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Posts posted by cliftp

  1. Went to St. Joe this morning, a little latter. Got on the water about 9 AM. My wife, daughter and son in law wanted to go for their first trip of the year. Lake was pretty nice, fog was not great. Had plans to go out to a temp break I saw on the water temp map this morning, a little south and out, it looked like around 110 feet of water or so. The heavy fog changed my mind so we fished in the 80's and 90's, all directions. Marked a few fish, had one even come up and look at my flasher/fly on the port down rigger. No takers. Ran spoons, flasher/flies, and even threw out a J-Plug on a 150 copper. Also tried my favorite red thin fin on a five color hoping for a steelhead. No releases.

    Water temp was down to 45 degrees at 50 feet. High 60's on the surface.

    Next time.

    Paul C.

  2. I haven't fished Erie since I went with my Dad over 10 years ago. Now Dad is gone but I really want to try it again. I think we went to Monroe, but it might have been Luna Pier. The wife and I want to get a room the night before, but not sure where to stay or even the best place to go or launch. We'll be trailering the boat from over by Kalamazoo Friday (6/13) night and any pointers on location would sure help.

    Hi Jack, I'm a little bit farther west then you but we have done Sterling State Park into Breast Bay and Lake Erie as a day trip and also stayed over night. I've stayed once at:

    Hampton Inn Monroe

    1565 N Dixie Hwy

    Monroe, MI 48162

    It's pretty close to the entrance to Sterling State Park. We stayed in the off season, I think toward the end of October and it was still horribly expensive so you may want to shop around. However, I still had my boat in the morning so I was happy.

    If you have your "P" designator on your license plate its a free launch at Sterling State Park and pretty nice, although be sure and adhere to the buoys going out. It even has a fish cleaning station.

    Also, not sure if you've been watching the www.michigan-sportsman forums or not but the east side guys are much better at posting reports then us west siders. (thanks east siders!) At any rate the reports may give you a starting point. A friend from Lansing was just over two weeks ago and did OK.

    I have fished out of Luna Pier once, but didn't stay over night, just a long day trip but it seems there are a lot of hotels around.

    Also, not sure if you'd consider Ohio waters or not but we have been going to the Port Clinton area. Lots of hotels over that way, although with Cedar Point in full swing may be expensive. Something also that may be fun for you and your wife to get your bearing on Lake Erie is a charter with:


    This lady sounds like a wonderful captain and does a lot of family, husband/wife type trips, both perch and walleye. She will often have fresh baked goods on board also. At any rate she gives really frequent reports and will help you determine a strategy for your catching.

    Finally, I realize with you going over next week, probably no time for a lot of that stuff, but if you and your wife would like a really friendly, family fishing weekend, Lance Valentine, from: www.walleye101.com has something he calls a Trophy Hunt. Very reasonable, I think, and some good education. Usually toward the end of October.

    Anyway, a few options and hope you have a great time.

    Paul C.

    Mattawan, MI

  3. Upgrading from (2) Canon Manual Uni Trolls to electric and looking for feedback here. Cost aside, what are your thoughts? I like the rod holders of the Big Jon, but Cannon is faster and I've already got the mount. I run two rods on one rigger sometimes, but less than 25% and have other rod holders so I don't NEED two on the rigger, but who complains with having an extra.. Boat is a 21' Walk Around and riggers are mounted on gunwale if that impacts your decision.

    Cannon Mag 10 STX


    Big Jon Pro Tournements

    Good Morning Hockey 390.....I've never used Cannons so can't speak to them at all, other then I've heard they are great. I put two new Big Jon Captains Pack riggers on my boat in 2008 and they have been great. The side of my garage must have moved as I was pulling he boat out one day and I took off part of the cover that houses the up/down switch and breaker and other electronic stuff. I took it apart and looked, decided I'd done enough damage so I took the motor assembly off and sent the whole thing to Big Jon with a note. (Company is in Interlochen, MI) They contacted me, let me know what needed done, fixed it and sent the assembly back, all with in the week, more or less. It was great dealing with a Michigan company. Plus, they actually called and left a message a few days after I received the package to make sure I was happy. Hard to beat that.

    Good luck on your choice.

    Paul C.

  4. Thank you guys. I am interested in a new one paul so i would love that info. I was able to price a new venture triple axle trailer for 5200 out of the east side of the state but wanted to look around. Outdown93 i sent you a message. thanks

    Finally got hold of Rick and he said the trailer is a Nextrail. They've had it for 6 or 7 years and its been great for them. However, did a web search for the company and some of the reviews are not great. The bigger problem, it appears the company has moved to Florida per this web site:


    I'm afraid I wasn't much help. Good luck on the hunt!

    Paul C.

  5. Looking for a trailer for a 27ft sea ray 10ft beam, about 9,000IBs loaded. I'm told I need a triple axle trailer. Let me know if anyone has a lead on one. thanks.

    A friend had one built for a 25 foot Trojan down in Indiana somewhere. It's a nice aluminum 3 axle trailer and it seems like he said it was reasonable. I can try and get the info for you if you'd consider new.

    Paul C.

  6. When I had my FishHawk 840 the down speed, surface speed and the GPS SOG all were different speeds most of the time. My sonar also had a paddle wheel on its transducer and it would be a different number too. This makes sense though since they are measuring speed differently or with different conditions. The FH surface speed and the GPS speed over ground is influenced by the lake's surface current's increasing or decreasing the speed relative to what it would be in calm conditions but the FH is relative to the water and the GPS is relative to the ground under the boat. The down speed is measuring speed relative to the various currents at the depth of the probe. The only speed that really has any value when trolling is the down speed. The others are nice to know, but are really only telling you how what direction and how fast the underwater currents are. I personally like to move the probe around a little because the currents can vary in speed and direction at different depths too.

    The temps on the FH chart have been updated in recent years are are more accurate than they used to be. I would pretty much agree with the optimal

    numbers but the upper limit numbers are generally too low. For Chinook the upper is listed at 60* but I have caught many early morning shallow waters with 65 to 70* temps. Same for Steelhead -- says 62* is the max but I often find them in 65* water offshore.

    Good point on the speed. Guess it really doesn't matter much except at the ball. I'm assuming the Fish Hawk transducer is for both the X-4 and X-4D, hence the wheel.

    Paul C.

  7. Just picked up the X4+D and with it came a chart of best temps for many fish.

    Numbers seem right to most of you?

    Fishing by water temps has been one of my weak points especially since I had no way to read temps at different depths.



    I just put the same one on my boat this year and am trying to learn how to use it. Just for fun, we were at Lake Erie, out of Port Clinton week before last for a couple days, at times around the islands, the surface speed and speed at 25 feet were as much as .5 MPH different. Kind of a big deal when only going 1 to 1.5 on the surface. I'm thinking those poor body baits were not even moving. If Lake M ever gets so I can get out, I'm looking forward to using it. I do wish it had speed at the transom in back instead of using GPS speed though. I'd be curious if it is more stable using the Fishhawk speed vs the GPS speed.

    Hope it helps us both.

    Paul C.

  8. We're about to find out how it feels to fish when we want. Hard to comprehend but thinking we'll adjust. :grin: Wife and I plan to be in Au Gres soon. I look forward to meeting many new fishing friends.

    Chummer, you won't believe how nice it is not to need to fish on the weekends, between grass mowing, chores and such. I have been very fortunate in that I have found a couple fishing buddy friends, who are also good friends, who help with gas and also have their own boats and we share equipment. Stay healthy and enjoy every day.

    Paul C.

    PS....Walleye and morels for lunch on Monday, Crappie for lunch on Wednesday. Life is good!

  9. Got a late start today due to some late arrivers. left the pier around 8 AM, and fished until we got some stuff caught in the props, limped in and a big thanks to Brian's Marina, got us on the lift and cleared the stuff from the props and got us set to fish the weekend. We ended up 8 for 10, 1 1lb. King, a very unusual 7lb Coho, and 6 standard spring Coho, No pics today as we were more concerned with the trash in the props. The pattern was like Sunday, in the mud line, North south troll, all stingers, Bloody Nose, Glow Christmas, Craigs Christmas and Modified Coyote all took fish. Got pretty rough about the time we pulled lines.

    Thanks for the report. Lots of stuff floating on Tuesday also. Glad yours props ended up OK. A friend with a 25 foot Trojan hit something two years ago just as he was clearing the piers and ended up with some major drive train damage. Can't wait for a little smoother lake before the coho continue north. My wife has this great recipe and we had two meals from Tuesdays catch. Sure are good fish.

    Paul C.

  10. Weather was supposed to be so crumby today, when the sun came out late this morning and the wind died, I decided to check NWS and see what the forecast was for St. Joe. Said one foot or less. (They were wrong by the way). Ended up with one King, one Laker and two coho. Best bait was a red Thin Fin, two landed three hits. King came on a purple spoon, (Dreamweaver?) on the down rigger and the Laker was on a hot and tot with some reds in it.


    It was great to get out, wish the weather would cooperate a little more. Hard for me to set lines on my knees.

    Fished from 1:30 to 4:30 PM or so.

    Paul C.

  11. I have been using the Cannon offshore release and wandering the forum I found a thread on people using the chamberland release, I also see the Big Jon release mentioned.

    I like the idea of being able to load the rod up more and not have it release.

    Both look a bit similar and I was wondering is one preferred over the other?

    I fish Superior mostly for Trout and Salmon, using spoons for the most part on the riggers.



    I've been using the Chamberlains for the last three years. They have been great. I used the Big Jon rubber band release ones before that, and they were OK, although I prefer not to use the rubber bands.

    Tried the Chamberlain stacker release. It seemed to work OK, however one of my fishing partners had an awe shucks and it ended up in the Lake somewhere. Don't think I'll replace it.

    Paul C.

  12. Hi Paul. Congrats on the retirement. 10 more years for me. Go to the Bilg Lake Lures website. Larry's contact info is there. He will make them up for you for the normal rate. I forgot to mention that they are UV also. Look very nice in the water.


    Sent him an email. Thanks!

    Paul C.

  13. I'm giving out a big thanks to Larry at Big Lake Lures. I have always wanted to make a spoon designed after my MSP patrol car colors, specifically the blue and yellow for the car and shield, and the red for the overhead light (bubble). My daughter and I came up with an idea and sent it to Larry at BLL who without hesitation said he would be happy to make the spon for us. We sent him our crude drawings (well mine anyway) and within a few days I had the spoons in the mail along with a few extras which I purchased. I fished them over the weekend and took three hits landing one fish. My friend Jim fished one on his boat and lost one on it also so they catch fish. Doesnt surprise me because I really like the look of them.

    I can't say thanks enough to Larry. Good people.

    The final choice was the spoon with the angled red slash at the top, which of course my daughter's design.

    Good luck all.


    Hi Chris;

    I retired from the Paw Paw Post, December 31, 2010, one of my fishing partners retired a few years before and another friend a little before that. How can I get some?

    Might be just what the St. Joe Kings need!


    Paul C.

  14. My Mercury (Tohatsu) 9.9 Four stroke ProKicker is very hard starting, and idles rough. I realize some engines are "cold blooded", but I was wondering if anybody else who has one is experiencing the same thing. Please no Mercury bashing. We all have our favorites so If you don't like Merc's keep your opinions to yourself. I'm just looking for professional input to see if others had the same experience.

    You may want to send a message to a guy named "ENCORE" from the Michigan-Sportsman forum: www.michigan-sportsman.com

    He had lots of problems with one I believe and it was finally replaced. I'm sure he could provide you some insight.

    Here is his thread from 2012: http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/showthread.php?t=428330&highlight=mercury

    May have to register on the site but as I recall some good info on the thread, didn't read through it again though.

    Best of luck.

    Paul C.

  15. Anybody try one of these yet?

    Also where can I find them here in west Michigan?

    Outdoorsmen in jenison does not carry them

    I had two of them, apparently we were doing something wrong, now have one. Seem to work OK and as stated earlier, take some getting used to. I also use their releases and really like them.

    Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor had them, a bit of a road trip for you. I ordered from the company both times I purchased them.


    Paul C.

  16. My fishing partner wrote such a good report I copy/pasted below from a different site. It was a great day and the first limit of the year in St. Joe. We've had a tough salmon year.

    Jim's report:

    7 am - 2:30 pm. Thanks to a previous report we headed to 180 -200 water. After we set our first rigger found out our speed & temp. was out of order. Set our lures from 45 - 65 down. Our first fish was at 9 am after speeding up. Ground speed was 3.0 - 3.2 on a SE & NW troll. Caught and lost fish all day. Stopped counting lost fish at 11. Our three man limit came from a little of everything. Full copper, full core, wire dipsies, riggers. The best bites came on our smallest spoons. Nothing on flies. Nothing on riggers until we stacked add lines and then they fired consistenly the rest of the day. Colors were your normal fish catchers. Green & gold, green & yellow, green & blue. Our 15 fish consisted of Kings, Coho, Steelies, Skamania. After wrapping the wire and lead together we managed to have both riggers go off and a wire dipsy landing two of the three fish with the mess still in the water down the trough! What a great day. We started by heading directly 270 degrees out of the harbor and then headed south.


    Good luck to you all.

    Paul C.

    Mattawan, MI

  17. We went out last Wednesday, at St. Joe, have not been for a few weeks so thought we'd start where we were doing good a year ago. Set up in 80 feet with a west troll and went out to as far as 128. 0 for 3, with the three being pull backs on the boards and no fish felt.

    So, replay today, started at daylight and were thinking of heading back out to the 80s and noted all of the charter guys stopping in the 60's. Duuuuu.

    Ended up with two kings, biggest 16. something pounds, and seven really nice coho with the biggest being a little over 6 pounds. All were in the 60's.

    All came on spoons, mostly anything with green or oranges in them. Tried flies and stick baits and even drug a j-plug around for awhile, with nothing touched.

    St. Joe has been tough for us this year.

    Good Luck!

    Paul C.

  18. I have Big Jon's, trouble free so far, probably 5 years old now. Can't speak to the other brands. I did listen to a Mike Avery interview with the person who started Big Jon, can't remember his name, and he sounded like a really smart engineering type who built a really sound company. Happy with mine.

    Paul C.

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