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Thread: Wisconsin

  1. #87
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    Default Trophy Lake Trout Fishing Lake Michigan

    Trophy Lake Trout Fishing Lake Michigan

    By Milwaukee fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    I received this e-mail recently and thought it was a good question that more anglers would be interested in. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page http://www.bluemaxcharters.com I will be pleased to answer. My charter season will be under way soon and it may take a while to get back to you. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com

    Captain Jim:
    I was reading an old article you posted a few years back regarding trolling cowbells and spin-n-glows. I was wondering if you could tell me what your leader setup is on a rig like that.
    I made 5 cowbell rigs, 24 inches long, followed by a spin-n-glow on a 24 inch leader as well. I was going to attach that directly to a 3 way swivel but was wondering if I'll need a greater leader length?
    Lake Trout head to tail
    Before we get directly into the answer I would like to provide more information on this species and presentations that are effective for them. I would like to explore location, presentation and lure selection for Lake Trout. Fishermen everywhere covet them for their table excellence giving them a nickname of poor man’s Lobster. Lake Trout baked or poached and served with melted butter is a feast fit for a king.
    Ecosystem of the Lake Trout
    This slow growing member of the Char family can attain a life of over fifty years and have been known to grow to more than 50 inches and reach over 100 pounds. Lake Trout are mature enough to reproduce when they are six or seven years old. Some Lake Trout respond to a homing instinct. They return to the same spawning grounds year after year, while others do not. This trout lives in deep cold lakes. Their preferred water temperature is 50 degrees or below. In the summer they stay deep and can usually be caught by deep trolling. But as the water cools with the fall season and into spring, artificial lures and flies may take lake trout fished shallower, near shore.
    Rules of the road
    Finding a trophy may be a difficult task although I feel following a few rules will augment your odds for success. I have found that in twenty years of fishing my biggest have come on spoons. I believe the reason for this is spoons will maintain an attractive appearance at very slow speeds. When you think Lakers think slow. This very cold water species has the slowest metabolism of all the game fish. If you have not caught a Lake Trout, you are trolling too fast. The bigger the Lake Trout the colder the water they prefer and the slower they move. A quality large spoon that trolls well at speeds below one mile per hour is required. Keeping in mind that you will be working in deep water below 100 feet.
    Don’t forget about color
    The color choices should be in the bottom half spectrum of the rainbow. There is not much light down there and green, blue, indigo violet colors will sustain some color at these depths. A silver plated spoon will reflect light better in low light and used in combination with the colors is a good choice. You might try the new Badger Tackle Reaper glow in the dark spoons as well. They were very productive for me this last season. The lack of light has brought me to my favorite presentation. In some cases bouncing the bottom is the only way to provoke a strike.
    Set up defined
    Use a wire line rod with 30 pound wire terminated with a plastic keel. The plastic keel has three positions to attach to it. One goes to the wire line another directly to the weight. Some anglers use a mono line from the keel to the weight so if you get hung up the mono will break and you won’t loose everything. Use eight ounces to one pound weight for good contact to the bottom. The third position is used for the connection of bait or lure. Use a three foot 40 pound monofilament lead to an 8 inch silver or glow in the dark dodger and a 3 foot lead to the spoon. Cowbells are a similar presentation with a few changes. From the keel attach the cowbells and then two foot leader to the spoon. When you would like to use a Spin N Glow attach a three foot 40 pound leader behind the Cowbells then the dodger and two feet to the Spin N Glow.
    Working it
    Troll with the bottom contour letting out enough wire to allow the ball to bounce on the bottom. A word of caution, some bottoms have lots of hang ups and it takes a constant vigilance on your part to avoid hanging up and still keep constant bottom contact.
    As you read earlier, when the water cools in fall they return to the same spawning grounds year after year. The eggs are deposited over a boulder-strewn or rubble bottom structure, in depths from 40 feet to about one foot. This affords the angler another opportunity to get into some serious laker action. Work this shallow water with the same wire line rod. Go with 4 ounces of weight no flasher and standard Reaper Big Joe red/green or Reaper Peacock blue/green spoons. Motor troll the shallows while hand holding the rod bouncing the bottom as you go it‘s a blast.
    Let's wrap this up with my favorite Lake Trout lures. Dodgers and magnum spoons are my first choice with dodger Spin n Glows a close second. The two most productive Lake Trout spoons for me in recent years are the glow in the dark Reaper Green Fox Glow and Fish n Chip Silver both sold by
    http://www.badgertackle.com The standard Reaper in the silver combinations are best for shallow water.
    Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or web site at
    http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

     
     



     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  2. #86
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    Default The Three R's of Fishing #2

    The Three R's of Fishing #2

    By Lake Michigan fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    This is article number two of a two part article. Look for part number one for rigging tips. This article will focus on reacting to change. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Reacting to time of year
    Time of year is also to be considered when trying to catch moody fish. As the seasons change, so do the temperatures of the water. Fish are cold blooded and their metabolism changes as their body temp changes. Most anglers know there are cold and warm water species of fish. Which means all fish if given a choice will find their preferred temperature range. In fact too high or too low beyond their limits will cause stress and eventual death. In large fresh water lakes, the time of day isn't nearly as critical at locating the depth of the preferred temperature level for the fish species you're seeking.
    Thermocline Explained
    Lakes layer into three separate layers of water in the spring and stay that way until cold weather. The middle layer, where there is a larger concentration of dissolved oxygen, baitfish and therefore predator fish, is called the thermocline. It can usually be found anywhere from ten feet to the bottom. This is a temperature layer, as well as an oxygen-saturated layer, and fish will relate to it as both a comfort zone and one where their body metabolism functions the most efficiently. These fish will be suspended and feeding on alewives, smelt or other forage fish.
    Temperature by species
    The peak feeding and optimum temperature for Coho and Chinook is 52°, with an active range from 44° to 58°. For Lake Trout the peak feeding and optimum temperature is 51°, with activity from 43° to 53°. Fish will rarely venture out of these zones, once stratification has taken place, except to catch a meal and then will quickly return to it. The only exception is when fish are spawning. One thing to remember when fishing the thermocline is that its depth can change from day to day because of wind and wave action. It may be several feet deeper or shallower from one day to the next so you'll have to relocate it each time you go out. Having said all that, when fishing in water temperatures near the bottom of your target species preferred temp, adjust to small spoons like the regular size Vulcan Spoon exclusively sold at Badger Tackle in a slow presentation. At their optimum temp go aggressive with large baits in quick presentations. Most anglers under estimate the speed of their quarry.
    Keep good records
    I cannot stress record keeping too much. Your ability to document good and bad days will be your magic rabbit in the hat. This info will shorten your learning curve and should be reviewed before every fishing outing. Record the date, location, weather, lures or bait, presentation, for each type of fish you catch. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or web site at
    http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  3. #85
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    Default The Three R's of Fishing #1

    The Three R's of Fishing #1

    By Lake Michigan fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    As with all sports and activities basics and fundamentals are the foundation from which a sound well played game is achieved. The name of this article could have been the twenty five R's of fishing because many small details will make or break your day on the water. However I decided to focus on only three of the fundamentals, rigging reacting and record keeping. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Rigging
    This is a vast subject with a different definition to most anglers. To me it means assembling the correct components in the best way to meet the current conditions. Let's get into specifics. The rod, reel, line and terminal tackle are the foundation to success. In my earlier days of fishing the selection of a fishing rod was confusing. The more people you talked to the worse it got. My experience over the years has lead me to a simple conclusion, heavy weight rods for big fish with high test line. Light weight rods for small fish on light test line. Following the recommended line weight marked on the rod will put more fish in the cooler. A rod that is too stiff will not bend with light line. The result will be lost fish from failure to maintain a tight line to the target. You will also be able to use smaller snaps and terminal tackle on light line with a light action rod. This will enhance the lure action with improved presentation.
    Reacting
    Reacting to changes will improve your success. The speed of your bait whether it is a spoon, jig, or crankbait is important. The right lure at the wrong speed will be less productive. The correct speed is dictated by many variables.

    Variables
    Always consider the mood of fish and the environment they are in and adjust to the conditions. This will help you find the best speed. Mood is defined by weather and the time of year. High and low barometric pressure are a part of the weather question. They both have a significant impact on the mood of all fish. Activity level in fish will change with the movement or lack of barometer movement. You must know what the weather has been preceding your fishing trip. This information will set the stage giving you the information you can use to your advantage. A clear blue high sky after a low pressure front is every anglers nightmare. Fish get spooky, neutral or negative in these conditions. For these types of days a slow spot on the spot presentation is key. Work your favorite location with precise boat and lure control. Inactivity is normal, when this happens pick your favorite locations on any body of water and look for your target species in the next break to deeper water.
    Baits, speed and location
    Work smaller spoons, lures or baits in a slow systematic presentation. If motor trolling is your method of fishing use small spoons. Present them at slow speeds and fish them near the bottom. On the other hand steady barometric pressure for an extended period of time with overcast sky conditions is time to grab your pole and to head for the water. Don't miss these ideal days. The fish will be up on the shallow flats, near shore and active. Pound these fish with big baits and fast erratic actions. Work hard, work fast and cover a lot of water. This sets up a great opportunity for trolling big water. The correct lure color for overcast will put more fish in the boat. Silver or gold has long been the standard until resent years. Cutting edge anglers are now going to glow in the dark lures. The visibility of glow spoons far exceeds the old standards. Badger Tackle has great line up of glow spoons. For the anglers that run a boat speed from 1.5 to 3.5 MPH I would recommend the Vulcan magnum. This is a tough heavy weight spoon with a slim profile that fits well with most freshwater and saltwater forage base sizes. The other one I like is the Reaper. Run the regular size on clear calm days and magnum at first light, overcast or whenever you are down deep or in a low light presentation. The Reaper is a wide spoon with a crippled baitfish action for trolling at speeds of 1.0 to 2.5. The Striper and Salmon fishermen say it is a perfect match to the Shad and Alewife forage. Both are exclusively sold at
    http://www.badgertackle.com/ you won't be disappointed. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  4. #84
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    Default Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #2

    Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #2
    By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Milwaukee Capt. Jim Hirt
    Current information is critical to being at the top of your game in any sport. Fishing is no exception and perhaps more critical than other sports. This article will focus on what to use and where for the 2011 season. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Mini sets what goes where?
    On the deepest lines in the coldest water I fish for Lake trout. All the deep lines are matched for speed, color and preference of the target. This is a good time to talk about color as it relates to the amount of light. You may or may not remember learning the colors of the rainbow in school. The colors are remembered by this acronym "ROY G BIV". These letters mean red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. There are exceptions to every rule. Most of the time I run lure colors of red, orange, or yellow when that lure is presented in the portion of the water column with the most light. The other end of the rainbow blue, indigo and violet are used in darker or low light situations. You may ask what about silver and white? I consider these as neutral or they will work in any type of light. All the other colors fall into either bright or dark. Bright lures are used in bright light conditions dark lures in low light.
    Now let's get back to setting our deep lines. Go with colors for low light that work well at a speed you intend to run and in the size of the baitfish. Large Reaper magnum glow spoons, dodgers or flashers with flies, or spin-n-glows and lake trolls work most days. Look for temps below 45 degrees for the biggest Lake Trout. This presentation is usually on downriggers working below 100 feet deep. I will get into downrigger presentation in another article.
    Midway down the water column
    The next mini set will run in water above the deep lines. Fish the 48-53 degree water spreading the lines to run about every ten feet of depth. Here we are looking for Chinooks and Coho salmon. I like a mix of dodgers, flashers flies and spoons. Of these three choices spoons are the easiest to present and most productive. There is a variety of ways to work the middle of the water column but, without a doubt lead core and copper lines on planner boards will be the most successful.
    High lines
    The balance of my lines will run in 54 degrees or warmer water looking for rainbows and browns. Depending on how much warm water you have to work with you can cover it with long lines, diving planers and lead core. The mini set in the warmest water with lots light should have the lures with fastest action and brightest colors. Minnow type lures are a great productive choice with their fast action.
    Summary
    Run Mini Sets for all your targets in the temperature zone you expect to find them. Temperature is the key to success with the correct color and action in the depth of water you are fishing.
    Check out
    http://www.badgertackle.com for Reaper, Vulcan and Nestor Wobbler spoons proven and tested by anglers worldwide. Have a great fishing season. Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  5. #83
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    Default Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #1

    Great Lakes Lure Set Ups 2011 Part #1
    By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Milwaukee Capt. Jim Hirt
    Current information is critical to being at the top of your game in any sport. Fishing is no exception and perhaps more critical than other sports. This article will focus on what to use and where for the 2011 season. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    What to use and where?
    In this article I would like to help you define when and where to use spoons, minnow type baits, flasher flies, dodger flies, squids and a variety of other lures. The way I decide what to use is determined by many variables. Let’s look at each of them separately. What we are looking for is the right color, size, lure action and location that will get your target species to strike.
    Two ways to go
    This is the first of two approaches with every fisherman putting his own twist on each. Some fishermen believe it is better to run all of the same kind of lure at one time and use a selection of colors or sizes. This type of presentation is called bait sets. Let’s say they are running six rods. They will run the same type of spoon on each rod in a variety of colors and sizes, or all flashers and flies in different colors. Bait sets work well when you know what's happening but you leave no room for error. If you're hot you're hot or if you’re wrong you may not be in the game.
    Second set up
    The other approach to presentation is running a different lure on every line. This set up is called shotgun. Mixing lures this way is tricky; some lures may be too fast or too slow to work well. On most days, I run a mix of different lures doing what I call Mini Sets to minimize this problem. This is what I might do in a summer presentation. I am usually running 12-16 rods. I split up my rods into three mini sets.
    Check out
    http://www.badgertackle.com for Reaper, Vulcan and Nestor Wobbler spoons proven and tested by anglers worldwide. Have a great fishing season. Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  6. #82
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    Default Pickled fish

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

    Fillet and skin any fish you care to use. Be sure to remove the rib cages. Now cut them into about 1 1/2 inch square chunks or 1 inch strips. Fill a qt. jar about 3/4 full of sliced fillets plus 1 diced onion. Pack very loosely. Add the following:
    2 Tbsp. canning salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tsp. whole mixed pickling spice
    1 1/2 oz. dry white wine
    Apple cider vinegar
    Fill the jar with wine and vinegar right to the top. Now shake the jar to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Refrigerate for four days and they are ready to eat. During the four days shake the jar from time to time.
    If you like it sweeter, add a bit more sugar, but do not change the salt content. If you like a more vinegar taste leave the wine out, as all this does is cut the vinegar a bit. Optional, 1 red pepper and/or clove of garlic.
    Have a great fishing season. Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at
    http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  7. #81
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    Default Ultimate Salmon Boat Part #2

    Ultimate Salmon Boat Part #2

    By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    In part number one we discussed basic tackle for boat, rods and safety. Let’s continue with essential and in most cases must have items for an productive salmon and trout fishing boat. Read all my articles and fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Reels
    Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for a quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them each season. A basic bushing or one ball bearing reel is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $50 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test has the capacity for a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups you may want to try down the road. Penn fishing tackle makes some great quality entry level and top end reels and rods that are a value for all anglers
    Fishing Line
    Spool up with 20 lb Berkley Trilene XT ($7) monofilament. A slightly more expensive but worth it option is to try the advantages of fluorocarbon line. The low stretch near invisible Berkley Vanish ($15) will put more fish in the cooler.
    Downriggers
    Types of presentations are endless and the budget minded fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where are the fish. You must be able to fish at all depths. Plan "A" would be two manual downriggers at about $130 each with an 8 pound weight included. The Great Lakes spawned the use of downriggers and they are very simple and effective at all depths. This is one of the most basic of presentations. The use of this tool is limited only by your imagination.
    Terminal tackle
    I have tried most of the different styles of downrigger releases. I like the Blacks release ($10) with the clip to attach the weight. The Blacks releases are completely adjustable to set the hook when the fish bites and never tangle or wear the line. A sturdy net ($40) that will handle fish to 40 inches will be needed.
    Electronics
    Electronics will be important to safety and success. I would not go out on any of the Great Lakes without a marine radio. Expect to spend $150 but your safety is worth it. Knowing how deep the water is and where the fish are is critical to safety and your ability to put fish in the cooler. The starting price for a fish locator that works to 600 feet is $120.
    Treasure your catch
    Always ice your catch a 70 quart cooler ($25) will lend to the table quality.
    This package will offer the opportunity to catch reel screaming Chinooks, dancing Rainbows, huge Brown Trout, tasty Coho and rod bending Lakers. At a modest price compared to other sports of $825. Split the cost with a buddy and have a blast!! Check out my blog for detailed instructions on set up and presentation of tackle and up to date video fish reports. Have a great fishing season. Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at
    http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  8. #80
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    Default Ultimate Salmon Boat Part #1

    Ultimate Salmon Boat Part #1

    By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    Most major cities have boat shows starting in January and running all the way through March. I have had boats in all sizes shapes and colors. My biggest dilemma at the shows is trying to decide what will work best for my type of fishing and is within my budget. I am not sure how to address budget in this article but I will say a mllti purpose boat for fishing skiing cruising is an easier sell to the family. Of course they’re some of you who do not have to deal with that issue. You will find however a multi purpose boat will get more use. For the hardcore fisherman you will still be in a quandary over a boat that will work for all the types of fish I fish for and what will fill the bill for the waters I fish. I have two boats and would not have it any other way. My small boat is a 14-foot aluminum with a 10 horse. I only have a couple thousand into it. There is plenty of room for two people with gear. I have a fish locator lights and an anchor that’s it. I keep it small here for several reasons. The most important is portability. On some the lakes I fish in northern Wisconsin you will never get a bigger boat in the water. This boat is light enough to lift off the trailer and carry to the water. At times we will carry it through the woods to gain access to waters very seldom fished. I love this boat but it will never work on big water like the Great Lakes. Read all my articles and fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
    Salmon slamming boat
    On the big pond you need some freeboard, room for equipment and protection from the elements. How big is big enough? This depends on the size of your crew. Two guys with a little knowledge of the water will do just fine in a well equipped deep 18 footer with a 90 horse motor. This boat does present some good and bad trade offs. The good news is an 18 is perfect for Walleyes on rivers and big lakes. On the other hand you need to watch your weather before and during a trip on the Great Lakes. Wind direction, wave heights. Safety is always an issue and the big waters of most salmon fishing lakes must be respected.
    Basic equipment
    There are dozens of ways to go and your budget will be the guide to how complete you boat will be. Essentials for safety should be your first concern and are required by law. I won’t go into them as they have different laws every where you go boating.
    Let’s go into fishing needs
    To start let's cover a very limited budget for one person fishing out of a small boat. In the state of Wisconsin on Lake Michigan we are allowed three rods per person. You could buy three rods although I believe when fishing alone or even with one other person more tackle means more expense and not necessarily more enjoyment or fish on.
    Rods
    In recent years the buzzword on the water is stealth. A clean presentation offered a good distance from the boat will take more and bigger fish. Too much tackle will often turn the fish off. Purchase two 8-foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need. There are good quality fiberglass rods starting a $30 each.
    I will continue this article with the next post. This package will offer the opportunity to catch reel screaming Chinooks, dancing Rainbows, huge Brown Trout, tasty Coho and rod bending Lakers. Have a great fishing season. Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at
    http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  9. #79
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    Default Milwaukee Salmon Fishing Heaven!

    Milwaukee Salmon Fishing Heaven!
    By Captain Jim Hirt
    I have written over eighty fishing articles for the web during the last seven years. Now is the time to revisit some of these articles and review them for the most current information. All things evolve and our tactics and skills should improve and change. I hope you enjoy the revisited articles and perhaps find some information you may have missed. Best wishes for the 2011 fishing season
    Where do I go?
    Milwaukee fishing is as easy as it gets. We truly have a world-class fishery. There are three launch ramps for trailerable boats within minutes of dozens of hotels. McKinley Marina 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, South Shore Marina 2900 S. Shore Dr. and Riverfront Launch 650 S. Water. McKinley Marina 414-273-5224 can arrange transient slips for those who would like to do an overnight. For general information on ramps and fees call 414-257-6100. Shopping abounds for the ladies who prefer not to fish. Excellent dining, in all price ranges, will make your family outing complete. The Milwaukee Visitor Bureau 800-554-1448 is a great source of information. Wisconsin has a generous daily bag limit on Lake Michigan. You may keep five total of salmon or trout over ten inches. Possession limit is two daily limits. You may use three rods per person.
    How do I catch fish?
    I would like to share with you some of my keys to finding fish and the hottest set ups for very early presentation. I start my season in early April and the most important factor at this time is temperature. I recommend launching at McKinley. When you come out of the marina, stay inside the break wall. This area is well protected and is always fishable. Proceed south about one mile to the mouth of the river. The best early action will be where the warm river water meets the colder water. The mouth of the river and harbor breakwall gaps is where you want to fish. The most active species will be salmon and Brown Trout in the 5 to 12 pound class with many limit catches.
    Presentation?
    Motor trolling is the method I use for most of my fishing, and I will explain one of my basic spring setups. I fish all my lines on planner boards with twenty-pound test line. Use a six foot leader 3/8-ounce keel sinker twenty feet behind the board. I recommend a boat speed of 2.0 M.P.H. Run small crank baits, medium size jointed minnow type lures and some spoons. 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 can’t go wrong with chartreuse in both conditions. The new Badger Tackle Vulcan glow in the dark lures sold at http://www.badgertackle.com are an excellent option. Good luck Captain Jim. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  10. #78
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    Default Lures For Spring Salmon And Trout

    Lures For Spring Salmon And Trout
    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    I have written over eighty fishing articles for the web during the last seven years. Now is the time to revisit some of these articles and review them for the most current information. All things evolve and our tactics and skills should improve and change. I hope you enjoy the revisited articles and perhaps find some information you may have missed. Best wishes for the 2011 fishing season
    Keys For More Action
    The start of the 2011 Lake Michigan Season will be here before you know it 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 presentation. 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.
    Tools You Will Need
    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 what’s working and what’s 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.
    Temperature Temperature Temperature
    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.
    Resources
    Well lets get started. It’s always a good idea to check local phone hot lines for up to date information on what’s biting. I also check at local tackle stores and Internet reports. You may also call me at 414-828-1094 and check http://www.jimhirt.com for my fish 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. Don’t 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.
    Wind Direction
    The wind direction will be a major player in warm water location. The surface warms first and wind will move this water around. On Wisconsin’s 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 almost more important than the type of lure you use.
    Set Ups
    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 planer boards. Find one you like and run all the same type. For lures I like spoons crank baits, and jointed minnow type lures. 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.
    Speed & Color
    When fishing early in the season, fish metabolism or body temp is very low so a slow presentation is required. I run my boat speed between 1.5 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 can’t go wrong with chartreuse in both conditions. The glow in the dark Vulcan or Reaper spoons sold at http://www.badgertackle.com in regular size 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 posts. Good luck Captain Jim. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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