Fishing Reports
03
Hello,

If you've held off going fishing until the big kings show up in good numbers, now is the time to go!. For better than a week now schools of mature kings have been moving through the area and a number of kings over 25lbs have been taken to the scales. If you're an early riser you'll want to make sure you have your favorite glow spoons charged up and ready to go as they've been good before the sun pops up. Flounder Pounders, Mongolian Beef, Dancing Anchovies and the Bloody Nose Dalmatian patterns have all been good on Moonshine spoons lately. My personal favorite is still the Blue Crab, a simple looking standard sized Dreamweaver that never lets me down. I have been running plugs on at least one copper line each trip but so far the fish haven't been impressed with my selection, I haven't heard of much activity on plugs from others either but they'll warm up to them soon enough. In addition to your spoons you'll want to have your meat rigs on. The kings are showing they have no interest in a vegan diet this past week as the majority of the fish, especially after the sun comes up, have come on a number of different meat set ups. Most of my success has been with 10" Spin Dr.s in the Kevin's Girlfriend, Pink Dots Coho and White Fish Scale UV patterns. I like the Green Mile, UV on Ice and a pink UV rig. I've had success fishing meat on riggers, 300' to 450' coppers and behind braid and wire divers this past week.

Lake trout continue to be a reliable source of action. Recently I have had more luck when running my favorite rigs about 10 - 15' off bottom and about 10 - 15' behind the ball than keeping them tight and in the sand. 8" White paddles with crushed UV tape with a Whirly Gig or Spin'N'Glo with glow tape on the wings has been really good on dark days and a steady producer every day regardless of weather. The 8" Yellow Bikini Bottom Paddle with a chrome and yellow spotted Whirly Gig has been a steady producer for me as well and because I like saying I'm catching fish on a yellow bikini bottom I keep running it. It sounds better than catching them on the Trash Can but it's been working too.

Location is always part of the equation. Check the Port Sheldon and Muskegon buoy's to get an ide of where the temp brakes are and if you're setting up in the dark you'll want to start in the depth where the thermo hits the bottom and work out slowly. For those of us that put a higher value on sleep a solid plan is to start around 80 FOW and work out to about 140 FOW or until you find the fish. The currents and winds over the last week have moved the fish around daily but they've been in that depth range almost every day for the past two months. An added note about that current, make note of the direction the boats waving nets are travelling and match it! Figuring out direction and speed to properly present your baits have been tricky challenges lately. I still rely on the bend in my diver rods to let me know how my speed is even when everything else says I'm going too fast or slow. My brain couldn't accept what I was seeing one morning last week and I had several slow hours until it dawned on me that what I was doing wasn't working and finally put my faith back where it belonged and it worked. It was ugly, but it worked.

Pier fishing on our crowded piers has been spotty as the water has been quite warm this past week. I have seen some nice bass, some catfish and a number of drum caught but that's it recently. Checking the buoy regularly for water temps and current directions will help indicate which days to go. If the water cools and the fish move in live alewives are the bait of choice. If after casting out you find you're using a yellow bikini bottom for bait things are about to get really interesting, get ready to run for your life!

Enjoy the rest of Coast Guard Festival and go fishing!

Matt

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20

 The Kings are coming! The Kings are coming and we're  happy to be back on the water fishing for them. The strong North winds this past week cooled the water and scattered the fish, but mature Kings were still caught in water depths ranging from the piers to 130 feet. Fish were caught from 10 to 60 feet down on a variety of lures. Bright spoons such as the Red and Orange Pepper Dreamweavers and the Jawbreaker Stinger worked well. With the cold water, short lead cores of 2 to 5 colors were effective. Some fish were also taken on plugs and meat rigs. If you prefer Steelhead, try fishing the river water near the pierheads early in the day. Fish the top 15 feet with oranges and pinks and don't be afraid to pick up your speed to 3.5 mph or more. Lake Trout remain active near bottom in 100 to 140 feet of water and can be caught on the usual 8 inch Spin Doctors and Spin-n-Glows or Whirligigs. The changing water temperatures this past week point out the importance of being aware of changes. Temperatures dropped almost 20 degrees in one day! The Grand Haven Steelheaders website provides links to local buoys which can provide important information on currents and temperatures both on the surface and at various depths. Good Fishing, Rich

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13
Hello!

The weather has been all over lately with hot and cool days but overall the fishing has remained very good for this time of year. Double digit catches that include a healthy dose of lake trout with a few salmon and steelhead mixed in are fairly common with more salmon and steelhead being caught on morning trips. Kings up to 27 lbs have been caught in the past week and that's creating a lot of speculation about how many big kings over 30 lbs will be caught over the next couple of months. The fishing from the end of July and during the month of August are likely to generate some pretty exciting stories!

The cold water that arrived after Tuesdays blow seemed to scatter some of the smaller trout and catch numbers dipped a little but size increased. The 110 - 140 FOW range has continued to be the most active area to fish but fish have been taken from 70 - 190 FOW. Most of the trout continue to come from the bottom 20 foot of the water column, the steelhead are mostly being taken from offerings in the 30 - 60 foot range and kings have been found throughout that range. White with UV Crush tape on an 8" Dreamweaver Paddle with what was once a shiny chrome Whirly Gig, but is now a chewed up mess of chrome and white plastic, has been the hot ticket on my center downrigger for 3 weeks. I've been running this combo about 5' behind the ball on calm days and 10' - 15' on bouncier days. The conditions have not made much of a difference as it's been equally as productive on sunny days as it has been during cloudy periods. The 8" Yellow Bikini Bottom Paddle with a chrome and yellow spotted Whirly Gig has been another go to bait on a wire diver fished suspended about 10 to 15' off of bottom. This rig has been good for both kings and trout. My leader length from the paddle to the Whirly Gig is about 20 inches on my center rigger and 45 inches on the wire diver set up. I've had days where the fish have favored one over the other but generally they both create a fair amount of action.

Copper lines have had some pretty good days recently as well. My most consistent has been a 325 with the Gold Watermelon Stinger blade. Right behind that has been a 270 with a Stingray UV Michigan Dolphin and up high on a 150 copper the Capt Gary Dreamweaver has taken a number of kings and Steelhead. Another pattern that has worked well on my higher coppers has been the Wrecking Ball in both the SuperSlim and standard sized Dreamweaver spoons. Jager Bombs, NBK's and UV Mixed Veggies have all taken fish for me recently too. Meat rigs have worked sporadically but I haven't heard of anyone consistently taking fish on them yet. Warmer water creating a deeper thermo, in my experience, would help.

Pier fisherman have not had the success that one would suspect lately given the water temps and time of the year. My personal theory is that someone sent an email to the Skamania strain of steelhead and explained just how much it would cost to raise several thousand kids so they're boycotting the spawning run this summer. We've been finding fair numbers offshore and they seem to be pretty content to stay there. Getting them to accept a boat ride up the river as our guest has not even been possible without a pretty spirited battle. I haven't heard if this is the case up and down the coast but I suspect the cold weather we had in April may have as much to do with their late arrival as the eye opening email they received but only time will tell.

Good luck,
Matt

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29
Hello,

This June is going to go down as one of the best in recent memory! Lake trout are taking up most of the space in fisherman's coolers right now but a few kings and steelhead are still hanging around to make things exciting. Not much has changed in regards to locations or baits over the past few weeks with 8" Chrome Spin Dr's and Paddles with yellow or green spots and a similarly decorated Whirly Gig or Spin'N'Glo trailing it taking the lions share of the trout. A notable pattern that has emerged lately though is the that the larger trout have been suspended 10-30 foot off bottom so if you want to clean fewer fish and have more on the table raise your rigs up a bit.

Salmon and steelhead continue to be caught from 30-70 foot down on a variety of spoons, the silver Jager Bomb on an 8 color lead core rig has worked well for a friend. My suggestion for the guy that isn't interested in fishing lake trout would be to get on the water with lines in by 5 am, load up with some glow spoons and a couple meat rigs and fish the 80-120 FOW range. A trip offshore may be worth a shot too but I haven't heard of anyone leaving fish to find them lately. I did receive a hot tip on steelhead. A couple of cold beverages loosened up a fisherman's lips enough to get him to admit to catching some nice steelhead this past week in 30 - 40 FOW. He had the place to himself as most of us were a couple miles west of him. I haven't heard much from the pier crowd and I haven't seen any fish being taken as I've traveled through the channel but it makes sense that they'd be there. The warm weather that has arrived might change things up a bit but with the thermocline still high you should be able to stay inside of 50 FOW this weekend and find some chrome bullets willing to hit the brightest orange/chrome spoons, orange/gold spoons and red/black spoons and Thin Fins you own. You may have to tangle with the occasional drum or catfish but it's worth a shot.

My last bit of advice, it's going to be dangerously hot for doing any kind of yard work this weekend so you can tell your wife that it's in the best interest of your health to go fishing! See ya out there!

Matt

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22
Hello,

The fun continues! Excellent numbers of trout and the occasional king or steelhead are still be caught here in Grand Haven. Not much has changed this past week as the fish continue to hold in waters from 70 - 160 feet deep. 8" Spin Dr's and Paddles continue to take trout when fished within 10' of bottom on downriggers and wire diver rigs. The kings and the steelhead have been the most active in the 40 - 65 foot down range and are hitting a variety of spoons. My best this week, just like last, were the Dreamweaver Flea For All, Capt. Gary and Mixed Veggies in the SuperSlim, standard and magnum sizes. Coppers from 225 to 450' in length took a mixed bag of fish, my 450's took some of my larger kings and even a pair of steelhead down deep. Gold and orange and the watermelon patterns were my choices for the long coppers.

Looking ahead to the next few days I would expect the pattern to continue to hold but look for steelhead to show up around the piers. The cold water is only 30' from the surface now so I have to believe there will be some shallow water opportunities for these silver acrobats. Troll fast with plenty of smaller orange spoons and red/black Thin Fins and you'll know fairly quick if they've showed up. Short lead cores of 1 to 5 colors in length are usually the most effective rigs but traffic on weekends can make those a bit challenging. Dipsies and running long leads of your downriggers are a solid plan B if Sea Doo's start using your planer boards for a slalom course.

Good luck and go fishing! Summer will actually show up for good one of these days and slow this fun down!

Matt

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