Lake Michigan Milwauke

        Fishing Lake Michigan Milwaukee Lure Presentation

        By Captain Jim Hirt
        The last several articles we covered some options for spring presentation with a focus on temperature, planer boards, lines, terminal tackle and lure selection. If you would be interested in this information, contact Southeastern Wisconsin Outdoor Guide for back issues. 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. 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. Please read article #4 for break down of color by light. 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 point 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. If you adjust the idle down too low on your motor, you will most likely have spark plug fouling or worse. 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. 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. Good luck 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

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        • #5
          Lake Michigan Fishing Charters

          Lake Michigan Fishing Charters Hooks Make the Difference

          By 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. 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. Start with a check of the point by trying to stick the tip into you 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. 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 itís 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. 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 in theory this makes sense. I do not have an opinion on this. I will be testing this on some baits this season. 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

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          • #6
            Fishing Charters Milwaukee May

            Fishing Charters Milwaukee May and June Presentation Tips #7
            By Capt. Jim Hirt
            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 when the surface temperatures are below the preferred temp of your target species.
            I will cover late May and early June in this article. This time period provides great action on Brown trout, Chinooks, Coho and Rainbows. Browns, at this time of the year, will come on similar presentations, lures and locations as I described in the last 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 spoons with silver, green or white blades with green, orange or blue accent stripes. Work the top 25 feet of water. I set up 90% of my lines on 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 donít 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. 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. There are times when I run up to three times the flasher length. Most Rainbows will hit the flasher flies. When only looking for Rainbows, substitute bright color spoons for flasher flies. The Chinooks should also take spoons. 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

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            • #7
              Salmon Fishing Milwaukee Prese

              Salmon Fishing Milwaukee Presentation Tips #8
              By Capt. Jim Hirt
              In previous articles we covered spring presentation and location. As we go into summer our presentation evolves to follow the temperature of the fish you are targeting. This time of year look for most of your fish in the top 40 feet. Keep your eye on your locater 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 out side the cone of your locaterís transducer. The primary presentations I use at this time are planer boards, dipsey divers and leadcore. 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. Starting out this way I will have the rods loaded with the correct line for most presentations later in the season. I use a standard dipsey set up with an interesting twist. Opti-Dodger has a clear snubber, which I run right behind the dipsey and then 8 feet of 25-pound mono to the snap. The purpose of the snubber is to reduce the shock of the strike on the monofilament and it stretches initially to recoil and set the hook into the fish I am almost 100% on the number of hits to fish boated with set up. When I get those ugly days that the action slows I throw in my leadcores. It is not a presentation that is fun to reel in fish on. 500 feet of line is a lot of cranking. Leadcore will produce when nothing else will. I will go into details on set up and running lead in the next article. 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

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              • #8
                Lake Michigan Fishing Charter

                Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Milwaukee Leadcore Presentation
                Tips #9
                By Capt. Jim Hirt
                In previous articles we covered some ways to present lures in early summer. 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 out side the cone of your locatorís transducer. The primary presentations I use at this time of year are planer boards, dipsy 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. 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 half core to 600 yards two cores. I run my half cores or five colors on Diawa 47H. 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. 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. You may run this with a 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 donít 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. 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

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                • #9
                  Fishing Milwaukee Cold Start F

                  Fishing Milwaukee Cold Start Finding Fish
                  Tip #10
                  By 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. 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. 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. East wind will bring warm water into Milwaukee. The result may be water that is too warm for your target. When you find this scenario move out to deeper water 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. 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. 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. 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

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                  • #10
                    Charter Fishing Milwaukee Hot

                    Charter Fishing Milwaukee Hot Lures For Salmon

                    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. 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. 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 and sizes. The one I would select would be an 8-inch Luhr Jensen green 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. My number two choice would be two different spoons. For first light fishing I like a Fishlander ultra green glow in the easter egg color size number two. This spoon has put more fish in the cooler than any other spoon I run. The other spoon I like is a Northern King silver with blue and green accent and black dots. Use this lure when fishing in over cast situations or below fifty feet down. Run a spoon on your dipsey 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. 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

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                    • #11
                      Fishing Charters Milwaukee Lur

                      Fishing Charters Milwaukee Lure Speed By Species

                      In previous articles we covered my three most productive lures for July and August. I will give a quick recap for those who missed the last issue. My first choice is an 8-inch Luhr Jensen flasher green 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. My number two and three choice would be two different spoons. For first light fishing I like a Fishlander ultra green glow in the easter egg color size number two. This spoon has put more fish in the cooler than any other spoon I run. The other spoon I like is a Northern King silver with blue and green accent and black dots. Use this lure when fishing in over cast situations or below fifty feet down. I hope this helps when you go shopping. A good way to not miss the info in Southeastern Wisconsin Outdoor Guide is to subscribe. To contact them look for info on page #2. 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 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 like slightly warmer water than the Chinooks. I look for water of 52 to 57 degrees for them at 2.7 M.P.H. When you are looking for Brown Trout fish 60 degrees and above at 2.5 to 2.7 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 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 new 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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Fish Milwaukee Salmon Too Much

                        Fish Milwaukee Salmon Too Much Tackle

                        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. My latest fish report talks about long leads on the downrigger. How long is long enough? Early in the morning or low light days 20 feet behind the ball is fine. On clear blue skies late in the day cut down on the number of rods and run long. 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. I run what some call a SWR. This consists of a two to five color leadcore. This presentation may be 250 feet back running ten to 25 below the weight. This is a killer stealth approach to for very difficult conditions. For more information on set up of leadcore see my article #9 at http://www.wisconsinoutdoor.com/lmfishingtips.htm Fishing 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 new product out in the market place for this purpose is the Depth Raider. This unit offers a probe that you connects to a special downrigger cable they provide giving you speed and temp at the lure to depths of 200 feet. This information is sent to an easy to read display. 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

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                        • #13
                          Fishing Charters Milwaukee Fal

                          Fishing Charters Milwaukee Fall Salmon Habits

                          In previous article we covered lure presentation on clear days. Now let us switch gears and discuss location and presentation for Salmon in the last several months of their life. I will just group them together and call them spawners. For the fisherman in our area this includes Coho and Chinook. On or about the third week in July to the end of our season and beyond these fish are looking for a place to drop their eggs. The active feeding time of their life is coming to an end. The good news is they will still hit lures on what I call a reflex reaction. As the spawners start their quest for the perfect spot they will move from where you would normally look for them on baitfish. The end of July and early August fish the 55 to 70 degree water in depths of 100 feet or more. As the season progresses they start to move closer to natal-release sites. The four-year-old kings definitely like color. I like spoons or attractors and flies in green, orange, chartreuse, red and silver. As we get into August most of these fish will be suspended in the 60 degrees or warmer water. In the month of August I look for the biggest kings in 60 to 90 feet of water. The lure action changes everyday experiment with size, speed and color. One day the fish like flashers or dodgers the next its spoons. September the fish start to go up the river. Look for them in 50 to 40 feet of water, in the harbor gaps and mouths of the rivers. Dreamweaver 90002s plugs out preformed J-plugs four to one again this season for big kings. Try them all season long you won't be disappointed. When these fish get into the harbor there are three lures I run. Large silver or glow in the dark spoons, Dreamweaver plugs and size 3 Willy lures made by Hagen's Tackle. I just discovered the Willy lures this year and they caught fish on days when all other lures failed to produce. 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

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                          • #14
                            Fishing Charters Milwaukee Dow

                            Fishing Charters Milwaukee Downriggers 101

                            Now is the time to think about changes to make you more productive next 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. Letís 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. 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. 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 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. Basic set up is to let out your lure 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 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. I use 10-12 pound weights when fishing deep and go to 8 pounds for shallow presentation. The best source I have found for quality weights at a reasonable price is Off Shore Weights ask for Ralph 414-425-7663. I will finish on this subject in the next article. 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

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                            • #15
                              Milwaukee fishing Downrigger D

                              Milwaukee fishing Downrigger Diversity Tips #16

                              By Capt. Jim Hirt

                              Now is the time to think about changes to make you more productive next 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.
                              Letís 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. The basic presentation is to set the lead by allowing the lure to trail behind the boat as the boat goes anywhere from 1.5 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. At or before first light of the day, and again after sunset a short lead of 15 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. Zebra mussels have taken much of the color out of the water 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 15 feet to work. Rotators, flashers and dodgers like to run 8 to 10 feet behind the weight. 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. 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. In addition to the standard rigging, sliders are a popular method of getting more lines in the water. After the main line is set 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. 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. The variations of downrigger presentation are end less. 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

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                              • #16
                                Fishing Charters Wisconsin Lak

                                Fishing Charters Wisconsin Lake Michigan Diving Planers Article #17

                                By Capt. Jim Hirt

                                Now is the time to think about changes to make your trips more productive next 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.
                                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 or other will produce better than the other. 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. 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. 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. 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 20-pound Micro-filament, Uni-filament and stranded wire. The benefits of these options are the smaller diameter of this product allows the diver to reach greater depths. 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. 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. 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 side of the boat out of the boatís 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.
                                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. 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

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                                • #17
                                  Lake Michigan Charters Wiscons

                                  Lake Michigan Charters Wisconsin Leadcore Rigging Article #18

                                  By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                  Now is the time to think about changes to make your trips more productive next 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.
                                  In the last article we covered rigging diving planers and flat lines. Let us continue with rigging presentations. The tools out there are endless. Being flexible on the slow days is the answer to more fish. It is a fisherman with a full arsenal of presentations that finds action when fishing gets tough. The hot rig for the last several years has been leadcore. With the influx of Zebra Muscles the waters of the Great Lakes have become very clear. In my opinion the toughest conditions are calm clear sunny days. On these types of days leadcore is the way to go. I do not recommend this presentation for first light it is far to time consuming to run during a hot bite. After the early morning bite or about two hours after sunrise I break out the leadcore. The basics are reel, rod, line and planer board. The cost of a rig will start at about $150.
                                  The reel you use is based on the amount of leadcore line you want to run. The rule of thumb is 4-5 feet of depth to every color of leadcore. When your target fish is 15 feet down you should run 3 or 4 colors of leadcore. Some of you may be thinking why is there a variation of 4 to 5 feet per color. The factors that affect this are type of lure and boat speed. This line is graduated in 10-yard sections each having a different color. When selecting a reel purchase one large enough to handle the amount of colors you would like to run. Leadcore is a bulky line and most likely will not fit on the reels you are currently using. Find a tackle store that deals with this product to ensure a correct purchase. Popular set ups are 3 colors, 5 colors and 8 colors.
                                  Rods for leadcore need to have plenty of backbone. I use a heavy action 8-foot rod. This should give you the power needed to reel in 500 feet of line, planer board and 20-pound Kings.
                                  The line comes in many test weights. 27 or 36 pound is what I run it all has the same sink rate. You will also need a backing line of mono, braided Dacron or one of the super lines like Powerpro. From the leadcore to the lure use a 20-pound fluorocarbon line.
                                  To avoid tangles when running multiple leadcores you will need a planer board for each rig. The purpose of a planer board is to move the line off to the side of the boat away from other lines. Several manufactures have boards for leadcore. Church has a walleye board also you may use Yellowbird's big bird and Offshore boards.
                                  When loading this reel, start with 100 yards of a backing line 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 fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap.
                                  To run this rig, snap on your favorite lure and let out all of the line to the backing. Then install your board on the backing 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. Some of my biggest fish were caught on this presentation this year. The good news is it produces fish all day long. 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

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                                  • #18
                                    Lake Michigan Charters Wiscons

                                    Lake Michigan Charters Wisconsin Rigging For Success Article #19

                                    By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                    In three months we will be out on Lake Michigan. Now is the time to think about changes to make your trips more productive next 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.
                                    In the last article we covered Leadcore rigging and presentation. Let us continue with rigging. The top fishermen know that when the action stops or never starts its time to spread the tackle and work all the different types of fish. If this sounds strange, you may not have considered that each species of fish likes different lures, presentations and temperatures. When I go out on any trip I start with what I believe is the hot set up based on the last trip. This works most of the time but when it doesn't I spread my tackle out to cover all the types of fish. I usually fish 100 feet of water or more because most days all five types of fish are there. This gives me the most possible opportunities to produce fish. Deep water on summer days holds temperature changes from top to bottom creating the correct conditions for all Lake Michigan game fish. There are also some fish that do not hold very often in less than 100 feet of water. When talking to other fishermen they tell me they have never caught a Rainbow or a Lake Trout. This is because they do not fish all potential depths in deep water. As a general rule Rainbows like the warm surface water and Lakers prefer the cold bottom in 100 feet or more.
                                    When I spread tackle out, I run a mix of different lures doing what I call mini sets. This is what I might do in a summer presentation. I split up my rods into three mini sets. 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. 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. Medium to large spoons, Opti-dodgers with flies, or spin-n-glows and lake trolls work most days. Look for temps below 48 degrees for Lake Trout. The next mini set will run in water above the deep lines. Fish the 48-58 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 opti-dodgers, flashers and flies with a long lead spoon or two. The balance of my lines will run in 59 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 plenty of light should have the lures with fastest action and brightest colors. When the fishing gets tough spread out your presentation and go deep. 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

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                                    • #19
                                      Charter Fishing Wisconsin By T

                                      Charter Fishing Wisconsin By The Numbers

                                      By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                      Finding and consistently producing fish is the goal of every fisherman every trip out on the water. The question is how can it be done? This article will communicate the importance of G.P.S. for filling the cooler and returning home safely.
                                      For those of you not familiar with G.P.S. I will give you a brief overview of the product. Global Positioning System is a series of satellites that circle the earth each with a distinctive signal. This signal is sent by the satellites to a receiver. The receiver will then tell you your location on the earth in longitude and latitude. The accuracy of this information is within 15 feet. The price of a G.P.S. can range from $80 to several thousand dollars. The more expensive units will offer more graphic information that makes them easier to use, although the accuracy is the same. My experience with both high and low priced units tells me I do not need an expensive unit. The key to successful operation is learning how to apply the extensive information available.
                                      The question is how do I use my location as provided by G.P.S. to fill the cooler and return home safely? Letís start with safety. You should always enter in the memory of your unit the spot where you put your boat in the water. We will call this your home waypoint. Most units will store 500 or more waypoints. Assuming there is no shallow water or obstacles like land in your path, use your home waypoint and compass to find your way home. Fog, darkness or bad weather does not effect the operation of this unit. In the event of an emergency you could call someone with your coordinates and they would know where to find you. In the more sophisticated units a map showing your position with the depth of water at your location is displayed. The use of this information is critical when working bottom structure for fish.
                                      There are many ways to use G.P.S. for finding fish. On my boat we log the coordinates of every fish caught on a sheet of paper. These coordinates are used to return to the same spot day after day. After a fish hits a lure it makes perfect sense to turn the boat around to try the same spot again. Many times we will get another fish on immediately as we pass the same location. When no additional fish are taken, we will circle in that area using the original coordinates as the center of our search. I usually enter one of the areas where action has been very good as a waypoint in the G.P.S. for future trips. Working with latitude and longitude numbers takes a little practice, stay with it the work is worth it. There are chart plotter units that draw a line showing the path of the boat on the display screen to simplify this process. As I mentioned earlier a chart plotter G.P.S. with a map chip for your area will give you your position relative to water depth, land features and harbor entrances. I use the water depth when I follow a bottom contour for fish holding near the bottom. Lake trout are known for staying near the bottom. This technique is very effective for them.
                                      On the Great Lakes we often fish in areas where wrecks are located. The location of wrecks entered in the G.P.S. will save a lot of lost tackle. It will allow you to fish near wrecks without the fear of hanging up on them. I like to enter the location of schools of bait fish you see on the locator when under power heading out to a spot or trolling for further investigation. On a trip that starts before daylight, you must have G.P.S. to pin point the location of yesterdayís hot first light action.
                                      I could go on and on about the importance of knowing precisely where you are and where you want to be. Some would consider G.P.S. a luxury or not needed. I find the information this unit supplies as invaluable and you will too. 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

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                                      • #20
                                        What Lures Do The Milwaukee Ch

                                        What Lures Do The Milwaukee Charters Use?

                                        By Capt. Jim Hirt
                                        Charter captains have been known for guarding their secret lures for as long as there have been charters. Now is the time for passing on that information. This article contains detailed descriptions of the hottest producer for salmon and trout where ever you fish for them.
                                        I am not concerned that exchanging information with other anglers will in anyway affect the available number of fish or impact my charter business. Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes are a put and take fishery. The salmon and trout in the lakes are raised for stocking in hatcheries. Where there is some natural reproduction the majority of the fish do not reproduce. They live their normal life cycle and die.
                                        In recent years I have found a definite trend in tackle among the most productive charters. This is not to say that on any given day another piece of tackle cannot out produce the captain's favorite. It is also my experience that the right lure presented incorrectly will not produce the desired results. Please keep in mind that the lure I am about to discuss is very temperamental to speed and presentation.
                                        The lure I am talking about is the attractor and fly. Some of you will say I can't catch crap on them. In this article I will try to remove some of the mystery. Attractors come in a variety of types. Some manufactures call them rotators or dodgers or flashers. All of them are very speed sensitive. They must run at the correct speed to produce!! The good news is some work well at faster speeds and some at slower speeds. For this reason you may find a combination that works for you, I run them all. Because they are speed sensitive when trolling you must have a tool for measuring your speed at the lure. A new 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. Most of these attractors come with instructions as to how fast to run them. That is where I would start. Generally speaking dodgers run at speeds from 1.0 to 2.2 miles per hour. Opti-dodger makes a product I have good success with it works well even at higher speeds. Flashers need a little quicker pace to work some where between 1.8 and 2.6. Rotators, like Spin Doctors, cover 2.0 to as fast as 3.5. The trick to consistently catching fish with this tackle is speed and the distance from the attractor to the fly.
                                        Flies come in every color of the rainbow and a variety of sizes. In the area I fish the two hottest colors are all the shades of green and all the shades of white. Size does not seem to be that important. Most of the flies sold locally are about 3 inches long. There are dozens of manufactures or you can tie your own and save a lot of money. I will cover fly tying in another article. The distance from the very end of the hook to the tip of the loop, which attaches it to the attractor, is critical to success. On any day it varies from 18 to 30 inches. So where do you start? I start with 23 inches. You can go longer on some of your attractors and shorter on others and see what happens. The smaller fish like the short leads and big Chinooks like longer leads. Water temperatures also come into play. Fish like Lake Trout in very cold water like longer leads. Think of it like this, the longer the distance from the fly to the attractor the slower the speed of the fly. Day in and day out the main stay of the most productive charters are attractors and flies. 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

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