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Thread: Wisconsin

  1. #7
    Capt. Jim Hirt (Jim_blue_max_charters) Guest

    Default 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

  2. #6
    Capt. Jim Hirt (Jim_blue_max_charters) Guest

    Default 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

  3. #5
    Capt. Jim Hirt (Jim_blue_max_charters) Guest

    Default 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

  4. #4
    Capt. Jim Hirt (Jim_blue_max_charters) Guest

    Default 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

  5. #3
    Capt. Jim Hirt (Jim_blue_max_charters) Guest

    Default 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

  6. #2
    Capt. Jim Hirt (Jim_blue_max_charters) Guest

    Default 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

  7. #1
    Capt. Jim Hirt (Jim_blue_max_charters) Guest

    Default Charter Fishing Milwaukee Spri

    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

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