Fishing Reports


Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water another cold front arrives. The recent north winds chilled the water and messed up the swimming but didn't take the fun out of the good fishing we've been enjoying lately. Good fishing can be found from the piers to 200 ft of water as schools of baitfish are liberally sprinkled throughout the area. We've had our best success from 120 to 180 fow with our biggest fish coming from the deeper end of that range. I've looked for areas with plenty of slicks and surface temps in the 58 to 62 degree range and focused my attention there. Our best downrigger depths have been from 30 to 55 feet and as you'd expect, the brighter patterns have been working. Orange Killers, UV Capt. Gary, UV Michigan Dolphins, Mongoose, Mixed Veggies, jäger Bombs, Rodman and Mac and Cheese on either Super Slim or standard size Stinger Blades have all been steady producers when fished in the upper depths. 6, 8 and 10 color lead cores and 100 - 300' coppers have all been effective. Braided line divers set from 75 to 120' feet behind the boat and set on 3 have been the ticket for some dandy steelhead lately. Speaking of "dandy" sized fish, we took a 41", 26 lb king and a pair of 37" kings weighing 22 and 24 lbs Sunday morning. My memory isn't sharp enough to recall the last time we had three 20 + lb fish in the cooler at the same time! The key to the big boys has been the meat rig following a Fat Nancy 10" Spin Dr trolled  far enough back to reach into the 60 to 80' depths. Should the current pull a fast one on us and cause a warm up, have an  8" Blue Dolphin Spin Dr and a Last Supper fly ready to go during the first couple hours in the morning and again later in the evening.

The current full moon period and wildly changing weather patterns have benefitted those that don't rise early with some of the best fishing taking place after 10 am and continuing through the afternoon until sunset. Look for the cold weather in our forecast to cause this pattern to continue for at least another week. Also, don't tell anyone but I've found that increasing my trolling speed to as fast as 3.8 mph has really helped the last few days. We had close to 25 fish on during a four hour trip last night and the strikes were explosive!

Pier fisherman have not enjoyed the success you'd expect with the cold water in place around the pier. I did see a couple decent perch caught off the north pier on our way out yesterday but not much else. I can only guess its the impressive quantity of baitfish off shore that's prevented the fish from chasing all the food near the pier. 

If you have the chance, get out now as the fishing is good and the chance for a trophy is very real!

Good luck!



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