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Thread: Wisconsin

  1. #77
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    Default Fishing Milwaukee Cold Start Finding Fish

    Fishing Milwaukee Cold Start Finding Fish
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    Resources
    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.
    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
    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.
    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. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at
    http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2010, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  2. #76
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    Default Fishing Leadcore Presentation Is On Fire!!

    Fishing Leadcore Presentation Is On Fire!!
    By 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. 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, 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.
    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. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2010, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

  3. #75
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    Default Catching Moody Fish

    Catching Moody Fish
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    From time to time we all can use a little help. These changes in thinking or additions to your fishing arsenal will improve your success. The speed of your bait whether it is a spoon, jig, or crankbait is important. The right lure at the wrong speed will be less productive.

    The correct speed is dictated by many variables.

    Always consider the mood of fish and the environment they are in. This will help you find the best speed. Mood is defined by weather and the time of year. High and low barometric pressure are a part of the weather question. They both have a significant impact on the mood of all fish. Activity level in fish will change with the movement or lack of barometer movement. You must know what the weather has been preceding your fishing trip. This information will set the stage giving you the information you can use to your advantage. A clear blue high sky after a low pressure front is every anglers nightmare. Fish get spooky, neutral or negative in these conditions.

    A slow spot on the spot presentation is key.

    Inactivity is normal, pick your favorite locations on any body of water and look for your target species in the next break to deeper water. Work smaller spoons, lures or baits in a slow presentation. If motor trolling is your method of fishing use small spoons. Present them at slow speeds and fish them near the bottom. On the other hand steady barometric pressure for an extended period of time with overcast sky conditions is time to grab your pole and to head for the water. Don't miss these ideal days. The fish will be up on the shallow flats, near shore and active. Pound these fish with big baits and fast erratic actions.

    Work hard, work fast and cover a lot of water.

    This sets up a great opportunity for trolling big water. The correct lure color for overcast will put more fish in the boat. Silver or gold has long been the standard until resent years. Cutting edge anglers are now going to glow in the dark lures. The visibility of glow spoons far exceeds the old standards. Badger Tackle has great line up of glow spoons. For the anglers that run a boat speed from 2.0 to 3.5 MPH I would recommend the Vulcan magnum. This is a tough heavy weight spoon with a slim profile that fits well with most freshwater and saltwater forage base sizes. The other one I like is the Reaper. Run the regular size on clear calm days and magnum at first light, overcast or whenever you are down deep or in a low light presentation. The Reaper is a wide spoon with a crippled baitfish action for trolling at speeds of 1.0 to 2.5. The Striper and Salmon fishermen say it is a perfect match to the Shad and Alewife forage. Both are exclusively sold at http://www.badgertackle.com/ you won't be disappointed.

    Time of year is also to be considered.

    Time of year is also to be considered when trying to catch moody fish. As the seasons change so do the temperatures of the water. Fish are cold blooded and their metabolism changes as their body temp changes. Most anglers know there are cold and warm water species of fish. Which means all fish if given a choice will find their preferred temperature range. In fact too high or too low beyond their limits will cause stress and eventual death. In large fresh water lakes, the time of day isn't nearly as critical as locating the depth of the preferred temperature level for the fish species you're seeking. Lakes layer into three separate layers of water in the spring and stay that way until cold weather. The middle layer, where there is a larger concentration of dissolved oxygen, baitfish and therefore predator fish, is called the thermocline. It can usually be found any where from ten feet to the bottom. This is a temperature layer as well as an oxygen-saturated layer and fish will relate to it as both a comfort zone and one where their body metabolism functions the most efficiently. These fish will be suspended and feeding on alewives, smelt or other forage fish.


    The peak feeding and optimum temperatures

    The peak feeding and optimum temperature for Coho and Chinook is 52° with an active range from 44° to 58°. For lake trout, the peak feeding and optimum temperature is 51° with activity from 43° to 53°. Fish will rarely venture out of these zones, once stratification has taken place, except to catch a meal and then will quickly return to it. One thing to remember when fishing the thermocline is that its depth can change from day to day because of wind and wave action. It may be several feet deeper or shallower from one day to the next so you'll have to relocate it each time you go out. Having said all that, when fishing in water temperatures near the bottom of your target species preferred temp, adjust to small spoons in a slow presentation. At their optimum temp go aggressive with large baits in quick presentations. Most anglers under estimate the speed of their quarry. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2010, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  4. #74
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    Default Salmon Fishing Puzzle Solved!

    Salmon Fishing Puzzle Solved!

    By Captain Jim Hirt
    Salmon in particular and many other species can be especially finicky and difficult to catch. As all types of fish are unique in their habitat there is some common threads in their DNA. The common factors and threads are the parts of the puzzle that, when fitted together, will solve some of your most difficult questions. Now let's explore the common threads.

    Forage is huge!

    Forage relates to what your quarry likes to eat and in some cases will eat when necessary. Your research in this area must include local anglers along with bait shops and Internet or magazines. The season, water temperature and ecosystem are all important in your decision. Focus on size, color and location for the best results.

    Seasonal patterns

    All fish have different preferences as they go through their annual life cycles. Pay special attention to this part of the puzzle. Most anglers know when their target spawns but there is much more to this equation. Each locale will be different and if the second week in April is the time for the bass to be on the spawning beds in your area this may not be true if you are fishing three hundred miles north or south of your location. Observation is key. Look to where you usually find fish and without satisfactory results expand your search.

    Temperature is everything

    When I do my seminars I constantly harp on temperature as a major player in productive consistent angling. Consider your fishing target much like an opponent in a sport. By knowing the temp preference of the target you will be a leg up on the other anglers. This knowledge will eliminate tons of non-productive water. Temperature will tell you about the attitude and most likely location to fish. A temp that is near the optimum or ideal for your species can be approached with your most aggressive baits and presentations. On the other hand warm water fish that are in cold water will require a slower and perhaps smaller lures or baits.

    Summary

    Consider all three forage, seasonal patterns and temperature when trying to solve the fishing puzzle and you will be on your way to becoming a better angler. The next article will continue with more parts of the puzzle to complete or at least give some shape and direction to the sport of angling. Adjust to meet conditions and you will become a better angler. Do you like to blog? I have just launched my fishing community at http://www.jimhirt.com Come offer your comments, knowledge and please ask questions. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright © 2010, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

  5. #73
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    Default Salmon On Spoons And Why!

    Salmon On Spoons And Why!

    By Captain Jim Hirt
    With a few pointers and the reason behind them you may find spoons as a great addition to your salmon fishing arsenal.

    Over twenty-five years in the pursuit of salmon has brought me to the conclusion that no single approach is the answer to salmon success.

    Defining Success.

    My days are long and my customers are many. I run upward of one hundred seventy five salmon charters per season with a wide variety of conditions.

    I must be on fish each and every day offering opportunities and excitement non-stop. This puts me in a different situation in the terms of what I consider a successful outing on the water.

    Whatever you consider a great day, I believe for most anglers that are trolling for salmon spoons are the way to go. Spoons are deadly at the correct speed and will out produce all other lures even when not at their optimum speed. This makes them a perfect choice for the novice and master angler.

    Selection by size

    Match up the bait! Size is as important to productive fishing as any of the other variables. The rules are simple: match lure size to the forage of your target and if fishing is slow or dead go to smaller size spoons. For example the first light bite was fantastic and you were on your way to a limit catch. Then the sun comes up bright in a clear blue sky and all the action stops. I believe the reason for this is too much flash produced by large lures can turn off fish. This is time to scale down to smaller lures. This approach can be applied any time you find yourself in bright conditions.

    Selection by light intensity

    The marriage of light and color is essential! Light is the number one consideration in your lure color selection. This is a good time to talk about color as it relates to the amount of light.

    You may or may not remember learning the colors of the rainbow in school. The colors are remembered by this acronym "ROY G BIV". These letters mean red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

    There are exceptions to every rule. Most of the time I run lure colors of red, orange, or yellow when that lure is presented in the portion of the water column with the most light. The other end of the rainbow blue, indigo and violet are used in darker or low light situations. You may ask what about silver and white? I consider these as neutral or they will work in any type of light. All the other colors fall into either bright or dark. Bright lures are used in bright light conditions dark lures in low light.

    A relatively new and much improved addition to spoon colors is the glow in dark colors. After charging up the glow paint on the spoons with a bright light, they will take fish in the dark or stained water. You will find several manufactures with this product. I have found the glow on Badger Tackle spoons will last longer than most of the spoons being sold.


    Temperature will define the spoon action

    The preferred water temperature of your target easily defines spoon action. In the times of the year when the fish you are after cannot find the temperature of the water they like you must adjust to meet conditions.

    For instance, you are looking to hook up with Brown Trout and the water temperature is 40 degrees, twenty degrees below their preferred range of 58 to 66 degrees. A slower lure action is required for this cold water.

    This can be achieved by a slower retrieve rate when casting or a slower boat speed for trolling. The problem with a slow speed is many spoons loose their fish attracting action. A spoon that solves this problem is the Nestor Wobbler made by http://www.badgertackle.com The crankbait action of this spoon is deadly in slow presentations. This spoon also has multiple holes in the lip that will allow you to change from a wobbly baitfish action to a vibrating high-speed action. I recommend the Nestor Wobbler for most salmon, trout, bass and pike. It has been a consistent producer for me. Any time your target is in cooler water than they like slow down.

    On the other end of the scale use a spoon with a fast erratic action when you find your quarry in their preferred and or above water temperature.

    Summary

    Consider all three, action, color and size to become more productive. Fish come in a wide variety of sizes and attitudes and one thing is common to all. You must get their attention if you expect to catch them. Adjust to meet conditions and you will become a better angler. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright © 2010, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

  6. #72
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    Default Planer Boards As Your Primary Trolling Tool.

    Planer Boards As Your Primary Trolling Tool.
    By Captain Jim Hirt
    Water in our ecosystem has gone from low visibility to extremely clear. With this change of environment the angler must evolve in his presentation to produce consistently. This article will talk you through a very effective way to meet these demands for sunny conditions with spooky fish.

    Hello all: I consider it a privilege to be a member of your fishing community and pass on ideas and knowledge to everyone. Most of my articles talk about products which I believe will make you a better angler. Some I sell and some I find of a quality level worth my endorsement. My goal is to always serve the community and enrich your fishing experience.

    Now is the time to move to the next generation of presentations. If you find yourself behind the pack when it comes to putting fish in the cooler, a system of planer boards will improve your learning curve.

    Allow me to outline and give details of several options in planer board fishing. This will provide some ideas you may want try in the upcoming season. I highly recommend them.

    Equipment for getting started

    While there is some expenses involved the rewards will be great. Initially two boards will get you going. Expect to pay between $25 and $35 each for individual board with many more or less expensive choices. I will give details on my first choice and then offer some others.

    There was a time when long lines with weight were the standard for getting the baits well behind the boat. This is a system of inline weight attached to the line about four feet ahead of the bait. By changing the weight size you will raise or lower the spoon or bait in the water column.

    The function of a planer board is to increase your odds by moving the bait off to the side of the boat. By presenting lures outside of the boat’s path in undisturbed water you will find them more likely to bite. Each board is made in a way that when trolled behind the boat it will move to left or right of your travel path. Some boards, like the Church Tackle TX 22, are reversible allowing you to run them left or right.

    Rigging is simple. After you have let out the line to the distance you would like, attach the board with the clip provided by the manufacturer. Once the board is attached lower the board into the water allowing it to run off to the side of the boat. When the fish strikes you may do one of two things. Do not release the board just reel the board to the rod tip and hand release it. Then finish reeling in your fish. A second option is to release the board, which slides down the line toward the inline weight and stops. The board is reeled in with the fish and the fish is netted.

    Up to now we have talked about individual boards that go on each line. You can also go with a large board towed on each side of the boat pulled by a heavy monofilament line. The line is let out the same as before and then attached with a release to the heavy mono line to the large board. As you let out additional line the release will slide down the mono toward the board. You may stop the release any time along the way to the large board. When the fish strikes the line pulls free of the release and the fish is reeled in. Then the line is reset and attached to tow line again. The draw back of this system is it requires a tall mast to pull the large boards and is not transferable boat to boat. The advantage to individual boards is less cost and I find them more efficient in setting line and cranking in fish when on a hot bite.

    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© 2010, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

  7. #71
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    Default Fishing The Zone For Lake Trout #5

    Fishing The Zone For Lake Trout #5


    By Captain Jim Hirt
    This completes the series of Fishing The Zone For... Please take the time to read Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4. This will greatly enhance your understanding of this Lake Trout article. Let me explain how to be more productive by following some basic rules and using some old and new tools. Activity and habits of fish are dictated by many variables. A rather basic approach will put you on fish and keep you there. I will cover how to find the most productive zones by species. Article number one, two, three and four covered Chinook, Brown Trout, Coho and Rainbow Trout. Now let's look at Lake Trout as it applies to Lake Michigan and other ecosystems.

    Zones By Species
    Lake Trout are a staple and are relatively easy to catch on Lake Michigan Milwaukee. A twenty-five pound fish is huge in our area for this species. We boated many between eight and twelve pounds and some over twenty. This fish can be easy to find and catch for most anglers; however, correct approach must be followed. With the information in this article you will supplement your daily bag limit on most waters where this fish is found. Allow me to offer environmental preferences for this fish. Breaking each fish down by their preferences is the best way to find steady consistent action on any fish.

    Lake Trout Zone By Temperature
    Lakers are considered the Bulldog of the lake. They get this reputation from the way they fight. They are not known for long runs or acrobatic jumps. Typically found in deep cold water most of the season this may present a challenge on presentation to anglers.
    Once again the answer to putting them in the box is temperature. A thermal break is the way to find them. Thermal break is a point where water changes temperature. Look for them in temperatures between 38 and 50 degrees. The trick to success is presentation.

    Location And Forage
    The principal types of forage for most fish in Lake Michigan are the Alewife and Goby. You will find Lakers on or suspended near the bottom feeding on this forage. Early spring and late fall is the answer for most anglers because the water is cold and they will be in the upper part of the water column. This does not mean you cannot produce a limit most anytime of the year.
    I will talk you through the season for most productive water. As our season starts in early April, the lake is 38 degrees and this moves Lakers to the surface. When May arrives they are on their way out to deeper colder water hanging near the bottom and this is the place to find them the majority of the season. Fall fishing can be prime time for monster lunker Lakers as the water cools and the fish move in for spawning.

    What baits are best?
    In spring when fishing the top fifteen feet use crankbaits, minnow type lures and small spoons like the regular size Reaper in silver or bright colors sold by Badger Tackle.com. Visibility is a factor when the fish move to their summer deep water haunt. The slow metabolism of this fish is dictated by the cold water and requires a very slow 1 to 1.5 mph boat speed. A solid approach of magnum spoons will be your best bet to steady action. Reaper Magnum Glow spoons will afford you the performance and visibility necessary. Eight-inch flashers and dodgers with glow flies or squids are a staple and also work deep in the water column. The distance between the attractor and the fly or squid will vary with the temp of the water. Try two to three times the length of the flasher or about sixteen up to twenty-four inches. A Longer lead on the fly seems to work better in colder water. In summer downriggers are the way to get presentation 80 to 250 feet down. On the surface use Church Tackle Walleye Boards and leadcore are the way to go. I run three or more on each side of the boat working an area over three hundred feet wide. You should set up for Lake Trout with a 1,2,3,4,5 color leadcore. This will give you coverage from 5 to 25 feet. The Church Planer Board will run well at slow speeds and off to the side of the boat out of your travel path.

    Hot Lures Define The Day
    Let's wrap this up with my favorite lures. For surface to 25 feet crankbaits, minnow type lures and small spoons like the regular size Reaper. In deep presentations 8-inch glow flashers and dodgers with glow flies or squids. My best spoon color near the surface is the Reaper purple/chartreuse Big Joe Silver regular size. Down in the deep dark water Magnum Reaper Green Fox Glow blue/green/white glows the best and glows the longest. Baitfish size should be considered when selecting your spoon size. Vulcan and Reaper spoons are both sold by 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© 2009, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

  8. #70
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    Default Fishing The Zone For Rainbow Trout Milwaukee #4

    Fishing The Zone For Rainbow Trout Milwaukee #4

    By Captain Jim Hirt
    This article continues the series of Fishing The Zone For... Please take the time to read Articles number 1, 2, and 3. This will greatly enhance your understanding of this Rainbow Trout article. Let me explain how to be more productive by following some basic rules and using some old and new tools. Activity and habits of fish are dictated by many variables. A rather basic approach will put you on fish and keep you there. I will cover how to find the most productive zones by species. Article number one, two and three covered Chinook, Brown Trout and Coho. Now let's look at Rainbows as it applies to Lake Michigan and other ecosystems.

    Zones By Species
    Last year was an above average year for Rainbows on Lake Michigan Milwaukee. Our port holds the state record of over 26 pounds for this species. We boated many between fifteen and twenty pounds. This fish can be elusive to some anglers; however, armed with the information in this article you will be on your way to many great outings of this tail-walking acrobat. Allow me to offer environmental preferences for this fish. Breaking each fish down by their preferences is the best way to find steady consistent action on any fish.

    Rainbow Trout Zone By Temperature
    Rainbows offer great action. Nothing matches the excitement of being on the rod with ten pounds plus of leaping muscle on the line. Once again the answer to putting them in the box is temperature. A thermal break is the way to find them. Thermal break is a point where water changes temperature. Look for them in temperatures between 43 and 58 degrees. This is a wide range and offers some challenges. My article will provide information on how to locate them as the water goes from 40 to 75 degrees through out the season. The trick to success is mobility and presentation.

    Location And Forage
    The principal types of forage for most fish in Lake Michigan are the Alewife and Goby. You will find at times the contents of their gut contain these bait fish. My experience with rainbows may change your mind on bait and presentation. The spring and early summer is the answer to easy pickings on the big pond. The reason for easy rainbow fishing at this time is the abundance of insects. Following the bugs may seem like a crazy way to catch any fish but it is key for rainbows. Any warm spring day will provide an excellent hatch of the diet of all size Rainbow Trout. The location on the water with the most bugs will have the best concentration of fish.
    When I am on a rainbow hunt, off shore is the place to be. It is smart to start trolling in about 50 feet of water and head out deeper. As action picks up you should note GPS, depth and temp info. This info will be your key to staying on fish. With the water in the forties don't be surprised to find some huge fish in this cold water. When the bite slows troll back to your best GPS numbers. I have found that in deeper water fishing the surface is always better for monster bows all season long. The best months are April, May and June. Work the temp breaks and bugs for hot action.
    The top 25 feet where warm water has accumulated is the answer to your best numbers. Early May run your baits in the top twenty-five feet and progress to deeper in the water column as the water warms up. Anytime of day is a good time for them. I call them fish with banker’s hours 9 to 5 is the time to get them.

    What baits are best?
    Water temperature will dictate your best bait. I will break this down by temperature. All season long use crankbaits; minnow type lures and small spoons like the regular size Vulcan in silver or bright colors sold by Badger Tackle. Eight-inch flashers and dodgers with flies or squids are a staple as the water warms up to 60 and above. The distance between the attractor and the fly or squid will vary with the temp of the water. Try two to three times the length of the flasher or about sixteen up to twenty-four inches. Longer lead on the fly seems to work better in colder water. You may catch some fish on downriggers but they are not my first choice for presentation. Church Tackle Walleye Boards and leadcore are the way to go. I run three or more on each side of the boat working an area over three hundred feet wide. You should set up for rainbows with a 1,2,3,4,5 color leadcore. This will give you coverage from 5 to 25 feet. The Church Planer Board will run well off to the side of the boat out of your travel path.

    Hot Lures Define The Day
    Let's wrap this up with my favorite lures. For spring crankbaits, minnow type lures and small spoons like the regular size Vulcan or 8-inch flashers and dodgers with flies or squids. My best spoon color is chartreuse/silver/green. Magnum Reaper spoons did very well for us in July and August on Bows in recent years. Baitfish size should be considered when selecting your spoon size. Vulcan and Reaper spoons are both sold by http://www.badgertackle.com I will continue with Zones for Lake Trout in the next article. Good Luck! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2009, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

  9. #69
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    Default Fishing The Zone For Coho Salmon Milwaukee #3

    Fishing The Zone For Coho Salmon Milwaukee #3

    By Captain Jim Hirt
    Let me explain how to be more productive by following some basic rules and using basic tools. Activity and habits of fish are dictated by many variables. A rather basic approach will put you on fish and keep you there. I will cover how to find the most productive zones by species Article number one and two one covered Chinook and Brown Trout now let's look at Coho Salmon as it applies to Lake Michigan and other big water ecosystems. Get caught up by reading article number one titled Fishing The Zone For Salmon Milwaukee #1. This information is necessary to understand the following article.

    Zones By Species
    Lake Michigan Milwaukee is an outstanding fishery with many options for anglers. The most popular targets of anglers here are Chinook salmon, Coho Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Lake Trout. Allow me to offer environmental preferences for each of these. Breaking each fish down by their preferences is the best way to find steady consistent action on any fish.

    Coho Salmon Zone By Temperature
    Coho offer great action with the reward of some of the best eating of all Lake Michigan fish. Once again the answer to putting them in the box is temperature. Look for them in temperatures above 50 degrees up to 57 degrees. Exceptions to this temp zone are possible but not the norm. As they come in to spawn they will be less sensitive to temperature. They will tolerate colder water and temperatures below 50 however they are less active.

    Location And Forage
    The principal types of forage for all fish in Lake Michigan are the Alewife and Goby. Look for pods of forage for consistent action. I have caught Coho at all depths all season long. Don't make the mistake of not running tackle for them they do require a different approach. Most consistent action is in the spring months of May and June. The reason for this is the water is very cold and the top water is the best habitat for them. The shallow water or the top 25 feet where warm water has accumulated is the answer to your best numbers. Early May run your baits in the top five feet and progress to deeper in the water column as the water warms up. The reason for outstanding spring fishing for Coho is the cold water of Lake Michigan concentrates them. Finding a temperature break is the key to finding fish. A break is defined as a major or minor change in water temperature. At times a small change of a degree or two will hold fish but I have found the greater the change the better the concentration of fish. In spring the Coho that have wintered on the southern end of Lake Michigan will migrate north. You will find some action near shore and this is a good starting spot. My experience is deep water can be very productive. I fish out to ten miles off shore in 250 feet of water for fantastic action and limits on this exciting spring fish.

    Presentations For Limits On Coho Salmon
    Anytime of day is a good time for this quarry. I categorize them as day feeders with angling success all day. Water temperature will dictate your best bait. I will break this down by temperature. Below 50 degrees use small crankbaits, minnow type lures and small spoons like the regular size Vulcan in silver or bright colors sold by Badger Tackle. Above 50 the cold water baits will produce but not as well as six inch orange flashers or dodgers with flies or squids. The distance between the attractor and the fly or squid will vary with the temp of the water. Try one and a half times the length of the flasher or about nine inches up to eighteen inches. Longer lead on the fly seems to work better in colder water. You may catch some fish on downrigger but they are not my first choice for presentation. Church Tackle Walleye Boards are the way to go. I run four or more on each side of the boat working an area over three hundred feet wide. Set up for Coho with a six foot 15 pound leader tied to a 3/8-ounce keel sinker attached to the 20-pound main line to your reel. Baits are attached with a ball bearing snap and run 25 feet behind the planner board. The planer board is run well off to the side of the boat out of your travel path.

    Hot Lures Define The Day
    Let's wrap this up with my favorite lures. For spring crankbaits, minnow type lures and Small spoons like the regular size Vulcan or six inch orange flashers and dodgers with flies or squids. Later in the season go to larger 11 inch dodgers and flies along with all size spoons in silver green. Magnum Reaper spoons did very well for us later in the season on Coho recent years. Baitfish size should be considered when selecting your spoon size. Vulcan and Reaper spoons are both sold by http://www.badgertackle.com I will continue with Zones for Rainbow Trout in the next article. Good Luck! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2009, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

  10. #68
    Join Date
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    Default Fishing The Zone For Brown Trout Milwaukee #2

    Fishing The Zone For Brown Trout Milwaukee #2

    By Captain Jim Hirt
    Let me explain how to be more productive by following some basic rules and using basic tools. Activity and habits of fish are dictated by many variables. A rather basic approach will put you on fish and keep you there. I will cover how to find the most productive zones by species Article number one covered Chinook now let's look at Brown Trout as it applies to Lake Michigan and other big water ecosystems. Get caught up by reading article number one titled Fishing The Zone For Salmon Milwaukee #1. This information is necessary to understand the following article.

    Zones By Species
    Lake Michigan Milwaukee is an outstanding fishery with many options for anglers. The most popular targets of anglers here are Chinook salmon, Coho Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Lake Trout. Allow me to offer environmental preferences for each of these. Breaking each fish down by preferences is the best way to find steady consistent action on any fish.

    Brown Trout Zone By Temperature
    Big browns are common in the estuary created in the Milwaukee area by three rivers. Brown Trout are a warm water species, so look for them in temperatures above 55 degrees. They will tolerate colder water and temperatures above 65 however my biggest browns over twenty pounds have come at near 55 degrees. Keep your baits in 55-degree temperature and you will increase your odds on big fish. When I am catching small fish, I know the water is too warm for a trophy. It is time to adjust the tackle to colder water. A temperature gauge is a tool a trout fisherman cannot be without.

    Location And Forage
    The principal types of forage for trophy fish in Lake Michigan are the Alewife and Goby. Look for pods of forage for consistent action. I have caught browns in water as shallow as 5 feet and out to 100 feet. Most consistent action however is in shallow water or the top 25 feet where warm water has accumulated. Early spring in the months of March April And May we find are consistently the best for browns. Over the years 90% of this species are caught when the water is below their preferred temperature. The reason for outstanding spring fishing for this fish is the cold water of Lake Michigan concentrates the fish. The Lake temp is in the mid to high thirties and this causes the fish to stay near the warmer water of the river mouths and harbor gaps. Later in the season the browns disperse along the shoreline. Finding a temperature break is the key to finding fish. A break is defined as a major or minor change in water temperature. At times a small change of a degree or two will hold fish but I have found the greater the change the better the concentration of fish.

    Presentations For Lunker Browns
    First light of the day is the best time to catch this quarry. They seem to be more sensitive to light than other types of fish. Light up a Vulcan or Reaper Magnum Glow spoon sold by Badger Tackle before first light for fish in the box ahead of the rest of the pack of anglers. A stealthy approach is necessary for the biggest fish. In definition stealth is a presentation that avoids being notice. Several are used for trolling.

    I would skip the downriggers as a presentation for browns. I have found this to be the least productive of presentations I have tried. The most successful for me is leadcore. A weighted line with a Seaguar fluorocarbon leader is attached to a Church Walleye Planer board. The planer board is run well off to the side of the boat out of the travel path. Leadcore is graduated to allow five feet of depth for every color. Five colors will run lures approximately 25 feet down 10 colors fifty feet and so on. This allows you to fish any depth you want.

    Hot Lures Define The Day
    Let's wrap this up with my favorite lures. Magnum spoons are my first choice. Use Glow in dark for before first light and in heavy overcast. When fishing in very bright conditions or with the presence of small baitfish go to regular or small lures. My magnum spoons are about five inches long, regular four inches and small three inches. The two most productive spoons for me during the 2009 season was the Vulcan magnum and Reaper Magnum both sold by http://www.badgertackle.com For a slow 2.0 M.P.H. or slower presentation I use the Reaper. Above 2.0 speeds the Vulcan is best, it mixes well with most big plugs and flasher flies.
    I will continue with Zones for Coho Salmon in the next article. Good Luck! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2009, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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