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Thread: Wisconsin

  1. #97
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    Default Fish Milwaukee Salmon Too Much Tackle

    Fish Milwaukee Salmon Too Much Tackle

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

    Getting the edge with electronics!!
    No two days are the same. Your ability to evaluate the changes will lead to your success. To complete this article you must know what tool will give us the most reliable measurement of depth and temp. A great product out in the market place for this purpose is the Smart Troll. This unit offers a sender/sensor that you connects to any of your presentations ( inline ) giving you depth and temp at the lure to depths of 300 feet. This information is sent to an easy to read display. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
    http://www.badgertackle.com Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  2. #96
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    Default Speed Advice By Species

    Speed Advice By Species

    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    In previous articles we covered my three most productive lures for July and August. This is a worth while read go back and check it out. Speed is a key in all types of fishing. Let’s get into it.
    Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    What fish likes what speed?
    In this article let's address lure speed as it relates to fish species. The easy way to remember how fast to run your presentation for your target is to think of the temperature they prefer.

    Lake Trout
    Lake trout like below 50 degrees water and they require the slowest lure speed. I run between 1.0 and 2.0 M.P.H. for Lakers.

    Chinook Salmon
    Chinook lure speed is all over the map. The book tells us 52 degrees is what they like. There is considerable variation in the temp of water you will find them. Early in the morning and just before dark they may come into the warm water to feed. As a general rule 2.5 M.P.H. will produce these fish.
    Coho Salmon
    Coho like slightly warmer water than the Chinooks. I look for water of 52 to 57 degrees for them at 2.7 M.P.H.

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

    Easy indicator
    I use the fish I am catching as an indicator to my boat speed. When I catching Lakers I speed up to catch Chinooks. When catching Rainbows I slow down for Lakers. Catching fish every day is a constant evaluation of variables. No two days are the same. Your ability to evaluate the changes will lead to your success.

    Tool needed for success
    To complete this article we must know what tool will give us the most reliable measurement of speed and temp. A great product out in the market place for this purpose is the Depth Raider. This unit offers a probe that you connect to a special downrigger cable giving you speed and temp at the lure to depths of 200 feet. This information is sent to an easy to read display. I was very impressed with Curt Kell of Kell Laboratories the innovator of this product. His attention to quality and customer satisfaction sets him apart in the industry. The Depth Raider will set the standard for this type of product for years to come. To get information on this product call Curt at 262-534-2202. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
    http://www.badgertackle.com Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  3. #95
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    Default Hot Lures For Salmon And Trout

    Hot Lures For Salmon And Trout

    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    In previous articles we covered where to start if you have not been out for awhile. In this article I would like to help you with what lures to buy at the tackle store for a typical July or August trip on Lake Michigan. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Done right flies will work
    This is a very difficult question. Where I cannot possibly go into all species and all situations, perhaps I can define what I believe will catch fish 90 percent of the time. Please keep in mind that the best lure not properly presented will not catch fish.
    Huge Chinooks favorite lure
    Milwaukee is known for excellent Chinook salmon fishing, so I will focus on salmon. If I were to run just one lure day in and day out in July or August and consistently catch fish, it would be a flasher and fly. Early and late season Flasher and fly may not be as good
    Flasher Set Up
    Flashers come in dozens of colors and sizes. The one I would select would be an 8-inch green blade with silver and glow tape with a green fly. The length of the leader from the flasher to the fly should be give or take 25 inches. I measure from the end of the hook to the back of the flasher. This measurement may change day to day. The length of the leader will affect the speed of the fly movement. The bigger Chinooks may require a longer leader but this is a good starting spot.
    Spoons are Simpler Answer
    My number two choice would be two different spoons. For first light fishing I like a Reaper Magnum Fish Fry Glow. This spoon has put more fish in the cooler than any other spoon I run. The other spoon I like is a Vulcan Magnum or Regular Silver with blue and green accent both are available at badgertackle.com. Use Magnum Glow spoons when fishing in over cast situations or below fifty feet down.
    How and Where
    Run spoons on your divers and flasher flies on your downriggers. A simple and very effective way to produce fish on calm days with clear skies is to run just two spoons. The lead from the spoon to the downrigger should be one hundred fifty feet. This presentation will not allow tight turns. When the morning bite stops, go long to continue catching fish. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
    http://www.badgertackle.com Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  4. #94
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    Default Where To Go, Fish Finding Tips

    Where To Go, Fish Finding Tips

    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    In previous articles we covered basic leadcore. I would recommend trying a leadcore line set up. This presentation will work when all others are dead. In this article I would like to explain where to start if you have not been out for awhile.
    Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Resources
    I find Internet fish reports invaluable for up to date information look for the most recent reports. If you do not have that option, ask at the local sporting goods stores or the other fisherman at the launch ramps. Marine radio is also helpful if you have one.
    Tools
    What if none of these options are available? Then follow the steps I recommend. The tools you will need are depth gauge, temp gauge and fish locator. I key on temp and food. In most cases when you find them you will catch fish. Start with a temp check on the surface. If it is too warm for your target species, you must take a temperature check from the top to the bottom in the water you are in to see if it is cold enough for your target.
    How To
    Wind will move water and predicting what it has done to the temperature of the water where you fish is important. The result may be water that is too warm or cold for your target. When you find this scenario move out to deeper or into shallower water. You may need to go to the opposite shore line (when possible) and check again. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the temp. Look for a sharp break in temp from the warm surface to the colder water or colder water to the warmer. I work tackle both slightly above and below the break. Having said that, there are exceptions to every rule. I would also run one line well above and below the temp break. This may be out of the temp you expect to catch fish, but at certain times of the day they will be there.
    Lures
    Run your most aggressive lures with the most action on the warm side of the break. In contrast, use slower less aggressive tackle on the extreme cold side. Baitfish are a very important ingredient to this mix. Always fish schools of baitfish when you see them. When you are under power on the way out and see baitfish on the locator get the lines in. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
    http://www.badgertackle.com Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  5. #93
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    Default More Fish Leadcore Presentation The Answer

    More Fish Leadcore Presentation The Answer

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

    Basics
    The basics of leadcore are simple. The most expensive part is the reel. It must have enough line capacity to handle the leadcore line plus Seaguar fluorocarbon and Power Pro 50 pound for a total of anywhere from 300 half core to 600 yards two cores. I run my half cores or five colors on a reel that holds 300 yards of 20 pound test. This is the smallest reel a half core will fit on. Line counter reels are not necessary. Leadcore sinks at a rate of 4-5 feet per color. A half core will run about 24 feet deep.
    Loading the reel
    When loading this reel, start with 300 yards of Power Pro 50 pound then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Willis Knot to the leadcore. Finish with a Willis Knot and 30 feet of a 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap. You will need a heavy action 8-foot rod to work with lead. You may run this with a Church Tackle Walleye planer board if you are going to use multiple set ups.
    Presentation Tips
    Snap on your favorite lure and let out all of the line to the Power Pro. Then install your board so it does not release. I usually run them 150 feet off each side of the boat. Very wide turns and low boat traffic are a must to avoid tangles and getting run over. I set my drags light. When the reel starts to scream, adjust the drag as necessary. Reel in the line until you can reach the board and hand release it. Now the line is clear to bring in the fish. I don’t fish lead early in the morning. I use it when the early bite is over. Some of my biggest fish are caught on this presentation.
    Hot spoon for Leadcore
    If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
    http://www.badgertackle.com Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  6. #92
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    Default Presentation Tips For Cold Water

    Presentation Tips For Cold Water

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

    Presentation for cold water
    I set up 90% of my lines on Church planer boards working the top fifteen feet of water. The remaining 10% of my lines are on diving planers or downriggers for deeper fish. On all my rods in spring, I run a 20-25 pound test monofilament with a 12-pound leader. You need to go with a light leader to produce good action in clear water near the surface. Run the heavier test to a bead chain sinker or barrel swivel then an 8-foot leader with a cross lock snap. I don’t go nuts with Micro Filament or Super Braid lines because I think they are over kill for this application and add to expenses. Starting out this way I will have the rods loaded with the correct line for most presentations through out the season.
    Speed part of the answer
    I set my boat speed at 1 to 2 mph. Slow presentation is key in spring. The lures you run is all about the amount of light, baitfish size and the size of fish you are looking to catch. Mix it up! When one lure produces I would double up on that lure. For Coho I prefer 6 inch orange flashers and a variety of different colored flies instead of spoons. Adjust the length of the leader from the flasher to the fly to get the best results. The general rule is one and one half times the length of the flasher. My experience is the colder the water the longer the leader. Longer leaders slow down the action of the fly. There are times when I run up to three times the flasher length. Most Rainbows will also hit the flasher flies. When only looking for Rainbows, substitute bright color spoons for flasher flies. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout in 2011 go to
    http://www.badgertackle.com Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.
     
     
     
     

  7. #91
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    Default Fishing Hooks Make the Difference

    Fishing Hooks Make the Difference

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

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

    Singles or trebles
    Always replace hooks with the same size you removed or the action will change. This leads us to the big question single hooks verses trebles. My rule is this stay with the original manufactures recommendation, they do the testing and that's good enough for me. Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at
    http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  8. #90
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    Default Go Slow For Spring Brown Trout

    Go Slow For Spring Brown Trout

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

  9. #89
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    Default Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #2

    Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #2

    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    Don’t know which way to go for spring salmon fishing. Allow me to break it down and offer some suggestions for wherever you fish. Let’s discuss presentation, lures and location to jump start your spring. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page http://www.bluemaxcharters.com I will be pleased to answer. My charter season will be under way soon and it may take a while to get back to you. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com

    Top producing spring lures
    Article number one focused on presentation and this is very important. Now let’s talk about water temperature and it’s relationship to the correct lure. The best way to break this down is categorize the lure type by temperature Fahrenheit.
    Thirty three through Forty degrees
    Cold water means slow to dead slow presentation. Since this article is about trolling I will not go into what an angler might use for lures when shore fishing or when the boat is stopped. For trolling very cold water small seems to work better than large and I go to my smallest lures in this cold water. My set up for this scenario would be half of my baits as one half ounce or smaller spoons and the other half under two inch crank baits. These small baits must work and provoke a strike at speeds less than 1.5 miles per hour trolling speed. Color is determined water color and light. Bright colors or glow colors are always part of my program in spring.
    Forty one through fifty degrees
    Beef up the size of your lures is the way to go. Use the same spoons and cranks in larger sizes as you used for the colder water. I would add to my program a few stick baits in the four inch size. Depending on the water color some of the stick baits in the natural color patterns can be very effective. A increase of boat speed will be required and necessary to bring these baits to life. These larger baits should be run from 1.7 to 2.0 boat speed.
    Above fifty degrees
    At this point you are reaching the optimum temperature of cold water class fish like salmon and some trout. Their metabolism cranks up and you may increase speed, bait size and lure action.
    Magnum spoons or flashers with flies are a great option for these temps.
    Hot location focus on temp breaks
    Wind will dictate where you find the best concentration of fish. Monitor the direction of the wind and this will help you find where warmer water is stacking up. Surface temperature gauge is a must and your key tool to find any increase or decrease of temperature watch it closely! River mouths and break water gaps are important spots to investigate. Anywhere you find a increase in water temperature you will most likely find fish.
    Hot spoons for spring
    I keep talking about Vulcan spoons and more anglers are finding out that this spoon will out produce most spoons in their tackle box. Reasonably priced and nearly indestructible they just keep on producing. The regular size is a good bet for spring. Vulcan spoons are sold by
    http://www.badgertackle.com Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  10. #88
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    Default Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #1

    Three Must Read Spring Salmon Tips #1

    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    Don’t know which way to go for spring salmon fishing. Allow me to break it down and offer some suggestions for wherever you fish. Let’s discuss presentation lures and location to jump start your spring. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page http://www.bluemaxcharters.com I will be pleased to answer. My charter season will be under way soon and it may take a while to get back to you. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com

    Top producing presentations
    Here are some ways to present lures in spring. This time of year look for most of your fish in the top 50 feet. Keep your eye on your locator and also work deeper marks when you see them. My experience this time of year is the deeper fish are less active and tend not to bite. Most often you will not mark well above 30 feet because those fish are outside the cone of your locator’s transducer. However that’s where most of the fish are.
    Leadcore on boards first choice
    The primary presentations I use at this time of year are Church Tackle Walleye boards, Slide Divers and leadcore. If your budget allows, I would recommend trying a leadcore line set up. This presentation will work when all others are dead and this is the best bet for spring
    Basics
    The basics of leadcore are simple. The most expensive part is the reel. It must have enough line capacity to handle the twenty seven pound leadcore line plus Seaguar fluorocarbon leader and Power Pro 50 pound backer line for a total of anywhere from 300 yards on a half core to 600 yards double core. I run my half cores or five colors on a reel that holds 300 yards of 20 pound test. This is the smallest reel a half core ( five colors ) will fit on. Line counter reels are not necessary. Leadcore sinks at a rate of 4-5 feet per color. A half core will run about 24 feet deep.
    Loading the reel
    When loading this reel, start with 200 yards of Power Pro 50 pound then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Willis Knot to the leadcore. Finish with another Willis Knot and 30 feet of a 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap. You will need a medium heavy action 8-foot rod to work with lead. You may run this with a Church Tackle Walleye planer board if you are going to use multiple set ups.
    Presentation Tips
    Snap on your favorite lure and let out all of the line to the Power Pro backer. Then install your board so it does not release. I usually run them 150 feet off each side of the boat. Very wide turns and low boat traffic are a must to avoid tangles and getting run over. I set my drags light. When the reel starts to scream, adjust the drag as necessary. Reel in the line until you can reach the board and hand release it. Now the line is clear to bring in the fish. I don’t fish lead early in the morning. I use it when the early bite is over. Some of my biggest fish are caught on this presentation.
    Lures for leadcore
    I keep talking about Vulcan spoons and more anglers are finding out that this spoon will out produce most spoons in their tackle box. Reasonably priced and nearly indestructible they just keep on producing. The regular size is a good bet for spring. Vulcan spoons are sold by
    http://www.badgertackle.com Three Must Read Salmon Tips number two will continue with more lure choices in the next post. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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