Yesterday morning we set out at 7:30 with a lovely couple from the Jackson Mi area, electrical panel builder and wife Lynette, two outdoor types who wanted to catch some fish. They spent the day before fishing Lac La Belle with little luck, not knowing the lake or where the “hot spots” are. Before we passed the Mendota lighthouse I pointed out a few likely spots for them to go back to when they fish the lake next time.
We went directly out to one of my “fishing holes” and trolled around for over an hour before scoring on our first fish. After that we had good activity by circling around and ended up with 10 nice lake trout in the range of 2.5 lbs up to 6.44 lbs. All very nice, good “eaters” with nice pink and orange color to the meat. Many of them had lots of may flies in the bellies as we caught some suspended around 50 to 100 feet and some on the bottom at 180 feet. We actually found a good “scum line” to fish around 5 to 6 miles out. We had one doubleheader and a triple, or at least close to it… We landed one as we brought in a second and hooked a third before the 2nd one was in…some high excitement for a while.
I forgot to mention a trip with friend Norm and his boys over a week ago. Here is a picture:
Wednesday evening we had some dandy storms come through and left some serious rains. I’m sure it means we will get higher water levels in the lake to improve docking situations.I went to bed early after setting the buzzer for 4 am with exited anticipation of fishing again the next day. After locating some fish the day before, I couldn’t wait until the next day to go after them with some clients from Lake Linden and Chicago… a father and sons foursome whom love to fish. The dad gets his boys together frequently to bond and have a good time fishing and this was one of those times.
I fell asleep quickly and woke suddenly and I opened my eyes it saw it was light out already. I reached for my cell phone to see the time was already 10:16! I could not believe I had slept so long, but then looked closer and noticed it was still Wednesday. The rest of the night was restless until I got out of bed at 4 am to get ready to fish.
The wind seemed to be blowing a little too hard to consider fishing on the big lake, but coming out of the west, I knew we could fish at least in close, protected by by the land and an offshore wind.
We again set some lines close in by the irons of Bete Grise and fished for 1/2 hour there un-successfully before heading out to my “spot.”
Soon after setting the down-riggers in 175 feet of water in Lake Superior to fish for lake trout, we picked up our first fish, and soon the 2nd, both small, but at least we “got the skunk out.” After catching lots of nice eaters (small lake trout), we moved out to a place where I had caught larger fish on a previous outing. We landed a few more there, larger fish before coming in with 13 lakers… a fun day on the water and I’m sure the dad and 3 boys will enjoy every one of their fish. The first and second fish were small, here they are:
then some more and the total catch for the day:
Today, we set out on my 19 footer on calm water with a couple, RN Leann and electrical engineer Aaron, from the Minneapolis area. She had mentioned her desire to catch salmon, Coho or Chinook (King Salmon), but we haven’t seen many in the bay lately. I let them know how good these lakers are to eat, but said we could set some lines in close for coho first and if we catch no salmon soon, we will go deep for lakers.
We came back in with 5 lakers and 1 nice coho. One laker was 10 lbs, so a pretty nice catch for a 1/2 day in Bete Grise.
Surface temperatures have been in the mid-50’s lately, ideal for fish to be suspended and near the surface. In fact the laker and steel-head I caught recently were in a scum-line and feeding on bugs, with their bellies full of them. Scum lines are harder to find here in Bete Grise, but sometimes is there and productive. The wind we had yesterday messed up the fishing a little, at least for suspended fish, but lake trout were still on the bottom in their usual spots. The coho hit on a FinnAction Lure, the Fish Grinch as I call it, with a chartreuse green prism stripe… I’ll have to make some more of them. Lakers hit on green and white, also gold and blue with a pink prism stripe. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.8 are working well.
Saturday was a flat water day, sandwiched in between a few windy days where we were able to fish with a good, regular fishing customer from the Mn area. Printer Robert and dad-of-a-handful-of-kids, Attorney Brig, drove all the way from Iron River on Saturday morning. They popped out of bed at 3 am (2am CST)to drive the 3 hours to Lac la Belle for a 6 am departure. When the fishing bug runs thick in the blood, fishermen will sacrifice sleep and many other necessities of life to satiate the lure of the deep waters.
Andy, my deckhand, whom I couldn’t coax out of bed last time, came along after eating a bowl of hearty Cheerios. (I think he could smell a tip coming and he needed some money for an air-soft gun).
We all witnessed a truly beautiful sunrise over Bete Grise as we left the break-wall and headed 5 miles out to drop the down-riggers to start fishing at 175 feet. The water was calm with a slightly overcast sky and the lunar game and fish feeding tables said the bite would be on after 7 am.
Setting lines by 6:20, we fished the whole water column for an hour or so before we hooked on to our first fish. After that we had good action most of the morning and after loosing a few, we ended up with 7 nice lake trout, with an average weight around 5.5 lbs, instead of the usual 3.
We had active lines at the surface on planer boards and all the way down to the bottom on down-riggers with dipsy divers in between. A black Action Andy (named after my deckhand of the day) caught fish, as well as some other green lure. Surface temps at 54 to 55, but did not drop my probe to see what it runs below.
Weather permitting, we will be out for the next 3 days at least, perhaps Saturday too. Good luck to all and hope to see you on the water.
Yesterday, some fishermen came from the Lansing area (and brother from Texas) for the 2nd time in 2 years to do a little trolling on Lake Superior.
I woke up my deck hand, Andy, at 6 am after having my own coffee and breakfast ( I thought I’d let him sleep as long as possible so he got his beauty rest). All he did was moan and roll over complaining how tired he was. I decided I really didn’t need a first mate anyway since I prepared the boat the night before and my clients were somewhat experienced with down rigger, dipsy diver and planer board trolling from a previous trip. Also, it was to be a calm day, so the autopilot could handle the steering of the boat. (know anyone interested in filling in to deck hand sometime? The pay is low, but the fun is HIGH!)
The lake was a little foggy as we approached the channel, so I had to turn on the radar to “see” where I was going, but when we went half way through the channel, I saw that Lake Superior was clear.
We set lines immediately with orange dodgers and flies, green spoons, pink spoons and a couple FinnAction Lures and trolled between 1.8 and 2.4 mph. The water temp was in the mid 50’s near the shore and low 50’s farther out, but neither the Coho nor Steel-head were in the area, so we pulled the lines and went deep for Lake Trout.
Had a little down rigger issue on number 4, which was easily fixed as we trolled. (good thing I had a few extra fuses on board).
Caught our lake trout on green, one of which was the Calvinator and also a brass, red and pink prism number 5 spoon. (FinnAction Lures) I’ve been setting my spoons only 5 to 6 feet behind a home poured 11 lb ball with a big square tail that has green prism and glow tapes applied. See my post on this set-up here.
Water depth was mostly 170 to 210 and all the fish were in the 2.5 to 5 lb range. Caught one on a dipsy set-up with 300 feet of braided line out with a deep diver5 inch disk. It will dive to about 120 with this set-up, so this was a suspended fish. We also saw some suspended, and were running a dipsy around their depth, but no bites on that one.
I’m tying up some new spin and glows with glow beads and silicone skirts to run behind dodgers for more action on the next outing.
Last weekend we camped at Schlatters Lake and fished for pike and perch. This was our annual trip with the dads and boys from our church that we have been doing for 38 years now. As one of the kids 38 years ago, I enjoyed the first outing with 8 adults and about 25 kids.
Back then, nobody had a tent and we either slept under the stars or under a tarp. There were only 2 boats and a few trucks and all of us kids rode in the box. Now, it has grown to 113 adults, 270 boys, 71 boats, 93 vehicles and numerous tents and home made shelters, all camping out on a remote island on an inland lake in the Keweenaw Peninsula. What a great time!
The pike fishing was almost non-existent, but the perch were numerous and jumbo. Most of us had plenty of fire grilled perch with various seasonings to supplement out meals of puurua(oat meal), hot dogs, steaks and pasty.
On Monday night, I fished in Bete Grise near shore because the wind was whistling along at 25 knots. I tried various spoons with no luck, but many other boats in the area had the same results. We all were seeing fish on our electronics, but no bites.
When I finally headed in at dark I kept my lures in the water all the way into the irons. I had pulled my dipsy divers in and pu them away and my down-rigger was the only lure left in the water. As some of you know, the water is only about 6 feet deep in the channel, so I had a 50 foot lead behind the DR ball. Just as I was about to pull it in (in the 11th hour)I got a release from the ball. It was 31 inch, 8 lb Pike that came in with a pretty good fight. I brought it back to the camp and released it at our dock after pictures and showing the family. By the way, it was caught on a pink and silver prism with a green glow back number 5 spoon trolled at 2 mph.
Retired New York City Detective Wayne and lovely wife Barb came up from Tennessee to fish with me on Lake Superior. WE went for lake trout on the bottom with down riggers and put out a few surface lines and dypsy divers for Coho and Steelhead. Just got lakers, but a pretty good day after a slow start. We started in 120 to 160 feet in the same area I fished last, where I picked up a couple in a short time on my last outing, but could not hook a fish there.
WE then went to deeper water, caught 7 and missed a couple besides some false releases on the DR’s. Green was again the order of the day, mostly because that’s what we threw at them.
The last 2 fish were caught by jigging with kapuu’s. Pretty good for 2 rookies on hand lines!
Surface water was running around 49 degrees, but did not have my probe running for the deep water temp. Mostly trolled at 1.9 mph, but a little faster at times. The slower speed is more productive for lakers. All were on the bottom, but saw some suspended fish.
Going to Schlatters this weekend